Every so often, someone will raise the question “why don’t you guys just take this up with the elders? Why bring it up here? The short answer is that taking it up with the elders has been tried repeatedly.
In the most recent fiasco at Mars Hill, Pastors Paul Petry and Bent Meyer were fired specifically for “taking these things up withthe elders”…specifically, their strong resistance to the new bylaws. as a result, Mark Driscoll, by and thru his 4 executive minions,charged Pastors Petry and Meyer with the sin of “unhealthy distrust of the elders” (a sin that PH is still trying to find in that ESV that Pastor Mark so highly regards). While the previous disaster was unfolding, several members expressed concern and disagreement with the trial, stating that they were not so concerned with the outcome, but the seemingly biased process. The dissent varied in its vigor, but was always respectful and reasoned. They got disciplined, and were referenced as behaving in an “utterly sinful” manner. Then, in the all church forum, a couple of members made some pointed, but respectful observations about the 150 page elders document…they were removed from the members website within the day. Now, the members site has been re-formatted to make it impossible for a member to post something that can be seen by all of Mars Hill.
Even after the above events, many brave households individually took these matters up with the elders privately. The elder responses to these individuals have ranged from evasive to outright intimidation by a couple of the executive elders.
As a result of the above, members have no place to discuss these event amongst ourselves, and no elders willing to engage us in meaningful conversations. So…we must find other forums.