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Public Sin Requires Public Confrontation and Public Apology

While Mark Driscoll quietly removed his offensive post about “anatomically-male effeminate worship leaders” from his Facebook page, he has issued no apology or admission of error.

{Edited at 5pm EDT to add the following:}
Finally this afternoon, Mark posted a statement regarding his Facebook and Twitter behavior, admitting he didn’t handle it well. While I’m pleased that he addressed it, I’m disappointed that he didn’t specifically say, “I was wrong, I encouraged others to do wrong, please forgive me.” This is what we teach and practice in our family. I know how painful it is to say those words — I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to say them to my kids, husband, friends, and on my blog. I also know how restorative it is. I encourage him to consider taking this additional step towards restoration.

The blogosphere has exploded.

Rachel Held Evans issued a call for people to write, call, or email Mars Hill (the church where Mark preaches) and ask them to confront him about this ongoing pattern of diarrhea of the mouth. Now a WORLD magazine op-ed piece calls her out for libel.

I’ve been accused of hypocrisy for publicly calling for an apology, both here on my blog and on Twitter (though so far, for me, the conversations have been civil).

matt comment about  hypocrisy

Sadly, I cannot say the same for Rachel or the others who have taken to their blogs with similar calls for Mark to apologize and change.

Tell me how taking to my personal blog, where I have a few hundred regular visitors, to explain how his Facebook post was hurtful and inciting others to sin is the same thing as him posting a call for mocking stories about other people on a Facebook wall with 112,000+ followers?

When you are a public figure and you make a public mistake that involves the public, it is absolutely appropriate for those who see it for what it is to confront it publicly. In fact, I would argue that as Mark’s brothers and sisters in Christ, it is our responsibility to call it sin. Otherwise, we are complicit in the name-calling, gossip, and slander he encouraged his followers to participate in.

I’m still hoping, waiting, and praying that Mark will make a public statement admitting his sin and asking for forgiveness. I believe with God, all things are possible.