Mark Driscoll says Mars Hill leaders plotted to accuse him of adultery before resignation

Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the the now defunct Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington.
Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the the now defunct Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. | YouTube/Real Faith by Mark Driscoll

Years after resigning as leader of the now defunct Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, because God told him a “trap” has been set for him, Mark Driscoll, who now serves as founding senior pastor of Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, claimed on Sunday that Mars Hill leaders had planned to accuse him of adultery.

Driscoll who resigned from Mars Hill in 2014, disclosed in a video from his teaching series on Nehemiah published on Saturday that during an 18-month break from public life after his resignation that he was told by “multiple people” that there was a “nuclear option” in place to accuse him of adultery in order to take over his pulpit.

“During that time (18 months) I met with some of my critics and enemies one-on-one or small groups. People that had been friends, people who claimed to be Christians, some who were pastors some who still are pastors. I asked them, I said, ‘God told me a trap was set.’ So I asked them. I said, ‘Do you know what that might me?’ And these people that we had known said, ‘Yeah, the nuclear option was we were going to accuse you of adultery,’” Driscoll said.

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In a tearful video interview with former Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston in July 2015, Driscoll first revealed that God told him and his wife to resign from Mars Hill because a trap had been set for him.

Sutton Turner, who formerly served as chief elder at Mars Hill, told The Roys Report that Driscoll’s allegations against the leaders is “totally false” and is part of his ongoing campaign “to throw dirt on the former investigating elders of Mars Hill.”

“Some did not want him to be restored to full-time ministry,” Turner said. “But all of them wanted him to repent and reconcile with people he sinned against (which he never did) and be restored as a Christian in the church.”

Turner also told the outlet that even though Driscoll said it was God who told him there was a trap set for him, Driscoll had told him the night before he resigned that Larry Osborne, a former member of Mars Hill’s Board of Overseers, warned him about the “trap.”

Driscoll said during the teaching session at Trinity Church, however, that “multiple people told me that to my face on separate occasions and days.”

“This was at Panera. Multiple meetings at Panera. I was like, ‘You guys discussed accusing me of adultery?’ You know that’s not true. I’ve been faithful to my wife my whole life. I adore my wife, I love my wife. She loves me. We’ve been faithful to each other,” he said.

“We’ve been open our whole marriage about any struggles we’ve had because we know that every married couple has some hardship to go through. And we have never been dishonest. But we have never done that. We’ve never done anything remotely like that. They said, ‘Yeah, that’s why we kept it as the nuclear option,’” Driscoll continued.

“I said, ‘To get me what?’ They said, ‘To get you out of the pulpit,’” he recalled.

“They said, 'Because we knew that if we accuse you of adultery, and enough of us signed the open letter, that ultimately, there would be such a media firestorm, that you would have to exit ministry. Exit preaching God’s word for probably a year while a full investigation was done,'” he said. “'During that time, we could take over and lead and be in charge, and then we figured one of two things would happen: either you would come back but we would be in charge, or you would never come back and you would be done forever.'”

In January, Turner published a narrative on his blog revealing how Driscoll’s Oct. 14, 2014, resignation from Mars Hill was a surprise to the megachurch’s leadership.

“Secretly, Mark Driscoll had coordinated with Mark Demoss and Religious New Service (Driscoll’s statement) to drive the narrative that would put Driscoll in a positive light so he could plant a church in Phoenix and sell books in the future. The night before Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill he discussed his decision and received advice from both Robert Morris and Larry Osbourne,” Turner wrote.

Driscoll warned his church that they should not trust everything they read in the media. He recalled how throughout his career as a minister he had to deal with multiple attacks on his reputation through the media and how difficult it is to legally protect himself as a public figure.

He recalled how about 20 to 25 years ago a woman left his church because she read an untruthful report on the internet that he was beating his wife. He also said he had been canceled by “whole countries” because of misrepresentations in the media.

“I’ve been canceled by whole countries. I’ll never forget, there was a week when I was dealing with, I met with a whole bunch of women, who were assault and abuse victims from boyfriends and husbands and fathers. And I was in a book of the Bible where it tells men to protect women and children, so I got very intense and I rebuked the men who abuse women,” he said.

“And I was getting ready to do a tour of another country this was many years ago and my tour got canceled. ... A national news outlet took me very intense rebuking men, and they flipped the whole story. They said he hates women and here’s a clip of him yelling at them,” Driscoll said. “That news story went national and it got me canceled. I’ve never been back to that country. “

He then promised his congregants that he would always tell them the truth.

“If I’m gonna be your pastor and I love you. I promise you this, I’ll always tell you the truth. And I want you to love and honor and respect Christian leaders and pastors,” he said. “Don't assume the worst, assume the best and don’t believe everything you hear. And don’t contribute to the gossip.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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