What about Driscoll?

I have been a Mark DriscolI afficionado from the days of the forums and William Wallace the Third era. Long way back. I have been following the debacle at Mars Hill Seattle through the past few months and the ever growing controversy around Mark Driscoll and I know that my words will alienate some, but that’s not my intention.

I waited and waited but I felt that I would not be true to myself, if I did not write something. So here is my take on the issues. Disclaimer: I know very little and I will comment on the little that I know, recognizing the weaknesses of my post.

  • Modern day armchair dissection of ministries elsewhere (yeah I know, I’m kinda doing that, oh the irony) is very difficult to do impartially. We read blogs, tweets and watch truncated Youtube videos and hear testimonies from the different sides. But how much is wrapped up in perceptions? Let’s spend as much time as we use for reading about the issues praying for those involved in the conflict, both those hurt by MD as well as Mark and his family.
  • We are naive if we fall into a cult of personality – we will be disappointed every time. However gifted people might be, they aren’t Jesus and they were never meant to be. So we idolize them to our peril. Pride befalls us all – whatever status we have. Any of us, church leaders, could have been in Mark’s situation. Apostolic leaders a la Paul are hard to come by…
  • Any megachurch/movement would have something for us to take away and plenty to leave. Most of them can teach us something about the Christian life. MH and MD had a very fresh emphasis on good preaching and challenging men to live a godly life. I admit to have been greatly encouraged by those things. Equally, I have always been uncomfortable with the style: the obsession with sex, the slight aggression and the bullying of certain stereotypes. (Maybe, some – but not all – of the men needed that slightly ‘stronger’ challenge – but generalizing it was a mistake). 
  •  When I met him in Edinburgh a few years ago he was a really nice humble and almost shy man. very pleasant memory, after delivering a superb 75 minute message on the Gospel. The next steps will either highlight his repentance or his rebellion. I pray that he will not become a ministry write off and that MH will continue to grow and multiply in a spiritually healthy way.

Piper’s tweet sums it up well: 

I hope Mark Driscoll feels a tidal wave of hope-filled prayer for a new day and a new man in this season.