Sunday, August 23, 2015
looking back on the celebrity letter about celebrity vs pastor more than a year later, considering the priorities of Mark Driscoll as to whose judgment he considers first
... Second, in recent years, some have used the language of “celebrity pastor” to describe me and some other Christian leaders. In my experience, celebrity pastors eventually get enough speaking and writing opportunities outside the church that their focus on the church is compromised, until eventually they decide to leave and go do other things. [emphasis added] Without judging any of those who have done this, let me be clear that my desires are exactly the opposite. I want to be under pastoral authority, in community, and a Bible-teaching pastor who grows as a loving spiritual father at home and in our church home for years to come. I don’t see how I can be both a celebrity and a pastor, and so I am happy to give up the former so that I can focus on the latter. [emphasis added]
Back in 2014 there weren't stories about God giving Mark and Grace Driscoll audible permission to quit, which they did. The Driscollian stories of "God said Mark could quit" only seemed to show up in 2015 on the conference circuit.
However, the March 2014 letter featured language that, certainly in the wake of the resignation, may be worth revisiting.
To be clear, these are decisions I have come to with our Senior Pastor Jesus Christ. I believe this is what He is asking of me, and so I want to obey Him. The first person I discussed this with was our first, and still best, church member, Grace. Her loving agreement and wise counsel only confirmed this wonderful opportunity to reset some aspects of our life. [emphasis added] I want to publicly thank her, as it was 26 years ago this week that we had our first date. She is the greatest friend and biggest blessing in my life after Jesus. When we recently discussed this plan to reset our life together, late at night on the couch, she started crying tears of joy. She did not know how to make our life more sustainable, and did not want to discourage me, but had been praying that God would reveal to me a way to reset our life. Her prayer was answered, and for that we are both relieved at what a sustainable, joyful, and fruitful future could be. As an anniversary present, I want to give her more of her best friend.
I have also submitted these decisions to the Board of Advisors and Accountability. They have approved of this direction and are 100 percent supportive of these changes. It’s a wonderful thing to have true accountability and not be an independent decision maker regarding my ministry and, most importantly, our church. [emphasis added] ...
Not be an independent decision maker regarding his ministry and the fate of Mars Hill Church?
So it would appear that once Mark Driscoll decided what he really wanted to do it also meant he had talked it over with senior pastor Jesus. Next up, the wife. Of course she totally agreed with what her husband wanted to do after he'd talked with Jesus about things. Then once they had settled what they wanted to do Mark Driscoll also submitted the decisions to the BoAA which, of course, approved the direction 100%.
The words said "no" but the resignation said "yes". Let's keep in mind something about Mark Driscoll's stories about what God told him to do. Marry Grace, nearly always comes first in all variations of the story. They were already sexually active prior to marriage and in a large number of stories shared about how he met Grace, Mark Driscoll indicated he pretty much wanted to marry her when he met her before he was even a Christian. So Mark Driscoll has said God told him to marry Grace Martin. So ... it would appear Mark already wanted to do that anyway before there was any need of a divine directive.
For the planting churches, teaching the Bible, and training young men--Joe Driscoll talked about his son's achievements in high school in the fundraising film God's Work, Our Witness back in 2011. Most likely to succeed, high school debate team, student body president. He was already an alpha dude in high school in various forms of leadership. It's not that difficult to propose that God telling Mark Driscoll to lead people with the imprimatur of a story of direct divine commission isn't a "new" direction for Mark Driscoll compared to his pre-conversion stories, it's more of the same. Now if God had told Mark Driscoll the four things he was to do were to 1) break up with Grace 2) devote himself to a life of celibacy 3) return to the Catholic church and 4) study to be a priest would Mark Driscoll have done any of those things?
One of the things Adolf Schlatter wrote was that it is a lie arising from covetousness to remake God into one's own image and to make your own lust to be God's will. It seems worth asking whether the stuff Mark Driscoll has kept saying God told him to do hasn't been precisely the things he already pretty much wanted to do anyway.