... then let a reader ask whether what Wenatchee The Hatchet has been writing would, with Driscoll's understanding of the aim of hard words, be "hard" or "soft"? This is worth saying in a small post all its own that what we're discovering about Mars Hill in general and perhaps even about Mark Driscoll in particular is that they are supremely uncomfortable with taking what they have spent decades dishing out.
Now is not the time to presume that what has happened is only some kind of Satanic attack, Mars Hill. Did not someone like Luther say that even the devil is God's devil? And Calvinists tend to be even more comfortable with meticulous sovereignty than Lutherans ever could be. Remember that God let Satan ruin the life of Job on the basis of a bet to prove a point, no matter what your theology may be. Be careful not to assume that spiritual attacks or spirits sowing discord would not be directly authorized by God to punish corrupt rulers, because that's probably the majority testimony of the OT.
All those years at Mars Hill where guys said that sugar-coating the truth isn't speaking in love can turn around. What if speaking only positive words of encouragement to leaders is precisely the thing to be avoided? After all, did not Driscoll himself repeat the adage that soft words produce hard people? Then let those words be a judge of what may be said now. But if hard words are shared to invite an opportunity to repentance and restoration (and if resignation is required along the way, so it goes) then the most loving voices, if Mars Hill's historic taxonomy of "speaking the truth in love" still holds, may be the ones that on the surface might appear to be harshest.