Mark Driscoll, the hip cool pastor who once referred to America as a "pussified nation," has been asked to step down from his ministry and Acts 29, a network he co-founded. Driscoll and his church have been removed from the network's membership and board members are asking Driscoll to step down and "seek help."
Here's the letter that the board sent Driscoll, which was first posted by Warren Throckmortin on Patheos:
As the Board of Acts 29, we are grateful to God for the leadership, courage, and generosity of both you and Mars Hill in not only founding the network but also sustaining it through the transition to this board three years ago. The very act of giving away your authority over the network was one of humility and grace, and for that we are grateful.
Over the past three years, our board and network have been the recipients of countless shots and dozens of fires directly linked to you and what we consider ungodly and disqualifying behavior. We have both publicly and internally tried to support and give you the benefit of the doubt, even when multiple pastors in our network confirmed this behavior.
In response, we leaned on the Mars Hill Board of Advisors & Accountability to take the lead in dealing with this matter. But we no longer believe the BoAA is able to execute the plan of reconciliation originally laid out. Ample time has been given for repentance, change, and restitution, with none forthcoming. We now have to take another course of action.
Based on the totality of the circumstances, we are now asking you to please step down from ministry for an extended time and seek help. Consequently, we also feel that we have no alternative but to remove you and Mars Hill from membership in Acts 29. Because you are the founder of Acts 29 and a member, we are naturally associated with you and feel that this association discredits the network and is a major distraction.
We tell you this out of love for you, Mars Hill, Acts 29, and most significantly, the cause of Christ, and we would be irresponsible and deeply unloving not to do so in a clear and unequivocal manner. Again, we want you to know that we are eternally thankful for what you as a man and Mars Hill as a church have meant to our network. However, that cannot dissuade us from action. Instead, it gives added significance and importance to our decision. We hope and pray that you see this decision as the action of men who love you deeply and want you to walk in the light—for your good, the good of your family, and the honor of your Savior.
Shortly after sending this, we will be informing the members of Acts 29, your Board of Advisors and Accountability, and your elders, as well as putting out a public statement on the Acts 29 website. It brings us no joy to move forward in this direction, and we trust that the Lord will be at work in all of this.
In sorrow and with hope,
The Board of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network
Driscoll's removal comes after a series of controversies about his behavior and alleged abuse by former members and pastors of Mars Hill Church. Most recently two board member of Mars Hill have stepped down due to the controversy surrounding Driscoll. Last week evangelicals held a protest against Driscoll, asking him to step down not only due to his incredibly sexist views on women and hypermasculine stance on gender roles, but because he had taken to the internet with a pseudonym to deliver a rant that included the line ""hell looks like a good place because at least a man is in charge, has a bit of order and let's men spit and scratch as needed." Don't forget that in hell, which is run by a neat and orderly man, some people also have to stand upside down in shit for eternity. Which would probably be fine for Driscoll, because considering his views, he's standing neck-deep in shit all the time already.
But Driscoll's blatant douchebaggery has been going on a long time. Even before he talked about the pussification of our great nation (which is actually quite a nice rhyme. It's got a real cadence to it), Driscoll was referring to women as "weaker vessels," claiming marriage was similar to water torture and telling women who were unhappy with traditional gender roles that Jesus would punish them for their protests. Oh, and he apparently ran a really shady marketing campaign for his book about "real marriage." Sounds like this reversal of fortune couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. (Surprising he didn't see this coming, though, considering he can also predict ruin and destruction.)
Image via AP