"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.-" W.C. Fields.
If you think that trying to figure out who is in control of the Ebola mess is daunting, you will find discovering who is in charge at Mars Hill equally unnerving. Was Mark Driscoll actually told he could not preach for an unspecified amount of time? Is this the real reason he left? Mark DeMoss was supposed to be handling public relations for Mars Hill. I don't know how much he is being paid but whatever it is, it should be less. Is DeMoss even around Mars Hill these days or has he quietly slipped out the back door? (See yesterday's tweets: I hear Lyall Mercer is trolling for business.)
Folks, there is reason to believe that we are all being taken for a ride on the Mars Hill bus. Driscoll may have quit because he was told he needed to have some sort of remediation.
The original statement from the BOAA and an ineffective church governance structure.
Let's take a look at an excerpt from the original statement of the BOAA, made at the time of Driscoll's resignation. Apparently, the *Overseers* are the same thing as the BOAA. Maybe. I think. Possibly. Who knows.
While a group of seven elders plus one member of the Board of Overseers was charged with conducting this investigation, the full Board of Overseers is charged with reaching any conclusions and issuing any findings.
Raise your hands if you are bit confused! I went to the Mars Hill website and found this description.
BOARDS OF ADVISORS & ACCOUNTABILITY (ed. note: BOAA- this was the board from which Paul Tripp resigned and this means outsiders can be members.)
The Board of Advisors & Accountability has three categories of responsibility:
1) Counsel. Assist and advise the Church on those matters where prudence requires an outside perspective.
2) Accountability. Provide support and outside objective oversight when needed.
3) Governance. Manage or direct the civil and business affairs of Mars Hill Church, as required by all 501(c)3 organizations.
The Board of Advisors and Accountability meets twice every year.
EXECUTIVE ELDERS (ed. note: BOEE)
The Executive Elders oversee and manage the day-to-day affairs of the church as a standing committee and first-among-equals within the Board of Advisors and Accountability.
Our current Executive Elders are Pastors Mark Driscoll and Dave Bruskas.
FULL COUNCIL OF ELDERS
All of the pastors at Mars Hill (paid and unpaid) comprise the Full Council, which meets annually. The Full Council approves the slate of nominees for the Board of Advisors & Accountability, and changes to the doctrinal statement.
BOARD OF ELDERS
Advisory committee of Mars Hill elders selected by the Executive Elders to provide recommendations to the Board of Advisors & Accountability.
Now, is it clear? Dee doesn't think so and believes that this leadership structure is what contributed to a break down in leadership accountability. Mixed messages were, and continue to be released. It appears that Paul Tripp agrees with me about the poor governance structure at Mars Hill. From Charisma News. No wonder Tripp hit the road.
This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I've ever been involved with," Tripp is quoted saying in the letter.
One of Tripp's concerns was the way the church governance was set up.
"You can't have a church culture where you essentially have a very tight circle and everyone else is your enemy," he said.
From the BOAA: Mark Driscoll is not disqualified from being a pastor
In this statement, these *Overseers* indicated that Driscoll was not disqualified from being a pastor. In fact, they said he did nothing *immoral!* Plagiarism, calling women *penis homes* and gleefully proclaiming piles of dead bodies under his bus are considered moral and even pastoral? Seattle is sure a different kind of city if that is true.
We concluded that Pastor Mark has, at times, been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner. While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.
Pastor Mark has never been charged with any immorality, illegality or heresy. Most of the charges involved attitudes and behaviors reflected by a domineering style of leadership.
We found some of the accusations against Pastor Mark to be altogether unfair or untrue.
So, all is well. Naughty Mark just needed to take some anger management classes. It is apparent they intended for him to stick around if this statement is true.
Finally, Mark Driscoll was not asked to resign; indeed, we were surprised to receive his resignation letter.
Mark Driscoll says he is not disqualified from being a pastor and blames it all on style
Driscoll, however, wasn't having any of it. He wanted to pick up his nice severance check and lick his wounds. Note that he seems to believe the confession of his sins are behind him.
I readily acknowledge I am an imperfect messenger of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are many things I have confessed and repented of, privately and publicly, as you are well aware. Specifically, I have confessed to past pride, anger and a domineering spirit.
He also states that he has done nothing to make him ineligible to drive the killer bus.
Prior to and during this process there have been no charges of criminal activity, immorality or heresy, any of which could clearly be grounds for disqualification from pastoral ministry
Please read the next statement carefully. It was all a matter of style. You like chili with bean and I like chili without beans. That can be divisive during a cook off-that's all.
Other issues, such as aspects of my personality and leadership style, have proven to be divisive within the Mars Hill context,
Driscoll presents the politician's excuse. If you believe this, then you deserve a church like Mars Hill. Whenever anyone says they are resigning because of their family, they are not. It just sounds nice. As for the *unsafe* part* who knows? It depends on whether you believe that Driscoll's accounts are trustworthy. I am still looking ( 5 years now) for anybody who saw the machete man that Driscoll claimed attacked him while he was preaching. (Please contact TWW if you saw,not heard about this event.)
Recent months have proven unhealthy for our family—even physically unsafe at times
Dee wants to know if he gave John Catanzaro a jingle. I wonder if the church will pick up the tab?
Note the legalese present in this statement.
Therefore, consider this written notice of my voluntary termination of employment.
According to comments at Warren Throckmorton's blog, there is speculation that Driscoll gets his severance so long as he voluntarily leaves as opposed to being thrown out. If the severance is one year worth of salary, we may be talking about a windfall here. All you good tithers at Mars Hill who struggle to make ends meet, enjoy watching Driscoll's lifestyle. You have helped him live above the fray.
One day, like the Phoenix, Driscoll shall arise more beautiful than before. Nice story but was it all spin?
Was Driscoll told he could not preach? If he did nothing immoral, etc, why not?
On Friday, October 18, more information was being released, hinting at the possibility that Driscoll was told he could not preach. In Mark Driscoll's Resignation: What is the Real Story, Warren Throckmorton reported that Driscoll had said he resigned because he realized that he was a divisive leader and that the controversy was taking a toll on his family. But, there seems to be another narrative floating around out there.
Driscoll's sister said that Driscoll wanted to preach and the BOAA was not going to let him.
Driscoll’s sister Melanie Thompson commented on her public Facebook page (under the name Erma Gauthier). Her narrative adds a new wrinkle. According to Thompson, “they” (I presume the BoAA) would not let Driscoll preach.
According to Driscoll's sister, the sale of the Ballard campus is proof that the BOAA would not let him preach.
Erma Gauthier If they were going to let him come back …ever…then why would they sell mars hill Ballard behind his back.
Yesterday at 10:23am
Erma Gauthier Yeah. The people would have to bring him back. The Pastors have blocked him without disqualification.
Did the BOAA, in accordance with the BOEE change their mind? Was Driscoll guilty of persistent sin?
According to Warren Throckmorton, this statement was read to Mars Hill Sammamish yesterday. Please read the whole statement at the link.
The investigation of formal charges against Mark Driscoll has revealed patterns of persistent sin in the three areas disclosed in the previous letter by the Board of Overseers. In I Tim 5:20, it requires that an elder be rebuked for persistent sin. Our intention was to do this while providing a plan for his eventual restoration to leadership. The Board of Elders in agreement with the Board of Overseers are grieved, deeply grieved, that any process like that was lost to us when Mark Driscoll resigned in position and left the church.
The elders appear to admit that they have handled things badly in the past, going as far to say that they have acted just like Mark Driscoll. "Acting just like Driscoll" may become the golden standard of how not to act! Does the BOAA agree with them? This next part addresses only the elders.
The elders of Mars Hill Church acknowledge as we’ve gone through all of this investigation, and heard all of these stories, we acknowledge that we have personally led in some of the same ways that demonstrate some of the same ways that Pastor Mark had. And those things require repentance and forgiveness and restoration. We realize that there are ways that we have led as elders in ways that have been domineering, sometimes arrogant and sometimes boastful and at least for my part, I want to say I deeply regret those sins and I ask for your forgiveness.
So, it appears that Driscoll may have been in persistent sin. But persistent sin has nothing to do with morality? Folks, we are being sold a cock and bull story. To this observer, it appears that Driscoll was about to be punished and he got to leave with a nice paycheck. He should head over to Capitol Hill Baptist Church. They may be experienced in helping a pastor on the lam.
In a jaw dropping statement, Carl Truman, apparently alluding to the Driscoll situation, thinks that financial oversight needs to be given to external elders!
Good night! Driscoll did consult with outsiders and look how much he made….Wait a minute-we don't know because they won't tell the people who pay his salary, the pew sitters, but we think it is a lot.
Carl Trueman, a church history professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, suggests churches might do well to separate the two, reserving financial oversight for external elders and church discipline for internal elders. “When there are large sums of money, you need to take some account of external accountability,” he said. “But we shouldn’t allow the needs of financial accountability to change how we shape our church government.”
Dee's response? Are these people putting gin in their koolaid aid?? This is crazy. Take a look at Steven Furtick's outside compensation advisors to see how this works. Read the post. Do you think these guys would ever tell Furtick he makes too much?
Ed Young Jr: Fellowship Church, Dallas/Grapevine, TX
Perry Noble: NewSpring Church, Anderson, SC
Stovall Weems : Celebration Church, Jacksonville, FL
Kevin Gerald : Champions Center, Seattle, WA
Jack Graham Prestonwood Baptist, Dallas/Plano,TX
Trueman is living in a naive world. Unfortunately, those aspiring pastors, who study under him, will latch onto this latest and greatest idea. It is an idea that will miserably and it will provide a cash cow for mega pastors.
On Wednesday I plan to write a post which will be my assessment on how the people who pay the money for these churches (like you and me) should respond. It is time to set a few rules of the game for those who want to prevent being soaked by the likes of Furtick, Driscoll, Young and others. Mark Dever wants his keys to the kingdom. Well, I have a few key suggestions for those who are tired of being told to shut up and keep on giving. Did you know that those who hold the money, hold a few keys as well?
Lydia's Corner: Beginning our reading plan for the third time
Genesis 1:1-2:25 Matthew 1:1-2:12 Psalm 1:1-6 Proverbs 1:1-6