The Trial of Paul Petry – Part 3 (and why it was unjust)

Determining the charges against Paul Petry and Bent Meyer

The charges against Mark Driscoll, deemed to be non-disqualifying, were far more serious than the petty charges leveled against Paul Petry. Yet they cost him his job, his eldership and a shunning order.

The charges against Paul Petry were petty or simply made up, and pale in comparison to the non-disqualifying charges against Mark Driscoll by Dave Kraft and other former elders of Mars Hill Church.

The BOAA of Mars Hill Church recently determined that the serious charges leveled at Mars Driscoll were not serious enough to disqualify him from leadership. Instead they are standing “unreservedly behind Pastors Mark Driscoll, Sutton Turner and Dave Bruskas as the Executive Elders of Mars Hill Church.” They further suggest that there were false accusations leveled against the three men.

The charges against Paul Petry were trivial and hardly even sin, let alone a charge. Here are some of the charges leveled at Paul Petry, for which his career was upended and ultimately a shunning order issued when he failed to repent of these “sins” (

  1. He shared a confidential document with a member. The document was the proposed bylaws, and the member was none other than me. More on this later
  2. He violated elder protocol in that he spoke to the church attorney without permission.  Never mind that there was, according to the bylaws, no higher authority than that of elder. Only under the new bylaws did some elders have authority over other elders.
  3. He wasn’t submissive to leadership. Again, the elders were the highest authority.

These were grievous sins that got Paul Petry fired, removed as elder and shunned.  Despite Jamie Munson affirming that there were no sexual or moral sins included in the charges against Petry.

Compare Paul Petry’s sins to those that have been leveled against Mark Driscoll:

  1. Not being self-controlled and disciplined
  2. Being domineering
  3. Being verbally violent
  4. Being arrogant
  5. Being quick-tempered
  6. Leading Mars Hill with a culture of pride, fear, and intimidation.
  7. Preaching grace from the stage but don’t extend that same grace to the staff you lead.
  8. Developing a culture where sin is not tolerated, therefore it is not confessed.
  9. Leading the staff in bitterness and rage for years because of your unforgiven sin that Grace committed against you. (This was very obvious in the abusive tone during staff meetings and trainings for several years, leading to demoralization and fear.)
  10. A thirst and ambition to see the church grow have coming at the cost of the very pastors and leaders that God has put in Driscoll’s care.
  11. Lying: There is not honesty in why key leaders are leaving the church. It is always spun to be a politically correct “calling” vs the truth of why they are leaving.
  12. Ignoring the fact that one member of the EE, Pastor Sutton, has been breaking the law and tarnishing the name of Jesus to unbelievers, thus disqualifying him from being a pastor of Mars Hill Church.
  13. Using threats and intimidation tactics to produce results.
  14. Preaching a requirement for living a balanced life of God, Family, Ministry, but requiring staff to work 70+ hours a week, neglecting the very things you preached about.
  15. Forcing anyone who needs to get a severance package when leaving to sign a gag order, preventing them from being able to speak about why they left Mars Hill.

The formal charges leveled against Mark Driscoll, charges that appear far more severe and articulated than those against Paul Petry, were deemed non-disqualifying by the BOAA. Add to those charges the concurrent scandals that resulted in the BOAA in standing unreservedly behind Mark Driscoll after paying “close attention to the accusations”.

I remind the reader of some of the scandals:

  1. Using church money to deceptively buy a spot on the NYT Bestseller list.
  2. Numerous counts of plagiarism in several of Mark Driccoll’s books.
  3. Misleading and incomplete statements to the church on these matters.
  4. Claiming in numerous places that Mark Driscoll was the founder of the church and other re-writing of the history of the church.
  5. Conducting leadership in such a way that over 100 employees and over 1000 members have left since the beginning of 2012.

Contrast these with charges that were totally silly and invalid. Paul Petry have every right as elder to seek counsel regarding the new bylaws from whomever he thought prudent, including advice from the church lawyer and a member who was a deacon and chosen to become an elder. To accuse him of violating some hastily trumped up “elder protocol” (that required no discussion amongst the elders about the proposed bylaws) is hardly a sin.

If the charges against Mark Driscoll have been deemed to be non-disqualifying, how it possible that Mark Driscoll and his Executive Elders at the time found the petty charges against Paul Petry to be grievous and disqualifying?

The trial was a farce and Paul Petry should be exonerated and the shunning order lifted immediately!


One thought on “The Trial of Paul Petry – Part 3 (and why it was unjust)

  1. Truly sad.

    Even the EFCA thinks that it’s OK that they used the money for deceiving the public and the NYTimes, because they haven’t done anything about Mars Hill’s ECFA Accreditation, and they don’t seem to think the BOAA members selling books at MHC is a conflict of interest. A nest of vipers, a total good old boys’ network, everyone promoting and vouching for each other with no real correction except for those who notice real problems, and/or the man behind the curtain.

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