“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” — Micah 6:8
Despite many appeals to Mars Hill Church leadership to address several grievances, it now appears that it will be necessary to take legal action to see that these grievances are addressed – since the leaders of Mars Hill have unilaterally announced their intention to dissolve the church by the end of the year and divide the assets amongst themselves with no apparent accounting or transparency. Donors, ex-members and members are preparing to pursue this alternative only because all other avenues for resolution of grievances have been futile. These donors, ex-members, and members are setting up a fund which would be used to pay for the legal costs of such a pursuit.
Mars Hill Church has also used non-disclosure agreements to silence ex-employees with valid grievances. This fund would also be used to defend any ex-employee that is sued by Mars Hill Church for violating the terms of their non-disclosure agreement.
Once all matters are settled, the balance of this fund, if any, will be shared between the advertised recipients of the Mars Hill Global Fund (Ethiopian and Indian pastors) and with Agathos International. That portion of any donor’s gift to this legal fund will be tax-deductible.
We are attempting to schedule a meeting with Mars Hill representatives in an effort to avoid litigation, and it appears that this meeting may take place.
In discussion with former Mars Hill Church member Brian Jacobson regarding those times when Matthew 18 fails to settle matters, or when the offending party insists that the offended party should agree to be defrauded, as Mars Hill Church leadership has insisted thus far, Brian offered the following thoughts:
There will be much pushback from the Christian community regarding the lawsuit. The following are several responses to this.
First, I would point out that when Jesus saw religious leaders harming His people or leading them astray, He did not gently lead anyone to vague conclusions. He entered full-on attack mode and spoke His mind very clearly. We are to have the mind of Christ and His empathy toward those who are abused.
Second, in Galatians 1:8-9, Paul said if anyone preaches a different gospel, let him be accursed. Mark Driscoll perverted the gospel of Christ by making Mars Hill all about him. He used bullying and slander to maintain control of the church and he misappropriated resources for personal gain.
Third, it is possible that criminal acts occurred at Mars Hill that will only be revealed by a lawsuit such as this.
Fourth, there is a God-given role for civil authorities to play. They exist for the benefit of society – to protect the general public by maintaining good order. Romans 13 speaks to this. Summarizing the first few verses of that chapter, the Westminster Confession states, “God ordained civil magistrates for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers.” The actions of the Mars Hill Church leadership put them in the category of “evil doers.”
Fifth, regarding 1 Corinthians 6, this scripture is related to settling personal disputes – disputes between individuals. The lawsuit would be against the Mars Hill Church corporation and its officers.
The following paragraphs are from Larry Burkett’s website:
Since there were no corporations in existence when the Bible was written, the best we can do is relate the principle to the closest parallel of that time: a government agency.
It seems clear from the book of Acts that Paul recognized both the authority and the responsibility of the government of Rome. Twice, when he was falsely arrested, he relied on application of Roman law to regain his freedom. He also clearly used the implied threat of that law to punish his antagonists (Acts 16:37).
When he was falsely accused by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and jailed by the Roman authorities, he appealed to the law of Rome to defend himself. The Roman government was an entity, not a person, so Paul felt he was clearly within his rights to use Roman law against that entity.
A corporation or a business is also an entity, not a person. Although the entity may be controlled and often is solely owned by a person, it appears that a corporation or a business has no rights under biblical guidelines, except the rights of prevailing law. Therefore, to sue a corporation in order to require that it meet its legal responsibilities is not unbiblical.