Where are the “Real Men” at Mars Hill Church?

Real Men

Mark Driscoll and Acts 29 are reputed to teach men to stand up and be men. One of the recent conferences to give Mark Driscoll the boot was a conference aptly called “Act Like Men”. Who better, in their opinion, to have as a featured speaker than the “dude of dudes”, Pastor Mark Driscoll?

Listen to the call… (link)

Mark Driscoll has been removed as a speaker. The remaining men that will encourage men to “Act Like Men” include “manly men” like the current leader of Acts 29, Matt Chandler, and recently departed Mars Hill Church “Board of Advisors and Accountability” (BOAA) member, James McDonald. These real men both have strong historic ties to Mars Hill Church.

Both have distanced themselves from Mars Hill Church in the last week or two.

Matt Chandler, who, along with the Acts 29 board, has known for years about the abuse and sinful behavior of the leadership of Mars Hill Church, has finally developed enough of a backbone to stand up, “act like a man” and be counted.

About 105 men, all called to be “elders/pastors” at Mars Hill Church (45 left recently and 60 are still elders) all are well aware of the abusive practices and sins that have hurt so many at Mars Hill Church. What are these “manly men” doing? Except for a handful, they are failing to speak out against the abuse. They remain silent. They fail to “act like men.” Real men anyway.

Now comes the Mars Hill BOAA, forced to deal with the reality that Acts 29 has finally taken action. The BOAA now admits that there have been “unhealthy culture issues” that have been a part of Mars Hill Church for “way too long”.

Given this knowledge, what are the “manly men” on the Board of Advisors and Accountability doing? These strong men, who are speaking at conferences instructing how men can learn to “Act Like Men” slink off and fail to stand up and address the abuses that they are well aware of.

The manly James McDonald is gone. No words to correct the unhealthy culture that he has known about. Just an excuse and a solid affirmation that the leadership that caused the pain to be “exemplary in …. current readiness”.  He said he was staying on the board until his replacement could be found. Yet the response to Acts 29 only listed Michael Van Skaik and Larry Osborne on the BOAA. McDonald is gone (link). And the BOAA response fails to address the wounded. It chides Acts 29 for failing to speak to Osborne first.

Paul Tripp, another “manly man” (so we are led to believe), is gone. Tripp resigned from the BOAA sometime before we all found out about it.  Tripp publically admitted that the BOAA cannot do what it is designed to do (thank you….. seems like the whole world sees that except for the remaining members of the BOAA) but he has failed to address the fact the culture within Mars Hill Church has been unhealthy for years.

Matt Chandler and the board of Acts 29 knew of significant abuse within Mars Hill Church for years, yet only after Ron Wheeler wrote his letter (link) and the disgusting comments by Driscoll written under a false name on the church’s formerly public online forum were published, did Acts 29 finally do what they should have done years ago. Rather than speaking out years ago to protect the sheep, they were seemingly moved (thank God) to at least protect themselves.

Which brings me back to the question of the 105 elders and former elders that are or have been leaders in the most ”manly” church in the nation. How come they cannot be men when it counts? Are they going to follow the example of Acts 29, and not speak out for years to come? Will they continue waiting until association is so repugnant that they are forced to speak out?

Or will they stand up and be the real men that they claim to be?

Are there any men left at Mars Hill Church?

Real Man


7 thoughts on “Where are the “Real Men” at Mars Hill Church?

  1. The irony of the title of the conference is astounding. “Act Like Men” excuse me, you want us to Act? Serving Jesus is about loving others, out of the gratitude of receiving His forgiveness and grace for His sacrifice that he bought with His life. And you espouse Acting? I have found it is in the small hidden and unseen works that one learns the kind of man one is. Not by learning how to pretend (or Act).

    Thank you for taking a stand against those that have brought so much harm to innocents and shame the Lord’s Name. I know for a fact he is standing with those that have been hurt and discarded.

    • L’abre Croche,
      I suspect they chose the title “Act Like Men” as a reference to 1 Cor 16:13 – “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (ESV)

  2. Someone from Harvest Bible Chapel told me that James MacDonald has publicly stated that Driscoll has responded to the BOAA process with humility and repentance.

    It is interesting that he completely contradicts Matt Chandler and the Acts 29 Board.

    I wonder if he has to be ok with Mark because he acts with the same abusive and controlling behavior, profanity laced outbursts, and manipulative actions with his staff.

    The very thing that Acts 29 used as their reason to remove Driscoll is what James MacDonald says Mark is doing great at. Maybe Chandler, Tripp and MacDonald need to get together and get their stories straight.

  3. “Can two walk together unless they be agreed .” Amos 3:3

    God says it best. All these men are in agreement to turn their heads.

  4. Can we expect great manhood from men who have worshipped long at the altar of another man’s ego, and led their families to do the same?

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