Updated 10/14/09 (see at bottom of post for update)
Freedom for Captives is about liberating people from that which binds them.
Isa. 61:1 is my calling, my mission in life, namely:
“…to bring Good News to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted,
TO PROCLAIM FREEDOM FOR THE CAPTIVES
and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
My focus at this time is about exposing what I believe to be church and spiritual abuse occurring at Mars Hill Church, Seattle.
In this blog you will find postings which cover:
Mars Hill Church Abuse; Mark Driscoll; Spiritual Abuse; Church Abuse; Psychological Abuse; Former Members of Mars Hill; By-Laws; Controlling Personalities in the Church; Narcissistic Leaders & Other Character Disordered Leaders; My Brief Experience of MHC & Abusive Systems; “Christianized” Misogyny; “Wives Submit!”; “Obey Your Leaders!”; Membership Requirements; and more…
My husband posed some good questions to me awhile ago on an outing. He was wondering as to my desire to expose MH when I had not attended there other than very briefly checking it out, and since I had therefore, according to him, not been particularly hurt by the system.
I told him, “That’s a very good question.” I reminded him to “Keep in mind that when we bumped into MH and MD I was still recovering from a horribly abusive situation which involved extreme efforts and partial success at mind control by a completely–and now understood foolishly–trusted ‘spiritual authority’ (aka: pastor). When I realized that you and I had even entertained becoming a part of MH once I’d begun to see the extent of red flags pointing to an abusive, controlling church system and traits of a very controlling and apparently abusive pastor, I was a bit freaked out. I was somewhat traumatized by that fact alone.”
I went on to explain to him that MH and MD scratched a fairly recent scab, and it hurt because of the inherent danger to us, and even more so, vicariously through the extremely painful stories I was reading about in my research of what sounded like abuse at MH. So there was that–it was the timing, not the time attended in that system.
“Secondly,” I said, “I feel like I have a voice now. I feel stronger now. Previously, the abusive pastor was busy killing off much of my voice, but at this point in time, there is no way I can foresee that I will allow anyone else to silence me. When I took a good look at MH and MD, I didn’t care how huge the system was–I might be a David and it might be Goliath, but, to change analogies, the trumpet had to be sounded. And even more importantly,” I added, “I did NOT want to do this!” And somewhat tongue in cheek I added, “That’s almost always a good sign that it might be a calling from God, when you don’t want it.
I shook my head and continued, “God would not let it go. Every time I prayed, read the Word, every time I read one more thing about what was going on at MH, or heard one more sermon where MD was coming across in a somewhat or blatantly abusive manner, or read one more account of the wreckage in another woman’s life from having attended there, I felt the Holy Spirit saying, ‘If not you, then who? Whom can I send?’ I got the impression he was gently prodding me forward in this because no one else was bringing together the various ‘data points’ I had gathered and put them in one place. That, along with some of my professional training in the mental health field, my personal experience of spiritual/church abuse, and my devotion to Him, were all things He could use. So,” I told my husband, “Basically, for all those reasons, mostly the third one: God’s persistence in pressing this MH burden upon me, I am bringing to light some hidden and not so hidden things about Mars Hill rather than exposing other potential or actual abusive systems.” (I think he was a little concerned I might begin taking on any number of abusive church systems and pastors!).
Some people will insist, “the Lord told me…!” as a means of deterring any challenge to what they are doing. Please hear my heart: I am not trying to claim that because I felt the Lord leading me this way that any of that cannot be challenged, because of course it can be. None of us hears God perfectly. And it’s not the case that I am unwilling to give Driscoll that same grace for also NOT hearing God perfectly, because I am willing. But what I cannot do, with good conscience, is sit by while so many are taking in, along with a hearty stew, varying amounts of what I can only consider to be poison.
The following is an example from one of my posts which makes a good summary of what this site is about in exposing and challenging MHC and Driscoll’s abusive/controlling leadership style:
As a mental health counselor and a survivor of spiritual abuse, I perceive what appears to be many signs of cult like control and spiritual abuse at MHC:
Controlling Pastor with “Yes Men” Elders;
No Talk Rule;
Emphasis on Submission and Obedience;
Shunning of “Unrepentant” Former Members;
Dis-fellowshipping “Questioners” and Critical Thinkers;
By-Laws Removing Accountability of Pastor/Elders;
Mind and Thought Control;
Membership Covenant and Financial Giving Pledge Required;
“Biblical” Counseling Only, if Referred Out, Must Sign Release Form (no confidentiality allowed);
Kangaroo Court Firing of Two Elders Who Dared to Question;
Extreme Gender Role Enforcement;
Members Must Attend Accountability/”Community” Groups
(Similar lists of abusive churches and leaders are found in VanVonderen’s, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, and Dr. Enroth’s Churches That Abuse)
Here are some examples of major red flags:
In the following video clip, Mark SEEMS TO BE confessing his pride… then watch out for the one-two punch!
This feels extremely manipulative and it puts the unwary in bondage. After all, how can one argue with such “humility”? I mean, the man “confessed,” didn’t he? Not really. Typical of abusive controllers, Driscoll seems to have admitted to the minimum while then blame shifting and accusing those who would dare call him to account. That would be spiritual / church abuse.
In another clip he appears to squash all dissent:
Shut Up & Do What You’re Told
In yet another, he seems to condemn those who would dare question him, he says, “They’re sinning through questioning, their heart is not right.”
Drink the Kool Aid
And lastly, as to my understanding regarding the biblical teaching of gender roles in the home, in the church, and in life in general, please see:
Thank you for visiting my Blog. I hope it is of help to you and to those you care for in setting the captives free!
In Him always,
8/28/09 P.S. As to Obnoxious, Unclear, Sarcastic, and/or Demeaning Comments:
I just received one of those rare gems of obnoxious, unclear, sarcastic and demeaning comments. These are usually pointless and the only intent, obviously, is to jab. Any other purpose is usually cloudy. I have always posted these, but no more. They are too tiresome and disrespectful and, well, pointless. They are a waste of my time and any potential reader’s time.
For you Driscoll Defenders out there prone to such “drive-bys,” I will post your comments, despite my disagreeing with many or all of your statements, IF you can behave like an adult and hopefully, if you are one, like a Christian as well. This means that while involving yourself in this discourse you are capable of showing some measure of respect and of making your arguments based on EVIDENCE and logic, rather than merely ranting against me or calling into question all manner of my personhood due to my bringing to light some unpleasant truths about your most beloved leader (and might I suggest, your “mini god”?). Such unpleasant behavior is not unexpected as this is common in abusive systems: the one who points out the problem becomes the problem; but it will no longer be tolerated here at freedom4captives.
Freedom 4 Captives is taking a new turn… I’m in the middle of launching my own business, and so I do not have much time and energy for this. But more importantly, I feel that I’ve been obedient to the Lord in speaking out the truth about that which was presented to me regarding apparent church/spiritual abuse at Mars Hill, mostly at the hands of the lead pastor, Mark Driscoll. I was responsible for the information given to me. I have made that known to you here on this blog. For me to go further would entail my policing Driscoll–which I’m really not interested in doing.
Driscoll will continue to be Driscoll, meaning, he will continue to be the Driscoll who–until I am informed otherwise–appears to be abusing God’s flock and setting up a system over which he can rule as supreme. That is my take. Based on my perceptions of Driscoll’s behaviors, his words and apparent attitudes toward women and people in general, until Driscoll falls on his knees, weeping and repenting before the throne of grace, and until he allows Jesus, our only true healer of our broken hearts, to reach down and do a deep healing within him, he will continue to act out of his own pain, his own suppressed and repressed traumas. I pray for that day! I pray for Mark.
Dan. 12:10 reads, “Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.”
When we are ruling over a church in the spirit of those false shepherds whom God condemned in Ez 34, we are not pleasing God, we are not evidencing Christ nor His Spirit in our lives, we are not leading as Jesus leads and instructs us to lead, but rather we have become like the gentiles, lording it over one another, seating ourselves in “Moses’ seat.” This kind of dictatorship, similar to that which I perceive in Driscoll and in Mars Hill, is flat out condemned by God in Scripture over and over again! My point is that there are many Driscolls in the world as well as many of those who are on the polar opposite of Driscoll’s legalism, preaching liberal heresies– and all of these will continue doing what they’re doing… but those who submit to the Lord and to His Word, living by His Spirit, must continue doing that, following and obeying the Lord in true holiness despite what others are choosing to do.
2 Tim 3:13-14 “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of…”
I invite any of you who happen upon or who have been tracking this site to please keep me informed if you know of any new important issues or spiritual/church abuse or false teaching at Mars Hill. Make a comment here or anywhere else in this blog, and please cite the source of your information. I’d like to keep this blog up to date so people can be informed, but I no longer feel the call nor the need for me personally to keep track on Mark. This blog, as it stands, is enough I would hope for the wise and wary to do their own research and think twice about committing themselves to what looks to be a very controlling and cult-like church system led by what seems to be a spiritually immature despot (compare Driscoll to 1 Tim 3, and, well, to Jesus!).
Rev 22:11-12 “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”
In Christ and in His Glorious Truth and Love!
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