As long-time readers of this blog well know (all fifteen of you? :)) I have not minced words about concerns I have had about Mark Driscoll's pastoral approach and some of the ways this has plays out in Mars Hill church culture.
However, as I have also said, I am also not interested in purely hatchet job profiles. I leave that to other people and you probably know who those bloggers are already. Driscoll has just asked that Mars Hill step up and donate food to go to the Port Angeles Salvation Army food bank, which was recently subjected to the theft of a literal ton of food.
Driscoll's right, the theft has happened near the end of the fiscal year. I ought to know, I used to work for them in the fundraising department. My job was to help map out the data and code parameters in direct response fundraising strategies for the Salvation Army. You can do the math there, dear readers. Folks who may be tempted to assume Mark lies all the time should keep in mind that this is legit. Times have been rough enough for the local Salvation Army in the last two years that, well, I'd still have my old job if things weren't so rough!
For years I had hoped that Mars Hill would seriously consider collaborating with or partnering with the Salvation Army in some fashion. That never materialized in the past. In fact some Mars Hill attenders and members had the impression the Salvation Army was maybe just a Social Gospel thing and too liberal, or that they had problems because they ordain women. Well, this is one Calvinist/Presbyterian (now) who has absolutely no problem working with egalitarians on issues I care about. Helping the poor can be something where complementarians should not get their undies in a bunch working with egalitarian organizations. I can assure you few organizations do a better job helping the poor than the Salvation Army. It would have been nice if Mars Hill had stepped up to contribute earlier in less high profile ways but I'm biased because for the better part of a decade I was a Mars Hill member and a Salvation Army employee. So, yeah, bias up front there.
Still, better late than never. This, folks, is the kind of thing a celebrity megachurch pastor should throw his reputation behind. My hope is that Mars Hill members go well above and beyond what is needed to help the Salvation Army Port Angeles food bank.