Saturday, February 06, 2016

revisiting claims there was an "internal struggle" at the late Mars Hill, Driscoll mentioned it in the Brian Houston interview that post-dated Sutton Turner's blog post about how the BoAA split on whether to scapegoat him over Result Source

Since some people who weren't involved in the situation at Mars Hill have mentioned there was some kind of "internal" thing, let's revisit some stuff Mark Driscoll and Sutton Turner had to say about internal struggle.

But first ... let's look again at the Thrive presentation:
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-thrive-speech-in-contextwe-had.html

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wYBTnRpPHRb8N1nqtgP2FcHcdnBeMIqCYy2SyQCEWBg/edit
From Mark Driscoll's 2015 Thrive presentation

...
And I don’t want to take this opportunity to talk a lot about me, I want to take an opportunity to serve you. We had an eight year conflict that really went public the last year, but it’s been eight years, and some of you struck shepherds know what that’s like.  By the time everybody else knows, you’ve already been dealing with it for a long time.

Joyful Exiles, a site dedicated to discussing the firings and trials of Paul Petry and Bent Meyer, went public March 2012.  For Driscoll to have presented that conflict as if it had been ongoing or unresolved and only becoming a public matter in 2014 is a fundamentally inaccurate depiction of the situation even if we were to only look at stuff on the internet from things documented as having been written by Mark Driscoll himself.  Driscoll's 2007 account was available since 2012.

But there's no evidence that after the firing of Meyer and Petry that Driscoll considered the matter ongoing.  "There's a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus", for those who heard that audio clip, did not sound like the chuckling of a man who considered the issue to be anything other than resolved in the fall of 2007.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/07/driscoll-to-houston-there-was-internal.html


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
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."
Notice that the three things don't have to be the same.  That set of charges made by former and then-current leaders in 2014 didn't have to be the same as the internal governance struggle OR the threats of legal action.  These were distinct.  They also weren't complicated for anyone who was in Seattle and able to read about them.

There's been no clear evidence the BoAA ever took Dave Kraft's formal charges very seriously.
The threat of legal action was a headline unto itself.  Those two topics are boring.

The interesting topic is the reference to an internal governance struggle.  Why?  Because it seems that Mark Driscoll didn't mention that in 2015 discussions of the last year of Mars Hill until someone else had already publicly mentioned there was an internal governance struggle.

Who mentioned an internal governance struggle?  Former executive elder, Sutton Turner.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/07/driscoll-to-houston-there-was-internal.html
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.
***
It seems as though Mark Driscoll's account of the last year or two at Mars Hill didn't mention internal governance struggles in narratives before Turner's mention of the same.  Unless people have access to fixed statements made by Mark Driscoll between January 2015 and the date of the Brian Houston interview to share ... .

So by Sutton Turner's account the split in the governing board at Mars Hill was over the topic of whether or not to scapegoat him over Result Source and problems to do with Mars Hill Global.  Say ... Larry Osborne was on the Mars Hill BoAA around that time that RSI was a controversy.  Would Osborne be willing to address this topic for the record?  If Osborne was one of the men who would not allow Turner to be scape-goated it might be a great thing to speak up on the matter. 

So if people have heard that there was some kind of internal thing going on which internal thing is being indicated could be important.  It can't be an investigation into Mark Driscoll's fitness for ministry, can it?

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.
Unless, of course, the BoAA members (including Osborne) were disappointed Mark Driscoll decided to quit rather than comply.

In Driscoll's interview with Brian Houston he even stated that he agreed to comply:
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
...
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. [emphasis added]

... 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 [emphasis added] 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. 

Except, of course, that's not what happened.  Days after agreeing to the restoration plan, Mark Driscoll quit.

So whatever the internal conflict within the governance of Mars Hill was, it seems that it couldn't have been about investigations into Mark Driscoll.  By Mark Driscoll's own account the Board thought he could be restored to ministry if he took a break and some things were cleaned up in house.  It was Driscoll's account that he got a date, which seems to have been January 4, 2015 by which time he could have been back preaching at Mars Hill.  Driscoll's account to Brian Houston was that the investigation was HIS idea.  So Mark Driscoll's own testimony makes it impossible to accept without external confirmation that any internal conflict in the governance of Mars Hill at the upper levels necessarily involved him.

However, since Sutton Turner indicated there was a split in the Board over whether to scapegoat him over Result Source and Mars Hill Global THAT could fit the "internal" stuff Driscoll only started mentioning in tales of his last days at Mars Hill on the road or for cameras in 2015.

So if some Jimmy wants to say there were internal things going on and Driscoll felt a need to resign those internal things were apparently not about whether or not the Board felt Driscoll was permanently disqualified from ministry. This isn't simply some matter of speculation, it's a best inference from direct statements made by Mark Driscoll himself.  Now, sure, that there are at least six narratives of how and why Mark Driscoll resigned might lead people to wonder how reliable Driscoll's accounts are but that's a separate matter for the purpose of discussion here.


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