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Author Topic: Updated information on reason for Mark's ordination being rescinded - full text  (Read 3064 times)
DarthVader
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« on: July 31, 2018, 10:03:44 am »

(Posted July 31, 2018)


Statement regarding the rescinding of Mark Darling’s ordination

Reason for publishing this statement.  According to 1 Timothy 5:20, impartial,
public reproof of a pastor who has lost his qualification for ordination is as
important for the health of the local church as the impartial, public
celebration that occurs when a pastor is first recognized as being qualified for
ordination. What follows is an impartial, public reprimand of Mark by fellow
Evergreen pastors. It is a necessary step for the church to make sense of the
rescinding of Mark’s ordination.

Question: “Do Evergreen pastors agree with the rescinding of Mark Darling’s
ordination?”
Yes.  After examining the evidence of the investigation, the Board of Trustees
[BOT] decided to rescind Mark Darling’s ordination. While this is a serious
consequence of Mark’s misconduct, it is also coupled with a pathway back to
ordination. The path to restoration offered to Mark acknowledges that the
misconduct was not so serious that full restoration was not possible.
Regrettably, he has declined this course of action and has chosen to resign. 

Allegations of “physical sexual abuse” against Mark Darling, and “cover up” and
the offer of “hush money” against Evergreen Church – allegations first made in
January of 2018, on social media, by Suzanne van Dyck – were NOT found valid by
the investigator. These allegations DO NOT factor into the rescinding of Mark
Darling’s ordination by the EC Board of Trustees.

EC pastors do, however, agree with the EC BOT decision to rescind Mark Darling’s
ordination for a combination of the following reasons.

  Meeting with female congregants. Since Evergreen’s inception, it’s pastors
  have held to a verbal code of conduct of not meeting alone with female
  congregants. “Alone” means an intentionally private setting; without a 3rd
  party present, or without other known persons nearby and easily accessible.
  Credible female witnesses came forward in the investigation and testified Mark
  Darling met with them alone, prior to 2001. Beyond the investigation, there
  have been additional women and current attenders who have claimed to have met
  with Mark in an intentionally private setting.
  Inappropriate conversation. Credible female witnesses came forward in the
  investigation and testified Mark Darling spoke with them about sexual subject
  matters, in private, prior to 2001.
  Comprehensive denial. In conversation with fellow Evergreen pastors since the
  start of this investigation, Mark Darling categorically denies ever having met
  alone with adult female congregants, or ever having had inappropriate private
  conversations regarding sexual subject matter with adult female congregants.
  Credibility.  Based upon all of the evidence, the investigator found that
  “Mark Darling, while holding a position of authority, engaged in inappropriate
  conduct”. The BOT further observed that this conduct included spending time
  alone with women in private settings, and inappropriate conversations of a
  sexual nature with women. Evergreen pastors believe the findings of the
  investigator and the determinations of the Board are reliable and trustworthy.
  EC pastors therefore support the rescinding of Mark’s ordination by the EC
  BOT, on the basis of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Specifically, the
  violations are:
    “above reproach” Defined as “without obvious defect that discredits or
    undermines trust.”
    “good reputation with outsiders” Defined as “viewed by persons outside of
    the congregation (at least in terms of character and integrity) as being
    worthy of respect or imitation.”
    Note: Mark’s behavior also falls short of the ethical directive for pastoral
    conduct given in 1 Timothy 5:2, “treat younger women with all purity, as
    your sisters”.


Sincerely in Christ,
 Mark Bowen, Brent Knox and Doug Patterson, on behalf of the Evergreen pastoral
team

 
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Wrestling
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 10:46:18 am »

From Evergreen’s announcement of the board’s decision:

“From the investigator’s report: ‘Based on the interviews conducted during this investigation, Suzanne van Dyck’s individual allegations of sexual abuse, by definition, could not be substantiated.’”

From their most recent communication:
“Allegations of ‘physical sexual abuse’ against Mark Darling, and ‘cover up’ and the offer of ‘hush money’ against Evergreen Church – allegations first made in January of 2018, on social media, by Suzanne van Dyck – were NOT found valid by the investigator. These allegations DO NOT factor into the rescinding of Mark Darling’s ordination by the EC Board of Trustees.”

Real question: is there a difference between “could not be substantiated” and “were NOT found to be valid”? The definitions of the words unsubstantiated and invalid are similar, but it’s so strange to me that they changed the verbiage when they left other parts of the report as quotes.

I have no idea how I would prove to someone else that a man hugged me with an errection. But that doesn’t mean I’m lying just cause I can’t prove it. (To be clear this didn’t happen to me I am just putting myself in Scout’s shoes)

The continuous trickle of contradictory words and information continues from Mark, Brent, and Doug. Again, gentlemen, I think you want to do the right thing. SEEK HELP from people outside your church. You are continuing to bungle this.

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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2018, 01:04:51 pm »

Wow, they are leaving us to have to read between the lines.

It seems like they are saying that some of the women were credible, and conversely are they saying they believe some were not? They seem to be making a distinction of credible versus maybe not credible about the women who came forward. 

It seems they are trying to underhandedly say that Suzanne might not be credible because her allegation of hush money and physical sexual abuse and cover up were not substantiated. Which is weird, because they admitted that they should have pushed Mark Darling to get counseling after Suzanne brought forward her complaints in 2001. So they must be saying that at least to some extent she is credible. And they DID cover up allegations by not dealing with the complaints of Suzanne and two other women. They admitted that they dropped the ball there which is the same as covering it up.

And just because what Mark Darling did in private to a woman cannot be substantiated does not mean that he did not do it. In fact, we can all see loud and clear now: MARK DARLING IS LYING. If he is lying about being alone with women and lying about sexual conversations, then he could very likely be lying about other things that he did with women in a private setting.

And why didn't the pastors come out and say more about what Mark Darling was unrepentant about from the beginning? Why wait until now? Were they trying to protect Mark Darling, rather than just tell the truth after all the months of investigating? I thought it was all about finding the truth but the truth is coming out drip drip drip and trying to read between the lines. It appears they really do not want the whole truth to come out.

It seems to me that the pastors are trying very hard in an underhanded sort of way to discredit Suzanne. Are they mad at her for bringing this forward and they are vindictive in a subtle but not so subtle way?? 

Is there still a path back for Mark Darling even though he is now lying? Meanwhile, he has a web site that still calls  him a "pastor" and he has a new "ministry".

This is a mess. Very confusing. Very twisted.

Another question: if John and Suzanne would have signed off on the severance money that they turned down, could Suzanne have spoken negatively about Evergreen pastors and Mark Darling's treatment of her? If not, then it amounted to hush money for all intents and purposes.

So if they are trying to completely discredit Suzanne, somehow get back at her, say she might be lying, well they need to clean up their own house because they are looking really bad right now.
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Cult Proof
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 01:42:49 pm »

Such a valid and important question, if Mark darling is lying, what else is he lying about?  If Mark Bowen covered things up, what else is Mark Bowen covering up?  And does anyone else ask the disturbing question, why wasn’t Mark Bowen shocked to the point of addressing Mark darlings behavior when he first heard it?  Perhaps does Mark Bowen has his own “disqualifying” behavior to hide?  I find it so stupid, non of these men have the character qualities of a true pastor.
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Linda
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 04:05:28 pm »

This is getting more bizarre by the minute. I have to digest it in small pieces because it is difficult to chew.

Quote from: Pastor Statement
According to 1 Timothy 5:20, impartial, public reproof of a pastor who has lost his qualification for ordination is as important for the health of the local church as the impartial, public celebration that occurs when a pastor is first recognized as being qualified for ordination. What follows is an impartial, public reprimand of Mark by fellow Evergreen pastors.

Quote from: 1 Timothy 5:20
Those who sin should be reprimanded in front of the whole church; this will serve as a strong warning to others.

What in the world is an "impartial" public reproof? 1Timothy 5:20 says pastors who sin should be reprimanded in front of the whole church as a warning to others. Period. Adding the word "impartial" seems important to them because they use it a couple times trying to fluff up their point. Not sure why.

It the pastor sinned. Reprimand him publicly.
If he didn't sin, don't reprimand him publicly.
It's not rocket science. The impartial part comes when assessing his sinful behavior.

And what the heck is an "impartial" public celebration for a pastor being "recognized"?

No where in the Bible does it say that the way to choose pastors is to "recognize" them, much less have an "impartial" public celebration when they are first recognized. What a bunch of hooey.

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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 04:36:27 pm »

Why are these three pastors putting the phrase in there twice "prior to 2001"?

Are they trying to indicate that Mark Darling sort of reformed after 2001, in order for it not to look so bad that they did not follow through on Mark Darling getting counseling?

Is this an olive branch to Mark Darling, saying, "If only you would just confess to these somewhat minor infractions, you could be back in the fold"?

I really have a problem with that, because right now Mark Darling is lying. His character is not above reproach.

These pastors seem to be making very light of any sin on their part, and they are trying to make Suzanne look bad.

They should be thanking her for bringing all this to their attention to be dealt with properly.

I smell a rat. There is a lot of pastoral pride here to wade through. It's smelly and mucky, get your boots on.
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OneOfMany
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 05:19:04 pm »

The good news is that current members are unhappy with the communication that is taking place and are continuing to push for truth and information.

I pray they keep the heat on. Only then can God purify this church and remove the corruptive forces within it.
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omelianchuk
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 05:59:17 pm »

I haven't posted in awhile. As many of you know I defended Mark here on this forum, but decided to trust the results of the investigation, which honestly made me very sad.

That said, I do think the "Never meet with a woman alone" rule is unreasonable and unfair. First, it limits the access of women to pastoral counseling and theological education in a way that is not limited to men. The basis for this inequity is grounded in solely in one's sex, which is completely unfair and prejudices all male-female relationships as sexually charged opportunities for "temptation" (which is a silly prejudice). Second, the "temptation" factor is often made to be the woman's problem for who would dare think that "above reproach" pastor-guy (emphasis on the guy) would be tempted by any woman who is not his wife? What's missed in this foolish view of the world is that there are gay men who can meet with above-reproach pastor guy without having to worry about judged as a liability for falling for/tempting/sexually coming onto pastor-guy. If the worry is that "above reproach" pastor-guy will be tempted by the mere fact that someone is female, then I guess he isn't able to serve half the church well, and really shouldn't be in ministry at all. Third, assuming the rule guards against "false accusations" from a lying woman, that certainly has been proven false: If (note the "if" please!) Mark's denials are to be believed, then adhering to the "never meet alone with a woman" rule is no safeguard against career-ending reproach.

And, of course, if meeting with women is SO problematic for male pastors, then ordain some woman to do the work. You won't be disobeying the Bible, for goodness sake (YES, I believe complementarianism is false teaching. But even if you think it true, you could still ordain some female deacons to help.)

None of what I say above should be taken as a belief that Mark didn't act inappropriately or that ECC utterly failed to uphold the basis of trust it used (and continues to use[!]) to make demands of its members. I wouldn't return to it, as far as I'm concerned, not until they are accountable to the congregation in some real, substantial way, and not beholden to some silly BoT who claims ultimate ecclesiastical authority (ungrounded in Scripture) to keep the contents of investigation confidential.

« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 06:37:49 pm by omelianchuk » Logged
Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2018, 07:31:41 pm »

I'm guessing that all that wasn't valid were her particular use of words to label the conduct, not the details of the perverse pastor abuse themselves.  Perhaps because it involved sexually explicit speech, intimate questioning, manipulation to meet alone, hands on upper leg, and what I would call very sexual hugs, coming just short of the possible legal definition of sexual activity; it would not "technically" be labeled "sexual abuse".  

But we have no reason to conclude that the specific details of her testimony were not valid.  I would not trust these men to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  GCC/GCx leaders have traditionally erroneously represented those who accuse them (so that they will not be believed) in order to protect their image and the reputation of the organization.  I also believe there is deception in implying that they did not offer Suzanne money to keep silent.  What else is a Non-Disclosure Agreement for?

I personally think to formally send out such misleading statements reveals the hardness of their hearts, and further disqualifies them to shepherd God's people with humility and integrity.

The Bible permits the people of a church to stand up to corruption in the leadership.  Two or more of you can confront the leaders.  If the leaders are not willing to repent, any godly man or woman can organize others concerned to meet together.  You are permitted as a group of two or more to tell the whole church specifically what sins have been witnessed and thus, why the leaders biblically should NOT be in authority.



« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 08:47:57 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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Linda
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 07:49:35 pm »

From Evergreen’s announcement of the board’s decision:

“From the investigator’s report: ‘Based on the interviews conducted during this investigation, Suzanne van Dyck’s individual allegations of sexual abuse, by definition, could not be substantiated.’”

From their most recent communication:
“Allegations of ‘physical sexual abuse’ against Mark Darling, and ‘cover up’ and the offer of ‘hush money’ against Evergreen Church – allegations first made in January of 2018, on social media, by Suzanne van Dyck – were NOT found valid by the investigator. These allegations DO NOT factor into the rescinding of Mark Darling’s ordination by the EC Board of Trustees.”

Real question: is there a difference between “could not be substantiated” and “were NOT found to be valid”? The definitions of the words unsubstantiated and invalid are similar, but it’s so strange to me that they changed the verbiage when they left other parts of the report as quotes.

I have no idea how I would prove to someone else that a man hugged me with an errection. But that doesn’t mean I’m lying just cause I can’t prove it. (To be clear this didn’t happen to me I am just putting myself in Scout’s shoes)

The continuous trickle of contradictory words and information continues from Mark, Brent, and Doug. Again, gentlemen, I think you want to do the right thing. SEEK HELP from people outside your church. You are continuing to bungle this.



You raise an excellent point. We have been told that the only people who have access to the results of the investigation are members of the BOT. This means the pastors writing this statement have not seen it. Why would the board use the word "unsubstantiated" and the pastors use the words "NOT valid". Unsubstantiated implies uncorroborated. NOT valid to me implies not true and casts a shadow on the person making the claim.

The statement only addresses "physical sexual abuse" by Mark Darling against Suzanne van Dyck and at no time has the BOT said this did not happen. And what about Loey. She has publicly alleged physical abuse. Were her concerns "invalid" as well?

And about the "cover up"/"hush money" offer. Well, we all know this was covered up and the BOT has even named the pastors. Brent Knox, Mark Bowen, and Doug Patterson. We also know that an offer of $50,000 was made to the van Dycks in exchange for them not saying anything bad about ECC.

So, what we have here is a "standard non disparagement and confidentiality" clause on a severance offer that was made to a woman WHO WAS NEVER AN EMPLOYEE OF ECC. It was approved by the ECC board, to be paid to a man (AND HIS WIFE) who was no longer an ECC employee, but the preparation of the agreement was written up by the man's employer, GCM. Is it really common these days for wives to have to sign severance packages OFFERED BY THEIR HUSBAND'S FORMER EMPLOYER, when the husband quits his current job? Really, we aren't that stupid, are we? Something is fishy here and Suzanne deserves to see the paperwork. ALL. OF. IT. And that includes the back and forth between GCM and ECC.


Finally, why do they keep bringing up the social media aspect. Again, we are not that stupid. The ECC pastors had ample opportunity over many years to do the right thing and they did not. Women were violated and families were harmed and the only way this stopped was because one brave woman Tweeted on January 5th and was strong enough to stand up to additional emotional abuse (and some of it in sermons) for MONTHS because she wanted to be a voice for all who were victimized by MD AND the inaction of some pastors who were in positions to deal with it.

We get it. ECC pastors don't like the fact that Suzanne tweeted. We also get that ECC pastors turned a blind eye to the pleas for help from MANY WOMEN, over MANY YEARS and instead protected one of their own.

It is shameful what they have done.

Here is the paragraph I am commenting on.

Quote from: ECC pastors
Allegations of “physical sexual abuse” against Mark Darling, and “cover up” and the offer of “hush money” against Evergreen Church – allegations first made in January of 2018, on social media, by Suzanne van Dyck – were NOT found valid by the investigator. These allegations DO NOT factor into the rescinding of Mark Darling’s ordination by the EC Board of Trustees.

QUESTION: HAS THE PASTOR'S STATEMENT BEEN REMOVED? WHEN I GO TO THE PAGE, I NO LONGER SEE IT.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 07:58:06 pm by Linda » Logged

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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2018, 07:53:56 am »

Perhaps the pastors forgot to get the BOT'S approval and go-ahead for their statement.  Grin

Are they truly accountable to their hand picked BOT now?? Hmmmmm......
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DarthVader
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2018, 08:04:20 am »

It appears to be back up on the update site, largely the same but I'm going to do the side-by-side comparison.
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OneOfMany
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2018, 10:22:15 am »

It appears to be back up on the update site, largely the same but I'm going to do the side-by-side comparison.

Another sign of insincere repentance? Can't decide what to say?
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DarthVader
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2018, 11:07:10 am »

They included a link to the update in our location's (and presumably all locations) weekly email newsletter, so they are making an effort to get the word out broadly, which does say something about sincerity.

1) I think the update is in response to a lot of questions from Mark's supporters, especially at The Rock & the posting of his resignation letter (often along with comments about how unfair the process was) on FB. I've seen it from 3 friends or friends of friends all on July 27, which appears coordinated.

2) It sounds like Mark had asked for his resignation letter to be read at all the locations concurrent w/the BoT release in early July, which was not done, and which has been understandably frustrating for his supporters. I'm not sure why ECC chose not to communicate his resignation letter as there are many at all locations who have wanted to hear something from Mark.  I found his letter to be lacking any acknowledgment of the victims, any explanation of his behavior, self-serving (to launch his new ministry, more than anything else) etc., but that's not a reason not to share it- let people read it and make their own judgments.

3) I find it fascinating the mental gymnastics Mark's supporters are undergoing, having defended ECC, the BoT, the investigator and the process for months only to now see statements from them about how unfair the process has been, how the BoT caved to public opinion, etc.

4) I've been wanting to say this and maybe I'll start a separate thread.  I owe Todd Goodwin an apology - I relentlessly questioned his ability to be unbiased, and to be clear, that Mark was offered a "path to restoration" in the face of outright lies (told in 2018, not 2001) to his colleagues (by their own words), is still a flawed outcome in my view, but for Todd to vote to rescind Mark's ordination, knowing that decision would be the opposite of what his entire social/church circle of friends passionately wanted is an act of real courage - I'm not at all sure I would have that courage myself in his shoes.  I don't want to takeaway anything from the courage of the victims, but Todd deserves some recognition as well and I cannot imagine it has been easy for him since the decision (and praise in this forum probably only makes it worse - so sorry again).
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 11:32:01 am by DarthVader » Logged
GodisFaithful
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2018, 01:42:55 pm »

It did take courage for that BOT member, at the Rock, to do what he did, but I would like to present another side to this.

None of us have seen the results of the investigation. The BOT has seen it all, in all it's ugliness, and this is how they voted. There must have been very clear evidence that Mark was guilty on more than one occasion of acting in a way that was unequivocally wrong, no matter how you try to justify it. It must have been worse than any of them expected.

And, how would it have looked, if all the BOT was unanimous in this, except the BOT member at the Rock? I am hoping that each of the BOT members truly did want to do the right thing, and did not want their feelings about Mark Darling to sway their decision when looking at the facts.

As to the controversy over reading Mark Darling's resignation letter, I think it was extremely inappropriate for it to be read at all. Mark Darling is guilty and unrepentant. Why would you read a letter from him to the congregation when he is unrepentant? Maybe you don't see it, but from the outside looking in, what church allows an unrepentant pastor, ordination rescinded, not telling the truth about his inappropriate behavior toward multiple women, to have his letter of resignation read in public proclaiming his plan to start a new ministry and writing it as if he is so pure and holy and above reproach.

And why *wouldn't* people now say that the what happened was unfair? That is exactly what Brent Knox said from the pulpit. Which is it Brent Knox? Was the investigation and BOT decision just and fair, or wasn't it? Or Brent Knox, are you saying that Suzanne bringing this up on social media, since you pastors buried her concerns, was unfair? I would say that it is unfair for you, Brent Knox, to say this is unfair. You guys had all the power to be able to handle this properly but you chose to support Mark Darling and brush off Suzanne and two other women who had the courage to blow the whistle on Mark Darling. And now you say it is unfair from your privileged perch??  Even though multiple other women came forward to say that they were treated inappropriately by Mark Darling and it harmed them spiritually? How can Brent Knox say that what happened to Mark Darling was unfair and unjust, and out of the other side of his mouth he supposedly apologized to the women who were harmed? You cannot have it both ways.

I found Mark Darling's resignation letter to be very manipulative. "I love you, dear believers." Nope, love does no harm. Love is humble.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 01:50:09 pm by GodisFaithful » Logged
DarthVader
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2018, 02:53:57 pm »

I don't disagree with anything you've said on substance, GIF, just a couple of thoughts:

1) Yes, none of us have seen the report and the lack of transparency is something I have a huge problem with. That being said, if I put myself in Todd's shoes, there may have certainly been some peer pressure to not to be the 1 of 7 not voting to rescind Mark's ordination, but if I were in that seat, that peer pressure would have paled in comparison to having to face Mark's son-in-law and daughter at the next house church meeting they lead together, along with probably Todd's 50 closest friends. I don't know if he has a family but if so, that would add a whole other dimension to how hard this would be on a wife and kids. They all home-school & I imagine the conversation at the next co-op meeting might be hard for a wife in the culture of The Rock  (caveat - I don't, never have and never will attend The Rock, so I'm speaking about something I have at best, only indirect knowledge of).

2) I agree with you on the contents of Mark's letter, and I should take a step back and say it probably should not have been read, but it could have been acknowledged vs. ignored, with some commentary like, "Mark has a letter of resignation he asked to to share. In our view it is unrepentant, does not acknowledge the victims or pain he has caused, and is a self-serving promotion for his new ministry which we do not endorse, so we will not be sharing this letter, however, if you wish to read it, you are free to reach out to Mark directly" vs. just pretend it doesn't exist.

I do think the truth is winning the public debate - at the beginning of all this, when a MD supporter, often a family member, would post something about how awesome a guy Mark is, it would get 100+ likes, loves, etc., with dozens of supportive comments. In the posts of his resignation letter I've seen on FB, about the same 10 people are still "liking" the post and commentary that usually accompanies it & some of those are probably more trying to be supportive of the kids than anything else.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 03:38:18 pm by DarthVader » Logged
GodisFaithful
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2018, 06:56:23 pm »

I've said it before, glorifying a family/person gets old.

Glorifying God does not get old. He is perfect in every way and deserves all of our praise and adoration. He alone.

In my opinion, Mark Darling wants/needs/craves the praise of man so much that he cannot humble himself to admit that he has done wrong. He got used to his position of power and authority and he cannot find it in himself to give that up.

DV, I like your thoughts on what should have been done with that resignation letter. Yes. But Brent and Mark Bowen were still in the Mark-Darling-is-wonderful-just-wonderful mode back then. Maybe they still are, even though he is unwilling to tell the truth.

Because Evergreen is for all practical purposes a pastor run church (the BOT being appointed by them) they are so used to running the show and saying what's what, it leads to a very unhealthy, dysfunctional situation where pastors can get away with all kinds of bad behavior and somehow justify it. I think that the BOT should have had Mark Bowen and Brent Knox and Doug Patterson step down for a while, also. But then it gets kind of silly with the BOT running the show and a huge burden on them to figure out how to remedy this sorry state. It looks like there is a pecking order for the pastors and those three are still at the top, and the other pastors have to take a back seat, in spite of Brent and Mark Bowen's "personality weaknesses" which should have been called sin toward the women who came to them. They are clinging to the last sorry shreds of their reputation and integrity, instead of getting things right with people and confessing what they did that was wrong. They should not expect victims to come to them for reconciliation. They know who they have wronged. I know there was some lying that went on in order to cover for Mark Darling. Mark Bowen lied to a big group of people about John and Suzanne when they left Evergreen after Berlin.

It remains to be seen, whether their apology is sincere and whether they will truly humbly be willing to listen to people who have been hurt and whether any true change will come of this. Change meaning a huge dose of humility needed in the role of pastor. They are so used to being heavy handed with people and throwing their weight around I have severe doubts as to whether they will ever be any different.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 07:18:13 pm by GodisFaithful » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2018, 06:10:32 am »

You make some very good points, Godisfaithful.  This entire Mark Darling affair truly shows the folly of Evergreens appoint from within system, whether or not it's all intentional. On some level I think it is very intentional. There are too many people who simply have each others back but no  different or fresh perspectives when things are off track.  It's very dangerous.
  One of the reasons I left Evergreen was that  I had a lot of time and hunger to listen to and read other  Christian leaders and would often get different and often deeper, fuller understandings on bible verses and topics.  God gave me  far greater wisdom and  understanding of many things thru others outside of Evergreen.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 06:12:23 am by bourneforHim » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2018, 06:34:19 am »

Wade Mullen
@wad3mullen
A narcissistic leader who successfully accumulates power and fame will draw other narcissistic leaders to himself.

They will insincerely praise their leader and unquestionably align themselves with his agenda in hopes that they too might share in the power and adoration.

Personally I think the above is what is going on and why gcc isn’t going to change, get healthy,  or repent; not unless they are willing to kick whole churches out of their association.
My husband was abused out by a pastor who threatened him with the words, “Mark Darling has my back.”
The gcc church I came from doesn’t change because they abuse out the members who would bring a different perspective and way of relating to people.

Bourneforhim I agree with you!
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2018, 11:48:27 am »

BourneforHim,

You make a really good point, that when a person starts to listen to solid Bible teachers outside the Evergreen/GC circle, the fog is lifted on all kinds of topics and subjects. Looking back, I feel that Evergreen pastors were motivated by trying to reel people in not to Christ but to themselves, wanting people to be dependent on them and their brand of teachings and their seminars and conferences. 

I was flipping all the way through a sweet little devotional by Charles Swindoll last night called "Bedside Blessings" and there was so much reassurance there of God's love, sovreignty, care, purposes, etc. Not one page of these truths and principles would I have heard from the pulpit of Evergreen, I feel. In fact, did you notice that sometimes the preaching was AT people instead of for them? Why not simply preach what the Word says and let the Holy Spirit do a work in people's lives?

It is hard to leave a church full of friends, but there is so much wisdom and understanding to be gained outside that system.

Case in point of a pastor at Evergreen preaching AT someone, Doug Patterson when he preached on learning from criticism said that people should just come to him with criticism and not go on social media.  I think he got a laugh. People knew who he was talking about. A cheap shot from the pulpit. This is very poor judgment and I am not so  sure of his willingness to take criticism being sincere from some things I am hearing.

As time goes on, the sincerity of these pastor's will be tested.

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