Saturday, July 04, 2015

two years ago today, looking at "Grace and Disgrace" from Real Marriage, some difficult and unavoidable questions about Grace Driscoll's role in the book and its promotion remain

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2013/07/real-marriage-chapter-7-grace-and.ht

So two years ago today Wenatchee The Hatchet began to discuss Real Marriage, Mark and Grace Driscoll's 2012 book.  It was two years ago WtH broached the issue of whether or not Grace Driscoll gave any credit to the writings and work of Dan Allender in formulating the concepts of the "good girl", "tough girl" or "party girl".

At the time there was not a particularly strong reaction overall.  In some settings handful of people read the post and in one case there was a memorable reaction.  To paraphrase, so maybe Grace Driscoll used Allender's ideas without credit, so what? What about her being a victim of abuse?

Well, unfortunate though that undoubtedly is, employing the work of someone without giving proper credit when that someone is a person Grace Driscoll publicly listed as one of her favorite authors more than a decade earlier isn't the kind of thing that can or should be hand-waved off of consideration just because she decided to share a story about how she was sexually abused.  It harms the possibility of public discourse and the public good to conflate Grace Driscoll's history of abuse with an implied necessity to not address that, as a co-author on Real Marriage who had publicly acknowledged an appreciation of Allender's work, Grace Driscoll was as much a part of the 2013-2014 plagiarism controversy as her husband whether or not anyone in the press.

Well On Mission, LLC owns Real Marriage and one of the constituent corporate members of THAT entity is still Lasting Legacy, LLC, which features Grace Driscoll as a member.
https://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/search_detail.aspx?ubi=603258287
https://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/search_detail.aspx?ubi=603199549

So it's not like Grace Driscoll didn't have a stake in the fate of the book. 

Wenatchee The Hatchet published a comparison of the Driscolls' book with Dan Allender's 1990 book back in September 2013.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2013/09/real-marriage-chapter-7-part-2.html

That was about a month and a half before Janet Mefferd's on air interview with Mark Driscoll.  Wenatchee The Hatchet did not attempt to explain what may have happened or who bore responsibility.  Given subsequent questions in 2014 about ghostwriting and assistance it's difficult to know whether Grace Driscoll ever, even once, wrote anything her name is attached to in Real Marriage.  We can't know if she wrote everything in Chapter 7 or if it was assembled on her behalf.  That would be a fascinating question of the sort that Brian Houston was apparently not interested in.

You see, it's impossible to completely evade the reality that Grace Driscoll let her name be attached to a book in which conspicuous use of Allender's work was easy to spot in the first edition.  Thomas Nelson has since fixed the problem of uncredited use of material so that's settled.

What's not settled is how and why Grace Driscoll, who had publicly described Allender as one of her favorite authors never thought to give Allender explicit credit in the first edition of Real Marriage to begin with.

And it was actually worse than just that.  remember what Mark Driscoll told Christianity Today back in 2012?  We revisited this hours ago.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/07/mark-driscoll-told-christianity-today.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/januaryweb-only/mark-driscoll-sex-marriage.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/januaryweb-only/mark-driscoll-sex-marriage.html
Interview by Katelyn Beaty and Marlena Graves/ January 5, 2012
...


M[ark Driscoll]: No, and for us, we sinned, quite frankly. We were virgins when we met and were sleeping together as high-school boyfriend and girlfriend. [emphasis added] Then Grace came back to Christ, and I came to Christ in college, so we had to stop sinning sexually. I'd say if we both could go back and rewrite history and change one thing, that would probably be the thing we would change. But we did repent and met with our pastor. And then we did get married, between our junior and senior years of college.

Mark Driscoll declared he and Grace were both virgins when they met and this in direct contradiction of what he and Grace Driscoll said about themselves in the 2012 book Real Marriage. Grace Driscoll sat by and let her husband make that claim and did not correct him. Whereas in 2007 Driscoll preached a sermon in which he said he asked Grace which figure in the book of Ruth she thought he most resembled, and she told him he resembled Elimelech; by 2012 Grace Driscoll was unwilling to correct a flagrantly untrue statement made by her husband on tour promoting a book. If this is the person of whom Mark Driscoll began to say she was his "functional pastor" it's difficult to see how an allegedly "complementarian" man could do this on general principle of his alleged convictions on the one hand.  And, on the other hand, even if Mark Driscoll ended up being the most egalitarian charismatic type around there's still another difficulty, Grace Driscoll sat by and let her husband claim they were virgins when they met in direct contradiction of just about anything he or she had said about their sexual lives before they met each other in the book they were promoting.

Chris Rosebrough on Driscoll repenting of criticizing Joel Osteen but not, apparently, apologizing for his stunt and spin at Strange Fire

http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2015/07/driscoll-repents-for-criticizing-osteen.html

Driscoll may have (or may not have) reached out to Joel Osteen's camp and as yet nobody from Joel Osteen's crew has confirmed that this even happened.  So given that Mark Driscoll told Christianity Today he and Grace were virgins before they started fornicating with each other; and given that Driscoll couldn't even remember there were, in fact, kids at the start of Mars Hill, it's increasingly difficult to believe how accurate or credible Mark Driscoll's stories about himself may actually be.
We can't forget, either, that Mars Hill PR asserted a relationship with Lifelong AIDs Alliance that turned out to not really exist, which The Stranger covered.

All that is to say that an Osteen-side confirmation that Mark Driscoll said or did anything is necessary in order for Driscoll's claim to even be believed at this point.  Still, with that in mind, Rosebrough's point stands, if Mark Driscoll's been willing to make nice to a Joel Osteen he may have never met, has Driscoll apologized to John MacArthur and others for his stunt at Strange Fire?

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/06/revisiting-time-where-mark-driscoll.html

What Mark Driscoll decided to do in the wake of Strange Fire was invite MacArthur to talk with him, even though back in 2009 when MacArthur's side was actively reaching out to Driscoll he was snubbing them.  Though it seems a bit clunky, let's revisit what Wenatchee The Hatchet has already written:

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2013/10/mark-driscoll-invites-john-macarthur-to.html

http://www.christianpost.com/news/mark-driscoll-invites-john-macarthur-to-resurgence-conference-asks-for-face-to-face-meeting-107447/
That's the Christian Post link for you there.

http://theresurgence.com/2013/10/25/see-you-in-seattle-pastor-john-macarthur
.. As a Bible preacher, I rejoice in that. I actually considered attending your school myself after I finished my undergraduate work, but I was newly married and could not afford any seminary at the time. [
...
As Bible teachers, we both know that people often arrive at the wrong conclusion when they extract a line out of an ongoing discussion, ignoring the context, and then wrongly impugn someone’s character. I am guessing the security team and pastoral team were not entirely rowing in the same direction, and that security thought they were just doing their job.

Mistakes happen. I understand. And since no one owes me anything, I am grateful I got to hang out for a bit and meet some of the pastoral staff and your son. I would’ve been glad to have met you as well.

Maybe that can still happen?
..
At this point, I believe what would honor Jesus is for us to sit down and talk. So, I am formally inviting you to Seattle to join me on stage for our national Resurgence Conference on November 5–6.
I will pay for your travel. I will give an honorarium to you or any ministry you choose. And, I will cover the travel costs of any of your pastoral staff you’d like join us, as I would actually like to see them again.

Originally, I was going to have a company live stream our conference online for people who paid an access fee, but I recently tore up that contract. We’re now going to show the conference free online for the world in an effort to open up our important discussion to as many people as possible. I would also post our discussion in its entirely—without any editing—for free online.

I am working as an unpaid volunteer for this event, and I believe the loss of live stream revenue is worth it for an investment in the Kingdom. I assure you, I will be very kind and gracious and respectful. Ours will be a dialogue on very important issues, and I pray by the Spirit’s power we can model some graciousness and clarify terms while striving to state what we believe to be biblical truth.
I believe this could be a very profitable discussion—especially for young leaders who will be tuning in to learn as we model how to handle disagreement. In our day when online misquoting and Internet flame throwing hinder real progress, I truly believe we have a great opportunity to model a different way of dealing with important issues for God’s glory.

So now there's a public invitation of an all expenses paid visit from Mark Driscoll to John MacArthur.  As usual Driscoll talks about how single lines taken out of context can be used to impugn someone's character.  But the thing about John MacArthur and Mark Driscoll is that the breach between Mark Driscoll and John MacArthur has been close to a decade in forming and when the shoe was on the other foot MacArthur has already publicly informed us that when it was his idea to get in touch with Driscoll to talk about disagreements Mark Driscoll had no interest.

There's nothing about MacArthur's criticism of the November 18, 2007 sermon in Scotland from Song of Songs that seemed to take any lines or even entire sermons of Mark Driscoll out of context.  In fact Mark Driscoll mentioned somewhere or other that in light of criticisms of the sermon it seemed wise to take the sermon down.  But let's let MacArthur speak for himself a bit.

http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/a399/the-rape-of-solomons-song-part-4
April 17, 2009

7. Why did you single out Driscoll and connect him with the "sex challenges"? Why call him out publicly? He has already repented of his unguarded speech, and he is being privately discipled by men like John Piper and C. J. Mahaney, who keep him accountable. Did you consult them before calling Driscoll out by name? If the problem is as serious as you claim, why haven't they said something publicly about it?

In the sermon that prompted this series, Mark Driscoll (speaking specifically to wives in the congregation) made several comments that were far, far worse than the seamiest sex challenges. Furthermore, Driscoll's edicts to married women were not mere "challenges" but directives buttressed with the claim that "Jesus Christ commands you to do [this]." That material has been online and freely circulated for more than a year. But you’ll be hard pressed to find even a single Web forum where anyone has demanded that Driscoll explain why he feels free to say such things publicly.
...
Nevertheless, I have written Mark privately with my concerns. He rejected my counsel. As a matter of fact, he preached the sermon I have been quoting from seven weeks after receiving my private letter encouraging him to take seriously the standard of holiness Scripture holds pastors to. Here is a small selection from the six-page letter I sent him ... [emphasis added]

So MacArthur has explained that he wrote to Mark Driscoll regarding some concerns and that, it seems on a plain reading, that Mark Driscoll preached the November 18, 2007 Scotland sermon on Song of Songs seven weeks AFTER receiving MacArthur's letter.  Not only did Driscoll not have any interest in responding to MacArthur in 2007 he preached one of his racier sermons just a couple of months after getting the letter

***
So it looks like Mark Driscoll kept ignoring MacArthur's efforts to work out differences privately until the Strange Fire stunt.  Then, all of a sudden, it was like Mark Driscoll suddenly cared what MacArthur thought enough to invite him.  That MacArthur declined wouldn't have been a surprise at all.  Why take someone seriously who spurned years of efforts to talk in private if he only makes a public offer to talk things out after he'd just been shown to have been dishonest about how a stunt he pulled crashing a cessationist conference turned out? It seems improbable that MacArthur or his crew would disagree with, say, a Gordon Fee the way they'd disagree with a Mark Driscoll.  There's a scholarly consensus that Gordon Fee knows the biblical texts. 

Of course if Mark Driscoll wants to talk about pastors he's reached out to who he may have harmed there are people far, far closer to home that should have been contacted by now. 

Driscoll to Houston, "there was an internal governance struggle". This only showed up in Driscoll's account after Sutton Turner said for the record the BoAA wanted to scapegoat him alone for the PR problem of Result Source


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/06/29/hillsongs-brian-houston-interviewed-mark-and-grace-driscoll-after-all/
http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2015/06/DriscollHillsong.mp4

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.

39.45
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."

It's kind of amazing that Mark Driscoll only saw fit to mention that there was an internal governance struggle in the last week but not mention anything as to what it might have been about.  The reason it's so bad that that's how Driscoll broached the topic of a split within top level Mars Hill leadership is Sutton Turner has explained that there was a situation here the Board was split, and it was over whether or not to scapegoat him alone over the Result Source controversy.  Why would that be a problem?  Well, according to Sutton Turner, he voiced an objection to the effectiveness and rightness of the Result Source campaign being used at all.  He signed the contract anyway because, as he claimed, if he didn't sign it someone else would have signed it.  But then when news hit the internet if Turner HADN'T signed it then it would have been impossible for him to have been a scapegoat candidate.  Wenatchee The Hatchet discussed the statements of Turner at the following blog post, with relevant quotes:

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/04/turners-account-of-how-he-signed-result.html

http://investyourgifts.com/resultsource1/
Posted by Sutton Turner on April 20, 2015
...
In July 2011, a new marketing proposal was already in the works at Mars Hill: ResultSource. I learned of the project from the manager who was overseeing it. ResultSource was a marketing practice that purchased books through small individual bookstores that would qualify the book for the New York Times Best Seller List. Then, these books would be shipped to Mars Hill and sold in our nine church bookstores. It was proposed that being listed on the New York Times Best Seller List would increase the awareness of the church, support the upcoming sermon series, and increase church size.


I had a couple of meetings with the manager who was working on this project and at the time he stated his concern with the marketing proposal. I was not invited to any meetings to discuss ResultSource in my role as General Manager overseeing finance. However, I wrote several memos to my supervisor sharing my concern and lack of support for this marketing practice. I was relatively new to the staff and obviously not on the Board of Directors, nor was I asked to be a part of this particular decision. But due to my adamant disagreement and desire to best serve the staff and church, I wrote a memo on August 26, 2011 to my supervisor saying the following:

•The plan was poor stewardship.
•If the plan were to be revealed, it would look poorly on the stewardship of Mars Hill Church.
•If the plan were to be revealed, it would look poorly on Pastor Mark Driscoll.


A week later, I was notified that my advice was not taken and the plan to use ResultSource was approved. I don’t know who approved the plan. I don’t know what process was conducted concerning the decision. I do know that it showed that the process of making big decisions was broken and it needed to be fixed.
...
Shortly after the decision to execute the ResultSource marketing plan was made, my supervisor resigned. After him, I was the highest-ranking employee in administration. The decision had been made but the contract hadn’t yet been signed. On October 13, 2011, I signed the ResultSource contract as General Manager a full month before being installed as an Executive Elder. After signing the contract, I emailed an elder, stating my frustration with having to be the one to sign the contract when I had voiced my disagreement with it. But few in the organization (or in the media since then) knew of my disagreement. When you stay in an organization and you do not agree with a decision, you have to own that decision as your own. Unfortunately, I will always be linked to ResultSource since my name was on the contract even though I thought it was a bad idea. If given the same opportunity again, I would not sign the ResultSource contract, but honestly, my missing signature would not have stopped it. Someone else would have signed it anyway since the decision had already been made.

To date Turner has not explained why he had to be the one to sign the contract.  He would not have been the highest ranking officer ... although in the wake of Munson's resignation he could have been the highest ranking employee in the organization. But under Munson's bylaws (or Driscoll's, we've discussed the ambiguity of whose creation the 2007 bylaws ultimately was over here earlier this week) if Munson resigned as president the vice president was the preaching pastor, Mark Driscoll.

Still, there's a sense in which we should remember that Turner describes himself as willing to comply with policies he disagreed with.  So in a sense while his name will always be attached to the Result Source Contract we should move forward a bit.

http://investyourgifts.com/learning-growing-communicating-under-criticism/
Posted by Sutton Turner on April 24, 2015
...
When the criticism of Mars Hill Global began in the Spring of 2014, I wanted to communicate about what happened with Global, its history, the financials, and my mistakes. Unfortunately, I was not permitted to discuss these things just as I was not permitted to discuss the ResultSource situation in the detail that I felt it deserved. There was actually a division on the Board of Advisors and Accountability (BOAA) as some men wanted to put all the blame for both Global and ResultSource on me, but I am thankful for men who did not allow that. [emphasis added]

Eight difficult, grievous months have passed since I resigned; four sad, yet hopeful months have passed since Mars Hill held its last service. I began to work on each of these topics through blog posts several months ago with the wisdom, counsel, prayer, and blessing of many friends who are former elders and staff members at Mars Hill.
***

So if Mark Driscoll just lately decided to share there was an internal struggle on the board (whichever board that was) but not explain what it was Sutton Turner's account is more specific about what and when.  Of course had Mark Driscoll not decided, as president of Mars Hill around the time the Result Source contract got signed, that the contract was a great way to promote Real Marriage, the internal struggle he seems to merely allude to which may have been what Turner described could not have taken place.

If Driscoll were one of the men who did not want Sutton Turner scapegoated we'll never know.  Then again, considering that Mark Driscoll told Christianity Today he and Grace were both virgins when they met in contradiction to the testimony of Real Marriage itself ... .

Samuel James blogged about Christian bloggers and then pulled down what he said in the wake of a Christianity Today piece supporting bloggers? Meditation on courage for the 4th of July (sarcasm alert)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/inklingations/2014/11/11/to-christian-bloggers-from-a-pastors-kid-dont-follow-mark-driscoll-around/

For those who remember that post by blogger Samuel James here's a synopsis of the reasons he told Christian bloggers, as a pastor's kid, to not follow Mark Driscoll around:

1) It really serves no good purpose.
2) It obscures Christian forgiveness.
3) It empowers skepticism towards the local church.
4) Finally, it punishes Driscoll’s family.
When, a year later, Samuel James decided to blog about what not to do when a fellow Christian embarrasses "us", he got some flak, and then he wrote another post about the humble 20something blogger not anticipating the crazy reaction to that point.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/inklingations/2015/05/07/what-not-to-do-when-a-fellow-christian-embarrasses-the-rest-of-us/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/inklingations/2015/05/12/for-whom-the-blog-trolls-a-drama-in-10-acts/

But if there's something humans have a great talent for its appreciating accumulated context.  The internet may have a short attention span but it is a thing that has the memory of an elephant, give or take the deployment of robots.txt but entities like Mars Hill or Mark Driscoll's team to prevent things from being quoted.

Wenatchee The Hatchet has discussed Samuel James' talk about bloggers a couple of times here.
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/11/samuel-james-to-christian-bloggers-dont.html

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/06/some-more-thoughts-on-what-some-call.html

What's been interesting to note is that since this Christianity Today op-ed on the value of watchdog blogs and the linking to Samuel James' bromides against it, Samuel James seems to have seen fit to remove this year's ruminations on the badness of stuff like watchdog blogs

http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2015/july/blogging-truth-to-power.html?paging=off#comments

That the article at CT was written by Michelle Van Loon and Marlena Graves ...

hey ... check this out.  It kinda looks like Marlena Graves was one of the people to whom Mark Driscoll declared "we were virgins when we met" about himself and Grace Driscoll. 

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/07/mark-driscoll-told-christianity-today.html

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/januaryweb-only/mark-driscoll-sex-marriage.html
Interview by Katelyn Beaty and Marlena Graves/ January 5, 2012
...


M[ark Driscoll]: No, and for us, we sinned, quite frankly. We were virgins when we met and were sleeping together as high-school boyfriend and girlfriend. [emphasis added] Then Grace came back to Christ, and I came to Christ in college, so we had to stop sinning sexually. I'd say if we both could go back and rewrite history and change one thing, that would probably be the thing we would change. But we did repent and met with our pastor. And then we did get married, between our junior and senior years of college.
What may be most instructive about Samuel James' blogging activity is that his pieces that talk about watchblogging are down.  To Wenatchee The Hatchet this reflects the problematic impulse in evangelical blogging and a problematic precedent within the history of an entity like Mars Hill that rather than explicitly say you're sorry when a controversy erupts over something you decided to make a matter of public record it's easier to just obliterate the offending item and just "move on".  In online journalism revising and redacting can be popular, as it with blogs ... but it's preferable to publicly retract what you regret saying or note that a correction has been made.  If you decide to de-publish something for the sake of someone's career or to prevent harm to their job prospects or to ensure personal safety that's okay. 

What Wenatchee The Hatchet has found most galling about a blogger like Samuel James is that Samuel James insist on posting a photo of the Driscoll family in his declaration that bloggers not follow Driscoll around.  Wenatchee avoids dragging the Driscoll kids into a discussion of Mark Driscoll's public role except when Mark Driscoll makes it impossible to not mention them on a particular point, such as when he anchored his tendentious reading of Esther to a conversation with Ashley rather than a compelling exegetical/textual defense of his view. 

Samuel James needs to consider the possibility that blogging about how bad watchblogging is only to de-publish in the wake of a CT article that singles his dubious reasoning out not only comes across as unprincipled but also cowardly.  James' motives could be pure as undriven snow for all we do or don't know but what he has said, in the context of controversy surrounding Mark Driscoll and blogging, does not seem particularly wise or informed.  What makes it more unfortunate is that it seems James has been finding it easier to just take down what he wrote rather than feel any obligation to, maybe, apologize for some stuff he's written.  If he's not sorry and doesn't feel he made a mistake in publishing what he published why didn't he leave it up? 

Well, for folks who might want to read what Samuel James may no longer want you to read ... in the United States there's no "right to be forgotten" as there is in Europe.  Today being the 4th of July let's celebrate the liberties available through the First Amendment by being able to read what some have tried to suppress, eh?

https://web.archive.org/web/20150508160636/http://www.patheos.com/blogs/inklingations/2015/05/07/what-not-to-do-when-a-fellow-christian-embarrasses-the-rest-of-us/

Mark Driscoll told Christianity Today "We were virgins when we met and were sleeping together ... " for January 2012 interview, despite unequivocal statements to the contrary within Real Marriage itself

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/januaryweb-only/mark-driscoll-sex-marriage.html
Interview by Katelyn Beaty and Marlena Graves/ January 5, 2012
...


M[ark Driscoll]: No, and for us, we sinned, quite frankly. We were virgins when we met and were sleeping together as high-school boyfriend and girlfriend. [emphasis added] Then Grace came back to Christ, and I came to Christ in college, so we had to stop sinning sexually. I'd say if we both could go back and rewrite history and change one thing, that would probably be the thing we would change. But we did repent and met with our pastor. And then we did get married, between our junior and senior years of college.

Part of the issue today is extended male adolescence: guys are just not growing up, they're not taking responsibility and not acting maturely. These are guys who are post-college, making money for years with no wife, and then all of a sudden they are sexually active but not really thinking about marriage. I call them boys who can shave. They're highly irresponsible, and it leads to a culture in which there is a proclivity toward sex outside of marriage.

So you can't just say, "Hey, no sex outside of marriage." You have to go to the underlying issue, asking: Why aren't you growing up? Why are you not taking responsibility? Why are you not pursuing marriage? Why do you think Zach Galifianakis and Adam Sandler are funny? Why do you think that the whole bromance comedy thing is not just offensive? Why are you trying to live out that lifestyle when it's antithetical to being a real responsible man who loves Jesus and wants to get married and be faithful to his wife?

You didn't misread that. Mark Driscoll told Katelyn Beaty and Marlena Graves that he and Grace were virgins when they met.  Okay so let's go read from the book which was being promoted by the Driscolls that year and what did the Driscolls have to say about themselves?

Real Marriage: the truth about sex, friendship and life together
Mark and Grace Driscoll
Thomas Nelson
copyright (c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0
PAGE 9-10
Before long I was bitter against God and Grace. It seemed to me as if they had conspired to trap me. I had always been the "good guy" who turned down women for sex. In my twisted logic, since I had only slept with a couple of women I was in relationships with, I had been holy enough, and God owed me. [emphasis added] I felt God had conned me by telling me to marry Grace, and allowed Grace to rule over me since she was controlling our sex life. 


PAGES 14-15
Although I loved our people and my wife, this only added to my bitterness. I had a church filled with single women who were asking me how they could stop being sexually ravenous and wait for a Christian husband; then I'd go home to a wife whom I was not sexually enjoying. 

... We still disagree on how often we had sex (I [Mark Driscoll] was bitter, and she [Grace Driscoll] was in denial, which skews the perspective), but we both agree it wasn't a healthy amount to support a loving marriage.

Unless "slept with" merely meant in the same bed ... Driscoll's own book disproved the claim made to Christianity Today. 

Friday, July 03, 2015

Mark Driscoll explained to Brian Houston how he submitted to a plan and then how God told him a trap had been set; yet last year Driscoll preached "You can't just pull out the `God told me' card."

The Brian Houston interview 2015
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/06/29/hillsongs-brian-houston-interviewed-mark-and-grace-driscoll-after-all/
http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2015/06/DriscollHillsong.mp4

on the resignation letter
39.45
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 [emphasis added] anybody, anything, and we would 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 I was to come back as a volunteer. [emphasis added]

42:10
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. ...

The first thing to notice is the "I invited" part, because in this new account Mark Driscoll says he invited the Board to investigate him.  That presents the decision as one he initiated and he explicitly said he told the Board he would submit to the results they came up with.

Then notice that Driscoll explained that he and Grace told the Driscoll kids they'd agreed with a plan set up by the Board.

It becomes easy to reconcile the Thrive narrative with the Houston interview on the point of how the Driscolls did not have time to notify the kids of the resignation thanks to this recent narrative.  After all, by Mark Driscoll's account he said he agreed to submit to the restoration plan and Grace was with him.  They assented to the restoration plan and then on Monday Mark claims he heard from God and God is alleged to have said "a trap has been set".  So Mark and Grace Driscoll sleep on it and on Tuesday conclude they still believe they should resign from ministry at Mars Hill, write a letter, and this letter was released by the Board the day it was submitted. 

Now it's curious that Mark describes that both he and Grace resigned from ministry at Mars Hill.  Why was it both?  Grace wasn't a charter member listed on articles of incorporation for the corporation formerly known as Mars Hill Fellowship was she?  Because that's practically the only way to make sense of why Mark Driscoll would say they BOTH felt released from ministry or that they ought to resign.

Notice that in this account Driscoll never says what God said to Grace.  In the earlier Thrive performance Driscoll said God audibly spoke to both of them and released them from ministry but in this Houston interview account the story is Mark said God said a trap had been set and ... we never get to hear what God is alleged to have said to Grace Driscoll.  In this new narrative it's not even clear that Mark was interested in finding out what Grace said God told her.

Instead Mark Driscoll highlights that they wrote a letter and sent it Tuesday. 

So what was "a trap" that had been set?  It's never clear what even could have been a trap.  Mark Driscoll's story has kept shifting from the resignation letter itself, which seemed to state that the Driscolls did an informal poll of men and women across the country, decided that it was best to quit, and then quit Mars Hill; through to the Robert Morris "I advised Mark to quit" story; through to the 2015 stories about God releasing Mark and Grace Driscoll from responsibility to ministry.  Observe ...

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wYBTnRpPHRb8N1nqtgP2FcHcdnBeMIqCYy2SyQCEWBg/edit
Transcript | Mark Driscoll | Thrive 2015-05-01
[6:34]
It finally came to the point where God released my wife and I from our responsibility to ministry. He spoke to us audibly. It wasn’t what we were expecting. It wasn’t what we had agreed to. We were both pretty shocked and the announcement was going to come out that week. [emphasis added] And, uh, our server, our e-mail and things apparently were hacked and there was no way to get anything done without it being a public situation. And so the Board, which are good, godly people in authority, which I appreciate -- they released a statement earlier than we were anticipating, so um, but that meant, and I agree with that decision, I’m not critical of it.  But that meant that I hadn’t told my kids that I had resigned and they were in school, taking test, it was a test week, …. we threw some stuff in a bag and ran to school to grab the kids and within minutes it was on TV, I think it was on CNN. 
But as this narrative cements in detail and substance here's what it constitutes--Mark Driscoll claimed that both he and his wife agreed to submit to the restoration plan and that on the week of his birthday.  Then on Monday, apparently the day before the resignation was tendered, Mark claims God told him he was released.  But the new account doesn't really work all that hard to emphasize senior pastor Jesus stuff.  It's just Mark heard "a trap has been set."  What trap?  Submitting to the spiritual authority of the leaders?  And as for invoking "God told me" had not Mark Driscoll that same year advised the congregations of Mars Hill to view such sweeping invocations of divine permission with some skepticism?

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/05/in-early-may-2014-driscoll-advises-to.html
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT FOR MINISTRY
Pastor Mark Driscoll
ACTS (5:12-42)
May 04, 2014
http://marshill.com/media/acts-chapters-6-11-empowered-for-jesus-mission/acts-12-6-1-7
http://download.marshill.com/files/2014/05/04/20140504_acts-12-6-1-7_sd_audio.mp3
http://download.marshill.com/files/2014/05/04/20140504_acts-12-6-1-7_vodcast.m4v
http://download.marshill.com/files/2014/05/04/20140504_acts-12-6-1-7_tv_sd_progressive.m4v
http://download.marshill.com/files/2014/05/04/20140504_acts-12-6-1-7_tv_hd_progressive.m4v
http://marshill.com/en/transcript/acts-chapters-6-11-empowered-for-jesus-mission/acts-12-6-1-7
41:26ish
...
So I want to be careful with this because this can be an opportunity for spiritual abuse. Because sometimes people say, “God told me.” Well, we’ll see, OK? You can’t just pull out the “God told me” card. [emphasis added] Ladies, let’s say you meet a guy and the guy says, “God told me to marry you.” “Interesting, he didn’t tell me or my dad, you know, so I don’t have to just assume that because you say the Lord says that the Lord in fact has spoken.”


You need to be very careful. Somebody comes along, “God told me to plant a church.” Let’s check that. All right, you can’t—I mean, 1 Corinthians 14 is clear. If you think you got a word from the Lord, you’ve got to check it by the leaders. So what we’re looking for, if you believe God has told you something, especially to do something that is difficult like this, we’re looking for a godly person—Peter’s a godly person. In godly community—it says he’s with the apostles, they’re all agreed. Under godly authority—they all agree on this. With a godly motive—to talk about Jesus. Doing a godly thing—wanting to minister to people. In a godly way—by being open in public and not hiding anything. So if you believe the Lord has told you something, he may have, but I would ask, “Are you a godly person in godly community under godly authority with a godly motive doing a godly thing in a godly way?” ... [emphasis added]

The new narrative may sound peachy to a Brian Houston but this actually exacerbates the problem in Driscoll's credibility.  Mark Driscoll has now said that he and Grace agreed to cooperate with the restoration plan and come back as volunteers.  That begs for further clarification from Mars Hill leadership if Kerry Dodd and Caleb Walters or anyone else within Mars Hill corporate leadership is willing to clear things up.  Claiming God released the Driscolls from responsibility to ministry increasingly looks like a last second impulsive decision made in the wake of the Driscolls agreeing to the restoration plan.  In this new narrative, in fact, it would explain that the reason the Driscoll kids did not know their dad had resigned was because Mark had not told any of the kids yet and the letter may have been drafted and sent by Driscoll THE DAY HE RESIGNED.

Notice, too, that by Mark Driscoll's account he had explained to the children a day or so earlier that he was agreeing to comply with the restoration plan the Board had said would be in place. 

Whatever God allegedly said to the Driscolls it's remarkable that for as many decades as Mark Driscoll invoked an audible divine commission to marry Grace, teach the Bible, train men and plant churches the initial resignation letter mentions no divine audible command, just what looks like an ad hoc informal committee of godly men and women.  Robert Morris said he told Mark to step aside a while in 2014, and Mars Hill confirmed the unexpected and disappointing nature of the resignation, but it wasn't until 2015 the "God said I could quit" narrative emerged. 

There's very little evidence that the more Mark Driscoll unveils about how and why he quit, most of all when he invokes a "God told me" narrative, that he's morally congruent with his own teaching to the people of Mars Hill on that subject.  Mark Driscoll told Brian Houston he invited the Board to investigate him, agreed to submit to their restoration plan and then, on a Monday, claims God said "a trap has been set" and then Mark Driscoll's conclusion was he had to resign.

Hey, think about that a minute.  In this new story Mark doesn't really say God told him to quit.  He says he heard "a trap has been set" and something about how there's now way they could return to leadership at Mars Hill ... but that's not the same thing as claiming God audibly told Mark and Grace separately they were released from responsibility to do ministry at Mars Hill.  In fact in this new narrative Grace Driscoll never even gets to say what it was she believed God told her.  Mark declares the necessity of resignation and then recounts Grace falling to her knees and sobbing.

As for Grace, she never said a thing to expand upon or corroborate this narrative.  Driscoll did all the talking.  Grace seemed to say things that could have come across as verbal cues of some kind explicable only to the Driscolls, but even though Houston interviewed both of them, in principle, practically the story was entirely Driscoll's. 

So now it could be Mark Driscoll quit ministry over "a trap has been set" stuff, and that this was not in fact much indication the Driscolls were actually released from ministry. 

There's something else but that warrants a separate post.






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


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/06/29/hillsongs-brian-houston-interviewed-mark-and-grace-driscoll-after-all/
http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2015/06/DriscollHillsong.mp4

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.

39.45
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.

42:10
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?
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2013/01/grace-driscolls-father-rev-gib-martin.html

Wenatchee The Hatchet gave condolences to the Driscoll and Martin families in the aforementioned post.  Over at Mars Hill, Driscoll published "What a week"
http://web.archive.org/web/20140429184013/http://marshill.com/2013/01/09/what-a-week?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+pastormark+(PastorMark.tv

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? 

DEATH BY LOVE
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"? 

Driscoll told Houston "we felt, specifically, called to go after young, college-educated males". The Social Gospel of Mars Hill

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/06/29/hillsongs-brian-houston-interviewed-mark-and-grace-driscoll-after-all/
http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2015/06/DriscollHillsong.mp4

03.00ish
I've made a lot of mistakes and one of them was going too fast. There's the Lord's calling and there's the Lord's timing and I should have waited longer. I should have been under godly spiritual authority, for Grace and I to be under a godly couple, that was [a] senior pastor, so that we could learn and grow. I, I, my character was not caught up with my gifting and I did start to young. And I believe God called us to start the church and he was very, very, very gracious to us, uh, but had I to

do it over again I would not look at a 25-year old and say, "Do what I did." :
03:57ish
... We went into the urban core and we felt, specifically, called to go after young, college-educated males. That was really my heart. I wanted everybody to meet Jesus but I felt particularly if we were gonna make in the city and the legacy of families and, you know, the way that women and children and culture treated, that getting young men to love Jesus would be paramount. [emphasis added] So that was really the focus and I didn't think the church would amount to much. The first three years we didn't collect a salary; it was very small; we met at night; we moved a lot because we kept losing our rental location; the offices were in our house, so it wasn't a big deal and we didn't anticipate that it would become what it ultimately did.


37:26
... young men aren't going to church. Young men aren't going to college. Young men aren't marrying women. Young men are not raising their children and I have such a deep burden and passion to see men--you know, 1 Corinthians 13--I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I acted like a child. When I became a man I put childish ways behind me--I want, I want to compel young men to grow up, to take responsibility. And sometimes, in doing that, I have communicated that in a way that
demeans women and that's not helpful and that's not right. In the grace of God I need to repent and be better about that  but I still want, I mean no one would say young men are, in the Western world, highly impressive and we're all encouraged. There's a lot of work to be done. [emphasis added]

And so I regret the times that I have not communicated in such a way that, in trying to compel the men up it seemed like I was pushing the women down and that's my fault.
A lot has been said about what has been called Mark Driscoll's Testosterone Gospel.  While a case can be made that what he has become most known for was not necessarily that prominent in his earliest interactions with the press, it's worth noting that once Driscoll found the mission of getting young males he has come back to it so relentlessly it has justifiably been one of the highlights of his public career. We'll try to get to the gap between what progressives have seen in that mission and what conservatives saw in it and compare and contrast that somewhat to what people who were actually there thought was going on.  However, for this post, revisiting the continuity of Driscoll's views on gender and adulthood will suffice.  We'll see that a lot of what lays at the heart of this is what Dan Gouge over at City of God once called the Social Gospel of Mars Hill.

If the video doesn't still work, Wenatchee The Hatchet has quoted Driscoll on this point previously:

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/07/mark-driscoll-if-you-get-young-men-you.htmlv
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lex6orNNzTs&feature=youtu.be
about 3:00 in
...
The question is, you know, if you want to be innovative, how do you get young men? The whole war, all this nonsense how to grow the church and how to do this, one issue, young men. That's it. That's the whole thing. They're gonna get married, make money, make babies, build companies, buy real estate, they're gonna MAKE the culture of the future. If you get the young men you win the war. You get everything. The family, the money, the women, the children, the businesses, everything. You don't get the young men you get nothing. Nothing. Most churches are built to cater to 40-something-year-old women and their children and the guys are nowhere to be found. We built this church going after young, single, non-Christian perverted, educated, technological men. ...

If you attempt to reduce what this gospel of markulinity was only to Driscoll's style you can miss the sociological/reverse-engineering cultural enterprise in it. Let's revisit a long comment from Bent Meyer describing what he saw in the earlier years:

http://thewartburgwatch.com/2012/01/27/mars-hill-and-mark-driscoll-under-scrutiny-while-another-painful-story-emerges/comment-page-1/#comment-35167
Bent Meyer UNITED STATES on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:06 PM said:

I am one of the men fired the day of Mark’s rant about two elders he felt needed broken noses. Someone asked what has happened since that day.

 I am happy to say, the next Sunday my wife and I attended another Church with far better expository teaching and a community that authentically and generously helps the marginalized.
 I also finished my master program and have a private mental health practice serving the Seattle and Eastside area. This was a very good and satisfying result.


 Regarding whether I spoke up or not. I have not been silenced by any direct or implied threats of retaliation. It is clear that the one who possess the air waves controls the content and spin of a story, so there was not much to be done.

 I thought a lot about how I would response and just what my motives would be. I chose not to be lured into a public argument through the Seattle Times asking me for a blow by blow description of the events I have documented. I have a tendency to keep material for years and years.
 I did prepare my narrative, including supporting documents, for members only to read who came to me for explanation. They had to agree never to disclose any of it to the media. These people have been honorable. As best I know, none have. By doing this I opened up myself to their scrutiny and possible rebuke. I have received nothing but kindness and support.


 As to my motives, I want Mark’s best. In my opinion he is a very troubled man. He is caught in his own hell. The consequence, of course, is the influence he has on others, which is mixed.
 He, Lief Moi, and Mike Gunn, together the founders of Mars Hill Church, sent out to focus on those that were young, upwardly mobile and future leaders. They wanted to position themselves to influence their faith decisions and their life choices. This is a lesson for many church leaders to learn from and choose for themselves.


 The downside is Mark’s pathology shows up in ways that are impulsive, aggressive, irascible, shut off from effective relational influence, and most apparent not respectful and submissive to anyone, though he claims otherwise.

 I have hoped and still hope for something short of him destroying himself that would bring about substantial change for this ever increasing population of worshiper. Some have fretted there will be a great loss of Christians with the demise of Mark and/or the Church. I don’t think so. The church that comprises all of us will survive. The chaff will be blown away, but the church will remain.
 I would speak a caution to all of us. There is much to be learn for the Mars Hill phenomena. Don’t dismiss the hunger and openness to be influenced represented in those ages 18 through 30. Invent content that is useful and distribute it freely on the web. Always incorporate creatively some explanation of the gospel at the end of every teaching session with an invitation to do business with Jesus.


 Even though Mark’s portrayal of masculinity is more like a comic book superhero and women needing to be protected and rescued is his focus, young men coming into manhood is richly important. Absent fathers is epidemic. Think about what it is that has caused them not to attach to their families. Mark comes at it from the standpoint of duty and responsibility, which is mechanical, missing other primary questions. Why do so many men not attach to their families? Why do they abandon family so easily? Mark uses shame and intimidation as the means of gaining compliance, which has the appearance of working, but is not transformational in the long run, or creates other issues of abusive relationships related to power and control. In many men, the tendency is understood in the short saying, “Monkey see monkey do.” Don’t over react, young men need to mature.
 I feel like I need to give attention to the needs of women with equal if not more space since women are marginalized and silenced in so many ways. But, I will leave that for another time.
 I hope this will satisfy the primary curiosity of those who wonder what has happened to me. I will say, the other elder fired at the same times is a good friend and is doing well.


We have a few testimonies here that Mark Driscoll had a vision. The vision was to get the young men.  Driscoll said explicitly in the Houston interview his desire was to compel the young men to grow up. We'll get to the problems in that and the uniquely rarified focus on the alpha males only need apply element of it elsewhere.

six available accounts of the Mark Driscoll resignation, presented in chronological order

THE RESIGNATION LETTER ITSELF, ON GODLY MEN AND WOMEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY SOUGHT FOR COUNSEL
http://www.religionnews.com/?p=109053
 October 14, 2014Michael Van Skaik
Chairman, Board of Advisors and Accountability
Mars Hill Church
Dear Michael:
 ...

Last week our Board of Overseers met for an extended period of time with Grace and me, thereby concluding the formal review of charges against me.
...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. [emphasis added] I will gladly work with you in the coming days on any details related to our separation.
The initial resignation letter featured Mark Driscoll explaining that the investigation that was going on did not feature any allegations of criminality or immorality or disqualifying sin.

Mark Driscoll's wildly shifting public and private stances on the orthodoxy of T. D. Jakes with respect to trinitarianism and word-faith teaching would have seemed reason enough to doubt his doctrinal credibility but the point here is to observe how Mark Driscoll described the process of concluding resignation was the thing to do.  The resignation letter itself stated that the Driscolls sought godly counsel from men and women across the country and concluded it would be best for the family and Mars Hill that Mark and Grace Driscoll step aside from further ministry at the church they helped launch in 1996.

Okay, that was October 14, 2014. 


THE BOARD OF OVERSEERS ACCOUNT
On October 15, 2014 ... Mars Hill issued the following statement.

http://web.archive.org/web/20141016105922/https://marshill.com/2014/10/15/pastor-mark-driscolls-resignation
Pastor Mark Driscoll's Resignation
By: Mars Hill Church
Posted: Oct 15, 2014


On Tuesday, October 14, Pastor Mark Driscoll submitted his resignation as an elder and lead pastor of Mars Hill Church. The Board of Overseers has accepted that resignation [emphasis added] and is moving forward with planning for pastoral transition, recognizing the challenge of such a task in a church that has only known one pastor since its founding. We ask for prayer for the journey ahead.

As is well known, inside and outside of Mars Hill, Pastor Mark has been on a leave of absence for nearly two months while a group of elders investigated a series of formal charges brought against him. This investigation had only recently been concluded, following some 1,000 hours of research, interviewing more than 50 people and preparing 200 pages of information. This process was conducted in accordance with our church Bylaws and with Pastor Mark’s support and cooperation.
While a group of seven elders plus one member of the Board of Overseers was charged with conducting this investigation, the full Board of Overseers is charged with reaching any conclusions and issuing any findings.
...

Finally, Mark Driscoll was not asked to resign; indeed, we were surprised to receive his resignation letter. [emphasis added] While he can speak to his decision as he chooses, we would point to just two things from his letter. He noted that he had 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.” Secondly, he specifically wanted to convey “to the wonderful members of the Mars Hill family, how deeply my family and I love them, thank them, and point them to their Senior Pastor, Jesus Christ, who has always been only good to us.”

Mars Hill Board of Overseers
Michael Van Skaik
Larry Osborne
Jon Phelps
Matt Rogers

Matt Rogers was, based on the publicly available information, the member of the Board of Overseers who was simultaneously on the Board of Elders

So the resignation was a surprise to the board.  So whoever counseled Mark and Grace Driscoll as alluded to in the resignation letter of October 14, 2014 those godly men and women were not on the BoAA or the BoO or the BoE, it seems.  In fact, an announcement issued at Mars Hill October 19 seems to indicate that by resigning Mark Driscoll chose to not participate in the restoration plan that was considered necessary for his return to formal ministry at Mars Hill.


THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT DRISCOLL HAD GRIVED THE BoE and BoO BY RESIGNING RATHER THAN SUBMIT TO RESTORATION PLAN
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/10/19/mars-hill-church-board-of-elders-mark-driscoll-resigned-instead-of-enter-restoration-plan-to-deal/
http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2014/10/Alex-Ghioni-Announcement.m4a
starting about 3:45

The investigation of formal charges against Mark Driscoll has revealed patterns of persistent sin in the three areas disclosed in the previous letter by the Board of Overseers. In I Tim 5:20, it requires that an elder be rebuked for persistent sin. Our intention was to do this while providing a plan for his eventual restoration to leadership. The Board of Elders in agreement with the Board of Overseers are grieved, deeply grieved, that any process like that was lost to us when Mark Driscoll resigned in position and left the church. [emphasis added] Now is the time to move on and consider what God is calling us to next as a church as we participate in Jesus’ mission to make disciples in His name. Today begins a new chapter in the history of our church which has proceeded in one direction under one leadership for many years now, but I want you to understand this, God is our Father. That does not change. Jesus is the chief shepherd of the church and that has not changed.

So if it was no one inside of Mars Hill whose counsel prompted Mark and Grace Driscoll to resign in advance of participating in a restoration plan, has anyone got any ideas who DID say something?

According to Robert Morris, `twas he who conferred with Mark Driscoll that it would be wise if he stepped away from ministry.

ROBERT MORRIS EXPLAINS ON 10-20-2014 THAT HE AND MARK DRISCOLL AGREED HE SHOULD STEP DOWN
http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2014/10/Transcript-Robert-Morris-Mark-Driscoll.pdf
Transcript of Robert Morris and Mark Driscoll from the Gateway Leadership + Worship Conference
on the evening of Monday, October 20, 2014, as broadcast live via DayStar Television:
Robert Morris:
 Uh, it was publicized that we cancelled him; that’s not true, we did not cancel. I’m speaking of Mark Driscoll. We did not cancel him. He and I decided together uh that he was going to step out of ministry for a season and get some healing. [emphasis added]

THRIVE 2015 PERFORMANCE, MARK DRISCOLL CLAIMS GOD RELEASED HIM AND GRACE DRISCOLL FROM RESPONSIBILITY TO MINISTRY

Then in 2015, at the Thrive performance, Mark Driscoll introduced a previously unmentioned narrative element, a direct divine edict.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/05/courtesy-throckmorton-thrive-transcript.html
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/05/13/transcript-of-mark-driscolls-speech-at-the-thrive-leadership-conference-2015/
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wYBTnRpPHRb8N1nqtgP2FcHcdnBeMIqCYy2SyQCEWBg/edit
Transcript | Mark Driscoll | Thrive 2015-05-01
See Links to Timestamps at the end of this doc. [these omitted here]

...

[6:34]
It finally came to the point where God released my wife and I from our responsibility to ministry. He spoke to us audibly. It wasn’t what we were expecting. It wasn’t what we had agreed to. We were both pretty shocked and the announcement was going to come out that week. [emphasis added] And, uh, our server, our e-mail and things apparently were hacked and there was no way to get anything done without it being a public situation. And so the Board, which are good, godly people in authority, which I appreciate -- they released a statement earlier than we were anticipating, so um, but that meant, and I agree with that decision, I’m not critical of it.  But that meant that I hadn’t told my kids that I had resigned and they were in school, taking test, it was a test week, …. we threw some stuff in a bag and ran to school to grab the kids and within minutes it was on TV, I think it was on CNN.  [emphasis added]
We pulled the kids out of school, and they already knew because of social media -- media moves so fast.  So we told them they couldn’t go back to the house for a few days so we jumped in the car and went to a hotel and it was just kind of a emotionally wrecked.  We’d served in that city for 20 years.  Founded that church in our living room. And served it for 18 years.  (loud applause) Baptized somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 people. (audible amens from crowd).
[8:13]
So, we’re sitting with the kids explaining to them that dad had resigned and that we were going to continue forward and that God had released us very clearly.  And my middle son -- he is really the pastor’s heart of the family, he’s a shepherd -- his first question, I just lost it, he said “Who’s going to care for the people?” We stayed there for a few days. Drove them into school for their tests. I went home and checked the security footage and yeah, there was a lot of people at our house taking photos.  It was a good thing we weren’t there.  We finally came home.

So in the Thrive account the board released the resignation letter statement sooner than anticipated.  Driscoll emphasized that the trouble the swift release of the October 14, 2014 resignation letter was that Mark and Grace Driscoll had not yet told the Driscoll kids Mark had resigned and the kids were in school. 

BRIAN HOUSTON INTERVIEW SUMMER 2015, MARK DRISCOLL CLAIMS HE HEARD "A TRAP HAS BEEN SET", RESIGNS AFTER SAYING HE AGREED TO RESTORATION PLAN

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/06/29/hillsongs-brian-houston-interviewed-mark-and-grace-driscoll-after-all/
http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2015/06/DriscollHillsong.mp4

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.

39.45
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.

42:10
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. ...


Thursday, July 02, 2015

If Driscoll's saying he's reached out to people, and he reached out to Osteen, has he reached out to Justin Brierley?

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2012/08/spiritual-authority-accountability.html

Let's consider for a moment that if, as Mark Driscoll has lately stated, he reached out to Joel Osteen's team to express some regret for stuff he said in the past, has Driscoll ever even MET Joel Osteen, or vice versa?  One article reported that when Osteen was asked what he thought about Driscoll's public take-down of him from the pulpit that Osteen didn't even have any idea who Mark Driscoll even was or why he would matter.

In case you want a review of how Driscoll once discussed these sorts of things.
https://youtu.be/BpNBhJvWpoQ

Meanwhile, you'd think that if Mark Driscoll had reached out to someone whose character, journalistic integrity and theological position he'd pre-emptively attacked in 2012 that would be more impressive.  Wenatchee The Hatchet is, of course, talking about Justin Brierley.

Again, this is something Wenatchee has covered in the past and it's worth revisiting if Driscoll's told Brian Houston he's been reaching out privately to people he's been less than gracious about/to in the past.  As public take-downs go it would be difficult to top Driscoll's pre-emptive strike on Justin Brierley. 
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2012/08/spiritual-authority-accountability.html

http://pastormark.tv/2012/01/12/a-blog-for-the-brits
January 12, 2012

There is reportedly an article coming out in a British Christian publication that features an interview with me. As is often the case, to stoke the fires of controversy, thereby increasing readership, which generates advertising revenue, a few quotes of mine have been taken completely out of context and sent into the Twittersphere. So, I thought I would put a bit of water on the fire by providing context.

...

 I have a degree in communications from one of the top programs in the United States. So does my wife, Grace. We are used to reporters with agendas and selective editing of long interviews. Running into reporters with agendas and being selectively edited so that you are presented as someone that is perhaps not entirely accurate is the risk one takes when trying to get their message out through the media.

With the release of our book, Real Marriage, we have now done literally dozens of interviews with Christians and non-Christians. But the one that culminated in the forthcoming article was, in my opinion, the most disrespectful, adversarial, and subjective. As a result, we’ve since changed how we receive, process, and moderate media interviews.  

The interview in question had nearly nothing to do with the book or its subject matter, which in my understanding was supposed to be the point of the interview. My wife, Grace, was almost entirely ignored in the interview, and I felt she was overall treated disrespectfully. The only questions asked were about any controversial thing I’ve ever said in the past 15 years with a host of questions that were adversarial and antagonistic. It felt like a personally offended critic had finally gotten his chance to exercise some authority over me.

Things got particularly strange near the end of the interview. I was asked a question about, if a woman was the pastor of a church which that pastor’s husband attended, would that be emasculating to him. The question was asked in such a pointed way that it was odd.

At the end of the interview, I started asking questions of the interviewer. He admitted that his last questions were really about himself and his wife. Apparently his wife is the pastor of their church, he’s strongly committed to women as pastors, disagrees strongly with our complementarian position, and takes it to some degree personally.

This not only became more significant with Elephant Room 2's result and Driscoll's reflections on important lessons from it, it also took on significance when people had a chance to hear the interview Driscoll was blogging about for the Brits.

A short excerpt from the interview included the following:

http://cognitivediscopants.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/driscoll-brierley-on-women-in-leadership/

Driscoll: No, no, you don’t want to sit in my seat, I understand. So does your wife do counseling with men? Sexual counseling? Does she talk about masturbation, pornography, the stuff that I do?

Brierley: Well no, she doesn’t.

Driscoll: Well, who does talk to the men about those things, especially the young men?

Brierley: Well there are other people that she can pass them on to. We have male elders in our church who, you know, would be able to tackle those kinds of questions. I mean, but would you speak with those kinds of issues to a female in your church?

Driscoll: Uh no. If they’re a married couple we might meet with them as a couple. But if it’s a woman, we would have women leaders meet with them.

Brierley: Sure, well it’s the same scenario in our church really.

Driscoll: Well except for who’s in charge.
That attempt at a witty rejoinder turned out to be hypocritical.  Consider a review of Real Marriage in which it was noted gloomily that Mark Driscoll described how his wife Grace was his functional pastor.

http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/book-review-real-marriage

The highlight of what the Driscolls teach on marriage is probably the importance of friendship. This is, indeed, an overlooked topic and experience shows that many of the best marriages are the ones in which the spouses are fast friends. A strange mis-step in this chapter is Mark’s statement that he has asked Grace to be his “functional pastor,” Because he is a pastor and he does not have anyone to pastor him, he has asked Grace to fill that role. [emphasis added] This must speak as much to his church’s leadership structure as to the Driscoll’s marriage; it is an unusual position and not one I would want others to emulate.
As we've noted earlier there's this other problem in Driscoll's taxonomy of relationships.  Headship for the husband was described as follows a while back:
Church Discipline
Pastor Mark Driscoll April 11, 2006

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2869488958920803538
http://www.acts29network.org/sermon/church-discipline-biblical-responses-to-various-sins--errors/

In discussing spiritual leaders given authority, in a discussion on Hebrews 13:17 Driscoll mentions at about the 1:21 mark:

"... I always like to say `It's not really submission until you disagree.' Up until that point two people can agree and there is no such thing as submission, there's agreement. Submission is required when there is disagreement. That's when it is required."
So the wife who serves as the functional pastor could be that up to the point that there's a disagreement and then it's not really submission until she disagrees and then, well, woman submit?  Where's the functional pastor there?  Now aside from the problematic claim that there were no men to pastor Mark Driscoll, wouldn't it seem more consistent with Driscoll's publicly espoused complementarianism for him to have gone out looking for older and more spiritual men to submit to than to choose as his "functional pastor" his wife?  After all, in Driscoll's publicly formulated views on ministry and authority, the wife's the one toward whom the headship card can be played.  It's not submission for a wife until there's a disagreement. 

The other reason the Grace as Mark's functional pastor seems ridiculous is not just because his theology of marriage would render her eternally subordinate in spiritual hierarchy if his complementarianism is what he seems to have espoused, it's that he'd publicly testified to various guys being his pastor, including ...


http://theresurgence.com/2008/04/07/question-and-answer-with-mark-driscoll-video
http://www.theresurgence.com/mark_driscoll_2008-02-27_video_tnc_qa
http://www.acts29network.org/sermon/qa-with-mark-driscoll/

Some of my dearest friends today are not at Mars Hill. They're also pastors at other churches.  Darrin Patrick is here. He's the vice-president of Acts 29. I love him. He's a brother. He's the guy I call. ... He's a pastor to me, you know? [emphasis added]

Who? Oh, right ...

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/08/08/acts-29-network-removes-co-founder-mark-driscoll-and-mars-hill-church-from-membership/

...

Mark,
As the Board of Acts 29, we are grateful to God for the leadership, courage, and generosity of both you and Mars Hill in not only founding the network but also sustaining it through the transition to this board three years ago. The very act of giving away your authority over the network was one of humility and grace, and for that we are grateful.

Over the past three years, our board and network have been the recipients of countless shots and dozens of fires directly linked to you and what we consider ungodly and disqualifying behavior. We have both publicly and internally tried to support and give you the benefit of the doubt, even when multiple pastors in our network confirmed this behavior. In response, we leaned on the Mars Hill Board of Advisors & Accountability to take the lead in dealing with this matter. But we no longer believe the BoAA is able to execute the plan of reconciliation originally laid out. Ample time has been given for repentance, change, and restitution, with none forthcoming.

We now have to take another course of action. Based on the totality of the circumstances, we are now asking you to please step down from ministry for an extended time and seek help. Consequently, we also feel that we have no alternative but to remove you and Mars Hill from membership in Acts 29. Because you are the founder of Acts 29 and a member, we are naturally associated with you and feel that this association discredits the network and is a major distraction. ...

Matt Chandler
Darrin Patrick
Steve Timmis
Eric Mason
John Bryson
Bruce Wesley
Leonce Crump

So if one of the guys who Mark Driscoll described as "my pastor" signed off on the ejection of Mars Hill from Acts 29 out of concern for unrepentant sin that couldn't even have happened if Mark Driscoll didn't have Patrick around as a pastor to be in relationship with, could it?  And yet according to the 2012 book, Mark Driscoll asked Grace to be is functional pastor because he didn't have anyone to be a pastor to him.  "If" that's the case then what this suggests is that the various men whose names Mark Driscoll dropped in the last 18 years were more for the sake of name-dropping prestigious people than for the sake of actual accountability.

And if Grace is Mark Driscoll's functional pastor now he might as well be an egalitarian. 

And in that sense he REALLY owes Justin Brierley a public apology if Grace is his functional pastor.  It's not as though the way Mark Driscoll laid into Joel Osteen's theology was as harsh as what he had to say about Justin Brierley before the interview he conducted with the Driscolls was published, was it?  Of course reader opinion may vary.