January 13, 2009
Hats off to Molly Worthen for writing an amazingly even-handed article about Mars Hill Church and the various themes and memes that run through it. The article “Who Would Jesus Smack Down?” appeared in The New York Times “Magazine” section on Sunday, January 12, 2009. MH/Driscoll admirers will consider the article very complimentary. Detractors will find the article to give clear voice to the aspects that grieve them most.
One quote in particular broke PH’s heart: “At one suburban campus that I visited, a huge yellow cross dominated center stage — until the projection screen unfurled and Driscoll’s face blocked the cross from view.”
Driscoll’s face blocked the cross from view. In a nutshell: the very reason so many faithful, active, and involved members have departed the hip halls of MHC.
Click HERE to read the full article in the NYT.
March 2, 2008
Or those in church leadership simply wondering if THEY are crazy. Trust PH…if you are wondering this, you probably are not.
PH has received excellent feedback from those who have read book by Dr. John K. Setser: “Broken Hearts, Shattered Trust/Workplace Abuse of Staff in the Church”. If any are interested in receiving their own copy, Dr. Setser is happy to send on at no charge (at this point). Just email him at email@example.com and ask.
Dr. Setser is the founder of Baranbas Ministries: http://www.shatteredtrust.com .
March 1, 2008
The below was submitted to PH via email. Since each fact checks out and the points are extremely relevant and important, PH is posting the article.
Mark Driscoll keeps changing the story.
Just as a suspected adulterer lies to cover his sin to appear innocent, Mark Driscoll and the elders are changing the story as they defend their actions. Read the rest of this entry »
February 29, 2008
And then, there is the environment that has been fostered in Mars Hill.
Shut Up & Do What You’re Told
Drink the Kool Aid
PH knows many (mostly former) members who were leveled for respectfully, but vigorously expressing either doubt or dissent with the way that the firing of two beloved pastors was handled. These members were betrayed by the leadership that they had previously chosen to trust. Many of these members were previously not even on MH radar, as their many years of membership history had demonstrated them to be what would be considered “model members.” The members that reaped the devastation during these times were not “immature Christians” as the Elders of MH have tried to portray. Many were, in fact, mature Christians with proven track records in ministry leadership that surpass Mark Driscoll in time and quality. (Despite their never having fostered a “mega-church.) PH would think that an outcry from this demographic would be taken very seriously by leadership within a church body.
Are the men who perpetrated or ignored such betrayal qualified to be Elders?
February 28, 2008
Wow…in less than 2 minutes, this video says more about the injustices instigated by and under Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church than PH could write in 2 pages! Video: Major vs Minor Sins
The topic question can be read one of two ways: Are these guys in sin – OR – is the sin that they are in Major or Minor. PH will let you choose how to read it.
PH raises two follow-up questions, regardless of your read on the topic question.
- Are the men who participated in the firings and trial qualified to be elders? And,
- Are a) knowing and active disobedience of biblical principles, followed by b) false representations perpetrated to cover up the disobedience MAJOR or MINOR sins, by Driscoll’s definitions?
February 26, 2008
Controlling Personalities in the Church: The Warning Signs
The second in a series of articles on the Wittenberg Gate website
Authoritarian Leadership and Lack of Accountability
“God, knowing our weak frame, has given us a structure for church authority. He tells us to have a multitude of counselors, all under the authority of King Jesus. Abusers, however, wish to operate on their own. They want to be king of the congregation Elders/Deacons. Their approach to this may be very subtle. A church council may be in place, but each elder is hand-picked and known to be cooperative. (goodbye and good riddance to the problematic pastors, AND any outspoken members!) They may be inexperienced churchmen who got their elder training only from this pastor,
(Does this sound familiar? Perhaps Jamie Munson? Anybody else? PH needs both hands and a couple of toes to count them!) or overworked businessmen who are relieved to let the pastor make all the decisions. The elders themselves may be manipulated and lied to and have information kept away from them” (not to mention the membership!)
If you need more information to decide the answer to the topic question, check out the articles starting at: http://dory.typepad.com/wittenberg_gate/2005/05/controlling_per.html
February 20, 2008
A toxic church exists when “doing” becomes more important than “being.” In a toxic church, service to God is viewed as keeping church systems functioning, God’s blessing is seen as bigger budgets for bigger buildings to accommodate more people, and looking successful replaces love as the key ingredient. Read the rest of this entry »
February 16, 2008
el•der (el’der) n. 1. Elected or appointed governing officer within a church. See 1 Timothy 3: 1-7, Titus 1: 6-9 Under the new bylaws, most of the men that Mars Hill Church refers to as “elders”
dea•con (de’ken) n. 1. Attendant or assistant to church leaders. See 1 Timothy 3: 8
(The above definitions are found HERE on the Mars Hill Church website.)
Under the new bylaws, most of the men that Mars Hill Church refers to as “elders” are more accurately referred to as “executive deacons.” With the exception of the Executive 5 (Mark Driscoll, Scott Thomas, Jamie Munson, Tim Belz and Bubba Jennings) no elder has any power of governance. Maybe this isn’t such a big deal…except for the 2000 or so members who signed up for a plurality of elders, in which many men had governing power, and held each other accountable. Of course, it could be said that arrangement didn’t help…after all, these 18+ men voted to give up their power to govern.
In case any folks out there are interested in contacting the Mars Hill leadership and are brave enough to actually do so, their contact information is found HERE .
February 15, 2008
This first clip, found HERE ; displays one of the areas where Mark Driscoll is especially strong: using displays of so-called humility to further his agenda from the pulpit. Was Mark truly repentant for his pride when this was delivered? It is possible – unlike the Mars Hill Elders, PH does not have the gift of “immaculate perception” Read the rest of this entry »
February 15, 2008
On November 4 & 11, 2007, Mark Driscoll delivered sermons loaded with classic examples of authoritarian abuse. The topic was “Humility” : and they were preached about 5 weeks after Paul Petry and Bent Meyer were fired, shortly after the Starchamber/Kangaroo Court that tried Paul Petry, and 2 days after the 145 page Elders Response Document was published. A number of Mars Hill Members had recently been suspended for questioning the firings and trial procedures. Many of those who remained remember walking out of this one mid-sermon, or not participating in communion because this sermon was so out of line that their attitudes were out of joint. Some guy/gal on youtube called ReallySad1 (again, not PH!) has pulled out some of the more priceless sections, which merit exposure and discussion. Stay tuned for the upcoming series: Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church: Member Abuse on Parade.