Friday, December 01, 2006

Meeting with Mark Driscoll

Last night Rich and I met with Nancy Murphy (Exec Director of a Domestic Violence Center in Seattle), Tom Murphy, Sandy Brown (Exec Dir of World Council of Churches Seattle), Paul Chapman (protest organizer), Dwight Friesen, Mark Driscoll, and Leif Moi (pastor and elder at Mars Hill Church).

My initial thoughts are going to be brief.

Our conversation was frank and honest. I appreciated the maturity and humility that everyone in the room demonstrated. My sense was that everyone felt heard.

We basically focused on two things: First, the offensiveness of Mark’s language in the public arena. How it hurts and divides. After an open conversation with everyone's participation it seemed that everyone felt heard by Mark. Second, we discussed the protest. Hearing from Mark and Leif--their concerns, my hope is that they felt heard.

The spirit in which we all met was not adversarial but was toward reconciliation by all. I deeply appreciated that everyone remained open and respectful.

There was a very meaningful exchange between Paul and Mark with regard to the protest which brought them both to a place of recognizing their words as harmful. There seemed to be an agreement that an apology for inflammatory rhetoric would be appropriate from both of them.

We all agreed to disagree about our theology and that we could have a healthier way of expressing our difference to the wider community.

I am thankful to all for the graciousness and humility displayed in the midst of difference.

Here are a few things I have learned:

Words on a blog or on a paper are one thing—people in a room who those words touch are quite another

Truth and mercy – a powerful combination

We are all life long learners on this journey where confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation is one of our highest callings.

That Mark and I may have serious theological differences but at the end of the day we have both given our lives for the sake of the gospel

I am hopeful that reconciliation has begun and will continue – time will tell.

I want to thank Mark for coming to the conversation as a peacemaker and not a street fighter. I pray God’s best for him and for Mars Hill Church.

31 comments:

Steve said...

Once again, well done, Rose. I have appreciated your tone and attitude throughout this thing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Rose. I linked to it.

Robbymac said...

Rose,

Well done, and well blogged. That's the most encouraging thing I've read this week. Thank you.

Robbymac said...

Rose,

Well done and well blogged. The most encouraging thing I've read online this week. Thank you.

Matt Wiebe said...

Sounds great Rose. Good to see brothers and sisters coming together and realizing that, in the end, they're committed to the same gospel.

Makeesha said...

well done! be encouraged dear one.

andrew jones said...

so glad you all could meet

Anonymous said...

You're a great example, Rose.

But I believe the tolerance the church is showing for this man is a huge mistake. Everything I've read by him indicates that his problem isn't how he communicates - it's that he's poisonous inside. Confrontation without consequences is teaching him to disguise it better - it makes him more dangerous. The man has very serious issues and should not be a pastor. He is so destructive - in God's name.

I know there's nothing you can do about that, but I hope you aren't conned by this snake.

Helen said...

Thanks Rose - I am totally impressed with your role in all this.

I'm also impressed with Mark for being willing to meet with you and a few others and listen to what you had to say.

And with Paul deciding to call off the protest.

By the way I posted an update on this situation on my blog which includes my apology for using inflammatory rhetoric and/or encouraging others to do so.

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad the there is forward motion on this and that you felt heard. i too have been grateful that you stand in our stead. your gracious, yet firm response and voice is so important here rose.

god bless you!

Anonymous said...

But what about the post that was referenced earlier...

http://pursuing_truth.blogspot.com/2006/11/tilting-against-complementarian.html

You have yet to respond to that. Personally, I don't believe Driscoll did anything wrong nor was he obligated to meet with anyone regarding this. The fact that he did shows the kind of man he is.

That is in direct comparison to the very anti-Christian attitude by those who are/were organizing tomorrow's protest. The very same free speech that those maligning Driscoll argue for is what they are protesting against.

It's a shame. Jesus is not pleased with that type of attitude.

Anonymous said...

Rose, did you see that the Seattle Times is looking for a new evangelical columnist to replace Mark Driscoll? I think you should apply!

byron said...

Sounds like it was a good meeting. Good to see a leader willing to learn from his critics. Good to see critics who would rather persuade than protest.

bryan said...

Rose,
thank you for your willingness to turn towards the other and for creating an environment where authentic dialogue could take place. i read your initial invitation to mark a couple of weeks ago and have been waiting to see whether or not a conversation would take place. the fact that it has and that it has gone as you've described (and mark has described on his blog) has been very encouraging and hopeful. it has been humbling for me in that one of my primary criticisms of mark has been his seemingly unwillingness to hear the voices of those who are affected by his words. all of that to say that repentance is contagious. rose, we don't know one another, but your courage and kindness has helped me see the log in my own eye a little more clearly. thank you again.
bryan nixon

Gary Means said...

Thank you so much for all you have to help bring a peaceful end to this conflict. Your approach was exactly what was needed.

Gary Means said...

I agree with Rachel about you applying for the Times position. Go for it!

danny said...

Hi, by the way: why didn't you protest ted haggard?

djchuang said...

I commend the effort and hard work involved in meeting together, and how each were actively listening that fateful evening. I consider it miraculous!

I find it unfortunate to read the 2 anonymous comments in this thread, which distract from the incredible charity and reconciliation that occurred in the room.

paul said...

Thank you for talking and being able to agree to disagree in a way that is a model to us all...

Eugene said...

rose

thanks for your words, your courage, and your partnership in ministry to the larger city and region of seattle.

eugene cho
quest church

Rhology said...

Rose,

Mark Driscoll had nothing to apologise for in regards to this issue.

I also would have been really interested in seeing your response to that pursuing_truth blog post, which was really good, or even mine, which was much more manageable.

http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com/2006/11/on-mark-driscoll-and-misogyny.html


Clearly, Driscoll is so obviously wrong that it should take little effort to respond to someone who supports him in this question.

I'm disappointed.

jazztheo said...

thanks be to God!

Pam Hogeweide said...

very glad to hear of the respectful gathering that all of you had. this is good news. and very pleased to hear that paul decided against a protest.

no matter our brother's rhetoric or theology, at the end of the day we are together the people of Jesus...

Marsh said...

the blogworld can be so divisive because of its lack of humaness with no accountability. its not the context for real Christian community. I am honored that this community of God's people got together and talked. Theologies aside, it is love that covers a multitude of sin. The admissions of fault on both sides is refreshing, that we all learn from it.

peace my friend.

James Church said...

I am very encouraged by this outcome... thankyou for meeting with Mark and coming to a satisfactory conclusion.

radioguy said...

Politically Correct Censorship?

Here is a link to the KIRO News interview of the instigator of the protest against Pastor Driscoll. Judge for yourself:
http://kiro.radiotown.com/audio/dorihour1.mp3

Bill Bean said...

So glad this happened. Too bad the media doesn't report on this kind of thing. I pray that there will be many more meetings like this and that the Church in Seattle will be able to display the unity of the Church even in the face of serious disagreement.

Anonymous said...

I read Mark Driscoll's statement regarding your meeting on his site and frankly I don't think he sounded the least bit apologetic. To the contrary, there seemed to be a lot of finger pointing and self-victimization on his part.

How does one accept an apology from a person who doesn't even admit they've done anything wrong? How does one forgive a person who technically hasn't even apologized?

Throughout all of this Mark Driscoll has continued to insist that his comments were misunderstood and taken out of context. Do you NOW believe this to be true? In other words Driscoll did NOT make demeaning statements about women?

What I find VERY telling is that Mark Driscoll did not agree to meet and discuss this until mere days before the protest was to take place. I do not find his attitude here to be very charitable or Christian-like. Rather, his statement seems completely self-serving.

As a non-Christian I find his remarks about Christians and non-Christians protesting together INCREDIBLY offensive. Apparently his new and 'matured' attitude only extends to those who are not perfect, just 'saved'.

Julio said...

Rose,
It is good to hear that you got to meet with Mark. I read your letter to him and I thought it was well written. I am looking forward to hearing more about the meeting in later posts. May
God Bless You.

James N. said...

One year later...

UPDATE:

http://www.riseandfallofmarshill.blogspot.com/
_

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