The Acts 29 Network board of directors removed Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll from the church-planting network of more than 500 churches he helped found after a pattern of “ungodly and disqualifying behavior.” In a related move, LifeWay Christian Resources announced it would suspend sales of Driscoll’s books while officials “assess developments regarding his ministry.” Driscoll has been an influential but edgy pastor within conservative evangelical circles several years. His Mars Hill Church attracts about 14,000 people at 15 locations across five states each Sunday. But he has been provocative, occasionally profane, and has faced allegations of plagiarism and inflating his book sales. After the Acts 29 board action, all of Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church locations have been removed from the network’s website.
Booted Bibles back in Navy lodges. Gideon Bibles are going back in the Navy’s nightstand drawers. In June, the U.S. Navy ordered housekeepers at thousands of Navy-owned guest lodges near U.S. and international bases to remove the Bibles and any other “religious materials” from their rooms. Scriptures would remain available on request. But public outcry, prompted by a recent social media alert from the American Family Association and protests by the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, led the brass to reverse course Aug. 15. Now, the Navy’s “religious accommodation policies with regard to the placement of religious materials are under review,” Navy spokesman Cmdr. Ryan Perry wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes, the daily military newspaper. Meanwhile, the Bibles—New Testament and Psalms but no Hebrew Bible—will be tucked back into nightstand drawers. A letter from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation prompted the original order to remove the Bibles. The atheists proposed that the Navy offer Bibles and other texts—including an atheist treatise, “The Born Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible”—on request at lodge front desks.