Friday, July 03, 2015

Houston interviews Driscolls "she was just sobbing uncontrollaby and I'd never seen my wife like that." in response to "we need to quit" ... ? Grace as a bystander in this interview

on the resignation letter, this is a transcript of the audio, though thanks to coughing people and garbled voices and murmurs it's not always easy to make out every last little syllable. There may be some inaccuracies but the audio link is available.  Transcription is not necessarily one of Wenatchee The Hatchet's great gifts.

I never got to say good-bye to the church and the people and so what went public was actually the resignation letter that went to the legal governing board that was in authority over me and so, uh, i uh, I know under the circumstances there wasn't a way to do that that would have been, uh, clean or easy. I don't have any criticism of the board. I think that, for the people, that there wasn't closure and I didn't, we didn't get to say anything.

And we didn't expect to resign. I met with the board. There was a whole list of things that were charged by current and former leaders and there was an internal governance struggle and threats of legal action that it got very complicated. And a lot of it was anonymous through the internet so you don't know who is saying or doing what. And so I invited the board to do a full examination, interview anybody, anything, and we woud submit to whatever verdict that they determined.
... When I think about eight weeks we met Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11. I remember because the 11th was my birthday and so Grace and I were present with the board and they said: "We see in your history of leadership, less in more recent years but particularly in the past, pride, anger and a domineering leadership style." That would be the exact words they used.  "We don't see anything disqualifying. These are areas we want you to grow. We want you to leadership at the
church soon." They wanted to do some clean up internally. "We want you back on January 4 in the pulpit, give you time to heal, things to cool down, and for some changes to be made."

We agreed to that. I sent in a go-forward plan and then we went home to have birthday cake with the kids. I think it was on Monday night. I was in the bedroom. Grace was in the living room. And so we told the board and told the kids, you know, we come back and ["will do"? garbled] preaching and try and love and serve and, and fix what was a struggling church and God had provided a way for us to do that as volunteers. And so our plan was to come back as volunteers.

And then on that Monday night I was in the bedroom, Grace was in the living room and he spoke to me and he spoke to her in a supernatural way that neither of anticipated or expected. Ah, and so Grace walked in and she said, "I feel like the Lord just spoke to me and said what we're supposed to do." and I said "I feel like the Lord spoke to me and said what we're supposed to do." It's not what we wanted; it's not what we agreed to; it's not what we've planned for. And so I asked her, "Well, what did the Lord say to you?" cuz I didn't wanna influence and she said, uh, she said we're [Grace Driscoll speaks but it's low and indistinct, Driscoll pauses a moment and is urged to continue by Houston] "The Lord revealed to me that , you know, a trap has been set, there's, there's no way, chance we can return to leadership" and I didn't know what that meant or what was going on at the time.  And I'm, I said, [garbled] "We need to resign". So this is not what we anticipated
and a lot of people've thought, you know, "maybe he's another plan" but we didn't. We didn't know what we were doing.

And Grace fell to the floor and she was just sobbing uncontrollably and I'd never seen my wife like that. She was devastated. So we prayed and slept on it and decided we would make sure we got this right. Talked to pastors, those that we trust and sent in our resignation then on, it would have been Tuesday. ...

Setting aside that in this account Grace doesn't seem to have been given any opportunity to say what she thought God had said to her, there's something else that's frankly troubling about this account.  Mark Driscoll claimed that his wife fell to the floor after he said "We need to resign".  She felt to the floor and was just sobbing uncontrollably and Mark Driscoll had never seen his wife like that, she was devastated.

But ... surely there were other substantial traumas in the Driscoll family in the last few years.

How about the death of Grace's father Pastor Gib Martin?

Wenatchee The Hatchet gave condolences to the Driscoll and Martin families in the aforementioned post.  Over at Mars Hill, Driscoll published "What a week"

The news of the week to report was, in order: Who Do You Think You Are? was published; Mars Hill Downtown had a grand reopening; something about the Seahawks; and, finally, Grace's dad died the previous Saturday.

Driscoll described his wife as "grieving well".  It's hard not to imagine the loss of a parent being devastating.  It's not that it's impossible Grace could have been devastated when Mark said "We need to resign", it's that in this narrative Mark Driscoll describes never having seen his wife sobbing uncontrollably before or being this devastated.

And that gets to the actual awkward question, aren't miscarriages able to be harrowing and traumatic experiences? 

Copyright (c) 2008 by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears
Published by Crossway Books
PDF ISBN: 978-1-4335-0423-5
ISBN-10: 1433501295
ISBN-13: 9781433501296

page 164

My wife, Grace, and I love Gideon and thank God for him often. My wife is petite, and I have a big head, which resulted in C-sections with the birth of each of our children. Having endured one miscarriage and four C-sections, Grace was ready to be done with pregnancies. But I was not yet ready to do anything to prevent God from giving us a child. So, we left it in God's hands and we were given Gideon, whom I affectionately refer to as Guppy, for being the youngest, and as Flip Flop, because at a very young age he decided he only wanted to wear flip-flops on the wrong feet for the rest of his life.  To her credit, Grace often gives me a hug and thanks me for not stopping at four children, because Gideon has been an absolute blessing and a joy to our family.
What makes Mark Driscoll's story about his wife feel awkward is that he presents his declaration that "we need to quit" as something Grace hears, and then she fell to the floor sobbing uncontrollably and that he'd never seen her this way before.

Not ... not even after she lost a child!?  Not even when she'd lost her father?  The way Mark Driscoll told the story it sounded like he'd never seen his wife so devastated and yet for those familiar with just how many traumatic things Grace Driscoll has gone through it just seems ... it's amazing to think that somehow the only thing Grace went through of all the things Mark Driscoll's recounted for public consideration in the last eighteen years that could spur her to fall to the floor and weep uncontrollably was in reaction to Mark Driscoll saying "we need to quit"? 


Anonymous said...

Does every person fall to the floor and sob uncontrollably when a parent dies? If not, why do you make this the measure of veracity? And if so, why not simply declare that Driscoll is lying?

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Are you suggesting maybe Grace didn't love her dad enough to sob uncontrollably at any point in the wake of his death?

The big E on the eye chart that you're not addressing is the overall question of how and why Grace Driscoll seemed to be a bystander to stories told about her in the interview. When in 2012 Mark Driscoll published "A Blog Post for the Brits" he made much of Justin Brierley having not asked many questions to Grace. The Houston interview presents a Grace Driscoll who had plenty of opportunity to share her story in her own words but she, for whatever reasons, opted to let Mark do a majority of the talking even though, as Mark has recounted over the years, Grace worked as a public relations professional for years. Grace Driscoll has the training and skills to tell her own story in a media context. If she fell down sobbing uncontrollably she could, in theory, have said this herself.