Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Throckmorton: Garrison guest piece shows the mailbox that is Mark Driscoll's lately founded corporation that includes the word "church"


The box in the UPS store is small, but there is, some may hope, room for aggressive expansion. 

Certainly if churches move forward with this mailbox variety of multi-site operating expenses will probably stay lean.  Let's not forgot the membership covenant Mars Hill members were expected to comply with the month Mark Driscoll quit being pastor at Mars Hill Church.

  • I will not function in leadership or as a member in another church family (Heb. 13:17).
  • I covenant to submit to discipline by God through his Holy Spirit, to follow biblical procedures for church discipline in my relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ, to submit to righteous discipline when approached biblically by brothers and sisters in Christ, and to submit to discipline by church leadership if the need should ever arise (Ps. 141:5; Matt. 18:15–17; 1 Cor. 5:1–5; 2 Cor. 2:5–8; Gal. 6:1–5, 8; 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 2:25; Titus 1:9; 3:10–11; Heb. 12:5–11; Rev. 2:5–7, 14–25).

  • Earlier in the covenant document there's an explanation that while parties make covenant with each other the covenant is primarily a promise made by an individual to God. Based on the Driscoll stories from 2015 it would appear that if you say God told you it was okay to quit being a member even while having agreed to submit to a restoration plan that it's all good.  And you can not only dothat you can go on and start a new ministry or two along the way, hit the conference circuit, and share stories about how God told you it was okay to quit that you didn't share with the congregation in any confirmed documentation available from the year of resignation. 

    Assuming that Mark Driscoll actually did sign one of those membership covenants it would appear there's a top dog proviso that let him quit regardless of having agreed to submit to a restorative/disciplinary plan proposed by the board of Mars Hill.

    For those who might still say after all this time, "hasn't he been through enough?"  Well, if you go through struggles because wrongdoing has happened then that's just because wrongdoing got discovered, or some apostle who wrote some epistle wrote that.  But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it?  But since some are red-letter readers of the Bible ...

    Matthew 23:1-4 (NIV)
    Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:  “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.  They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

    What has Mark Driscoll continued to claim to do if not to be a teacher and preacher of the scriptures?  He spent years admonishing members to submit to spiritual authority and then, in 2014 when presented with an opportunity to lead by example, declined to do so and went so far as to invoke in 2015 stories of how he was given special permission by God to not follow the rules of conduct he had laid down as instruction for others for a decade and a half-ish previously.

    If Driscoll were content to live a life of obscurity working with his hands to provide for his family and submitted to the kind of spiritual care and direction he told others to live by things would be different.  If Driscoll had shown himself willing to live by example what he taught others and had stayed at Mars Hill he'd have a way to keep teaching and not look like a Pharisee.  But he didn't do that.  He quit.  He not only quit, he later shared tales of how God said he could out on the conference circuit and on taped interview time.  That looks at least a little bit like a guy who ties up heavy cumbersome loads and puts them on the shoulders of other people without so much as lifting one finger himself to handle such a burden himself.  Having spent so many years warning people against the teaching and examples of Pharisees, a case could be made that Driscoll is becoming a champion Pharisee of the kind he used to warn about.

    That mailbox is presumably not the end game Driscoll and company have in mind, but it may be that there's more to this church than a couple of officers, articles of incorporation and a mailbox.  But for now, in terms of what can be documented, that's all we see of Mark Driscoll's new "church".


    Anonymous said...

    Remember, a church isn't a building, it is a people.

    Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

    people need a home and while people may need a promised land a mailbox in a UPS in a mall in Arizona may have to suffice for now.