Brian Houston, interview those under the bus, not the abusive bus driver!

Crashed Bus

Dear Brian Houston,

To interview Mark Driscoll, the man who led “the most abusive and coercive church” that Mars Hill Board member Paul Tripp has ever worked with, while ignoring those that Driscoll abused, is to minimize the abuse and re-victimise those who were viciously and deliberately harmed by him.

Seven years before Mark Driscoll resigned his position without repentance, Paul Petry and Bent Meyer were treated shamefully and abusively.

As we look back, the evidence is clear that these two elders, along with a host of other abused voices, were voices of clarion warning. They predicted the eventual collapse of the church if the folly of avoiding accountability were to be allowed to run to its course.

Mark Driscoll has never reconciled with these men. The so-called “pastors” who took over the remaining 11 congregations have never reconciled with these men. Acts 29 leadership has never reconciled with these men.

Basically, the shunning is still continuing while these many men leading congregations bearing both Driscoll’s and Acts 29’s DNA, and still in an insidious way led by Mark Driscoll, claim that it is “all about Jesus.”

Jesus is all about reconciliation. Yet these men, including Mark Driscoll, simply will not reconcile and name the abuse that was meted out to hundreds of families that went to Mars Hill Church and was personified in how Paul Petry and Bent Meyer were treated.

Brian Houston, please interview Paul Petry and Bent Meyer.

Do not interview the bus driver who boasted about the bodies under the bus. Interview those under the bus.

From under the bus,

Rob Smith

Do not interview the bus driver 1

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Mars Hill Church – Déjà vu?

On no not again

Seven years ago 22 elders lacked the character and leadership skills to stand up and stop bad mistakes from being made. As a result the by-laws were changed to reflect a form of church goverance that not only flew in the face of everything the church believed and had been taught, but set in motion the destruction of Mark Driscoll’s ministry, reputation, and the church he claimed he loved.

Now we are facing a similar daunting situation. Sadly, it appears that once again the church is left with leaders who seem to be unable to lead with courage, strength and openness.

Despite telling the church how much they are loved, and promising to be more open with members, news and information from Warren Throckmorton or Wenatchee the Hatchett’s posts is more reliable and far more credible than the updates coming from Dave Bruskas and his leadership team.

In order to get the information that is needed to know how to pray, how to give, and how to move forward with their lives, members and donors learn more of value from the comments section of Throckmorton’s and Wenatchee the Hatchett’s posts than they do the flaccid leadership of the church.

Take the current financial picture for example.

We have learned that several campuses are for sale. Where did we learn this? From social media.

We have heard that Mark Driscoll had a recommended salary and benefit package that was at least $850,000 per year, not counting perks. Where did we hear this? From social media.

We have heard of a million-dollar home being purchased in a gated compound and placed in a trust that listed the same address as Mars Hill Church. Who told us this? Social media.

We have heard that Mars Hill Church does not own the rights to the sermons and intellectual property its members and donors paid for. We have heard of a scandalous severance package for Mark Driscoll, the man who fired elders without severance unless they signed restrictive non-disclosure agreements. Where did we hear of all this? Social media.

Through social media, we donors and members are hearing that the current leadership is considering filing for bankruptcy. How can this be the case? How insulting that we are not given the exact picture of the condition of the church!

Does the current leadership not love the church enough to shoot straight with its members and donors?  How can any of us pray about our giving if we are kept in the dark? Yet, the leadership warns us not to read reports in the social media.

I could go on.

Sadly, what we have not heard, even via social media, is a call for a heartfelt attempt to make matters right with Paul Petry, Bent Meyer and Lief Moi. No attempt to say we are deeply sorry. No rumors of reconciliation, restitution, or restoration.

Mars Hill Church needs men like those men right now. They had the foresight and backbone to do the right thing seven years ago. These men are sorely needed at this time. Mars Hill Church needs leaders that have the clarity and conviction to lead the church back to a solid footing.

Many of us leaders and former leaders would roll up our sleeves and help if called upon.

In my case, my emails to Dave Bruskas remain unanswered.  Paul Petry’s phone (the same number since 2007) has not rung.

Sadly, unless something changes, we will see weak men repeat the mistakes of the elders of 2007, and fail to stand up and lead in full transparency and open reconciliation with the real men who were thrown out years ago, but who have what it takes to help Mars Hill Church recover in the wake of Mark Driscoll’s departure.

 

Mars Hill Church, are you listening to your own? Release the report on Driscoll!

hello

This following is from a former Mars Hill elder and extracted from the comment section of Warren Throckmorton’s latest blog post regarding the proposed changes at Mars Hill Church.

A few interesting things to note that may help people understand why so many contrary reports are coming out, and why any change is going so slow:

1. Mark owns the rights to many things at Mars Hill including his sermons. He’s insistent they take them down (and they’re more than happy to oblige). But a complication is that Mars Hill will now have to do a whole redesign of the Web page while also recognizing there will most likely be more redesigns in the near future.

2. They’re seriously considering filing bankruptcy because of the amount of debt facing the church.

3. Ballard may become the “hub” once again. In fact, it might be the only church left with the name and legal ownership of Mars Hill.

4. Several of the LP’s on the BOE felt Mark was disqualified. In fact, they felt it was obvious once they heard the stories. Unfortunately, they chose to “submit” (read: cowardice) to the overseers and read the collective statement. They violated their own consciences in doing so, but many of them are still submitting to the false view of “submission” to leaders that Mark taught.

5. Several more elders are set to resign. They are disheartened with the cowardice they see displayed by the LPs.

6. Lastly, people should insist – INSIST the BOE release their findings. Every CG leader at every sync should insist on this. Every member should demand this. Every LP (but specifically those on the BOE) MUST be asked why they did NOT declare Mark DQ’d. They are violating their own consciences and most of these men will not be able to stand up and answer pointed questions about something they themselves do not believe. In particular, talk to Ed Choi, Alex Ghioni, Miles Rhode, Alex Early, and even (surprisingly) Tim Smith and AJ Hamilton.

This is VERY important. Especially if you are a CG leader. They cannot handle more people leaving and they realize that now more than ever they are going to be held accountable by the members. So stay. Pray. And don’t stop demanding transparency and answers. It is having an effect. [emphasis added]

On his Facebook page Pastor David Fairchild argues against airing grievances on social media.

The pot calling the kettle black

So now comes another Mars Hill pastor, David Fairchild, using social media (Facebook) to chide those who use social media to argue their case against Mars Hill Church.

This is similar to Anthony Bradley, who also posts a lot on social media, publicly chewing out Rachel Held Evans for publicly chewing out Mark Driscoll (link).

I have met both these men. They are men that I like a lot. They are actually quite bright. Somehow they missed the big “E” on this eye chart. Clearly they do not believe what they are posting, or perhaps they are not as bright as I thought they were.

I enjoy both these men, not only for their contribution to my life, but because they have shown care for the things that I care about. David and I have traveled together more than once to Africa, and I love the passion that Anthony Bradley shows for the oppressed.

I know David well enough to know that he does not truly believe that posting public grievances on social media is equivalent to filing a civil lawsuit against a brother. If this were the case, then why did he post his grievance against bloggers on a social network, while he works in a public church that has been built largely through social media?

Furthermore, David suggests that the proper approach is that the bloggers follow Matthew 18. Well, you can count the number of bloggers on two hands. Each, including me, are easy to reach. If David has an issue with us, why is he not picking up the phone and beginning to work through Matthew 18 with us if he has a problem?

The truth, already well documented, is that the so-called “Board of Advisors and Accountability” (BOAA) has no interest in any communication with bloggers. Some of us became bloggers because following Matthew 18 is impossible (link).

Can David himself even get an audience with the BOAA?

Then he goes on to suggest that the members who have been harmed simply allow themselves to be harmed, based upon I Corinthians 6. Let me say this another way. Pastor David Fairchild, the West Seattle Campus pastor, is telling members who have been harmed by the church he represents, to simply subject themselves to be harmed and walk away.

This is why we are blogging. The shepherds have forgotten who they are protecting.

I know David understands the scriptures well enough to refute his own crazy interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6, and I know he understands the role of the pastor well enough to know that his role is to protect members, not kick them back them under the bus.

I am hoping that he was just reacting to the increased pressure that Mars Hill Church is feeling because it is reeling from the consequences of the actions of its leaders.

Until the Mars Hill leadership stops blaming bloggers and starts taking responsibility for the repeated deception, we will probably see more of same.