"The 9 Lives of Mark Driscoll" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
Mark Driscoll is like a cat in many ways:
- He is fiercely independent.
- He doesn't care whether you love him or not.
- He always lands on his feet.
- He can't be controlled.
- He is unaffected by discipline.
- He keeps coming back.
- He has nine lives.
None of these are bad things. In fact, they're potentially good qualities to have. I'm personally glad Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill Church because he came across as a sexist bully. The leadership stated that he was arrogant, had a quick temper, employed harsh speech, and lead the staff and elders in a domineering manner. However, even though they felt he should take a sabbatical and get help, they did not feel this¬†disqualified him from pastoral ministry.
I consider it unwise to not wait until you've gone through some serious self-analysis. That was a pretty precise indictment from his church, as well as from the public at large. But I think his leaders' back-handed endorsement¬†gave him the impetus to get right back into it again... this time completely independent. He's launched a brand new website
where he will sell his products and services, as well as raise donations.
He's rebranding and re-marketing himself.¬†I don't blame him. Some people are livid. My thoughts are... why not? He's doing what he does best. He has a family to care for. He does have books and courses and sermons. He does provide services. He is registering a charity so that it can receive¬†donations. Of course he's going to do this! Who wouldn't? When I left the ministry and the church in 2010, it took me a couple years to somewhat recover and finally start with all seriousness my own online endeavors. This is what lots of¬†people do. They always find ways to be who they are in this world in spite of opposition. I am curious to see if or how he's changed.
Some would say he's more dangerous now because he's completely unaccountable. However, I believe it was the power of the internet that forced him to resign from local pastoral ministry. In a way, the public was his accountability group. As it should be. For him. That's the way I see it for myself. I do have people in my life who speak directly and honestly with me. I also have you. Driscoll has us. I don't like his style or his theology. But it's a free world. My hope is that we can continue critiquing in ways that are helpful for people and their communities.
I'm personally committed to analyzing¬†ideas, behaviors and systems, especially as they relate to our spiritual communities.
Mark is free to do what he's doing. I am free to continue analyzing.