After ANOTHER controversy involving Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in Seattle, I decided to take some action. I have written this letter to supporters of Mark Driscoll as I think it is incumbent upon you to expect more from him than this.
Dear Mars Hill Church and supporters of Mark Driscoll,
I know there are many of you out there. 249,000 of you follow him on Twitter. About 140,000 of you like him on Facebook. You bought his recent book Real Marriage. You watch his YouTube Videos. You quote him. You are out there.
You respect his tough stance, his straight talk theology, his macho take on Jesus. You love the fact that he calls men to step up and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. He represents a big chunk of Christianity.
I’ve been watching you from a short distance and I think it’s time that you and I have a talk about Pastor Mark. Within the last year or so, he has insulted stay at home dads, metro sexual men and husbands of female pastors. This year, the church has come under some question for a situation involving a church discipline contract involving someone who slept with his girlfriend.
Now we have another story that has come out. A story about an artist whom Pastor Mark performed an exorcism on because he felt there were sexual demons in her. You can read her story here.
Now I know what some of you might be thinking. Matthew Paul Turner is quite critical of Driscoll. And you might be right. And yes, there are other bloggers, including me, that have been critical of Driscoll in the past.
That’s why I’m coming to you. I think and sense that critics are creating a sense of “white noise”. It’s just another issue and it feels like a vendetta.
So let me make you aware of some things you might not know. While his church has grown amazingly well, there is a blog called Mars Hill Refuge, here’s the link. It’s a blog for people that have been deeply hurt by their experience there. People who were willing to serve Mars Hill.
While the whole issue happened with Andrew, the church member coming out, Driscoll happened to be in a conference called the Elephant Room. The Elephant Room is an online conference that brings together well known pastors in the United States like Steven Furtick, and Matt Chandler to discuss some of the issues going on in the church in America. Maybe someone might have questioned him what happened? Nope. They laughed at his jokes and he even got to confront Bishop TD Jakes on his view on the trinity like he was the authority of the church.
I’ve seen many of you in response to what has happened that there are two sides to the story, I’m sorry, this just doesn’t hold water with me. When he or his church has been asked about these issues, people have been sent to a website or a recent Driscoll sermon.
And you are also not able to use the answer it happens in every church. Or it’s a minority. Amy was one of 100 members that emailed Turner about issues they had with Mars Hill.
Which leads me to some questions for you. How do you react to this? Surely some of you are scratching your head and want to know what really is going on here.
You follow, or listen to Driscoll because you agree with his theological and or political point of view. But do you wonder who holds him accountable?
How about you who go to or even work at Mars Hill? You take phone calls and emails about him. I’m sure they are not all praiseworthy, some are quite critical. Has this lead you to ask some questions and get some answers?
There are many big churches in Canada, and in the USA. It is very rare that there has been a series of issues like this from one church.
There is no question of the impact Driscoll has had on the church. And perhaps, he has had a positive impact on you personally. He has become an authority figure in Christianity.
However, I think it’s time for you as a supporter of Driscoll to start expecting him to answer the questions. It’s time for you as a purchaser of his books, to ask your local Christian bookstore what they know about some of these issues. Or before picking up his book, have a look at what others have said.
I also think that if you work at a Christian bookstore, it is your responsibility to ask what is going on. I know that is what you do with other books and or music that goes on your shelf
Because while you like his posts and retweet his comments, there is a growing group of people expressing their deep hurt by his message and his actions. In a small way, your support continues to enable this behaviour.
If you have as much respect for Driscoll as you say you do, you should expect better answers then what has been given. Or else someone else will need refuge.
Thank you for your consideration,