The below was submitted to PH via email. Since each fact checks out and the points are extremely relevant and important, PH is posting the article.
Mark Driscoll keeps changing the story.
Just as a suspected adulterer lies to cover his sin to appear innocent, Mark Driscoll and the elders are changing the story as they defend their actions.
This is illuminating. It shows that after 5 months there is still pressure to explain their actions. It also shows that Mark Driscoll and the elders are ashamed of the original story they put out and have to come up with better reasons why they fired Pastor Paul and Pastor Bent.
And… story is changing…again. Mark Driscoll now states publicly that the two pastors were fired for poor job performance. Why did we not hear this when they were fired 5 months ago? Because Mark Driscoll did not think of saying it 5 months ago – it was not even on his mind at that point. Furthermore, it never would have passed the laugh test then. They had both received good job performance reviews just a couple of months before their firings. We members have watched these men work harder than any two Elders we know.
So why this new lie from Mark Driscoll?
The new lie is being presented because the truth shows the actions taken to be sinful and wrong. He cannot stick to that story because it is shameful, and he therefore is still looking for the story that the hearers will believe, so that folks will just let this go. Now, he teaches young Acts 29 pastors that “just as he had to recently do, sometimes you have to remove elders even though there is no charge against them – they are simply not doing their job.”
Below is the evolution of what we have been told. Read it, and grieve for the sin of our leaders.
September 2007:The men were “fired for sin” Not moral sin but sin that serious enough to fire them. We members were not told what the sin was so as to protect the two elders and to avoid fueling gossip. (Munson letter on members site)
October 2007: It was all about the bylaws. In the resulting confusion and consternation from the membership, a long time member known for her respectful manner asked to see a copy of the bylaws under which she was governed and these men were fired, she was denied the opportunity. Instead, Mark Driscoll told her in an extremely patronizing tone on the members’ site that she had unintentionally stumbled on the root problem of the matter, the by-laws. (Driscoll post on members site)
October 2007: Violating Elder Protocol. Members were told that these men violated elder protocol by discussing the proposed by-laws with the church lawyer without the required permission. Additionally, these men did not have and that have a proper respect (an “unhealthy distrust”) for their leaders. Elder protocol was also violated when one of these men allowed one member to see the confidential proposed new bylaws so as to ask for his insight on the proposed changes. (Conversations with various elders, the 145 page document)
November 2, 2007: “Posturing and Grabbing at Power and Money.” The Elders presented the infamous 145 page document in which they endeavored to explain their actions. A thorough reading of this document does not imply or even hint that the men had inadequate job performance. Instead, the newest allegation was that the men were posturing for and attempting to grab power and money. This latest allegation had never been mentioned prior to this. A review of the facts shows that that there is absolutely no evidence that this accusation from Mark Driscoll is anything but a lie.* It was just another desperate attempt to pacify the members and put out the fire that they had started.
*A review of the facts shows clearly that if anyone can be accused of grabbing power and money it is Mark Driscoll and the other 4 executive elders. The very men that fired the two pastors and then proceeded to level charges against them are the same men that gained extraordinary power and additional money under the new by-laws. Under the existing bylaws, the executive 5 had only one vote of twenty four. The Executive 5 would have 1 vote of 5 under the new by-laws. The new by-laws stripped all the other elders of any real power. Pastor Paul and Pastor Bent would gain no power or money were the existing bylaws kept in place.
November/December 2007: “Paul Petry refuses to be reconciled.” This lie has been fairly effective, therefore the elders have kept saying it. James Harleman has said that Pastor Paul has refused to be reconciled despite the elders seeking reconciliation innumerable times. Tim Quiring states that Pastor Paul is divisive, angry, vindictive and “not responded to the grace being offered to him by the Mars Hill leadership.” (the 145 page document, the Shunning letter.) In fact neither of these men have made any contact with Pastor Paul at all in the 5 months since the firings. This is true of almost all the elders. Contrary to Mr. Harleman’s allegation, the number of attempts on the part of Mars Hill have been been pathetically few and usually adversarial in nature. When Pastor Paul did agree to meet with Elder “x”, this elder changed the terms of the meeting and refused to meet with Pastor Paul under the originally agreed upon terms. The Elders have refused to meet with Pastor Paul. While Elder x was trying to arrange this meeting with Pastor Paul, the Elders simultaneously were issuing a public announcement calling for Pastor Paul to be shunned by the members of Mars Hill. This is the grace referred to by Tim Quiring?
The “refusal to be reconciled” line has run its course and is becoming weak and non-credible.
February 2007: “Inadequate Job Performance” (Mark Driscoll – Acts 29 conference)
And the story gets spun and respun.
These various evolutions of history were occurring as the Elders were being challenged that the charges were silly, the trial not fair and just by any reasonable person’s standards, and that the process was simply a mistake by naïve elders at best or blatantly sinful and cruel at worst. Each new lie has confirmed that the trial had merely demonstrated the sin resident in the heart.
Of course these stories will eventually cease to work because no member would expect a party so badly treated to willingly subject himself to further abuse. Many of us members have inquired of both fired pastors and heard that the Elders are stubborn and refusing to meet or yield. The story told by these men give a totally different perspective of the events. Both men have called for elders to cease their lies and repent of their actions.
The original charges and the ensuing actions taken by the elders cannot stand the test of biblical scrutiny.
We now hear that Mark Driscoll, who clearly and publically voiced to the church his anger towards the two elders in his Sept 30th sermon before he even fired telling us that in fact the men were actually fired for poor job performance.
Well. This latest lie will not stick either.
What will the next lie be?
PH: Are these the actions of men qualified to be Elders?