Mars Hill Turning Over Pulpit to Rick Warren to Deliver Final Message Before Closing

Warren fb 2SEATTLE — Mars Hill has accepted an offer from megachurch leader and author Rick Warren to deliver the final message to the congregation this Sunday as it closes its doors following the resignation of Mark Driscoll.

“This Sunday, December 28th, will be our final Sunday as Mars Hill Church,” the website for Mars Hill reads. “Our dear friend Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church has graciously offered to preach the final sermon for us.”

As previously reported, Driscoll temporarily stepped down from his leadership position at Mars Hill in August during a six-week review of charges lodged by 21 former pastors who accused him of abusing his power. He expressed his regret for his actions at that time.

“God is not honored by conflict, strife, disunity, arguing, slander, gossip, or anything else that is inconsistent with the fruit of the spirit, and I am deeply sorry, genuinely sorry, for the times I have not lived peaceably with all men,” Driscoll said.

Two months later, he resigned from Mars Hill Church, stating that he did not wish to continue to be a distraction to the ministry although the formal review cleared him of moral wrongdoing.

“By God’s grace I have pastored Mars Hill Church for 18 years. Today, also by God’s grace, and with the full support of my wife Grace, I resign my position as a pastor and elder of Mars Hill,” Driscoll wrote in a letter to Michael Van Skiak, the chairman of the Board of Advisors and Accountability over Mars Hill Church. “I do so with profound sadness, but also with complete peace.”

Following Driscoll’s departure, the leaders of Mars Hill, which has campuses throughout Washington and also one each in California, Oregon and New Mexico, decided to dissolve the ministry. They outlined on the Mars Hill website this week that some of the congregations will continue on their own.

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“As we reflect on over eighteen years of ministry, and ultimately close the doors on Mars Hill Church, we are thankful that many of our churches will continue as new independent, autonomous churches,” the leadership wrote. “While Mars Hill Church will cease to exist, God’s work through his people will continue.”

It was also noted that Rick Warren, author of the “The Purpose Driven Life” and leader of Saddleback Church in California, will deliver the final message to the congregation this Sunday.

“Each of our churches will be showing a special message from Pastor Rick, based on John 12:24,” the Mars Hill website outlines.

As previously reported, Driscoll invited Warren to speak at his “Resurgence” leadership conference in 2012, and released a nearly 7-minute video outlining his reasons for the invitation, knowing that many would question his decision.

“He has people who love him and hate him, and I am, quite frankly, one of the guys who really appreciates him,” he explained. “[H]e actually does things, and has something to teach us if we’re actually humble enough to learn it.”

However, the appearance generated controversy as some have expressed concerns about Warren since the release of his best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life.”

“He seemingly seeks to be all things to all men,” stated writer Tim Challies. “[W]hen it comes to Warren, there appears to be a great deal of malleability. He will be one thing for one audience and another thing for another audience. He will move seamlessly back and forth. He will be A and then not A as the situation demands.”

In 2007, Warren invited Hillary Clinton to speak at his “Global Summit on Aids and the Church” conference, during which she received a standing ovation. Barack Obama had also been invited to speak the year prior.

In 2009, Warren spoke at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America. At the event, he called upon “Muslims and Christians to form an interfaith coalition to combat prejudice and stereotypes.” Sayyid Syeed, one of the Islamic Society’s leaders, has confirmed that he and Warren have worked together on projects addressing the epidemics of malaria and AIDS.

Warren was also invited to deliver the invocation during the 2009 inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama. The openly homosexual “bishop” Gene Robinson was similarly asked to deliver the benediction. When Warren learned of Robinson’s appointment, he applauded the selection, stating that it was rightly done “all in the name of common ground.”

Most recently, Warren was featured in an interview released by the Catholic News Service, during which he called upon Christians and Roman Catholics to work together in defending the sanctity of life and family, likewise urging cooperation in the name of common ground. Warren had just finished speaking at a Vatican interfaith conference on the “Complementarity of Man and Woman.”

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  • Wendy Ann De Rycke
  • Neiman

    A sure sign that a minister has compromised the Gospel and is seeking personal popularity and a place of importance in the Christian family is when they are able to build very large congregations and attract a great many followers of their teachings, when they work with non-Christian churches and groups and when they grow in political importance. I do not know all that much about Warren, but I know that to have achieved such great popularity he has had to become tolerant of sin, avoided speaking against sin and avoids the teachings on the pains of hell. He has had to appeal to the flesh to make Christianity more attractive and through many programs sold Christianity and himself as a product.

    The Gospel, when preached with passion and with power is not popular, it will not attract large numbers of people, many are called but few are chosen, because men do not want to give up their manifold lusts or dot he hard work required of disciples of Christ. What did Jesus say of his disciples, his ministers? They would be servants, they would not be found living in mansions or wearing fine clothing or priestly cloaks, but be humble and their ministries would be marked by Holy Spirit power.

    • Candace

      It is clear that Warren is purpose driven a d the purpose is clearly political. That said, I completely disagree that the Gospel, when preached correctly will not draw large crowds. When preached correctly and truthfully and under the power of the Holy Spirit, it will certainly draw huge crowds and result in many conversations. Jesus drew massive crowds and many repen ted. That’s specifically one of the reasons he was unpopular with Jewish and Roman government … because he was enormously popular with people. The apostles also drew large crowds and scripture clearly states as many as heard did receive.

      But I agree that when true move of revival breaks out, it is initially met with skepticism and stiff opposition. We live in a time where we are seeing some serious abuses and false teaching and counterfeit leadership.

      • Neiman

        Most of the people following Jesus departed, left Him because His teachings were too hard. A large crowd does not mean they are saved. While Peter in the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit saw many conversions, in the thousands, the early church was mostly made of of small home or local congregations. When sin and hell are preached and giving up sins, people are not attracted in large numbers.

      • Krisha

        God’s Pure Word…WILL DRAW LARGE CROWDS! It’s not by might, nor by power, but by HIS SPIRIT…..that THE WORD WILL BE HEARD.

    • Peter Leh

      how has mark compromised the gospel?

      Large numbers are proof the gospel is not being taught?

      What assumption you have.

      Can you tell me what jesus said about people who make assumptions? 🙂

  • Peter Leh

    A church closing its doors is not sad. the church failing to be the church is….

  • Diane Stanley

    Organized religion; what a scam.

  • Imaybewrongbutimmostlyright

    I have to agree with you, Warren can be counted on to do only what he has shown himself to be and do in the recent past. He will continue to sell himself and his “ministry” to whoever and whatever gives him the most exposure. I’m sure if Hitler or Stalin where alive and in power, he would find a way to invite them to his church to interview them, and shake their hand, expressing his sincere hope for their and his future together!

    How can you sit down with people who support the continued killing of babies at all stages of development in their mother’s womb, and who support the abomination of homosexual marriage, and pretend that their vision is good for Christians in America?
    Good is evil, and evil is good to these sort. Heartbreaking to me. Wonder what it feels like to God?

  • Haqodeshim

    Yeshua/Jesus (Yahweh is salvation) came and died to fulfill the Covenant in Genesis 15 He made with Abraham - – Mark Driscoll is not the first and not the last member of the clergy I find uneducated on Genesis 15, and this is sad, because it’s not being taught in our undergraduate or graduate religion programs in our colleges, universities, and seminaries, and so preachers are not discipling their congregations in the rudimentary Gospel message that begins in the OT and culminates in the NT, and so no wonder the Church as an institution is on the decline in America.

  • and they get rick warren to preach ???? after he regrets making a video that supports biblical marriage between a man and a woman ??? Wow ….. these celebrities and stars are really misleading and misguiding many down the wrong path …

    • Bingo

      Do you understand why he regretted making that video, or are you just going to run with the hater version?

    • Kathleen

      He should not regret making this video, it is biblical. However sometimes what people say gets taken out of content. My feeling here is that he regrets the video getting the attention it got.

      • No .. he shouldn’t regret it – if it is backed by scriptures – however – so many get caught up in the world – they are no earthly good or HEAVENLY GOOD.

        Thus the reason I RAISE, TEACH and TRAIN people how to LIVE, TALK and WALK IN SCRIPTURES – so they can back up what they do and say with SCRIPTURES.

        adding or taking away from SCRIPTURES is not of GOD and wrong – and it is stated in SCRIPTURES ……

        so if he would have held to SCRIPTURES – he should not have any regret – specially if the speaking got out into the world for them to hear it too. If it is and was BASED IN SCRIPTURES – he should have NO !!! regrets about the attention it got.

  • Robert

    Elca is of course growing in size now days because it is so liberal. They really
    could care less what ken Hamn thinks.Their a member of the world council of churchs and now evidently their soon to be part of the roman catholic commune to .So they represent two billion people.the way they most likly look at it.