Michael van Skaik – demonstrating the “yarn” of “yearn”


Yearn:   to feel a strong desire or wish for something or to do something.

Yarn:     a tale, especially a long story of adventure or incredible happenings, sometimes hard to believe.

Michael van Skaik, chairman of the Mars Hill Church Board of Advisors and Accountability,  gives us another lesson in Christianese.  He demonstrates the use of the word “yearn”. This word, not used very much in normal speech, is almost always used when elders are trying to tell the sheep that despite much evidence to the contrary, they really, really, really want the exact opposite of what their actions are saying.

Does Mr. van Skaik and the members of the Board of Advisors and Accountability not know that actions speak louder than words?

When elders are scrambling to explain themselves, they will use the word “yearn” when they should use the word “yarn”. It means that the reader should perhaps read the tale with a grain of salt.

I personally tried to meet with Mr. van Skaik during the same time period that he was trying to determine anonymous sources that could bear witness to being personally sinned against by Mark Driscoll. Despite informing him that Mark Driscoll used abusive and vile language when talking to me, lied to me, slandered me, threatened to destroy me and my ministry, and despite clearly identifying myself to him, he showed no evidence of taking the charges seriously, despite what he claimed in his yarn to Mars Hill leaders recently.


Apparently the witnesses to the abuse of Mark Driscoll were anonymous? What planet do these men live on? I could round up multiple witnesses in one day!

While reading the following the flowery excerpts, keep in mind that the Petry family (also not hardly anonymous) are still being shunned – almost seven years of zero attempts to resolve matters by the leadership at Mars Hill Church. Also bear in mind that over 100 employees left in the last two years. In 2012, over 1000 members left. Notice the spiritual spin:

“…the Board took these charges extremely seriously.”

“However, we are hungry for reconciliation and are continually grieved…”

“We want to seek out and hear the hurts in a biblical manner… ”

“You need to know that I and the other Board members have witnessed the Holy Spirit’s work in…”

“…Pastors Mark, Dave and Sutton as they’ve grieved deeply over the hurts and sorrows that they’ve been the source of….”

“Their hearts yearn for repentance and reconciliation with those that have been hurt and offended.”

I ask the Board of Advisors and Accountability the same thing I have asked each member of the council of elders who voted against Paul Petry in his unfair trial in 2007. “How is it possible, if they have an inkling of the gospel, that they have not been reconciled to Paul Petry?”

I think the BOAA might be amazed at what might happen if they were to practice Matthew 5:23 with Paul Petry before spending months trying to reconcile with anonymous people.  I think most members and ex-members, employees and ex-employees are “yearning” to see that day. And that is no yarn.


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