The following are the official charges I made against Mark Driscoll and Sutton Turner and gave to the BOAA in the Fall of 2012.
The BOAA asked me in a letter they sent out:
“Do you have grievances or complaints against any Elder or Leader of Mars Hill Church?”
The following was my official response to them:
- You have led Mars Hill with a culture of pride, fear, and intimidation.
- You preach grace from the stage but don’t extend that same grace to the staff you lead.
- You have developed a culture where sin is not tolerated, therefore it is not confessed.
- You have led the staff in bitterness and rage for years because of your unforgiven sin that Grace committed against you. (This was very obvious in the abusive tone during staff meetings and trainings for several years, leading to demoralization and fear.)
- Your thirst and ambition to see your church grow have come at the cost of the very pastors and leaders that God has put in your care.
- The pastors are not being pastored, they are just employees that are expected to produce results.
- There is not honesty in why key leaders are leaving the church. It is always spun to be a politically correct “calling” vs the truth of why they are leaving, to include me.
- You have either not been aware of or ignored the fact that one member of the EE, Pastor Sutton, has been breaking the law and tarnishing the name of Jesus to unbelievers, thus disqualifying him from being a pastor of Mars Hill Church.
- You never communicated to the other Pastors of Mars Hill that I had left not only the staff of MHC, but the elder-ship and the church entirely.
- You have used threats and intimidation tactics with me to produce results.
- You have shared with me that you fully intended to fire another Pastor because he didn't fit the mold that you need for that position and then months later carried out laying him off.
- You have preached living a balanced life of God, Family, Ministry, but require your staff to work 70+ hours a week, neglecting the very things you preached about.
- You have forced anyone who needs to get a severance package when leaving to sign a gag order, preventing them from being able to speak about why they left Mars Hill.
- You have set your ambitions for the church above the people and leaders of the church.
- You have engaged Jesus’ bride with a business model and its pastoral leaders as pawns to be discarded when no longer needed.
- You have broken the law by requiring us to stay in a place when the city had issued official notices for us to leave, even when we had other places to go.
- You have broken the law by prohibiting me from getting a business license as required by Santa Ana because then they would discover we were still breaking the law by meeting illegally.
- You have tarnished the name of Jesus in the eyes of our non-Christian landlord to whom we were trying to be a witness by being in direct defiance of the local government, breaking the law and inviting him to participate with us to the extent of paying the fines that he was incurring for breaking the law.
- You made it clear that we would not move, even though we had other options, until the city kicked us out and then you would launch a negative ad campaign against the city, showing that they were persecuting the church, when in fact we are the ones in the wrong.
- You have made false accusations against me, another pastor of the church, calling me a liar, accusing me of stealing from the church and missing meetings with no evidence, witness, or proof.
- You have not treated me as a fellow pastor with respect, dignity, and honor, but as a dictator with an agenda.
- You have abused your spiritual authority and role against me, carrying on a legacy of fear in Mars Hill Church.
- You have disqualified yourself from pastoral leadership in the church according to (1 Tim 3:2-7) “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach... respectable.... not quarrelsome....”. “Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” (Titus 1:7) “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered...”
The BOAA then asked: “What other feedback do you have?”
My response was as follows:
I forgive each of you just as Jesus has forgiven me.
It is my hope and prayer that the words in this letter would be considered.
That there would be a season of repentance that would not stop until Jesus comes back. That the fruit would be a people who love to repent because the Gospel comes alive every time they do as they are reminded of the power of the Gospel of forgiveness and grace.
It is my prayer that each of you would spend the same amount of time and energy, if not more, focusing and working on the church and its leadership (staff) being above reproach in God’s eyes, as you do in efforts of growth. I totally understand that every church is run by fallen sinners to include myself. Despite all these sins and circumstances that caused hurt, we have felt God’s continuous hands leading and protecting us. We are thankful for our time at Mars Hill and are experiencing God’s grace in being able to forgive. It is a blessing to see God moving in other churches, and we are experiencing Jesus’ redemptive grace from the leaders of our current church who lead from grace rather than fear. May God’s grace and mercy be abundant for His leaders who repent often of their sin and lead their people to the foot of the cross, not just in word, but on their knees.
I love each of you and Mars Hill Church and pray for great health for each of you and the church. I ask The Holy Spirit to lead each of you with great clarity and encouragement, making the yoke light in the servant hood of Jesus’ Church.
In response, I received a letter from the BOAA that simply said thank you for your response. I have not heard anything from the BOAA or the Executive Elders since.
Most recently, the BOAA posted a communication to their community group leadership stating;
We received eighteen responses. While some were very positive, every response was read and reread, looking for anything that would disqualify Pastor Mark and any other Mars Hill leaders from serving, or that would require further investigation. Additionally, the Board looked for repetitive patterns that may also lead to potential disqualification. After a thorough review, the charges were determined to be non-disqualifying.
The Biblical Qualifications of a Pastor are clear. The violations listed above are direct quotes from the letter I sent the BOAA and EE.
If the BOAA states that "After a thorough review, the charges were determined to be non-disqualifying."
Please let me remind you of what the Biblical qualification for elder is:
1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1: 5-9, are the qualifications that I and so many others have seen, heard and experienced that Pastor Mark does NOT possess.
- Therefore an overseer must be above reproach
- He must be sober-minded
- He must be self-controlled
- He must be respectable
- Not violent but gentle
- Not quarrelsome
- Not a lover of money
- Not be arrogant or quick-tempered
- Not greedy for gain
There will always be sin in leadership, but where you have continued sin for years and years against hundreds of leaders and countless members, yet claim that it is "non-disqualifying" Your standard is clearly not coming from Scripture and I now know that there is truly no accountability for Mark and Sutton and this BOAA is a sham.
Another quote from the same letter states;
However, we are hungry for reconciliation and are continually grieved that many offenses and hurts are still unresolved. We want to seek out and hear the hurts in a biblical manner.
You need to know that I and the other Board members have witnessed the Holy Spirit’s work in Pastors Mark, Dave and Sutton as they’ve grieved deeply over the hurts and sorrows that they’ve been the source of. Their hearts yearn for repentance and reconciliation with those that have been hurt and offended.
My question is simply this, if they are "grieved and hungry for reconciliation," why have they not responded to another letter that was sent on March 17th by 20+ ex elders, myself included seeking their repentance and a mediator to help in this process?
Why if they "yearn for repentance and reconciliation" have they still not responded to either Dave Kraft or myself, the two most vocal advocates of repentance.