Refusing to walk in the light because of foolishly signing an NDA is not unlike King Saul’s actions in 1 Sam 15.
In Acts 19 the church saw amazing things happen under Paul’s ministry in Ephesus. In Acts 19:19 we read that among the many that came to Christ were sorcerers. As they came to Christ, they took their books about magic arts and burned them. The cost to them was significant. Some modern translations suggest it was equivalent to millions of dollars in today’s currency.
So what has this to with the NDA’s that are keeping elders and pastors from speaking the truth?
Well, in 1 Sam 15 we read about King Saul disobeying the command of Samuel and receiving a stiff rebuke with severe consequences.
King Saul justified his sin, blamed others, made it all about himself, and stated that he had done it all in obedience to God. At this point of King Saul’s reign God had had enough. Through Samuel he delivers a harsh rebuke to Saul:
Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices. As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.” 1 Sam 15:22-23
In giving this awful rebuke to Saul, in which Samuel tells Saul that God has rejected his kingship, he also links the sin of rebellion to the sin of witchcraft.
In the current scenario, men who believe they are called by God and qualified to be elders, church planters, pastors and leaders are refusing to bear witness to the abuse of power that they have witnessed and been a part of because they have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements and are afraid of being sued and do not want to go against the terms of the NDA.
Their word is what is needed at this time.
If more than eight men voted against their conscience due to the pressure and threats seven years ago when changing the bylaws, then the truth will be out that the vote was manipulated. If these men know of facts behind the misuse of church funds in the NYT Bestseller scandal, the truth should be heard. If they have seen the repeated abuse of employees in recent years, the light of truth is critical. They can shed light on the repeated scandals now plaguing Mars Hill Church.
To be silent when hundreds of members and ex-employees are deeply wounded by the abuse created by a governance model where it is all but impossible to hold the abusers to account is a dereliction of a shepherd’s duty. The fact that an NDA has been foolishly signed does not mean that an ex-elder can walk away from hurting sheep. Repent of signing the NDA and speak the truth.
For an elder to say that he cannot speak up because he signed an NDA means that the truth remains hidden.
Burn the NDA! Pay the price! Be like the early Ephesian Christians. Trust that God will protect and bless you.
But please do not hide your testimony.