Nine Elders Speak Out On Driscoll
and one has already been fired for doing so…
“This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry I’ve ever been involved with.” – Paul Tripp, former member of Mars Hill Board of Advisors and Accountability
Warren Throckmorton has the full story and the incredible statement that these elders made.
As I said yesterday, the “investigations” have been a sham and the whole process has been nothing but damage control and spin.
This statement proves my beliefs.
The PR people answered this…but if any more revelations come forth, expect them to run for the hills as well.
This could be the “but, God” moment many have been praying for….
Paul Tripp going on record with that comment COULD be a game changer.
PR machine is going to have to work overtime on this one. Oh well, its not like the church at Mars Hill is paying the PR folks….right?
As someone said on another thread;
“Let’s think the best until comments can be clarified…. Sheeesh.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” 😉
You might want to read the full report…I think all the clarifications are in…
I was teasing Paps for his comment on the other thread.
What they need to do is come out on the platform next Sunday to each service and say “Let’s see a show of hands – how many want MD to continue as pastor?”
“Now let’s see a show of hands. who wants MD fired?”
Boom!! the whole issue settled in 5 mins.
MLD, do you really think pastors should be democratically elected/recalled?
Of course – just as we vote as a congregation to call a pastor.
How are your pastors handled – in a smoke filled backroom? 🙂
I remember my years at CC and the assistant pastors would come and go … and no one would say a word. When you asked, “what happened to pastor so and so?” no one would say.
I question whether the people with the authority to call a pastor should have more qualifications than simply church membership, because I don’t see a lot of biblically literate and fully committed Christians in any congregation. Maybe there are some out there, though.
because I don’t see a lot of biblically literate and fully committed Christians in any congregation. Maybe there are some out there, though.
But those are the ones who take the time and interest to attend committee meeting and eventually the voter’s assemblies.
My point exactly.
Jean, are you capable of helping decide (by vote) who your next pastor should be.
Is there anyone here who does not think they could digest the information and vote for a new pastor … or vote to dispatch one?
I don’t know how that can be your point – the only people who can vote are the ones who take the time and interest to vote.
Are you saying if a vote came up in your church you would abstain?
We, as a leadership board and subsequent committees fully vet people, get recommendations from the district and synod – interview extensively, pay for them and the families to come and visit. When a recommendation is made to the congregation, there is no question if the person is right.
The vote is probably more a vote of confidence of the leadership doing the work than it is a vote for the candidate. Unlike many churches, we acknowledge that the Holy Spirit does not speak only to the pastor or only to the ‘leadership’, but in these matters, the Holy Spirit speaks to all.
Now all people may not clearly get the message, so we do get split votes, but we always follow up votes for calls to have a unanimous vote.
But my bigger point is that this whole MD situation could be over and done following my suggestion – hey, winner take all.
And my point was I disagree with you.
I think your system makes sense. However, it is a far cry from a simple democratic process. Under your system, you wouldn’t even put up a person to a vote who was not clearly qualified.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t be in favor of a recall/disassociation process that requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the members.
But you would take the affirmative vote of the majority of a 5 member board?
I would take their decision but then put it up for a vote to the congregation.
I don’t trust people who don’t trust the congregation. Perhaps that is why so many of those churches have these problem – they don;’t trust their people.
My pastor was selected in the way I described … and he has been with us almost 25 yrs..
3 yrs ago, after much discussion, bringing in circuit and district people, we suspended him for 7 month … ultimately by a vote of the congregation – and returned him to office by congregational vote. I don’t see what people fear
I erased what I was going to say, but this is typical. Driscoll will be back sooner than six weeks and all of those nine elders will be fired or in other way retaliated against along with their families. That is more sure than gravity.
MLD, I agree 100%!
On your last comment, I’m using my iPhone so I don’t have a number.
Does Mars Hill operate with 24 elders? If they have 100 then 9 is not powerful. It might be morally compelling but it is not statistically significant.
I doubt it can be asserted that this leader is not abusive, but we will see what this brings.
Paul Tripp said this:
“I am not worried at all at burning my integrity for the real deal, but I won’t burn it for something that’s not the real deal. I don’t think even now that there is the recognition of the depth of what Mars Hill Church and Mark is actually dealing with. This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.”
“What happens with leaders often in these situations is that they give you one paragraph of acknowledgement of wrong, and 6 paragraphs of how they are a victim. If I’m counselling an adulterous man, and he sits in front of me and all he talks about is his wife, I know that man is far from confession and repentance. Because once he sees his sin it is devastating and you cry out for God… You think about your future, you don’t think about how to manage it. Until you get to that level of brokenness, what you do is manage a crisis, instead of dealing with the deep personal sin at the bottom of the crisis.”
When asked what to do…
He responded, “Do you remember the event where Mark gave all the guys a couple stones? Find those and use them. This is what God ordained elders to do. You are going to risk your future – and I’m serious about this – by standing together and saying ‘It’s done. It’s over. We go no further. We’re done with skirting issues. We’re done mourning the loss of yet another leader. We are done with all the public humiliations and accusations. We are going to deal with our stuff and Mark, that begins with you. We will not continue. We will not plan further ministries. We will not cooperate with further ministries. We’re done. We’re gonna deal with these issues. And based on our authority as elders of Christ’s church, we are directing you to step down. We will fully support you and will do everything we can to restore you. We’re not divorcing you. We’re not kicking you out of the ministry. Our whole purpose is restoration. It’s the only way that change is going to happen, and no one is going to make that happen but the elders of Mars Hill Church.”
No Comment Necessary Dread
I guess I never understood what these, or any other, elders have to lose by standing up for truth. Are they being paid, are they afraid of losing their influence, are they afraid of MD, or are the just afraid in life and MD and MH were the first to give them purpose?
Who knows maybe they’re afraid of ending up like Michael!
one of the nine was dismissed yesterday. KING 5 reports it was for “rebellion against the church”.
ah, spotted the headline too late. 🙂 technically unpaid, but still …
From the elders letter: “Where there is nothing to hide, there is no fear of being exposed. But, rather than seeking clarity, we have cloaked ourselves in non-disclosure agreements. We have become masters of spin in how we communicate the transition of a high volume of people off staff. We have taken refuge behind official statements that might not technically be lies on the surface, but in truth are deeply misleading…
…At the retreat this week, Pastor Dave spoke about our church’s credibility problem. Brothers, this credibility problem is directly linked to the fact that we have not loved the light.”
We have to seriously consider what we have to become if we’re going to be the mega-celebrity Christian.
Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/08/28/nine-current-mars-hill-church-elders-take-a-bold-stand/#ixzz3BmaRrVsI
What does “first-among-equals” really mean? It sounds like an oxymoron to me but I hear this slogan thrown around in some churches. This is also on the MH website in referring to the Executive elders in relationship to the full counsel of elders.
Although Mars Hill church has the appearance of being an elder run church, I see more similarities with the CC Moses Model style church.
If the full counsel of elders is “second-among-equals” in relation to the executive elders, where does the normal member belong in relation to the executive elders? It would appear they are “LAST-among-equals” and in my humble opinion its hard to call them “equal” at all. And when you put it this way, it sure does appear to be a clear violation of NT exhortation of treating others to be more important than yourself. (Philipians 2:3)
Andrew, I don’t disagree with anything you said. However, the NT is the last thing the folks in charge of MHC are concerned about. If the NT was their guiding light, MHC and MD wouldn’t be in the situation they’re currently in.
Jean, I’ll pray for these folks at MHC. Because if they don’t start using the NT as their guiding light, then their situation is very grim indeed.
Now here is where I can vent my anti Driscoll comments.
He doesn’t use the NT in his teachings – why should he use it in his leadership domain?
There Michael – and you never thought I would jump on the dump Driscoll bandwagon. 🙂
“and one has already been fired for doing so…”
Where is this information located that stated an elder was fired yesterday? In the comments section of the Thockmarten post?
Who is doing the firing – if Driscoll has stepped aside? Was it the other elders?
But I must admit, if one of my employees tried that at my company, I too would fire him.
“But I must admit, if one of my employees tried that at my company, I too would fire him.”
Does someone see MHC as a “company” and MD’s company at that?
It’s branded as MD behind the pulpit with a big bible.
Jean – ALL churches have a business side – even yours.
I questioned the firing thing too. Firing, forced or unforced resignation and letting go are all technically different even though they may achieve the same end goal to an outsider. I do think we need to be careful with the words we use. If the elder was non-paid to begin with, is using the word “fired” even make sense?
Just what is “rebellion against the church” who comes up with this stuff?
Categorically Impaired Dread
Hey BD – Where did you find those comments of Paul Tripps? Great googaley-moogaley, those are good.
If MD does see MHC as “his company”, then its done for, cause a church ain’t a company – its customers can get their product elsewhere.
“This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.” Paul Tripp
How do you answer such a charge? Fire more people? More policies that bind people to contracts?
All independent church pastors think of the church as THEIR company / church. Even when they say “my board can fire me” – this just is not true.
I will ask – if your board came to you and said “we have decided to go in a different direction – you are out.” Are you leaving?
If you liken a church to your personal private company, that’s your opinion and you’re free to have it.
The text of the letter
One more quote
Paul also said, “I am a man who is living in grief at this whole thing…because Mark is an enormously gifted man. But he is broken inside. He doesn’t see the world the way he should see it, and because of that, his message gets a twist to it. There is something amiss inside that comes out in a destructive way.”
In our church we say this “you can always confront someone you are committed to.” We want a culture high on confrontation low on condemnation, high on dealing with relationships low on making rules every time someone makes a mistake.
The elders make it plain that they are committed to their church, to the pastor they are confronting and to be accountable for standing up and taking this action.
Find Those Stones Dread
I like the style and the words you said about your church. My concern though is the disconnect between the clergy and the layman in many churches. I am not saying this about yours but this has been my experience at other churches. I find many times, the clergy has a very tight circle of friends and family that they are committed to. They are great at dealing amongst themselves and are committed to one another as a family should be.
However, sometimes the single person with no family or other undesirable person or someone on the fringe within the church is often over looked and when it comes to dealing with them. The elders may very well be committed to the pastor they are confronting. This appears to be the case in Bob Coy’s church but are the elders committed to every single member in the church and not just their inner circle? In a mega church, in my estimation the answer is a resounding NO because most of the elders don’t even know who the members are. This my friend is an elephant in the room.
Just like the CEO of a company usually doesn’t know who the employees are.
Go in the break room at church – if there are labor posters on the wall … it is a company.
Nothing near a mega-church here and we still suffer to care for the whole flock. Thanks.
BD, We are in it together. It really takes the entire church to care for everyone.
Single folks or people on the fringe in church also need to step out and try to be friendly and, dare I say it, accountable to someone. This means that they step out of their comfort zone and try to be part of a small group. A part of Sunday morning should be encouraging people to be part of a small group where ministry happens.
We attend our Sunday school class not so much for the teaching(comes and goes), but for the small group-ness. Ours is not perfect, and so there’s room to grow.
But we can’t expect others to make the first step – we have to meet folks halfway – if possible.
I also acknowledge that some folks may be shy and other extenuating circumstances may apply – your mileage may vary. 🙂
There was a time in my life I went to a small group every single night of the week in CC. I really went out of my comfort zone especially as a shy man. In college I even hosted a Bible study right in my 1 room efficiency dorm. However as a single person in CC and especially as I got older, the culture was less and less friendly to the point of complete exclusion because I was too old. However, soon after, I got married, I was leading the Sunday school in church almost immediately. Go figure that out! However the next challenge for us is not having children. My wife had 5 miscarriages in a row soon after we got married and the pressure she feels is immense especially in church. Something was desperately wrong. Next to being single in church as having the least status, not have kids is a second runner up.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Pastors are humans and only have so much emotional capital to spend.
The expectation that everyone is going to get equal amounts of attention in a large church is simply foolish.
The church is supposed to function as a body with the members taking care of each other, not a reliance on pastors or elders.
The people in my church do a wonderful job of caring for each other…they don’t need me to do so and they do so far better than I would or could.
Michael, you said it well and the primary reason I don’t think mega churches are healthy at all. Otherwise you have an elite pocket of leadership that is disconnected with the rest of the body however they are making decisions for them. I honestly don’t think most people want to rely on their pastor for all their needs but they want to rely on each other in community and many times its the pastor’s vision on how he wants the community to form that prevents that healthy life to occur.
What decisions do pastors make for congregants?
I don’t make decisions for anyone in my church.
The decisions that senior pastors usually make for the congregants in large mega churches are what small groups and ministries can be started and who is allowed to attend them. Not saying they shouldn’t have this control, but its the reason I think mega churches are not healthy. The church is almost always shaped by what the senior pastor wants and his vision for the church. None of this really applies to small churches at all.
I think pastors should be involved in what is taught at the church and by whom? Several years ago when I started getting involved enough at my church, I found that the year before I arrived at the church they had 4 home study groups going through The 40 Days of Purpose.
I told the pastor that was not acceptable – and as it turned out, he had not approved them, but didn’t have the guts to ban them. Now, we will not be participating in RW’s latest 40 Day plan.
I’m not here to defend mega churches or question any of the concerns raised by Andrew. I don’t attend a mega church, however, I do fellowship with pastors and members of a mega church.
Mega churches like all churches are not perfect. They may have issues that smaller churches don’t have, and smaller churches may have issues that mega churches don’t have. Both types of churches may also share the same issues in some areas.
The label “mega church” is often used as a pejorative. I don’t think that is particularly helpful or beneficial, because there may be things about some perhaps many mega churches that smaller churches could learn from. Some mega churches may have grown to that size out of a faithful commitment to the commission of Christ, faithful adherence to biblical truth and dedicated ministry in their local community. I don’t think they should be penalized in perception for doing those things well.
There may be flaws in a mega church and, where those exist, they should be identified and addressed. I don’t personally believe in one size fits all spirituality and I don’t think the bible requires it. So, I’m happy to see different types, flavors, shapes and sizes of orthodox Christian churches co-exist in the effort to reach as many souls as possible for Christ.
MLD, I agree 100% with you that pastors should be involved with what is taught. I believe this is part of their calling and function. However, I’m not sure though how much control they should assert is starting various ministries within the church. They surely can be consulted and informed but not sure they should have final say. For instance if someone in our church wanted to start a small group support ministry for those grieving, I am not sure the senior pastor should be the one to prevent that from occurring.
. For instance if someone in our church wanted to start a small group support ministry for those grieving, I am not sure the senior pastor should be the one to prevent that from occurring.
Andrew, would you agree that nobody can stop someone from starting a ministry that they feel led by the Lord to start.
But would you agree that if that person wants to use the church property or funds, publicize it to the church members, place him/herself under the church’s insurance and liability, and brand their ministry as part of the church, that the pastor and other elders should have a say.
What if the pastor knows that the person who wants to start that support ministry is immature in the faith, or has views contrary to the views of the church when it comes to the issue of grief? That actually he may do more harm than good to the grieving.
I believe that any pastor who knows the person desiring such a ministry, that the person is a solid believer and servant of the Lord, would be blessed to see someone take initiative and run with it, and happy to facilitate it. But a stranger who shows up and tells the pastor “God has called me to this ministry” is a different thing.
Again, I would thoroughly reject the idea of forbidding such a person from doing what they want in their own house or some other place. That is the not the pastor’s role.
I know we like to think the best of anyone wanting to serve, but some people do have very hurtful practices and/or beliefs – and on occasion the pastor and leaders have to respond for the protection and care of the entire church
It’s funny – we were just talking about this at our last leadership board meeting. The fact that we need to be careful how we put out a call for our volunteer needs. That when you put out a general public call you find many times that the congregants who respond, although they have a good heart are unqualified.
So we agreed that we would stick with the hand on the shoulder method.
I don’t know if anyone here is familiar with the book, Simple Church, by Thom S. Rainer & Eric Geiger, but they would argue that any new ministry undertaken “within” the church (to take Steve’s point) must align with the existing programs and ministries within the church.
For example, programs and ministries shouldn’t compete with one another or dilute missional priorities of the church. That doesn’t mean a proposed program or ministry is bad, but that it may not fit other priorities of the church at a point in time. The leadership has to make those calls.
Again, I would thoroughly reject the idea of forbidding such a person from doing what they want in their own house or some other place. That is the not the pastor’s role.
Wrong! Steve, the reality is that most small groups in CC are in people’s homes. When you sign up to be a host you are under the authority of CC even if its in your own home! Host families need to understand this before they sign up. Hosts may even want to include certain individuals in their own home but if CC leadership believes they are dangerous, you need to believe they are dangerous as well. You are not even allowed to invite them even in your own home for that ministry event. That to me is cultish.
Andrew, you misunderstood me. Though I thought I was pretty clear.
If you want a small group in your home, under the blanket of the church, then the church leadership has a say.
If you want to open your private home to strangers, neighbors and folks you meet on the street, for some Christian purpose but with no connection to the church whatsoever, the pastor has no right to forbid you. THAT is cultish if he did try to forbid such use of private time and property and relationship
A number of years ago someone apologized to me for about the 500th time… “I don’t want you to apologize to me. I want you to stop.” That was the answer. By the way this person did stop and is very dear to me.
Just Stop Dread
I have one in moderation for some reason….(between Andrew and BD)
I agree with Steve. Even though the pastor reports to a leadership board, we commission him to perform certain functions – one of which is purity in teaching. So anything going on teaching wise, under the umbrella of the church – I don’t care about the physical location, is within his domain.
The breakfast Bible study at Denny’s? Comes under his say so.
Good conversation all around. Andrew’s —- spot on all comments made by you.
Not to derail the conversation around what Steve does and does not do in his church…but,
I read this kind of stuff with complete fascination. Just can’t get enough of it for some reason, I suppose some of it comes down to sinful voyeurism. I mean, why do they think *I* need to know about all this? Clearly, they do. They think the whole world needs to hear it. Even as big as Mars Hill is (20,000 members, maybe?), why does a bi-vocational guy at a tiny church in a tiny town on the opposite coast need to hear all this? Kinda weird, but I can’t get enough.
That being said, I’ve probably read more about Kip McKean and ICOC than anyone else in the world.
Was totally fascinated by the Jim Jones thing for a few years. Watched movies, read books.
Mark should just quit and start a new church next door.
OK, so a home ministry is going on under the banner of the church, and the pastor finds out that one of the folks is a single mom who can’t afford a sitter and brings her 5-year old girl to the group. But praise the Lord, there is a man in the group who quickly volunteers to watch Veggie Tale videos with the little tike in the back bedroom. The guy is just such a great, selfish servant of the Lord, who, though he wishes he could participate in the group, declares how important it is for the mom to be able to keep coming.
At least that is the outward PR.
The pastor meanwhile says he does not care if the guy is the second coming of the Apostle Paul, that shuts down now.
I think we sure know what would be the legal response if the worst happened, not to mention the condemnation from all the blogs like this one who would be the first ones to express outrage that the pastor allowed the opportunity in the first place….
and rightfully so. Thus, no apology on my end for caring about anything and everything that takes place in the name of the church.
The whole “what Is being taught” is a far secondary issue than the emotional and physical safety of anyone who might go to an advertised church ministry thinking the church has vetted and is in control of that ministry….only to not be because the pastor fears someone will call him a cult leader and so he refuses to lead and be the overseer that the job entitles.
This is not theoretical discussion for me. Although my example of the little girl is hypothetical, there are multiple illustrations I could give about someone hurting others emotionally that required leadership to resolve.
“Mark should just quit and start a new church next door.”
Mars Flatlands Church
Wouldn’t it be funny – Mark leaves, the church fails without him, he comes back, subleases their empty building at half the cost and starts up again. 🙂
If you want to have a Bible Study or something else in your home and have it be acknowledged as a Church sanctioned event, would that fall under a pastors say so – you bet!
If I wanted to have a Bible Study in my home that my Church didn’t know about – I can do it everyday and twice on Sunday and the Church couldn’t say boo about it. I just couldn’t get the Church to advertise it or anything else unless I am under a “pastors blessing”.
Which reminds me when I started a Bible Study that I hoped would turn into a CC. People had two questions: “Does Chuck know about this, and does he approve?” So I went to Sunday AM at CCCM and got in line after the service and told Chuck – and he cracked a big PC grin and was fine with it.
Exactly, and why not?
What did these people think they were getting into? What they are “exposing” now, is exactly what we’ve known Driscoll to be for years. They liked it while the gravy was flowing.
If you want a small group in your home, under the blanket of the church, then the church leadership has a say.
Yep, and so should the homeowner and this is why I am hesitant to ever open my home again to a church although I have a beautiful home and would love to. You used the term insurance in your previous post. I doubt CC insurance is going to cover incidents in my own home. So with this in mind I think you need to start showing a hell of a lot more respect for those that open up their own home as hosts in the church.
I don’t want to turn anyone away in my own home yet sometimes I feel I should have a right in my own home to forbid certain individuals but as I host I can not. I remember clearly one time the pastor calls me and tells me a guy that just got out of prison for 10 years is heading to your home. As a homeowner I feel as if I should have a right to refuse this stranger that I don’t anything about yet as a host, I couldn’t do that. If anything happened though, it would be my homeowner insurance that covers it, not the churches. Go figure.
So please Steve, I am really tired of this lame ideas about the churches insurance and branding and all this other stuff. For goodness sakes, show more respect for the layman and give them a vote at a minimum.
Josh, If all you know about how a family operates is from a broken, dysfunctional home, and someone tells you that it doesn’t have to be that way, you wouldn’t believe them.
If all some of these folks know about church is from MD, then I would posit that is the limit of their ecclesiology. They need to be told that the way MD acts isn’t the way its supposed to be, and that, as Paul Tripp is supposed to have stated, “Mars Hill’s leadership culture was not shaped by the same grace that it says it believes.”
I doubt CC insurance is going to cover incidents in my own home
Wrong. Maybe you should show more respect to people who live this and know what they are talking about.
” I doubt CC insurance is going to cover incidents in my own home.”
That is a big LOL. If the opportunity arises, the lawsuit will not be against you but will go after the deeper pockets … which in this case would be the CC.
Never mind. You guys continue on with another episode of “What Steve does and does not do in his church.”
“They liked it while the gravy was flowing.” You have that right.
I will bet that all 9 of these elders replaced some previous elder who yelled “abuse” – but they gladly took over the position thinking they had gained the Golden Ring in life.
Now, not so much.
Josh, I just wanted to correct some errors. Probably a lot of people don’t know some of this stuff, and are quick to jump to conclusions about controlling pastors and their churches.
Frankly, I can’t even relate to the stuff Driscoll is being accused of. It just boggles my mind. I think I join Dread when it comes to that….signed nondisclosure agreements, intimidation, cussing and insulting people at meetings.
The idea of being linked to that sort of stuff under some umbrella term like “controlling pastors” is worthy of a little differentiation in my opinion
Steve, I was aiming my comments towards Andrew, who replies to every comment you make with off the wall garbage. Always has. He’s obsessed. No offense to you.
If Driscoll would have turned out to be some gentle sweetheart behind the scenes, I would have been shocked. He is who he has always been. All of these people went to work with Driscoll because he was mean and crude and talked about sex alot. They aren’t fooling me.
I hate to bring the legal facts into the discussion, but the church’s insurance could cover liability on and off campus (i.e., in someone’s house). However, the plaintiff (i.e. the victim or victim’s family) would most likely sue all potential defendants (that’s the way personal injury suits are litigated). So the home owner should make sure his/her insurance covers the activity. Then there are deductibles and coverage limits applicable to both the church and the home owner.
If the church wasn’t liable, but the homeowner is (e.g., slip and fall), it’s possible the church’s insurance won’t respond and the homeowner will have to rely on his/her insurance (so probably need an appropriate umbrella policy).
Once the claim is tried or settled, the church’s insurance company and the home owner’s insurance company may battle behind the scenes over ultimate liability based on fault.
It would probably be a messy affair in any event for all parties involved.
We’re cool, Josh…..always. Love you brother.
Out for awhile….
Wrong. Maybe you should show more respect to people who live this and know what they are talking about.
I’m convinced you need to start showing the respect. I have lived this and know exactly what I am talking about.
Gosh, I had my back window smashed in my vehicle in the church’s parking lot. It cost me quite a lot. Church didn’t re-reimburse me for anything. It was my insurance that paid for it. So if you really think this happens in my own driveway, its going to be different result? I don’t think so.
One day I’m gonna make it out to Cali.
Not soon, but one day.
However, the plaintiff (i.e. the victim or victim’s family) would most likely sue all potential defendants (that’s the way personal injury suits are litigated
Jean, the church’s insurance policy will not just cover “Church USA” but will also cover, by name, the individual being sued for their work as a ministry volunteer or employee…
What does your comment have to do with what I said that you quoted? They are not inconsistent.
If I’m a homeowner hosting a church ministry in my home, I’m not relying on the church’s insurance. If it covers me fine, but I’m covering my own behind. I know how insurance companies operate. On the trust meter, I place them just above the lawyers 🙂
Hey, did you guys hear about Mark Driscoll?
Steve, I was aiming my comments towards Andrew, who replies to every comment you make with off the wall garbage. Always has. He’s obsessed. No offense to you.
Josh, if you go back and re-read the comments, I believe it was Steve who responded to me first not the other way around. I get it though. I am pretty much the only non pastor here and this is the elephant in the room. So I’ll be leaving now. I am tired of the disrespect that Steve gives to just normal every day sheep. I get it, that I’m not a pastor like you elite guys are. So have a good one. I won’t be back for a while. If all I say is garbage then fine. Have a nice one. I really am tired of the Mark Driscoll mentality that I see in CC over and over again. But like I said, I had enough. I am gone. Won’t be back. Say hello to Steven Furtick your buddy for me.
I am not a pastor, or CC. If I talk to Steven, i’ll send him your love.
I apologize Andrew for my snippy comments.
I wanted to talk about the Driscoll situation, and this was veering off that course. Forgive me. I should have stayed quiet, and moved on.
Kind of out if the convo but a thought. As a pastor my experience is that the abused person protects the abuser as long as they can. Apparently the same thing happens corporately.
When you finally admit that you are serving a beast you realize that something in you was attracted to the beast. He was initially your shield. Now you realize that someone who boasts of the body count cannot be trusted. And just maybe you cannot believe your own thoughts.
But I never gave out stones so what do I know?
Thanks Josh, its good to see you back on here and I forgive you. Forgive me as well.
No problem, Andrew. Good to see you too.
Josh, I see the same “set up” from Andrew toward Steve. It’s comical. I keep thinking that Steve won’t fall for it but he does 🙂
It’s their version of Who’s on First? 🙂
Dread, that is an interesting take.
I think most have some idea of what they are getting into. They go ahead with it for money, fame, or whatever. I am glad they are finally speaking up,but it seems all to convenient. I would love for them to own some of their own abuse in the process.
I find that the motivation for many of these in this type church is to do whatever it takes to get invited to the staff Christmas party.
Mars Hill PR team responds to the newest charges.
Wow. Now THAT’s missing the point.
Wow, talk about a loss of credibility for these 9 elders. Everything yesterday was deception leading us all to believe that this was some sort of an open letter – and now it turns out it was an intentional leak of an internal matter.
Those who reported on this should be ashamed. look, these guys either come out in the open with their own document or shut up. This is a break from all decorum for confidentiality.These guys are bullies in their own way.
But I will say, now that these guys have had their say and the board has made it’s counterpoint – what is to stop an up or down congregational vote.
Both sides have been publicly expressed, whether they were meant to be or not.
5 min each service this weekend … even at the televised locations and the whole thing is over.
Those who leaked the information are probably the same ones that are now blasting it to the media on their own church web site. How do we know its one of the 9? Whether they leak it secretly or publicly expose it as they are doing now makes little difference in what should be a private matter. Why would a church post a private letter on their public web site as it appears they are doing now?
I don’t understand why this would cause a loss of credibility for the 9 elders. No one knows who leaked it, and there’s no indication it was one of them. To me it looks like the board has lost all credibility because its response was empty and filled with platitudes and empty christianeze and did not deal with the substance of the elders’ concerns at all.
Do you think these are templates that the PR firm provides to their clients, with instructions to replace “your name” with “MHC”?
Yup – point missed.
In the letter, on the 4 points about why they regret that it was “leaked”, #3 got a good chuckle from me. The next time that the “pastors” (LOL) of Mars Hill “Church” are concerned about “causing harm to the body” will be the first time. Hilarious.
When a church responds to charges by saying “Don’t talk. Whoever is talking is wrong and probably in sin” – its time to run to the hills.
Since no one knows the whole story – what is the difference between telling people “don’t talk” and “don’t gossip” ????
Speaking the truth in love is the prescription.
Nothing was more obvious about that letter than that it was not meant for the public consumption in its original form. I read the letter yesterday looking to see if there was such authorization especially to see if Paul Tripp authorized public scrutiny. NOPE.
This is not news… and religious talk to cover it is up is normal. It is like asking someone about their alcoholism and having them say “WHO’s TALKING ABOUT ME” … the answer is EVERYONE! That is not gossip that is just people who see the red nose and the bleary eyes and capture the smell … in this case it is the plume of smoke that indicates something is definitely burning.
Does anyone expect the contents of the letter from the elders to be addressed
“Does anyone expect the contents of the letter from the elders to be addressed”
Let’s say you’ve got a gifted leader, who’s weakness is a caustic personality. What do you do? You probably get the leader to acknowledge the problem and submit to “sensitivity” training. Then, either after the training or concurrent with the training, you put the leader back into his/her position of leadership.
To my knowledge there have been no allegations of sexual or financial impropriety, incompetence or un-orthodox theology. The plagiarism is an ethical problem, but I doubt it’s fatal.
So, that’s how I see it playing out. I’m not sure it should work out any differently. At the end of the day, the talents MD has, which built MHC, are the same talents the elders continue to want at the helm of that church.
Have you read the documents? Have you watched the videos? Have you noticed how many significant people have openly called for him to step down? “A gifted leader who’s weakness is a caustic personality?” That is not an accurate assessment of what is happening here. What is being asserted is that Mark Driscoll is a man who according to Paul Tripp has created the most abusive and coercive church culture he has ever seen. Now I will say that people can freely choose to live under whatever they wish and that might be the final determination. People get to be powerful and make free choices.
“…who according to Paul Tripp has created the most abusive and coercive church culture he has ever seen.”
I don’t know – I consider Jim Jone’s People’s Temple to be abusive and coercive. There he got his folks to move out of country and kill themselves. Driscoll at the very worst has made hurt feelings and caused people to feel bad about their church.
What? Is Paul Tripp some 20 yr old newbie to church history?
I don’t think Tripp served on the board or attended Jone’s place. His qualifiers were clear enough.
You may be right. However, let’s say there are 100 people who think MD is a abusive pastor out of a congregation of say 20,000. That’s .5%. On this blog we’re hearing the complaints of the .5%. I’m not sure we’re hearing everything.
I’m not defending MD and I don’t attend MHC, but I’m trying to keep some perspective here. As someone here has said, the MHC may just have the pastor they’ve always wanted.
If the elder board get’s 50 complaints and 10,000 that a boys, what are they supposed to do?
Alan, then his scope is limited and he should not comment (or you should not be using him for a source). I think he was on the board for a total of one meeting and then resigned.
Jean is 100% correct when he asks “If the elder board get’s 50 complaints and 10,000 that a boys, what are they supposed to do?”
This is what I have been saying for weeks. We have heard from about 20 people on the blogs and many of those disgruntled ex employees (and I have been one of those a couple of times). We saw 65 people (the count by the Seattle Times) out at the big “family” protest outside of MHC a couple of weeks ago and we now know of another 9 elders with a beef (may even be legitimate).
But then we probably saw 10,000 live folks in the audience applaud MD last Sunday when he gave his talk.Let’s see 200 nays – 10,000 ayes
That is not what is going on here. If it was then this would not be an issue at all.
From your background – W A Criswell was a much more caustic and abusive pastor than Mark Driscoll … and no one ever suggested bringing him up on charges. And no one from outside the SBC would think of interfering.
So far, I’m not aware of any reader on this blog who presently attends MHC. So, is there some degree of unhealthy voyeurism, gossip, etc. going on with this story? This story is not contributing to my spiritual growth, so I haven’t read the documents or engaged in much of the discussion, except to finally say that it’s up to that congregation to work it out and there’s not much point to us getting worked up about it.
Michael writes so much good stuff, that I would rather engage in that material rather than the scandal du jour. Just my opinion though.
from the letter I gleaned this “Because we, your 16 lead pastors and the Board of Elders, love and care about you, ”
My response barf.
That about sums up my Point of view of Mars Hills handling of other people in many well documented situations. No offense but from almost day one seeing Mr. Driscoll preach I find him neither talented nor particularly gifted to be honest.
Comparing Criswell to Driscoll is like comparing Koufax to Bouton
What is interference? Chatting on a blog? Pshaaaww!!!
Mark Driscoll may be the most influential pastor in evangelicalism over the last 10 years.
If biblical standards for ministry, biblical ethics, and the health of the sheep mean nothing, then don’t read these articles.
If pastoral tyranny is a blight on the Body of Christ…keep reading.
“What is interference? Chatting on a blog? Pshaaaww!!!
Michael had called it a huge test case to see if (an I am paraphrasing) to see if social media could bring down a pastor.
It’s not a “pastor”.
It’s a national leader who has proven himself unfit to lead either locally or nationally.
Those are facts…not gossip.
“If pastoral tyranny is a blight on the Body of Christ…keep reading.”
Michael, what possible good could come out of me, you are most everyone else on this blog devoting any time at all to MHC’s issues?
Is he a national leader?
How many here have gone to see a Mark Driscoll conference?
Who here even owns Mark Driscoll books?
Who here (a show of hands please) in the past watched / Listened to Driscoll sermons online that weren’t pointed out in social media.
I think he is more like the Kardashians and Paris Hilton – famous for being famous, than he is any kind of a leader.
Every little tinhorn dictator in the church is watching this…the church needs to show it cares about it’s own dirt, not just what people do in their bedrooms.
Driscoll is pretty well known
I think some may have set the leadership level a bit low. Think about the statement that Driscoll is a national leader. Can we name a single prominent pastor – teacher – conference speaker who claims Driscoll as his mentor?
Anyone who in a Christianity Today interview has ever uttered the word “Mark Driscoll discipled me” or “Mark Driscoll turned my life around and made me who I am today.”
I have a 5 spot here that says the answer is no.
Ok, I will submit to your wisdom on this. You’ve been at this a lot longer than me. However, I will ask just one thing: please consider the balance between informing your reader’s of matters like this (matters that are remote to most of your readers) against the risk of leading readers into their own sins of gossip, hypocrisy, judgmentalism.
Why its important to talk about it is simple, Driscoll has made a bunch of little clones of himself and he is only 43, he was way too young when he started up the Corporate ladder, the runs were people, lots and lots of people who got trashed. The awe shucks Im sorry routine grows tiring. He makes close to a mill a year with all the perks and Im sure his house in considered a parish parsonage. I dont know if I am correct but it is how the people in the club doing. I will be the first to admit Im bitter and a bit jealous because he earns in one year what I will earn in maybe 25+ years. He is not grateful for it, it is owed to him is the feeling I got. It was like Gotherd and many others. They see themselves as the anointed, now with the internet they cant hide. He milked social media for all it was worth. That stuff he wrote about his wife was vile, you dont treat your wife like that in my opinion. That alone should get him to step down. He made bank and still is. You have pastors like Steve and Michael who work their backsides off and run real churches with real people. That is why its important to discuss it.
Sometimes its gossip but other times and I think most of the time its needed.
I would venture to say that both Rick Warren and Joel Osteen would meet the definition of a national leader. I don’t think MD is on their level.
Scholarly, Wright, Keller and even Piper would be far above MD.
I did this and still do “gossip, hypocrisy, judgmentalism.” back in the day and my response was to step away from ministry, granted one ministry helped me step away with a boot on the backend. It took me years to come to understand that much of the problem was me. I used this blog for much of that soul searching. When I was in ministry they wanted us to sign a pledge that we would believe what they believed, lived a celibate live etc. I did not sign the agreement because it was vague and even the leadership did not understand all aspects of the doctrinal statement. Half the people who ministered their did not believe that Jesus was the only way, did not believe in substitutionary atonement or a literal hell etc. I was a universalist, I knew why I was one and could explain my position. They were actually universalists to but did not want to get into it because they would get the boot.
I did not handle my issues well, still dont that is why I stepped away from it all to some degree.
“Rick Warren and Joel Osteen” are far more talented and inspirational than MD any day of the week. Olsteen is a hoot I like to watch him back peddle when news guys ask him about hell and who is saved etc he goes aw um well, guess what he is honest. Another reason I like Olsteen and RW is because their must be 50+ apologists that make a living of bad mouthing these two. They are a cottage industry.
“Driscoll has made a bunch of little clones of himself and he is only 43,”
Can you name any? I think the case is that he has or has had 20,000 people who like the entertainment, like his style of preaching, who hope that after an hour that they picked up a tidbit of knowledge that will satisfy their week – and go off and give no further thought.
The only people who Driscoll impresses are those who have their heads so far up his hindquarters (Michael’s word) that they cannot see reality.
Osteen’s wife is hot – that’s the only reason I keep him around. 🙂
Interesting evangelism going on back then.
Well many of the acts 29 pastors and church planters to start. The pastors at his 15 site churches. Clones mean the use some of the same tactics he does in church governance and in maintaining power
Not really – many of these guys had their own churches up and running and chose to hang the Mars Hills marks on their building and web sites.
Is that Chandler guy a MD clone?
I will bet that if you did man on the street interviews 1 in 1,000 would know who MD is – but more importantly if you found 100, how many could articulate what he teaches? How many who have heard of him could identify him as a Calvinist?
To comment on an earlier question..no matter how many thousands of atta-boys, at our place two complaints, or one complaint by two eyewitnesses to it, warrants an investigation of the charges
“Is that Chandler guy a MD clone?” to some degree.
I wish we were talking about becoming Jesus Christ clones.
But I know the “don’t tell me what to do” and “that leads to despair” crowds aren’t interested in that conversation.
There is nothing to fret over. Anyone who wants what this guy is giving gets to have it. Simple math. People choose. People who experience enough pain will leave. People who experience none will likely stay. People who cannot admit that there is a problem will go on until the problem affects them. The market will sort it out.
I am pretty sure this mess will sort out. There is no apparatus but the market to fix this because the market created it. People buy what they want until they cannot buy it then they sell and it is over.
The math right now is not as favorable to Mark as has been claimed by MLD. No one gets these kinds of reviews without putting people in pain. When the pain is mild people just leave. Mark has sown into this field and a crop has grown. We will see if the crop is bad enough to ruin the brand.
But people are watching and young guns are imitating and preparing to imitate. Challenging men to grow stones is his game. Works with men because association means you are a real man, works with women because they have all had a loser these days. But Mark has imbibed his own macho for so long he believes himself to be the MAN. Beat up enough people and someone is going to get a tough friend to come kick your asterisk. So it is showdown time and we will see.
Jean, back to your insurance question…not sure I followed your reply but message me on facebook if you wish to discuss that further.
most people do not wish to have their own insurance defend and possibly settle a claim when someone else’s insurance (like the church) has a duty to defend you as an insured. Nor do I think there is any reason to think one’s own insurance company would somehow fight harder than the church’s insurance company…but I was responding to the idea of whether one was taking on all the liability, and the answer is, no, assuming the church has good coverage (and I do suggest confirming that)
At the end of the day, it’s contract law. Coverage follows the contract.
“No one gets these kinds of reviews without putting people in pain.”
I don’t know – many of the blog articles I read are written by those who have had no first hand personal experience with MD. It’s like same sex marriage – you had better jump on board the MD bashmobile or be considered a hater of the abused.
As I say, ALL here (that’s Calvinist talk for most / many) 😉 have definite MD opinions and as I say I doubt a single one of us has sat in his presence, let alone had a conversation with him.
Nice link, b, thanks
Lets do something a bit different for this thread, lets talk about one situation where restoration took place. When I first came here to this blog I had just got booted out of a ministry I had basically given all I had. It was caused by alot of factors, and most of it was me. I did not like the way it was done and I was really really hurt. About ten years later I was at a Christmas show with several of my students and the leader of that group came down and sat right in front of me. I wanted to leave, but I really could not. I eventually said hi, she turned around exchanged a few words. Later after the show we talked she invited me to come back and she forgave me and I her, even though she was not involved. I weight fell off my shoulders, being the martyr person I can be I have picked that weight and stuck it right back on my back several times. But I cant deny that God did not restore me. So that is one of my stories of restoration. It was not perfect but it was healing.
another time I found grace was when MLD asked be to explain my complaints a few years ago and a long dialog came about and it helped me alot. My facebook conversations with Alex have been very helpful and grace filled and the many prayers I get from this community, of course Michael and Steve Alen and many others here. Also the online videos of nature scenes and bible verses. The students and staff I work with are often avenues of grace. Of course God is at the top of the list.
also the fact I got rid of TV, that was a big help I highly recommend it. been almost two years.
The huffing and puffington (according to Rush) post has a page
Thanks for the dialog it has been helpful. I hope you all have a nice weekend.
Back to your insurance answer @ 144. The sole purpose of homeowners insurance is for risk mitigation and protecting assets. In a private home, its primary the homeowners assets that need to be protected. I would never count on the church’s policy to protect me and no one in church ever put my name on their policy when I acted as a host. In reference to homeowners insurance, the main risk is on the homeowner when they open their home for a small group within the church. This is common sense. Whether or not the church’s policy will pay for things that happen in a private home is secondary to the home owner and should be. They may or may not pay. The home owner is the one bearing the brunt of the risk in opening up his home for fellowship and hence they deserve a great deal of respect and a vote at a minimum. That is the way I see it and I doubt any insurance salesman will ever convince me otherwise.
The only reason MHC and Acts 29 has done anything about MD is because of bloggers like Wennetee, Michael, Janet Melford, and others and then that information being picked up by major publications. If it wasn’t for the bloggers, this abuse would have never come to light and nothing would have been done. Now I think Driscoll will be back and this 6 weeks holiday is just a PR strategy to basically say, “Calm down everyone…go about your business” and then things will move on as usual and Driscoll will be back. Like others have said, as long as people fill the seats and the coffers, they get what they deserve.
Reading the Huffington articles posted by Dread, I learned about a $3 million special donation collected by Mars Hill for several purposes, including a “Jesus Festival” that was subsequently canceled. Certainly I get where brian is coming from with the “evangelical corporation” and I suspect some very high paid “CEOs.”
My church of around 400 souls has quarterly business meetings and an annual report that is detailed down to the amount spent mowing the grass. Actually a volunteer mows, but the church provides the mower and it had some maintenance and was about a $100 line item. That level of financial accountability seems Biblical to me.
Alex often preaches to us about financial transparency, and he is right on with that. And it is the folks in the pews – the ones that are so generous in donations to what they expect to be “God’s work” – that need to demand such transparency.
It ought not to be a corporation. The apostles didn’t get rich preaching the gospel and Paul taught to have a job for personal support as he raised money for the poor Christians in Jerusalem. How far from that model have these celebrity churches fallen?
I agree with an earlier commentator that mega churches aren’t wrong by default, but I always wonder whenever I drive by a church that looks like a giant corporate foundation that has dividends and stock options. I suppose Christianity takes on many forms, but the gaudy temples and the obvious riches of most large churches can call to question just where is the money being spent. Why don’t the pew sitters ask these tough questions? – That is the question.
Sorry, hit the wrong key on my keyboard.
You might be right about Criswell, but that was in a day and age where people did not have the voice via the internet that they do today. Joel C. Gregory would probably agree with you, although he was criticized by his book about his experience with Criswell and FBCD. But then again, they criticize bloggers today, don’t they?
Andrew, in honor of the best Saturday of this year (and each year), I will fix the goalposts and ‘amen’ your 153.
Indeed, it is a blessing when someone volunteers their own home for any work the church and its leaders are seeking to do as part of the overall ministry.
I attended a Calvary Chapel megachurch on the East Coast that hosted Mark Driscoll in person for his “Real Marriage” tour. The book was also heavily promoted and there was a lot of buzz and publicity about how lucky the church was to have Mark Driscoll come, etc., etc.
I did not attend the conference because I am single.
I believe that even though we pew sitters do not recognize the names of these celebrity pastors, some of our leaders are considering them as “role models.” What was once considered “pushing the envelope” begins to become the norm.
Butterfly, I am disappointed that a CC would promote his marriage book, from the excerpts I have read from it. Ugh.
The comments on the Huff Post article just tell a story.
I don’t know if I should quit Christianity or flee Merica
Just a sheep when I was on usenet and the Christian forums on fidonet during the bbs days, I started back in the late 70’s and was drawn to the religious forums. They could get extremely nasty, not necessarily foul language but the hatred was palpable. It was really rather unnerving. At times it was just over very small doctrinal disputes and people would become violent and threaten one another with physical harm or harm to their families. It did get better as I learned to use filters and which forums to not go onto. I did learn quite a bit about other faith traditions and people also helped one another. The nasty stuff was not the norm it was the exception.
on the subject of what MD has taught and said across 12 years, finally had some time to compare MD in 2001 to MD in 2012. It’s a slog, to be honest, but there’s a case to be made that while MD apologized that he wrote as WW2 and regrets that he did it, a close read of what he wrote in 2001 and 2012 shows that on a lot of things regarding sex and marriages the substance of his views have remained pretty steady. There are some things he’s become more likely to endorse as options but … not going there on Phoenix Preacher out of consideration for others. Mars Hill could be an exasperating place for an unmarried person to be sometimes.
If anyone was of need of long term psychotherapy, I would think that MD would be more earnest in seeking this rather than to regain the foothold he has had in the pulpit. His frame of reference having to do with how he perceives a healthy godly relationship between a woman and man is sorely lacking in all that is honoring and in praiseworthy of the Lord.
For whatever is spoken by another, truly that is the position of his heart. MD appears to be suffering from a severe case of PMS: power, money, and sex. With sex being a trump card he uses towards women to enable him to sell a package to men to become that which may feed the ego but does little in the way of becoming true men in the Lord and a godly example to those they lead and are to love and protect.
It took less than two weeks for 8 of the 9 signers of this letter to be out, resignations, forced exits, layoffs.
They killed their Golden Goose