Earlier this month Mark Driscoll spoke at Thrive and mentioned that God audibly spoke to him and Grace releasing them from ministry at Mars Hill. Let's compare the May 2015 leadership conference account, simple as it is, for why Mark Driscoll resigned, with what Driscoll said in a letter published at RNS last October.
Driscoll mentioned the release this month and that the board released a statement before the Driscolls were ready. But that's not the material point, the material point is in the body of the letter itself from October 2014.
October 14, 2014
Michael Van Skaik
Chairman, Board of Advisors and Accountability
Mars Hill Church
That is why, after seeking the face and will of God, and seeking godly counsel from men and women across the country, we have concluded it would be best for the health of our family, and for the Mars Hill family, that we step aside from further ministry at the church we helped launch in 1996. I will gladly work with you in the coming days on any details related to our separation.
Sincerely,Pastor Mark Driscoll
So last year Driscoll explained that after seeking godly counsel from men and women across the country the Driscolls concluded it would be best for the healthy of their family and for Mars Hill that they step aside.
And at Thrive, Driscoll explained that God audibly spoke to Mark and Grace Driscoll and released them from ministry. It's not exactly that these two accounts conceptually contradict each other, it's that if THAT was the real reason for the resignation why didn't they lead with that back in October 2014?
Who the men and women across the country were whom the Driscolls contacted may be immaterial. The point is that the Driscolls, in the October 2014 letter, mentioned getting godly counsel from a variety of people and concluded from that godly counsel that Driscoll's resignation was the best thing for the benefit of the church and the health of the Driscoll family.
So why, about 8 months later, is the story that God audibly spoke and released Mark and Grace Driscoll from ministry? There's no mention in that October 2014 letter God was saying anything at all to Mark Driscoll. He mentioned having the support of Grace and that the two seem to have sought godly counsel from people across the country. There's an indication it was considered best for the welfare of both the church and the family that Driscoll resign. But nothing about "God said I get to quit".
The recent Thrive teaching features basically twelve minutes of Driscoll rambling about his life and times before he even gets to starting the topic of forgiveness he said he was going to talk about. For a guy who claimed he didn't want to talk about himself, if you cut out the self-referential elements the teaching would have been no more than half the length of its full running time, easily.
Maybe even shorter.