Seattle’s Mars Hill Church and its pastor Mark Driscoll have come under media fire lately according to a report in The Christian Post. Media reports fueled by the stories of two former members—one a former elder—say the church has cultlike qualities, including a strict membership covenant and harsh disciplinary procedures for willful sinners. Other local media reports compare Driscoll to a dictator and “a monster truck crushing everything in its path.”
But leaders at Mars Hill, including Driscoll, are answering the media’s accusations, acknowledging their membership covenant as necessary in order to be open and honest with congregants. They also explained their disciplinary procedures as “to help those who’ve chosen to trust church leadership to speak into their lives to live the life that God intends for them according the Bible…We take the process seriously and endeavor to always do it in love and humility.”
The statement continued to explain, “As with any church, we’re a community of saints who are in Christ but who also still struggle with sin, and the effects of sin are sometimes evident in devastating ways. In some cases, the severity of sin in a member’s life, especially when it harms others physically, emotionally, or spiritually, requires the leaders of the church to step in and provide correction in a loving and grace-filled way as laid out in several places in the Bible. This is traditionally referred to as church discipline.”
Leaders at Mars Hill called the situation with the two former members a “once discreet and private matter” that “now is on a grand stage.”
To read the entire statement from Mars Hill, click here.