Over at the Repentant Pastor website yesterday, 18 former Mars Hill elders posted a letter of confession to Paul Petry and Bent Meyer. In the letter, the pastors confessed being complicit with an authoritarian structure which wronged Meyer and Petry for raising valid concerns. They wrote:
We now believe our decisions were invalid and wrong. The entire investigation and trial process was skewed by the implication that your termination was above reproach and for just cause. If there had been sin in your life that might have warranted a warning about possible disqualification from eldership, we should have patiently, carefully, and directly addressed it with you before the matter became so extremely escalated. By reporting our wrongheaded assessment to the church, we put doubt about your character in the minds of church members, though you had done nothing to warrant such embarrassment and scrutiny. By doing this, we misled the whole church, harmed your reputation, and damaged the unity of the body of Christ.
In this universe, the past with Mark Driscoll generates remorse and repentance.
At the Christian Post today, Alex Murashko focuses on Mars Hill Portland pastor Tim Smith and spokesman Justin Dean. Both Smith and Dean view the past with Mark Driscoll as something to celebrate. In this universe, both had praise for Driscoll and glossed over the investigation of charges and the reasons for his resignation.
When Petry and Meyer were fired, they didn’t get due process like Driscoll did. After they were fired by Driscoll, they were unfairly tried by their peers and found guilty of “displaying an unhealthy lack of trust in, and respect for, the senior leadership of Mars Hill Church.” Petry was considered disqualified and shunned and Meyer was put on probation.
When Mark Driscoll was the subject of a lengthy process of investigation and found guilty of abusing his leadership, he was allowed to resign voluntarily with severance rather than enter a restoration process.
In one universe, Tim Smith voted to find Petry and Meyer guilty and in another universe, Smith lauds Driscoll and fails to sign on to the letter of confession.