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Author Topic: The Verification of Mark Darling  (Read 57309 times)
blonde
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« on: July 22, 2010, 04:23:04 pm »

Dear Members:

I have an email from a source that says Mark Darling NEVER used the F*bomb in sermons.  (The denial is from Mark himself!)  I guess what I am asking from the group, maybe Linda who went to ECC and her kids who went to regional teen confs. or others, have you actually heard Mark Darling say the F-word ever?  Even hint at it?  Or any strong language for that matter?  I know I have heard him say the F-word at a Wednesday night ECC meeting.  He was teaching on 'friendship evangelism.' 

I'd like some shout-outs if they heard Mark Darling swear like this from the pulpit as the shock-jock pastor he is.

Any help would be nice or shout-outs.

-Blonde

P.S.  Any other topics related to this are cool to talk about too. 
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Linda
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2010, 04:50:26 pm »

I never heard Mark Darling use the "f" word during any messages at ECC.

As silly as it may seem, I do remember an early time (mid-90's) at ECC when he used the word "sucks" in a message. I remember it because I found it coarse and had asked my children not to use that word. When Mark said it, it gave public approval from a spiritual leader to the use of that word. Not a big deal, I realize, but it was an early moment where an ECC pastor interfered in my parenting and it was not appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 05:18:43 pm by Linda » Logged

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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2010, 04:56:14 pm »

He said it spring (April or May?) 1998 at a youth retreat outside of Omaha, Nebraska.  I remember and so does my husband.  I honestly don't care all that much any more because in my opinion that's the least of the "bad stuff".  To me swearing is nothing (even to 12 year olds) when compared to the control over people's one shot at existence on planet Earth.  And this movement is controlling and authoritarian.  To me that is way worse because you are basically stealing a life.  But yeah, he said it, absolutely... can't remember the context though... too long ago!

But Mark Darling was always ranting, screaming, or crying about something, poor guy... and I thought he was awesome every second.  Now I feel sorry for him and wish he would have had a chance for a normal life.  Sad
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 04:59:45 pm by AgathaL'Orange » Logged

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Linda
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 05:23:25 pm »

Quote from: Agatha
I honestly don't care all that much any more because in my opinion that's the least of the "bad stuff".  To me swearing is nothing (even to 12 year olds) when compared to the control over people's one shot at existence on planet Earth.  And this movement is controlling and authoritarian.  To me that is way worse because you are basically stealing a life.
I just came on to add this thought, but you beat me to it, Agatha. Thanks!
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blonde
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2010, 01:04:11 pm »

Saying a swear word is bad, and I do agree that the mind-control part is worse.  It's almost as if a corrupt cop does whatever he wants is a a GOOD metaphor for this movement. They get away with anything and people just put up with it BUT the moment we point out the bad, they throw the cuffs on us and start yelling and stomping on our head.  I need to say that Mark did deny saying any swear words ever, and now, he is caught in a lie of a lie.

FACT: I HEARD Mark say the F*bomb at a ECC Wednesday night meeting with mostly adults around.

After he said it, the guy sitting next to me said roughly, "I just love Mark.  He has the guts to say what is on his mind."  How the hell does dropping the F*bomb related to friendship evangelism?   

Ironically that man who sat next to me, who gave Darling accolades, is now a current pastor at ECC, and his name is  Jeff Groen.

Pic and bio: http://www.evergreenccbloomington.com/aboutus/bios-bloom.shtml

JEFF GROEN's email: jgroen@evergreencc.com

From their website: (How does he really qualify as a pastor? Really?  A Master's in Geology really prepares you for the F*Bomb.)

Jeff Groen asked Jesus Christ to be his Savior in 1981, but it wasn’t until 1987 while pursuing his Masters of Science at the University of Minnesota that he truly began yielding to Christ as his Lord. In 1990, he received his MS in Geology and immediately got involved in leadership at Evergreen Community Church-Bloomington.

Jeff is a former geologist turned pastor. He will always be a man of science and have a love for rocks, but it was his love for people and God’s leading that raised him up as a pastor in 1998 at Evergreen-Bloomington. His pastoral role includes: Weekend and Seminar teacher, counselor, Mission Trips’ leader, and overseeing the staff of the Single’s, Single Parent’s, Women’s ministries, and the Lux (college) service.

Jeff married Sue in 1992. He is the father of three pre-teen girls: Tessia, Casey, and Sophia. When Jeff is not working he enjoys: Walks or playing cribbage with his wife, reading or wrestling with his girls, working on cars with his dad, sipping café mochas, archery, and watching U of M basketball and wrestling.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2010, 01:08:12 pm by blonde » Logged

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Linda
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 05:05:48 pm »

Quote from: Mark Darling 1998 LT
…and what is shag dancing anyway (laughter from the crowd), shag dancing (hoots and hollers from the audience). Gimme a little demonstration of the shag dance. Oh, my God. Shanana, where are ya girl? (Audience is going crazy) Where's Shanana? OK. OK. (Crowd continues to applaud and cheer) OK. Shake your booty, shake your booty. All right. OK. Oh, you gotta be kidding. Go. Go, girl, go (crowd is going crazy). Oh, my gosh (I think it's gosh the second time, but it's close, the cheers made it hard to hear). Oh Jeez…

While searching for the now infamous 1998 "F Word" conference in Omaha, I happened upon this little message from that same year. It was an LT.

Several thoughts ran through my head. The first thought was I was sickened and sad that I sent my children to GC conferences. I had no idea. I trusted these people. They were my friends. (Still are, except they don't like me much because I post here.) By the grace of God, all my children are walking with the Lord, but my heart breaks when I realize that I sent them (at the cost of many hundreds of $$) across the continent to conferences where bad teaching and coarse talk were apparently the norm.

My advice to parents reading this: Don't send your child to a GC conference. If you have, be sure and listen to the tapes of what your child has learned. You might be surprised

My comment to any elders reading this:  Where is the leadership? Where is the accountability? Where is the plurality? It's a joke. There is none because no one is allowed to critique or challenge another's teaching without being called a slanderer. We asked a pastor to listen to an HSLT talk in 2005. There was some very bad teaching. Our pastor refused to listen to the talk. He said he didn't need to listen to the talk because he knew the pastor's heart. This is NOT accountability. This type of thought allows bad teaching to continue and people are misled.

Personally, I think the leaders of this movement have done a great disservice to Mark Darling. He is a very charismatic and gifted speaker, however, rather than helping him tone it down and keep his preaching sound, they have allowed him to say rude and coarse things and teach error. We were told, "He is an evangelist, so gets carried away sometimes and says things that he shouldn't." Really? I wish I had known that before I sent my kids to conferences.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 09:59:50 pm by Linda » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2010, 03:45:04 pm »

Quote
MIKE OLMSTEAD

Mike Olmstead was a probation officer at the Hennepin County Bureau of Community Corrections, before becoming a pastor. As a Christian, Mike enjoyed having a hand in this “rough culture” that desperately needed people committed to Christ. In 1990, he graduated from Bethel Seminary with the idea of doing some sort of “ministry.” In the fall of 1991, Mike and his wife, Janice, attended their very first Evergreen service. After that service, Mike shared with Janice that he wanted to be a pastor here.
 

citation: http://www.evergreenccbloomington.com/aboutus/bios-bloom.shtml
his email: molmstead@evergreencc.com

Blonde says how strange they mock Bethel University.  Very sad.  There is some very good teaching out of there at BU.  Bill Hybels is even an extenion leader in BU in California.  I don't expect very much from ECC anymore. 

I like Linda's comments to the fact that the leaders don't handle Mark the right way.  Let the wild horse run wild and HIS OWN WAY.

Legal action against Mark Darling?  Sure.  No one questions that man in anyway.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 03:48:03 pm by blonde » Logged

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Linda
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 05:04:10 pm »

I did not mean to imply that any legal action was in order. I'm sure he was joking around with the students and got carried away. Actually, the taking the Lord's name in vain bothered me the most.
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Linda
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2010, 03:51:15 pm »

While listening to old messages a few weeks ago, I found this one.

Quote from: Darling, 1998, Myrtle Beach
"…update your wardrobe. OK. Update your wardrobe. I gotta tell you a true story, and this is a true story. It's not a fun story to tell. It turned out good. When I first moved to Minneapolis 12 1/2 years ago, Brent Knox and I joined forces. There was about 60 Christians in the church. And most of the Christians were there in Minneapolis before I got there. And most of the Christians that were there (and I'm going to take a big risk saying this), but I don't know how else to put this so you'd get the point, were Gothardites…all these people in this church that I got with were what you would call counter culture, co-op, homeschool, homebirth families. They all were. All of them. Now I live in one of the most metropolitan cities in the Unites States…After I was there a while and they got to know me, the first summer (I'd been there five months) I did a whole summer series called "Servant Evangelism" based on the teachings of Paul and the lifestyle of Jesus Christ. And then I got into wardrobe. And I carefully laid it out as clear as I could Biblically and I told many of them you need to go get a haircut, most of you women need to start wearing make-up, and most of you need brand new glasses because all of you look like you're hippies. And you know what? We are not reaching anybody. And you are God's sales force and now you're MY sales force. And you represent me and Brent's church. And we want people to come to this church. And, we want people to get saved…man does not see as God sees, man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart."

10 years there and I had no idea how shallow the place was. I had no idea that a homeschooler/co-op member like me was being mocked by my pastor to my children. I had no idea that my Christianity/church membership was all about being part of the "sales force" for my pastor. I had no idea that they believed the church "belonged" to the pastors. Absolutely sickening when I look back. Bad teaching should be exposed, and this is some very bad teaching. People have a right to know what their pastors believe about them.

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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2010, 08:20:08 pm »

This was the culture!  I was a youth leader and went to HSLT!  Although I am thinking I didn't go that particular year.  This was what I heard there, and it cut so deep.  I felt like I couldn't measure up.  I've never felt so insecure about my appearance as when I was a GC member.  So, so hurtful.  I found conferences like those to be the worst experiences in GC.  It's disdain.  And it isn't pretty.  In fact I would rather look at waistlength hair, keds, and a jumper any day vs. cutting disdain like that.
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Huldah
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2010, 10:23:40 am »

When I was at GC during the late 70's, the expected look was much closer to the hippie look criticized in Mark Darling's quote: long unstyled hair, headscarves, jeans, no make-up. The unspoken rule was that paying too much attention to your appearance (other than keeping your weight under control) was worldly and materialistic. Yet now it seems obvious that while we were busy flattering ourselves about our unworldliness, we were unwittingly adopting the standards of a specific part of the world: the counter-culture radicals of the 60's and early 70's. Even those headscarves that proclaimed our submission were, ironically, borrowed from a fashion set by campus feminists, meant to show their rejection of prevailing male standards of beauty.

The former 60's radicals have now gone now mainstream in suits and stylish clothing. So, apparently, has GC, all the while insisting that this is the dress code God had in mind for His people all along. At least, that's how it seems to this observer.
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Linda
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2010, 10:38:09 am »

Interesting observations, Agatha and Huldah.

I think the part I found most offensive about that message wasn't so much the stereotyping and mocking of the home school culture (not that it wasn't offensive), but was when he stated why he wanted people to have a certain "look" (one that HE deemed "metropolitan"). He said:
Quote
And you are God's sales force and now you're MY sales force. And you represent me and Brent's church. And we want people to come to this church.
Excuse me? "God's sales force", "Me and Brent's church"? What?! Where to begin with exposing the error.

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Innerlight
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 11:04:57 am »

Was this at Evergreen in Mpls?
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Linda
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 02:09:25 pm »

This was at an LT in Myrtle Beach in 1998. The talk is still available online.
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2010, 04:07:37 pm »

Some other reactions to that last message.

1) Isaiah 53 says:"For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him." If what was attractive about our Lord was not His appearance, why would a pastor teach high schoolers at an LT (who are generally quite concerned already about how they look) and grown-up church members that it mattered?

2) I thought the whole GC elders thing was about raising up elders "from within". That idea seems to be out the window in this talk. "When I first moved to Minneapolis 12 1/2 years ago, Brent Knox and I joined forces. There was [sic] about 60 Christians in the church. And most of the Christians were there in Minneapolis before I got there...After I was there a while and they got to know me..." Hmmm, he was sent up here to be a pastor to a bunch of people who were already here who didn't know him! So much for "raising up elders from within".

3) In some messages, there is often a pre-emptive statement about forums like this and the challenges made to what has been taught. Things like, "You can't believe what is being said about me on the Internet." My point is not to take on any one person, but to challenge the bad teaching that has remained unchallenged by the "plurality of elders" who, for what ever reason, (lack of knowledge, lack of courage, fear of losing their jobs, fear of being called a "slanderer", laziness) will not correct and/or clarify some pretty flawed teaching. I suppose those of us posting here could do a little pre-emptive statement also. You know, "You can't believe what is being said about people like me in some sermons!" The point is: Bad teaching should be corrected. People pointing out bad teaching should be thanked or at the very least not slandered and shunned.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 06:49:04 am by Linda » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2010, 04:18:32 pm »

the reason why I asked if it was evergreen, was that was about the same time my friends started goling there, and I beleive he was the minister.  Since his talk took place in Mrytle Beach, was he referring to Mpls? 

I'll tell you it's really hard to believe some of this stuff.  Either my freinds are incredibly ignorant (doubtful), or they have guzzled the kool-aid, or GCC isn't as bad as portrayed. 
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2010, 04:59:19 pm »

The group of 60 people that he spoke of was the little church in Minneapolis. I believe the first pastor's name was Coleman.

The history of Evergreen was always hazy to me. I asked numerous questions and never got clear answers. I naively assumed the people answering me just had trouble communicating. I now know that when you ask repeated questions and get vague answers, you should raise your little red flag high.

Someone here probably knows way more than I, so feel free to chime in and enlighten me. Here's what I remember from my conversations with members of the original church and from reading Marching to Zion.

In the mid-80's, McCotter had a campaign to start churches all across the US. The Mother Church was Ames. A bunch of people were sent to Minneapolis to plant a church here. Coleman was one of them, I believe. A church started. Then, for some reason that no one has ever explained to me, Coleman was sent away (out East maybe, can't remember where, but, in general, I do remember people I spoke with as liking him). My thought is that the elder/pastor decisions were not made by the local church, but by McCotter in Ames. So much for the "local church raising pastors from within" core value.

Brent and a bunch of others from Ames were sent in as "ringers" to the church that Coleman had pastored and the people who moved up from Ames merged with the GCI group here. There were a group of people meeting at the U of MN who called themselves "The Christians". When I attended the U in the mid-70's I knew some who went there. I have never been able to figure out if this group was the GCI group under Coleman or if they merged with the Coleman church. Anywho, Coleman left, Brent was sent up, and after him Mark was sent.

Then, Brent and Mark wanted to start a seeker friendly church and came up with Evergreen.

So, the long answer to your question is yes, he was referring to Evergreen (or perhaps one of it's earlier forms--the group morphed and changed it's name, but the core people remained).

Correction: I am now under the impression that GC had representation in MN in 1976 under Jim Coleman. I had forgotten that they had been here that long. Here is the link to a 1976 prayer letter that was done by the Mother Church. Scroll about halfway down to find the map and the "Who's Who" by state.

http://gcxweb.org/Books/MarchingToZion/MTZ-Analysis.aspx
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 06:44:00 pm by Linda » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2010, 08:40:37 pm »

I'll tell you it's really hard to believe some of this stuff.  Either my freinds are incredibly ignorant (doubtful), or they have guzzled the kool-aid, or GCC isn't as bad as portrayed.  

Actually, there are plenty of other possibilities. The first one that comes to mind is that your friends might be so focused on their own spiritual growth that they choose to ignore the red flags regarding what's going on in their church. Another is that they get a lot of support from one another (as a group of friends), so they feel safely insulated from the demands of the larger group.

One very positive sign is that you still consider them your friends -- so they haven't cut themselves off from you, right? That means that they haven't "guzzled the kool-aid," as you so vividly term it.  Cheesy They aren't doing too badly. But that does NOT mean that "GCC isn't as bad as portrayed." It is. It really is.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 08:55:47 pm by ISU Alumna » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2010, 08:54:24 pm »

It really is.

 Sad
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Linda
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« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2010, 09:52:16 pm »

Also, I am convinced that significant numbers of those attending GC churches have no idea of the history. This is especially true for those who are not on the "leadership track". Many activities are very "main stream evangelical".
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