Mars Hill money trouble?

December 10, 2007 at 6:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle online, West Seattle religion | 70 Comments

So suggests the fifth bullet point in this entry on “Pastors’ Prayers,” one of the many official Mars Hill Church blogs. Quoting here:

Multiple pastors request prayers for our financial state. With the deep deficit, it is a test for all the staff to choose Jesus over anxiety when ministry funds are cut short and the possibility of lay-offs and additional budget cuts is on the horizon. Please pray for repentance by those who are disobeying God in their giving …

Now, before the Mars Hill critics fire up their typing fingers to snark, we also did want to note there is a sad West Seattle-related item in the same long Mars Hill blog entry: Jeanne Clem, wife of Bill Clem, the pastor who led Doxa in the building that became MH-West Seattle, is described as “slipping away” in her battle with cancer. (She is interviewed starting about 3 minutes into this recent Mars Hill video clip we found on YouTube.) TUESDAY MORNING ADDENDUM: Thanks to Adam on Alki, who points out in the comments below that Mars Hill has gone back and edited out the “disobeying God in their giving” line. We briefly cursed ourselves for not getting a screen grab, then remembered the miracle of Google caching, where it had already been captured. So just in case you didn’t believe us (full cached version here):

disobeying.jpg

70 Comments

  1. I may dislike this church, but…I hate cancer. I’m an almost 3 year survivor, and I am damned lucky that I consider myself no longer having cancer. But I know too many people who have struggled with it, have a sister who died from it 2 years ago, a friend, 30years old, who passed away just last July. Cancer does not play fair…it chooses anyone. My heart goes out to Jeanne…she , in my opinion, is way to young to die. I’m not a very religious person, but I’m glad that she has her faith to see her through this. She seems at peace with it. My thoughts and prayers will be with her family this Christmas season. Thanks, WSB, for sharing that. And everyone…hold those you love a little closer…

    Comment by Jan — 7:44 pm December 10, 2007 #

  2. I will get the obvious out of the way…I doubt even the harshest of MH critics would wish cancer on anyone. I am sorry to hear about Mrs. Clem’s illness and wish her comfort and strength in her fight.

    Comment by GenHillOne — 7:46 pm December 10, 2007 #

  3. I second GHO’s sentiments.

    Comment by coffee geek — 8:30 pm December 10, 2007 #

  4. OK but really, what does one have to do with the other? Yes, it’s horrible when someone gets cancer. But as far as the church having financial trouble, there’s no link, is there, unless the huband is embezzling to pay for her care.

    Comment by tan — 9:30 pm December 10, 2007 #

  5. “Please pray for repentance by those who are disobeying God in their giving…”

    Looks like we Catholics aren’t the only ones good at laying the guilt on someone’s head. How pathetic.

    Comment by JumboJim — 9:50 pm December 10, 2007 #

  6. Two issues in one post. I wish the best for Jeanne Clem and hope she can pull through.

    As for the Church and it’s financial state. Every non-profit struggles at times. But I was surprised when Mars Hill seemed to “suddenly” expand very very fast and acquire new buildings and put a lot of money into them. I just figured they had an evangelical out of town sugar daddy giving them all their money. If they just went into debt ‘hoping’ their members would make it up, that’s scary. That can work, but for a non-profit to spend first and hope to raise it later is dangerous. Cool if you can pull it off, but it’s equally likely to put you out of business.

    Comment by David — 10:02 pm December 10, 2007 #

  7. Read your bible:

    In Bankruptus 3:16, it clearly states that any church or business that grows to fast and mismanages it’s funds is bound for existance in hell.

    It also states in Stupidius that the IRS doesn’t care if your Peter 5:6-7, they will cut it off regardless of size if you don’t pay them.

    Comment by The House — 10:17 pm December 10, 2007 #

  8. Har, har, har – The House

    ANYWAY, as a life-long Christian, let me be the first to apologize for Mars Hill. I know many AMAZING Christians that attend their services, but personally, I can not stand them. It is more on a politheistic level. I praise their efforts at outreach, but I personally do not agree with their policies or foundation.

    Love thy neighbor, however.

    Comment by Adam on Alki — 10:33 pm December 10, 2007 #

  9. Sorry. Both my parents died of cancer, one grandmother, 2 uncles. I sympathize with, and really really know what the family is going through.

    But.

    Sorry, I don’t buy the argument that you can’t speak your mind about something you find obnoxious and vulgar because someone affiliated with it is going through something bad. These people have built a megachurch, something I find incredibly gross. I have no problem saying that, even if someone affliated with it is going through something that is about the worst thing ever. The cancer card cannot be played with me.

    And maybe because I’m agnostic, and don’t get the whole prayer thing as well as others, but shouldn’t they have included prayers for Doxa on their list before prayers for financial help?

    Comment by jrd — 10:34 pm December 10, 2007 #

  10. My apologises – I read the original post wrong. I thought Doxa was the name of the cancer victim. I see now that they are praying for Jeanne.

    I accept my role as Post Ass.

    Comment by jrd — 10:53 pm December 10, 2007 #

  11. My sincere sympathy to the Clem family. But really, what does one topic have to do with the other. I second the obnoxious and vulgar sentiments. Guilt your sheeple when Pastor Mark could just sell one of his houses. Looks like they’re each worth close to a million.

    Comment by JT — 11:00 pm December 10, 2007 #

  12. For those who have asked, we mentioned both because they’re in the same Mars Hill blog post, and if we had just mentioned the money trouble, we figured someone was bound to say “gosh, didn’t you notice, that same Mars Hill post mentioned the local pastor’s wife is on her deathbed, why didn’t you say anything about that?” So, there you have it.

    Comment by WSB — 11:05 pm December 10, 2007 #

  13. Who said organized religion isn’t a business?

    Comment by Jiggers — 11:54 pm December 10, 2007 #

  14. House….your sense of humor is showing – lolol…

    Comment by Jan — 11:59 pm December 10, 2007 #

  15. and to you all…Mark Driscoll is an ass…and calculating. Yes, I’m appalled that it seems that he’s played the “cancer card” as one so nicely put it…..to play at the heartstrings of his parishioners. Despite that, please don’t connect this woman’s dying from cancer to him and his plea for money…please don’t equate her with him.

    Comment by Jan — 12:08 am December 11, 2007 #

  16. So I made a comment on the Mars Hill message board over the previosly-sickening quote and guess what: I got deleted. Sad really.

    BUT, in better news, they posted a revised prayer:

    Multiple pastors request prayers for our financial state. With the deep deficit, it is a test for all the staff to choose Jesus over anxiety when ministry funds are cut short and the possibility of lay-offs and additional budget cuts is on the horizon. Please pray for those who are struggling with their financial stewardship, and pray for Jesus to make generous and thankful hearts of our body. Please join us in thanking Jesus for our faithful members who continually give and serve with their time, talent and treasure.

    I guess I prefer the wording here.

    Comment by Adam on Alki — 12:21 am December 11, 2007 #

  17. “Please pray for repentance by those who are disobeying God in their giving” …softened to: “Please pray for those who are struggling with their financial stewardship” but still, DISOBEYING GOD in their giving? So if someone isn’t giving xx percentage, they are disobeying God? This, in 2007, in Seattle? and people actually believe this stuff? ha ha ha ha

    Comment by Dis — 12:39 am December 11, 2007 #

  18. Emphasis on treasure, of course ;-)

    Comment by Jan — 12:39 am December 11, 2007 #

  19. Cancer is not only the worst, but it can also be a bankrupter due to the system we have created for ourselves. I wonder who she is insured with.

    Comment by CandrewB — 5:50 am December 11, 2007 #

  20. Adam, interesting that the language was changed after your comment, but true colors were already shown, yeah? I did find the ‘repentence’ and ‘disobeying’ statement a bit disturbing myself and odd that MH would choose to post it together with the prayer request for Mrs. Clem (‘above the fold’ no less). I knew it would strike a nerve with others as well, partly why I felt the need to put the well-wishes out there first. Karma and all…does MH believe in Karma? Don’t answer.

    Comment by GenHillOne — 6:27 am December 11, 2007 #

  21. Thank you all for pointing out that MH has edited the “disobeying God” passage. However, thanks to the miracle of Google caching, the Internet has a record of the original language, and we will be adding a screen grab to our post shortly.

    Comment by WSB — 7:19 am December 11, 2007 #

  22. It seems to me the people who are “struggling with their financial stewardship” are the church leaders who made the financial decisions that got the church into financial trouble in the first place. Now they are manipulating the congregation into bailing them out.

    Wishing them good luck ’cause it sounds like they need it.

    Comment by Kayleigh — 7:43 am December 11, 2007 #

  23. God never told ME to demand money during financial hardships, and I’ve had a few. Maybe my signal in West Seattle isn’t satisfactory. Then again, I’ve never claimed exclusive reception. My thoughts and best wishes to Jeanne Clem.

    Comment by Rick — 8:09 am December 11, 2007 #

  24. Organized religion is the evil that is..

    Comment by Jiggers — 8:30 am December 11, 2007 #

  25. God said that it wasn’t required to give money to believe in in him.

    Comment by Jiggers — 8:55 am December 11, 2007 #

  26. In this Holiday season, I think it’s appropriate to remind the followers of Christianity of the all-inclusive effect of Christ doing His Father’s will:
    “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

    It’s not just for Christians, but for anyone who goes beyond the doctrine, dogma, ritual and tradition, and sincerely desires to seek God, as they understand God.

    Comment by Gunnar — 9:18 am December 11, 2007 #

  27. I’m glad to see they changed the wording of their prayer, even though I’m sure it was done out of pressure and not sincerity.
    When I attended a Unitarian Universalist church back on the east coast, we pledged a certain amount each month. But when my husband lost his job around 9/11 and was out of work for 18 months, we could not make our pledge. That church understood totally, never asked us for a dime, and appreciated the gift of our time, service and talents rather than our money. In fact, they even gave US money to help us with bills, with no expectation of ever paying it back to them. I have no doubt that our current congregation, West Seattle UU Fellowship, would treat us similarly if we ever were in that situation again. Now THAT is what a true faith community should do for its fellow members, not threaten them with hellfire and damnation.

    Comment by Sue — 9:34 am December 11, 2007 #

  28. Wow. There’s a lot of hate in these comments.

    Comment by Aron — 10:02 am December 11, 2007 #

  29. I can’t help but wonder from the strangers coverage of mars hill a year ago, if they are getting bit by the sub prime issue. They used to reference how much of the funds they raised was from personal home equity from the members of the church that was enhanced by Mars Hill work on houses.

    Comment by vincent — 10:53 am December 11, 2007 #

  30. Barf. These MHC posts always lead me back to slog through their trying-too-hard-to-be-hip site and commentary. Which lead me to this: http://voxpopnetwork.com/college/2007/10/23/holy-halo/ Ignorant, witless, inappropriate, and over-reaching. Classic MHC.

    Comment by coffee geek — 11:09 am December 11, 2007 #

  31. Driscoll doesn’t post the prayer requests and doesn’t give input on the West Seattle church blog. This was a simple attempt at 2 things: 1) letting the church know the financial state of things. 2) keeping the church posted on the needs of a well-loved church family. The argument over the church’s handling of finances is reasonable. Linking that discussion to the cancer post in this blog is not.

    Comment by Agnes — 11:27 am December 11, 2007 #

  32. I am tempted to stop reading the WSB altogether because of the pure hate in these comments, all of my mostly negative feelings about the church aside. This is a sad state for WS folks to be judging, calling names, and being downright nasty… all while being anonymous. Only God can ultimately judge, which I think is a good reminder for us all.

    Comment by TJ — 11:48 am December 11, 2007 #

  33. TJ – we would hope you don’t do that; but we have to note, only a small fraction of people participate in comments, or even read them (most people come to the home page, read the posts, then move on to other sites without ever clicking the “comments” button). It’s an expected feature of news/information websites, to offer the chance to comment, and sometimes, the comments do get pointed, particularly on the always-volatile subjects of religion and politics, but we would rather offer the chance to talk about them than just ignore them for fear the discussion might get out of hand. Thanks as well for your honest comment. That said, we see a few above here that have crossed the line and are going to go ahead and excise them, as we reserve the right to do.

    Comment by WSB — 12:09 pm December 11, 2007 #

  34. I am tempted to stop reading the WSB altogether because of the pure idiocy in these comments, all of my mostly negative feelings about people who think God exists aside. This is a sad state for people who think God exists to be judging, calling names, and being downright nasty… all while being anonymous. Only the Flying Spaghetti Monster can ultimately judge, which I think is a good reminder for us all.

    Comment by Bob Loblaw — 12:10 pm December 11, 2007 #

  35. As I think it has been repeatred adnasium, while many of us have differant feelings towards Mars Hill, the Church and in some cases, organized religion altogether, we all agree that it is terribly sad and unforunate what is happening to Jeannie Clem. That us walk away with that mutual feeling, as opposed to any negativity that has swelled along the way.

    Adam

    Comment by Adam on Alki — 12:11 pm December 11, 2007 #

  36. Bob Loblaw – I think I love you!

    Comment by JT — 12:32 pm December 11, 2007 #

  37. Nasty? I’m being nice right now.

    Comment by Jiggers — 12:44 pm December 11, 2007 #

  38. I enjoy seeing all of the opinions of my neighbors, especially in regards to religion. Both sides should be shown, as I think a lot of people enjoy reading the banter. This town is too PC and the anonymity of commenting actually allows people to say what they want. It’s refreshing!
    So in that respect, I’m sure if the kool-aid is spiked a bit more by the leaders at MH, then the money will come rolling in.

    Comment by m — 12:48 pm December 11, 2007 #

  39. oh my coffee geek- you should have put a warning before that link. “Don’t read if you’ve eaten within the last two hours.” I almost did barf!

    Comment by m — 12:57 pm December 11, 2007 #

  40. Mars Hill expanded too fast, mismanaged their money (i.e. the money their members donated mostly), and now they’re having to pay for that gross mismanagement.

    On a related note, many people think that Mars Hill is an intolerant, dangerous organized religion that manipulates the most vulnerable people (like many, but not all, organized religions do and always have).

    On a completely unrelated note (though seemingly used by the church to gain sympathy and monetary support), one of the leader’s wives is dying of cancer. That’s sad when it happens to anyone. But as many of you have pointed out, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the church mismanaged its money in its zeal to grow and grow and grow and grow… Perhaps Jesus is trying to teach them a valuable lesson!!

    Comment by Elizabeth — 2:08 pm December 11, 2007 #

  41. R.e. the supposedly hateful comments posted here: what you hear is a reaction to an exclusionary and hateful doctrine. That reaction may seem unpleasant to some, but I would argue that hate breeds hate and love, love.

    R.e Coffee Geek’s post: Note that it’s only men who are called to that so-called righteous pursuit, not women!

    Comment by Melissa — 2:19 pm December 11, 2007 #

  42. Melissa,

    Ahh, but you women ARE to still give them money! Don’t forget about that.

    /goes to a wonderful, intelligent church in West Seattle, who has and encourages women to be in leadership.

    Comment by Adam on Alki — 2:46 pm December 11, 2007 #

  43. Thank you, JT. If only WSB loved me as much …

    Comment by Bob Loblaw — 4:48 pm December 11, 2007 #

  44. Melissa – Exclusionary and hateful doctrine? Please explain yourself, if you will.

    I understand that some of you have a difference of opinion, and that we, as a human race, will never agree 100%, but MH doesn’t represent everyone who is a follower of Christ. They most certainly don’t exemplify Christ, but no one – not Christians or atheists or environmentalists or republicans or straight or gay – is perfect. No doubt that MH has stuck their foot in their mouth much too many times, and God will resolve the issue, but there are people in that congregation that do love and mean to do well. For as much as some of you give the impression that you wouldn’t tolerate them and their lifestyle and beliefs, they’d still extend love and help to you.

    “God said that it wasn’t required to give money to believe in in him.”

    “Organized religion is the evil that is..”

    What???

    Jiggers, tell me more, please. Where in scripture do you get that from? What has organized religion done in your eyes that you believe it to be evil? What personal experience leads you to be so narrow? Did God or religion create “Jiggers”???

    Comment by Praying Man-tis-i — 7:02 pm December 11, 2007 #

  45. I am stunned at the mean spirit of almost every comment I have read here and so tired of the constant mocking of Christians as a group. It’s not acceptable to single out any other group in our society. How many of you have ever even been to a MH event? They are full of everyday, ordinary people. FYI, I have never even seen an offering plate passed there and money is rarely mentioned.

    Comment by Sandy — 7:54 pm December 11, 2007 #

  46. Praying Man-tis-i, I’ve covered this before but will ask you to answer the following question. The only positive thing that organized reglion has given civilization are values/morals. Other than that, can you name one thing that religion has done to advance mankind or civilization?

    Once again read your bible….

    “Come unto the bretheren of Mars Hill and ye shall be divinely reincarnated the antithesis of the mass heathen Satan unto his daily bread”

    “Forgive us for trespassing in your BOA or WaMu account for those that have trespassed among us will be enlightened with the affinity of dinero”.

    Peace on you.

    Comment by The House — 8:02 pm December 11, 2007 #

  47. Being part of a community, no matter how it is organized, is a valuable addition to many people’s lives. Whether you attend church, synagog, temple, etc., it is a wonderful thing to be part of a gathering that gives you hope, faith, and a sense of joy. Those of us who do not participate in those gatherings should be ashamed if we don’t accept others who are. Christians are great people. They are generous, kind, loving, forgiving, and (for the most part) accepting.

    It is only when something like MHC pops up that the rest of us get defensive of the people we know and care for who are Christians. We fear for our neighbors that they will be harmed by falling victim to a money-hungry, empire-building business hiding under the name of a church.

    There are many, many churches in West Seattle with sincere commitments to community, love for all their neighbors, and the goal of providing a true place of worship and joy for all.

    I hope that eventually all Mars Hill Church members find such a place.

    Comment by Bob Loblaw — 9:15 pm December 11, 2007 #

  48. Dang, forgot to add this: Praying Man-tis-i, please review the portion of your post which states “nobody’s perfect.” How ’bout that Tom Brady, baby?!?!?

    Comment by Bob Loblaw — 9:30 pm December 11, 2007 #

  49. The Gospel (“Good News”) – Just so ‘ya know….

    There is one God who created everything (Heaven and Earth). That God is all powerful and is without sin.

    God created man who fell, by trying to be God (worshiping creation rather than creator). In other words, we create idols (house, car, vacation, family, job, intellect, etc.) that lead us away from God.

    Man is eternally separated from God in a state of rebellion. Man will die, permanently separated from the God of the Universe without a plan for salvation.

    God so loved the world that he created that he sent his own son (Jesus) into creation to take on our sin so that we may be reconciled to him.

    The Holy Spirit purpose is to convict us of our sin and to point us to Christ. By turning towards Jesus, God removes the sin the separates us from him.

    The Bible was divinely inspired by God to allow us to learn about Jesus and the perfect plan of redemption.

    If you doubt that God could do all such things, then your God is too small!

    The Christmas season would be a perfect time to turn from your current ways (if not a Christian), keeping your eyes on eternity, with a new life of meaning, living for the God of the Universe rather than yourself.

    Comment by DKW — 9:56 pm December 11, 2007 #

  50. Thanks for the inpiration DKW!

    BTW – For those who wrestle with questions about Christianity, MHC has new sermon series starting in January that may peek your interest.

    Here are the current topics as voted upon at http://askanything.marshillchurch.org/

    #1 What can traditional/established churches learn from “emerging” churches?

    #2 Do you believe that the Scripture not only regulates our theology but also our methodology? In other words, do you believe in the regulative principle? If so, to what degree? If not, why not?

    #3 How does a Christian date righteously; and what are the physical, emotional, and mentally connecting boundaries a Christian must set while developing an intimate relationship prior to marriage?

    #4 There’s no doubt the Bible says children are a blessing, but the Bible doesn’t seem to address the specific topic of birth control. Is this a black and white topic, or does it fall under liberties?

    #5 Pastor Mark, you have stated that you do not believe in “the rapture”. What are your beliefs surrounding issues of eschatology and the current, christian infatuation with the apocalypse?

    #6 Why do you make jokes about mormon missionaries, homosexuals, trenchcoats wearers, single men, vegans, emo kids and then expect these groups to come to know God in the same sermon?

    #7 Why does an all loving, all knowing, and all sovereign God will into creation people He foreknows will suffer eternal condemnation? Why does Romans 9:20 feel like a cop-out answer?

    #8 How should Christian men and women go about breaking free from the bondage of sexual sin?

    #9 Of all the things you teach, what parts of Christianity do you still wrestle with? What’s hardest for you to believe?

    Comment by DanW — 10:09 pm December 11, 2007 #

  51. I have cancer (dx at age 35 with breast cancer; currently no evidence of disease, still taking meds to fight it). It sucks. (How’s that for poetic? Nothing I’ve found about cancer is poetic, and “sucks” seems to about cover it.) My heart goes out to Jeanne; I know far too much about cancer to feel anything but pity for her. However, my thoughts about the Mars Hill post have nothing to do with her or cancer. I’m appalled at the financial mismanagement implied in the messages, and the comments in the original (deleted) post are highly offensive to me. I’ll live and let live, and I have nothing against the individuals of that congregation…but I want nothing to do with it myself.

    Comment by Kristina — 10:36 pm December 11, 2007 #

  52. Yes jeanne, peace be with you. In my late wife’s 6 year fight with breast cancer she had her ups and downs and definite pissed off moments about the whole thing. At least in the past 6 months of her life we both reached a peace with the inevitible and a closeness to one another up to the last minute. Personally, it’s the survivors that have it worse…it sucks to have a quiet house and no one to share moments with. I do remember the violence that was inflicted upon us by the well-meaning with their ‘miracle cures’ and ‘prayers’, whether they were new-age, christian, or buddhist.
    If you have someone in your life it’s best to cherish them because you never know when they’ll be gone.

    Comment by Erik — 11:04 pm December 11, 2007 #

  53. Erik, I couldn’t agree more with your last statement. Kristina, I’m so sorry you’re in the club that no one wants to be it. Yes, it sucks. Yes, I’ve had many people say prayers for me. If that helps them feel better, then, by all means, I’m fine with it. The people that I’m not fine with are the DKW’s of the world that feel that if I don’t believe as them, that I somehow need saving. How dare they think that they’re better than me in some way. I don’t have the need to force what I believe on them, and they should never assume anything about others not exactly like them.

    Again, as I first posted, hold your loved ones a little closer..make the best of every day that you have with them.

    Comment by Jan — 11:27 pm December 11, 2007 #

  54. Could you imagine trying to feed your family and pay your mortgage relying on the generosity and charity of others? There are a lot of people employed by churchs that do just that.

    The leadership of Mars Hill may have taken steps that look foolish to all ye West Seattleites, but these steps have been taken for you. To welcome and love community like Jesus would-it costs money. No church can help how it grows, there can be great teaching and programs, but it is God that brings people through the doors of a church. No matter what “bad financial decisions” were made, the fact remains that attendance is up 20% and giving is down 10%. So, a significant percentage of regular attending Mars Hill members and attendees have stopped giving. If your bills were waiting, wouldn’t you ask for prayer and continued financial faithfulness too?

    PS-We all have sin to repent of everyday. The elders asking for repentance doesn’t equate to damnation of anyone. Christ has paid the price for our sin-our salvation is secure. Now we should live like it.

    Comment by Think about it — 11:36 pm December 11, 2007 #

  55. I don’t understand why everyone is so upset? Is it because a church is being transparent in their need vs. hiding their financial issues. I applaud MH’s honesty.

    Comment by Jackson — 7:03 am December 12, 2007 #

  56. Ahhh….that human condition. It will pass for all of us..cherish today

    Comment by Rick — 7:39 am December 12, 2007 #

  57. They took those financial misssteps for little ol’ me? Oh, please. I have no problem with them asking for money; that’s what churches and charities do. I have a problem with the manipulative nature of the “ask” for the money.

    I don’t believe in the concept of sin and I’m certainly not “repenting” anything. I think sin was created centuries ago as a way for churches to control and shame others.

    I would gladly have a respectful, non-hateful conversation with anyone here who defends Mars Hill. Being a Christian doesn’t mean your beliefs are off-limits to any and all discussion. And I also disagree that hate breeds hate. It does so only if you let it.

    Comment by Kayleigh — 7:45 am December 12, 2007 #

  58. I love the #6 question. I’ve never been to Mars Hill, but can imagine their stance on homosexuality, as most fundamentalist Christian churches oppose it vehemently. Would MH have a problem taking a generous donation from an openly gay man or lesbian who wanted to attend their services? That’s the question of the day for me.

    Comment by m — 8:44 am December 12, 2007 #

  59. I don’t think that most people here are concerned that the church is asking their members for money. It is the nature of that request that is concerning. I do not believe that “repentence” is ncessary for a reduced gift to a church; I do not believe that it is “disobeying God” to reduce or eliminate gifts to a church. How on earth can a gift, or lack thereof, be an act of “disobeying God”?! And just for the record, I’ll state that I attend WSUU, and that I have gifted them amounts that I have been comfortable with. I’m not opposed to the growth of a church or gifts to a church, I’m opposed to the language and assumptions of the church’s pleas for money, and their guilting of parishoners into giving when they did not plan well.

    Comment by Kristina — 9:55 am December 12, 2007 #

  60. “To welcome and love community like Jesus would-it costs money.” I’m sorry for you that you can’t be nice without money. Perhaps if you were less concerned with the “size” of your congregation you could figure out some ways to volunteer for your community for free. I’m sure Jesus really needs Mark to live on Lake Washington too? Can’t be loving and welcoming unless your comfortable like Jesus was.

    Comment by JT — 10:58 am December 12, 2007 #

  61. Give money or you will “disobey god” LOL

    Comment by Jiggers — 11:26 am December 12, 2007 #

  62. HOUSE – Yes we have hashed this out before, and as you ask me again, I tell you to go back to the previous exchange we had. Which, by the way, you never addressed yourself. Give it up. You won’t ever prove your point or convince someone who truly believes in God in your view. And to say that “The only positive thing that organized reglion has given civilization are values/morals.” shows slight cluelessness on your part. Don’t get me wrong because it’s not about putting one another down, but even if that’s all it gave us, isn’t that a good start? It’s bad enough that not even those two things are enough to help A PORTION of our civilization. Not sure what you’re after, but you want me to quantify religion in your terms. Anyway, maybe this will satisfy your answer: religions help to bring us closer to God, and to live a Christ-like life, which includes the church – within that lifestyle is the answer you can’t seem to see for yourself. I love you, man, but I think you’re too smart for your own self.

    BOB LOBLAW – Tom Brady, eh? Okay, maybe in a football sense he’s close, but he’s still not undefeated lifetime. :-) “There are many, many churches in West Seattle with sincere commitments to community, love for all their neighbors, and the goal of providing a true place of worship and joy for all.” Agreed.

    Comment by Praying Man-tis-i — 1:10 pm December 12, 2007 #

  63. House, Praying Man-tis-i, et.al…..you disagree with each other. You believe what you believe, what works and is good for you. And it’s perfectly fine that you do that.The problem comes up when you want to convince the other person that they’re somehow wrong, and should believe as you do. What’s up with that? How dare you think your way is better for someone else? Just throwing that in there, as it seems that MHC constituents, and some others really do believe that it’s their place in life to do that…and it’s not.(IMHO, of course).

    Has anyone clicked on the link to the list of questions for Mark Driscoll from his parishioners and read the comments? If you haven’t, you should…like for question #9. I myself find the comments there scary, moronic…and the reverence that these people give to Pastor Mark quite unbelievable. But then, my personal feelings about the church guide those thoughts…but…give it a try…eye-opening…

    Comment by Jan — 3:20 pm December 12, 2007 #

  64. Kayleigh, I find it hard to think that anyone in our society could not believe in the concept of sin. There is so much evil in the world today, on a grand scale and also in the hearts of all of us, if we are being honest with ourselves. If you don’t believe in sin, then you must not believe in the existence of right and wrong. Anything is allowable. But every single civilization has this in common–a basic moral law. E.g. If you kill someone’s child, universally it is perceived as wrong the world over.

    Comment by Sandy — 9:30 pm December 12, 2007 #

  65. That reasoning is ridicules. Sin is a wrong against your god’s rules. Don’t believe in a god, you can’t possibly sin. Wrong and right is subjective. You have federal, state and local laws, cultural and societal rules. Different beliefs and practices in different countries. A wrong in your relationship might be perfectly acceptable in mine. I find it wrong that people are proselytizing in this blog. Does that make it sin or just annoying. “So much evil in this world” You religious people have been spouting that line since forever. It’s such an obsession. An attempt to create fear so we’ll think we need saving. Looking for some murder, rape, and mayhem, read your bible. Nothing has gotten worse. There’s just more people and faster communication. I wish some of you people would spend more time looking for and creating positive things in this world. Sin and evil. Don’t you ever get tired of dwelling on that.

    Comment by JT — 10:35 pm December 12, 2007 #

  66. Sandy, I’m going to ask you some serious questions. Do you really think I don’t believe in the existence of right and wrong? Because that would make me a sociopath, probably a criminal. You have, in essence, questioned my character, without even meeting me beyond a few ramblng posts on your computer screen. Is that Christian behavior to you?

    Do you really think the concept of right and wrong started with modern day biblical Christianity?

    Do you think that the *only* way to view right and wrong is your interpretation of the Bible?

    JT–great post.

    Comment by Kayleigh — 4:44 am December 13, 2007 #

  67. JAN – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. However, please understand that I’m not here to convince you or anyone else about my beliefs. I am not ignorant enough to believe I can do that. What I can do is offer a contrast to the many anti-religious, anti-church, anti-God comments as well as those offered up by some of my fellow Christians or other denomination, etc. It’s a right we share, correct?

    JT – It would be VERY uplifting to hear what you have found in the “time looking for and creating positive things in this world”. You, like others, cannot open up to the thought that perhaps there are Christians out there who don’t fit your mold. In that respect, you and the people you describe (dwelling on sin and evil) are missing the whole point all together. I’d ask you to get out there and meet different people, extend them the courtesy of your time, and get to know them. No, that probably woudln’t be enough to change your view, but you might at least develop a level of respect for them and see that not all Christians fit the same mold. It’s what I do when dealing with all types of individuals – from homeless / street people to crotchety old-fart, naggy and its-got-to-be-this-way Christians. It’s good to know you at least acknowledge the difference between right and wrong, by the way. In addition to that, I believe in accountability, even when no one’s looking.

    Comment by Praying Man-tis-i — 6:14 am December 13, 2007 #

  68. For those on here that aren’t Christians and are offended by Mars Hill’s post regarding giving…

    2 Corinthians 8 & 9 talks about Christians giving & meeting needs so that ministries could continue and grow. Churches like Mars Hill take church membership very seriously and expect their members to give. In Scripture, it isn’t an option, it’s a commandment. If you are a member of a church and not giving money, you are in sin. They’re not asking for non-Christians and non-members to give.

    For the record, I’m not a member of Mars Hill, and I’m nowhere close to Seattle. But, I’m a member of a church that expects its members to give. I hope this helps!

    Take care…

    Comment by Andrew — 7:34 pm December 16, 2007 #

  69. You’re still gonna die http://www.youtube.com
    All that is good is from religion
    All that is bad is religion
    Live with it

    Comment by Jim — 9:18 am December 17, 2007 #

  70. Posted on the Pastor’s Prayers List on Dec. 17th:

    http://voxpopnetwork.com/pastorsprayers

    Jeanne passed into eternity around 3:15 pm today. Please pray for them — that the family would find the Holy Spirit’s comfort in their grief.

    Comment by seek truth — 2:43 am December 20, 2007 #

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