Former Mars Hill Church lead pastor Mark Driscoll has a lot to be sorry about, including his criticisms of the ministry of fellow church leader Joel Osteen.
During a recent interview with Brian Houston from Hillsong Church, Driscoll said that the Lord has convicted him of his "sin" against Osteen, and he is now seeking to make amends.
Houston said he has a "personal problem" with people criticising other pastors even though they share different views regarding certain issues. Plus, Houston considers Osteen a very good friend, so he had some initial concerns talking to Driscoll out of fear of being criticised by the defamed pastor later on.
In response, Driscoll said: "I think in the providence of God I can honestly say it was a couple of weeks ago that the Lord convicted me of that sin against pastor Joel. And so, through a mutual friend, I have contact with his team and have asked permission to send him a private apology. But in addition to that, I appreciate this opportunity to publicly apologise to him."
Driscoll said he has lost any right to criticise other pastors or church leaders given what has happened to him. "I believe that the lack of empathy caused me to think I knew what they were going through or what they should say or what they should do," he said. "Having gone through this very complicated season, I don't know what I'm supposed to say, I don't know what I'm supposed to do and I certainly don't feel the right to tell others what they should say or do."
At the same time, Driscoll is amazed by how some people have responded to his criticisms. The people he has maligned have shown him nothing but love and kindness, Driscoll said, adding that he believes God Himself is working to change him.
"It's God's kindness that leads us to repentance and sometimes that kindness comes through others. They have no obligation to be kind and gracious because you have not been with them. So we've seen some remarkable grace and kindness from people that I did not give that to them but they have given that to us," he said.
Driscoll admitted that he has a list of pastors he had wronged in the past. He said he has been contacting them and calling them, asking for forgiveness. He refuses to divulge their names out of fear of creating more drama and pain, but he feels blessed to be given the opportunity to repent for his past sins.