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Author Topic: Faithwalkers 2011  (Read 48242 times)
Badger
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2018, 12:32:37 pm »

Mark also indicated that he could ask questions like, what would you give to be a virgin again, because of God.  He justified all of his actions (staying up late talking to young women over the phone, handing out his business card to young women, etc.) with he was leading people to Jesus. 


From listening to many of his messages it seems like people to Mark = women>>men.  Maybe I have a non-random sample of his messages, perhaps he just doesn't talk about all the men he hands his business card to and counsels them over the phone or in his basement, or perhaps it is mostly women he targets in this way.
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2018, 01:47:05 pm »

Seems like Mark Darling's MO in these kinds of situations is, "I'm you pastor. You don't need to be afraid to tell me anything. Tell me more. I can help you, tell me more." Instead of, "Let me connect you to a wise older woman/counselor who can help you through this struggle."

In my church, in the counseling department which I am familiar with, they do not do counseling of a man with a woman. In fact, my husband and I needed counseling for something unrelated to marriage, but the guy who met with us insisted that his wife be with him because otherwise it would be unfair for me to have no one there who could understand the situation from a woman's point of view.

I don't think you can be too careful in that arena, women counseling women. Especially in the area of body image or sexuality. And if this is approved in a church, it should be done in a business-like way, not private, hours on the phone kind of stuff.

I wonder how many women have been pulled in to Mark's counseling with the idea that you can become a virgin again. That is not possible. We can become a new creature, washed and cleansed of our sin by the blood of Jesus, but we cannot undo consequences of our sin. Can't change the definition of that word. Did Mark make this up, or is this some teaching that is popular out there? Not in the Bible, anyway. That would be like saying that if you had a criminal record, like murder, it was erased at salvation. A judge isn't going to go for that.

 

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Linda
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« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2018, 02:39:40 pm »

Quote from: GodisFaithful
I wonder how many women have been pulled in to Mark's counseling with the idea that you can become a virgin again. That is not possible.

I listened to the message. So many red flags.

No, unless you redefine "virgin" you cannot become a virgin again.

Later, he seems to teach that once you are saved, you no longer need to repent of any sin you may commit. Even seems to suggest that would be wrong.

So, here is a theory. Under the "you are now a virgin because your sins are forgiven" theology, would it follow that a person could possibly be of the mind that they don't have to admit to anything they ever did that was wrong once they are a Christian? Like, say, for example, sexual abuse? If in some convoluted way a promiscuous person who gets saved is allowed to tell her future spouse she is a virgin, would it follow a pastor who sexually abused someone could say he didn't?
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« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2018, 03:40:50 pm »

I do think some people become bogged down by shame and never truly understand their identity in Christ.  Some people tend to live in condemnation, and then others tend to live in irreverence.  If this woman struggled with eating disorders, I would say she internalizes shame and harms herself because of it.  So I think focusing on the mercy and forgiveness of God at this point in her faith journey is not inappropriate.

I can't believe Mark made so many jokes about her language (like ha ha, she wasn't refined like the rest of us).  He spoke of her in possessive terms "You're mine." I think his level of involvement in her life was inappropriate.  A male pastor can play a supportive role in a parishioner's life, but not becoming her father figure.

I didn't listen past the point of him feeling like Jesus because I had enough of the "savior complex" by him talking about this person as if he saved her himself.  Like other teachings of his, I feel like I left thinking about him more than Jesus.  I've only listened to a few, but he throws out numbers a lot--Sally was the most broken person he's met (I mean, is that really a title you would give a vulnerable person you cared about?) but since then he's met "hundreds, thousands" more.  Look at me, I'm such a compassionate person who is trusted by the broken. 
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« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2018, 08:04:49 pm »

I do think some people become bogged down by shame and never truly understand their identity in Christ.  Some people tend to live in condemnation, and then others tend to live in irreverence.  If this woman struggled with eating disorders, I would say she internalizes shame and harms herself because of it.  So I think focusing on the mercy and forgiveness of God at this point in her faith journey is not inappropriate.

I find myself agreeing with this. Thanks for your insight, Rebel.
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« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2018, 07:01:29 am »

Quote from: GodisFaithful
I wonder how many women have been pulled in to Mark's counseling with the idea that you can become a virgin again. That is not possible.

I listened to the message. So many red flags.

No, unless you redefine "virgin" you cannot become a virgin again.

Later, he seems to teach that once you are saved, you no longer need to repent of any sin you may commit. Even seems to suggest that would be wrong.

So, here is a theory. Under the "you are now a virgin because your sins are forgiven" theology, would it follow that a person could possibly be of the mind that they don't have to admit to anything they ever did that was wrong once they are a Christian? Like, say, for example, sexual abuse? If in some convoluted way a promiscuous person who gets saved is allowed to tell her future spouse she is a virgin, would it follow a pastor who sexually abused someone could say he didn't?

Perhaps Mark was simply teaching in a spiritual sense similar to Jesus when he talked about eating his flesh and drinking his blood and being born again. Some of his hearers thought we was talking about the literal physical aspect rather than the spiritual. The cleansing blood of Jesus can bring about healing and a newness not unlike a spiritual virginity. How is focusing on the healing power of Christ inappropriate? Please explain.
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Linda
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« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2018, 07:31:24 am »

Did you listen to the message?
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« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2018, 08:07:03 am »

In Mark's defense, he did say "feel like a virgin again." And unless the woman in this story claims otherwise, I think it is fair to give Mark the benefit of the doubt he asked to share the story. It would be her job to confront him at this point if not, not ours.

However, those are the only defenses I can give. The rest of that message presents so many red flags and theological inaccuracies! They have been pointed out already, so I don't see any need to rehash that. I would say Mark is not qualified to treat or minister to a young single woman who struggles with severe sexual issues. Based only on what I hear in the message (yes, I listened to the whole thing, and parts twice), his relationship with this woman crosses the line into inappropriate territory. It should not be held up as a shining example of what to do as a "representative of Christ." She should have been referred to professional help from a trained woman counselor. There is no explanation anyone could provide or extenuating cirmucstances I could learn that would convince me otherwise.

Also, that young woman was absolutely justified in being mad the roommates "tattled" on her. If they were worried about her safety, call the police. Otherwise, staying out late is her choice to make as an adult, and telling Mark about it should also have been her choice. Another example of inconsistencies of when it is considered "ok" to share information about people with others. Seems information shared with the leaders = loving, good, your responsibility as a "sister." Information shared about the leaders = slander, gossip, bad. This is controlling and manipulative, not loving.
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Linda
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« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2018, 08:14:37 am »

Quote
In Mark's defense, he did say "feel like a virgin again." And unless the woman in this story claims otherwise, I think it is fair to give Mark the benefit of the doubt he asked to share the story. It would be her job to confront him at this point if not, not ours.

I was thinking about a "spiritual" new creature thing when he first said that, but I listened to the entire thing and later he left off the "feel" part as I recall. Or, left it vague. Also, the reason you repent is not to "feel like a virgin again", it is because you realize that your sins have separated you from God.

Also, the proper response to sin is "You are forgiven, go and sin no more," it is not, "Forget about it."

And then the concept that once you are saved you don't need to confess your sins is taught at the end. They truly believe this.
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« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2018, 08:21:11 am »

DLM: If you listen to the "teaching", Mark did not say "spiritual virginity" (which is also something that I do not see in Scripture but you might want to enlighten me.) In order for this discussion about virginity to take place must mean that this girl is unloading to him her guilt and shame about the extent of her promiscuity.

So Mark gives her this false promise about if she comes to Jesus she can be a virgin again. (Or feel like it?) In the Bible, it is clear that a virgin is a virgin. It is one of the reasons why Mary was chosen as the mother of Jesus. Yes, in Jesus there is cleansing when we confess our sins and come to him, the wonderful promise of cleansing and forgiveness. Jesus made a big deal about his being able to forgive sins and aren't we all, as believers, so eternally thankful and grateful for that. Even when we mess up after we know better. Let's take the sin of adultery. When a spouse is caught in adultery, if the marriage survives, it can take years to rebuild trust and there are scars, even though forgiveness by the spouse and by God are possible. But the consequences can be very grave. You can't just rewind and say it didn't happen.

Mark, by his own account in many of his "teachings", is compassionate. He has people say, "Mark, you are the most compassionate man I know." And then he tells about it from the stage, and says he is so humbled and that he did not used to be that way and that God changed him. I think it is false humility or he would not have to tell about it.

I think Mark's "compassion" for women has gotten him into a ton of trouble, that to this day he may be deluded into thinking it was somehow from a heart of gold. His "compassion" has ended up, in certain cases, to be a cover for delving into the sexual lives of women (which is extremely inappropriate for a pastor), has led him to spend hours on the phone with women discussing their problems, has led him to spend hours alone with women that he is attracted to and wants to spend time with alone, has led him to get certain women completely dependent on his favor, has gotten him hooked on needing the affirmation of women in a way that only should belong to his wife.

What if Mark is told not to ever counsel women again? Could he function? And what if he needs help to change in this area? Supposedly he agreed to this only to end up telling Mark Bowen, "I don't need help." He thinks he is just fine and super "compassionate" the way he is. It seems that no one tells Mark Darling what to do/not to do. And I do believe there is evidence that there is a pecking order among the pastors at Evergreen, and Mark has positioned himself at the top. After all, he is one of the founders of Evergreen.

And as to "compassion", there are times that I see where Mark is severely not compassionate. And it has to do with his "bride", his church. He has been involved in excommunications for "slander" and such. He has told people to leave his church rather than try to change anything. He has told people in his church who are wholeheartedly committed to stay away from other people in his church who are not so much. He told a false story about Scout and John when they left, and told people not to talk to their family members.

So, defenders of Mark Darling, saying he could not possibly be guilty of the allegations of so far three women who have come forward, say that this just could not be true. But I look at this so called "compassionate" side of Mark Darling, and I say it very well could all be true.

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Huldah
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« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2018, 09:18:48 am »

Regarding "be a virgin" vs. "feel like a virgin," I heard it both ways at different points of the narration. It starts with: "So I said, 'Can I ask you a question?' She said. 'Well, blank yeah.' And I took a deep breath because I knew this was gonna take a lot of courage for me to ask but I was, I just wanted so desperately for her to come to Christ. I said, 'What would you give to feel like a virgin again?'" (9:20). A minute later, it was, "Well, let me tell you about Jesus Christ. Let me explain to you the real gospel... Let me explain the good news of how Christ can transform your life and make you a brand new person. Brand new! The old person goes away, and I call it the new creature covenant, and God makes you brand new and all things become new. Not only can you get your virginity back but God changes you from the inside out." (10:17)

But to me that's not even the main point. Two things that stand out from this tape for me. The first is that Mark was discussing, at length, intimate topics with a woman whose background of abuse had left her unable to set healthy boundaries with him. The second is that Mark appeared to be welcoming a degree of love, gratitude, and devotion that are due only to God.
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« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2018, 09:54:22 am »

Quote
and God makes you brand new and all things become new. Not only can you get your virginity back but God changes you from the inside out." (10:17)

Thanks for listening again and finding the quote, Huldah. I couldn't bring myself to listen again.

Quote from: Huldah
But to me that's not even the main point. Two things that stand out from this tape for me. The first is that Mark was discussing, at length, intimate topics with a woman whose background of abuse had left her unable to set healthy boundaries with him. The second is that Mark appeared to be welcoming a degree of love, gratitude, and devotion that are due only to God.

Agreed. Mark should not be discussing intimate topics with women. Alone. On the phone. In person. In the middle of the night. In the middle of the day. Anytime. Anyplace. It doesn't surprise me that his defenders are blind to this, though.

Also, he even tells her,  "You're God's little girl. And you're mine." No, Mark, is not her "father." Matthew 23 speaks to that.
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« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2018, 10:26:48 am »

Half the people here are focusing on Mark's good intent and the good overall premise of the message. Half are focused on the precise words and implications of the message itself. Discussing two different things and then wondering why there are two different conclusions... I think the intent and the actual words are both important, but the actual words are more critical. Good intent is not enough.

I personally have little doubt Mark has good intentions with this message. And I think the premise is good, if we can all agree the premise was "live in grace and not in guilt." Many Christians do need to hear that.

But despite all of that, this message is built on inappropriate interactions and unwise practices, as well as a very shaky understanding of the theology being discussed (and remarkably little discussion or quoting of God's actual words). I don't think Mark is intentionally teaching anything outright unbiblical, but there are errors nonetheless. Errors that come from a shallow understanding of the Bible and theology (primarily due to lack of any formal theological training). Errors that lead listeners to unbiblical conclusions, intended or not. Error that need to be corrected, intended or not.

Most of the errors are very subtle on first listen. But I think subtle errors regarding God's Word are the most dangerous kind. And I absolutely do mean dangerous. They should not be glossed over or excused "because the main point is good or the "context" is good. These errors are still a problem, even if the intentions are good.
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« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2018, 10:28:03 am »

You're welcome, Linda.

And just in case anyone reading this fails to get the main point, this thread was revived in order to demonstrate a pattern of Mark having conversations about sexual topics with his followers, especially women. This indirectly supports the allegations made by Suzanne and other unnamed victims. (Please note that I said supports, not proves.)

There's one further thing that shouldn't be overlooked. When a pastor incorporates these anecdotes into his sermons on a repeated basis, his parishioners may start to accept these dubiously appropriate conversations as a normal part of pastoring. In a sense, it would be like grooming his whole church to see the abnormal and inappropriate as normal and expected. I can see how this might, in theory, have pre-disposed Scout and others to go along with conversations that should have set off alarm bells in any other circumstance.
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« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2018, 10:34:12 am »

Half the people here are focusing on Mark's good intent and the good overall premise of the message. Half are focused on the precise words and implications of the message itself. Discussing two different things and then wondering why there are two different conclusions... I think the intent and the actual words are both important, but the actual words are more critical. Good intent is not enough.

I personally have little doubt Mark has good intentions with this message. And I think the premise is good, if we can all agree the premise was "live in grace and not in guilt." Many Christians do need to hear that.

But despite all of that, this message is built on inappropriate interactions and unwise practices, as well as a very shaky understanding of the theology being discussed (and remarkably little discussion or quoting of God's actual words). I don't think Mark is intentionally teaching anything outright unbiblical, but there are errors nonetheless. Errors that come from a shallow understanding of the Bible and theology (primarily due to lack of any formal theological training). Errors that lead listeners to unbiblical conclusions, intended or not. Error that need to be corrected, intended or not.

Most of the errors are very subtle on first listen. But I think subtle errors regarding God's Word are the most dangerous kind. And I absolutely do mean dangerous. They should not be glossed over or excused "because the main point is good or the "context" is good. These errors are still a problem, even if the intentions are good.

Just as people can take scripture out of context and change the meaning, so are people with MD's message.  Plain and simple.  Mark discusses the bible quite a bit in the 2nd half of the message.  I would appreciate if someone could go through this entire message and test it against scripture, all of it, and post it here.  Is someone willing??  I can't be me because my opinion is not valued.  I can tell you what the implication of the message was....people understanding grace.  I am 100% certain that young adults did not leave that message thinking that if they have premartial sex, that God can make them whole again, to the point that they would never even need to be honest about it with their future spouse, and MD is Jesus, and we don't need to worry about sinning. 
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« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2018, 10:56:07 am »

You're welcome, Linda.

And just in case anyone reading this fails to get the main point, this thread was revived in order to demonstrate a pattern of Mark having conversations about sexual topics with his followers, especially women. This indirectly supports the allegations made by Suzanne and other unnamed victims. (Please note that I said supports, not proves.)

There's one further thing that shouldn't be overlooked. When a pastor incorporates these anecdotes into his sermons on a repeated basis, his parishioners may start to accept these dubiously appropriate conversations as a normal part of pastoring. In a sense, it would be like grooming his whole church to see the abnormal and inappropriate as normal and expected. I can see how this might, in theory, have pre-disposed Scout and others to go along with conversations that should have set off alarm bells in any other circumstance.

So what do you propose is a solution?  I don't mean this to be insulting but I believe you are older (60+??). Do you realize what society has done to sex, and the impact of it in young people's lives???  It is everywhere.  It is  the biggest sin issue in the world.  Pornography, advertising, movies.  Everything in our society and the world tells young people that what God says about sex is wrong.  Yet sex ruins people's lives, and a pastor is not supposed to counsel people, and share what God says about sex?? 
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« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2018, 10:57:52 am »

Quote from: Huldah
There's one further thing that shouldn't be overlooked. When a pastor incorporates these anecdotes into his sermons on a repeated basis, his parishioners may start to accept these dubiously appropriate conversations as a normal part of pastoring. In a sense, it would be like grooming his whole church to see the abnormal and inappropriate as normal and expected. I can see how this might, in theory, have pre-disposed Scout and others to go along with conversations that should have set off alarm bells in any other circumstance.

Agreed. Abnormal things that are done often enough begin to seem “normal”.

I think most looking in from the outside understand that it is inappropriate for a pastor to talk alone with a woman about intimate things and late night phone calls are also inappropriate.
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« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2018, 11:08:03 am »

Quote from: Huldah
There's one further thing that shouldn't be overlooked. When a pastor incorporates these anecdotes into his sermons on a repeated basis, his parishioners may start to accept these dubiously appropriate conversations as a normal part of pastoring. In a sense, it would be like grooming his whole church to see the abnormal and inappropriate as normal and expected. I can see how this might, in theory, have pre-disposed Scout and others to go along with conversations that should have set off alarm bells in any other circumstance.

Agreed. Abnormal things that are done often enough begin to seem “normal”.

I think most looking in from the outside understand that it is inappropriate for a pastor to talk alone with a woman about intimate things and late night phone calls are also inappropriate.

So if someone calls a pastor late at night for help, what is he to do?  "I am sorry dear, but this would be inappropriate behavior on my part to share with you what the Bible says about intimate issues, so I will pray for you, but I can't talk to you, but you can call these random counselor strangers and ask for help".  Especially such as the story in the message, where the woman called him at 2 a.m. because she messed up?   Jesus had inappropriate conversations (by your standards)  with the woman at the well about her multiple sex partners.   My neighbor's priest counsels them about natural family planning...is this inappropriate?   
 
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« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2018, 11:12:03 am »

That is the very first item listed in the BITE Model (undue influence): PROMOTE DEPENDENCE  There is a problem if Mark Darilng is the ONLY person someone can trust.  The ONLY person able to give counsel.  That people feel lost without him being available.

https://freedomofmind.com/bite-model/

I attended Valleybrook Church in Eau Claire WI, google it, it was in the newspaper.  Converge (General Baptist Conference) came in an did an investigation/evaluation on charges on spiritual abuse.  They determined that YES, there was spiritual abuse in the church.  These are two of the main items listed in their Final Report:

"The pastoral staff exploited the trust of many by creating exclusive dependence on itself."

"Manipulation of past issues in a person’s life was frequently utilized to develop extreme and exclusive loyalty resulting in an unhealthy codependency on a particular leader."


From his teaching, yes, I believe he saw himself as "Sally's" father.  He said he did.  He called her "his."  Twice.  Was that dishonest on his part?



Sometimes the only person someone feels they can trust is MD....I don't think you quite understand the level of brokenness that some bear when they come to the church.  So MD should just send them off to a counselor, or let God work through MD?   I have seen MD meet a new people, particularly a woman, and I have been stopped by him asking if I would take some time to talk with this woman he just met, and then he will leave to talk with others.  this has happened more than once.  And for people to accuse and claim that MD is basically exploiting these people for his own satisfaction is just sad and wrong and completely untrue.  And sadly, as one friend recently told me, that this situation (MD being falsely accused and having to be on leave) has stolen her pastor from her, she can't call MD for advice right now, when she really needed help, and it hurts her deeply.  In her words "he is like a father to me". 

And as a serious question, do you believe that Mark literally believes that he is a father to people in his church?  And as regards to Matthew 23, MD does not ask anyone to call him father, and no one calls him "Father", but many say he is like a father to them, because he loves like a father would, to many, many people.  He cares for the church as he cares for his own children. 
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« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2018, 11:20:45 am »

You're welcome, Linda.

And just in case anyone reading this fails to get the main point, this thread was revived in order to demonstrate a pattern of Mark having conversations about sexual topics with his followers, especially women. This indirectly supports the allegations made by Suzanne and other unnamed victims. (Please note that I said supports, not proves.)

There's one further thing that shouldn't be overlooked. When a pastor incorporates these anecdotes into his sermons on a repeated basis, his parishioners may start to accept these dubiously appropriate conversations as a normal part of pastoring. In a sense, it would be like grooming his whole church to see the abnormal and inappropriate as normal and expected. I can see how this might, in theory, have pre-disposed Scout and others to go along with conversations that should have set off alarm bells in any other circumstance.

I agree that is why this is even an issue and thank you for this clear explanation.
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