Pastor Unexpectedly Quits Mars Hill Church


I'm not normally an edit hawk but you're in need of a read through.
Another: cherchez l'homme/la femme, or something?

(Protestants/evangelicals generally avoid the term "mass." Not important if, like me, you don't have any doctrinal concerns. Potayto, potahto.)
second sentence: "when took over"
Seriously, "Gaydos"?
He was praying to god to get out of Mars Hill?
@1 & 3) Done, thank you.
What are the odds he went to Denny's?
He may have just wanted to see the new location through the entire acquisition process. Churches benefit more than any other business from tax law when it comes to land grabs, and Mars Hill stands to make a nice long-term profit from this latest.
for the answer, one only need look to the root of all (organized religious) evil: money money money
God, that letter reads like it was written by someone with a mental illness. Do all evangelicals god-this and god-that and faith-decide this and for fuck's sake get called by God?
Interesting, though, that it doesn't sound like he's got a new gig lined up, per "God is calling Brittany and I to walk by faith and not by sight."
Brittany and ME. Brittany and ME. NOT Brittany and I. Jesus.
Coincidentally, through much prayer God has made it clear to me that He wants me to pour a delicious Trumer Pils and book a vacation to Nicaragua. Who am I to deny Him?
@11, maybe he's a Rastafarian now. "Jah is calling I and I to walk by faith and not by sight, mon".
Maybe he found religion.
Two other pastors resigned as well around the same time. Pastor Will (don't have last name) and Pastor Tim Beltz are also leaving.
MHC members were told this was because of church restructuring, but with the contracts I'm sure they all sign in order to keep them quiet, I don't know how much we'll know about what went down.

Looks like to me that the lead elders are jumping ship. It's rocking the newly moved campus o it's core.
Two other pastors resigned as well around the same time. Pastor Will (don't have last name) and Pastor Tim Beltz are also leaving.
MHC members were told this was because of church restructuring, but with the contracts I'm sure they all sign in order to keep them quiet, I don't know how much we'll know about what went down.

Looks like to me that the lead elders are jumping ship. It's rocking the newly moved campus o it's core.
Malcolm X found out that Elijah Mohammad was sleeping with underage girls and left the NOI. Maybe Gaydos found something out about Driscoll or someone else in leadership at MHC. Unlike Malcolm X, Gaydos might not have the courage required to publicly apostatize.

Given that apostasy ultimately cost Malcom X his life, Gaydos' fears may not be unjustified. Religious fanatics have performed the most horrifying acts of evil the world over, and there are so many of them a MHC and there are so few who would protect Gaydos if they could.
Dougsf dear, I don't know for sure, but I don't believe Mars Hill purchased the church building. I think they are sort of a placeholder until the lot next door gets developed.
In light of what #18 posted, I change my answer to "what #14 said, but also with meth."
@Dominic: Unless Mars Hill claims to be Catholic, they have services, not masses.

(Sikh Mosque v.2.0)

(I don't disagree with the substance, but every time youse guys post something like this, you diminish your credibility. Want to be taken seriously? Pay attention to the details of what you're talking about...or be consigned to the pit of "Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare.")
Dougsf, This could be true, but I think the issue is more obvious: Power.
M.D. Is slowly taking up all the spotlight and power (see the 2007 change in the membership contract and kerfuffle that followed)making it so lead pastors in the satellite locations preach less and less. Any disagreement with this "vision" and it gets ugly. Tim has said some dumb things, but overall he is a genuinely nice guy, and most likely does not agree with the amount of preaching Mark Driscoll is allocating to himself.
This is just a guess though.
This is an organization that preaches that women and gay people are subhuman and ferries its great leader in a private helicopter, do you think they'd care about a secret gay or underage sex scandal among its leaders? He must have done something truly awful, like tell men not to rape or said tithing only 10% is okay.
White Night! White Night!
Catalina, you are quite right. Mars Hill is just a tenant in the building on Fifth.
@22: Not true. For example, Episcopalians call their services mass.
@24. Are you sure you aren't thinking of Christian Faith Center, and Casey Treat? I haven't heard about Driscoll getting around by private helicopter.

I wouldn't get too excited about this. There's nothing unusual or suspicious about his message, when compared to the hundreds of similar statements I've seen from Christians over the years, that didn't involve any type of scandal or deeper discontent.
Thanks for the update. Mars Hill gossip is one of my guilty pleasures.
@22/27: "Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is commonly called in the Roman Catholic Church, Western Rite Orthodox churches and many Old Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches... In general, Protestants avoid the term "Mass" and use such terms as Divine Service or service of worship, for doctrinal reasons.…
Re: 30, Anglicans = Episcopalians (U.S.), "Worldwide Anglican Communion"
These types of evangelical protestants don't use the words "parish" or "mass".
@hannacrackers - what you said makes sense and is probably the most likely situation, but for the record, i DID change my answer to "gay sex scandal and also meth."

@30 I thought Episcopalians = Church of England, but American, unless I'm responding to the wrong point.

real wishes
Can't believe that The Stranger resorts to insults. I'm disappointed I thought you guys were better than that.
Plus 4 paragraphs do not an article make, heck the quote's what 40% of the article? Common you can't call that good journalism, especially considering that The Stranger's running an article about bad journalism in their segment: The Monday Morning News (…)
Mark Driscoll has gained a lot of weight.
First thing I have know Tim for over 15 years and nothing could be further from the truth.

2nd. You are calling people to be tolerant towards the homosexual community. Should that also apply to Mark Driscoll and people who you call the bigoted assholes who attended his masses?

3rd Wether you like it or not we all submit to authority.
Mark Driscoll also claims anyone who believes in free will is a humanist after he said he thought Arminians are Christians. He denied saying other churches believe in a "queer Jesus" even when he said it on tape.
There is so much wrong with this article from the content to the grammar. The writer obviously knows nothing about Christianity or Mars Hill Church. All of the negativity he portrays is completely misrepresented. I have been a member at Mars Hill for 4 years and have witnessed none of these things. We are just a Bible based church and believe the Bible is written by God (the same thing any Christian believes). We don't add anything to the Bible and we do not take anything away. To say my church is a cult is laughable. We have well known Christian pastors from all over the country from many different Christian churches preach at our church all the time. No one is shunned or locked in closets if they are bad. We also don't hate gays and women are not subservient to anyone. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. This is just a ploy for a non-Christian writer to lie and try to turn people away from their beliefs and to his own. Bad journalism if you ask me.
If you are skeptical, try attending a few sermons and make an opinion for yourself, not by reading an short article from an ignorant write.
...Um, in response to #39, I go to Mars Hill as well, and here are a couple of things:

1) There have been a few people who have been shunned (not that I necessarily agree with it...don't know a lot of the details).

2) I don't know if gay people can be members of the church or not. I personally don't know what the official policy is. However, a very good gay friend of mine also attends Mars Hill and goes to community group and so far, has nothing but great things to say about it. He is also very openly gay so everyone is aware that he is gay.

3) I can see where the "cult" insinuation has some traction.

a) First, the name of the church just sounds weird and Driscoll has admitted the name of the church is something he would change if he could go back in time. It's not much better than "Heaven's Gate".

b) Second, though, much more ominously, Driscoll does seem to have an inordinate amount of influence and control. Many pastors have left and I'm not sure why they left but it troubles me. In some ways, it would seem if the name of the church were to going to be changed, an appropriate new name would be something like "Church Driscoll".

i) Francis Chan, rightly or wrongly, left the church he founded because he felt that his celebrity and influence had grown too large within his church. He said that he heard his own name more than he heard "Holy Spirit" ( So, he left. He truly seems to strive after a Spirit-led church. Driscoll? I'm beginning to seriously wonder. While he says, "It's all about Jesus", his actions and the tone of the church are, for me, introducing some reservations about where his heart really is.

4) The author of this article definitely wrote with a serious bias and did, it seems, pretty much turn the Mars Hill he was attacking into a scarecrow of his own creation. In other words, he didn't attack the real Mars Hill. Instead, he took some things he knew about Mars Hill and twisted and turned those things into something more extreme and gross than reality to enable him to attack his newly created "scarecrow" with much more ease than the real thing.

5) Another thing that makes me wonder about Driscoll and Mars Hill is something I don't know if anyone else at Mars Hill noticed, but, to me was pretty weird. It's one of those things that's small but makes you wonder. Here's the deal: we all know Driscoll is full of funny, cutesy little anecdotes.

a) In the summer of 2012, in a sermon (, Driscoll tells a story about being in a Starbucks and some guy is sitting there cleaning his toenails. Driscoll saves the day by publicly shaming him. Har! Har! Ha. Fine. Humorous story. I chuckled a little.

i) BTW, if you go to the link, pull up the transcript and then do a word search (Ctrl-F or Command-F) for "Starbucks" and it'll take you to the section of the sermon I'm referencing.

b) Fast-forward a year to this past summer. In another sermon (, Driscoll tells a nearly identical story about being in a Starbucks and some girl is sitting there clipping her toenails. Driscoll saves the day (again) by publicly shaming her. Har! Har! Ha. But wait. What are the chances of something so ridiculously odd happening twice like that?

i) I mean...I'm in Starbucks all the time and I've never seen anything like that. Maybe Driscoll hangs out at weirder Starbucks than I do. It's possible. But if it did really happen twice to him, wouldn't it be worth a mention in the second sermon to say something like, "I know this is too weird, but lightning sometimes strikes twice..."?

ii) So, it makes me wonder, seriously, whether or not he just made one or both of these stories up. If he did make them up, isn't that just really odd? Or arrogant? Or lazy? Why lie about something so lame? If he was making one or both of those stories up (aka, lying), then what else might he be making up? It definitely impacts his credibility with me.

6) Also, why doesn't Driscoll publish his income? We give money to the church. He leads the church. How much is going to the church and how much to him? Why should that be a secret? I've also heard rumor, though I haven't seen it in writing, that part of Driscoll's speaking engagement contract requires that he fly first class wherever he's going. If that's true, to me, that doesn't really agree with what I know about Christianity.

a) We don't read much about the luxury travel accommodations of Peter, Paul, or the apostles in the Bible as they made their missionary journeys. To the contrary, the Bible, in Luke 9:3 says, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics." Flying first class doesn't really seem like it agrees with the spirit of Jesus' instructions here.

b) Couldn't the money saved between buying an economy ticket and a first class ticket be put to better use helping the poor, the sick, or the lonely or doing other good for the church versus allowing Mark Driscoll to jet-set in style eating off of fine china at 35,000 ft and getting comfy in his lie-flat bed while the dregs back in coach "suffer" for their lack of funding?

i) A quick check of the difference in fares between economy and first class shows how much money we're talking about. Seattle to Boston next month: more than a $1000 difference in roundtrip air fare. Seattle to London-Heathrow also next month: more than a $6000 difference in roundtrip air fare. That's a lot of money.
Unfortunately there are far too many people to count that trash talk great biblically based, sound- doctrine churches throughout the US. Mars Hill is one of them. I do not attend MHC anymore since i relocated a few years back but i have since experienced several other churches across the US and i can assure everyone that no church is perfect but MHC is among the best out there. Their doctrine is sound, straight from the bible. No gender or sexual preference is discriminated against. That doesn't mean the church doesnt point out that homosexuality is forbidden in the bible, or that women are to submit to their husbands in a way that glorifies God. Most of the time spent at MHC in regards to discussing sin has much to do about idolism, pride, rebellion, without calling out a specifc group or gender. If anyone spent time fully participating in Mars Hill Church, not gossiping with friends, not listening to a couple podcasts, but fully participating, they would see a church that has no cult like qualities but a message straight from the bible.
@39: First, the author doesn't scrutinize the tenets of Christianity, so we can do away with that silly bit. Second, there are many, many churches in the Seattle area, but rarely do any come under fire like Mars Hill - why do you think that is? Either this is an orchestrated effort by god-hating secularists to bring down the largest church in the region in order to curb the spread of christianity OR there is actually something reprehensible about what Driscoll preaches.

Search the internet for the many gems of bigotry Driscoll is guilty of spewing, it won't take long, I promise. You will also realize it isn't only Seattle-based writers or organizations doing the criticizing (and neither is it "non-christians," as you wrongly assume).

To your point about MHC being "Bible based," what does that even mean? All Christian churches are "bible based" (christian holy book as ultimate authority for faith and life) - the westboro baptist church is "bible based." The Roman Catholic & Orthodox Churches are "bible based" (long before the Protestants came along and "took away" a few books from the bible). Who gives a shit if Mars Hill is also "bible based?" It's a meaningless catchphrase invented to lend credibility to money-hungry mega churches. What matters is the way Driscoll has interpreted the scriptures and maintains his version is absolute, and if you dare question it, you are being disobedient. See where the similarities to cult leaders begin to emerge?

While nobody claimed that members had ever been locked into closets for "being bad," the same cannot be said for members being shunned:…

Of course women aren't "made" to be subservient to anyone, nobody is forced to do anything they don't want to. But we know that with enough indoctrination, even the strongest willed individual can be gently coerced into doing anything. At Mars Hill, women are trained to be submissive - not sure how you haven't noticed any of this, but it's a fact - for example:…
(in marriage "when decisions are made, [the woman] respects the leadership of her husband." In other words, she isn't the one making decisions and better be okay with it, I know another name for this...)… (pay attention to the language he uses to describe a "godly" woman - notice that none of these are leadership traits. )…
(more of the same... patronizing sexism packaged as "marriage issues." right.....)…
(no leeway for married couples where "roles" are reversed)

See where people outside of his church can construe this as patronizing and sexist (which it certainly is)? As if women can't be effective leaders over men.

I'm not even going to touch the issue of homosexuality - if you can't find anything about Mark Driscoll's stance on this, then you are being ignorant.

and FYI, the author was reporting on a single event in the church, he never once made an argument for an alternative belief system.
Wow, Holden... This article is full of prejudice and vitriol. The intolerance and judgement put forth by those who claim to champion tolerance is completely hypocritical. I assume you stand for tolerance? Just not for Christians? Maybe you should attend the church's Sunday service with an open heart for six months before you write such negative things? That way you might actually have some legitimate knowledge of what you're trying to write about? But then it's clear that you're not wanting to write an article with any credible standard of accuracy. Yours is simply a smear piece.
I was blown away by this news.... Tim Gaydos was a great pastor over there. His goal was to bring the church into the city... With by actually going out and doing community clean ups, and had lunches with the homeless and there was also a ministry for those in prostitution to get clean. Going to those who don't actually know about Jesus. I have been in and out of Mars Hill for awhile, the teachings are great, but it is missing that aspect of going into the community and serving the city. It just seems very cliquish, if you don't fit a certain background. You are excluded.