As I told you last week, WORLD obtained a contract between Mars Hill Church and a public relations firm called Result Source that promised to land Pastor Mark Driscoll's book Real Marriage on the New York Times bestseller list. More specific details about the deal emerged later in the week. (Real Marriage did in fact place on the Times bestseller list, and stayed there for exactly one week before falling off.) Late last week, in the middle of a post titled "Note From Our Board of Advisors & Accountability," Mars Hill Church admits that these allegations are true.
In 2011, outside counsel advised our marketing team to use Result Source to market the Real Marriage book and attain placement on the New York Times Bestseller list. While not uncommon or illegal, this unwise strategy is not one we had used before or since, and not one we will use again. The true cost of this endeavor was much less than what has been reported, and to be clear, all of the books purchased through this campaign have been given away or sold through normal channels. All monies from the sale of Pastor Mark’s books at Mars Hill bookstores have always gone to the church and Pastor Mark did not profit from the Real Marriage books sold either at the church or through the Result Source marketing campaign.
That's a hell of a paragraph. Everyone else is doing it! "Outside counsel" told us to do it! It's not technically illegal! But we're not doing it anymore, you guys, and it didn't cost as much as everyone is saying! (Although I'm not sure how much less it could possibly be, considering the church basically paid an agency to buy thousands of copies of Driscoll's book.) Then there's this beautiful bit of a passive-aggressive non-apology:
The BOAA stands unreservedly behind Pastors Mark Driscoll, Sutton Turner and Dave Bruskas as the Executive Elders of Mars Hill Church. We deeply appreciate their endurance through false accusation, their submission to authority, and their humility where regrettable decisions from the past have come to light. We are thankful to God for His grace, which is evident in all that he allows for our good and his glory. We are confident that God is preparing Pastor Mark and the ministry of Mars Hill Church for a great harvest of souls in the days ahead.
The first thing they thank Driscoll and company for is their "endurance through false accusation," before they even bother to suggest that Driscoll might possibly be sorry for spending church money on this exercise in vanity. And where is Driscoll's statement on this? Is he sorry? Will future Driscoll books refer to him as a "New York Times Bestselling Author," even though he didn't really earn that title with Real Marriage? What does Driscoll think his buddy Jesus would have to say about all this? We don't know. Driscoll is too busy cowering behind his Board of Advisors and Accountability to address this issue personally. Kind of disappointing for a guy who spends a whole lot of time blathering about manhood and responsibility. You'd think Mark Driscoll would show some spine for once.
(Via Christian Nightmares.)