Mars Hill Church to the abused: “Suck it in and be defrauded!”
Now comes a second Mars Hill Church pastor arguing that those who have been abused and defrauded by the actions of the church leaders should choose to be harmed and defrauded versus seeking resolution – especially through civil recourse.
This had already been argued by Pastor David Fairchild, lead pastor of Mars Hill West Seattle (link) who claimed that taking one’s case of abuse to the court of public opinion through social media was akin to taking it to the courts. Fairchild suggested that the abused should rather choose to be defrauded. In his opinion, that is what 1 Corinthians 6 teaches.
Lead pastor of Mars Hill Rainier Valley, Pastor Ed Choi, in a discussion I had along with Pastors AJ Hamilton (setting up a possible MH campus in Los Angeles), Aaron Gray (lead pastor of Mars Hill Shoreline), and Alex Ghioni (lead pastor of Mars Hill Sammamish), chided me that 1 Corinthians 6 should be interpreted to say that we grieved and abused members should simply agree to be defrauded rather than seek redress of our grievances.
I heard no kickback from the other pastors in the conversation. So it seems that at least five of the pastors at Mars Hill Church believe that abused members should just agree to be defrauded rather than seek either the court of public opinion or the civil court for redress.
My reaction to Ed Choi was to thank him for making Mars Hill Church’s position clear. What I heard him say was that it is right to choose being defrauded over using the civil courts to address matters. This surely would mean that if Mars Hill Church was sued, they would not choose to defend themselves or counter-sue. They would choose to accept a summary judgment against them, even if it meant that they would be defrauded in the process.
Pastor Choi’s response was immediate and strong. “No, no, no, no, that is not what I am saying,” said Pastor Choi.
Apparently, the appeal to Christians to accept being defrauded over seeking redress in court does not apply to Mars Hill Church or its leadership.
This explains why they can threaten lawsuits in non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) forced on exiting staff. It also explains why they threaten other churches that come too close using their “brand” with civil action.
What is good for the goose is not good the gander.
Of course, to even the casual observer, this is just plain old hypocrisy.