1) Author and longtime Mars Hill Pastor, Mike Wilkerson, resigns.
News from Mars Hill’s The City via Pastor Scott Harris:
“From Pastor Scott Harris:
Mars Hill Family,
One of our long time friends and pastors, Mike Wilkerson, has decided to step down from eldership at Mars Hill.
Mike has been a part of Mars Hill for many years, and we are grateful for his leadership, particularly in helping us build our biblical counseling and Redemption ministries across all 15 churches. We love Mike and wish him well as he will continue to run The Redemption Group Network which exists to help churches develop their own Redemption Groups ministries.
In the meantime, Pastor Cliff Ellis from Mars Hill Church West Seattle will be assuming Mike’s responsibilities over Biblical Living ministries.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of praying over Mike and for his family at the 7pm service in Ballard. Since he just got back from Latvia and plans to move out of state this coming Saturday, this was the only time we had to do it but are thankful we got the opportunity. Please join me in praying for the Wilkersons as they pursue what God has planned next for them.
Wilkerson has apparently resigned on his own accord via a facebook message posted on his wall (https://www.facebook.com/notes/mike-wilkerson/to-our-friends-at-mars-hill-church/10151994118576813). He joins quite a succession of former Mars Hill leaders who have left the church especially since 2011. One may even call the massive exiting of leaders at Mars Hill a legacy.
Wilkerson is the author of “Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols we Worship and the Wounds We Carry” and is credited with being a heavy developmental influence on Mars Hills Redemption (counseling) groups.
More information on Wilkerson: http://www.amazon.com/Mike-Wilkerson/e/B003XMG87Q
2) Wenatchee the Hatchet posts again on robot.txt and Mars Hill erasing of an epic amount of content.
“…Mars Hill seems to have introduced robots.txt to marshill.com so that not even The WayBack Machine can be used to get to some stuff. It’s curious that both theresurgence.com and marshill.com have now introduced robots.txt to limit WayBack Machine crawls. Wenatchee The Hatchet has been noting over the last month or so that Mars Hill Church purged all the sermon content prior to the 2008 Doctrine series and that Mars Hill also purged the 1 & 2 Peter sermon materials, too. Additionally, Mars Hill Church purged 2008 Peasant Princess material which, alert readers may recall, was material that was considered to have handled the Song of Solomon in a better way than the retracted 2007 Scotland sermon that came under criticism from John MacArthur.”
According to all reports, Mars Hill has been on a rampage to delete old content and Driscoll sermons from its own website. They are also making the process incredibly difficult to search for old material. This all raises very important questions such as: why do this? Is Driscoll ashamed of his old messages? Why does he not want people to see or read what has been preached or blogged about in the past? Is there something to hide?
For as much ire and frustration as the blogger at Wenatchee the Hatchet causes Mars Hill leadership, all he mostly ever does is quote from Mars Hill’s own sources pointing out contradictions and failing logic.
3) More evidence of an “independent” board member financially benefiting from Mars Hill.
Paul Tripp, as previously noted, serves on the Mars Hill Board of Accountability. The narrative surrounding his service is that he is an independent member from Mars Hill who helps to hold the senior leadership of the church to account. Now, there is even more evidence to suggest a financial reciprocity between Mars Hill Church and Paul Tripp which calls into question whether Board members are actually “independent” as we have been told they are.
This week, a message on The City from Huntington Beach (formerly the OC) Campus Pastor Matt Wallace appeared:
“From Pastor Matt Wallace:
Hey, church family!
I want you to know about an exciting opportunity coming June 13 & 14, 2014.
Mars Hill HB is partnering with a few other churches to host Dr. Paul Tripp’s marriage event: What Did You Expect?
We have reserved a limited amount of tickets, so availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
To buy tickets, go to the event page. Under “quantity” of tickets, there is a blue link for “promotional code.” Click that and enter the code for Mars Hill Church, so that the tickets are counted toward our allotment. Here is our unique promotional code: MarsHill.
Personally, the ministry of Dr. Tripp has greatly influenced my own life. We also train community group leaders with materials from Dr. Tripp. I am excited to see the impact of this event upon our church family and fellow churches here in Orange County.
This is not to disparage Mr. Tripp but goes to show that there is a significant financial benefit for him in being tied to Mars Hill as he sits on the Board. Of course, this raises questions about whether he is truly “independent” as a good deal of his livelihood is tied to Driscoll’s ministry.
4) Mark Driscoll appears on James Robison’s show to promote his book “A Call to Resurgence”.
Driscoll’s apology letter released on Mars Hill’s The City indicated he would be doing very few media appearances going forward. On April 29th, he appeared on James Robison’s show. The interview involved softball questions and only vague mentions of recent scandals. The intent of the interview seemed to be aiding Driscoll in the promotion of his newest book.
5) Former Pastor Kyle Firstenberg responds to allegedly being called a “liar” by senior Mars Hill leadership.
Firstenberg provided emails and evidence that would shed light on the Orange County Mars Hill campus fiasco involving claims of religious persecution from Driscoll. Allegedly, he is now being passed off in the church as a “liar”. Keep in mind that Sutton Turner, in an email response to questions at the vision breakfast, indicated he was going to privately reach out and reconcile with Firstenberg.
Has this happened yet? Anyone have any word on whether Sutton Turner has contacted Firstenberg to reconcile?
6) Former member Rob Smith revisits the trial of shunned former pastor Paul Petry.
Smith discusses the alleged charges against Petry which got him fired from his pastor position and removed from the church. He compares those past allegations with the current allegations against Driscoll on his blog.
7) Older news but a website, which includes founding former Mars Hill Pastor Lief Moi, goes up apologizing for hurts caused by Mars Hill.
Here is the website: http://repentantpastor.com/