The trial of Paul Petry was conducted without impartiality. Therefor it was unbiblical and unjust.
The most significant charge to elders from the apostle Paul is the charge to be impartial. In other words, if you are going to put someone in trial, in order for a fair outcome there needs to be impartiality.
While this seems quite obvious, my strong email appeal to the twenty four elders before the trial was rejected. I also personally appealed to Scott Thomas, Tim Quiring, and Dave Kraft, as well as the man who would become “Lead Pastor” under the yet to be approved proposed bylaws, Jamie Munson.
Jamie Munson, who is now co-president of Storyville Coffee, told me that I was trying to bring in worldly thinking, and pointed out that I was not a lawyer. When I said it does not take a lawyer to interpret the old bylaws, he responded with the notorious Mark Driscoll line of rebuke, “You are pissing me off”.
The reason for my appeal was that in the trial of Paul Petry and Bent Meyer, the accusers were also the prosecutors, and they were also on the jury. Impartiality was therefore impossible. I found that stunning, which is why I appealed to all the elders the day before the unfair trial.
The most impassioned charge to elders in the Bible happens to be when Paul talk about the process of dealing with a charge against another elders. In Timothy 5:19-21 “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.”
The call for impartiality is clear and to emphasize its importance, Paul made the charge in the presence of God, Christ Jesus, and His chosen angels.
The leadership of Mars Hill Church, under Mark Driscoll and Jamie Munson, ignored this charge, and placed me under discipline for appealing to the elders to please be impartial.
This is yet another reason why the verdict should be thrown out, Paul Petry exonerated, and the shunning ended.