In an otherwise good article, Ed Stetzer shows us the foundation of the double standard in dealing with the sins of pastors versus the sins of members.
“First, the level of proof for accusation is higher– it’s on the basis of two or three witnesses, whereas in Matthew 18 any one believer can go to any one fellow believer when sin arises. This serves as a buffer against unwarranted criticism that can come with pastoral positions (though it’s often abused, but that is for another conversation).” http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/april/why-full-and-public-repentance-matters.html
Ed Stetzer, who is often referred to as a church trend expert, suggests that the Matthew 18 process of believers dealing with each other when sin arises does not apply to someone in a pastoral position.
Perhaps this thinking is why in the new bylaws of Mars Hill Church there is one standard for dealing with the disqualifying sins of members (two elders just have to agree to remove the member) and a different standard for dealing with the lead pastor (the accusing member must submit their resignation, and submit their charge in writing, and the BOAA, which includes the lead pastor, decides if the charge is credible, and if credible, the process of dealing with it is in the hands of the Board of Overseers – made up of the independent members of the BOAA).
Bad ideas have long term consequences.
The notion that dealing with the sins of the lead pastor requires an absurdly high level of standard, while members can be tossed out by two elders (without any due process) is simply not biblical. But it has been seeded and allowed to flourish by “experts” that have promoted this double standard.
Perhaps two elders need to adjudicate the charges of abuse, deception, lies, slander and bullying against Mark Driscoll, and simply remove him from membership. At least they have the testimony of more than three witnesses.