On Feb. 7, 2009, I sent the following email to several friends:
In a matter of a few short weeks of listening to several podcasts of sermons, my husband and I were really growing to appreciate pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill for what we had seen thus far of his fearless proclamation of the gospel–which is becoming quite rare these days with all the “seeker sensitive churches.” Mark’s being down to earth and preaching Scripture was very refreshing and inspiring to us.
I had been using a quote of his as a “by line” in my emails and had been telling some of you about Mark and/or the church. Well, as we first began to immerse ourselves into the church, something began to immediately feel not quite right… I have been abused in the past by an over-controlling, spiritually-abusive, anti-psychology, cookie-cutter church so I know what that looks like, feels like, smells like… and after attending Mars Hill service last Sunday, attending a small community group on Wednesday, and after reading Mark Driscoll’s take on the Christian church (how he orders and structures his church), Vintage Church, and another book he’d highly recommended containing his view of “Biblical Counseling” (which basically claims to eradicate the need for any true psychological therapy, claiming that knowing and applying certain Scripture overcomes anything, even PTSD, past abuse, and other psychological problems, such as depression and eating disorders) and then after researching about Mark and his church all day today via the internet, my hunches were justified enough for me to decide to no longer seek further affiliation with Mars Hill at this time.
This may seem extreme, but I can go into specifics as to what I discovered if any of you are interested. We briefly had a chance to meet Mark last Sunday (before all of these other things began adding up) and he seemed like a kind-hearted, humble person, dedicated to serving the Lord and his people. He was likable. I am not saying Mark is all bad or Mars Hill is all bad; however, I wanted to send this to you, because although Mars Hill appears to be doing a lot of really good things, especially for the 20 somethings, there is enough that seems to me to be controlling, spiritually unhealthy and psychologically pathological that I wanted to warn you as well as to disassociate ourselves from being affiliated with this church with which we were only beginning to get involved.
Although disappointed and very concerned about what I have since learned, I am also extremely relieved I caught this so quickly AND LISTENED TO MY GUT. Not doing so in the past paved the way for me to be abused.
So, blessings to you all. May God keep you safe from extremes of all kinds and from abusers of all stripes!