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Author Topic: Fat People Need Not Appy in GCM, at ISU and even Evergreen  (Read 31260 times)
Jason Stauffacher
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« on: December 09, 2007, 01:01:39 am »

Here is an email of a friend of mine, a former GCx youth leader of mine back at Evergreen....well, this woman was at the Mark Darling recognition in Ames. Crazy. She was involved way back then.

What my point is citing this email is three points and then the choice email:

1) If every time you walk by that old house, and that damn dog barks its head off at you and scares the pants off you and your girlfriend as you walk home from school, how likely will you walk by that old house anymore? i.e. Mark Darling still talks about weight issues to this day.  I heard him give a recent Rock sermon and "talk" about this.

2) Life is full of gains and failures, at many differing times. Many have lost many needed life experiences in GCx, as we were told at pre-Evergreen, early-Evergreen circa 1990 said that it was wise to witness at the University of Minnesota BUT not advised to go to that liberal school. Witness-witness-witness. (I wish I finished college sooner, as I followed the Evergreen lead, so I did not, and finished in my mid 20's).

3) This email from my old youth pastor, AGAIN, shows what a person experienced at GCx in Iowa under Mark, and, also what I experienced under Mark and Brent Knox talking about "weigh control" at Evergreen. My mom was over-weight, and my best friend's mom was over-weight and both women were part of a support-class run by Barb Brown, of the famous Bill Brown (former national leader). Brent disbanded this Bible-memorizing and support-group weight watchers class as the women did not lose weigh fast enough. I guess one month is not fast enough. Brent disbanded it AFTER 4 weeks of not losing weigh. (Ironically now, Mary Knox runs a Christian Weight-Watchers group. And Brent supports that one, weight-loss or not. Mary is at the helm. It's gotta be stellar. There could nothing be wrong there? Hmmm?)

Here is that email from her about Mark Darling's recognition and Mark's view of the heavy people. It just keeps on going and going and going:

"I have NEVER recognized Mark Darling as an Elder. I
walked out on his recognition. I have counseled with him
before about a job situation, and as one person to another he
was very encouraging. I think he is prejudice and uses the
Bible to justify it. I think he uses the pulpit to try to control
people with shame. Two examples: One time there was a
special meeting about the mission of the church. He ranted
about how it was sin that we didn’t volunteer any more than
we did. He especially put the pressure on the singles
because we don’t have children; there we’re supposed to
have all this extra time on our hands that we are sinfully
wasting our time. It was more his attitude and presentation.
You went out of there, not motivated and encouraged, but
with your tail between your legs feeling like you could never
make the grade. Another incident: During one of his
sermons he was going off on people who struggle with
obesity. He was saying how that was just sin and they
should repent and stop eating so much and display some
self control. He was offensive and insensitive. I don’t want to
follow, support, or be involved with a man, or woman, like
that. You know, since I left, no one has contacted me but
you. Isn’t that interesting?"
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namaste
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2007, 09:25:34 am »

Here's the problem I have with this...

One's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and should be well-cared for.  Weighing the appropriate amount is an important part of that.

However being a healthy weight is most certainly NOT the only part of this.  Does Mark Darling also give obsessive sermons about the importance of getting at least 40 minutes of heart-pounding cardio vascular exercise 5 days a week?

Does Mark Darling talk about the importance of eating healthy foods, the health effects of eating meat, and the benefits of choosing locally grown, organic foods?  

Has Mark Darling talked about the phenomenon of "skinny fat people?"  People who weigh the appropriate amount for their height, and don't look fat, but who actually have waaaaay too much body fat for their heights?

See, I'm just not down with this picking on people for their weights thing.  First, it mostly targets women who naturally have higher body fat stores/requirements than men.  Second, bashing is not a means of promoting healthy weight loss.  Finally, I don't think that even if someone desperately wanted to lose weight that Mark Darling would know what to do to help them.

The operative thing being, of course, to tell that person to see a doctor who can counsel them on the issue, make sure there are no underlying health issues, and supervise healthy weight loss.

What is Mark's response to people who confront him with the problems inherent in his harping on people's weight?

Come to think of it....wow!  I didn't realize being an elder with GCx gave a man expertise in all kinds of related subjects (like health and medicine!).
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BW
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 07:00:33 am »

I've been attending a GCM church for 7 years in Minneapolis under Mark and prior to that spent 20 years at a Calvinist Church.  In 7 years, I've not heard Mark harp on or hardly mention "fat" people. 

Mark says things at times that seem shocking, but you should take care of yourself.  If your body is a temple....why not excersize. 

Don't you think that people who are self-conscience and are already aware of their weight issue would be overly sensitive to any pastor mentioning weight as something that you should monitor and manage?
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 10:24:09 am »

For the record, the passages that refer to our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit are admonitions to keep our "bodies" (to keep the temple of God) free from sin.  Keep prostitution out of the temple.  Keep lust out of the temple.  Anyone who calls himself an "elder" or a "pastor" should have the maturity to recognize that the passages themselves expressly excluded food intake as a meaning for these passages:

"Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. ...  Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:13, 18-19)




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Huldah
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 11:31:16 pm »

I'm guessing that this idea didn't start with Mark Darling. While I was at Solid Rock (winter 78), one of the sisters told me that women are naturally prone to gluttony the way men are prone to lust. Several of us sisters lived together in the same house, and it got really absurd how closely we would monitor each other's eating. For example, a sister might reach for a second cookie for dessert, and another sister would admonish her in front of everyone else, "Do you really want that?" The weird thing is, not one of us was fat. Not one of us would have been harmed by an extra cookie. But there was a really depressing tendency to attribute sinful motives to even the most innocent pleasures.

One of the sisters there decided to lose weight. (In my opinion, she didn't need to. She was normal by 1970's standards, and well below average by today's standards.) She was looking into Weight Watchers because she'd heard that a sister in a different fellowship had had success with them. One of the deacons in our fellowship talked her out of it. He told that if she lost the weight at Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers would get the glory instead of God. I really, really wanted to say, "By that logic, if you lose it on your own, won't you get the glory yourself instead of God?" However, this paritcular sister had a strong tendency to bully other sisters. Somehow I had become her target of choice, so I knew that I'd be made to regret saying anything like that.

I don't know if she ever lost any weight or not. I had just about reached my limit by then anyway. I ended up leaving within a few weeks of that conversation.
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Huldah
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 08:37:28 pm »

Here's something interesting: the 2001 edition of the GC Elder Qualifications Test (written by John Hopler)
lists "controlling his weight" as one of the factors to be considered when evaluating a potential elder. This is based on 1 Timothy 3:2, "Now the overseer must be... temperate..."

(http://www.evergreencc.com/toolbox/elder_test.pdf , page 5)
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saved
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 09:43:52 pm »

Don't you think that people who are self-conscience and are already aware of their weight issue would be overly sensitive to any pastor mentioning weight as something that you should monitor and manage?

Yes, that's entirely possible.  It's also possible that a singer with a great voice would never stand a chance of being on the music team in a GC seeker service if she's overweight.
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wastedyearsthere
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2009, 05:15:10 am »

Not only the elders but the elders wives.  I know of a man who was never raised to elder (has the qualifications though) because of his wife's eating disorder.......  apparently the wife needs to have these qualifications too???
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Huldah
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2009, 10:54:18 am »

That's not surprising. The same document (page 10) asks whether the candidate's house is clean.
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wastedyearsthere
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2009, 10:59:24 am »

I know of a candidate (now an elder at Evergreen) that wasn't going to be "raised up" because he didn't faithfully make his bed!!!

I wish they had more stringent qualifications in training in the Word.
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marklacon
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 10:58:30 pm »

I know of a candidate (now an elder at Evergreen) that wasn't going to be "raised up" because he didn't faithfully make his bed!!!

I wish they had more stringent qualifications in training in the Word.

That is wrong, it seems that they are doing discrimination with fat and overweight persons. Honestly I am a very fat persons and I have lost about 8kgs of my weight in last few months by just doing exercises and regular walking.
http://www.cellublue.com/
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TaylorJoy
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2013, 05:09:25 pm »

That is an absolutely ridiculous qualification---but even the secular world doesn't believe that.  I was overweight my entire life, but then found out I had food allergies, and lost 1/3rd of my body weight.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 
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Linda
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2013, 09:32:49 am »

"…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, home birth 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."

The importance of "appearances" is a big deal to GC. The above quote was something Mark Darling said at an LT or was it HSLT (I get confused on the difference) in Myrtle Beach that my son attended. I had no idea that my children were being taught garbage like that. I wish I had listened to more online messages when we were there. Parents, I advise you to listen to the talks your children are hearing when they attend these conferences. They may contradict what you are teaching your children at home.

I do remember that they loved the verse about man looking on the outward appearance, but God looking at the heart. They interpreted it backwards to mean "dress cool". Sigh.
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Huldah
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2013, 12:03:32 pm »

How frustrating. The church should be the one place a woman can go and not be told how inadequate her appearance is, that she's not pretty enough, that she doesn't measure up, or that her looks keep her from representing--Christ? No, she's not pretty enough to represent the pastors! This is so far from the heart of Jesus.
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IWishToRemainAnonymous
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 06:45:33 pm »

Mark Darling's sermon at The Rock on January 3rd. Part of a month long series on sex. Last 10 minutes this is said. Is this man accountable to anyone?

"I’m going to talk about bedroom clothing. I’m going to talk about what positions are best for sex. I’m going to blow your mind. I promise you, if you come to this whole thing, you’re going to gain some insights you’ve never had before whether your married or single...

...And in fact what typically happens in marriage and I really don’t mean this to be offensive I really don’t. Do you know in a recent study I know this is going to sound tacky and I know you’re not going to believe me the number one reason that men said they were afraid of commitment is because they were afraid if they committed and married a girl she’d let herself go and become fat and overweight yep that’s the truth that’s what they’re really thinking you know why because that’s almost all you see everywhere well look at me and Kathy and I mean that with all humility. We really enjoy each other’s bodies and we take care of them because I am not going to be like the majority of the rest of America. I am not."

Link:
http://www.evergreenchurchmedia.com/uploads/audio/2014-1-3-rock-service.mp3
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MarthaH
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2014, 02:05:58 pm »

I never went to Evergreen, but I still heard so much about Mark's obsession with the outward appearances. He once berated a group at a GCLI because they were not dressing cool enough to reach the lost and emerging generation. The Rock is all about outward appearances and marketing. I've heard his talks about how much he works out and how he shaves (twice a day I believe) and his diet and his wardrobe and how he distressed the leather on his jacket. I even heard he had a perm once. Again, I didn't even go there! I can't imagine what it was like for you.

A funny idea for a blog would be to submit hipster photos of GC staff and pastors. One staffer I knew shaved his head, grew a goatee and got his ears pierced for the "sake of the gospel."

The only bright side to all of that was we always had cool t-shirts.

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araignee19
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2014, 10:39:05 pm »


Wow. Better not dare to believe in climate change in a GCx church...  Climate change is not a spiritual issue. Believe it or don't believe it, and follow the data and the evidence. But there is nothing about believing in climate change that contradicts Christian faith. That is not something pastors should be dogmatically teaching on from the pulpit.

Gah... Thank you so much for that horrid picture of the symbolism of wedding rings.

And really!? Sex positions!? When is that EVER an appropriate topic for a sermon? Especially to a group of young, unmarried singles.

Ewww Ewww Ewww
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IWishToRemainAnonymous
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2014, 08:39:48 am »

Ewww. Ewww. Ewww. Back.

I can't actually see him talking about positions, unless he goes the Driscoll/Song of Solomon route. Ewww. Ewww. Ewww. He probably used the positions reference merely to titillate since it was in the context of trying to get people to come back. He probably will say the best position is humbly loving and serving your spouse, or down on your knees praying for your marriage, or at the gym not letting yourself go. There, I've given him his 3 points. Sermon done.
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margaret
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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2014, 10:15:56 am »

Our (former) elder loved going through Song of Solomon for the college kids, using the most sexual used metaphors imaginable. Using the V-word FROM THE PULPIT to describe 'the Garden.'
Shock value. My daughter still calls him a sexual deviant.
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pvitartas
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« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2016, 05:55:42 pm »

I think the thin thing is still in effect.  Simply surf GC local church sites.
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