My last post generated some helpful, constructive input from fellow saints and sinners who read it. Thank you, all.
Saint and sinner Bruce writes: You know I respect you and appreciate your writing, but I think this is a pride issue, not an evangelical issue. The Catholic Church, Lutherans, Presbyterians and others all face scandals of moral failures from leaders. Their perspectives on the Bible are different but in each case pride sneaks in. Truly humble broken people can be great leaders – evangelical or not. I honestly think it is a human failing which knows no particular religious bent.
Saint and sinner Elizabeth, who at one point attended services at Mars Hill, gave me some eye-opening perspective on Driscoll’s background and how Mars Hill came to be, as well as how she saw it change over time in not so uplifting ways.
Saint and sinner Mark, whom you can find blogging at Joyful Exiles, pointed me in the direction of an exhaustive article that traces the story of Mars Hill and Driscoll: “Inside Mars Hill’s massive meltdown” is a helpful read. Thank you, Mark!
Maybe in the end my friend Bruce is right: maybe these disappointing developments belong to the larger story of the Fall that goes back to Adam and Eve, of human pride gone awry; and to be sure, evangelicals and their leaders don’t have a monopoly on human pride. Still, I can’t help but think that evangelical churches like Mars Hill must find new ways polity-wise and culturally to allow for self-corrections in response to these sorts of abuses of power. I suspect that a culture that sends the message that men are ultimately in charge, and that one senior pastor has the right to dictate how people on staff and in his congregation think, can only reinforce this human tendency on the part of our leaders to seek refuge in pride.
Bruce, Elizabeth, Mark, and those of you who quickly brought the error in an earlier version of this article to my attention, thank you for reading. Come back again soon…like tomorrow, when we’ll blow off a bit of this serious steam with some laughter. Stay tuned!