Recently the disturbing story about "church discipline" at Mars Hill church broke. Mark Driscoll was in the spotlight again, and a new conversation about authoritarian church leadership started. (I will provide links in another post) Numerous other people commented and responded with blog posts of their own. All of this came on the heels of the less popular topic of problems with CJ Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries not long before.
One of the more interesting things to me as I read the story of "Andrew" and how he was treated by his church is that there are many more very similar stories out there about Mars Hill, SGM, and other like-minded churches. I am no exception to this myself as I have attended my share of what I would call authoritarian churches. The attitudes and treatment that others have received are similar to what I have experienced, both by myself and others I have known.
In upcoming posts I hope to comment on authoritarian churches, deal with some of the theological issues behind their ideas, and maybe relate my own stories. I hope also to look at Andrew's story and the reaction to it that comes from all sides. Authoritarian leadership has been a problem for God's people for ages. Understanding it is a first step for Christians in dealing with it head on.