Long time readers here will know how frustrated I’ve been over the years at how easy it has been for rogue pastors to survive scandals, indeed to prosper after the scandals died.
Why might it be different this time ?
As with most of these situations, the internal accountability of Mars Hill is nil.
Because the structure is set up to keep the powerful in power, the call for accountability has to come from outside.
That’s where social media comes in.
We’ve run stories about abuse at Mars Hill for at least six or seven years….others have done more, longer.
Social media is never enough to force real change.
The real change has to come from inside and out and the biggest blow to Driscoll was when multiple former elders and pastors admitted to being both abused and abusers.
That triggered the real key to reform…the people in the pews started to leave and take their money with them.
Those three keys working together made it uncomfortable enough in the throne room for Driscoll to move from stonewalling (the most effective way to deal with social media pressure) to vague apology…where he blew it.
That has led the local media in Seattle to run stories about the matter and brought Driscoll and Mars Hill to the tipping point.
It takes all three factors I’ve outlined to make it so…the only one that will work solo is #3.
1. Social media.
2. Internal sources willing to speak and ready to change.
3. The pews choosing to take definitive actions.
All three have come together against Driscoll…now they just need to finish the job.
I think Jonna Petry said it eloquently;
“Why would a Christian protest a church?” Because years have passed and abuse and corruption continues unchecked, because people are exploited and harmed and the gospel is maligned…because a real Christian loves Jesus and wants to see His church healthy and strong and the LOVE of God proclaimed. Below are my personal reasons why I will be joining a peaceful protest this Sunday August 3rd at the Bellevue Campus. I hope many will join me us.
1.Out of love for God and others (Matthew 22:37, John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 16:13) 2.To warn and protect others from harm (Acts 20:28-30. 1 Corinthians 13) 3.To call abusive church leaders to account (Matthew 18:17, Luke 17:1-3) 4.To expose lies, deception and evil (Ephesians 5:11) 5.To advocate for victims and perpetrators (Matthew 25:40) 6.To promote healing, growth and new life in people, relationships and communities (Luke 5:31) 7.To stand against oppression, injustice and greed (Luke 4:18, Jeremiah 22:13, 1 Timothy 6:10)
I’ll just say the “amen”.