Mark Driscoll was an influential but edgy pastor within conservative evangelical circles for several years. Photo courtesy of Mars Hill Church

Mark Driscoll to step down while Mars Hill reviews charges

Driscoll has been an influential but edgy pastor within conservative evangelical circles for several years. Photo courtesy of Mars Hill Church

Driscoll has been an influential but edgy pastor within conservative evangelical circles for several years. Photo of his announcement courtesy of Mars Hill Church

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

(RNS) Controversial Seattle megachurch founder Mark Driscoll will step down for at least six weeks while church leaders review formal charges lodged by a group of pastors that he abused his power.

The 43-year-old pastor has been under fire in recent months for plagiarism, inappropriate use of church funds and improper behavior toward subordinates.

Returning from vacation Sunday (Aug. 24), Driscoll addressed Mars Hill worship services through a pre-recorded message.

“I want to say to my Mars Hill family, past and present, I’m very sorry. I genuinely mean it,” Driscoll said in his address. “I’m very sorry for the times I’ve been angry, short or insensitive. I’m very sorry for anything I’ve done to distract from our mission by inviting criticism, controversy or negative media attention.”

Driscoll said he will not do any outside speaking for the foreseeable future and postpone the publication of his next book.

“I have begun meeting with a professional team of mature Christians who provide wise counsel to help further my personal development and maturity before God and men,” Driscoll told the congregation.

Mark DeMoss, an Atlanta public relations consultant and former adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, has been brought in to work with the congregation.

DeMoss, who represented the late Jerry Falwell Sr. and now Franklin Graham, said he attended the services in Seattle today on his own expense as Driscoll's friend.

"I think he’s a gifted, biblical communicator who has done effective church work in an unchurched part of the country," DeMoss said. "I like him, I believe in him, and if I only worked with ministry leaders who were faultless, I would be out of business tonight."

Warren Throckmorton, a Grove City College psychology professor who has been blogging details of the events surrounding the church's turmoil, first posted an audio clip of Driscoll's 13-minute message. Throckmorton said he is aware of other elders planning to resign or considering it.

“Storm clouds seem to be swirling around me more than ever in recent month, and I have given much thought and sought much counsel as to why that is and what to do about it,” Driscoll said. “Some have challenged various aspects of my personality and leadership style, and while some of these challenges seem unfair, I have no problem admitting I am deserving of some of these criticisms based my own past actions that I am genuinely sorry for.”

Respected preacher and author John Piper, who received some backlash for inviting Driscoll to his 2006 Desiring God conference, tweeted his reaction to this news.

Though he has long been controversial but popular for his unapologetic chauvinism, Driscoll faced increasing turmoil this past year within evangelical circles. A front-page story in The New York Times Saturday (Aug. 23),  suggested that Driscoll’s empire was "imploding."

“He was really important -- in the Internet age, Mark Driscoll definitely built up the evangelical movement enormously,” Timothy Keller, the senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, told the Times. “But the brashness and the arrogance and the rudeness in personal relationships — which he himself has confessed repeatedly -- was obvious to many from the earliest days, and he has definitely now disillusioned quite a lot of people.”

Mark Driscoll was embraced by his family after Sunday's announcement. Photo courtesy of Mars Hill Church

Mark Driscoll was embraced by his family after Sunday's announcement. Photo courtesy of Mars Hill Church

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Mars Hill Church has claimed as many as 14,000 members at 15 locations across five states each Sunday.

Earlier this week, 21 former Mars Hill pastors filed charges against Driscoll, saying that he has engaged in a pattern of abusive and intimidating conduct and has not changed.

“God is not honored by conflict, strife, disunity, arguing, slander, gossip, or anything else that is inconsistent with the fruit of the spirit, and I am deeply sorry, genuinely sorry, for the times I have not lived peaceably with all men,” Driscoll said.

Mars Hill also canceled its fall Resurgence Conference, which was to feature recently resigned board members Paul Tripp and James MacDonald as speakers. Driscoll was removed as closing speaker at an October church conference in Dallas and stricken from the speaker list at a series of four Christian “Act Like Men” conferences.

DeMoss, who also helped MacDonald during a theological controversy a few years ago, declined to comment on the criticism Driscoll has faced from other fellow evangelical pastors.

Earlier this month, Driscoll was removed from Acts 29, a church-planting network of more than 500 churches he helped found, after board members said they found a pattern of “ungodly and disqualifying behavior.”

"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," board members told Driscoll.

Driscoll recently admitted to and apologized for comments he made under the pseudonym “William Wallace II” where he posted statements critical of feminism, homosexuality and “sensitive emasculated” men. He noted those comments again in his address on Sunday.

"I have acknowledged and confessed many of my sins and shortcomings and missteps and God has been more than faithful with his forgiveness," he said.

He has been provocative, occasionally profane, and has faced more recent allegations of plagiarism and inflating his book sales. "Mistakes were made that I am grieved by and apologize for,” he said late last year of plagiarism charges. He also apologized in March, saying “my angry-young-prophet days are over.”

After Acts 29 removed Driscoll from its membership, LifeWay Christian Resources, the nation’s second largest Christian book retailer, pulled Driscoll’s books from its website and 186 stores.

Driscoll, who came into evangelical prominence as multi-site churches and podcasts were becoming more popular, noted one of the paradoxes of being a pastor in a media age.

“The same media channels that can be used to carry a sermon to virtually anyone around the world, can be used by anyone around the globe to criticize, attack or slander,” Driscoll said. “However, another part of it is simply my fault and I will own it, confess it and move on from it as God continues to redeem me.”

DeMoss echoed Driscoll's comments.

"I think this is a challenging day for all pastors, in large part because of this media age we live in," DeMoss said. "It’s very easy to mobilize opposition, and anybody can have a public forum to criticize or expose or say whatever they want to say. That wasn’t true even 10 years ago."



  1. I cannot say I am surprised. He has had a huge following among young evangelicals. But many of these young people recognize his faults and have been becoming more and more careful in their support. I pray that he repents of his actions and works toward godly reconciliation with each person he has personally hurt or maligned. God give him grace.

  2. Why would you want to keep reporting on things that we know about, sins that have been committed and are in the process of being worked out. Do you not trust the people around him to bring help and the holy spirit to bring hope? Don’t we want restoration in people?
    I think it’s time to start reporting on stuff you’ve actually researched yourself, not just copied and pasted from other sources.
    Give the guy a break and start spreading good news, or at least news of original content.

  3. His message wasn’t “pre recorded” it was live and he read from a statement he wrote.

  4. Wonderful news.
    Mark Driscoll is super-scary and has tremendous influence, particularly with people looking for easy answers. He literally frightens me with his words and actions. I’m glad that he is taking a break, and I hope and pray that it is permanent.

  5. I am saddened to hear this. He was one of the rare pastor who sticks to the truth and challenge people in amidst the common culture today who bends the gospel to suit their needs and seek acceptance from public. I pray that he and his family find peace and courage. God Bless You Pastor Mark.

  6. Driscoll in no way gives easy answers. He is very in depth and detailed. I am glad to see him taking a break. God determines if someone is done with ministry or not. We should be praying that he can change through this.

  7. I pray that he and other preachers that got caught up in pride/ego Repent
    and return to the God of the Bible. Bible says Repent or perish! We all need
    to/must Repent! So many people today only want to talk about abortion or
    gay marriage and forget that the whole Bible/Truth needs to be preached!
    Being mean/sharp tongues,gossip,getting drunk,coveting/jealousy,gambling,
    sexual immorality/fornicaters are sins that are out of control/need confronted!
    Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get drunk and also 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that
    all drunkards go to hell yet people get drunk like it’s no big deal because
    it never gets confronted. The wine that Jesus made was new wine/diluted
    and the Bible says don’t get drunk on strong wine so people who get drunk
    with/on wine are also wrong! Bible says man shall perish from their lack of
    knowledge and we see it everywhere with people not living according to
    the Bible because these “preachers” don’t preach the whole Truth. Bible
    says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved! We all must Repent!

  8. He may have some serious problems and he may in fact not be qualified to be an elder, but it is far from a cult.

  9. Your statement is misinformed and your attitude is in no way a reflection of Christian thought or an understanding of the Gospel. You, Mark, and I need Grace. Thankfully it’s there for all 3 of us, and thankfully none of us makes the decision of who receives it.

  10. It is not difficult to tell that Mark needs a period on psychological/spiritual help.
    I would think at a place where he can spend at least four to six weeks and then follow up care. The pressure on him as he lead Mars Hill into a Mega church had to be emotional and physically threatening. Maybe he doesn’t need to return to the Mars Hill pastorate.

  11. Because of her apparent glee at the public fall of a Christian man and the heartbreak of thousands of Christian brothers and sisters. Her attitude is decidedly unchristian.

  12. God has already determined in His Word who should or should not be a leader in His church. There is a mountain of evidence that shows Driscoll is not fit to be an elder. It’s not a grey area.

  13. You just called someone an idiot and then also say Praise The Lord?

  14. He’s a man, human, fallible…but…
    James 3:1 (ESV) Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment.

  15. Driscoll was acting like this long before he had a mega church. Your making him sound like a victim here when he is the victimizer.

  16. Look up the definition of “cult.” Mars Hill is not one and proved it by forcing Mr. Driscoll to step down.

  17. May Christ and His Church restore Mark. “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (Gal 6:1) Let’s live by the Spirit and not the flesh. My heart hurts for those who are publicly abusive with their words.

  18. Easy answers? You have never listened to him.

  19. It’s not your place to pray for him to be permanently removed from Mars Hill, he has helped many people through his ministry and it has so many more people and leaders than him who have helped people through the Holy Spirit. I feel asking God for such a thing is selfish, foolish and not your place. We are not to devour our own people, we are to pray for, love and ask God to change their hearts in order to see new fruit.

  20. This is not news. Mark has been scheming and unrepentant as far back as 2005. As for his hurt followers, well, if only they were following Jesus…and like the breaks, trying hard to match what he said (which was true most of the time) and his life. “Watch your life and doctrine” so said Paul to Timothy .

  21. This is Not Mars hill forcing mark to step down. If mars hill had the guts, they would have done so as far back as 2007. It is the EXTERNAL pressure that has done it. Cut links for conference speaking, no book deals (read, the dollar factor) have finally forced his hand. The bottom line is despite his gifts, mark is not biblically qualified to be an under shepherd

  22. Last I read, that John piper Twitter isn’t ran by him

  23. this is clearly a PR move while they consider how best to dismiss the charges without looking like idiots. If it wasn’t, they would have said “indefinitely” not “at least six weeks.”

  24. Great point. This is only due to outside pressure. If the elders and board had a spine they would have done something long ago.

  25. No, Bo Yette,
    Karla just started a random topic to distract from the issue at hand. No one in any reasonable Evangelical circle has questioned the immorality of drunkenness, let alone Driscoll.

  26. Well,as long as he “Genuinely Means it”,he’ll be forgiven by the same sheep that hand over their money so he can live that lifestyle to begin with.One question: If he hadn’t been caught,would he still be living this double life?.Praise God on your own.We don’t need human hypocrites as middle men

  27. As one that falls into the youth evangelical crowd (specifically the growing youth Calvinist movement), he is one of the most popular pastors. We really enjoyed his straightforward and instructional sermons, whereas others are still using the “three points” and storytelling methods of preaching. Pastor Mark has tremendous ability, but we all recognize it is well past time he steps down.

  28. Wow Ronald – since when did “bends the gospel to suit their needs and seek acceptance from public” become ok?

  29. Yep. It was live at the Bellevue campus, which serves as the hub. Obviously, he can’t be at all 15 campuses across four states at the same time, so it was pre-recorded for the other locations.

  30. and if your parents had a spine, they wouldve aborted you cause they’ll know you’ll be a sinner too… thats essentially what you are saying… your kind of christians are disgusting. pridefully, self righteous and hypocritical. why do we as christians tend to have those traits?! we really need to stop and refocus ourselves on God. something mark actually have preached about. look it up and stop being a sheep who throws stones at sinner like a pharisee. i pray that God would change you(us) and show grace…

  31. The grunge of the world takes its toll on all of us and I don’t believe he is any different than most of us. Sometimes an avenue is opened without the necessary support underneath it to continue the journey. Once it collapses in any way the hopefuls among us that wish, or strive to become the replacement for the fallen comrade will surface and lend to that grunge instead of rushing to their side that they might rise to fight again. Albeit a kink in the armor of my Brother in Christ Mark I would willfully offer him a new one and not worry about the unsavory taste of this important setback. Nobody knows the immeasurable good that has come from his efforts to bring people to Christ and I’m willing to put my brother Mark up against anyone that even thinks their without blemish. I say “Let the first stone be throw by the Sinless amongst you”. His Direct Lessons and hard honesty may have seriously wounded Satan himself which led to an all out war against him. After all none of us are ever prepared 100 percent of the time to be constantly aware, prepared or strong enough mentally, spiritually or physically for a frontal attack by the Beelzebub himself. I say work through it and be grateful the Lord has strengthen Mark to stay on. In His Name Chaplain Bliss

  32. Mega churches are merely monuments to ego, imho. How do you have meaningful community in a mega church? So much money spent on infrastructure that could be doing God’s work in the real world.

  33. oh look, a jaded christian. pray that God would change your cynicism in life and actually care for others instead.

  34. Oh, kd, those are very strong words your begin your post with 🙁 I fear that Mark Driscoll has encouraged this kind of speech – correction of others that is not self-aware of its own “stone-throwing”.

  35. off topic but i guess you had to let it out of your chest… why do we christians tend to be so elitist, that churches should be smaller and that spending money on thing that would attract other people are a waste? i think you have the answer based on your comment. i hope you share your insight cause much of us have the same sin tendency, thanx… its just a thought of mine, and i dont go to a mega church, cause you know, they lack meaningful community as you say, but i think mega churches grow because God allows them to accommodate large number of people so more would hear the Gospel rather than NOT hear at all, but thats just me ;p

  36. I care much more for the thousands of people affected by this and the reputation of Christ and His Church than I do the pompous bully.

  37. It is quite easy for a prideful person to judge and claim “he has fallen from grace,” as one media outlet touted in the headlines. But I would hope we could extend the same grace that our Heavenly Father has given us, for He died for us while we were yet caught up in our sins. For we cannot fall from grace as we continue to trust in Christ’s redemption, and this grow in love and obedience towards him. I have no doubt that God can and is using this trying time for Driscoll, his family, local church, and global church to lead our hearts back to the message of the cross, to a place of greater trust in him, of renewed hope, and greater unity among true believers. The question for each person is always a personal one in every trial and temptation: would we be willing to accept our own spiritual poverty without the bold brushstroke of Christ’s redeeming love and grace over our lives?

  38. You call these places ‘campuses?’ That is very sad.

  39. Danny- I don’t know what you are talking about because I meet
    person after person that claim to be Christian then drinks/gets drunk
    so it needs to be preached! If preachers were preachin the whole
    Truth we wouldn’t have pews filled with drunkards/people who
    get drunk and that is why it needs preached! If you read what I wrote
    I said I hope this preacher/other preachers Repent/preach the
    whole Bible/Truth! There are many people in church that drink
    wine/get drunk/drink alcohol in general and there are many,many
    I have witnessed to and I never said Mark Driscoll was drinking
    and wasn’t trying to distract from the topic. The point that I was
    trying to make was that if these preachers would preach the whole
    Truth and not just focus on one or two sins Repentance will happen!
    Jesus said many will say to Me Lord,Lord and not enter heaven
    and you are one of Mine only if you continue in My teachings and
    follow Me! Bible says Repent or perish! We must Repent/follow!

  40. I was helped tremendously by Driscoll’s sermons online, at a time every pastor, elder and womans ministry leader in my church were too busy to disciple me. The Holy Spirit was there to help me discern and i learned a lot about Jesus and the Father and the Word. I know pastors have clay feet. Im happy his brothers were committed enough…spirit filled enough to confront him. Mark is just the kind of man God uses to glorify Himself.

  41. Mark Driscoll is a brother on Christ, and I love my brother; Jesus says love each other as I love you. Why is that so hard? As hard as it is, now I must pray for those who hate.

  42. Mega churches grow out of a pact between greed and lemmings.

  43. Folks really need some help on the “do not judge” thing. It’s seems to be the most misunderstood thing in the Bible.

    Also, it’s quite amusing that the people who cry, “DO NOT JUDGE” are doing a lot of judging. . .

  44. This saddens me, not just for Pastor Driscoll but mostly for those bringing this to the forefront. I wonder, are they angry at his popularity or at the amount of money he has made from his books? Honestly, this is an OLD matter that was dealt with publicly with an apology and repentance, yet it is now brought up again and again in an effort to ridicule, tear down and rip apart this man’s credibility, family and his ministry. Who are we, or them, to say that “it’s time he step down” because of the harsh words he has used, misappropriation of funds or abuse of power? This is certainly something that could have AND SHOULD HAVE been dealt with completely in private, yet we the church, that should be different from the world has now made it unnecessarily public and incited gossip, hate, disgust, accusation, pride, animosity and mistrust. Way to preach to the lost!!!

    If Driscoll were living in sin and cheating on his wife, would there have been more mercy and compassion shown, I wonder…


  45. because it is an inherent sport to us christians to be self righteous and prideful. ist the pharisaic syndrome. we think we know whats right because we read the Bible and go to church but we miss the point. it is not to burn sinners and laugh as they fall, but to pray, help and forgive as we have been forgiven by Grace. much too many christians, including myself, love to throw stones at each other and neglect the fact that we ourselves are the worst of sinners, and i pray that God will forgive and change us all.

  46. Mark Driscoll has shared Christ with tens of thousands of people. He has enriched their relationship with Jesus greatly. He has been an amazing positive influence on countless. He is great man of God with imperfections.

    God bless Mark Driscoll.

    I will continue to go to Mars Hill and he has my unending support.

  47. Jerry Falwell Jr Is still with us. Jerry Falwell Sr passed away in 2007.

  48. Brian-Read 1 Corinthians 5 the whole chapter and that shows how the church
    is suppose to deal with people in the church who don’t want to Repent/change.

  49. Brian-Read 1 Corinthians 5 the whole chapter and that shows how the church
    is suppose to deal with people who don’t want to Repent/change.

  50. I don’t trust the people at Mars Hill to be constructive and healthy spiritually and mentally unfortunately. Otherwise, you would not have let yourselves taken such abuse for so long. There definitely needs to be accountability in the public to prevent the congregation (and others) from making the same mistakes and heal from all of this terrible pain. NO MORE SECRETS AND NO MORE ABUSE!!!

  51. I bet you can’t give a good, true example of Pastor Mark “bending” the gospel.

  52. Read it again Tony, He said MD does NOT do that where it is common in our culture to do so.

  53. Did you think before posting that? It doesn’t sound like you did.

  54. Oh look, a jaded Christian hunter. Pray that God gives you something more constructive to do.

  55. Wow! Just wow! There is a lot of hate on here. It looks like Jesus was way off with his “by this will all men know that you’re my disciples if you have love for each other.”
    I’m glad some are advocating grace and prayer for Mark, Marshill, and hopefully the Driscoll family too. Personally I like his style and I can’t fault his preaching but this would appear to be a man management issue which is borne out of, perhaps, pride. Yes he has sinned but other pastors do and they have been restored. He’s not perfect, neither is John Piper, Keller, Chandler, et al. Only Christ is perfect. Only Christ’s blood can forgive my sins and the sins of Driscoll and you and everyone else.
    I don’t believe we should all go burning our Real Marriage books just yet either. We can accept the good stuff he’s done down the years and reject the wrong doing. Acts 29 did this and Marshill have. We don’t tear down and tear up everything he’s touched. Mark Driscoll can reform and by taking time out getting some counselling he’s started down that route. It may take more than 6 weeks but we have to accept our part in this. We (our culture) have created celebrity pastors (and worship leaders) and that’s idolatry. It’s almost like there is the Godhead, then you celebrity pastor, and then the rest of us. Our pastors need God as much as the rest of us. We should respect them and love them but not put them on a pedestal. It’s almost like when they fail God has failed by having them minister to His people. In case you forgot Jesus also chose people like Peter, Thomas, Saul (Paul), and even Judas. God will continue to move with or without Mark Driscoll.
    I sincerely hope the people he has hurt also forgive him and that he will personally apologize to them. For the next few months we should let Marshill, and the Driscolls get on with life and the journey of repentance, healing and restoration.

  56. God called the poor man home because he didn’t raise a million dollars.

  57. They are called campuses because that is what they are, buildings and facilities by which people; fellowship, are trained and worship. The “Church” is made up of people that know and follow Christ. So what better word than campus?

  58. Mega churches grow out of a pact between greed and lemmings.

  59. John Piper has stated that he personally writes everything that goes out under his name on Twitter. Stuff under the name Desiring God can be other people, but the authors name is always listed on the blog.

  60. We all have sinned and come short of the glory if God.

  61. The court of public opinion, consisting of you and I and social media, is not where this needs to be taken. It’s downright wrong. And we have no right to say that the congregation at Mars Hill is brainwashed or untrustworthy. Their business(“secrets”) should not be put on display for people like yourselves to critique and gossip about.

  62. My brothers and sisters in Christ, there is a world that is broken and hurting that needs Jesus. I implore you, go be obedient and make disciples of the nations. People don’t need to hear about how wrong he was, they need to hear about the cross and forgiveness of sins! Stop wasting time on these petty fights among each other about Pastor Mark! Allow God to deal with him as He sees fit? Let the people he is accountable to rebuke and deal with him under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and restore the man. Be gracious to one another like Christ was gracious unto you… 1 Corinthians 1vs 10. God bless you all! 🙂

  63. “We live in a completely Pussified Nation.  We could get every man, real man as opposed to pussified James Dobson knock-off crying Promise Keeping homoerotic, worship loving mama’s boy sensitive emasculated neutered exact male replica evangellyfish, and have a conference in a phone book.

    “It all began with Adam, the first of the pussified nation, who kept his mouth shut and watched everything fall headlong down the slippery slide of hell/feminism when he shut his mouth and listened to his wife who thought Satan was a good theologian when he should have lead her and exercised his delegated authority as king of the planet.

    “As a result, he was cursed for listening to his wife and every man since has been his pussified sit quietly by and watch a nation of men be raised by bitter penis envying burned feministed single mothers who make sure that Johnny grows up to be a very nice woman who sits down to pee.”

  64. As a pastor I have been blessed by Marc’s ministry. It saddens me to see Christ followers jumping on the pile. Who do we sinners think we are sometimes? Anyone out there want your faults and flaws judged by others? Insane how some who have tasted grace refuse to extend it to others

  65. My wife and I have attended mars hill Portland since 2012 and we both have seen first hand the culture of bullying, intimidation and shaming. Mark has fostered a culture that is unhealthy.

    I know there is grace and forgiveness for everyone including Mark but I believe he had disqualified himself from continuing to be our pastor. He should graciously and permanently resign and get out of the way of the restructuring and healing that needs to take place.

  66. You say you can’t have community in a mega church yet, the very first church was a mega church. Check out Acts. 3000 were saved the first day. Then they created small groups that met in homes. But they were still one church. I have felt more community and seen more money spent and ministry done at the “mega church” then all the small churches I have ever attended.

  67. I am a recent visitor of MarsHill, not a member. I began following ‘news’ regarding Mark Driscoll and MarsHillChurch, after reading a scathing article by an author who self-identified as being ‘gay’, and who spewed quite a lot of prejudice and bias, bordering on hate speech.

    I am surprised at how insensitive and irresponsible you have proven yourself to be by posting references to what MarsHillChurch asked be kept OFF social media and out of the public arena until after 9p tonight. The reason given by MarsHill pastors was too give all of their church members time to intellectually and emotionally process Mark Driscoll’s statements regarding the ‘fire storm’ of negative press.

    Nice to know you have a troll at their church… NOT! #Shameful action on your part, @spulliam.

    Btw… your ‘facts’ are errant with regard to @MarkDriscoll. He stated that he is NOT leaving the ministry, nor is he being forced out. According to the video, Mark elected to step away from teaching for 6 weeks of soul searching, prayer, healing, with the guidance of a group and/or board of elders, plus to spend time with his family.

  68. It was O.R. who said he had to get $Million or be called home.
    As to the $$, does it pass through or into the hands?

  69. We are all human. Pride, greed, callousness, intemperance and plagiarism can arise and grow in small churches as well as mega and in between. Gal. 6:1ff says to be aware of our own tendencies when correcting/restoring a brother or sister.

  70. Dear Friends. This issue appears to have multiple layers in it. Let us ask all involved to seek God’s help in dealing with each layer in accordance with his word so that at the end of God’s ordained process in this situation that we end up with repentance for any wrong doing, forgiveness from all those who genuinely have been victims, improved leadership accountability and a leadership team that takes the gospel of Christ forward into the communities it desires to reach and works together in a unified manner displaying grace. Under God, any damage done can be repaired. May God bless all involved in this process. Leroy

  71. Can we stop pretending that Christianity has any right to claim the moral high ground? Guys like this keep getting caught, and their churches keep being surprised. When you realize that we are all human and remain so regardless of dogma or lack thereof, you will not be surprised anymore.

  72. Thank God. Finally! He’s been like this for years, arrogant and harsh. Not someone who should have been leading churches.

  73. Please don’t further the hurt by name calling right back.

  74. I found the comment at the end to be very instructive.

    “I think this is a challenging day for all pastors, in large part because of this media age we live in,” DeMoss said. “It’s very easy to mobilize opposition, and anybody can have a public forum to criticize or expose or say whatever they want to say. That wasn’t true even 10 years ago.”

    So it is a problem now that pastors get to hear what their parishioners actually think? Or what the results of what they preach actually accomplish?

  75. Maybe you could call them “unnecessary wastes of money due to hero worship.”

    When you get down to the bottom of it, that’s all they are. It’s not about worshiping Jesus. It’s about worshiping Mark Driscoll.

  76. I won’t be happy until he’s a used car salesman. Mark Driscoll is a bigoted sleaze.

  77. I totally agree with you …followed his teaching for a couple of years….he has a basic fundamental view of Christ love..but his approach, tone of words and attitude dispelled all he taught

    i also read he misappropriate funds…what was that all about? is there going to be any criminal charges?

  78. May you see the light and get out of the churches. Mark Driscoll is a sleaze and doing anything but opposing him is nothing but hurtful. He is an evil man.

  79. It was not a mega church. It was a one day thing where 3000 people were there, then left to go their separate ways immediately after Pentecost ended. There was no community, there was only a single sermon.

  80. While you pray and forgive, do you also let abusers get away with it because you’re supposed to love and forgive? If Mark Driscoll is allowed to remain in power, that’s exactly what would happen.

  81. i have read reports that besides the attitude, abuse, behavior…that he also misappropriated funds from the church….what was this all about

  82. Pastor Driscoll would do well to read the classic work on leading God’s people written by the late Oswald Sanders, “Spiritual Leadership.” The focus is all about Christ!

  83. I agree whole heartedly. I am astounded by the words being posted in here; how quickly followers of Jesus forget His word and fall into “sectarian” bickering thinking that somehow they are upholding “truth” and “righteousness”…

    Matthew 12:35-37 ESV: “The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

  84. So according to Driscoll, all his problems are now because of the Internet? So he’s saying if only there wasn’t a way to keep a record of his abuses he’d still be getting away with it? Why isn’t Driscoll in jail yet for his sexual harassment of women?

  85. I don’t know anything about Mark Driscoll. From what I can tell; he’s just a man with feet of clay like the rest of us. I applaud those who have posted with words of forgiveness and compassion. I’m sure Mark and his family are hurting and can use all the encouragement they can get at this time in their lives. I believe that’s what Jesus would do and expects from those who claim His name. Why is it that so many Christians shoot their wounded? In a world that hates God and His people, this behavior only justifies in the world’s minds that we’re all hypocrites.
    These spiteful comments being made by some are only evidence of the bitterness that is welled up inside of you and you are to be pitied and prayed for that you will confess and repent of the sin that has so soured your spirit. Then when you have removed the beam from your own eye, perhaps you will be able to minister to those with splinters in theirs.

  86. Almost all churches with multiple locations refer to each as a certain campus. What’s wrong with that?

  87. Have you considered you may be biased and its causing you to jump to conclusions you have no way of validating? No one knows the heart of man except God and He is our judge. A mighty good one too lol better than any of us.

  88. Seriously, think about what you just said. In the early church they all were an interdependent network of people groups and churches. They all worked together and were all apart of the same church. You may dislike certain aspects of mega churches and rightly so, but are you really claiming being a really large church in it self evil? Nowhere does they bible outline that churches should be small or even mention anything about a size. In china and various countries the underground churches do grow into massive mega churches. Denominations and factions are discussed in the bible and their destructive divisiveness. Sizes of churches not so much. You may want to reconsider what particularly about some mega churches leads you to believe they are “lemmings and greed.” Its not size, because greed and whatever sinful think you are denoting using the word lemmings are not limited to mega churches. They are problems people in any size church struggle with.

  89. they were all part of the same group under the head of the same leaders. They were interconnected not independent organizations.

  90. As far as reading the text goes, it seems that, beyond Judea, they were independent people who simply interacted with like-minded individuals.

  91. After watching the video, what troubles me is that Mark Driscoll is still calling the shots even from the position he’s in. He decided on the 6 weeks off. He decided on the steps to be taken. He is still the king of mars hill. Mark gets to pick his own way of apologizing, and he gets to choose his own “punishment” (time off and talking to counselors).

    It would have been much more appropriate, and helpful to the church, if the elders had decided on these things, and if they gave the announcement rather than Mark. What if the board wants to remove him? He seemed to leave no room for that option.

    I hope that he does change and that the church(es) don’t crumble because of this, but the elders need to step up in a powerful way if that is to happen, which we have not seen to date.

  92. Reading alot of the comments makes my heart sad…First off i want to say that yes he has made mistakes and he should take responsibility for them, as we all need to do with our own sin, and him stepping down for a season to heal and grow is a wise action, that shows that the lord is still guiding him to repentance and restoration.Instead of celebrating about his demise we need to be lifting him up in praying that the lord will do a healing work in his life and to restore him so in Gods perfect timing that he can bring him back to ministry!

  93. Thank you, Kara, for speaking words that show the grace of Christ within you. Unlike others who are judging and name calling.

  94. Seriously! Demoss says..“I think this is a challenging day for all pastors, in large part because of this media age we live in. It’s very easy to mobilize opposition, and anybody can have a public forum to criticize or expose or say whatever they want to say.”

    You mean…like Mark Driscoll?? Yes, Driscoll is excellent at drawing a crowd to support his angry tirades. And yes, he used media to do it.

    And its “easy” to mobilize opposition, as if the only reason Driscoll got confronted is because of the process is so easy?? Clearly, it HAS NOT been easy with the the non-disclosure agreements that he requires his staff to sign and the way he manipulates and intimidates others. Yes, Demoss is a consultant already trying to spin things so Driscoll looks somehow like a victim. Oh brother!

  95. We are the only ones who shoot our fallen. It saddens to hear the hate and lack of mercy from those who call themselves brothers. It is apparent that Mark has dealt openly years ago with some of the issues mentioned and he has taken some courageous steps to make things right. We need to be authenticate about our own hypocrisy as we attack Mark since we all struggle some aspect of the flesh.

    Have we forgotten the following from Paul in Colossians 3:12-14

    “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

  96. I appreciate the sincerity of people who are praying for Mark. However, with abusive people, if you tolerate their behavior with “grace” and “mercy”, which mean no real accountability they simply continue their patterns. Talk to abused women, to continue forgiving an abusive spouse does not work. It is naive to think that mark is going to change unless and external group, that he does not control or influence guide this process.

  97. So you are putting the onus on those who were abused to forgive? So the abused houswife should say sorry to the husband who beats her? Or if the abuser says sorry, then they should just “get over it”?

  98. What is the “church”? Every pastor I know including driscoll says that the church is the people and the universal church was formed in Acts 2 and 3000 people were added. How many times did the 3000 meet together in one place or have a duplicate message preached to them? They met from house to house in small groups.

  99. “much too many christians, including myself, love to throw stones at EACH OTHER…”

    My sweet brother (or sister) in Christ, I couldn’t agree more. We spend time throwing stones at each other instead of at the NON CHRISTIANS, who are are real enemies. Instead of throwing stones at Mark Driscoll, throw stones ATHIESTS and THE GAYS. Then maybe we could fix osme things in this country.

    I am glad you are on board with me, my friend.

    And I am speaking metaforicaly, of course. I don’t want Carrot Top to accuse me of making threats again.

  100. It is surprising to see so many want to forgive an abusive personality and villify the abused like they are ungodly or judgmental because they call someone to accountability.

  101. Too many so-called “Christians” apparantly have not read the bumper sticker: “I’m not perfect, just FORGIVEN.”

    Mark Driscoll may not be perfect, but he is a man of CHRIST and he has been forgiven by Our Lord, so he we have no right to punish or critisize him. Anything wrong he might have done has been forgiven by Christ, as will anything he does wrong in the future. That is our beliefs. We must save our enmity for those who do not love Christ and therefor are not loved by Him in return.


  102. “…the growing youth Calvinist movement…”


  103. Albert i think forgiveness also includes accountability. Mark may have confessed some things years ago but his pugilist, pushy behavior has NOT changed. I would be far more concerned with how those who have been abused and bullied are feeling. Perhaps Mark could offer them to truth of 3:12-14?

  104. As I read all the comments the only thing I hear from God is GRACE GRACE GRACE GRACE and we should extend the same grace we got to Mark, don’t forget that we don’t deserve it and as Rom. 3 states, no one is not even one. Instead of persecuting him, let’s pray for him and his family. I still believe that God will reinstate him back.
    Let Grace lead.

  105. I don’t know the guy and I don’t know the charges, but I have been under pastors that don’t listen and are arrogant, arrogating power unto themselves. I hope that’s not M.D. We, as Protestants, and Reformed, nonetheless, must beware that we do not create our own popes. There have been some evangelical movements in this modern era that have taken on the spirit of Popedom, though I won’t name names. One or two have recently deceased. Beware of wielding too much power, and esteem others more than yourself, or you can become a despot without even realizing it. Remember, a plurality of Elders, or Presbyters must be heard, not silenced.

  106. how do you make a pact with a lemming? And if you can make a pact with a lemming can I make a pact with the moles that are digging up my yard?

  107. I have been a part of a “mega church” for 40+ years. Everyone needs to be careful throwing their opinions around about the church. My church, while having fluctuating numbers and not being perfect, has always tried to do things with excellence to do it’s very best to reach out and show the love of Christ. It takes money whether you are helping send people out of the country as ambassadors of Christ or down to the inner city to help those in need. I see this attitude in so many different directions of life. So while our churches may
    be large and have large buildings, it doesnt mean that money is being “wasted” nor that it is from being “greedy Healing and potential restoration sound appropriate. With true
    repentance should come true forgiveness. How much more have we all been forgiven for and truly not worthy of it.

    When there is true repentance how can there not be forgiveness. Does not cha

  108. The biggest problem with Mega Churches is most of the congregation is there because of that one Guy/Gal. The charismatic one the great orator. Instead of the community, the family the sharing of good times and bad. It does not have to be that way but it seems it almost always is. The test will come if Driscoll disappears.

  109. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,a but have not love, I gain nothing.Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;b it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    Paula if you are a sister in Christ there is no where that you are allowed cynicism based on opinion. He is called to repent and we are called to hope that God is working in him. He is accountable in how he behaves and we are called on how we respond. We may be anonymous on the internet but we aren’t anonymous with God.

  110. I have been a part of a “mega church” for 40+ years. Everyone needs to be careful throwing their opinions around about the church. My church, while having fluctuating numbers and not being perfect, has always tried to do things with excellence to do it’s very best to reach out and show the love of Christ. It takes money whether you are helping send people out of the country as ambassadors of Christ or down to the inner city to help those in need. I see this attitude in so many different directions of life. So while our churches may
    be large and have large buildings, it doesnt mean that money is being “wasted” nor that it is from being “greedy Healing and potential restoration may or may not be a possibility. With true repentance should come true forgiveness. How much more have we all been forgiven for and truly not worthy of it. It doesn’t not change the fact that maybe it becomes the end of a pastoral calling. Other than being in the spotlight, which does come with its challenges, he is no different than any one of us. Good thing me, you, you, and you dont have our flaws splattered all over for everone to see. But one day……..

  111. Not that any more needs to added to all this, but…as a Christian who attends another church in Seattle, I’m impressed by Mars Hill’s ability to attract people but I don’t understand Driscoll’s appeal. He comes off as a shallow, egotistical jerk who gets away with it only because he uses the right Christian language to excuse his boorish behavior. He looks not at all like the Jesus the Bible reveals. But I can’t believe all 14,000 Mars Hill members are brain-washed lemmings. It’s a mystery to me.

  112. I go to a “mega church”. God grew it from less than 100 people. We have more than one pastor, community groups, missions, ect. The list would be too long to tell you everything the it does. We have planted churches and we have just started looking at satellite churches to accommodate the growth since we cannot continue to build.

    I’ve seen churches that want to stay small so they turn people away. Make strangers feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. I’m aware of churches that fires a new Pastor for bringing in too many outsiders.
    Really what is more ungodly than not making room for all those that want to hear the gospel?

  113. It was dealt with privately and it had no impact. Read the ACTS29 statement. They followed what the Bible says to do when confronting a brother about sin. These are not old problems. These are ongoing problems. He needed this and they did it with love.

    Internet opinions are harsh. There is no doubt that Abraham and David would have never weathered the opinion of some of these people. They forget that God uses flawed people. God loves these very flawed people. And if I’m going to believe that God is still working in me even when I screw up then I have to believe that He is doing it in Mark Driscoll too. Why would He not, if His word is true?

  114. That’s good. Also we have to remember we are accustomed to thinking as a democracy. Can I suggest to all maybe we forget Who’s authority Pastor Mark is under? He is under His authority above yours. You have authority above others. As a man whose feet are of clay can make no mistakes? Check yourselves and be careful the measure of judgment you use, for that measure will be used against you. Just an observation.

  115. the finances clearly have to be checked, and perhaps his leadership style. However, I’ve never heard a pastor preach to men like him. Though his methodology could be a bit tighter he says real things that 98% of pastors and 99% of UK pastors would never dream of saying. Why’s talking about sex a bad thing?

    Is it like the global church is short of women? No, our churches need to be more geared to men. If there are strong men hungry for the Lord the women will flock too.

  116. The responses to this show exactly what is wrong with the American church today. The world tries to tear one another down. This is not to be the conduct of the church or any Christian. Nobody knows what accusations are being thrown around and in the end it doesn’t matter. In the end it is all about bringing glory to God not clearing or condemning Driscoll. How about you who call yourselves Christian pray for this man and this situation that it is resolved in a way that glorifies God rather than justifies your hate for this man or your praise for him. Give the praise and glory to God not you or Driscoll. Act like Christians not the Pharisees and Sadducees. Start praying and show the grace to Driscoll that God has shown you.

  117. I guess I am a long way from “Mars Hill” and the only contact I have had from Mark is through Facebook. But I seek to know more of God and my walk with Jesus every day .My observation, from what I have read here , would be to quote Jesus himself. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone “.I don’t know who is making these comments ,board members , laymen , or media people but first and foremost stop spreading the gossip and let the healing begin, for the church, for Mark and most importantly of all , for the sake of the kingdom. Let there be positive prayer and positive action in this .Let the church leaders and Mark allow God to sought it out and accept His way ,whether you agree or not. We have a world that needs Jesus ,and He wants us to be channels for His love .When the channels get stuffed up with gossip , innuendo and ,maybe , just plain jealousy then the love stops flowing and Satan has a small victory . His way is to divide and conquer , don’t fall for it.

  118. Thank you Rachel and Gary. We are all in need of grace. Every day. Mark has been used by God mightily; his sermons have opened the Word for me and my family in so many ways…and so many around the globe. He is not a perfect man and has not pretended to be one. And can one of us say we are? Throw the first stone! God has raised him up as a powerful preacher and teacher; a position just asking for opposition by non believers and many who are. I ache for those who hurt in this situation including Mark’s wife and children especially and pray for God’s resolution soon to restore this powerful preacher of the Word to restore broken relationships and preach again. I pray for Mark to be transparent in the issues brought forth, confess if necessary as he has done in the past and by God’s grace put it behind him and the church. May we all have the courage and boldness to do the same in front of thousands. I’m not sure I could!
    God’s Grace WILL overcome for Mark and all of us.

  119. All the Christians calling for grace to be shown to MD – 1) just because you have a guilty conscience does not mean everyone does. Some have known grace to grow and mature. They admit they are not perfect but aren’t defeated sinners. The gospel has done more than just wash away their sins – it’s sanctified them in a meaningful way and continues to do so 2) there is room for accountability. 3) I bet if someone tried to hold you accountable, you would reject their approach under your misunderstanding of phrases like, “judge not, lest you be judged” and “show the grace you’ve been shown”. 4) This is not primarily about Mark. This is about God and his bride, which Mark keeps trying to convince us he’s living for. But the problem is he isn’t, is he? His behaviour has been dispicable hasn’t it? He keeps apologising, but he keeps messing up. Acts 29 leaders (who are wiser and more in-the-know than you and I) have found his behaviour disqualifies him. 5) You do realise MD would be as harsh as his harshest critic on any of his pastors who were caught committing sin as bad as he is guilty of? 6) What is needed now is discernment on behalf of the body of Christ that removes Mark before he abuses more people. Not calls of “grace, grace”. I am pleased Acts 29 has done so. P.S. I believe God can restore Mark. I don’t judge self-righteously and am aware of falling into pride – I live by grace alone – but I’m not happy to look the other way while a prominent preacher abuses people and disgraces Christ.

  120. Tom,

    You are incorrect. Read on into Acts 3 and 4. Peter was preaching in Solomon’s Portico which was one of the few places large enough to hold the believers. As a result of his second sermon 5000 were added to the church and they formed a very close knit community as Acts 4 and 5 show clearly.

    There is good evidence that the church at Ephesus numbered 30,000!

  121. Many people here have a twisted idea of what love and grace are. They somehow imagine that love is puppies, and puffy clouds.

    Also, they have little compassion for the many victims who were fired from their jobs without cause; had their reputations ruined, were berated, belittled, shunned, and otherwise bullied by Driscoll.

    Love does not mean never confront; no consequences; accept any and all behavior. Jesus loved the Pharisees, yet called them snakes! Love means being truthful as well as patient. It means a rebuke as well as a hug. Do parents love the children they spank? Of course! That’s why they do it!

    Sheep are vulnerable and stupid creatures, which is why there are high standards for the shepherds of the church who could take advantage of them. Men who are brash, power-hungry, and prone to anger and abuse of authority can’t be shepherds. You can still like, love, and gush over how wonderful Mark is, but he must not remain in a position that God himself has clearly said he does not belong in. For many, many years, and on many, many occasions, Driscoll has lived in violation to Titus 1:

    “For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled. . .”
    Here is what everyone knows and/or Driscoll has admitted to:

    Self-willed – check
    Quick-tempered – check
    Pugnacious – check
    Sordid gain – check (using church funds and deceptive means to drive up book sales and gain NY Times Best Seller status)
    Unjust – check (firing people unjustly)
    Lack of self-controlled – check (he has admitted this)

    Yet, he remains a pastor. Why is the Word of God being ignored?

  122. Agreed. I see a lot of sinfulness within the comments. Kind of depressing.

  123. The greatest help we can all be is to pray for Mark. He’s a sinner. He’s made mistakes. It’s amazing to me how the second a controversial situation happens in evangelicalism, everyone is so eager to be heard, to express their opinion, to offer their view of what should happen. We as Christians are often no different than the lost world in our view of Christian leaders (as well as celebrities)… anxious to see them fall. If we genuinely care, we’ll pray.

  124. Notice you said the one church guided by Timothy appointed by John, in Ephesus, not the 100s of little churches converts started themselves, one community one church, and a distinct threat of what following a person, church of appolos, or Paul…you also forget the leaders of the church’s were appointed, men unless they were commissioned by the 70 or the 12 did not just start church’s, and Paul is an exemption….

  125. Notice you said the one church guided by Timothy appointed by John, in Ephesus, not the 100s of little churches converts started themselves, one community one church, and a distinct threat of what following a person, church of appolos, or Paul…you also forget the leaders of the church’s were appointed, men unless they were commissioned by the 70 or the 12 did not just start church’s, and Paul is an exemption….

  126. Because they couldn’t meet in public, stop trying to equate house church’s and house meetings with the 1st century they would have loved a building or place but they were persecuted, you can go to church wherever you want and practice Christianity however you want, it’s not the same at all

  127. Your comment’s generalization is amazingly over the top. I have gone to small.and large churches and now attend a mega church. Do you know what the common theme is….sinners are in all of them. Some mega churches are driven by egocentric leaders and people there for a good show. But your generalization overshadows an amazing amount of other “mega” churches that have grown because of God’s blessing. Based on your comment no large group of believers gathering are God honoring. I would invite you to revisit scripture and see a more accurate view. God calls us to neither large or small gatherings. He calls us to engage the lost so they come to him and to edify the body. Your comment does not edify the body and if the attitude of your comment carries across the other aspects of your life it is not far fetched to think that your engagement with the lost hs turned more away than it has brought to the fold. Community in the body can be had or avoided in small to Mega churches. The point is not so much the size of the gathering but the heart condition of the attendee…..whether there are 2 or 20,000 attendees.

  128. So we read a story about the “Fall from grace” of a Heretical Pastor and we are surprised?
    I would hope not.

    I pray he turns to Christ with a true repentant heart.

  129. I don’t think I said anything of the sort but the victim is the one who has to do the forgiving. The abuser needs to repent, apologise and seek forgiveness but only the victim can forgive. Of course God can forgive us for the sin of abuse but as individuals (Christian or otherwise) we need to forgive those who sin against us.
    Also where does forgiveness equal a glib get over it? Forgiveness is a process which takes time and can be painful. Also forgiveness does not mean punishment is dispensed with. For eample; an abused spouse can forgive their abuser but the abuser can still be punished via the law of the land.

  130. Unfortunately, Mars Hill is proving it is nothing but a cult for having put up with the likes of Driscoll for so long. And these gargantuan religious-right extremist groups are so full of Driscoll’s kind. The nasty talk–in the name of supposed religion. All that emotional arm waving and swaying, in the name of so-called religion. There is just too much emotional hype passing as religion.

    It’s not much different from the atmosphere of antiquity on which the emotionally-based mythology of religion was based. Altogether, it’s referred to as evangelism, and such forms of evangelism give religion as bad a reputation as any of its ugly history–of which there is a great deal.

  131. This long string of comments, making such a big thing out of the wild ways of Driscoll that should have been handled by the people in his seats long, long ago shows that the emotional madness that so often passes as religion continues currently just as it was demonstrated so often and with such horror throughout the history of religion.

    The emotionalism in religion guarantees this. All the way from rack torture, through inquisitions, to royal bishops and priests who molest young people and deny and hide such corrupt behavior, all the way to the Mark Driscolls of the arenas of mega churches.

    Like the evils in our politics, the evils in religion are the fault of the participants and also the lazy and ignorant, do-nothing non-participants who put up with it. People have a right to religious beliefs and practices that do no harm to others. So religion must be seen as a free, human right wisely separated from civil government as in our Constitution. But freedom of religion also includes the right to be free from religion.

  132. Because the so-called Word of God is only the word of humans. No idea of a god so infinite, so almighty, so good can be supported by the evils in the bible or the evil history of Jewish, Christian, and other religions.

  133. This guy is not fit to serve anywhere in any church. Period. Potty-mouthed, sex-crazed, power-hungry. Bye.

  134. As a grown up pk, I can attest to the ridiculousness of that statement. In fact, the reverse is actually true. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people longing for connection and spiritual guidance in a large church get told that all of the small groups are “full,” or that their pastors are “too busy” to meet privately with individuals. Small churches do not “turn people away,” but large “personality cult” churches chew up and spit people out on a regular basis.

  135. For the non-believer who might be reading through these responses, I apologize on behalf of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Though each of us have experienced a profound moment of Gods deep love for all people in that moment when we asked Jesus, Son of God to forgive us and be our Lord, I confess that we believers too easily and too often forget that grace, and in return become religious policemen. I’m sorry for what you are reading in these comments.

    And I promise you, it is not encouraged, accepted, or approved by either God or his son Jesus.

    We are supposed to be an example of Gods love and amazing grace. You are supposed to look at us and see ridiculous forgiveness, unreasonable support and encouragement. And love. Dear God, if nothing else, we are supposed to be showing you a love that can be found nowhere else in the world.

    I know it’s hard to believe our claims about the power of a God to change lives when our lives look no different from the rest of the world. Some of us still mistakenly believe that Christianity is a rule book, a spiritual checklist of sorts. Even worse, we think our ability with the rules comes with an obligation to jump on any one else with lesser ability, or maybe just worse bad mistakes, and set them straight.

    Even Jesus didn’t do that.

    But we sometimes forget who we are following.

    So I apologize. I don’t know Pastor Mark, but he claims to follow Jesus, and I know many people who have benefited from hearing his words. And if he’s having problems, we should be covering him in prayer, love, support, and encouragement. We should be doing the same for anyone he’s hurt, intentionally or not.

    Instead, we’re doing this.

    Father, forgive us.

  136. To be clear, my apology is not for Pastor Marks actions, whatever they are.

    My apology is for a church that willingly spreads disunity, anger, lack of forgiveness and compassion, and gossip in a public forum.

    If the body has approached this man with his need to change, so be it.

    Displaying it in such ugly and non-Christ ways is embarrassing to our God, and a serious blow to our witness to the rest of the world.

    I’m not talking “hold hands in a circle singing kumbaya” Christianity.

    I’m talking about sin.


  138. This article references a tweet by John Piper, which links to this article. The tweet could not have been composed before the article was published (or else where did the link come from?), but surely the article couldn’t have been written before the tweet was written (or else how did they reference the tweet?). I’m confused…

  139. 1 Timothy 5:19 says, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.” For those who have not followed this command, shame on you for pretending to be righteously angry at what you have accused Mark of doing while violating God’s specific requirement in the process.

  140. First of all, lack if self control? Is that the real charge? What exactly does that cover? Eating an extra ice cream cone at the ice cream social? Using too much mouse in his hair than is acceptable? Quick tempered? How much time has to elapse before that Isn’t valid? Pugnacious? Did he punch someone who didn’t deserve it? BE SPECIFIC! Fired people unjustly? Who determined that? My God, I don’t even like this guy or his doctrine, and I feel SORRY for him! Everybody wants grace, everybody demands grace….. But no grace for this preacher! Nope! You people are flat out hypocrites! You have people who cheated on their wives and families (John Hagee), and you morons buy HIS books and watch his freak show weekly! Hagee preaches a heretical doctrine called “the double covenant” which is ENTIRELY false, and nobody does this to him! Oh how I wish I was a huge, fat, glutton, who made up false doctrines about the Jews, then I could do whatever I wanted, and you would love me!

  141. This is why cult of personality megachurches never work. The ministry becomes all about one man whose name is not Jesus Christ.

  142. There, but by the grace of God, go I. There is hope for Mark Driscoll, for Mars Hill, and for the many ministries and people whose lives God impacted through them. I can personally attest to the restorative power of GRACE (both directly from God and indirectly through the Body of Christ) in a wayward pastor’s life and ministry and want to speak hope into this situation. I want to admonish those who would seek to add fuel to the fire of criticism. You will serve no one by beating Mark or Mars Hill down and throwing them under the bus. It’s right to hold our leaders to account, but only in love, with the intent to restore. God will be glorified through this, I am 100% confident, if His people will love one another through this time of transition. My prayers go out to Mark, his family, his church, and to the evangelical church at large, that we would bear witness to the watching world of the radically powerful grace of God in this challenging situation.

  143. Mark Driscoll is the Chuck Norris of the post modern church.

    He is still a hero of the faith as far as I am concerned. Heroes aren’t perfect and it takes a big man to confess and apologize. Seriously these “charges” are petty. It’s sad when church leaders have to face this type of opposition. Yet even St Paul was accused of similar indiscretions.

  144. Mark, Grace and kids, press in and endure!! Romans 5:3-5, the only reason I know to go to this scripture is cuz your dad preached it to me. As you may be reading, there will be a few that think your dad is a bully, it sucks to have our sin pointed out to us, but he the most loving bully I know. Hard words produce soft hearts, and soft words produce hard hearts. I heard that from Mark(many times) I’ve never met Mark, but know he loves me and my family, because he pointed me to Jesus, he told me to lead my family and not to fear man. He told me to turn from my sin & repent. If Mark was standing up there telling me to follow him, and that he was with out sin, we’d have a problem, but Mark knows he’s a sinner, knows he needs Christ the same as anyone sitting out here watching or hearing the Word. Is he in sin, sure, if he fears man & the media. Does it suck that his church family is taking pot shots of him in the media, YES. I pray for them, because if they’re not getting enough love from Mark, they’re looking in the wrong place. The church is a family, and we’ve all fallen short reaching out to these who have been directly affected by Mark, but 20 former pastors over 18 yrs compared to Millions who have met Jesus through his teaching. That’s such a small ratio.
    Church family, lets pray for those who need to focus on Jesus, and not Mark. Pray for us to recognize that someone is being left behind, that we also recognize that when we come to Christ early, we are in need of being served, and Christ in us, enables us to then serve as Jesus did. Once we are serving, and focusing on someone other than ourselves, it’s easier to understand Gods purpose and what he has planned for us to do.
    Christians, keep humbly repenting, asking for forgiveness, and seeking to serve others. Thank you Mark & your family for your many hours of service, which I hope to hear again soon. My family loves yours, even though we have never met. D.

  145. I hope Mark gets treated the same way he treated the 21 pastors. The measure with which you judge you shall be judged… and lets face it…Pastor Mark did a lot of judging. To much is given much is required, and Mark when you made yourself with no accountabilitly in 2007 that was the beginning of your pride and sin.

  146. Amen. Mark may have the gift of preaching, and in this culture that seems to be all that matters. However, his integrity, morals, language, pride, etc are what God values, and Mark has over time not Matured in these areas. Pride is a terrible thing, and power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. With all the damage he has done with his absolute power, honestly he needs time away for prayer and reflection, and six weeks is not enough. Jesus said ” I have come not to be served, but to serve”

  147. Ronald– Are you a Christian? What verse of scripture says ” We must save our enmity for those who do not love Christ and therefore are not loved by Him in return”? Don’t you know that Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost and He has forgiven lost sinners even those who do not love them now. We are to forgive those of the world that are not Christians and try to lead them to Christ. We all are sinners and saved by the grace of God through faith . Some of Jesus lasts words were “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. This was not only directed to the Jewish leaders and Roman official that were responsible for the crucifixion but to all mankind for Jesus died for ALL sinners.

  148. After I watch this video I read the first few comments, and not five comments in the Christians are already off-topic and arguing…

  149. JAM
    Thank you for your informative comments, as attenders since 2012 you have been able to view for yourselves the actions of Mark Driscoll. In just reading the many accounts regarding Mark, it seems to me that not only was grace given Mark by Acts 29, but not to take divisive action much earlier made it sort of a cheap grace. It’s like giving him more and more rope until he proverbially “hangs himself”. A paper board of elders did little and it seems some of the fault lies within the congregation.

    Forgiveness and grace does not mean a person is not held accountable on this earth.

  150. What I see is a lot of “cheap grace”. Mark has apologized again and again for his actions, and then seems to sin again and again “that grace may more abound”. Apostle Paul didn’t like that idea.

    Yes, God will restore him (not necessarily to the pulpit) on genuine confession, and meaningful change. Professional, licensed counseling may well help him. Six weeks is not going to do it. He is a troubled man. Grace, to me would be to pay his salary (not inflated) for at least a year to allow time needed to address his issues. Otherwise the cycle he is on will keep repeating itself and will only worsen each time. Falling all over ourselves to “forgive, forgive” does nothing to help Mark. If he comes back to the pulpit after six weeks, the cycle will only continue.

  151. Best comment I’ve heard all day. As a mars hill member and tither for 7 years, Mark is on God’s mission. My wife, three daughters and I are thankful for everything he has shown us through God’s word in our life. He is fallible and sinful, but a great bible teacher and man of God. He proclaims the name of Jesus proudly and boldly!

  152. Best comment I’ve heard all day. As a mars hill member and tither for 7 years, Mark is on God’s mission. My wife, three daughters and I are thankful for everything he has shown us through God’s word in our life. He is fallible and sinful, but a great bible teacher and man of God. He proclaims the name of Jesus proudly and boldly!

  153. Thank you for your comments. Love means to confront, it means calling for true change of behavior. A a clinical chaplain in a state prison, viewing the records of some inmates, I noted how again and again some were given a tap on the hand then when they broke the law again they were given probation and then finally they got many years in prison and just didn’t seem to know why that happened.

    Mark, evidently, needs a lot of help, but he has got to see it for himself. Returning him to the pulpit will not help him, in my opinion.

  154. Steven. I am glad you said that. That is why i appreciate what those who have been affected directly by Mark are doing. They are taking a stand for themselves against an abusive personality. So i think as opposed to simply forgiving, which is abstract, they are taking concrete action and standing up for themselves. I wonder if some think that this is a sign of unforgiveness or revenge? I think when an abused person stands up for themselves it is often interrpeted negatively by those who want to protect the abuser from the consequences of his or her wrong behavior.

  155. I hope his repentance included changing the contract for former pastors requiring them to plant a church at least 10 miles away from any Marshill.
    I have seen the wrath of Mark first hand and it was surreal and creepy. I have seen his repentance first hand as well. The problem with Marshill is its a one man show. There is no other main teachers there. They need to set it up so the satalite churches teach themselves at least one of the services. And sunday schools or Saturday night school. Otherwise it is personality cult. If Mark Driscoll died the church would die.
    Now I hope the local pastors can do the job. Mark listens to Chris Rock comedy because he is dry and dull and shallow. He butchered the book of James. The reason for marshills growth is larger because of his youth and young people are age prejudice and don’t want to listen to a much older pastor then themselves. I hope Mark will take a long time out and listen to people.

  156. Brother Driscoll,

    Your not perfect as are we, and we will pray for you.
    God bless you and may the Lord help you in this season.

    “And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
    Romans 8:28

  157. The problem is not the church size. The problem is sinful people in the church.
    You can’t even make a scriptural claim to back up that claim. I was part of a wonderful mega church before I moved. I was a huge reason I didn’t want to move, but you need a job right? Mega churches offer more than just greed and ego. They offer specialized pastors and resources. They offer a large group of elders who can keep the church, each other and pastors in check. They offer pastors that will keep each other accountable in teaching. They offer outreach opportunities in anything you can think of. They offer theological classes for training and educating people. My church offered masters level theological classes. They offer unity that the protestants have been longing for sense the the reformation. There ARE ways to have meaningful community. You encourage members to be part of bible studies and get involved in the church. You have endless friendship opportunities and a mega church. On money: that church I went to made any staff raise half of there financial support, so no one was getting rich… that being said I moved to a church with an attendance of less than 30 a week. neither is better than the other. They can both be effective for spreading the gospel.

  158. Well said Chaplain. I have been around ministry on and off for 30 years and have unfortunately seen my share abuses. One thing that always strikes home, are these 3 things:

    1. Repentance on the part of the abuser.
    2. Forgiveness on the part of the abused
    a. 9 time out of 10 this is a process that takes time. Forgiveness is instantaneous, but forgetting takes time.
    3. Stepping away from ministry,
    a. This should be more than a few months. I believe at least 1 year.

    I was ordained in the Calvary Chapel ministry and I remember one instance years ago involving Chuck Smith,David Hocking and Calvary Church of Santa Ana, CA, the church that David Hocking was Pastoring.
    David Hocking stepped down as Pastor, because of incident with one of the members of the church. David repented, Praise God.
    Then by a well meaning gesture by Chuck Smith, Pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca (Who was my Pastor and encourager, as God was leading my wife and I to step out and plant churches) Chuck decided to put David Hocking on staff at Costa Mesa. Pastor Chuck’s reasoning was David Hocking was to gifted to be put on the shelf, so to speak.
    I believe this was a mistake, because there was not time for healing on the part of the body at Santa Ana, for having lost their Pastor and the congregation at Santa Ana was not able to see if there was true repentance.
    Today David Hocking has a vibrant radio program that is heard all over the United States. God did not place him back in the pulpit ministry and many people are being blessed by his program. So the bottom line thru this mess with Mark Driscoll is that God will sort it all out. Our prayers should be for Mark’s healing and repentance and healing for the people at Mars Hill. Thanks for Listening

  159. “Though he has long been controversial but popular for his unapologetic chauvinism..” ??? While Mark Driscoll is certainly gruff and sometimes unwise in his speech, calling what he teaches “chauvinism” is out of bounds. Yes, he is complementarian, but anyone who automatically equates that with chauvinism has their own agenda, or has not done their homework.

  160. Can I suggest go to JD Farag on youtube and listen his last sermon from 1 corith. 4: 4-7 why pride causes me problems. Very challenging, feels like direct from God to sinful proud sinners like us all. His church is very small. no mega but you can feel the presence of God’s Spirit there, even as listening on the video.

  161. Wow..i guess we know what you would have been doing when Jesus was on the cross…nothing

  162. At least he still has his wife. He does, doesn’t he? Beware of Jude 1:4

  163. You took the words right off of my fingertips. Amen to that.

  164. Do you mean that the word of 21 pastors was not enough? That fired Mars Hill elders Bent Meyer and Paul Petry don’t count as witnesses?

    Many of those giving their *opinions* here aren’t making the accusations. Some are because they were there. They are witnesses to Mark Driscoll’s abuse of his flock.

    The following is my *opinion*: If God restores Mark as a pastor, then he needs to loosen his stranglehold on power. He should go back to the bylaws as they were before 2007, when he changed them. Reinstate a larger elder board and give them teeth to deal with matters of the church–including firing him if he again proves himself ineligible for his office. If he keeps a Board of Accountability (which is what Paul Tripp and James MacDonald recently resigned from), let it be free of his influence–because he and his very small board of hand-picked elders are on the Board of Accountibility!

    By all means, pray for Mark Driscoll. Pray for his family. But also pray that he will see his own disqualification from the ministry and seek to repent–not just apologize and carry on as before. His current problems stem from a mountain of bodies under the Mars Hill bus.

  165. Scott,
    You can’t shoot a canon out of a canoe. There’s a place for large churches as well as small.

  166. I would suggest attending Mars Hill before bashing it. This is not a typical mega-church. They have 15 different churches and each one has a local pastoral staff that attend solely to the needs of that church. Pastor Driscoll performed the majority of the teaching and helped provide direction, but they were set up to ensure that local community was encouraged.

  167. That’s absolutely right. There’s always a question of fitness for leadership; the apostle Paul made that clear. If MD is wise, he’ll use this time to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” A little humility goes a long way in the Kingdom of God.

  168. That’s not quite Biblical. There is a place in the Church for disciplining those who need to be corrected. It’s not a case of ‘throwing stones’ to hold leaders (and others) accountable for their sins, The apostle Paul did it often. It’s actually the most loving thing that can be done. Otherwise, they could end up causing themselves and others a LOT of harm.

  169. If there was a LIKE button for this comment I’d click it! Well said.

  170. Yeah but he put on a good show! (I’m being sarcastic). Uber-macho posturing, crude jokes, and enormous egos are the ‘marks’ of immaturity. If MD is wise, he’ll grow and mature because of this. If he isn’t wise, God’s work will still advance with or without him (as is true for all Christians).

  171. True. But Paul also practiced church discipline, even commanding Christians to turn over a fellow believer ‘to Satan’ so the man would repent of his sins! This is really a question of fitness to lead and to pastor. Apparently MD isn’t ready for that yet, even though he put on a good show.

  172. With all due respect, that’s completely unbiblical. The apostle Paul often criticized other believers for their mistakes, even doing it openly and in public. The goal of course was for them to learn and grow from their mistakes. Would that have happened if Paul had kept silent?

  173. Paul severely criticized and disciplined others when they messed up, for their own good and so that others could learn from it at the same time. Paul also discouraged a ‘hero worship’ mentality towards human leaders that would keep them from being held accountable if they made mistakes.

  174. The apostle Paul also practiced church discipline and he did it openly. There’s much here for all to learn, including MD himself if he’s wise.

  175. If it’s done in a Christ-honoring way that’s fine. But citing Scripture in support of masturbation just to get a laugh is simply shameful.

  176. “Their business(“secrets”) should not be put on display for people like yourselves to critique and gossip about.’

    Unfortunately, because MD went out of his way to be a public figure, this is now front page news in some circles. That just goes with the territory. But that can be a good thing. We can all learn something from this if we’re wise.

  177. This all would not be were it is now if it were taken care of earlier with an elder board that actually has the power/authority to vote and remove someone from office.

    Also to note, if it wasn’t for the formal charges and all the pressure from acts 29 and the internet, would he have come to this point willingly?

    no accountability. That BOAA seems to be just for show.

    I am in the middle of divorcing my was-band. He is an aggogant, immature, baby, haughty, S.O.B.

    I know the pure HELL she is in…i always could see him beating his wife and children and then: the dog.

    Hope the best for his family…But some men blow all their chances and i hope she is able to see the better life the Lord always wanted/wants her to have. A better life with out this man. He prob used up all his chances with haveing her for a wife. The Lord knows he does not deserve yet ANOTHER chance. Praying for Her, and her family: and yes: i will get to the point were i can also pray for him…And really: sometimes: this is a lot of our fault: we do NOT pray and hold up our leaders nearly enough…and their wives and children…

  179. yes: but we all need punishment for severe sin. The Lord will determine. PRIDE: seems to be the root of all evil…..and when it gets way to big…pain is the only thing left to be able to maybe change a man back to the Lord. But more often than not: NOT even that will do…

  180. He needs massive severe punishment. NOT discipline: PUNISHMENT. and his poor wife: can he congregation PLEASE help her??? YOU and I do not know what goes on behind their closed door: i would bet A LOT he is very abusive to her…HOW can he NOT be??? Look at his behavior OUTSIDE of doors: IN THE OPEN…Someone call the police and domestic abuse hot line for this poor sister…it is an exqusite kind of pain…no one can understand and there are no words for being abused by the one who promised to protect you against: EVERYONE and EVERYTHING: and against the enemy: instead: HE has Become the enemy…i hope he pays…for his evil deeds to her….Yes: my name is Heidi WOLFF: and i know abuse: when i SEE it.

  181. He is an abusive man.
    Someone: besided ME needs to FINALLY call a spade a spade: for his wife’s sake…

  182. He is obviously and abusive husband.
    Someone PLEASE help his wife.

  183. Mike: get a grip: stop pussy-footing and dancing: this guy’s soul is in serious trouble. all your crap bs: is going to keep him in prison.
    he is an abusive man: and needs to be tossed into treatment: STOP with your flowery excuses: i was a member at Overlake: i know what i am talking about: we…WE let our pastor down…we ignored: pumped him up…put our heads in the sand…and gave a bunch of “feel-good” wishy-washy excuses and words while our pastor’s accusations were coming out. If you are acting like this: obviously: you are weak and wishy-washy yourself: and cannot run a church…we need MEN to STAND up and call out b.s…come on man..i got more balls than any of you “men” who are speaking like you are: i am sure he is extremely abusive to his poor wife. and you are probably keeping your head in the sand about THAT too: God will hold you accountable on this…

  184. You know WHAT???
    Forget this a-hole.
    All you people: who want to “support” this d. b???? Forget about THAT….go run to his wife instead…..SHE needs you MORE than this massive tool.
    Yes: my name is: HEIDI WOLFF…at least it will be again soon: THANK YOU LORD…no more: LaShelle.

  185. Steven – I agree with your statement 100%. God will continue to move in the Driscoll’s lives and within the Marshill church families. We all have room to grow in The Lord. Thank you God that I am not in the public eye like Mark – You-all would’ve stoned me long ago.

  186. The comments…just wow. Please stop before your legs recede into your body and you become a brood of vipers hungry for blood. If you know what I mean.

  187. I’ve been involved in this for 48yrs wth the great and small in Mega famiky owned world , this man will not change, this is who he is, its what made him great, he is the guy, he has character faults inbread, if his guys take over, they are toast when he comes to power again, these are dictators who will not give up power, he has built a lifestyle of wealth and prosperity, he is not going back to starting over, Mars Hill needs to cut him loose and start over, over a number of years there will be no Mars Hill, it will be a memory for a while of a bad guy allowed to run loose by people who saw thus coming years ago but put up with him because of their salary or because he filled their conferences and made them money and prestege, these men and women are all over the Christian church today, its time to sean up and stop making excuses

  188. I agree with some if what you say but you have history against you Mark goes doesn’t mean the end, I would changethe name its all bad history, the church is not dependent on Mark, Jesus said I willbuild my church, its time for Mark to move on

  189. You may be correct for I cannot respond to what went on at Mars Hill, but if you call yourself a Christian, your words; B.S., balls, and such should not be used. “Stay away from even the appearance of evil.” “Let no filthy communication come out of your mouth.” Also, where did we forget that we should not take a brother to court before the world. All we are doing is bringing the name of our Lord down. I know satan is behind it all, but as you said, the men of God that were in Marks life should have stopped this before it reached this far. This is why we men and women have to have brothers and sisters close enough to us to keep us accountable. We need to pray that Jesus’ name will not be laughed at, for we know that the evil side is loving it.

  190. I am not shocked and disappointed with DeMoss for supporting this behavior. I am personally going theu this tyo of behavior from a senior pastor is a mega church. They know what they are doing yet care little in how it hurts their flock. This article is giving me the courage to speak up and perhaps report the same coming out of the mega church I’m trying to disengage from…
    I can only pray he really means in wanting to be redeemed but I can’t tell
    U how many times I’ve been told ‘it will get better’.

    And I know DeMoss and other PR firms and our FORMERS PR firm isn’t even with is any more due to the behavior . And DeMoss lets all be honest , you are getting paid to cover his mistakes . I’ve seen too much and know the routine. Shame on these men. We believed
    U were annointed and we followed you and you simply abused your position. Thanks … It’s time I came out…

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