Member - Ballard, Downtown Seattle 2003-12

Gender

Female

Which describes your role at Mars Hill?

Member

What Mars Hill location(s) did you attend?

Ballard, Downtown Seattle

What years were you involved / attending?

2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

How did you first hear about Mars Hill?

I had just moved to Seattle after I graduated from college. During college, i had stopped attending church so when I came to Seattle, I was "hungry" for God and I wanted to find a legit church. I grew up as a southern baptist in the bible belt, so trying to find a church that preached the actual bible was a challenge in Seattle. I heard word of mouth about a new church where the pastor preached the bible...that's it - just the bible.

What was the circumstance of your first time attending Mars HIll?

Word of mouth from a friend of a friend. I decided to go. It was September of 2003.

What were your first impressions?

I visited the first time and I was hooked. It was like a weird drug. I hated attending church my entire life. it was so boring, predictable, uninspiring..did i mention boring? Mars Hill was the antithesis of this. It was fresh, unexpected...UNEDITED. I loved it.

Why was Mars Hill your church home?

As i continued to go Sunday after Sunday, I felt cared for. I met people..which in Seattle is HARD to do. I made friends.

What about your time at Mars Hill has had a positive impact on you?

Well, at the time I would have said a lot of things. Looking back now, I don't have a single good thing or quality that emerged as a result.

What about your time at Mars Hill has had a negative impact on you?

God, where do I start.   I HATE church now. I don't think I believe in God any more. I hate that this plagues me. I wonder if I was ever a christian at all?  BUT I made so many stupid decisions based on BAD biblical teaching that honestly changed the course of my life.

Mark Driscoll's take on the scriptures..his preferences that were taught as actual gospel. I ate it all up. I grew my hair out, I watched and judged other christians and called them out at community groups. I said too much to too many people - people who took advantage of my confessions- people who were taught to shame because that was the gospel according to Mark.

I look back at the insanity and i think I have church PTSD. Even recently I walked into a new church and I wanted to puke in my mouth a little when I saw a group of christians huddling around someone praying for them. I remember the silent judgement, the encouragement to admonish your fellow christians brothers and sisters. The weight of being a women at a church where men were told they ruled and the pressure to have babies and stay at home.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Mark Driscoll personally slandered my family, fired my husband and tried to blackball future employment for him. When all of that was happening, I kept saying "Mark can't be doing this" I had so much respect for him. When his facade came crashing down and i was able to see clearly, it destroyed any sense of trust I had in the church.

I'm so sick of the legacy of Mark Driscoll. His lack of accountability plagued my family for many years.

With still, NO APOLOGY. I hate church. God, I hate church.

Which describes you?

I left Mars Hill prior to closure.

How would you describe the reason for Mars Hill's closure to an outsider.

I would apologize to all my friends. The people who told me I was in a cult. The people who saw what I couldn't.

What's changed for you since your time at Mars Hill came to an end?

Most of our friends used to attend Mars Hill. I see how their warped theology is still affecting their lives and ours...How they moved from one church to another with all the same thought processes.

The same judgmental spirits, the same hunger for superiority of their faith. The same need to sit in a room and tell everyone your every skeleton and have them judge you for it.

If I'm honest, I want nothing to do with crazy christians any longer.

Please write anything else you'd like to add.

I still wish Mark would apologize. I wish he would admit the wrong he committed against so many. I wish he would call and apologize for slandering my family. For putting us through so much.

I wish I didn't doubt the existence of God....but I can't get past the lies and abuse that I and so many endured. Its blurring God for me. I don't see Him anymore.

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