Why Does Mark Driscoll Get a Second Chance?

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Why Does Mark Driscoll Get a Second Chance?

Accord­ing to reports, Mark Driscoll has started a new church in Phoenix after resign­ing his job as driscollhead pas­tor of Mars Hill church almost a year ago. Driscoll resigned for sev­eral rea­sons includ­ing alle­ga­tions of pla­gia­rism, alleged bul­ly­ing of staff and was often crit­i­cized for his aggres­sive pas­tor­ing style.

Well, he’s back. So why does Mark Driscoll get a sec­ond chance?

To be fair, he didn’t com­mit adul­tery. That’s the sin that is high­lighted most on this blog. I do help pas­tors from all back­grounds with dif­fer­ent types of sin, but when pas­tors fall, it’s most often because of sex­ual sin.

There is plenty of reac­tion already to Driscoll’s new church and his return to the pas­torate. It’s pretty easy to find. It’s right there with web sites ded­i­cated to the prob­lems he had before.

I’m not Mark Driscoll fan. I don’t have Driscoll fan flags attached to my car or a Mark Driscoll Study Bible. I don’t even have a blan­ket state­ment for you regard­ing his return. I do want to address the ques­tion — “Why does Mark Driscoll get a sec­ond chance?

I know a lot of fallen pas­tors who have gone through a restora­tive process who are hum­ble men who are look­ing for a sec­ond chance who prob­a­bly deserve one, but won’t get one. And I know men who fell due to seri­ous sin and went right back to preach­ing in two weeks. The church at large hasn’t done a very good job at address­ing the basic issues and that’s why we find our­selves ask­ing ques­tions like this over and over again.

I’m not the arbiter of sec­ond chances. I don’t know a per­son who claims that right.

So, is it ok to say, like we do with tele­vi­sion shows we don’t like, “if you don’t like it, don’t watch”? Or is the return of a sin­ner to the pul­pit some­thing Chris­tian­ity must address?

I think we need to talk about it. There needs to be a grand dia­logue that fin­ishes with a plan in place. And I’m not talk­ing about just blog­ging about it. It’s not just talk that is filled with dis­gust that a sin­ner is allowed back in the pul­pit. We have to talk about grace — the kind of grace that lets the sin­ner that smells like pigs run back into his father’s arms and attend the ban­quet in his honor.

We have to talk about Jesus’ restora­tion of Peter. We have to address Gala­tians 6:1 and how it relates to this. We have to talk about who can be restored and how we’re going to do it.

It’s going to be messy and we aren’t all going to agree. But we have to start somewhere.

This isn’t some­thing we can just throw blog posts at. We need to have plans in place. Denom­i­na­tions, leads and struc­tures need to be ready to han­dle these things. Pas­tors who have fallen need to be ready with humil­ity. They need to be sur­rounded with a safety net of account­abil­ity and sup­port. The churches they return to need to be ready with love and grace and trained.

Sto­ries like this are full of hope, but can also be full of ter­ror for peo­ple who have been through the rough part of a pastor’s fall.

Why did Mark Driscoll get a sec­ond chance? Because some­one gave it to him. The same peo­ple who gave him that chance need to stand firm and gird him with prayer, daily sup­port and accountability.

Let us all work toward some sort of model of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, restora­tion and grace for all Chris­tians who sin. Because the world is watch­ing how we treat fel­low Chris­tians who fall from grace. May we love them as Christ did.

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Ray Car­roll is the author of “Fallen Pas­tor: Find­ing Restora­tion in a Bro­ken World,” which answers many of the ques­tions I get asked on a weekly basis.

If you are a fallen pas­tor who needs to talk or you are some­one who has been affected by a fallen pas­tor and would like to con­tact me pri­vately, please click here. You are the main rea­son this min­istry exists. I’m here to help you.

If you are a church, men’s group, asso­ci­a­tion, con­fer­ence, or news out­let and would like more infor­ma­tion about this min­istry, please click here.

Related arti­cles across the web

According to reports, Mark Driscoll has started a new church in Phoenix after resigning his job as driscollhead pastor of Mars Hill church almost a year ago. Driscoll resigned for several reasons including allegations of plagiarism, alleged bullying of staff and was often criticized for his aggressive pastoring style.

Well, he’s back. So why does Mark Driscoll get a second chance?

To be fair, he didn’t commit adultery. That’s the sin that is highlighted most on this blog. I do help pastors from all backgrounds with different types of sin, but when pastors fall, it’s most often because of sexual sin.

There is plenty of reaction already to Driscoll’s new church and his return to the pastorate. It’s pretty easy to find. It’s right there with web sites dedicated to the problems he had before.

I’m not Mark Driscoll fan. I don’t have Driscoll fan flags attached to my car or a Mark Driscoll Study Bible. I don’t even have a blanket statement for you regarding his return. I do want to address the question – “Why does Mark Driscoll get a second chance?

I know a lot of fallen pastors who have gone through a restorative process who are humble men who are looking for a second chance who probably deserve one, but won’t get one. And I know men who fell due to serious sin and went right back to preaching in two weeks. The church at large hasn’t done a very good job at addressing the basic issues and that’s why we find ourselves asking questions like this over and over again.

I’m not the arbiter of second chances. I don’t know a person who claims that right.

So, is it ok to say, like we do with television shows we don’t like, “if you don’t like it, don’t watch“? Or is the return of a sinner to the pulpit something Christianity must address?

I think we need to talk about it. There needs to be a grand dialogue that finishes with a plan in place. And I’m not talking about just blogging about it. It’s not just talk that is filled with disgust that a sinner is allowed back in the pulpit. We have to talk about grace – the kind of grace that lets the sinner that smells like pigs run back into his father’s arms and attend the banquet in his honor.

We have to talk about Jesus’ restoration of Peter. We have to address Galatians 6:1 and how it relates to this. We have to talk about who can be restored and how we’re going to do it.

It’s going to be messy and we aren’t all going to agree. But we have to start somewhere.

This isn’t something we can just throw blog posts at. We need to have plans in place. Denominations, leads and structures need to be ready to handle these things. Pastors who have fallen need to be ready with humility. They need to be surrounded with a safety net of accountability and support. The churches they return to need to be ready with love and grace and trained.

Stories like this are full of hope, but can also be full of terror for people who have been through the rough part of a pastor’s fall.

Why did Mark Driscoll get a second chance? Because someone gave it to him. The same people who gave him that chance need to stand firm and gird him with prayer, daily support and accountability.

Let us all work toward some sort of model of reconciliation, restoration and grace for all Christians who sin. Because the world is watching how we treat fellow Christians who fall from grace. May we love them as Christ did.

_________________

Ray Carroll is the author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” which answers many of the questions I get asked on a weekly basis.

If you are a fallen pastor who needs to talk or you are someone who has been affected by a fallen pastor and would like to contact me privately, please click here. You are the main reason this ministry exists. I’m here to help you.

If you are a church, men’s group, association, conference, or news outlet and would like more information about this ministry, please click here.

Related articles across the web

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