A Letter Of Apology From Pastor Mark Driscoll

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Mark Driscoll is one of the today’s most talked about pastors. His controversial sermons and theological viewpoints have become a pinnacle foundation to his success. I myself admire his passion and zeal for the Lord. And while many people are standing against him amidst his most recent New York Times controversy, a recent open letter from pastor Mark has many rethinking their harsh words.

Here’s the full text that was shared.

“Dear Mars Hill Church,

Thank you.

I have received a great deal of love and encouragement from you for more than 17 years. I genuinely appreciate every person who prays for my family and me. Also, I continue to find great joy in teaching the Bible every week to people I have grown to love with a father’s affection.

For those of you who have been around for a while, it is amazing for us to see all that Jesus has done. People often ask if our church today resembles what I had originally planned. Not even close. The smallest location of a Mars Hill Church is bigger than what my total vision was for the whole church when we started.

As the church grew over the years, it was clear that both the church and I were unhealthy in some ways, despite some wonderful people and amazing things that the Holy Spirit was doing in and through them. For years, I felt a joy in teaching the Bible and love for the people, but frankly was overwhelmed on how to organize and lead all that was happening. I felt the crushing weight of responsibility but did not know what to do, and I lacked the abilities to figure it out. I was frustrated at my shortcomings, but needed help from people who were more experienced and mature. In my worst moments, I was angry in a sinful way. For those occasions, I am sorry. As I’ve expressed in several sermons, I needed to mature as a leader, and we needed to mature as a church.

In the last year or two, I have been deeply convicted by God that my angry-young-prophet days are over, to be replaced by a helpful, Bible-teaching spiritual father. Those closest to me have said they recognize a deep change, which has been encouraging because I hope to continually be sanctified by God’s grace. I understand that people who saw or experienced my sin during this season are hurt and in some cases have not yet come to a place of peace or resolution. I have been burdened by this for the past year and have had private meetings one at a time to learn from, apologize to, and reconcile with people. Many of those meetings were among the most encouraging moments in my time at our church. Sadly, not all of those relationships are yet mended, but I am praying that God is gracious to get us to that place of grace. Now that others have come forward, my desire is to have similar meetings with those who are willing.

In the past few years, we have also made significant improvements to how we are governed and organized as a church. This has been difficult, but long overdue. The Board of Advisors and Accountability is a great blessing to us all, as they combine wise counsel and strong oversight during this process. I have been a pastor for a long time, but have not had a close pastor since college. I now rejoice that God has been gracious to give me pastors for accountability and wise counsel. Through their counsel to confess my own sin, while not being distracted by the shortcomings of others, the Holy Spirit is making me a better man and pastor, which I pray helps us to become a better church. This is the truest and strongest pastoral love and accountability that I have ever had and I thank the Lord for it. Pastor Dave and Pastor Sutton have also joined me as Executive Elders. They have been very helpful in getting my team and me to the most unified, loving, and healthy place we have ever been. I really love our church, and I see where it was unhealthy, where it has gotten healthier, and where we can continue in that path. I am very encouraged by where we are and where we are going.

However, this process has required a lot of changes, and admittedly we did not handle all of these changes equally well. We are fully aware of and grieved by ways we could have done better with a more effective process and more patience, starting with me. I am deeply grieved and even depressed by the pain we have caused. Many have chosen to air their concerns online, and I apologize for any burden this may have brought on you, and I will do my best to clarify a few things without, I hope, being angry or defensive.

First, a marketing company called ResultSource was used in conjunction with the book Real Marriage, which was released in January 2012. My understanding of the ResultSource marketing strategy was to maximize book sales, so that we could reach more people with the message and help grow our church. In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong. I am sorry that I used this strategy, and will never use it again. I have also asked my publisher to not use the “#1 New York Times bestseller” status in future publications, and am working to remove this from past publications as well.

Second, in recent years, some have used the language of “celebrity pastor” to describe me and some other Christian leaders. In my experience, celebrity pastors eventually get enough speaking and writing opportunities outside the church that their focus on the church is compromised, until eventually they decide to leave and go do other things. Without judging any of those who have done this, let me be clear that my desires are exactly the opposite. I want to be under pastoral authority, in community, and a Bible-teaching pastor who grows as a loving spiritual father at home and in our church home for years to come. I don’t see how I can be both a celebrity and a pastor, and so I am happy to give up the former so that I can focus on the latter.

When I was a new Christian at the age of 19, God spoke to me and told me to do four things. Today, I see that calling as:

Love Grace and our family Preach the Bible Train leaders (especially men) Plant churches Other things may be good, but I do not have the time or energy for them right now. My family and our church family need me focused and energized, and that is my deep desire. Therefore, I will be spending my energies growing in Christ-like character by grace, staying connected to Grace and our kids, loving and serving Mars Hill Church which continues to grow, teaching the Bible, and serving Christian leaders through such things as blogs and podcasts at Resurgence. Starting this fall, I will also be teaching at Corban University and Western Seminary in Bellevue to invest in young leaders. For a season, I want to pull back from many things in order for us to focus on the most important things: glorifying Jesus by making disciples and planting churches as a healthy, loving, and unified church, with our hands on the Bible and our eyes on Jesus.

To reset my life, I will not be on social media for at least the remainder of the year. The distractions it can cause for my family and our church family are not fruitful or helpful at this time. At the end of the year, I will consider if and when to reappear on social media, and I will seek the counsel of my pastors on this matter. In the meantime, Mars Hill and Resurgence will continue to post blogs, sermons, and podcasts on my social media accounts, but otherwise I’m going offline.

I will also be doing much less travel and speaking in the next season. In recent years, I have cut back significantly, but I will now cut back even more. I have cancelled some speaking events, and I am still determining the best course of action for a few that I’ve committed to, as they are evangelistic opportunities to invite people to salvation in Jesus Christ, which is something I care about deeply. I will be doing very few media interviews, if any. Also, I’m communicating with my publisher to determine how to meet my existing obligations and have a much less intense writing schedule.

Personally, I find this all relieving. The pressure and pace has increased every year since I started in 1996. I don’t want to be burned out or angry, and I want to become more like Jesus every year. I want to teach the Bible, love well, and run at a pace to finish my race many decades from now. My health is actually in the best place it has been in recent years. I have a skilled and unified team that loves you and can handle more responsibility, if I can free up the time and energy to love them and invest in them. Grace and the kids are doing very well, and my family is still my joy and priority. This year we will have three of our five kids as teenagers, and our oldest will be a senior preparing for college. I don’t want to miss this season, as these are years I can never get back. If I am going to err, I want it to be on the side of guarding too much time and energy for family and church family rather than not enough.

To be clear, these are decisions I have come to with our Senior Pastor Jesus Christ. I believe this is what He is asking of me, and so I want to obey Him. The first person I discussed this with was our first, and still best, church member, Grace. Her loving agreement and wise counsel only confirmed this wonderful opportunity to reset some aspects of our life. I want to publicly thank her, as it was 26 years ago this week that we had our first date. She is the greatest friend and biggest blessing in my life after Jesus. When we recently discussed this plan to reset our life together, late at night on the couch, she started crying tears of joy. She did not know how to make our life more sustainable, and did not want to discourage me, but had been praying that God would reveal to me a way to reset our life. Her prayer was answered, and for that we are both relieved at what a sustainable, joyful, and fruitful future could be. As an anniversary present, I want to give her more of her best friend.

I have also submitted these decisions to the Board of Advisors and Accountability. They have approved of this direction and are 100 percent supportive of these changes. It’s a wonderful thing to have true accountability and not be an independent decision maker regarding my ministry and, most importantly, our church.

Lastly, if God would lead you to pray for me, the Scripture he has impressed upon me this past year or two is 1 Corinthians 4:15: “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” As I get older, I am seeking to increasingly love our people as I do my own children in order for our church to be a great family, because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

With the Father’s affection, –Pastor Mark Driscoll”

Whether you follow Mark Driscoll’s ministry or not, credit is due to any man to admits the wrong in his actions. He a brother in Christ who deserves grace just as much as the next person. Bravo, Mark!

___

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

Husband, pastor, author, and blogger. Highly unconventional.

246 Comments

  1. Shaun Moynihan

    March 16, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    So encouraging to hear this. While I am not savvy to the controversies surrounding him or his church it is encouraging to see a true man of God choose to do what’s right.

    I’ll be praying for him and look forward to seeing how the ministry, through Christ, continues to grow.

    • Cris

      March 17, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      When did the rules change? I thought WE are not to judge, rather to pray for those that are the enemy! For me, Mark Driscoll is far from the enemy! Shame on all of you that cannot accept an apology for what it truly is. An effort and exercise in humility! As Jesus said,” let he who is with out sin cast the first stone!” I may be a Christian with a long way to go, but I do know this, as a Christian and another human being, I am not nor never could be so righteous that I can stand in judgment of another.

      • Tim O'Reilly

        March 19, 2014 at 9:10 am

        Cris, a casual reading of the scripture seems to suggest that WE are not to judge. But read it again with these questions in mind, “is there judging going on?” and “who is judging who about what?” You may be surprised at how often it occurs, judging that is. So how do we resolve the question of “judging?” By having a eagerness to forgive when possible is one way, can you suggest others in keeping with scriptures?

      • Kate

        March 19, 2014 at 9:19 am

        We ARE to judge all the things within the walls of our church…I Cor. 5:12 thru most of chapter 6…..it says we cannot judge those outside the church because they are not saved and don’t know they do wrong, but we are to practice judging because one day we will be in charge of judging the angels.

        Besides the fact, we all judge all the time. Haven’t you ever said…..you don’t like how this one or that one acts, or dresses, or how someone drives……someone you don’t want your kids yo hang out with…..or movies you don’t think they or someone else should see????

        There are several other places that tell us to judge….and that we are to walk away from some people….just as Jesus did….so that their sinful life does not hurt our walk with Him.

    • Rick Duarte Brown

      March 18, 2014 at 4:35 am

      I believe coming to the place where my hand on the bible and my eyes on Christ is where i want to be. Mark is in tune with the Spirit of God and will mature that is the best part of his sensitivity and repentance …if we examine our own walk we can find room for bearing the cross. We all will give God the ultimate praise like Mark. I stand in prayer agreement with Mark and the rest of the body .

    • DR

      March 18, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Well said Shaun!!

    • Corrina Alcocer

      March 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Pastor Mark !!! All I can say is that ,,,,YOU ROCK !!! Blessings Over You & Your Awesome Family :))) Thank You For Honoring The Father in your Humility !!! And being a GREAT example to us as a people in the faith..

      In The Faith
      Corrina Alcocer
      Praise Chapel Christian Fellowship
      Huntington Park California

    • Bart

      March 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      BS just packaged a bit differently….this is the latest marketing ploy, do not get conned….even the MLM Marketing and Self Help Guru’s are using this same tactic…..crapola at it’s finest……

      • Dan

        March 18, 2014 at 8:33 pm

        Bart, what WOULD you accept from the guy? Honestly dude…

        • Jason

          March 19, 2014 at 5:30 am

          This is not the first time Mark Driscoll has publicly apologized and “repented” for lack of humility.(http://marshill.com/media/rebels-guide-to-joy/the-rebels-guide-to-joy-in-humility/ajax_transcript). To me his apologies seem as self-serving as anything else he does or says. Ultimately, in such matters, one has to go with what the Holy Spirit tells you, and his own gut. I think this man lives mostly for himself and his own name.

          • Brian Seaworth

            March 19, 2014 at 8:44 am

            Agreed, from what I have been able to determine from this missive.

          • Don

            March 19, 2014 at 10:17 am

            So how many times are you called to forgive him Jason? Is it once? Perhaps the famous 3 strikes and you’re out applies? How many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but 70 times seven.

            Jesus never said forgive him unless it he has asked forgiveness before and failed. That would be the Gospel according to Jason.

          • mark

            March 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm

            @Jason – You seem to know Dricoll’s heart quite well… Are you God?

      • Dave

        March 18, 2014 at 11:30 pm

        What a sad, cynical opinion. This apology represents exactly the kind of attitude Jesus encouraged his followers to adopt. And those who truly try to follow him will have to issue these kinds of statements, whether in public or private, dozens if not hundreds of times during a life well-lived.

    • Brian Seaworth

      March 19, 2014 at 8:43 am

      I have no idea who Mark Driscoll is. I was directed to this site by a friend from Facebook.

      So my remarks are based simply on what I am reading here. obviously to anyone outside (like myself) I am not privy to all the details included in the apology.

      So to work my way back from the conclusion of this tome, if I may:

      “It’s a wonderful thing to have true accountability and not be an independent decision maker regarding my ministry… ”

      So he was at some point one of many pastors who are control freaks and when the wheels begin to fall off, one either has to recognize that they need help in controlling that which has gotten out of hand or have everything disassemble around them. Wisely, it appears, he chose the former in order to keep his position.

      “Also, I’m communicating with my publisher to determine how to meet my existing obligations and have a much less intense writing schedule.”

      How about a zero writing schedule and commit to being a pastor, tending to the flock, and tell your publisher that you are out of the writing phase some time to come and resolved to be in the preaching phase. What are the existing obligations? Obviously, they are such that your current ability to minister 100% to your congregation are marginalized to at least some extent. The travel. The speaking engagements. The writing. All of them interfere with your primary objective as pastor.

      “I don’t want to be burned out or angry…”

      Who does? People become that way of their own will when the pressures of taking on extensive responsibilities overcomes them. Being the pastor of a church is enough to bring many a minister to their knees with grief and anger over time. Add to that the other responsibilities Mr. Driscoll has taken on and this was a flame-out in the making.

      “I’ve cancelled some speaking events.”

      Cancel all of them. Your a pastor of a church. Your speaking events should be narrowed to the pulpit and places where your members are who cannot come to church because of physical limitations.

      “At the end of the year, I will consider if and when to reappear on social media, and I will seek the counsel of my pastors on this matter.”

      If your pastors are smart, they’ll advise you to stay off them permanently because none of that tenders to your members, only the greater public at large, all of whom will have differing opinions on whatever it is you propose to enlighten them with.

      In closing, this apology includes a lot of “we.” That should have been left out completely. Unless everyone else is equally culpable, this is an “I” matter.

      It just seems from this outpouring that you should never have been a pastor. I do not intend that to be negative. I’m simply pointing out that with your past desire to become social media recognizable, the book writing, the speaking engagements, that you would have been better served as an evangelist or simply a writer, expositing on Biblical truths as you perceived them. Nothing wrong with that, but you can’t have your cake (pastor) and eat it too (traveling expositor.)

      I have no comment on the apology per se. I don’t judge by what people say or write. I don’t have an opinion on how deeply you feel about it. But I pray that it was sincere and that you are making a decision to become a pastor, something that appears you are still struggling with. I wish you well, brother.

      • Chuck

        March 19, 2014 at 9:09 am

        Well thought out and objective analysis. Helpful observations and comments. (Also the rules have not changed. We are still accountable to use discernment and make right judments. How else are we to tell between good and evil, right and wrong, helpful or hurtful, etc? John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.)
        Brother Brian, I appreciated your balanced, constructive and thoughtful response.

        • Brian Seaworth

          March 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm

          Thanks, Brother Chuck. Let me just say, and this is only speaking for myself, I’m In a really poor spot to judge anyone regarding anything they do, say, or will to do in the spiritual realm. I’m mindful of the verses about judging with wise discernment, but I am not wiser than God, who has already said in his Word that not only is vengeance His, but, if one looks at John 3:18, those who do evil are already judged. Hence, I’m doubling up when it isn’t necessary. I will leave that to those wiser and capable of more discernment than I.

      • Terry Carter

        March 19, 2014 at 6:53 pm

        Well sir, you say you don’t judge but what I have read thats all you’ve done. I am not judging you but making an observation that you have a critical spirit. Some people have multipal gifts given to them by the holy spirit and if they are given they need to be used, granted in a balanced way, but used never the less. Mark has realised this and is making adjustments because it has evidently caused problems in his family and in the church,he is trying to make them right. A dose of humility might be a good start for you.

    • Brian Seaworth

      March 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      While you may not be aware of the controversies surrounding the pastor, a cursory Google check will fill in the blanks. If you want devisive, Brother Shaun, you just hit the jackpot.

      Sorry for all of you who endear yourselves to Mark Driscoll’s teachings. I’m only gleaning from Internet sources. They could all be wrong of course. But if only a fraction of them are true, I suspect there are former members who currently meet once each week in some type of support group in an attempt to undo the damage done to their minds from earlier days.

  2. Jason Prater

    March 17, 2014 at 6:10 am

    While I do not agree with everything Mark says or does, I have always had a great respect for him and and his ministry. Today that respect deepened. I so appreciate that he is setting himself up for “decades” of ministry and not simply enjoying the moment. Many blessings to Mark, Grace, their family and Mars Hill!

  3. Judy Sutton

    March 17, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Blessings, Grace and Peace to you and your family as you follow and serve our Jesus! I have the utmost respect for any one, especially a man of God who admits and asks forgiveness for his errors…first from Father and then his church body and then openly before the public. This shows much Wisdom!

  4. Jerry & Claudia Root

    March 17, 2014 at 6:27 am

    This is a powerful letter and we will be praying for Mark and his family. We have been concerned over the years to see the direction he was going. Praise our Lord Jesus Christ for opening Mark’s eyes and for Godly people around him.

  5. Martin

    March 17, 2014 at 8:15 am

    This is a positive development in the rocky road that has been Driscoll’s barnstorming ways of the past few years, however I have seen many people point this out very early during these times, but in this era of “Only God can judge me”, if anyone spots something sideways and points it out, they are immediately labeled a hater, cynic, and voraciously reminded that they are not ‘to judge’. We are actually to judge, according to the fruit of the Spirit. Constructive criticism is necessary in every walk of life. If you remove accountability, const. criticism, etc…you create a monster for lack of a better word. If you followed Driscoll on Twitter, the last couple of years, and saw his writing and speaking schedule, and factored in that he has a wife and 5 kids on top of it, you saw clearly that his ego was exploding at a rate that was not compatible with what he was teaching and preaching. I mean do we really need a book from Mark Driscoll every 6-9 months??? Is he an expert on everything??? If you are churning out that much material, aren’t you now competing with one’s Bible reading time? Can’t what he wants to convey in books be covered in sermons and podcasts? Of course, but not if, as he admitted you are trying to “increase book sales” and then rationalize it by thinking you’re exploding sales to reach more. I would love to see how many unsaved people were buying the books or was it just the same huge core of Christians every time….Thank goodness Piper had the guts to call him out a few months ago on Twitter in GhostwriterGate. Which I also found interesting, that he did NOT address that in this apology. Frankly, this was offensive to many, many Christians that I know, and also explains how he could pump out so many books in a such a short amount of time, on so many subjects at such a relatively young age. He had a team of researchers who were pulling from anywhere and everywhere, were not citing it, and Driscoll in turn, was not crediting them for doing the work. Wow! what a tangled web we weave when we deceive. Also, explains his great sense of relief and desire to somehow get out of this book deal. Makes perfect sense now. And is the RIGHT MOVE by the way.
    For anyone, that thinks I’m hating on him, I’m not. I listen to the podcast, I’m not with him 100% on theology, but I do think his love for God is genuine, and I am very thankful that this didn’t lead to a moral failing that put a black eye on Christianity. This was relatively speaking, nipped in the bud. I would have liked for him to be more direct about the plagiarism and deceitful writing credits practice, but I’ll respect him for addressing his shortcomings period. That is to be admired. The lesson here is very important, do not discard the importance of accountability, especially by hiding behind the ‘only God can judge’ curtain. I think the people that yell that the loudest, are most in need of someone judging them in love, according to the fruit of the Spirit. Repel accountability, invite narcissism.

    • Dave

      March 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Well said brother!

    • shepard

      March 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Again well said Martin!

      Good start, but is it far enough from the standpoint of Scripture for sin, where is the admission of SIN? And a plea for FORGIVENESS? Sorry they seem to be missing. Former pastors, elders, leaders, and our beloved sheep that have been mislead, mistaught, and misloved, and misServed? SHAME on Leaders who ABUSE, they Claim to be leaders, PROVE IT BY SERVING THE BEST! Jesus have mercy!
      The largest False doctrine in the body, that is more lived out then taught is TOLERANCE.

      There is oh so much more than this ‘so called’ apology’ what about all the saints that he has biblically OFFENDED? Jesus does NOT have a kind word of apology for that does HE? Follow the monies, follow the fake book sales, follow the documented abuses
      NO christian is ABOVE the Word of God, It IS the final word on authority,and all things IN JESUS’s Church and should be in MHC as well.
      And yes I HAVE emailed and talked to this person before, but only on ‘deaf’ ears. We know them by their fruits Jesus’s words NOT yours or mine.
      Doctrine and how that doctrine is lived out.
      Our prayers and fasting continue for the families, exMHC sheep have are damaged and stray. Grace, and the family you continue to be put before the High and Lofty One who inhabits Eternity!
      Still believe it best for the non biblical Exec Elders to be removed yes, ALL OF THEM!
      a member of the body of Jesus

      • Emmanuel

        March 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm

        So what do you want him to do? What admission of sin are you looking for other than what he has pointed out? Mark has done what most of us would probably never do, admitting that he was wrong and that there was sin in his life. What the body of Christ should do is to pray for him and his congregation. Self righteous people will always criticize even when they themselves are guilty of the same sin.

      • Nixx862

        March 18, 2014 at 5:31 am

        First, Nothing can frustrate me more than those who wish to uphold the justice of God longer than God does. Look in the mirror and realize you are just as guilty, just not as public and yet you still receive grace just like Driscoll.

        Secondly what one thinks is moral and what information one knows about a situation often affects how one feels. Since you don’t have all the information and you have a lifetime of breaking God’s heart by breaking his laws yourselfs get off the high thrown say thank you for the apology and move on.

      • Sher

        March 18, 2014 at 6:56 am

        I will be praying for you and the bitterness you have

      • chicka2

        March 18, 2014 at 10:31 am

        There’s a very clear admittance of sin here… especially referring to his angry prophet days. Mr. Driscoll does not owe YOU the apology. He has, however, made it clear he is seeking to apologize to those who are deserving of it, making right and asking for forgiveness to those he has hurt(intentionally or unintentionally). Beware of taking on hurt and judgement toward sin you had no part in as giver or receiver. That is between him, God and the offendeds.

    • mike gruppen

      March 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Wow, such a sad response to an apology. The church is truly the only army that will shoot their wounded.

      • Pam

        March 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm

        And Mark Driscoll has done more than his fair share of shooting over the years, pretty much none of which he’s apologised for. The way he kicked out Paul Petry and Bent Meyer was abhorrent. He’s threatened physical violence to his opponents. His fans have never called him out on this, and try and silence anyone who does on the spurious notion that Christians shouldn’t publicly criticise each other.

      • Tracy Meyer

        March 18, 2014 at 3:09 am

        Sad but true Mike. Too many sinners with with planks in their eye and stones in their hands.

      • James

        March 18, 2014 at 7:22 am

        Mike, I was thinking the same thing. I haven’t been a big Driscoll fan in the past, but his letter is a strong testimony of humility and change.
        How true it is that the church is so quick to shoot their wounded and what motivates that attitude? Blessings

      • Chelsea

        March 18, 2014 at 8:03 am

        Absolutely!! That is exactly what I was thinking… So many so quick to find the fault in EVERYTHING – an no I’m not saying don’t make righteous judgement, but – what are you/we getting from all this? What’s the point of this righteous judgment/or just plain judgement, who am I to judge (haha)?

      • DR

        March 18, 2014 at 3:06 pm

        Exactly Mike!

    • Lee Lanier

      March 17, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      What exactly is the apology for?

    • Tom

      March 17, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      I love your reply

    • MEUSOC

      March 17, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      Unbelievable… no believable. Sometime’s it’s best just to keep your thoughts to yourself. I don’t go to the church, don’t know much about the pastor either. Are you now the mouthpiece of God? Your “eloquent” words are just that – stating your opinion. I always say to myself and to God, “Help me not to be an embarrassment to you.” It’s that simple.

      • Elizabeth L

        March 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm

        If our goal as Christians were image management not to be an embarrassment, I have a feeling the Lord would humble us from our ways that idolize a clean reputation. It is God’s mercy and love that continually show us we need Him and how we fall short – not conflict avoidance.

    • Stephen

      March 18, 2014 at 4:39 am

      Martin,
      Just because you said you weren’t a hater doesn’t make it true. After such a long and heartfelt letter of apology, you find it necessary to rehash his shortcomings? You seem bitter. Maybe you should spend some time reflecting on your walk before you post such self righteous comments. If newspapers cared enough about your life to publicly call out your sins you would be singing a much different tune. Frankly I find your comments disgusting. What kind of person posts that after a man humbles himself and writes an open letter of apology? You cleverly surrounded your bitterness with flattery and you may have fooled others into saying “well said” but not me.

    • Anthony

      March 18, 2014 at 5:15 am

      Martin’s comments are full of nonsense and apparent jealousy. We are suppose to be upset about ghost writers and publishing deadlines. Ridiculous. He is a incredible preacher and pastor.

      • Kara

        March 18, 2014 at 11:27 am

        Ummm! It’s not ghostwriting and publishing deadlines we’re suppose to be upset about. Its called plagiarism. It’s lying, cheating, theft, manipulation and the like. Do a little research before you hate on the “haters”. most of the time, it’s the “haters” that are actually concerned wth holiness and a righteous standard and holding to biblical conduct.
        “5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the [a]overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”
        I’d say by those qualifications from Titus, if Driscoll really wanted to honor God, he would step down from being a pastor. Looks like he’s broken about half of those qualification best I can tell.

    • Colleen

      March 18, 2014 at 6:06 am

      “First, a marketing company called ResultSource was used in conjunction with the book Real Marriage, which was released in January 2012. My understanding of the ResultSource marketing strategy was to maximize book sales, so that we could reach more people with the message and help grow our church. In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong.” This alone is huge! If we could just get big business out of our churches and health care we could heal our land. Not honoring the sabath is the root of a lot of this confession. Besides physical rest it allows us to reflect and hear God’s voice. 1st Corinthians 10:13 is the reminder that many sins are classic to mankind and only God can truly provide a way of escape. Sometimes He allows us to suffer the consequence of our sins. He is the Restorer and Healer. He never wastes a thing in our lives. He feeds the masses with our broken pieces. Peace brother!

    • Shane

      March 18, 2014 at 6:19 am

      Your response stands in contrast to Driscoll’s apology. A brother humbles himself very publicly as Jesus has led him, and you take an opportunity to say it’s not quite good enough. Way to keep it classy. Careful, you might put someone’s eye out with that log hanging out of yours.

      • Colleen

        March 18, 2014 at 7:41 am

        He is a reknown leader Shane and there are bigger issues at hand. Jesus was a bit harder on compromising leaders than everyday people. I am not making a comment on his actions alone. His apology is a start, nothing more.

        • Shane

          March 18, 2014 at 11:25 am

          Colleen, that may well be. I don’t deny there are deeper issues. I’m calling foul on the timing of raising them. The vast majority of comments being made on this are likely by people who are the quintessential “armchair quarterbacks” – aware of the facts, but not personally involved or affected by what has transpired – and therefore unqualified to criticize so harshly. Just thank him for the apology and wait and see what transpires, and if it is genuine then people who have been hurt may be able to trust him once again.

          When I offend my wife, when I apologize, she doesn’t immediately pile on more infractions that I have missed. She is gracious and kind in her acceptance of my apology. If I am truly contrite and penitent in my confession, then as those other infractions surface I’ll apologize for them as well.

          For that matter, Jesus doesn’t do that either. When I confess, he is gracious and kind. If there are other issues I am missing, he doesn’t usually pile them on me immediately. He is timely in his conviction.

          All I’m saying is we should be the same way with Mark Driscoll.

          • DR

            March 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm

            Absolutely right Shane!!

          • Rachel

            March 19, 2014 at 7:40 am

            Look to Christ, God has brought me through one of the most difficult times in my life. At my lowest I cried out to him earnestly from my heart & used him to lean on completely because I felt quite literally that I could not stand on my own. He gave me peace & gave healing in my marriage. I think if people would just trust that God is big enough to handle it there would be a lot of people that could let go of the hurt that others do to them. God is the ultimate counselor stop relying on humans to help you solve your problems. GO TO GOD… No one does that anymore. Forgive! It’s not just something you say, it is an action. This Pastor asked for forgiveness, let the holy spirit take it from there…

    • Colleen

      March 18, 2014 at 8:05 am

      Thank you Martin for expressing a balanced mature view of the matter. So many Christians are sooooo uncomfortable with conflict it can be unnerving. I supported our church event when he and his wife came and charged $25 per head in hard economic times. No one was provided with any writing materials so I don’t understand the expense. He came casually dressed and his wife could barely walk across the stage in her high heels. It was not an uplifting seminar to our marriage of 30 years. Love and Respect is far more practical, Marriage Builders (Dennis Rainey) and Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage are highly recommended marriage resources. As a graduate student I am learning to spot hype with one whiff. His seminar was so hyped up I wanted to walk out. It was so disappointing. I am sorry if I sound like I am having therapy, but I took time out for this seminar and paid way too much and as a customer it was a rip off!

    • Elizabeth L

      March 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Martin, I think you should get your facts straight before making sweeping generalizations. That sweeping line “plagiarism” if looked closely was actually incorrect citing, which yes does fall under plagiarism but it is untruthful to attack the man as if he stole the words to uplift himself. I like Piper and was not aware of comments he made, however it sounds like you did not even read any of Driscoll’s books. Also how can you judge the man by his twitter account? I assume you did not hear the sermon about how when he travels, he travels with an assistant and does not get his own room; and how others have access to his computer and email at all times. That sounds like a lot more accountability than any church pastor I know. And aside from numbers and your views above, have you considered how the “Real Marriage” book was co-authored by his wife and was written to answer many of the questions that they regularly received from couples in the church? Were you aware that the book talks about the abuse Grace received from a former partner and how she dealt with that? Are you aware how life-giving these stories might have been and still are to those who take the time to read it? You attack with worldly metrics. Paul traveled to many synagogues to “reason” with people often without rest. Let us not judge the man’s work by what is possible or intended by man but how God had used us, and perhaps Pastor Mark to spread that word. .

  6. Rev. Jeff Chalakani

    March 17, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I am completely humbled by this letter. I will pray for you Pastor Mark, that Gods love and anointing remains on you as it appears to be right now. Beautiful words, I don’t know you personally but Im touched.

    here is my only critique … as I read about the marketing of your book and the strategy you used, I am again amazed at your insight however late it may have been. Additionally, consider the possibility that God may have placed the title “#1 New York Times bestseller”. If so, its a mistake to remove it. Im not advocating pride or greed or anything else associated with that but I am saying if your heart is right and attitude is one of being humble then why cant God place your book on a #1 list?

    Thank you for reading this Mark. I pray the Lord continues to cover you, keep you and lift you up as you glorify HIM in all you do

    Blessing
    Jeff <

    • Mandy

      March 18, 2014 at 10:12 am

      I think it was NOT a #1 best seller. That was the issue. They put it on there to boost sales. I don’t know this first hand, that was the way I understood it.

  7. Paul Stevens

    March 17, 2014 at 8:56 am

    One piece is missing. The profits from this book generated by unethical practices. Give them to an unconnected third party charity (Feed the Children etc.). This action was done to increase sales and give a “best selling author” badge. Remove both “payoffs.”

    • Renue Magazine

      March 17, 2014 at 9:09 am

      No need to beat a dead horse. He apologized.

      • Paul Stevens

        March 17, 2014 at 9:24 am

        To responder. I am neutral about Mark and have no axe to grind against him personally. Apologizing, but keeping the profit is going part of the way. Good. But not all the way. No charitable person wants him to be ostricized. But like lots of scandals the central person usually does damage control. He can do more.

        • Ben

          March 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm

          Couldn’t we all “do more”… as Christians. Many times we wish people would act and do things we probably wouldnt do ourselves. Yet, it was Jesus who simply left it as “go, and sin no more”. It is this mindset of a brother needing to prove to us his “worthiness” of being forgiven by us that tears the body a part. “They will know us by our love” or ironically “our lack of it”

      • Pam

        March 17, 2014 at 9:27 pm

        He hasn’t really, though. Not to any proper extent. As someone within academia I can tell you that any academic who systematically failed to acknowledge sources in their research and books would lose their entire career. Driscoll’s response has been incredibly weak in comparison, a vague woopsie that he’d made some oversights. If Christians are meant to avoid even the appearance of evil and wrongdoing, then Driscoll needs to be held to at least the same standards as other writers and researchers.

      • DR

        March 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm

        Exactly!!!

    • Matt

      March 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

      I understand the profits of most of Mark’s books has always gone to the church rather than to Mark himself.

      • Paulette

        March 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm

        He didn’t say what he did with the money or what he didn’t do with it. I doubt a man getting beat this hard by the Holy Spirit would have the nerve to sleep at night with all the under his pillow. That being said, it is his, the fruit of his work and labor so what he does with his money is really none of our business.

    • David

      March 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      He already did and does that. The profits from the campaign were directed to the church.

      • Jay

        March 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

        Excellent! And his salary? How much is that? Doesn’t matter to me either way as I’d rather see my contributions go to bibles for people who have never had the word.

    • Anthony

      March 18, 2014 at 5:11 am

      The money from his books goes to the church.

      • Anathema

        March 18, 2014 at 8:20 am

        Deuteronomy 7:26
        Do not bring any detestable objects into your home, for then you will be destroyed, just like them. You must utterly detest such things, for they are set apart for destruction.

        This is a verse in the Bible. I guess this one is not as important as the ones about forgiveness. The word of God made fallible by man… a whole church of them.

  8. Mingly

    March 17, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Praise the Lord!

    • maya

      March 18, 2014 at 5:29 am

      What a letter! Praise be to Jesus! Now that he passed the test the churchncan grow more! I wish more leaders will do the same , true Christlike humility. Instead of covering our sins, being defensive and angry lets call it the way it is, humble ourselves before the mighty hands of God, repent and make it right with our brothers and sisters in Christ.Our church went through a split and it was very bad.A lot of people got hurt, pushed out of the church and a lot were left with no choice but leave. Our leader refused to be accountable and so on and so forth.God is opose to the proud but He gives grace to the humble.

  9. Have It All Lil Jojo Remix

    March 17, 2014 at 9:26 am

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  10. Becky Synan

    March 17, 2014 at 9:29 am

    This message is steeped in humility. I will most definitely be praying for you and believe God will be with you and bless you.

  11. David English

    March 17, 2014 at 9:32 am

    This sounds like the Major Life Transition Phase of a man’s life that I experienced at age 42. It is the transition from the doing of life to the being of a person and who you are becoming more important than what you do. For me, I needed to live my life by my priorities with intimacy with God as the purpose of my life. It’s exciting that Mark is willing to be so vulnerable and recognize that godly character is more important than competency.

    • Mandy

      March 18, 2014 at 10:14 am

      My mom always told me that most men didn’t grow up until around the age 40. Maybe she was right.

  12. Tamara Rice

    March 17, 2014 at 9:43 am

    The opening states that Driscoll’s apology “has many rethinking their harsh words.” No, in fact, his apology confirms that even Driscoll himself now sees that the harsh words were accurate and deserved and that he was absolutely in the wrong on this one. Apologies don’t remove the wrongness of one’s actions, they in fact underscore the wrongness … it’s kinda the whole point. Now forgiveness for the wrong actions … that’s another topic.

    • Nan Van Zwol

      March 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      I completely, agree, Tamara. And later, when he says he wants to be under pastoral authority, but the only pastor he cites is Jesus Christ? Well, of course Jesus is the author of our faith, and the final source, but I would challenge Pastor Mark to submit himself to accountability outside of his own congregation.
      Who could be your pastor, Mark Driscoll? Is there another man (I assume it would have to be a man) or two you respect enough to listen to their wise counsel? Maybe this is just my inner Presbyterian & a desire for checks & balances in the church, but if he’s truly seeking to be wise, he needs accountability with people who are not in his own congregation.

      • David

        March 18, 2014 at 7:19 am

        You have a good point Nan Van Zwol, and this is why this was not a ‘open’ letter. Members of his church to whom this was directed know that the “The Board of Advisors and Accountability” is exactly that – a group of elder pastors, elder statesmen if you will, outside of Mars Hill and the Acts 49 network who provide guidance, oversight and accountability to Mark and the other two executive Pastors who lead Mars Hill. In case you were curious, Mark is the teaching pastor but is not the executive pastor at Mars Hill. That responsibility falls to Sutton Turner (link on him below).

        http://marshill.com/pastors/sutton-turner

    • Lee Lanier

      March 17, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      What exactly is the apology for?

    • Suzanne

      March 18, 2014 at 5:19 am

      I couldn’t agree with your comments more but know that Driscoll isn’t the only Christian leader that has these problems and needs to go to all offended and ask for forgiveness. Suzanne

    • Elizabeth L

      March 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Tamara, God forgave and died for our sins when we were not even asking for forgiveness. I am certain the Lord has forgiven you – not measuring things by the depth of your emotional regret etc. He forgives. I’m reminded of the Corinthians verse, Love keeps no record of wrongs. As the Lord has done for us, we should to our neighbor (pastor, friend, family, enemy)

  13. G. A. Dietrich

    March 17, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Is it fair to call it an “open letter” when it was posted on a private network and “leaked” to Reddit? I would say the title of this article is misleading. An open letter from Driscoll surely would of appeared on the Mars Hill website. It sounds like he is primarily addressing his church(es).

  14. Tara

    March 17, 2014 at 10:32 am

    If only all Christian husbands, fathers, leaders, pastors etc had the same perspective.
    Well done Mark Driscoll.
    Well done Renue Magazine for your support of him.

    • DR

      March 18, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Yes, well done Pastor Mark And Renue Magazine!

  15. Tarrence

    March 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

    This is honestly what happens when a man has ambitions to become a pastor but has not had a true conversion.

    • Bethany

      March 17, 2014 at 11:27 am

      It genuinely amazes me when people start speaking of “true conversion” – as though they’re in the place of God and able to determine what is a true conversion and what isn’t. I’m thankful that the Lord weighs the heart and knows all, because my sin is grievous indeed, but He is forgiving and merciful.

      • Tim

        March 17, 2014 at 7:51 pm

        Thank you sister. Well said

      • Scott

        March 18, 2014 at 10:02 am

        God IS loving and merciful. God IS also forgiving. If MD has truly confessed before God all his sins, he will be forgiven. However, there are consequences for sin. David confessed and repented of his sin with Bathsheba. He was confronted by God THROUGH a man. He was forgiven, but still paid the price of his sin. Anyone truly seeking forgiveness should find it from Christians or the Christian will not be forgiven his sins. Judging sin (fruit) is our responsibility as a Christian, the chastisement comes from God. The love comes from God and all His children. IMHO <

  16. Paul Redding

    March 17, 2014 at 10:38 am

    It is amazing how humble Someone can get when they start to be concerned about their money taking a hit.

  17. P.D. Canady

    March 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Well said and important decision and message. I pray for God’s blessing on these life adjustments God is making in Pastor Driscoll’s life and ministry.

  18. Robert Ricciardelli

    March 17, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Mark, I am very proud of you. It is difficult to die to being right and choose Love and death to ego that likes to manifest in anger, manipulation and anti-Jesus stuff. We all have to die to false self/ego in order to live in true self/Spirit of Christ. I was once angry with you over your anger, but in recent years, I have moved in love and prayers for you while also seeing Father mature and season you as a leader. I am so thankful in this huge leap you are taking. It will serve you well, but more importantly it will serve everyone else well, especially your family, the church, and the Kingdom of our God. Proud of you little brother, and look forward to connecting with you once again.

  19. Beth

    March 17, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you for your heartfelt letter Pastor Mark. One of my favorite Sunday School songs is, “I have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back, no turning back.” We will pray for you as you move forward in your ministry with a new passion and purpose. I belong to an ELCA church here in Western Washington where our theology is all about grace – - grace upon grace upon grace. We need it every day, and Christ offers it to us whether deserved or undeserved. We love, because God first loved us. God calls us to love, not judge and He commands us to do the Great Commission. Shine your light Pastor Mark, lead your congregation in sharing love and the Christ-light in this world, pray for us and we’ll pray for you. They will know we are Christians by our love. It’s that simple. It’s really that simple. God bless you and Mars Hill.

    • Terri

      March 18, 2014 at 12:46 am

      Amen…sweet Prayer! To God be the Glory forever and ever! Amen

    • DR

      March 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      So beautifully said Beth!! And right on.

  20. Pingback: Pastor Mark by Josh Fallis | joshfallisdotcom

  21. Jake

    March 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    What a joke!!! These ‘professional pastors’ and their ‘ministries.’ I’ve been around these mega churches as a staff member and the hard working money that they hemorrhage under the guise of ministry is sickening. I don’t doubt that many of these pastors have some good intentions, but if they really wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, they should get a real job, love their families, and develop relationships the way the rest of the world does. It’s the biggest joke in the western world and I guarantee it’s not what Jesus had in mind when he commissioned his disciples to ‘go into all the world and preach the good news.’ Those fellas were lucky if they had a change of clothes, let alone a penthouse in Seattle. They took risk with their life and their belief and this Mr. Driscoll is a mockery to such a holy faith.

    • Tim

      March 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Hmmmm…jealousy or bitterness can’t figure out which one. But you sound really spiritual. Good job. I would get some counsel if I were you before you sin against more people. Hurting people always hurt people. You need help

    • Lee

      March 17, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Don’t listen to jake!!! I’m sorry for what happened jake, but telling Christians to be like everyone else is not from god. I Beleive we are to live in the world, but not of the world. Easy stuff….maybe money is something that is causing your faith to wane. Wake up!

    • Mandy

      March 18, 2014 at 10:18 am

      I don’t agree with everything you have said, Jake, but I don’t disagree with all of it either. These mega churches are an embarrassment. I visited one recently with stores and a Starbucks! I am certain I could see Jesus tossing those tables. How can they justify that!? And I’m not bitter or jealous.

      • Tim

        March 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

        I agree Mandy. But I think there’s something deeper going on here by the tone of the response of our brother… The other thing is that it’s interesting how lots of people these days are trying to sell the book of Acts as though it was to be prescriptive for ministry. Like God intended it to be normative. God is working today but the same power in the same message as 2000 years ago but the methods have changed as well as the culture. Besides the Scripture says a man should be able to live by the gospel… That assumes some kind of work. And it’s awful arrogant to say the pastors don’t have real jobs or that they don’t know how to build relationships like everybody else… It’s just an extremely narrow view and seems to indicate that there is some bitterness or hurt that our brother has experienced from other pastors.

        • Tod

          March 18, 2014 at 6:25 pm

          Where does it say a “man should be able to live by the gospel” (please don’t go with the ox feeding passage to justify profeesional pastors).
          Paul wrote half the new testament (much on what “normative” meant for future churches) and worked for a living. Please don’t pretend that he, Jesus or the other apostles, would think today’s megachurch employment agency mass marketing businesses were a good model for the church.
          Sounds more like the world influencing the church, instead of The Holy Spirit.

          • Chuck

            March 19, 2014 at 9:15 am

            Amen, Tod.

        • Tod

          March 18, 2014 at 7:03 pm

          I feel it is interesting (sad) that lots of Christians are using the culture argument to justify beliefs and practices that God clearly does not compromise on. People compromise. We must; we are often wrong. But God never is, and He never compromises. He is merciful and forgiving, but He does not compromise just because norms or cultures change. I have been a part of two churches (on staff at one) that started off with a hndfull of people and a man anointed by God. Both became megachurches, and with both that annointing and calling were replaced by great media and great marketing. Somewhere along the way we realized we no longer knew whether it was the Holy Spirit or the mega media machine that caused the increase. By then its too late.

          • Chuck

            March 19, 2014 at 9:20 am

            Thank you, Tod. You are correct in discussing that a grave danger in the church today is that we have too much worldly culture influencing (if not outright dictating to) the Church rather than the Church influencing the culture. We have become too much a culture-worshiping culture!

    • Elizabeth L

      March 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      I’m sorry you had a bad experience working at church Jake; many people do; it’s a messy field, but the church is a hospital for sinners not a museum of saints. As for extending the gospel to the world, I believe Mars Hill global can speak to that; however, I also believe that everyone is called to a different place. When Mark and Grace first started the church, it was in the least church-friendly city in the entire U.S. I’m thankful that they have not shied away from the city where people/atheists/myself need God just as much as those abroad. City church planting is still a very difficult thing. By God’s grace, Mark was able to help to reach this anti-Christian city called Seattle.

  22. Timothy Hart

    March 17, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    It doesn’t take 1,000 words to make a cyber-exit. How about just an unqualified GOOD BYE? Furthermore, desire for godly growth doesn’t take any words.

  23. Caleb Suko

    March 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I appreciate Mark’s humility and ability to see some of these problems. It seems to me that it’s rare for any pastor to write a letter or say things like this, especially one who has been so much in the spotlight.

    • Lee Lanier

      March 17, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Caleb what exactly was comment about marriage ???

  24. Joe Sewell

    March 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Like you said, the fact that he could “man up” and admit to his faults, including the extremely offensive term I just used, is breathtaking and encouraging. For that he has regained some respect from me, at least.

  25. Jerobi

    March 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    A lot of men in today’s culture have the hardest times confessing and receiving forgiveness of their biggest issues and this man of God has the courage to do just that. He has experienced and received true conviction and repentance from Christ! It is very awesome to hear and see him doing that with humility! May He who has given you grace bless you abundantly!

  26. Robert Branham

    March 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Unfortunately, I was never able to support Mr. Driscoll whole heartedly. I was really excited about the things that I was hearing about him back in the mid nineties, when I read one of his books for the first time. But as I read that book, it became obvious to me that he had an agenda and a very specific way he wanted to market himself. I was very discouraged by his attacks upon other Christians. I never saw the points that he was making as significant. He always seemed to be all about marketing himself.

  27. Rebecca

    March 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    As a product from a Ministry family, I understand the tears his wife spilled. The relief she must have felt. My parents still put ministry first, and have missed much.

  28. Tom

    March 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I have this story before. That’s what happens to “celebrity pastors”. If there is such a title to be given to any pastor.

  29. Chris Z

    March 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Mad respect for Pastor Mark’s candidness to his church.

    Not sure if he intended this letter to be leaked to the world outside his church family, but I feel like there is a lot that we young guys in ministry can learn from the wisdom and humility here, mistakes that we can avoid, and great principles about family and church family.

    Gonna bookmark this to read again.

  30. Janet

    March 17, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I do not know the story behind his “sins” as he spoke. But one thing is sure, if God tells you to do something, it is sin if you don’t do it as long as it is in line with scripture. May your repentance allow God to open the door to change your will to His.

  31. Kelly

    March 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Face it sheeple, religion is a business, and Mars Hill, etc., is proof positive.

    • Lee

      March 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Love of money affects all humans…even Christians. You don’t need to give any of your money, stuff, or time to anyone. Just keep it all for yourself. Sounds like a bad plan. It’s all God’s money anyways.

  32. Dmaninseattle

    March 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    “Sorry I abused you!”… Gee, thanks.

  33. Paul Matthews

    March 17, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I read with great interest Pastor Mark’s words of apology. While it does as one person stated ” a real man” to share as he did….I would add an important variable to this prior thought… It really takes , not just a man, but a Man of God to subject himself in such an open and exacting way.

    Someone one said. ” If you don’t feel as close to,God as you once did………Who moved?” I commend with supportive prayer for this Pastor I’ve never met, but as one involved in ministry myself, this is a marvelous and open look at a man being led by the Spirit of a god Himself..

    Continued Blessings Pastor Mark…..in all ways…..Always!

  34. Joseph Gloor

    March 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Driscoll is a sinner- in that, he is not unique. His ministry has brought 10′s of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands to Jesus- in that, he is unique! People who want to shout about his mistakes on every loudspeaker will not affect the work God is doing through Mars Hill Church and Mark’s own pastoral ministry. Dude is awesome.

    • wombat

      March 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      driscoll has brought thousands of people to church, hes torn thousands more away from Christ.

      Dont confuse mega church with mega kingdom.

      • Shallmark

        March 18, 2014 at 3:19 am

        That could not be further from the truth.

      • Brian

        March 18, 2014 at 3:50 am

        Please back up this statement about leading people away from Christ. This is a blanket statement and I think you should have the courage and the research behind it to prove what you declare.

      • Paige

        March 19, 2014 at 7:21 am

        You can be lead to Christ by someone’s example, but if you then SEE Christ, you won’t be lead away by it. Jesus is our example to follow, all others are fallible. We all have to work not to put leaders so high that our faith topples when they do.

        If thousands were lead away from Christ, then they were looking at Mark as their saviour, not Jesus.

  35. Christy

    March 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    As a missionary wife, I find myself moved to tears. I’m thankful for you, mark and grace for walking the walk with our sweet Jesus. May the journey get sweeter and sweeter as you run together and love your flock. I’ll pray for you for decades to come!

    • DR

      March 18, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Christy, I so agree. This is so sad!! And I will pray for Mark and Grace also! Run the good race!!

  36. Not CJ

    March 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    a decent example for CJ Mahaney… ??

  37. John Rochester

    March 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Everything you post on-line and every video I see from you and your church remains to be an amazing encouragement to my faith. I am currently working on my B.A. and maybe some day I will find myself working for your church. Thanks again for your authenticity.

  38. Jonathan

    March 17, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Please address legal governance. Who controls Mars Hill? Words are great and encouraging, but did you change the legal structure? If these accountability pastors or the board cannot override Mr. Driscoll’s decisions, there is no accountability. Calvary Chapel.

  39. Jim

    March 17, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    God bless and thank you for your example,we need more men like you

  40. Wayne Perry

    March 17, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I have been a sort of “fan” for years of Pastor Mark and his ministry. I loved how he would say things that others wouldn’t. I love how he acknowledged sin an attacks by the enemy when others steer clear of doing that in order to help their church grow.

    I was always able to get past basic phylosophical differences, but then I started hearing his stance on marriages like mine, where I stay home and my wife works. And in particular women who are in our military.

    I struggle enough as a man, father and leader knowing my wife makes the money and knows how to handle a gun better than I. It was even more emasculating to hear it be said I was living outside of God’s will with this life we have chosen and sacrifice so much for.

    I was at first looking forward to our family moving to the Seattle area last year because I wanted to hear him preach in person. Then we got here and it took everything in me not to make the hour drive to see about having a chat with him about the subject.

    After reading this article, I may make that trip afterall. And give the dude one of the biggest bear hugs imaginable.

    I can only imagine the courage it took to come to these decisions. I can only imagine how much one must rely on God to come to these decisions and implement them.

    Pastor Mark, I hope to hear you in person soon. Even if your stance on my issue hasnt changed much, I am still in awe of your show of humility. Not that you need it, but you have my respect.

    • Terri

      March 18, 2014 at 12:41 am

      Hi…

      ya you would Love him and visiting.. and you would Love how cool the campuses are..
      Often times people have to stay home from work, No biggy. And often times it is Gods will.. I think you might like this movie ..A Time To Triumph :)
      well may God Bless you!

      I’m just a Mars hill Martian ..and Love Visiting the Seattle Campus’s!!
      And meeting Mark..he has huge hands and for sure big hugs!

    • Been There

      March 18, 2014 at 7:26 am

      Don’t be in too much of a hurry. Mark’s got a good start and a long way to go. Notice he said his mission was to help especially men? Big red flag there. Notice he’s only meeting to reconcile with folks still in his church? Another red flag. Those his abuse has devastated most are not still there, praise The Lord.

      • Tim

        March 18, 2014 at 10:17 am

        @been there: how do you even know that?

  41. Louis Reyes-Layne

    March 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Pastor Mark Driscoll; This is the first I’ve heard of you and I must that I’m impressed by your genuine humility and desire to be led by and be like our Lord Jesus Christ. Wow! such grace (no pun intended), such humility were always my system of marking the true followers of the cross.

  42. Lori Biddle

    March 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I commend you – our founding pastor and senior pastor of 18 years just resigned to take another ministry. Our church is healthier than it’s ever been so he is leaving us at an excellent time. But, I have ALWAYS worried about him being able to sustain the pace of ministry and responsibilities just as your friends have been.
    I commend you for working to identify what’s wrong – apologizing to the people you feel you need to and committing to continue well. All of these things reveal your heart and allows the Lord to help you reset!

  43. Trevor

    March 17, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I wish we gave others the same amount of respect when they apologize as these comments are giving Mark. Too often we wait to give our trust and respect for people to back up their words with action rather than simply giving them our respect and trust based on their words. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  44. Bryan

    March 17, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Maybe we should just accept the brother’s apology and pray for him without surgically taking apart his words or heart. I wonder if many of us pastor’s would have handled such quick success any better than Pastor Mark did. He apologized and that is enough!

    • Tim

      March 17, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      Amen!

  45. Louis Reyes-Layne

    March 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Pastor Mark Driscoll; This is the first I’ve heard of you and I must that I’m impressed by your genuine humility and desire to be led by and be like our Lord Jesus Christ. Wow! such grace (no pun intended), such humility were always my system of marking the true followers of the cross. (please excuse my fumbling; I inadvertently posted but I’m not done)
    A word of advice, however, is that while your situation at home does not sound as dire as mine was, I think we have both started along the same path of loving our wives as Christ loved the Church and in laying down our lives for them the same way He did as well. This principle of death to the flesh must be paramount in our minds at all times. This is a great start brother and I pray for your continued strength in spirit to run this race well.
    I give thanks to God for a particular Pastor and his wife; Joel and Kathy Davisson by name who put me on this path by the Holy Ghost, and to whom I will be forever indebted (I speak as a man), our true debt is only to The One Who saved and sanctified us Jesus Christ the Righteous.

  46. Hazel May

    March 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    I am thankful for this. The first time I caught a sermon of Mark’s online, I saw the zeal and fire in him, but the anger and edge to him was also prevalent. I recognized it because I myself had been that way in my late teens back in the 1970s. God took me through such a process of breaking my hardness and showing me how to love people instead of slicing and dicing them… my sword is for the enemy and to bring truth. A blade can heal if it is used by a surgeon, but one slip and you have killed the patient you wanted to heal.

    I’m really happy to read this, that he is seeing where he needs adjusting and is progressing that way. In the end, this man is my brother and I would much rather see him as effective as he wants to me and fulfilling his calling than to have him one day realize he missed it and be heartbroken or worse, lose his relationship with God.

    I pray that he is able to find his way, find the fulfillment of his true purpose, complete with a baptism of love that permeates every pore of his being. My response is to bless him and let the healing and reconciliation continue.

  47. Tom

    March 17, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Mark, I have never met you, and I do not want to meet what has been you. Many of us serve in the fields having to address you. I pray your repentance is genuine and complete. I really do brother. This so saddens me. You should step down until it is. I pray God’s healing and conviction on you all. So much good and bad.

    You really seem quite narcissistic. Would you have acknowledged this? Would you have come forward without being exposed? This character is worth more than your ministry. Would you cop to being a celebrity pastor (you let others define it but you never came our and said it)? Pride brings down more servants than anything else.

    Wow, I just cannot believe it is almost 20 years without appropriate accountability. Were you ever convicted of this before? You put yourself out there as a model, let us see the fruits? Narrowing events and workload is one thing, How will repentance be carried out in the character areas? How will people know? Will you acknowledge the plagiarism? I hope for your sake, this is a true wake up call. Bema is coming. While encouraged, this saddens me and has given the church a black eye. I hope your disciples change if need be too.

    • Elizabeth L

      March 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Tom, perhaps you should look at the facts before lambasting the stories of a man you obviously are not evaluating the facts on nor extending any brotherly grace to. If the Lord showed as much grace as you, we’d all be doomed. For your own sake, I hope the Lord will soften your heart before judgment day.

  48. Crystal

    March 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    I’m happy that he can feel better… Though I don’t know why he should have to apologize to begin with… No one is perfect and for people to have had a problem with him to begin with is as ridiculous as the ones that are saying they are glad he apologized.
    Mark is an amazing teacher, speaker, and pastor and I owe so much to him.
    The only thing sad about this is the fact that he won’t be I social media anymore… Surely that doesn’t mean his aired sermons from Mars Hill Church when so many people watch those and appreciate that God has placed this great of a Pastor in a position to be able to help so many.

    • MK Hogblom

      March 18, 2014 at 4:48 am

      I hear what you are saying, and agree, but unless I am mistaken this is more about his personal convictions from God, rather than people’s judgements,opinions or criticisms.

      I respect that in his own personal convictions and desire to grow to know and follow the Lord more closely he felt the need to apologize or repent for his own walk and relationship with the Lord in regards to the Pastoral position he holds as well as his desire above all to serve Him and his wife and children. Makes me respect him even more, He fears God over man, so He humbles himself under the hand of God. I don’t see that he in anyway is not going forward in the Mars Hill Sermons that are posted, but his “personal” post and so forth, I believe that is what he was addressing. May this ministry sky rocket even more as he himself seeks God’s will and purpose. I am grateful for this ministry more than words can say. AND I support it too, so that I don’t show myself in words only but in action. I pray that all those that have benefited by this wonderful ministry would sow faithfully into it! Reaching the world for Jesus.

      Blessings,
      MK

    • Venus

      March 18, 2014 at 6:34 am

      He has to apologize because he has hurt people. Personally. And far too often. Just because a person is human and makes mistakes does not mean that they never have to apologize. There are many stories by those who feel spiritually and emotionally abused by Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll in particular. He and his church were caught doing something (buying his way onto a bestseller list) that is ethically wrong. Because his ministry is nation and even worldwide, he is accountable as a pastor to shepherd his flock in a righteous way. Personally, I do not like Mark Driscoll. He comes off as angry and self-righteous and I disagree with his theology, especially in regards to women. I do not see him as an amazing teacher, speaker, or pastor. However, I know a lot of people who look up to him. It is for them that I am glad he is taking steps to rectify some past wrongs and I hope to see better fruit in his ministry. He clearly has touched you, so I am hoping to see greater things come from this.

  49. PIlgrim

    March 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    So…
    We can expect your next book on true repentance when?
    bla, bla, bla

  50. Dan

    March 17, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    What was it that Jesus said,” you with no sin, cast the first stone?” the church needs to be the example for a very unforgiving world. Thank you Pastor Mark for your apology. It takes courage to admit failure and want to make things right within the body. It takes no courage at all to be a finger-wagger, especially towards a brother in Christ. Prayers for you and your family. May God have His way in your life!

    • DR

      March 18, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Yes Dan, as I am reading down this long string of comments, I am so struck with sadness by such hatred. He who is without sin, cast the first stone indeed! Pastor Mark has apologized, he has stated he has made mistakes, and is in a season of desiring to grow closer to The Lord. To right some wrongs. Who in the world are we to throw rocks at a person who is saying..he is on a journey, just like we are. Those who take this apology as a license to rage and judge and be ugly are obviously also in need of asking for forgiveness and looking to Jesus for those places that still need His hand to work in your own lives as well! God help us..

  51. Alex Lewis

    March 17, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    This is so great to hear!!! With so much arrogance from many leaders in the church, it is refreshing to see a man of God acknowledge his shortcomings and and ask for forgiveness, while working to bring healing to those who have been hurt specifically in the past. I love to see the humility in this brother. I am very encouraged.

    I will be praying and standing with you Pastor Mark as you endeavor to continue your journey to fulfill The Lord’s call. We need more of this Christlike example of humility and love for God’s people. As a fellow Pastor in the Northwest, I stand with you my brother. Blessings to you and your family,

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    March 17, 2014 at 11:10 pm

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  53. Wendy Bassett

    March 17, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Awesome. Mighty man of God. May The Lord bless and revive his ministry. All for JESUS. Christ in us, the hope of glory. Thank you LORD for transparency in this man

  54. Cory Jenk

    March 17, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    I think it is awesome that anyone can repent and change for Christ at any stage or part of their journey with God.

    Personally, I have done the same and made Galatians 5:14 my verse for the year. I can relate with the anger towards sin and social media. Sometimes it just makes us look more like a screaming monkey, instead of a gentle warrior.

    I’m glad Mark Driscoll has a amazing accountability team and is eager to move by putting on the armor of Love. I pray he will be filled with unfailing love.

  55. James Ellis

    March 17, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    ‘HE IS WITHOUT SIN”

  56. Marco Carmona

    March 17, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    I thank God for the openness and urgency in Mark’s life to follow God’s heart. Even though I have never met Mark, I took his book, Real Marriage, and have used it to teach our marriage class and it has brought forth a lot of good fruit in our married couples. I look to Mark as spiritual leader and prat that God continue to establish him as a Spiritual father to many. Thank you for your service to the Lord Pastor Mark.

  57. Terri

    March 18, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Dear Pastor Dad,

    Thank you, what a sweet letter and a wonderful new plan, you share such kind words of humility to Gods kids. I’m in agreement..yay! I think you are always work very hard because you Love and care for our good. I had a dream from God couple weeks ago and again the Lord had you “Pastor Dad” speaking to me a message in a dream. This time it was a very clear warning. So not only was I praying for myself and my husband I prayed for you and your family and the church leaders and Gods sheep. Setting all aside making much more time for prayer!
    I dreamed I was in a room filled with people, some kind of event going on. I was busy running around the room filled with people doing stuff and I had this small boyfriend tagging along with me everywhere I went! I said to him will you stop..Mark Driscoll is here he may see us and I was thinking I’m married to someone else..what the heck am I doing with this kid boyfriend?! Then you, My Pastor dad, MARK D came around the room to me, you shoved an egg out in front of me in your hand, cracked the egg open at the top reached inside the egg and pulled out the yoke and said, your enemy Satan is coming to steal your yoke. End of Dream.
    I Got up and prayed ..wrote down the dream and shared with hubby. Prayed and
    Each and everyday I prayed more.. I also prayed for our Mars Hill Church more than usual. A week later someone posted a photo of a LARGE egg with a crack opening, light was shining from inside the egg to the outside..it read, if an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If an egg is broken by an inside force then life begins. Great things happen from the inside.
    Praise Jesus!! Working on keeping the Enemy out is a constant battle. We are working hard too on a project that requires fighting back our enemy!
    And we do that by setting aside prayer time! May the Lord give us strength, wisdom and courage! May God deliver us from our enemy in Jesus Amen! God bless you and all your house! Praying!! Praying! Praying!
    Oh also, I do think the boy friend was my Husband.. He was just getting distracted by me..as I too was getting distracted from my Fathers work!

    God Bless You,
    Terri

    • Mandy

      March 18, 2014 at 10:22 am

      That’s cool

  58. Tony

    March 18, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Let us not forget, more than ever, this world also desperately NEEDS prophetic sprits who are not afraid to stand up and say that the same God of Mercy, Grace & Love is also a CONSUMING FIRE, who must be represented in ALL his fullness and glory. God forbid we ever dim his holiness!

  59. Valerie

    March 18, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Love you Pastor Mark and Family. May this time draw you closer to each other. You will definitely be missed yet as God leads a true believe will follow. Be blessed, and prosper in all things.

  60. Steve

    March 18, 2014 at 3:38 am

    I really don’t care….the right wing condemning churches have no place for me nor I them.

  61. Cynthia Poel

    March 18, 2014 at 3:48 am

    I am a pastor’s wife of a worship pastor whose work environment had resembled what you have described. We are helping to pick up the pieces in people’s lives who wanted to ask questions and disagreed with the senior pastor. Some go back 10 years and called us after we parting ways with the former church. Senior pastors wanting to evangelize, promote “it is not about you” and a Godly desire to reach people and yet also want to be the biggest and leave a legacy have looked up to you and your “successful” example. To God be the glory. Your apology is an answer to prayer.

  62. M K Hogblom

    March 18, 2014 at 4:01 am

    Thank you. Another reason I respect Pastor Mark

    Jesus is His heart. We are all people doing our best to serve The Lord.

    Blessings overtake him, his family & the church.

    In His service, by grace, thru faith
    MK

  63. Maresah

    March 18, 2014 at 4:06 am

    Well done Mark Driscoll for your humility. May God raise you up again. James 4 : 10
    May this worship song encourage you.

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  65. Brian

    March 18, 2014 at 4:35 am

    I’m not a Driscoll guy, but I have to say this comment thread discourages me more than the worst thing the man has ever done. Seems like many here want a return to the Inquisition!

    Most of you would have kicked Peter out of the group when he denied Christ, or when Paul had to confront him.

  66. Vickie

    March 18, 2014 at 4:46 am

    As believers in Christ, we are called to speak words of life over our brothers and sisters, not words of death. I’ve listened to Mark among many other prominent pastors for several years now. As with all true believers, we “walk with God”. It’s a life journey of growth in many and hopefully all areas of our life. God is bringing us back to His original plan if we allow Him access to ourselves and stay out of His way. I’ve witnessed much growth in Mark and the other pastors I sit under as well. And, just like in all believers, we should expect much more growth until Jesus returns or takes us home.

    Mark, soldier on brother…your heavenly Father is glorified in your willingness “to walk with Him”.

  67. sabdra

    March 18, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Mark has been such a blessing to me. The very first time I heard him, I was in complete and total amazement that someone was actually saying things others were too afraid to say in a sermon. Touching real issues of today’s time so I no longer felt alone. Mark has opened my eyes and revealed truths like no other minister. I learned of him on-line, I’m so thankful that I was able to follow him as easily as the Mars Hill congregation. I believe he was sent by God to minister to my life and for that I am eternally grateful.

  68. Venus

    March 18, 2014 at 5:40 am

    I have been following this as well as other controversies created by Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll for quite a while. Although I don’t agree with him theologically, I have never considered him a false teacher, just a terrible pastor. The stories of abuse of authority as well as spiritual abuse have been many. That said, I do truly hope that this apology is genuine and the only way we will know is by the fruit that begins to pour out from him and the churches he shepherds. I hope in the years to come that I will no longer hear awful stories by people who were treated badly by Mars Hill (especially ex-pastors). I hope to only hear good things. Positive things. I hope to hear about the great things they are doing in their communities and the world. I hope to hear that they are a light in the darkness and not just for the people who happen to attend their many campus churches. If this is more than just mopping up with good PR, then we will see it and I would imagine God’s kingdom will be furthered by it.

    • Mandy

      March 18, 2014 at 10:26 am

      I keep seeing people write that they don’t agree with his theology. Are you saying that you don’t believe in Jesus and the Bible? Or does Mark not believe in Jesus and the Bible? Because Mark’s theology is Jesus and the Bible. So I’m confused. If you don’t believe in what he believes, then why even comment on this? Confusing.

      • DR

        March 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm

        Mark believes in seeking Jesus, first and foremost!! If you are a child of God, then you must have a relationship with Jesus! And he teaches the Word of God. So maybe many that say they do not agree with his theology, it really is, you do not like what the creator says in His own Word!!

  69. Shane

    March 18, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Thank you for the apology to your church and the course corrections you will be making for you and your family. I say this in the spirit of Romans 12:10, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

  70. Kameron

    March 18, 2014 at 6:41 am

    He sounds like an addict thankful he got caught, but he’s still not sure what exactly he’s apologizing for…

  71. Carolyn Putney

    March 18, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I don’t know Mark Driscol or what this whole thing is about. I read his letter and felt a connection to a man who has been brought to accountability and conviction and has done his best to act on it. He’s seeking forgiveness for whatever he’s done, and apparently has spoken personally to many he wronged. If he’s written books with a large audience, doing that to every single person is humanly impossible.
    I’ve read through many of the comments and I can’t believe the incredibly judgmental tone, lack of grace, and vile in them. While God has laid forth some things we are to judge, He has given even more reasons to show grace and forgiveness. Driscol has asked for your forgiveness. Isn’t it just enough to give it? If you feel so strongly about what he’s done, then do as the Bible says, and personally go to him. But to blast him on social media as some of you have done, is to only do as you say he did to you. Two wrongs do not make a right.

  72. Lea

    March 18, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Who are we to judge, you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes… I grew in faith due to Mark Driscoll and his in depth Bible Studies opened my eyes to so many things. Yes, I rolled my eyes when he went off topic but in the end found encouragement through his messages. I will keep you in my prayers Mark. We love you.

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  74. Steve

    March 18, 2014 at 7:18 am

    I have no problem with this…will he recant his “I see things video”? or does he really believe this? http://youtu.be/aVyFyauE4ig

    • Paul

      March 18, 2014 at 10:08 am

      My sentiments exactly!!!! This guy seems a lil ‘off’ to me….maybe more than a lil?!?!?

      Read your Bible & pray people!!! Quit buying into the drama, hollywood, scandal filled, ‘church’!!! Check yourself before you wreck yourself!

  75. Justin M. Davito

    March 18, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Awesome and encouraging from Pastor Mark!

  76. Elizabeth L

    March 18, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I’m saddened to hear that pressures and attacks from the media have silenced one if the few pastors in the U.S. that still stand by the Bible in his teachings. What was the intent of exposing the tactics of the third party marketing firm Result Source? Was it really to attack the unethical practices of that marketing firm or a way to attack a pastor who has Biblically loyal views that are in stark contrast with our culture’s? I have seen third party marketing firms causing problems for large companies who contract out specialized marketing work because it is wiser to outsource something that specialized (i.e. SEO or print or publishing). For example Gap Inc and JC Penney both used a marketing firm SearchDex to improve their Google rankings. Google ‘police’ discovered unethical practices of the marketing firm and penalized the companies using them. However it was impossible to know ahead of time, what tactics these smaller 10-15 person team/marketing firm are using prior to the large companies hiring them. These firms merely say something like “these are a few of our clients; this is what we can do for you,” without disclosing their business method or in this case algorithms. Yes ultimately the companies must take the blame but with Pastor Mark’s time-consuming responsibility to he church, I am certain that Result Source did not take the time to disclose their tactics; still, it is admirable that a man should take responsibility for the decisions and mistakes of others – just like Jesus. The media is so crass and out to get Pastor Mark. Just look at the reviews by media sources like Huffington Post who fail to mention that his wife Grace co-authored the book. This is not truthful reporting but agenda-driven, political attacks against a man who still speaks the Word of God in a world where the only reference to the Bible is to mock it. I trust that Pastor Mark has asked the Lord how to proceed, yet I do not feel that we should shy away from speaking the Gospel boldly as Paul did and as Pastor Mark has courageously done through his sermons and this book. I hope he never stops speaking the Word of God and that he would not fall pressure to human approval and accusations which are just distractions set up by the enemy to silence one of the few men willing to stand up for what the Bible says; one of the few pastors who calls people to repentance in church, and exhorts it’s members to lead a life toward redemption.

  77. Cheryl

    March 18, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I am a faithful member of a church in my area – not one who watches from the comfort of my own home on Sundays every now and again. I give my time and my money to the place I feel the Lord has called me to because I love the church. So to read some of the venomous comments in this post from people who I “assume” (that’s always a risky word) would say that they are followers of Christ, grieves me deeply. I don’t know Mark Driscoll, never followed him and have only heard the name before. I don’t care what he did, but I know me and my past and it is without perfection. It is scarred and yet redeemed by a loving and forgiving God who is drawn to a humble heart (not always something I’m good at). So when I read a letter like this, I applaud the one who wrote it. Again, I don’t care what he did. It is none of my business at all, just as my sins are no one else’s business but my own and those who they may affect. It is after all what he DID, not what he is currently doing. GRACE, people. Let’s have some for this one who took a big step towards turning his life back to the right direction. We all want grace and mercy but when things like this letter arise, we often fail to give it. If you want it when you need it, you’ve got to give it away to others. That’s how the kingdom works. We are the church – the bride of Christ. My pastor often says something that I think would be wise for us all to remember. “When Christ returns he is coming back for a glorious bride, not a bickering haram.” We get to choose which one we will be every day of our lives. Choose to honor the Lord today with your remarks, not dishonor him with your criticism of someone whom He dearly loves and gave His life for. After all, He loves you just as dearly and He gave himself as a sacrifice for you and your sin as well. Your sin just may not be as public as Mark’s.

    • DR

      March 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Bravo Cheryl…perfectly said!!

  78. Marianne Leese

    March 18, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Dear Mark,
    Your growth as a pastor and teacher has been clearly seen by this random person who follows your podcasts and who personally has been on a trip to Turkey with you. Your young angry self brought me to many truths, whatever excesses you feel you have indulged in have been part of your growth too. I don’t feel that you have anything to apologize for, as I have grown with you and without you may have never had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God looks at the heart, and you have a big one. There is no condemnation ……..etc. They need to just get over it, you certainly have been a huge blessing to me.
    Thank you
    Marianne Leese

  79. Dave

    March 18, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Great apology, wish many, many more Men of Grace would follow suit, thinking of John MacArthur and many other Reformed Baptist types and especially those degrading trolls that act as self-appointed heresy hunters.

    Only thing I am not a fan of in this letter are the frequent references to being a ‘spiritual’ father. Just be a good leader, elder preacher/teacher and drop the pretensions of being a father to your congregants. Be a father to your children and a leader within your church. Matthew 23:9 – Jesus super-trumps Paul in this regard. Read Gill’s commentary for further elucidation..

  80. Ben Page

    March 18, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I love and respect pastor Mark and have since I first saw him speak maybe three years ago. I’m sure that many commenting have known of him much longer, but those who would gripe about his sins are not only missing the big picture (Matthew 20:26, Acts 10:42, John 3:16, Malachi 3:3), but seem to also be missing the fact that pastors are people too. All people sin. Not all people love the Lord as much as Mark Driscoll does, myself included. I understand that I may not know the whole story, but I also know that I am not great enough to judge him. Rather, I would seek to praise him for the repentance he shows, encourage him to ever repent, and strive to live by his example. I know him by his fruits. If there is any fault in Mark, it is not hidden from the sight of God. God will work to purify him as He works to purify us all, not in our time, but in His perfect time.

  81. Iamsgirl

    March 18, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I don’t know anything about Mark Driscol either, but regardless, what I read in these posts is division. That is what the enemy seems to be doing here.. causing more division. Taking the focus off Jesus. The sin of offense. Don’t go there! I believe that the Spirit of the Lord is grieved when we do this to each other. Forgive as you have been forgiven. God requires this of us. It’s not a suggestion. It’s for our own good. If we don’t in only holds us captive. Even if you have to do it 50 times a day until the devil no longer has a place in you. Do it. Let the Lord take care of Mark. He is the owner of Marks soul. Let God take care of you. He can handle it. Time is short, and the focus shouldn’t be on Mark and what he should or shouldn’t have done. Jesus doesn’t want our energies spent on being offended or focusing on Mark’s agenda. Our responsibility is to keep our hearts in check before God, stay in His Word, walk in the anointing of the Holy Spirit, so He can get His Church (us) ready for Jesus when He comes back. Our battle is not with flesh and blood……….you know the rest. :)

  82. Jim Revelle

    March 18, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Thanks! How encouraging!

  83. Marcia Moore

    March 18, 2014 at 8:37 am

    BRAVO, Pastor Mark! May God bless you.

  84. Jason

    March 18, 2014 at 8:43 am

    What does it say about shallowness of American Christianity that something as basic as repentance and seeking forgiveness is treated as if its this amazingly rare jewel that causes the believing masses to gush so? There is certainly wonder at God changing hearts and sanctifying lives…

    ..but what does it say about us, that when Pastor Mark asks for forgiveness (like we ALL are commanded to when sinning), the comments that pour forth give praise to HIM for HIS humility and HIS obedience rather than God the Holy Spirit who has worked it so?

    I guess that’s my deep seated resistance to “celebrity pastors” even when they say, “God has convicted me to X” their followers respond with “You’re so holy! Not many other people are holy like this! Good for you!”

    But what do I know? I follow Apollos, others follow Cephas…

    • Elizabeth L

      March 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Yes Jason, sadly a church asking its congregation to repent and forgive others is a rarity. Most church pastors are too afraid to ask such a thing, dare he be accused of “intolerance,” and not “loving people as they are.”

  85. dan manns

    March 18, 2014 at 8:48 am

    That was a sincere and thorough apology and I don’t even know if it was necessary. It took a lot of humility and I have more respect for him now than ever. I would never consider criticizing a man like Driscol who has reached far more people for Christ than I have. I’m too busy working on my own shortcomings than to waste the time and energy required to point them out in other people – especially ministers of the gospel. Teachers are going to have stricter judgment according to James 3:1 anyways so let’s just let God take care of that side of things. Our only command is to love – not to judge. It takes no spirituality whatsoever to be a critic.

  86. Ruth Beitzel

    March 18, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Recently a family friend visited his family in the east,I asked him to describe his church to me. His eyes lit up and he seemed excited as he shared. I felt a deep yearning to be a part of his church. I became very interested when I discovered this page on my FB this morning. Paster Mark is his pastor and this is his family church. Now I understand why my friend has grown with The Lord and why I felt that yearning. I will add my prayers for wisdom ,strength and preservence for the leaders and the body! Thank you for sharing!

  87. Gina

    March 18, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Well said Pastor Driscoll. And for those who “called him out” and “revealed” his wrongs, I hope that they too will keep themselves accountable for their words and not think of themselves highly now that Driscoll has made a public apology of his wrongs!

    Thank our loving Savior for his grace and mercy in all of our lives!!

  88. Rickey Ruiz

    March 18, 2014 at 10:24 am

    beautiful, simple YET powerful.

  89. Chuck Mayfield

    March 18, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Have and will pray for you Mark. We all fail, it’s how that’s handled that matters, and you’ve stood up, admitted fault, and asked forgiveness. You’ve still got a great role to play in the kingdom — may God bless you and your family!

  90. Yvette Rivera

    March 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

    What an awesome lesson is learned here. We are blessed to learn this lesson from Pastor Mark Driscoll, a man who truly loves God and his God-given life assignment.
    As always Pastor, you, your family and your church are in my prayers.

  91. Barbara Sue Carter

    March 18, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I have been to Mars Hills several times with my son and his lovely wife. Although I live in California, I rejoiced as I watched and felt the maturing in Pastor Mark, just as a mother would feel satisfaction watching her children grow. I understand the need for apology, however, don’t get caught up in it, giving in to the feeling of guilt. Don’t overlook the little man in the church body. They may not carry a ‘title’ but as very essential in the growth of the pastors and the church body as a whole. There is great wisdom in your body of believers, people that you most likely have never even spoken to. My love and prayers to you and your lovely family. BTW: We had a video in our church recently and lo, and behold, on the screen was Pastor Driscoll! I thought I would fall out of my seat! Now, thats progress of the richest kind. When I see your face, I can not help but grin! Kind of like when two or more people have a private joke between them… only ours is a WONDERFUL STORY OF TEH GOSPEL.

  92. J Wight

    March 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    It’s an apology from a brother in Christ. Either accept it or not (and deal with your own issues, then). If you have a personal grievance and this wasn’t enough for you, go to him personally. Pride and arrogance demand more payment from a brother or sister. Humility and mercy forgive before an apology is even expressed, always realizing one’s own perpetual need for the same mercy and grace. Let’s just follow Jesus and be examples and ambassadors for Him.

  93. Lori

    March 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    This is a beautiful and humble confession. We are called to forgive. I pray God’s richest blessings on Mark Driscoll, his family and ministry.

  94. Jean Selden

    March 18, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Mark Driscoll’s seems to think that a letter of apology will wipe away all the damage he has done to the Body of Christ. That is no more possible than a pastor who leaves his wife and family and then apologizes and gets right back up and stays in ministry.

    While we have to take him at your word, his letter sounds like he got caught and the fire was getting too close. He was finally being exposed for his antics so you decided to take on a pious position and confess how you have changed. Sorry, but your antics down at MacArthur’s conference was only a short six months ago. Change, huh?

    His self righteous way of removing himself from social media just gives him more isolation and less accountability.. That measure was taken only because he finally was being exposed by former leaders from his church and so he decided to shut it down using your family as an excuse.

    This letter was too focused on poor me and not enough responsibility for his actions that have helped erode the Church.

    I suggest if he is that damaged of an individual that he confesses, it might be time for him to take a sabbatical. He just has to submit the proposal to himself for approval. Same old Mark.

    The biggest problem involved in following the leader of this church is the lack of discernment. I know many of his followers. I have asked each one if they have ever researched this man. They all look blankly as if it isn’t their responsibility. They all say “he really preaches good” and that is enough for them. We are definitely labelled “sheep” for a reason. And, by the way, we are responsible for judging those inside the church. It is in the Bible.

    While I hope that Mark may come to some sort of repentance for his actions, he is not qualified to be leading anyone now.

    • Elizabeth L

      March 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Jean, we are all that “damaged,” and need repentance; not just certain individuals. We all fall short; according to God, and by His mercy, that, I hope includes you.

      • Jean Selden

        March 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        Really? I thought the Cross of Christ and true repentance makes us a “new creation.” It depletes the power of the Cross if I continually stay damaged and keep professing that I am damaged. It does not mean that I don’t have the propensity to sin but rather that Christ’s complete work on the Cross and His indwelling Holy Spirit causes me not to continue to sin. I get tired of the constant rhetoric that “we are sinners.” While that is true, it gives more credence to Satan than it does to the work of Christ.

        1John3:4-10
        4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s[b] seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God,

        • Elizabeth L

          March 18, 2014 at 8:44 pm

          I think you have guilt and conviction mixed up Jean. Certainly you should not feel “tired” from any guilt the enemy puts on you, but conviction to repent from sins – that leads to freedom. I also think you are smart enough to know what I meant about being damaged. Because of the fall, sin will always be present – and yes that requires dying to the self daily. I hope you will be rid of any guilt however. It is a lie from the enemy that says that repenting is a burden.

          • Jean Selden

            March 18, 2014 at 10:18 pm

            I know the difference. Your pious concern for me is ill-received. We are obviously on different pages.

  95. Bishop

    March 18, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    What the heck is going on? Cutting back isn’t ceasing social media for 9 months, taking on teaching assignments, a few media engagements and still on the book writing track.

  96. Adam

    March 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” I hope all of you defenders of Mark Driscoll are just as quick to defend a non-Christian neighbor when you feel they are being treated unfairly. I am a Christian, and many so-called Christians I have met and had the (dis)pleasure of knowing are much less loving and accepting than many non-Christians I know. I wish people would stop treating Mark like a rock star and other people like garbage.

  97. Nathan

    March 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    This is dripping with false humility. It’s just damage control.

  98. John Biermann

    March 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Mark you are in my prayers. As a person who has been a Pastor for 40 years, I hear your confession and pain. Sometimes in our desire to do the best for the Lord, we can forget the mission He has given us. Your confessions and asking for forgiveness are accepted by God and by me as well. I am thankful that you shared all of this with us who have “been there” in subtle ways, but not owned up to confessing and asking for prayer. I pray that God will continue to help you in miraculous ways as you lead in His Church. God bless and keep you and your family personally and your church too. Out of a season like this God can use you in amazing ways. I pray for those who so easily criticize and hope they too will ask for forgiveness. Blessings, Brother in Christ!!

  99. David

    March 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    It would be nice if a woman were added to the accountability team.

  100. J

    March 18, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    What’s silly to me is most of the people writing these degrading comments have never listened to any of his sermons. I’ve been attending mars hill for over two years and have experienced first hand how he speaks the truth of scripture and puts the focus on Gods glory not his own.

    • Jean Selden

      March 18, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      It has nothing to do with his ability or inability to preach. It has everything to do with his character. The churches of today are filled with men that live abhorrent lives outside their churches. One of the frightening things about this man is that scripture is very clear that when we place ourselves under leaders that “when we are fully trained, we will become like them.” People should be testing all things and not arbitrarily following some guy because he preaches well. This man is not a role model of Christianity. Only time will tell if this was worldly repentance to try and save his pride or whether it was godly repentance which will produce the fruits of righteousness.

      • Elizabeth L

        March 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm

        Jean, I think you have not been to a Mars Hill community group that you state that. I have attended churches outside of Washington state, and I can tell you that the men who lead community groups within Mars Hill are the most humble and loving to their wives. Perhaps you should try it and then judge for yourself afterwards.

        • Jean Selden

          March 18, 2014 at 10:58 pm

          What an uninformed judgment. I have followed Marks ministry for years. I would wage a bet that I have done more research on this man than most. I have listened to more of his sermons than I wish to admit so as to not be accused of being uninformed. I have read only portions of his books to be aware of what he is writing. Starting with his beginnings as a profane pastor, who published books such as “Porn Again,” his boasting of the good pornograpy at the barbershop that he likes to take his son to, his treatment of many ex-mars Hill leaders and families, etc, etc. It is all well documented. Do you really think God laughs when he mocks scripture and makes jokes about the only Lord and Savior. Is it really holy and righteous behavior to call Jesus names such as a “bartender?” I could go on and on. That man should be on his knees.He absolutely does not obey Christ’s commands for purity. His language itself forbids him from the office. He obviously doesn’t understand nor do his followers seem to know what the requirements for leadership are. Someone quoted earlier from the Book of Titus and there are countless scriptures that people refuse to use to critique this mans self appointed position. ..I know many who attend his church and many who have left. You mentioned that I need to attend a community group before making an assumption. I have a very close friend with a very dysfunctional husband who attends a women’s group. When asked what they teach, she says they study Marks latest sermon. I wonder how his “visions of adultery while preaching” sermon was covered. Is there anything that isn’t controlled by Mark. He has every trait of a cult leader losing his grip. A wise man once said “You don’t need to get in the garbage can to know there is garbage.” One does not need to be involved in a group in order to be aware of it. While Mark is highly accountable for his leadership failures, I am equally concerned with ‘sheep’ that will blindly follow a leader to the slaughter without once checking this mans credentials against the Word of God. We are called to test all things. There is no excuse for following the crowd. We, as lay members, also have an accountability to our Lord for where we choose to worship.

          If you really love this man, make him accountable for the,cause of Christ, his life and his family’s lives. Pray that his apology (which is really only worldly repentance) will actually turn to godly repentance and that we may truly see a broken man. Be very careful, when someone has to apologize with so many words. Chief Joseph once said “It doesn’t take many words to tell the truth.” Mark Driscoll should take his advice.

          • Elizabeth L

            March 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm

            I don’t need to pray that what Pastor Mark asks is genuine; God will take care of that. Some of what you say reminds me of this quote that was helpful for me with people I dislike, “Resentment is like taking poison into your own body and hoping the other person dies.” If you have legitimate reasons to dislike the man, then so be it, but I would invest your energy elsewhere. As for you concern for the other “sheep” – we have to trust that God will take care of us. There’s a bit of me that wonders if, sorry, as Pastor Mark would say – those you idolize, you later end up demonizing. If we put God first, disappoint and betrayal will be easily forgivable because we never put our hope in anything but God to begin with. Perhaps the people you are concerned about should/need to pray; and I fully believe the Holy Spirit will guide them.

  101. Jo-Anne

    March 18, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Why do “especially men” plant churches?

    More misogyny from the fundamentalist Christians.

  102. Matthew Garnett

    March 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    It’s a start I guess. The apology doesn’t really pass the smell test with me honestly. I feel like it’s one of those apologies that my kids give when they got busted doing something they were hoping to get away with.

    Needless to say, I don’t trust Driscoll so it’s hard to believe that he went into this marketing campaign for his book with no knowledge of what they did or how they did it. Even if he didn’t know that they were going to manipulate the numbers, why didn’t he know that? I mean if you’re going to drop over 200 Large on a marketing campaign (which from what I understand came from *church funds*), wouldn’t you want to know what the hell was going to go on?

    I think he got busted. I wonder if he’s sorry that he did what he did or if he’s sorry that he got busted.

    I suppose I’d be more willing to blow this off if he’d not claimed he had visions of his parishioners committing adultery. If he hadn’t said that his goal at Mars Hill is to “throw people under the bus” in order to accomplish his vision for the organization….. If he’d been able to clear up the accusations concerning his *multiple* charges of plagiarism on several of his previous books to which neither he nor his officials have given an adequate answer…..oh except to hang up on Janet Mefferd in the middle of a phone interview when she called him out on his plagiarism or to say only “mistakes were made”….. If he wasn’t affirming word of faith heretics like TD Jakes as a brother in Christ (viz Elephant Room 2)…..

    And so it goes…..

    Anyway, I don’t really sense penitence in this and this latest statement does very little to bolster my trust in his words. I see Driscoll trying to move back from the public eye. I find it frightening that he’s going to teach aspiring pastors at two seminaries. It’s equally as frightening to see him tout his self-proclaimed “prophetic” status in this “apology” in “God spoke to me and told me to do four things” and “these are decisions I have come to with our Senior Pastor Jesus Christ. I believe this is what He is asking of me”. This along with his affirmation of men like TD Jakes tells me he honestly has no real respect for orthodoxy or the written word of God, vying for his own personal revelations about this situation instead of bowing the knee to what scripture might have to say about his sin.

    At this point, Driscoll appears to me to be a very dangerous man who is hanging by a very thin thread. I think he got caught up in the mega church growth movement in the wave of the “restless young reformers” and his ego became so inflated that now it’s catching up with him. If he really wants to get out of this situation, the best thing for him and his church would be for him to step down for a while and regain some perspective and then jump back in there later when he can get away from all of this and get his head back on straight.

    • nick

      March 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      brilliant post. once again things like this make sharing the gospel harder. I’m not convinced either. all that needs to be said for those who are truly sorry. is an apology to the body of Christ. Ask for forgiveness and humbly step down. not use it for further self promotion. I’ve learned su much I’m resetting God wants me to do…blah blah. say it in 1-2 sentences and step down.

  103. Keith Street

    March 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Some need to put their pious pistols back in their holsters and get busy encouraging the saints and serving Jesus. who really cares about their assessment of Mark’s heart. I am not calling you haters, just unfocused servants. Word to Mark: Serve your family and your Master and don’t worry about the spiritually superior. Paul, you and I will continue to be chiefs of sinners. Welcome to the “Chiefs Club”. The Holy Spirit will be sufficient in pointing out all you need to deal with. Praying for you. If what I have said upsets anyone, “oops”. Job and Nehemiah had no use for those with “well intended” advice. Neither does Mark.

  104. synchro

    March 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I was moved by this a lot and how it relates to myself… you are a great man of God and even the thought I could have the ability to comment or possibly even have you read my comment seems silly. if I may offer my humble opinion, this is humorous in the sense that it is such a small thing to me-it is so easy to forgive you. I esteem you above myself…please be at peace. Your integrity and dignity are of great inspiration to me.. thank you for all you’ve done you are so special

  105. Michelle

    March 18, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Sounds to me like the Holy Spirit is talking very clear to Mark. He is shifting gears and going to take Mark further than we could imagine. Sounds to me like he is making his ways right like the bible says, he is trusting Gods leading, and obeying to commit to Grace and what he hears from God.. God has some awesomeness in store for pastor Mark, and to see all happening is a encouragement to us all to witness God work.

  106. Deb

    March 18, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Bravo for following the leading of the Lord. We all make mistakes. Glad you have found the path He has set for you. God bless you as you follow Him.

  107. Ken

    March 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Pastor Driscoll, We’ve never met. I’m not a Pastor and do not know the huge burden pastoring must bring. What I do know is that sheep sometimes bite. I am a member of a church and am actively involved in ministry with my wife. We love and teach children and we both have been leaders within the church for years.
    After reading some of the sideways comments in this post it saddens me. When we mess up, or even appear to mess up, we are called to account with the Maker of the universe to ask forgiveness and then we go to those we’ve offended. I think many people who seek God are unclear as to how this process works and it comes out in their responses that seem filled with condemnation and condescension.I personally want to applaud your letter and the humility with which it is written. Carry on Mark. We are Christians seeking the Lord and his character. I think as Americans we forget that churches are for the weak and broken. We have become a place for beautiful looking people with unchanged hearts and it scares me. Your letter inspired me; it doesn’t speak of blame or pointing fingers. Your letter speaks of personal growth and a solid plan backed by godly advisers. Carry on sir.

  108. Phillip

    March 18, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    It sure is hard to Christianize people when preachers keep doing this kinda stuff!

    • Marie

      March 19, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Sorry to hear that remark against Christians, as no one here on earth is perfect nor will we ever be. May I ask…are you? I know I’m not and if that’s going to stop anyone from “Christianizing” (your term) then no one will ever share the Good News of Jesus.

  109. Michael Conners

    March 18, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Thanks brother…. thanks for loving all of us, even the ones on this thread.

    Michael

  110. Merry Collop

    March 18, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Shouldn’t we accept his apology and admission of sin at face value? We shouldn’t be picking it apart online; if you have a grievance, we are commanded to go to our brother, alone, then with others, and voice our concerns. If unresolved, go forward before the local church. I see NOWHERE in scripture that we are to accuse before the world, as on Facebook or any other social media. That is what the world likes to see, and will see, if it appears in print. I know nothing about this man or his church; but I do believe that if you choose to rip someone apart publicly, then there is probably something in your relationship with Christ that is lacking.

    • Lara

      March 19, 2014 at 7:07 am

      So agreed, Merry. I believe strongly that we should assume the best in people, particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ. If he is saying he has repented and is taking steps to remain accountable to others, let us wait and see if he remains true to his word before being ready to criticize.

      I especially like how you brought up confronting an offending brother in private, the biblical model. We don’t know this man personally! But there are many who do. It’s their responsibility to bring up grievances directly with him more so than it is ours. I would tell Christians to pray for discernment for those people if you are really burdened for Mark Driscoll & Mars Hill.

  111. Kenny

    March 18, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Oh for pity sakes. “Drama” is a missing plane full of innocent souls. You grew and grew up with the Word, look forward and not back. Perhaps you were rebuking as God spoke through you. God doesn’t change, why would you?

  112. Jerry Andres

    March 18, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Hi bro,
    …God’s grace is always there when you are humble…this letter should be read by all ministers of the gospel..

    …Be praying for you & your family…God Bless!

  113. David

    March 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I would hope and pray that more pastors would follow Mark’s lead. The church especially in the U.S. is unhealthy, because we lose sight of Who God is and what he has for us to do. We become so wrapped up in salesmanship that we don’t leave room for the Holy Spirit! Promotion is the name of the game, Right? Wrong? We are to help build the Kingdom one soul at a time. Mark has the right idea. We must become one loving family under Christ! And we can’t do that by secular promotion. It’s not about religion, it’s about relationship! Relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and with each other… we will never become that loving grace filled Christian family by throwing rocks at one another. Mark is repenting, now it’s our turn to forgive! Blessings on Mark, his family and church!

  114. Nick

    March 19, 2014 at 12:16 am

    I appreciate the apology; it was desperately needed on several levels. I do think, however, that only time will tell if Mark is really going to change. As Augustine said… “Late have I come to thee… Late!” Being a Christian is about constant conversion and sanctification, and this is as true for mark as for anyone else. Keep becoming (and trying to become a Christian, Mark!) it’s a long road. Salvation is in the process, and the good news is, there’s even room for once-angry “prophets” who thought they had it mostly figured out. I’m glad Mark is now getting to know the real Jesus.

    • Maresah

      March 19, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Fortunately with God it is never too late. As in the story of The Prodigal Son, the father runs out to greet & embrace the returning son.

  115. marshmallow

    March 19, 2014 at 1:53 am

    How convenient…a man who expresses the error and sin of his ways AFTER he achieves fame and fortune by appealing to the world system and carnal nature of biblically illiterate Christians. The guy has no reverence for God at all and caused many to stumble and I can’t help but think this is a new strategy to expand his man kingdom with those who weren’t buying in to his flippant attitudes and filthy mouth. One is to be qualified BEFORE assuming the pulpit not after… misrepresenting God with your silly fleshly sermons and books.

    For all of you who liked him before this apology what does it say about you…

    I hope his repentance is true but time and change will tell…

  116. Leanne

    March 19, 2014 at 4:32 am

    While this is disguised as an apology this letter is filled with justifications for why he has done and said the things he has done, and is indeed not an apology. An apology is simply ” I am sorry for what I did (note one needs to confess their wrong doing), please forgive me.” An apology is not filled with excuses for ones actions and this is what this letter is.

  117. Ruth

    March 19, 2014 at 5:24 am

    If Paul was a father to his brothers in Christ, it would be worth your while to find out what “gospel” he talked about. He called it “my gospel” — that sounds like more than one!

  118. Pingback: A Letter Of Apology From Pastor Mark Driscoll » ZIONICA.com

  119. Doug Stewart

    March 19, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Great article. We need more men who will look at their lives, admit their sins/shortcomings and recalibrate their time and attention. Pastor Mark has set a great example.

  120. confused

    March 19, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Why is his shirt unbuttoned so low? ew. please. For someone who preaches women to be modest, I wish he would button up his shirt.

    Why does his apology not include:
    this is what I did wrong.
    this is a sin against you and a sin against God
    I am sorry.
    I understand if you don’t trust me right now.
    I will not do I again.

    Getting off social media has nothing to do with his sin, and everything to do with hiding from the public he has abused. The only sin he has confessed to is being angry in a sinful way and manipulating book sales. Why is getting off social media an act of repentance? No, that is the old line from politics. I am withdrawing from the race to spend more time with my family. He is simply engaged in greater risk management by getting off social media. I wish he would STAY on social media and SHOW that he has CHANGED.

  121. Peter

    March 19, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Why bother apologizing… it’s all god’s plan
    Don’t doubt, don’t apologize for anything

  122. Marie

    March 19, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I’m not at all aware of some of the ways that Mark has strayed from the goal set before him. But I must say that some of the negative remarks bring me to quoting a question on Denison Forum:
    “I predict that Mark Driscoll’s most effective days of ministry are ahead of him. Do you need a “reset” to manifest the “fruit of the Spirit” today?” Maybe some should consider a reset themselves. May God’s Spirit abide in you as you allow the Lord to heal whatever is needed for some of you to move on as Mark has chosen to. And lets remember David and how God used him mightily even after he sinned.

  123. Joe Kelly

    March 19, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I have read many of Mark’s books and admire his knowledge, passion and honesty. I love his material and follow the Acts 29 publications. Pastor’s are people, too. They have to step back like all of us to evaluate our relationship with Jesus Christ, how we treat our family and friends and are we obedient to our mission. We can all get side tracked. I admire his willingness to “reset” and change direction for the benefit of his family, church and Lord. Funny, Christians are the only ones that eat their own. God gives us grace, we called upon to do the same. Blessings to you Mark and your family.

  124. Rachel

    March 19, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Look to Christ, God has brought me through one of the most difficult times in my life. At my lowest I cried out to him earnestly from my heart & used him to lean on completely because I felt quite literally that I could not stand on my own. He gave me peace & gave healing in my marriage. I think if people would just trust that God is big enough to handle it there would be a lot of people that could let go of the hurt that others do to them. God is the ultimate counselor stop relying on humans to help you solve your problems. GO TO GOD… No one does that anymore. Forgive! It’s not just something you say, it is an action. This Pastor asked for forgiveness, let the holy spirit take it from there…

  125. Andrew

    March 19, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Thank you mark, pray that brother our brother James would be moved and convicted in the same way. It just goes to show that no man no matter his position is immune to the enemies evil schemes of greed and pride. I know I use to be there myself. It’s all about humility and coming back down low so we can Grow. Gods blessings to you and your family.

  126. Scott

    March 19, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Jean, I only have one question… how did Mark respond to you when you approached him one-on-one and shared your feelings with him?

    • Jean Selden

      March 19, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      He refused to answer my emails.

  127. Bonney Major

    March 19, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Any time someone who is as public as Pastor Mark Driscoll there will be judgments made that are only for God who knows the heart at the very deepest level. I have nothing but admiration and respect for Pastor Mark in regards to the above apology, information, reset, and accountability. More people need to do that just on the level of their homes let alone anywhere else. Blessings on him and his family in the new roles and years to come.

  128. KC Mercer

    March 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I don’t really know Mark or the Mars Hill Church. I do know this – that he can’t help but disappoint at some level since he, like all of us, is human. Only God will not let us down. There are a lot of comments on here extolling personal thoughts or critiques of what he wrote but the bottom line is this….pray for the man! It’s what we are called to do.

  129. Morag

    March 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    My Dad was a Pastor. He loved the flock but those dam sheep could often attack the ‘shepherd’! I thank God for Marks ministry over the years. Yes, I am sure there were mistakes he has made, but he has managed to bring a Bible teaching Church into the 21st century… Thank you for your humbleness and may Mars Hill continue to grow and transform lives into and FOR the future!

  130. eks

    March 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Happy to see Mark Driscoll apologize for his manipulation of the book’s sales. Sorry there was no such apology for his plagiarism; the use of Church funds to pay for the manipulation; or for his unCHRISTIAN attacks on John MacArthur and Janice Mefferd. Since I am not a member of Mars Hill, I believe Matthew clearly defines how Church discipline should be administered in chapter 18;15-19. Also, this scripture seems appropriate: “This is what the sovereign LORD says: Look, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand my sheep from their hand. I will no longer let them be shepherds; the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore. I will rescue my sheep from their mouth, so that they will no longer be food for them,” Ezekiel 34:10. We should all pray for Mark Driscoll and the people of Mars Hill Church.

  131. Susan

    March 19, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I read the “apology” and most of the positive and negative comments. My question for Mr. Driscoll “When will you stop teaching your false gospel and become a biblicist?” Read the Word. Study the Word. Preach the Word. Cease with the drama and become the man of God you claim to be.

  132. Joseph Hyde

    March 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    When I heard of some of the ‘disquiet’ surrounding Mars Hill Church… I thought another good ministry on the ropes and soon to go bad… So I am very happy to see this, and joyful for another pastor that Satan will not ‘sideline’ or destroy, as long as, in a practical manner, Jesus is #1! I know that is his wife’s prayer also! Good Going! Thanks!

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