Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's None of Our Business

You may have heard that Mark Driscoll is having problems right now. Without going into the details, his book marketing strategy has been seen as unethical, and perhaps, illegal. I’ll let others sort that out. Now, a letter of apology has been making its way around the Internet. I’ll let you read the letter, if you like.

But what I find more interesting than the letter is the response that some people have given it. While my doctrinal views don’t completely align with those of Mark Driscoll, I felt the letter was very appropriate for the situation. Others did not agree. One person suggested that Mark Driscoll make himself accountable to someone outside his own congregation.

While there may be people outside his congregation that deserve and apology and an apology doesn’t remove any legal obligations that might exist, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything in scripture that says a pastor must be accountable to anyone other than the church and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church. And when I say church, I mean that local visible body of baptized believers that he pastors. There are differences in how individual churches choose to govern themselves, but it appears that, at Mars Hill Church, it is the Board of Advisors and Accountability that is authorized by the church to hold their pastor accountable.

Short of any legal concerns, for those of us outside of that church, it is none of our business. Mark Driscoll is accountable to that church and he wrote a letter to that church. It is not my place to criticize the letter he wrote to them or to question his sincerity.

That’s one of the things I hate about the view of “the church” being everyone who ever accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. People take that as authority to stick their nose into the business of a church they have nothing to do with. You won’t find them visiting the sick of that church, or even attending their worship services, but they’re all too eager to tell them how long the rope should be to hang their pastor.

There’s nothing wrong with talking about the things we can learn from this situation. Don’t do what Mark Driscoll did by allowing a ghost writer to plagiarize material, for example. Or when you do something wrong, do like Mark Driscoll and apologize. But unless you are a member of Mars Hill Church or some other institution that has authority over Mark Driscoll, it is not your place to decide what should be done to him. That is especially true for Christians. If Christians can’t recognize the value of forgiving someone after they apologize, no one will.