In a blog post yesterday, Gold Creek Community Church pastor Dan Kellogg said he did his homework before asking Mark Driscoll to speak at his church on Sunday. According to that blog entry, Kellogg said he spoke with Driscoll’s “accountability board.” The unnamed member or members of that board said: “There is nothing Mark has done that disqualifies him from ministry”.
That was enough for Kellogg, but was it enough homework? Kellogg reminds me of the student who attacks a complex subject by looking it up on Wikipedia.
Kellogg’s reference to Mars Hill Church Board of Advisors and Accountability brings to mind the unfinished business of Mars Hill. If Kellogg wanted to do some homework, he should have read what one former BoAA member, Paul Tripp told then current elders of Mars Hill Church: “This is without a doubt, the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.”
Kellogg could have read the letter from the 21 elders who brought charges and the letter from nine additional elders who wanted Driscoll to enter a restoration process. Then he could have heard from the elders who actually investigated the charges (the BoAA did not do the investigation but delegated it) who said Driscoll resigned instead of entering an elder directed restoration process.
Then he could have read the report from the elders who investigated the charges. Oh wait. No, he can’t because the members of that group never released the report. Although they publicly disagreed with the BoAA’s description of their investigation, they never released a report of their findings. However, those elders did agree about this:
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.
Some of the investigation team are still around Seattle pastoring at various Mars Hill legacy churches. You can find a list of them here.
After reviewing the available primary sources, Kellogg could have looked at an analysis of the four narratives of Mark Driscoll’s resignation/release from ministry examined by Wenatchee the Hatchet. Perhaps he could have called up Paul Petry or read what Steve Tompkins wrote after he left Mars Hill. Kellogg could have checked out the Repentant Pastor website where former Mars Hill pastors recount their experiences and remorse. He could have read an exit interview from a former staffer which likened Mars Hill to a place where Driscoll wielded total control.
Instead he used just one source.
There is little doubt that evangelicals in Seattle have been divided over Mars Hill’s demise and legacy. I suspect the situation is worse now than before Sunday.