Former Mars Hill Pastor Dave Kraft Explains Charges Against Mark Driscoll

Today on his blog, former Mars Hill Church Leadership pastor, Dave Kraft, explained more about his views on Mark Driscoll.

In May, 2013, Kraft filed formal charges against Driscoll with the Board of Advisors and Accountability. Many people provided evidence and personal experience to BOAA member Michael Van Skaik who chaired the committee assigned to investigate the charges. At least one witness tried to present evidence to the committee via face-to-face meetings but this offer to meet was refused with the explanation that testimony had to be presented in writing. Eventually, nothing was done and some of those who presented evidence received no response to the information submitted.

This background is important to help understand why so many former Mars Hill members and leaders are now going public. Many of them believe they have exhausted their private options to have their concerns heard. The current governance of Mars Hill gives only one avenue for grievances to be heard and that has been tried. The people cannot vote or officially raise items for discussion with leadership. The full council of elders cannot even call their own official meetings. All authority rests with the executive elders and four non-member supposedly independent members appointed by the BOAA. In that way, it is self-perpetuating with no input from any other entity. As Kraft notes in his post, many believe that a culture of fear has taken hold at Mars Hill.

For his part, Kraft outlined his concerns in today’s blog post:

I addressed these “concerns and issues” by filing “Formal Charges” in May of 2013, which I mentioned in my March 7 Blog Post

On September 19, 2013, I resigned my membership and Eldership, because I have serious questions about the ministry and leadership philosophy/practices of the Executive Elders of MHC, no longer trust them and, therefore, cannot submit to their authority.

Mark Driscoll’s sin(s) (for many of us who know him and have worked with him) are about clear violations of I Timothy 3, Titus 1 and I Peter 5.

1.  Not being self-controlled and disciplined

2.  Being domineering

3.  Being verbally violent

4.  Being arrogant

5.  Being quick-tempered

Now, no leader is perfect. All of us understand and agree with that and we are not demanding or expecting Mark Driscoll to be flawless. In the biblical passages cited above, a single instance might not be a disqualifier from eldership; but an established pattern of such behavior, supported and substantiated by eyewitnesses, would be. Such is the case with Mark. I believe (and so do many other former staff and elders) he has a long-standing pattern of consistently violating these leadership qualities and has done so with dozens of individuals with few, if any, signs of genuine repentance.

In his post, Kraft says that he is interested in the well being of Driscoll and Mars Hill. He also says that there are others who are interested in the controversy because they want to see Mars Hill decline. Kraft says:

There is a feeding frenzy in the media regarding Mars Hill Church. Those with something to say (and who are saying it) probably fit into two main camps.

1.  Those who want what’s best for MHC and its core leadership led by Mark Driscoll

2.  Those who would like to destroy both the church and its visionary and teaching pastor Mark Driscoll

In my opinion, if I am understanding him correctly, this is simplistic. I realize I could be wrong, but his option one sounds as though he believes the current leadership team should remain in place. If he means that, then I would disagree that there are only two options. I know numerous people who believe Driscoll should step down or go on sabbatical but at the same time have the best wishes and intentions for the church. They believe Driscoll’s removal or sabbatical would be best for both the church and Driscoll.

In any case, with this post, Kraft has pulled back the curtain a little more on the upheaval that has been roiling Mars Hill for months, if not years.

 


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