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Author Topic: My experience with Pastor Mark Darling  (Read 6384 times)
Andrea_colo
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« on: March 13, 2018, 03:35:43 pm »

I canít remember when I first met Mark Darling. But I do remember the first time I allowed him to take a huge role in my life. When I was in my 3rd year of college, Mark Darling taught at our annual college retreat in Estes Park. He told us to read Psalm 119 two times Ė once by ourselves, and once out loud with friends, highlighting every word pertaining to Godís law, commandments, statutes, etc. It was an incredible way to meditate on Godís character. Now, at least two times a week, I listen to Psalm 119 while getting ready for work. Mark also encouraged us to listen to at least one sermon every day of the week for a year. So I chose a few sermons from the Rock Church in Utah, and of course a few sermons from Mark Darling. That year, I listened to ďThe Awesome Love of GodĒ over 52 times. I can still hear Markís voice when I quote it. Mark has no idea how much he changed my life with that sermon.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, repeated sexual assault, and a survivor of an alcoholic, narcissistic dad Ė please listen to me.

This is not a post about my dad so I will leave out the incriminating details. I received counsel from two of my pastors in 2015 that I should no longer be in contact with my dad due to the emotional and verbal abuse he put me through. I set up strong boundaries with him, and unfortunately he was not willing to respect those boundaries. In December of 2016 through the spring of 2017, he harassed me. I spoke with the police who advised me to get a restraining order, but I had never done something like that before and wasnít even sure I should do so as a Christian. When I asked my pastors about it I did not get a clear, supportive response from them. Through lots of prayer and reading the bible, I decided to get a restraining order the next time my dad reached out to me, but by Godís grace that never happened again.

This whole circumstance crushed my spirit to a greater depth than humanly recoverable. A dear brother in Christ encouraged me to reach out to Mark Darling when he was visiting Colorado in the summer of 2017 because he knew how much Markís teachings impacted my life. I sat down with Mark in a room full of people and began to share a little of my story. Mark cried with me and desperately wanted me to know Godís heart. He offered to check in with me via email or phone, as he knew I didnít have strength to hold on to God by myself. I was surprised at how faithful Mark was to email me and send me encouraging verses and sermons. In the most gentle, caring way he did not let me walk away from God. He never gave up on me.

During a phone call at 7:30am in the morning (I had to work at 8am, so he was willing to work around my schedule) Mark told me I should have obtained a restraining order against my dad years ago. Iíll always remember the strong tone of voice Mark had as he defended me, my mom, and my sisters against the abuse we all experienced at the hand and mouth of my dad. Out of all of the people I reached out to for counsel, the person who held the absolute highest standards of what appropriate behavior looked like for men, was Mark Darling. Not to put down any of my pastors in Colorado - I think Mark just knew what type of person my dad was because Mark had devoted his life to standing up against men like my dad.

As a survivor, I am hyper-aware of men who make me feel uncomfortable. I am very intuitive and get triggered easily. I have never ever thought of Mark to be a threatening, grooming man. EVER. He has been the most gentle, loving, SAFE, caring father-figure this fatherless child has EVER had. With such a powerful testimony, Mark has stood up for victims and spoken truth against this cultureís disgusting consumption of objectifying women. Unfortunately, I believe Satan has been trying to destroy Mark Darling for years; itís the only way I can make sense of these horrific accusations, which directly attack everything Mark has ever stood for. Please donít forget our enemy. Please donít forget we are at war, and our enemy will do whatever it takes to destroy us.

I am praying for the truth to come out, and for mercy. Come Lord Jesus, come.

Please note that I am educated. Studies have found that 2-10% of sexual assault accusations are false. I am not blindly supporting Mark. I am just giving you an account of my experience with him, which is how I've come to my conclusion that these accusations are false. I am open to changing my mind, but it is very unlikely that I will.
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jeromydaviddarling
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2018, 06:38:20 am »

Finally speechless...I have no words better than thank you Andrea. I cried reading this

To the rest of the board - unless you've all been private messaging her, your silence is deafening. You've reached a new low
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Gladtobegone
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2018, 06:55:56 am »

Thank you Lisa!  Your words are informing and articulate.  So glad you have  bravely come  forward!

From what I know about abusers.  They can show different personas at different times.  My studies of mental health I would suggest most have personality disorders or narcissism.  Yes, you might have experienced a different childhood than what these woman experienced.  Iíve heard this isnít uncommon.  What about Bill Cosbyís devoted kids?  They say he was a great father.  Too many to list.  I think his wife still believes he is innocent even with grave evidence against him.

He could have been a great father and still abused these women.  Iíve seen this. 

But to discount at least 3 womenís similar experience?  2 Crinthians 13:1 Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16, 1 Timothy 5:19
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omelianchuk
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2018, 07:06:20 am »

Thank you Lisa!  Your words are informing and articulate.  So glad you have  bravely come  forward!

From what I know about abusers.  They can show different personas at different times.  My studies of mental health I would suggest most have personality disorders or narcissism.  Yes, you might have experienced a different childhood than what these woman experienced.  Iíve heard this isnít uncommon.  What about Bill Cosbyís devoted kids?  They say he was a great father.  Too many to list.  I think his wife still believes he is innocent even with grave evidence against him.

He could have been a great father and still abused these women.  Iíve seen this. 

But to discount at least 3 womenís similar experience?  2 Crinthians 13:1 Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16, 1 Timothy 5:19

Wrong thread?
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Digital Lynch Mob
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2018, 07:59:29 am »

This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experiences and interactions with Mark.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2018, 08:02:11 am »

There is absolutely no question Mark Darking has done many good things.  Iím very glad he was able to help you.  Iím glad youíre in a good place in your life now.
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Glad to be free.
RicktRoll
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 08:17:55 am »

Quote
From what I know about abusers.  They can show different personas at different times.  My studies of mental health I would suggest most have personality disorders or narcissism.  Yes, you might have experienced a different childhood than what these woman experienced.  Iíve heard this isnít uncommon.  What about Bill Cosbyís devoted kids?  They say he was a great father.  Too many to list.  I think his wife still believes he is innocent even with grave evidence against him.

We can generalize narcissism, or whatever disorder you want to label Mark with. But even if we take your thinking about the labels you are trying to put on Mark I imagine there SHOULD BE more than 3 women over a 30 year period that can attest to him having multiple personalities. With your school of thought, I imagine the numbers are more balanced than 99% of people disagreeing with this.

Right now as it stands:
3 women have stories that say Mark is a different person. (With a generous number of 30 supporting them - giving the benefit of the doubt here)
Tens of THOUSANDS (I'm lowballing here) Can attest to the exact same Mark that Andrea is talking about here.

Please explain to me how your thinking applies here when the math isn't adding up.
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Tracy
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 08:31:41 am »

I can relate to Andrea. Thank you for sharing. I won't share all of my story or my last name because my abusers or family members may see this and I would like to respect their privacy and not flash their sin all over the internet. I would like those relationships to be restored if possible. I have been sexually abused many many many times. My home life was one of which my parents were depressed and addicted to drugs. The type of abusive situations a child left alone under those circumstances is exposed to seems endless. My mother is/was a narcissist and I believe she has borderline personality disorder. As Andrea is, I am hypersensitive to narcissists and sexually abusive situations.

Often times once someone is sexually abused their world turns sexual. Speaking from experience, I had to fight hard to understand that every look from a male, every hug, and every conversation wasn't about wanting something sexual. I am healed from my wounds. I understand them and now have healthy relationships with my male friends and acquaintances. Some women don't ever understand that sexual abuse can taint their view in life and relationships. They are stuck in their sexual predator view of men. And dare I say women can have this view even if they weren't sexually abused simply because of our sex crazed society that we're all exposed to everyday. Listen, God used the people in Great Commission Churches (especially the Darling family) to help heal me and HUMBLE me. The most important thing I've learned from Mark is that this world is NOT ABOUT ME. The stories I've heard from him and from others about him are ones of self sacrifice, stepping aside when others challenge him and deferring. They are ones of laying down the pleasures of this world in order to build the kingdom. 

My experience with Mark Darling is that of a kind, loving servant of Christ who is faithful, compassionate, and who deeply hurts when he sees people deeply hurting. He is desperate for people to see Christ and follow him. God has used him mightily to change my life and to change my husband's life. Frankly, I've NEVER been wrong when judging someone's character because I had to grow up protecting myself from sick people. Mark is not one of those people. My husband and I love and stand with Mark and his family.


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MicahJoelDarling
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 08:43:03 am »

I can relate to Andrea. Thank you for sharing. I won't share all of my story or my last name because my abusers or family members may see this and I would like to respect their privacy and not flash their sin all over the internet. I would like those relationships to be restored if possible. I have been sexually abused many many many times. My home life was one of which my parents were depressed and addicted to drugs. The type of abusive situations a child left alone under those circumstances is exposed to seems endless. My mother is/was a narcissist and I believe she has borderline personality disorder. As Andrea is, I am hypersensitive to narcissists and sexually abusive situations.

Often times once someone is sexually abused their world turns sexual. Speaking from experience, I had to fight hard to understand that every look from a male, every hug, and every conversation wasn't about wanting something sexual. I am healed from my wounds. I understand them and now have healthy relationships with my male friends and acquaintances. Some women don't ever understand that sexual abuse can taint their view in life and relationships. They are stuck in their sexual predator view of men. And dare I say women can have this view even if they weren't sexually abused simply because of our sex crazed society that we're all exposed to everyday. Listen, God used the people in Great Commission Churches (especially the Darling family) to help heal me and HUMBLE me. The most important thing I've learned from Mark is that this world is NOT ABOUT ME. The stories I've heard from him and from others about him are ones of self sacrifice, stepping aside when others challenge him and deferring. They are ones of laying down the pleasures of this world in order to build the kingdom. 

My experience with Mark Darling is that of a kind, loving servant of Christ who is faithful, compassionate, and who deeply hurts when he sees people deeply hurting. He is desperate for people to see Christ and follow him. God has used him mightily to change my life and to change my husband's life. Frankly, I've NEVER been wrong when judging someone's character because I had to grow up protecting myself from sick people. Mark is not one of those people. My husband and I love and stand with Mark and his family.


Andrea and Tracy,

Thank you both for your words and your willingness to share these stories and these painful memories. I am sorry for the hurt that you have both experienced and I praise God that he has helped you both find healing and restoration. Christ Heals! Amen!

Thank you for speaking up. Your words are a life raft to our family right now. We, as his children, know our father better than anyone, but it is such a blessing to see others who have known him speak truth as well. This is the father who I remember running upstairs to countless times at night for comfort when I would have bad dreams (I had recurring nightmares as a young child.) I was always safe with him.
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jeromydaviddarling
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 08:51:31 am »

I can relate to Andrea. Thank you for sharing. I won't share all of my story or my last name because my abusers or family members may see this and I would like to respect their privacy and not flash their sin all over the internet. I would like those relationships to be restored if possible. I have been sexually abused many many many times. My home life was one of which my parents were depressed and addicted to drugs. The type of abusive situations a child left alone under those circumstances is exposed to seems endless. My mother is/was a narcissist and I believe she has borderline personality disorder. As Andrea is, I am hypersensitive to narcissists and sexually abusive situations.

Often times once someone is sexually abused their world turns sexual. Speaking from experience, I had to fight hard to understand that every look from a male, every hug, and every conversation wasn't about wanting something sexual. I am healed from my wounds. I understand them and now have healthy relationships with my male friends and acquaintances. Some women don't ever understand that sexual abuse can taint their view in life and relationships. They are stuck in their sexual predator view of men. And dare I say women can have this view even if they weren't sexually abused simply because of our sex crazed society that we're all exposed to everyday. Listen, God used the people in Great Commission Churches (especially the Darling family) to help heal me and HUMBLE me. The most important thing I've learned from Mark is that this world is NOT ABOUT ME. The stories I've heard from him and from others about him are ones of self sacrifice, stepping aside when others challenge him and deferring. They are ones of laying down the pleasures of this world in order to build the kingdom.  

My experience with Mark Darling is that of a kind, loving servant of Christ who is faithful, compassionate, and who deeply hurts when he sees people deeply hurting. He is desperate for people to see Christ and follow him. God has used him mightily to change my life and to change my husband's life. Frankly, I've NEVER been wrong when judging someone's character because I had to grow up protecting myself from sick people. Mark is not one of those people. My husband and I love and stand with Mark and his family.


Tracy, Andrea - I don't even know what to say. The horror of childhood abuse is perhaps the biggest reason I wish God would just come back and take us all to Heaven. Your words about my father will never be forgotten as long as I live.

$190
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Boggs
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 09:05:15 am »

Andrea, Tracy - I'm glad you had such positive experiences. I've talked to Mark a few times and found him to be warm and generous in person. Thanks for sharing on the forum.
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Outtathere
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 09:41:41 am »

I think it is good to keep in mind that Mark has helped a lot of people. It is also good to remember that there has been no trial and that if there were, he would be innocent until proven guilty. If the allegations made towards sexual abuse are wrong, then there has been irreparable damage done to this man's reputation and his family's. I hope that the posts by his family and his church will be read in light of this, to give weight to what is posted.

I have posted under an alias because of the slander I faced when I left my church. My motives for leaving were slandered as was my character. I lost many friends who shunned me when leaving. I have a few left and I wish to keep them and not be slandered anymore, which is why I am posting under anonymity (not because I am a coward). I also have experience with the area of spiritual and sexual abuse. I do not wish to go into extensive detail publicly on what qualifies me but would be willing to do so through personal messaging. Please reach out to me before discrediting what I have to say publicly.

I believe Evergreen should meet with the offended party(parties) to agree on some form of dialogue. The results should be brought into the open. While showing how often people have been blessed by a person, it does not mean that a person did not commit an offensive act towards someone else. Most people did not believe what happened to me because it was not their experience with my abuser. That did not mean it didn't happen. Also, it does not mean abuse happened or didn't happen in this case because somebody thought a person was a nice guy. Also, time is not an excuse to dismiss an allegation.

I would say that it should be neutrally investigated and brought forward publicly for the following reasons: 1. The accuser already has gone public, 2. The conversations being referred to by Scout had witnesses and could be investigated and verified if both parties wish to pursue the truth, 3. There is more than one testimony of abuse, therefore, this needs to be investigated. By saying there are multiple witnesses, Scout would have to produce multiple witnesses. If she is making this up, she will be unable to produce the witnesses and case closed, 4. The testimonials of other witnesses shared differ in style. This may not be a big deal to a lot of you but if you understood how evidence is examined in a court of law, you would know that it is more difficult than it appears to fake another person's story. There are variances in the 3 testimonies I read (style, pattern, etc.), which at face value seem to indicate that they are different people. Again, the point is that it is worth looking into. 5. The allegation is by a former pastor's wife. The former pastor has not disagreed with her statement as far as I know.

I do hope that Evergreen pursues the truth and that such a serious allegation is not swept under the rug. Character assassination, on either side, does not change what may or may not have happened. If she is a real victim, how horrible it would be to say she is merely disgruntled or mentally unstable. If Mark is innocent, how terrible it would be to pile on without knowing all the facts. My counselor said that sexual abuse in churches is much more common than people wish to believe and that most choose not to believe it when it occurs. Again, this doesn't mean that anyone is guilty but it simply means that we shouldn't be quick to dismiss it because we don't want it to be true. We see this more often than not, like when a parent is told their beloved child did something wrong and they are willing to look past evidence because of their emotional love for their family. Point being, if both sides want truth, let it come out in an agreed medium that focuses on facts.
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Andrea_colo
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 03:47:46 pm »

Finally speechless...I have no words better than thank you Andrea. I cried reading this

To the rest of the board - unless you've all been private messaging her, your silence is deafening. You've reached a new low

Hi Jeromy, I firmly stand behind your family. Just thought you'd like to know - no one has private messaged me.
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Andrea_colo
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2018, 08:37:18 am »

I can relate to Andrea. Thank you for sharing. I won't share all of my story or my last name because my abusers or family members may see this and I would like to respect their privacy and not flash their sin all over the internet. I would like those relationships to be restored if possible. I have been sexually abused many many many times. My home life was one of which my parents were depressed and addicted to drugs. The type of abusive situations a child left alone under those circumstances is exposed to seems endless. My mother is/was a narcissist and I believe she has borderline personality disorder. As Andrea is, I am hypersensitive to narcissists and sexually abusive situations.

Often times once someone is sexually abused their world turns sexual. Speaking from experience, I had to fight hard to understand that every look from a male, every hug, and every conversation wasn't about wanting something sexual. I am healed from my wounds. I understand them and now have healthy relationships with my male friends and acquaintances. Some women don't ever understand that sexual abuse can taint their view in life and relationships. They are stuck in their sexual predator view of men. And dare I say women can have this view even if they weren't sexually abused simply because of our sex crazed society that we're all exposed to everyday. Listen, God used the people in Great Commission Churches (especially the Darling family) to help heal me and HUMBLE me. The most important thing I've learned from Mark is that this world is NOT ABOUT ME. The stories I've heard from him and from others about him are ones of self sacrifice, stepping aside when others challenge him and deferring. They are ones of laying down the pleasures of this world in order to build the kingdom. 

My experience with Mark Darling is that of a kind, loving servant of Christ who is faithful, compassionate, and who deeply hurts when he sees people deeply hurting. He is desperate for people to see Christ and follow him. God has used him mightily to change my life and to change my husband's life. Frankly, I've NEVER been wrong when judging someone's character because I had to grow up protecting myself from sick people. Mark is not one of those people. My husband and I love and stand with Mark and his family.




Hi Tracy, thank you so much for sharing your story. It was really scary for me to open up on this forum (I had no idea how people would respond).  It feels good to not be "alone."

I worked with delinquent youth boys at a residential treatment center for 2 years. These clients were from all over the region, and they had the worst cases of childhood physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Even torture. What I learned from that position will stick with me for the rest of my life. And consequently, I learned a lot about myself and the abuse I endured. You mentioned abuse survivors interpreting everything on a sexual scale - it is absolutely true. I also have experienced this and witnessed it with the delinquent youth. The brain actually carves out/makes neurological connections and paths to protect itself from experiencing the abuse again. Instead of thinking rationally about situations, our brains make short cuts to the emotional "fight, flight, or freeze" responses. And any interaction with a person who poses a potential threat is evaluated on a "sexual scale" - meaning, we are always interpreting whether or not this potential threat is sexually attracted to us. If there is a HINT of attraction, we believe they could harm us. Many people refer to this as a trigger, although triggers can manifest themselves in multiple ways for multiple reasons. We had training about this at the residential treatment center, and it completely shaped the way we treated them. We never singled out the clients or made them feel extra "special" or different. If I did something nice for one of the clients, I would do it for all of the clients. We also never talked about our personal lives. At the time I worked the position, my dad was in the hospital and we weren't sure if he'd make it. Although my world felt like it was collapsing in on me, my clients NEVER knew anything was going on. This was to prevent my clients from interpreting any "favors" as a sign of sexual attraction, which would have been DEVASTATING towards their treatment.

A few years ago, there was a man at my church who would walk up to all of the young women and ask them to smile. He was in his 50s and he had a wife and child. He made several women uncomfortable, but most women just knew to avoid him or laugh it off. With my history, however, it crippled me with fear. I did not like him telling me to do something (even a simple smile), and I would never "comply." I had hoped that if I resisted enough, he would eventually just leave me alone. But it actually seemed to make him try harder. He would tell me jokes and I would uncomfortably not laugh. I was very skilled at the Guest Services desk, so I often served there on Sunday mornings. Since I couldn't leave my "post" he would come up to the desk and try to talk to me. I walked away once, and he followed me. Then one morning when the pastor was praying I closed my eyes to pray and when I opened them, he was standing VERY close to me. The man could have been just socially awkward, but to me, he was a threat and I interpreted this as grooming. I talked to my pastors and they had a conversation with him. He said I was sinful for not addressing it with him first, like Matthew 18:15-17 instructs. But my therapist at the time defended me, given my abuse history. Then at one point my roommate thought he followed her from one city to another (which is true), BUT it turns out there were logical explanations to everything that happened (I don't want to disclose, as it might identify the man), and after meeting with him a few other men (pastors), I apologized to him for falsely accusing him of grooming me. He apologized for not respecting my boundaries, and he left me alone.

I share this story as an example that victims of abuse are victims of horrific crimes that damage the brain more than what is commonly known. PTSD from sexual abuse is comparable to PTSD from war. Victims of abuse do not always remember clearly, interpret correctly, or respond appropriately. Not that it is their FAULT. But it is important to keep in mind. I am NOT victim blaming. I am just admitting that as a victim, I make mistakes. I am God's daughter, and I have PTSD, and I have healed a lot. But I make mistakes and God meets me with grace where I am at. I am so thankful for His patience and His tender heart towards me.
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Godtrumpsall
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2018, 08:54:58 am »

I can relate to Andrea. Thank you for sharing. I won't share all of my story or my last name because my abusers or family members may see this and I would like to respect their privacy and not flash their sin all over the internet. I would like those relationships to be restored if possible. I have been sexually abused many many many times. My home life was one of which my parents were depressed and addicted to drugs. The type of abusive situations a child left alone under those circumstances is exposed to seems endless. My mother is/was a narcissist and I believe she has borderline personality disorder. As Andrea is, I am hypersensitive to narcissists and sexually abusive situations.

Often times once someone is sexually abused their world turns sexual. Speaking from experience, I had to fight hard to understand that every look from a male, every hug, and every conversation wasn't about wanting something sexual. I am healed from my wounds. I understand them and now have healthy relationships with my male friends and acquaintances. Some women don't ever understand that sexual abuse can taint their view in life and relationships. They are stuck in their sexual predator view of men. And dare I say women can have this view even if they weren't sexually abused simply because of our sex crazed society that we're all exposed to everyday. Listen, God used the people in Great Commission Churches (especially the Darling family) to help heal me and HUMBLE me. The most important thing I've learned from Mark is that this world is NOT ABOUT ME. The stories I've heard from him and from others about him are ones of self sacrifice, stepping aside when others challenge him and deferring. They are ones of laying down the pleasures of this world in order to build the kingdom. 

My experience with Mark Darling is that of a kind, loving servant of Christ who is faithful, compassionate, and who deeply hurts when he sees people deeply hurting. He is desperate for people to see Christ and follow him. God has used him mightily to change my life and to change my husband's life. Frankly, I've NEVER been wrong when judging someone's character because I had to grow up protecting myself from sick people. Mark is not one of those people. My husband and I love and stand with Mark and his family.




Hi Tracy, thank you so much for sharing your story. It was really scary for me to open up on this forum (I had no idea how people would respond).  It feels good to not be "alone."

I worked with delinquent youth boys at a residential treatment center for 2 years. These clients were from all over the region, and they had the worst cases of childhood physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Even torture. What I learned from that position will stick with me for the rest of my life. And consequently, I learned a lot about myself and the abuse I endured. You mentioned abuse survivors interpreting everything on a sexual scale - it is absolutely true. I also have experienced this and witnessed it with the delinquent youth. The brain actually carves out/makes neurological connections and paths to protect itself from experiencing the abuse again. Instead of thinking rationally about situations, our brains make short cuts to the emotional "fight, flight, or freeze" responses. And any interaction with a person who poses a potential threat is evaluated on a "sexual scale" - meaning, we are always interpreting whether or not this potential threat is sexually attracted to us. If there is a HINT of attraction, we believe they could harm us. Many people refer to this as a trigger, although triggers can manifest themselves in multiple ways for multiple reasons. We had training about this at the residential treatment center, and it completely shaped the way we treated them. We never singled out the clients or made them feel extra "special" or different. If I did something nice for one of the clients, I would do it for all of the clients. We also never talked about our personal lives. At the time I worked the position, my dad was in the hospital and we weren't sure if he'd make it. Although my world felt like it was collapsing in on me, my clients NEVER knew anything was going on. This was to prevent my clients from interpreting any "favors" as a sign of sexual attraction, which would have been DEVASTATING towards their treatment.

A few years ago, there was a man at my church who would walk up to all of the young women and ask them to smile. He was in his 50s and he had a wife and child. He made several women uncomfortable, but most women just knew to avoid him or laugh it off. With my history, however, it crippled me with fear. I did not like him telling me to do something (even a simple smile), and I would never "comply." I had hoped that if I resisted enough, he would eventually just leave me alone. But it actually seemed to make him try harder. He would tell me jokes and I would uncomfortably not laugh. I was very skilled at the Guest Services desk, so I often served there on Sunday mornings. Since I couldn't leave my "post" he would come up to the desk and try to talk to me. I walked away once, and he followed me. Then one morning when the pastor was praying I closed my eyes to pray and when I opened them, he was standing VERY close to me. The man could have been just socially awkward, but to me, he was a threat and I interpreted this as grooming. I talked to my pastors and they had a conversation with him. He said I was sinful for not addressing it with him first, like Matthew 18:15-17 instructs. But my therapist at the time defended me, given my abuse history. Then at one point my roommate thought he followed her from one city to another (which is true), BUT it turns out there were logical explanations to everything that happened (I don't want to disclose, as it might identify the man), and after meeting with him a few other men (pastors), I apologized to him for falsely accusing him of grooming me. He apologized for not respecting my boundaries, and he left me alone.

I share this story as an example that victims of abuse are victims of horrific crimes that damage the brain more than what is commonly known. PTSD from sexual abuse is comparable to PTSD from war. Victims of abuse do not always remember clearly, interpret correctly, or respond appropriately. Not that it is their FAULT. But it is important to keep in mind. I am NOT victim blaming. I am just admitting that as a victim, I make mistakes. I am God's daughter, and I have PTSD, and I have healed a lot. But I make mistakes and God meets me with grace where I am at. I am so thankful for His patience and His tender heart towards me.


Thank you for sharing your first hand insights and expertise.  I am sorry you, and others, have had to carry this burden around where ever you go Sad.  People on this board that have spoken of their background in psychology and therapists, is this something you are familiar with? 
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jeromydaviddarling
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2018, 09:11:04 am »

I can relate to Andrea. Thank you for sharing. I won't share all of my story or my last name because my abusers or family members may see this and I would like to respect their privacy and not flash their sin all over the internet. I would like those relationships to be restored if possible. I have been sexually abused many many many times. My home life was one of which my parents were depressed and addicted to drugs. The type of abusive situations a child left alone under those circumstances is exposed to seems endless. My mother is/was a narcissist and I believe she has borderline personality disorder. As Andrea is, I am hypersensitive to narcissists and sexually abusive situations.

Often times once someone is sexually abused their world turns sexual. Speaking from experience, I had to fight hard to understand that every look from a male, every hug, and every conversation wasn't about wanting something sexual. I am healed from my wounds. I understand them and now have healthy relationships with my male friends and acquaintances. Some women don't ever understand that sexual abuse can taint their view in life and relationships. They are stuck in their sexual predator view of men. And dare I say women can have this view even if they weren't sexually abused simply because of our sex crazed society that we're all exposed to everyday. Listen, God used the people in Great Commission Churches (especially the Darling family) to help heal me and HUMBLE me. The most important thing I've learned from Mark is that this world is NOT ABOUT ME. The stories I've heard from him and from others about him are ones of self sacrifice, stepping aside when others challenge him and deferring. They are ones of laying down the pleasures of this world in order to build the kingdom. 

My experience with Mark Darling is that of a kind, loving servant of Christ who is faithful, compassionate, and who deeply hurts when he sees people deeply hurting. He is desperate for people to see Christ and follow him. God has used him mightily to change my life and to change my husband's life. Frankly, I've NEVER been wrong when judging someone's character because I had to grow up protecting myself from sick people. Mark is not one of those people. My husband and I love and stand with Mark and his family.




Hi Tracy, thank you so much for sharing your story. It was really scary for me to open up on this forum (I had no idea how people would respond).  It feels good to not be "alone."

I worked with delinquent youth boys at a residential treatment center for 2 years. These clients were from all over the region, and they had the worst cases of childhood physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Even torture. What I learned from that position will stick with me for the rest of my life. And consequently, I learned a lot about myself and the abuse I endured. You mentioned abuse survivors interpreting everything on a sexual scale - it is absolutely true. I also have experienced this and witnessed it with the delinquent youth. The brain actually carves out/makes neurological connections and paths to protect itself from experiencing the abuse again. Instead of thinking rationally about situations, our brains make short cuts to the emotional "fight, flight, or freeze" responses. And any interaction with a person who poses a potential threat is evaluated on a "sexual scale" - meaning, we are always interpreting whether or not this potential threat is sexually attracted to us. If there is a HINT of attraction, we believe they could harm us. Many people refer to this as a trigger, although triggers can manifest themselves in multiple ways for multiple reasons. We had training about this at the residential treatment center, and it completely shaped the way we treated them. We never singled out the clients or made them feel extra "special" or different. If I did something nice for one of the clients, I would do it for all of the clients. We also never talked about our personal lives. At the time I worked the position, my dad was in the hospital and we weren't sure if he'd make it. Although my world felt like it was collapsing in on me, my clients NEVER knew anything was going on. This was to prevent my clients from interpreting any "favors" as a sign of sexual attraction, which would have been DEVASTATING towards their treatment.

A few years ago, there was a man at my church who would walk up to all of the young women and ask them to smile. He was in his 50s and he had a wife and child. He made several women uncomfortable, but most women just knew to avoid him or laugh it off. With my history, however, it crippled me with fear. I did not like him telling me to do something (even a simple smile), and I would never "comply." I had hoped that if I resisted enough, he would eventually just leave me alone. But it actually seemed to make him try harder. He would tell me jokes and I would uncomfortably not laugh. I was very skilled at the Guest Services desk, so I often served there on Sunday mornings. Since I couldn't leave my "post" he would come up to the desk and try to talk to me. I walked away once, and he followed me. Then one morning when the pastor was praying I closed my eyes to pray and when I opened them, he was standing VERY close to me. The man could have been just socially awkward, but to me, he was a threat and I interpreted this as grooming. I talked to my pastors and they had a conversation with him. He said I was sinful for not addressing it with him first, like Matthew 18:15-17 instructs. But my therapist at the time defended me, given my abuse history. Then at one point my roommate thought he followed her from one city to another (which is true), BUT it turns out there were logical explanations to everything that happened (I don't want to disclose, as it might identify the man), and after meeting with him a few other men (pastors), I apologized to him for falsely accusing him of grooming me. He apologized for not respecting my boundaries, and he left me alone.

I share this story as an example that victims of abuse are victims of horrific crimes that damage the brain more than what is commonly known. PTSD from sexual abuse is comparable to PTSD from war. Victims of abuse do not always remember clearly, interpret correctly, or respond appropriately. Not that it is their FAULT. But it is important to keep in mind. I am NOT victim blaming. I am just admitting that as a victim, I make mistakes. I am God's daughter, and I have PTSD, and I have healed a lot. But I make mistakes and God meets me with grace where I am at. I am so thankful for His patience and His tender heart towards me.


Twice now you've left me speechless sister. This is compelling and accurately reflects my work with at-risk youth over the last 2 years. Oh if we could only be more like Christ....
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Tracy
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2018, 10:00:41 am »

I can relate to Andrea. Thank you for sharing. I won't share all of my story or my last name because my abusers or family members may see this and I would like to respect their privacy and not flash their sin all over the internet. I would like those relationships to be restored if possible. I have been sexually abused many many many times. My home life was one of which my parents were depressed and addicted to drugs. The type of abusive situations a child left alone under those circumstances is exposed to seems endless. My mother is/was a narcissist and I believe she has borderline personality disorder. As Andrea is, I am hypersensitive to narcissists and sexually abusive situations.

Often times once someone is sexually abused their world turns sexual. Speaking from experience, I had to fight hard to understand that every look from a male, every hug, and every conversation wasn't about wanting something sexual. I am healed from my wounds. I understand them and now have healthy relationships with my male friends and acquaintances. Some women don't ever understand that sexual abuse can taint their view in life and relationships. They are stuck in their sexual predator view of men. And dare I say women can have this view even if they weren't sexually abused simply because of our sex crazed society that we're all exposed to everyday. Listen, God used the people in Great Commission Churches (especially the Darling family) to help heal me and HUMBLE me. The most important thing I've learned from Mark is that this world is NOT ABOUT ME. The stories I've heard from him and from others about him are ones of self sacrifice, stepping aside when others challenge him and deferring. They are ones of laying down the pleasures of this world in order to build the kingdom. 

My experience with Mark Darling is that of a kind, loving servant of Christ who is faithful, compassionate, and who deeply hurts when he sees people deeply hurting. He is desperate for people to see Christ and follow him. God has used him mightily to change my life and to change my husband's life. Frankly, I've NEVER been wrong when judging someone's character because I had to grow up protecting myself from sick people. Mark is not one of those people. My husband and I love and stand with Mark and his family.




Hi Tracy, thank you so much for sharing your story. It was really scary for me to open up on this forum (I had no idea how people would respond).  It feels good to not be "alone."

I worked with delinquent youth boys at a residential treatment center for 2 years. These clients were from all over the region, and they had the worst cases of childhood physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Even torture. What I learned from that position will stick with me for the rest of my life. And consequently, I learned a lot about myself and the abuse I endured. You mentioned abuse survivors interpreting everything on a sexual scale - it is absolutely true. I also have experienced this and witnessed it with the delinquent youth. The brain actually carves out/makes neurological connections and paths to protect itself from experiencing the abuse again. Instead of thinking rationally about situations, our brains make short cuts to the emotional "fight, flight, or freeze" responses. And any interaction with a person who poses a potential threat is evaluated on a "sexual scale" - meaning, we are always interpreting whether or not this potential threat is sexually attracted to us. If there is a HINT of attraction, we believe they could harm us. Many people refer to this as a trigger, although triggers can manifest themselves in multiple ways for multiple reasons. We had training about this at the residential treatment center, and it completely shaped the way we treated them. We never singled out the clients or made them feel extra "special" or different. If I did something nice for one of the clients, I would do it for all of the clients. We also never talked about our personal lives. At the time I worked the position, my dad was in the hospital and we weren't sure if he'd make it. Although my world felt like it was collapsing in on me, my clients NEVER knew anything was going on. This was to prevent my clients from interpreting any "favors" as a sign of sexual attraction, which would have been DEVASTATING towards their treatment.

A few years ago, there was a man at my church who would walk up to all of the young women and ask them to smile. He was in his 50s and he had a wife and child. He made several women uncomfortable, but most women just knew to avoid him or laugh it off. With my history, however, it crippled me with fear. I did not like him telling me to do something (even a simple smile), and I would never "comply." I had hoped that if I resisted enough, he would eventually just leave me alone. But it actually seemed to make him try harder. He would tell me jokes and I would uncomfortably not laugh. I was very skilled at the Guest Services desk, so I often served there on Sunday mornings. Since I couldn't leave my "post" he would come up to the desk and try to talk to me. I walked away once, and he followed me. Then one morning when the pastor was praying I closed my eyes to pray and when I opened them, he was standing VERY close to me. The man could have been just socially awkward, but to me, he was a threat and I interpreted this as grooming. I talked to my pastors and they had a conversation with him. He said I was sinful for not addressing it with him first, like Matthew 18:15-17 instructs. But my therapist at the time defended me, given my abuse history. Then at one point my roommate thought he followed her from one city to another (which is true), BUT it turns out there were logical explanations to everything that happened (I don't want to disclose, as it might identify the man), and after meeting with him a few other men (pastors), I apologized to him for falsely accusing him of grooming me. He apologized for not respecting my boundaries, and he left me alone.

I share this story as an example that victims of abuse are victims of horrific crimes that damage the brain more than what is commonly known. PTSD from sexual abuse is comparable to PTSD from war. Victims of abuse do not always remember clearly, interpret correctly, or respond appropriately. Not that it is their FAULT. But it is important to keep in mind. I am NOT victim blaming. I am just admitting that as a victim, I make mistakes. I am God's daughter, and I have PTSD, and I have healed a lot. But I make mistakes and God meets me with grace where I am at. I am so thankful for His patience and His tender heart towards me.


Andrea, I'm not sure how to quote. I hope this works. I so appreciate you being vulnerable and sharing. You have clearly worked hard at healing. It doesn't come easy. You chose to stay the course and God is using you. Praise him!
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Soul
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2018, 11:11:38 am »

I don't like the church but I still don't believe her. That's a lot of money so I want to see where it all went to. Once I see the money trail and more accusers come out I side with her story being a lie.
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jeromydaviddarling
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2018, 09:43:48 am »

I canít remember when I first met Mark Darling. But I do remember the first time I allowed him to take a huge role in my life. When I was in my 3rd year of college, Mark Darling taught at our annual college retreat in Estes Park. He told us to read Psalm 119 two times Ė once by ourselves, and once out loud with friends, highlighting every word pertaining to Godís law, commandments, statutes, etc. It was an incredible way to meditate on Godís character. Now, at least two times a week, I listen to Psalm 119 while getting ready for work. Mark also encouraged us to listen to at least one sermon every day of the week for a year. So I chose a few sermons from the Rock Church in Utah, and of course a few sermons from Mark Darling. That year, I listened to ďThe Awesome Love of GodĒ over 52 times. I can still hear Markís voice when I quote it. Mark has no idea how much he changed my life with that sermon.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, repeated sexual assault, and a survivor of an alcoholic, narcissistic dad Ė please listen to me.

This is not a post about my dad so I will leave out the incriminating details. I received counsel from two of my pastors in 2015 that I should no longer be in contact with my dad due to the emotional and verbal abuse he put me through. I set up strong boundaries with him, and unfortunately he was not willing to respect those boundaries. In December of 2016 through the spring of 2017, he harassed me. I spoke with the police who advised me to get a restraining order, but I had never done something like that before and wasnít even sure I should do so as a Christian. When I asked my pastors about it I did not get a clear, supportive response from them. Through lots of prayer and reading the bible, I decided to get a restraining order the next time my dad reached out to me, but by Godís grace that never happened again.

This whole circumstance crushed my spirit to a greater depth than humanly recoverable. A dear brother in Christ encouraged me to reach out to Mark Darling when he was visiting Colorado in the summer of 2017 because he knew how much Markís teachings impacted my life. I sat down with Mark in a room full of people and began to share a little of my story. Mark cried with me and desperately wanted me to know Godís heart. He offered to check in with me via email or phone, as he knew I didnít have strength to hold on to God by myself. I was surprised at how faithful Mark was to email me and send me encouraging verses and sermons. In the most gentle, caring way he did not let me walk away from God. He never gave up on me.

During a phone call at 7:30am in the morning (I had to work at 8am, so he was willing to work around my schedule) Mark told me I should have obtained a restraining order against my dad years ago. Iíll always remember the strong tone of voice Mark had as he defended me, my mom, and my sisters against the abuse we all experienced at the hand and mouth of my dad. Out of all of the people I reached out to for counsel, the person who held the absolute highest standards of what appropriate behavior looked like for men, was Mark Darling. Not to put down any of my pastors in Colorado - I think Mark just knew what type of person my dad was because Mark had devoted his life to standing up against men like my dad.

As a survivor, I am hyper-aware of men who make me feel uncomfortable. I am very intuitive and get triggered easily. I have never ever thought of Mark to be a threatening, grooming man. EVER. He has been the most gentle, loving, SAFE, caring father-figure this fatherless child has EVER had. With such a powerful testimony, Mark has stood up for victims and spoken truth against this cultureís disgusting consumption of objectifying women. Unfortunately, I believe Satan has been trying to destroy Mark Darling for years; itís the only way I can make sense of these horrific accusations, which directly attack everything Mark has ever stood for. Please donít forget our enemy. Please donít forget we are at war, and our enemy will do whatever it takes to destroy us.

I am praying for the truth to come out, and for mercy. Come Lord Jesus, come.

Please note that I am educated. Studies have found that 2-10% of sexual assault accusations are false. I am not blindly supporting Mark. I am just giving you an account of my experience with him, which is how I've come to my conclusion that these accusations are false. I am open to changing my mind, but it is very unlikely that I will.

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JessicaNoelDarling
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2018, 02:41:34 pm »

I canít remember when I first met Mark Darling. But I do remember the first time I allowed him to take a huge role in my life. When I was in my 3rd year of college, Mark Darling taught at our annual college retreat in Estes Park. He told us to read Psalm 119 two times Ė once by ourselves, and once out loud with friends, highlighting every word pertaining to Godís law, commandments, statutes, etc. It was an incredible way to meditate on Godís character. Now, at least two times a week, I listen to Psalm 119 while getting ready for work. Mark also encouraged us to listen to at least one sermon every day of the week for a year. So I chose a few sermons from the Rock Church in Utah, and of course a few sermons from Mark Darling. That year, I listened to ďThe Awesome Love of GodĒ over 52 times. I can still hear Markís voice when I quote it. Mark has no idea how much he changed my life with that sermon.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, repeated sexual assault, and a survivor of an alcoholic, narcissistic dad Ė please listen to me.

This is not a post about my dad so I will leave out the incriminating details. I received counsel from two of my pastors in 2015 that I should no longer be in contact with my dad due to the emotional and verbal abuse he put me through. I set up strong boundaries with him, and unfortunately he was not willing to respect those boundaries. In December of 2016 through the spring of 2017, he harassed me. I spoke with the police who advised me to get a restraining order, but I had never done something like that before and wasnít even sure I should do so as a Christian. When I asked my pastors about it I did not get a clear, supportive response from them. Through lots of prayer and reading the bible, I decided to get a restraining order the next time my dad reached out to me, but by Godís grace that never happened again.

This whole circumstance crushed my spirit to a greater depth than humanly recoverable. A dear brother in Christ encouraged me to reach out to Mark Darling when he was visiting Colorado in the summer of 2017 because he knew how much Markís teachings impacted my life. I sat down with Mark in a room full of people and began to share a little of my story. Mark cried with me and desperately wanted me to know Godís heart. He offered to check in with me via email or phone, as he knew I didnít have strength to hold on to God by myself. I was surprised at how faithful Mark was to email me and send me encouraging verses and sermons. In the most gentle, caring way he did not let me walk away from God. He never gave up on me.

During a phone call at 7:30am in the morning (I had to work at 8am, so he was willing to work around my schedule) Mark told me I should have obtained a restraining order against my dad years ago. Iíll always remember the strong tone of voice Mark had as he defended me, my mom, and my sisters against the abuse we all experienced at the hand and mouth of my dad. Out of all of the people I reached out to for counsel, the person who held the absolute highest standards of what appropriate behavior looked like for men, was Mark Darling. Not to put down any of my pastors in Colorado - I think Mark just knew what type of person my dad was because Mark had devoted his life to standing up against men like my dad.

As a survivor, I am hyper-aware of men who make me feel uncomfortable. I am very intuitive and get triggered easily. I have never ever thought of Mark to be a threatening, grooming man. EVER. He has been the most gentle, loving, SAFE, caring father-figure this fatherless child has EVER had. With such a powerful testimony, Mark has stood up for victims and spoken truth against this cultureís disgusting consumption of objectifying women. Unfortunately, I believe Satan has been trying to destroy Mark Darling for years; itís the only way I can make sense of these horrific accusations, which directly attack everything Mark has ever stood for. Please donít forget our enemy. Please donít forget we are at war, and our enemy will do whatever it takes to destroy us.

I am praying for the truth to come out, and for mercy. Come Lord Jesus, come.

Please note that I am educated. Studies have found that 2-10% of sexual assault accusations are false. I am not blindly supporting Mark. I am just giving you an account of my experience with him, which is how I've come to my conclusion that these accusations are false. I am open to changing my mind, but it is very unlikely that I will.


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