On Friday, I asked a dozen former Mars Hill pastors and Mars Hill Church for comment on the current investigation of formal charges against Mark Driscoll. Sunday marked the end of Driscoll’s sixth week of absence from the pulpit. I found that investigation of the formal charges is underway but that the allegations offered by nine pastors (then current, now former) in a separate letter have not been reviewed.
One of those former pastors, Dave Kraft, was unable to comment on Friday but today provided a statement that sums up his view of the situation thus far.
I have been interviewed by Pastors Miles Rhode and Matt Rogers. It was cordial and not adversarial in any way. I strongly encouraged them to interview Paul Tripp and Matt Chandler to find out what these two men know and understand what led them to their position that MD has not truly repented and has disqualified himself for leadership.
I believe it will be hard for the “Investigative Group” to not fall into the trap of “evidentiary bias” and they honestly may not be open to “handle the truth” (Jack Nicholson’s line “A Few Good Men.”) The “Investigative Group” (in my opinion) may not really be non-partisan and neutral which an investigative team needs to be for the daunting task before them.
I think the best thing that Mark Driscoll can do for his own health, the health of MHC and for the honor of Jesus’ church is to voluntarily step down for a minimum of six months and let the full council of Elders decide if and when he returns. During the six months, he should:
1. Get some serious counseling from Paul Tripp or Garrett Higbee
2. Arrange multiplied dozens of reconciliation meetings with people who believe Mark hurt and harmed them
3. Set in motion a revision of current MHC bylaws
4. Spend time with his family and with the Lord Jesus in deep and genuine soul searching
5. Form a small accountability group with men who are not afraid to confront and challenge him: older, seasoned and courageous leaders…not “yes” men with a vested interest in being nice to him.
As I noted on Friday, some of the protected witnesses have dropped out of the process because they lack trust in the integrity of the process. Clearly, Kraft decided to enter the process although he has some concerns. I think the suggestion to interview Tripp and Chandler has merit.
As these interviews wrap up, the next step is the production of a report to be sent to the Board of Advisors and Accountability. The BOAA could exonerate Driscoll, rebuke him, exonerate on some charges and rebuke on others, or find him disqualified for the office of elder which would lead to his removal as pastor at Mars Hill Church.