peruse the link at your leisure.
One of the conundrums of contemporary life is that while some commenters predictably say this is a great opportunity for people to spew forth bile and hate the dilemma is hard to avoid when you have church cultures and parachurch networks that are so steeped in social media any high profile change in the leadership makes it impossible to hide what has happened.
As I wrote years ago in the posts themed "Mars Hill and the idol of social media" the power of social media saturation for a brand comes with the inevitable sacrifice of the thing celebrity Christians most want to retain in a scandal that they gave up more than they knew until the controversy erupted, privacy.
Darrin Patrick, vice president of the Acts 29 church planting network and founding pastor of The Journey megachurch in St. Louis, has been fired for violating his duties as a pastor.
The Journey cited a range of ongoing sinful behaviors over the past few years including manipulation, domineering, lack of biblical community, and “a history of building his identity through ministry and media platforms.”
In a letter announcing its lead pastor’s removal after 14 years of leadership, the church clarified that adultery was not a factor, though elders looked into inappropriate interactions with two women.
“In short, I am a completely devastated man, utterly broken by my sin and in need of deep healing,” said Patrick in an apology to his 3,000-person congregation. “The way that the Journey elders have demonstrated their desire to see me restored to Jesus, as well as their love for me, Amie, and our family is nothing short of miraculous and beyond gracious.”
Patrick, the author of The Dude’s Guide to Manhood and Church Planter, will no longer hold any internal or external leadership positions. He has accepted financial support from the church for an undisclosed period of time, and he and his wife will undergo counseling. The 45-year-old pastor also served as a council member for The Gospel Coalition, St. Louis Cardinals chaplain, and Acts 29 podcast host. Patrick’s bio has been removed from the Acts 29 site.
There are those over at Throckmorton's blog who have expressed support for Patrick. Empathy and sympathy for someone who has stumbled can be extended without going so far as to say someone is a great man, as one commenter has explicitly said. Being the sort who is somewhat sympathetic to some ideas by Burke and Acton ...
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.
A decade ago within the culture of Mars Hill the idea that the office sanctifies the holder of it was formulated as "salute the uniform". It was a way Driscoll said you could/should respect parents even if you considered them personally contemptible. Since this was a bit of advice shared within the confines of Midrash 2.0 rather than from the pulpit it might not be available to people who weren't insiders.
If great men are still almost always bad men then it is better to not be thought of as great, let alone called great.