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Marc Driscoll recently submitted his tenure to review by a board of accountability. That board came back with this finding:

“Pastor Mark has, at times, been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner. While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.”

Mr. Driscoll submitted a letter of recommendation which read in part:

“Specifically, I have confessed to past pride, anger and a domineering spirit. “

He then stated that he was not disqualified from ministry:Prior to and during this process there have been no charges of criminal activity, immorality or heresy, any of which could clearly be grounds for disqualification from pastoral ministry.”

The story and the entire resignation letter can be found here:http://www.worldmag.com/2014/10/mark_driscoll_resigns_as_pastor_of_mars_hill_church

Whatever one thinks of Mr. Driscoll, this statement of both board and himself are troubling. Pride, anger, a domineering spirit are specifically stated to be disqualification from pastoral work:

Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3:1-3: “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” (ESV)

1 Timothy 3:12, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Titus 1:7-8,”For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.”

Peter states a pastor must not be domineering (which is precisely what the board found and Driscoll admitted):

1 Peter 5:1–8 (ESV)

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Jesus also explains that the leader must be the most humble, not lording it over others:

Mark 10:41–45 (ESV)

41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Pride, anger, domineering are not minor errors but lie at the precise center of biblical leadership. Whatever the merits of the affair la Driscoll, I have no idea. But I do know that such men should know better than ignore such a plain directive and find that such things are “not” disqualifications.