After Mark Driscoll’s Resignation, Can Mars Hill Be Saved?

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Pastor Mark Driscoll recently resigned from the church he founded, Mars Hill.  Can Mars Hill be saved?

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Mars Hill plans on moving forward as clearly identified in this statement put out by the Mars Hill Board of Overseers: Michael Van Skaik, Larry Osborne, Jon Phelps, and Matt Rogers:

On Tuesday, October 14, Pastor Mark Driscoll submitted his resignation as an elder and lead pastor of Mars Hill Church. The Board of Overseers has accepted that resignation and is moving forward with planning for pastoral transition, recognizing the challenge of such a task in a church that has only known one pastor since its founding. We ask for prayer for the journey ahead.

Let’s look at some key sentences in their statement:

 

This investigation had only recently been concluded, following some 1,000 hours of research, interviewing more than 50 people and preparing 200 pages of information. This process was conducted in accordance with our church Bylaws and with Pastor Mark’s support and cooperation.

And this one:

 We concluded that Pastor Mark has, at times, been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner. While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.

This appears to be the essence of the issues the Board of Overseers has with Mark Driscoll. They mention that there was no immorality by Driscoll, some charges were “unfair or untrue,” and Driscoll had previously addressed some of the issues brought before him.

The underlying issue to them was Driscoll’s domineering style of leadership. So, in their minds, it is perfectly acceptable for a pastor to remain in leadership with a domineering attitude and behavior.

 

Phoenix Preacher blogger, Michael Newnham wrote an excellent article, A Hollow Victory:

 

Mark Driscoll’s resignation is both a victory and a loss.

The tyrant has been felled, but the truth and the larger Body of Christ have not been served.

The choice Driscoll faced was between acting as a corporate leader or the leader of a church.

In the corporate world, you cut your losses, protect your resume, and move on to the next opportunity.

In the church, there is supposed to be repentance, restitution, and restoration.

This was a corporate resignation.

Included in Mark’s resignation letter was this important sentence:

Last week our Board of Overseers met for an extended period of time with Grace and me, thereby concluding the formal review of charges against me. I want to thank you for assuring Grace and me that last Saturday that I had not disqualified myself from ministry. (Source)

What does this sentence tell you about the Board of Overseers?  Are they qualified as overseers to choose a new pastor?

 

From a spiritual health point of view, can Mars Hill be saved?  Should Marks Hill be saved? That is the question.

 

 

Recent interview with the first fired pastor, Paul Petry:

http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2014/10/17/pastor-mars-hill-driscoll-petry/17401331/

(Sorry, I can’t seem to embed the video, but it’s a great interview.)

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Related links:

43 comments on “After Mark Driscoll’s Resignation, Can Mars Hill Be Saved?

  1. No, no and no…some very interesting updated info over at Warren’s blog. The house of cards is falling to fast for them to keep up. More people from MH are posting there everyday…and they are revealing more and they are angry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If MH leadership considers it to be MD’s church (i.e., seeing it as founded by him, led by him, and unfortunately no longer with him around), they’ll not be able to continue without him. If they see it as Christ’s church, then they have a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope not! The true Christians that attend there deserve better. This is not a too big to fail case. If anyone thinks that MD is not disqualified from ministry, they best get their Bibles out and start reading.

    Gracie if you could tell me how to get to warren’s blog I would appreciate it. I would like to know what the membership has to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mars Hill was built on cult of personality. Period. It is all the MH pew sitters know. They view Jesus Christ through that cult of personality lens. I suggest they use this opportunity to get to know the real Jesus. Not Mark’s caricature of Him.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Brenda R,

    There are many who embraced MD’s Neo-Reformed Doctrine who will turn an blind eye the other way, strictly based on his Doctrinal Beliefs.

    There are Neo-Reformed blogs (including a Montana blogger) that have done little coverage of MD’s behavior as they are more focused on the sins of the Non-Reformed Christian.

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  6. I guess they think “immoral” only means “sexually immoral” — I would say that “arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner” are definitely immoral — and so out of line with the qualifications of eldership (1 Tim 3, Titus 1) as to be disqualifying.

    If Mars Hill is to be saved, at a minimum they need to undo the 2007 bylaws changes and return to all-elder rule, commit to financial transparency, and start to transform their “corporate/celebrity” culture into a true ministry/shepherding culture.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great point about the Bylaws, bendini. And what about the culture of corruption and coverup? What about extra-biblical teachings? Aren’t elders supposed to be making sure their pastor is preaching the Word and not extras?

    Like what about this business of telling wives who have not been servicing their husbands with regular oral sex to repent? Where is that in the Bible and why has that and so many other teachings not been dealt with?

    Oh, maybe the elders like that extra biblical teaching because it benefits them? Hmm

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mark,
    That is sad. I pray that many will get away from the Gospel according to MD. Reformed from what, not reformed from what? Reading the Bible and finding Jesus Christ is what we all should be looking for. If there were more that would follow His lead, what a wonderful world this would be. I suppose I am dreaming.

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  9. JA,

    What about this business of telling wives who have not been servicing their husbands with regular oral sex to repent? Where is that in the Bible and why has that and so many other teachings not been dealt with?

    According to MD the part about oral sex is in the Song of Songs. I haven’t seen specific instructions anywhere in the Bible. I still haven’t seen what he sees in that book and am certainly glad I didn’t. If the wives are to repent of such neglect, shouldn’t the husbands be repentant if they do not do their part.

    I’m still working through the 11th commandment that I grew up with. Thou shalt not dance. You shall stand without moving a muscle to show rejoicing. I see a whole lot of dancing going on in the OT in worshipping God. When did that all get taken out. I see a lot of taking out parts of the Word and a lot of putting things in that just aren’t there.

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  10. This perfectly explains why I’ve had such an ambivalent reaction to the news of MD’s resignation: “The tyrant has been felled, but the truth and the larger Body of Christ have not been served.”

    People who I would expect to know better, including Christian counselors and people with otherwise very tender, caring hearts, have been posting lots of touchy-freely reflections on praying for the best for MD. The attitude is very strong that we need to stop being so negative (i.e., stuff our righteous indignation) and focus in how healing can happen. The problem is that healing cannot happen without an honest airing of wrongs. Only in the Christian church is the model still, “slap a bandaid on the cancer and smile your troubles away!” After all, in the words of the old children’s church ditty, smilers never lose, and frowners never win.

    Makes me angry.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What Tim says. If it’s about a man, they’re done. If it is about Christ, they’re just started. And if you’ve got to get the ECFA to vouch for your accountability, you’ve got some work to do.

    Like Brenda, trying to use the crowbar to get my feet un-nailed to the floor. :^)

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  12. My biggest issue is the investigating party and MD seem to be minimizing. They basically said “We did all this investigating and it turned out to be a insignificant issues You’re okay Mark, you’re fine – we know you’re sorry and we still love you, just work on a couple minor things – you’re definitely okay to still be a pastor.” He’s like: “I’m so grateful to you all, I am sorry, and I’m glad you still have faith in me.”
    -Hannah Smith

    Liked by 3 people

  13. This is my first written response since learning of Mark Driscoll’s resignation and some of the aftermath. “Can Mars Hill be saved?” All things considered, my answer is: “No. This organization is so corroded at so many levels that it is not salvageable. It needs to be aired out in full transparency as all related issues are resolved, and completely shut down — not replanted, restarted, or restored in any form.” To take care of the spiritual needs of those who went to Mars Hill, there are plenty of healthy churches and church planting entrepreneurs whose qualifications can be demonstrated by their personal maturity, Christlike character, and relevant skills.

    Here’s my reasoning on the need for organizational shut-down.

    For a moderately healthy church, I’ve heard the suggested transition expectation after the loss of a long-time senior pastor is one month for each year he was there. So, figuring 1996-2014 = about 18/19 years, = 18 months for the congregation to recalibrate who they are without that leader and move forward. Jump right into some new person as permanent leader and you can face a set of problems later for not dealing with internal issues now. So, there’s that.

    But then there are now also some very substantial *legal* questions, for instance, about allegations/complaints of deceptive advertising on the “Mars Global” designated fund and whether donations raised should have been restricted to stated purposes but were not.

    And then there are other issues that are more about *ethical* questions that must be considered and sorted out, such as conflicts of interest among current elders on all Mars Hill boards and how that may have affected conducting the investigation and the conclusions thereof, and how all of that has affected the organization as a whole in terms of trust in leadership.

    And then there are substantial *financial* questions as yet unanswered about church property ownership versus leases, sales, transfers, etc.

    So, you start looking at all that, and frankly, it could be that this is a case of such *organizational* toxicity that it could be best to simply hire an investigative accounting and legal research firms to track everything and then make a determination. Personally, having spent dozens of hours in investigative research, I suspect the infrastructure is so convoluted and damaged and potentially with leftover liabilities that it cannot be salvaged *organizationally* and it may turn out to be the wisest course for this organization to clear the air, take care of all debts, and then shut down and become the entity formerly known as Mars Hill Church.

    Meanwhile, other churches and new communities will help take care of the *spiritual* recovery of the thousands orphaned by the authoritarian leadership structure and let down by the specific men involved in it. Mars Hill isn’t needed to provide for their needs, and the organization has too much to take care of legally, financially, ethically, etc., to dedicate resources to people’s spiritual nurture. God will graciously provide. And there is grace for those men in leadership as well, though it may be that their reputation and, in many cases, lack of trustworthiness to lead any such other ministry enterprises, will follow them the rest of their careers if they attempt to lead churches or start up ministries. The leftover questions really are that significant as to create doubts about their discernment and character qualifications that it may (and should) take years to remove by consistent Christlike behavior and humble acceptance of responsibility for what has transpired at Mars Hill.

    So that’s my thoughts as of today …

    If interested in the theological and organizational basis for how I came to these conclusions, check this post (and the whole series, actually):

    http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/responsibility-for-spiritual-abuse-part-3h/

    For the details about Mars Hill situation specifically, check out the contents list for the Research Guide series I did to locate key issues that need to be cleared up:

    http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/mark-driscoll-and-mars-hill-church-research-guide-part-2e/

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  14. Brenda: :^). Not nearly as painful as disregarding Psalm 150:4. Just watch out for Benjamites as you praise God for His Word, if you don’t have your Benjamite already.

    (didjaknow that dancing is part of Simchat Torah, the celebration of the giving of the law?)

    Seriously, it strikes me that I am becoming more fundamental in doctrine–specifically the inerrancy of Scripture–as I reject many of the cultural habits of some fundamentalists. Good to know I’m not alone.

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  15. Thanks, Brad. I definitely concur with your conclusions. If these elders have stood behind Driscoll all of these years and can’t see the problems that have been echoed by scores and scores of pastors/elders/people and they still come to his defense, this system is broken beyond repair.

    This is very sad for the people at Mars Hill who have trusted their leadership. The same thing has happened with CJ and Sovereign Grace Ministries. Many pastors left (all telling similar stories about his proud/domineering behavior) and he remains in ministry. The question remains where will Driscoll go next. I don’t think he’s done.

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  16. Samantha wrote a great article that I missed here:

    Here’s a snippet (1st paragraph is from Driscoll’s resignation letter, 2nd paragraph is Samantha’s commentary).

    Prior to and during this process there have been no charges of criminal activity, immorality or heresy, any of which could clearly be grounds for disqualification from pastoral ministry.

    This line made me laugh– a bitter and cynical and rueful laugh, because oh it’s just so … sad. What this line actually means is: well, nothing I did was actually ILLEGAL. If the best thing you have to say about your behavior is “well, I wouldn’t go to prison for it,” you have a problem.

    http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/mark-driscolls-resignation-letter/

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yes, I think that’s probably the case, Julie Anne, with Mark Driscoll not yet being done. But as long as the hidden things are not brought into the light by him and/or for him, his reputation plus leftover questions about his character and actions will continue to follow him. And I suspect he will not find as broad of a public platform **ever again** for his writing and speaking — which doesn’t mean he’s done in “ministry.” Others will succumb to his charisma and persona, as many have done before. But there will be far more documentation available as to what seems to lie behind the veil.

    For those who stood with Mr. Driscoll either unquestioningly or out of misplaced loyalty, I suspect many will eventually be faced with a lot of cognitive dissonance, based on the destructive results of Mars Hill Church in the lives of people — the very opposite of it being “all about Jesus.” So, it’s a time to show perseverance with the saints as they continue to face the realities and face up to the responsibilities … they will need the same grace and hope that survivors do, as they also have been victimized to greater or lesser degree.

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  18. And another great post; this one by Carl Trueman:

    Take, for example, the 20-20 hindsight regarding Mark Driscoll now being demonstrated by the Gospel Coalition. Such is definitely to be welcomed but what is interesting is that the chronology of the whole YRR-Driscoll saga falls out along taste/aesthetic lines. Those who saw the problem early were quickly dismissed as Pharisees, hypocrites, ‘discernment bloggers,’ judgmental, and even racists. These are all pretty distasteful categories in the late modern world of tolerance and niceness. Those who decried or ignored the critics were at first characterized as appropriately trusting and supportive, and then later as forgiving and gracious. These are tasteful, polite categories by late modern standards, the kind of things ‘nice’ people do, the kind of things that are easy to sell.

    It is interesting that the crisis finally came only when the aesthetics flipped the other way, when Driscoll and his antics became more distasteful than the words of his critics.

    http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/postcards-from-palookaville/the-secret-of-big-evangelicalism-is-the-secret-of-great-comedy#.VEGrr_ldXkf

    (I’ve added the links to the bottom of the post.)

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  19. Right, Brad, the cognitive dissonance and then finally awareness is such a long process and it is my hope that we who have walked a similar path will show grace and love in our responses – even when they falter. God only knows how I flip-flopped during my transition out of the cult.

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  20. Bike Bubba,
    I believe Ps 150:4 is very clear. We should worship with all we have, including music and dancing. I didn’t know that dancing was a part of the Simchat Torah, but it makes sense. The Jews were dancing as part of their worship originally. Christ didn’t come to condemn the law, but to fulfill it. So why many churches today seem to leave the entire OT out of the Bible, I don’t know.

    I don’t really label myself to a particular category of theology. I believe the Bible and if there is something I don’t understand, I talk to Him about it and talk it through with those that know a lot more than I do. Even then we may not always agree. There are many things that I was brought up believing that my eyes have been opened to and now realize they were false doctrines.

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  21. Do Christians not remember that the New Testament warns time and again that there will be “wolves in sheeps clothing,” that there are persons referred to as “false teachers” who intentionally seek to lead people astray from the truth? That some false teachers are motivated by greed? That not everyone who professes the name of Christ is actually and truly a believer?

    Has it not crossed the minds of the Christian community that Mark Driscoll and guys like him are a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

    The guy demonstrated no qualifications or characteristics that the Bible lays down for a guy to be a preacher, and even beyond that, Driscoll displays little to zero qualities of what I’d expect to see from a 40-something mature believer in Jesus.

    More often than not, Driscoll was arrogant, angry, he was crude, crass, treated women like second class citizens, bullied people who so much as politely questioned his decisions, was abnormally preoccupied with all topics sexual, etc.

    Based on everything I have ever seen, read, and heard (including a few of Driscoll’s sermons on You Tube, blog posts he wrote, excerpts from his own books, listening to his obnoxious, rude, condescending behavior towards Christian host Janet Mefferd, etc)… Driscoll is not “born again.”

    Driscoll is most likely not a Christian. Yet so many people are afraid to consider that possibility, confront it, or bring it up.

    Someone on some thread here, or maybe it was another blog I was on?, had a hissy fit that anyone was criticizing Driscoll at all, she said that Driscoll once gave her family a free grocery store gift card when she was going through a tough time.

    Well, that is just swell that Driscoll tossed a gift card at a struggling family once five years ago – I mean that sincerely. But I’ve read that even Hitler loved dogs – Htiler owned a few pet dogs. Serial killer Jeffery Dahmer probably loved his mother and mailed her Valentine’s Day cards every year, too.

    Meaning, even a person widely recognized as being a big, evil jerk (who does not even profess belief in Jesus) can on occasion do something nice, altruistic, or admirable.

    But with a guy like Driscoll, the “fruit” (to use Christian terminology) he put on display more often than not, was ROTTEN to the core. (All caps for emphasis, not screaming.)

    I did not see a consistent pattern of charitable deeds from Driscoll, love towards others, concern for their lives… he seemed preoccupied with being in power, stomping on whomever he had to in order to remain in charge, and on and on.

    It’s not only him, I see the same behavior in a few other celebrity pastors.

    Since the Bible warns over and over that false teachers will sneak in among the church to wreak havoc in the church, you’d think Christians would be more than willing to point to guys like Driscoll and scream, “Wolf! Wolf!” but no.

    Even in Driscoll’s resignation letter, he still thinks himself qualified to be in ministry… but he was never qualified to start with. I don’t even think the guy is “saved.”

    Christians need to stop giving space to these guys, stop giving them money, stop buying their books. If Driscoll starts up a new ministry or church, don’t attend, don’t watch, don’t purchase his books or tapes. He can go sell used cars now, learn to fix air conditioning units, or go back to college and get a degree in something else and stay out of Christian ministry.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. MD, in my opinion and it is just my opinion is not out of it, they appear to be gutting the assets of the church. If MD continues to receive what has been reported a mid six figure income for one more year + any other compensation. All the hurt people, lying, dishonesty etc they mean nothing at all. Its just the cost of doing business. You want to make these people scream and get their attention hit them right where they live, in the wallet.

    Been to some really healthy churches, right in the office are the financials and current audits. They will show them to anyone who asks, even non members. I have been to other churches / ministries who won’t show you anything even if you are a giving member. There is a list of things that come to mind in these types of groups imo Money, money money …………….1000 people (maybe).

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I agreed with Persephone’s post of OCTOBER 17, 2014 @ 12:40 PM

    Persephone said,

    People who I would expect to know better, including Christian counselors and people with otherwise very tender, caring hearts, have been posting lots of touchy-freely reflections on praying for the best for MD.
    The attitude is very strong that we need to stop being so negative (i.e., stuff our righteous indignation) and focus in how healing can happen.

    I agree. I so agree with this I cannot even begin to say how much I agree. 🙂

    Even in the heat of some of these Driscoll controversies, as each one was being reported, I’d see Christians mention in their blog posts that they “loved pastor Mark” and “wanted the best for Mark,” and so on. I had to keep from puking every time I saw this language.

    I’ve developed an allergic reaction, so to speak, the “touchy feelies” I see all over evangelicalism when stuff like this happens, especially in a case like Driscoll’s. The man needed a boot kicked up his rear end to kick him out of his ministry position, he was a bully – he did not need all the meek and mild, “love and best wishes” clap-trap I kept seeing in blogs and news articles by Christians.

    Christians were wanting to coddle this guy, bake him cookies, hug him, bring him a steaming cup of hot cocoa, read him bed time stories, and tuck him in at bed time. And they did this repeatedly over the last few years, no matter how obnoxious he acted.

    I grew up as an extremely codependent gal. My mother brought me up that way, she really felt that God calls people, especially Christian women, to be accepting, all forgiving, no matter what, she felt Christians should always be compliant little sweet doormats, to stuff your anger down and tolerate a mountain of abuse off people.

    One thing I learned from that up-bringing and then re-evaluating how I was raised (and from books I read by psychologists later confirmed this), is that the more you love on, act sweet to, and coddle a bully, a con artist, selfish person, or abusive person (and it can be emotional, verbal, or physical abuse), the more the person will behave like an entitled jerk, not less, but more.

    Being sweet, turning the other cheek, and loving such a person, is viewed by the abusive jerk person as your indirect permission to continue using and abusing you and/or they view you as a “push over”. Their abuse of you will continue, and it may escalate.

    I also learned, based on personal experience, that the few times in my life I went against my mother’s “be very loving to everyone all the time, and be a doormat no matter what, no matter how someone is being to you” philosophy and lashed back at a bully, that the bully left me alone!

    Some of these bullies who left me alone only after I cleaned their clock or screamed at them were folks I previously had tried to do as my mother asked me to do: coddle, hug, love, be reasonable with – none of that worked.

    Only getting their behind kicked and facing negative consequences for their nasty behavior made them stop and reconsider their actions / attitudes.

    Giving hugs, rainbows, and cookies to the Mark Driscolls of the world does not produce positive results for you.

    Guys like that do not, and will not, respond to kindness, hugs, pleas and entreaties to behavior better, appeals to Bible verses that talk about loving others, politeness, or reason. They only respond to getting their rear ends kicked.

    But I know exactly what Persephone means. Any time a jerk preacher or jerk Christian lay person is misbehaving terribly, and they should get their behind kicked for it, I will still see lots of the “let’s love brother Herbert during his difficult season” type language on blogs, and it makes me want to throw up. 🙄

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  24. I’d like to bring up another point. Driscoll has been criticized for firing elders, citing his “authoritarian” tendencies. That’s fine, but how can an elder in the church of Jesus Christ be “fired” in the first place? It takes more than an authoritarian personality to do such a thing. In Driscoll’s camp, pastor/elder/shepherd are interchangeable terms. So, these “elders” that have been fired are not viewed as true shepherds, but rather as hirelings. Disposable.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Steve,
    I have no comprehension of an elder being “fired” by a pastor. The elders of any church I have been a part of are voted in by the congregation after careful review. If membership doesn’t want them,` they are voted out. If the pastor found cause for them not to serve, it would be brought before the church body. I’m pretty sure the pastor would talk to them first to see where there head/heart was at and go from there, but the pastor firing them, that’s a “church” to walk away from. Last I knew elders weren’t paid, they are servants.

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  26. Don’t you think that folks going to Mars Hill got exactly what they wanted? A cool , hip, cursing, sex talking pastor who pushed the envelope. He will start up another church soon and his groupies will follow.

    The part that bothers me is the money that people THOUGHT they were giving to overseas missions and never got there. There should be lawsuits for refunds over that.

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  27. Anita, Quite possibly many of the people going to MH did get what they want. I hope he is unable to start a church. If he does, it would have to be called “The Church of Mark Driscoll–Jesus does not reside here”.

    If there were a lawsuit, it would probably become a class-action lawsuit and the lawyers would get all of the money. No refunds.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. ON MISUSE OF FUNDS. From what research I did on the misappropriation of institution-designated funds (such as what is alleged with the Mars Hill Global fund), use of those restricted funds for any other purpose is *illegal* and not just unethical, unless there was a clear disclaimer at the time of solicitation stating that funds with this designation can be used at the discretion of the non-profit. This is why the news of complaints being received by the Washington Attorney General’s office is important. I don’t know about whether a class-action lawsuit would be the only way to get the funds back, but the fact of it being illegal could end up being a big deal for any of those elders responsible for the misappropriation. More research details in the section on “Restricted/Designated Solicited Funds.”

    http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/mark-driscoll-and-mars-hill-church-research-guide-part-2c/

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Brad, I think back to Bernie Madoff and his ill gotten gain, realizing that this is not exactly the same scenario. Most of the people were out their money even though legal charges were brought and prison time is being served. At the very least, If funds were mishandled I do pray the appropriate sentencing will be handed down in the legal system as I know it will be from the Creator.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Yup, I hear you, Brenda R. And regardless of what may happen in the legal system, if the allegations do prove accurate (and for which there appears to be mounting evidence thereof), the “reputation tax” that follows any/all elders responsible by commission or omission may follow them long-term. As consequences do, according to St. Paul: “The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.” (1 Timothy 5:24, NIV)

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  31. Brenda R said,

    Anita, Quite possibly many of the people going to MH did get what they want. I hope he is unable to start a church. If he does, it would have to be called “The Church of Mark Driscoll–Jesus does not reside here”.

    Another thing that made me want to puke was one of Driscoll’s favorite expressions: “It’s all about Jesus.”

    I believe that expression, “it’s all about Jesus,” was printed all over his church’s materials, and Driscoll would quote it a time or two from the pulpit every so often.

    I believe Driscoll was also fond of this one:
    “I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about a Somebody”

    Considering that Driscoll is a wolf’s in sheep’s clothing who views Christianity as a business and views pew sitters as marks (targets for cons) and views them as naive lemmings to exploit, him saying he’s “about Jesus” or his church under him is “about Jesus” makes me positively sick.

    If you’re going to rip people off for power or money, leave Jesus out of it.

    Don’t say you are “about Jesus,” or that you care about telling everyone about Jesus, when the truth is, you are about YOU, or you’re about getting more money / power, and you mislead people about your church’s Global fund to finance your local churches, rather than the implied purpose of the fund, send that money to needy people in India.

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  32. P.S. speaking of this,

    “and you mislead people about your church’s Global fund to finance your local churches, rather than the implied purpose of the fund, send that money to needy people in India.”

    There was a similar story a couple years ago about another Christian ministry:
    Ron Luce, World Magazine Debate Why Teen Mania Is One of America’s Most Insolvent Charities

    Luce said World’s article— which detailed expenses such as $100,000 for T.D. Jakes to speak at a 2008 New York City event, $21,000 for his private jet, and $10,000 for gifts for Jakes’s family— “included false statements, errors and misperceptions regarding the current state of our ministry.”

    …He also responded to a charge from a former Teen Mania development director, who said Luce raised $250,000 to “raise awareness and support for reaching America’s 26 million teens with the gospel of Christ” but spent it instead on campus carpeting, a coffee shop, and a new conference room.

    Also: Ron Luce’s ministry for teens has been accused of child sex abuse cover ups in the past.

    There are blogs by ex members, (similar to the Homeschoolers Anonymous blogs), where they have testimonies by former Teen Academy (or whatever Luce’s thing is called) where they talk about the abuse and weird teachings they were subjected to while there.

    If I remember right, some of the now adults – who were teens at the time – discuss how campus leaders (who were five, ten or more year older) would sexually prey on the kids, and nothing was done about it.

    There were weird, pretty legalistic teachings about sex and dating going on at Luce classes and ministries for teens … kids were taught that they have to maintain “emotional virginity.”

    I’m surprised that more blogs haven’t been discussing this. Luce still gets on television.

    The TBN network has Luce on occasionally, gives him air time. I’ve seen Luce interviewed on big name, major cable news networks, where the journalists ask him questions about morality and teenagers.

    Luce used to have a weekly show on TBN, it aired in the 1990s I think and is still sometimes shown in the wee hours of the morning now. I think it was called ATF, “Acquire The Fire.”

    Perhaps this Luce guy is 100% innocent and sincere, but given all the controversy and issues surrounding him and his teen ministries, given the weird things he teaches kids about dating, the genders, sex, etc, I don’t trust him and don’t think Christian or secular networks should consult with him about teen-agers or morality. But he still gets a platform.

    Asking him for his views about teens, morality, sex, etc, would be like asking a dog for his advice and opinions about mail men, or asking a fox his opinion on hens, or well, I’m out of analogies.

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  33. “If you’re going to rip people off for power or money, leave Jesus out of it”.
    Thank you, Daisy!! That has needed to be said so many times in this whole mess.

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  34. Interestingly, Driscoll is now expanding on his claims that his family home was targeted, presumably by his detractors, including stones thrown at his children camping in the back yard. Lots of verbalized pauses, which can indicate stress and/or duplicity. I do not know which. (maybe show us the police reports, Mark?)

    If stress, it’s bad news because it indicates that the confrontational attitude he seemed to teach may have taken deep root at Mars Hill. I don’t excuse violence, even against someone I vehemently disagree with, and if members or former members feel entitled to this, it’s very, very bad news. (again, those police reports, Mark….hop to it and try to undo the damage you contributed to)

    If it’s duplicity, it’s bad news because it might indicate he’s going to take Mars Hill down with him. The discussion was in reference to the remaining elders noting that Driscoll stepped down rather than agree to a restoration program, and the refusal followed by an elaboration of threats may mean something.

    I don’t know what the reality is here, but logically, everything I can see looks ugly.

    On another topic; dance away, Brenda. May it communicate very real joy in Him to all around you.

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  35. I saw that video this morning, Bike Bubba. I couldn’t believe he took all of that time to talk about his children. If what he says is true, that is pretty bad. Would this even be an issue if Mark Driscoll was decent pastor/shepherd? Again, not to excuse bad behavior, but there is a lot of anger out there against Driscoll and Driscoll needs to own up to his responsibility. I don’t think he will. Any repentant man would never have gone to that conference and certainly never taken the stage. But, he was true to his narcissistic form.

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  36. In regards to the video: blech, blech, blech. Seriously, this man thinks that we believe things about these people because of what we read? What about what we have heard from their lips. YouTube doesn’t lie. What they tweet comes directly from them. These people need to come out of the fog.

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  37. JA; my response is that whatever his motives are, his speech leaves too many questions unanswered. Either his allegations are true, and there are a lot of questions to answer, or they’re not, and there are a lot of questions to answer.

    Watching the video now, and he’s saying a lot of things with his body language–it’s not just the verbalized pauses (like, um), but he’s holding onto his Bible and notebook for dear life with that left arm. No emotion shown, hasty delivery.

    Lots of questions to answer, and suffice it to say that as I don’t anticipate getting good answers, it’s yet another place where I think I’ll just stay away from mega-churches, thank you very much.

    If he’s for real, he’s going to find some real accountability, produce the police reports or admit he lied, and if he’s really being threatened, he’ll explore the reasons people might threaten him.

    As the Spartans said to Philip of Macedon: “If”.

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