Dear Mark,
I write this as a (fairly) quiet critic. QUIET because 1. I have beloved family members who attend Mars Hill and would never want them to feel that I’m taking aim at them, and 2. because I haven’t found angst driven public criticism of fellow Christians to do any good in the realms of Christian unity, edification, or in drawing anyone closer to Jesus. CRITIC for most of the usual reasons people are critical of you- attitude, leadership style, and the fact that I strongly disagree with you on most secondary doctrinal issues.
That said, my reason for writing is to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and especially with Grace and your kids during what has to be an incredibly difficult time. Some people worry that any type of concern for you is at the expense of those you’ve wounded, but frankly, I think that’s bull shit. I’m quite certain that if Jesus calls us to love friends and enemies alike (from Mother Theresa to ISIS), He was including a call to love Mark Driscoll somewhere in there. Now of course, as I already know you agree, love isn’t always fluffy and nice. Love seeks the good of those it cares for. So sometimes Love can be harsh. There are times when Love calls people out on their crap. Love often speaks out on behalf of the marginalized. There are times Love disciplines. Of course, I’m not the one in the position to discipline a mega church pastor who lives on the other side of the county and I don’t particularly feel called to add my voice to the chorus of people calling you out. There was/is a place for that, but it is not for me right now- others have that task covered and I have nothing much to add to that end of the conversation. As far as you are concerned, I think my only job is to recognize that you are an image bearer of God. A son who He loves. A person with unsurpassable worth whose value was NEVER dependent on your successes or failures.
So Mark, when I see you trending on Facebook and Twitter I am trying to remind myself to simply say a blessing for you, your family, Mars Hill, and those you have wounded. May our Healer bind up ALL wounds. May He bring deep brokenness, transparency, and surrender. May He restore. May He bring a most genuine and honest reconciliation of relationships. May there be true repentance and forgiveness where there were wrongs. May you and your family be sheltered from harm. May your children experience the peace of God in a most powerful way. May Mars Hill be EVERYTHING Jesus has created it to be. May all that is hay and stubble be cleared out. May those who have been hurt experience healing and wholeness and peace in their inmost being. And so may you.
Your Sister in Jesus,
Laura Johnson