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If you must read a Mark Driscoll article, maybe this is the one

If you must read a Mark Driscoll article, maybe this is the one

We haven’t had anything to say about the various controversies surrounding evangelical pastor Mark Driscoll partly because the rest of the internet has been say so much, and partly because we haven’t seen an Episcopal angle in any of his ongoing controversies.

However, the Rev. Erik Parker, who blogs as The Millennial Pastor, has written a column called Why Mark Driscoll Needs a Bishop that we think is worth a look.

He writes:

Mark Driscoll is just one of many pastor/church combos adrift in the sea of loosely affiliated Evangelical congregations. Congregations and pastors that become islands of theological, doctrinal, ethical and institutional accountability.

There is no 3rd party – outside of the congregational system – to whom both congregation and pastor are accountable to.

Like a Bishop.

Parker says mainline denominations would have seen Driscoll’s drama coming from a mile away and never ordained him.

Do you agree that bishops are necessary to instill accountability in the ecclesiastical system?


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Jim Pratt

While our Anglican/Episcopalian (and Millenial Pastor’s Lutheran) bias is toward bishops, a similar structure for accountability can exist in less hierarchical churches. A Presbyterian colleague recently went off the rails, and the presbytery was able both to remove him and provide good pastoral care for the congregation.

As much as I am sometimes frustrated with the institutional church, we need one another for mutual support and occasional correction.

Gregory Orloff

There have been bad presidents, senators and congresspeople in American history, but that doesn’t mean I dismiss American democracy wholesale.

So while they’re have been bad bishops in Christian history, I don’t dismiss the episcopal and synodal form of church governance wholesale.

For one thing, it’s been around since the beginning of Christianity, bishops and synods. (Heck, it’s even in the Bible, though for some curious reason Biblicists like Mark Driscoll apparently blithely ignore that.)

But for any faults and drawbacks, episcopal and synodal governance does present a framework for accountability, discernment and discipline outside of the dictates of one’s own ego.

There’s a big difference between someone having to go through a diocesan discernment process for ordination and ministry, to determine whether one is following God’s call or acting on one’s egotism, narcissism and megalomania, or simply deciding on one’s egotism, narcissism and megalomania that one is “naturally” meant to start up a church and preach whatever one pleases, without having to answer to anybody.

Cult of personality is no basis for church life.

Chris H.

Considering that some bishops don’t behave much better, i.e. adultery, cover-ups, bad theology, Episcopal/Muslim and Pagan priests, etc. I doubt it.

Chris Harwood

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