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Former Mars Hill Church Leaders Apologize For Being Part of 'Structures,' Problems That 'Hurt Many People'

Pastors Previously on Mark Driscoll's Leadership Team Create RepentantPastor.com

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By Morgan Lee , Christian Post Reporter
April 8, 2014|2:29 pm

Among the grievances that Firstenberg listed against Driscoll included leading "the staff in bitterness and rage for years" and a lack of "honesty in why key leaders are leaving the church."

Firstenberg also alleged that Driscoll had been hypocritical about work/life balance, had led his team with "pride, fear and intimidation," and used "threats and intimidation tacts with me to produce results."

In other instances, "people tried to call people out on their sin and were literally fired or removed and then told lies about to everyone that was left."

Firstenberg noted that the lack of clarity about why individuals left the church led to a culture of deception within Mars Hill. World Magazine reported last week that church Mars Hill would now be destroying all staff emails older than three months.

"I've heard lies that were told about me to the existing leadership in the church and that's just standard operating procedure," said Firstenberg. "You sign a non-disclosure so you can't tell your story and you can't tell people why you're leaving so people are either left to assume what happened or they're fed information from church leaders where that info is not accurate."

"Most of the time it's spun to say, 'Kyle felt called to do this.' You have a hard time arguing as a member that a leader felt called by God to do something else,'" Firstenberg continued. "In my experience, from everyone that I've talked to, that was never the case."

Moi shot down the idea that Repentant Pastor was a way for the men to bring attention to themselves at Driscoll's expense.

"You don't think it was scary for me to say what I did? Admitting DUIs? That was hard. Nobody wants their dirty laundry out there," he said.

"There are some who will want to fan the flame and I'm not interested in fanning the flame for the sake of controversy," Moi continued. "I get calls all the time in the last seven years wanting me to do articles and their approach was far more aggressive and in some cases destructive. I don't want to see that happen. It doesn't have to go there."

He explained, "My hope is that there will be true repentance and true reconciliation and true restoration. That's what I want for the members of Mars, for the pastors and elders of Mars. I want it for those who have been wounded over the years and those who have viewed it from a distance. I want what Jesus meant when he said 'I know you are mine by the way you love one another.'"

Following allegations that he had used dubious marketing methods to place Real Marriage on the New York Times bestseller list, Driscoll apologized in a letter dispensed last month over the church's internal communication system, saying that his "angry-young-prophet days are over."

Driscoll admitted that as the church grew over the years, "it was clear that both the church and I were unhealthy in some ways, despite some wonderful people and amazing things that the Holy Spirit was doing in and through them."

"For years, I felt a joy in teaching the Bible and love for the people, but frankly was overwhelmed on how to organize and lead all that was happening," he writes. "I felt the crushing weight of responsibility but did not know what to do, and I lacked the abilities to figure it out. I was frustrated at my shortcomings, but needed help from people who were more experienced and mature. In my worst moments, I was angry in a sinful way. For those occasions, I am sorry. As I've expressed in several sermons, I needed to mature as a leader, and we needed to mature as a church."

The Christian Post reached out to Mars Hill Church, but spokesperson Justin Dean declined to comment and referred CP to a letter it published last week.

 

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