It's the first week of Pastor Mark Driscoll's six-week "extended leave" and things are still happening at a pretty fast clip over at Mars Hill Church. Yesterday, Warren Throckmorton published a letter from 9 current church elders asking Driscoll to agree to a "restoration plan" before he could resume his role at the church. Throckmorton also says the pastors "raised significant questions regarding the veracity of information which has come from the Mars Hill Church Board of Advisors and Accountability." As always, Throckmorton was all over this story, digging deeper into Mars Hill guidelines in a separate post.
Yesterday evening, Paige Cornwell at the Seattle Times says:
Pastor Mark Dunford of Mars Hill Portland was terminated on Wednesday, KING-TV reported. Dunford was one of nine pastors who expressed their concern about the state of leadership and the lack of transparency in the megachurch in the letter obtained by blogger Warren Throckmorton, who has tracked Mars Hill developments on the website Patheos.com.
So let's get this straight: Mark Driscoll claimed he was going to await judgment from Mars Hill. At the same time, a hotshot evangelical PR guy arrives on the scene, and now an elder who voiced concern that Driscoll might get off easy has reportedly been fired. If you ask me, I'd say these don't look like the actions of a church that is in the process of fundamentally changing itself.
In the meantime, Throckmorton points out that a Change.org petition has been posted asking Mars Hill's board to "listen and support" the nine elders who wrote the letter. You might want to show your support for the nine—now eight—elders for speaking out so bravely.