Once again, this image proves useful.
  • Mars Hill Church
  • Once again, this image proves useful.

Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll is in the New York Times this morning. The good news for Driscoll? Mars Hill didn't have to pay for his name to appear in the Times this time. The bad news? The kicker on the story is "Mark Driscoll Is Being Urged to Leave Mars Hill Church."

The Times's Michael Paulsen provides a crash course in Driscoll's many recent troubles. Paulsen says Driscoll's "empire appears to be imploding" thanks to a litany of problems concisely explained in one sentence: "He has been accused of creating a culture of fear at the church, of plagiarizing, of inappropriately using church funds and of consolidating power to such a degree that it has become difficult for anyone to challenge or even question him."

Driscoll, Paulsen explains, has become "a pariah in the world that once cheered him." He quotes many critics of Driscoll, and some supporters, too, although even one longtime Driscoll fan admits that "Mark might need to step down for a year, or forever.” Driscoll "declined to be interviewed" for Paulsen's story, and Mars Hill issued their boilerplate response to charges of the pastor's wrongdoing, about how they "take any complaint or allegation against Pastor Mark and Mars Hill very seriously, and everything is and will be examined by several governing bodies.” This is a major, public shaming of the church as it prepares for Driscoll's return from a monthlong vacation this Sunday.