SEATTLE, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Mark Driscoll, founder of a Seattle megachurch, resigned after the Mars Hill board accused him of "arrogance" and a "domineering manner.'
The board said Driscoll was not asked to leave and his letter of resignation Tuesday was unexpected. Driscoll asked for a leave of absence in August.
Driscoll said some of the criticism was accurate. Religion News Service obtained a copy of the letter.
"There are many things I have confessed and repented of, privately and publicly, as you are well aware. Specifically, I have confessed to past pride, anger and a domineering spirit," he wrote.
Driscoll, 43, founded Mars Hill Church 18 years ago and became one of the country's most prominent evangelical pastors. The church now has 15 satellites.
But his approach to Christianity became controversial even among evangelicals. He accused some Christians of turning Jesus into a "Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ," gave details of his sex life in a book he co-authored with his wife and posted on online forums under the pseudonym William Wallace II -- a reference to the Scottish hero of the 14th century -- and something he recently acknowledged was a bad idea.
The board said that Driscoll is innocent of "immorality, illegality or heresy." His sins, the board found, are "arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner."
Driscoll said he has been having a difficult time.
"Recent months have proven unhealthy for our family -- even physically unsafe at times -- and we believe the time has now come for the elders to choose new pastoral leadership for Mars Hill," he said.