Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Jeff Bettger no longer a pastor at Mars Hill Church

The name will mean possibly nothing to anyone outside of Mars Hill but his name vanishing from the list of men in the pastor listings of Mars Hill would be impossible for Wenatchee The Hatchet to not eventually notice, even amid holiday activities.

http://marshill.com/pastors/

You won't find Jeff Bettger's name on there now. But there is this:
http://www.locustnhoney.com/?p=1148
It opens with an extensive citation from Ephesians 5 and proceeds, we'll cite just a few segments of the post:

We are exposed when standing in the light of the sun. Anyone with working eyes in our proximity can see us when we are not hidden in shadow and darkness. An affection for Jesus can expose all kinds of injustices, and human corruption. I believe that is what Paul is speaking of in this passage. We are reconciled image bearers of the living God of the universe. He made us to reflect as mirrors His glory grace love mercy justice and wrath against all that is corrupt and evil. When governments and human institutions are unjust or act in shady ways we are to expose the truth. When a person we know is caught in lies and things that hurt and destroy themselves and others we are to call them out. We have been given a conscience. Unfortunately we are hypocrites and often want to be right more than humble truthful and just.

...

Having a mega church background for the last 16 years I have witnessed first hand the tyranny of injustice done in the name of God. Layoffs during Christmas, weeks after new children are born and first homes purchased. The use of tithe money to purchase books at retail cost in order to build a mans platform and make the NY times best seller lists. [Update 12-5-2013 8.18pm PST: WtH, this sentence has been excised from the original post since the publication of this post, it is preserved with strikethrough with the proviso that jsuffering has stated that it was hearsay] All with the name of God stamped on it, and self justified because the rest of the business world has those kinds of practices. I am grieved for the state of a church that does not acknowledge and expose the sin of it’s leaders with love and humility but instead claims it is doing whats best for the body of Christ.

...

I am the chief of sinners in this way. I have held my cards close to my heart in order for self preservation. I have been complicit by not speaking out boldly and allowing things to stay hidden. I do not need to do that anymore. I am free to walk in the light even if it takes me into suffering, and chastisement. I Love Jesus and choose Him over a fabricated Americanized version of what we call church. I repent and walk in the light as He is in the light. No more playing politics and calling it church.

There's more in the post that Jeff Bettger wrote that you can read in the link.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting.

"I have held my cards close to my heart in order for self preservation. I have been complicit by not speaking out boldly and allowing things to stay hidden. I do not need to do that anymore..."

Yet, he doesn't name names? The whole post is very telling, but it still remains somewhat cryptic.

Winston said...

Yes, he comes forward to say nothing. What is MH threatening these pastors with?

Anonymous said...

It could always be argued that there is never really a good time for lay-offs. But “The use of tithe money to purchase books at retail cost in order to build a mans platform and make the NY times best seller lists” seems HUGE. That really might be a bombshell. Seems very duplicitous.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, these men who have been part of the "manly" church, cannot be honest because they get no severance pay when they leave f the refuse to sign a gag order.

The only type of men Driscoll wants in his church are men who lay aside their manhood and simply carry out the mandate of the king Driscoll. After all, the vision of Mars Hill Church (just like many of the other Mega-Church's with their celebrity pastors) came not from Scripture, but from Driscoll himself - who got it from God (of course).

Therefore all serve the vision- the extra-Biblical one that only Driscoll can verify and to whom all bow the knee.

When the nonsense is seen it is not exposed because there are no men left. The elders and employees who do eventually leave (many with broken spirit) cannot freely speak the truth because they have signed a gag order so that they can financially protect their family and avoid the cost of being sued fo telling the truth

Anonymous said...

So we will not see Bettger name names if he also signed a gag-order.

Unless he is enough a man to renounce a sinful vow made in haste, repent of signing the gag order even if it means returning his severance package to Mars Hill and taking hos chances when MH comes after him.

Make no mistake, MH will coma after a brother in Christ in court quicker than they will help a poor member with a delinquent light bill.

But Bettger has exposed a massive story by suggesting that MH is spending tithe money to purchase large amounts of books written by Driscoll. This is self profiting simple and clear. Wenachee the Hatchett has been asking questions about this for some time.

Million dollar houses are being bought by Driscoll related trusts which the church is being challenged that is is running under budget WHILE AT THE SAME TIME THE CHURCH IS BUYING DRISCOLL'S BOOKS FOR RETAIL PRICE!!!

Wow... this may make the plagiarism story tame.

Anonymous said...

Becoming a "New York Times Bestselling Author" on the backs of the widows and their mites.
Nice.

jsuffering said...

First of all. I did not sign a gag order or any contract when I resigned. I have heard that has happening in the past, but I was not asked to do that. It may be because they realized it was dumb, distrusting, and unloving or it may be because I am fairly insignificant and have not been paid staff at MHC since 2002.
I admit that may make it even worse that I have volunteered for so long when it has been clear for some time MHC and I differ in Philosophy, methodology, and how an organization should be structured.
Second of all everyone missed the point of my devotion and blog post in this comment section. I was repenting of my own sin. I am no longer at MHC because part of my act of repentance is to be the man God has wired me to be. I like local, sustainable, small, community focused church. I think those qualities are Biblical. If I wanted to build the papacy I would become Catholic.
third: i really do not have enough information to throw anybody under the bus in the ways that are suggested here. I was cryptic because I was not just speaking of MHC, but of a problem with mega-church culture.
Nobody ever reads my blog posts so I had in no way intended to open a can of worms that got open. If I did I would have gathered more information that was not hearsay, and had the facts from multiple sides and gone straight to the Stranger or something.
I am simply speaking my mind about things I am convicted to not have anything to do with anymore.
I signed no gag order, I got no severance, I am not self-protecting for any sort of gain, status or title any longer. I am me, an adopted son of the living god heir to the throne of Jesus Christ and I will live my life with passion and love, and grace around the things I care about, in the way I am wired.
No more "manly" man here, if that's what you call it. Bro Christianity is for the dudes and bro's. I'm just a Jesus loving freaking weird hippy anarchist punk rocker who used to tithe with cigarettes, jump on hand grenades and was a part of a church that changed drastically over the years. It was finally time to leave. I left on good terms and have no grievance with anybody at MHC. However I do not agree with the systems and structures of MHC, and sadly for me it took a long time to figure that out. you guys seem a lot smarter on that point. I guess I'm a simple man who drinks cool aid.

Thanks for sending some traffic my way. It made my day irritating at best.

terriergal said...

(1)What is Mark threatening this guys with? I dunno - but it's patently obvious to anyone who has read any of the Mars Hill survivor material and seen how this nest of vipers trades ideas on how to maintain a death grip of control over their 'unruly' sheep that something is going on.

There is so much incestuous dysfunction in that Evangelical Mafia industry and none of these people want to break the rules and talk about it. They'll gripe privately to one another and then demand everyone keep it confidential.

In a way it is like a battered woman complaining to her friend about her worthless husband, then going right back to submitting to the battery after she's gotten her friend all upset and worried, and being mad at her friend for wanting to DO something about it.

I for one think it's a greater evil to keep enabling these bullies by agreeing to keep their abuse behind closed doors.

The whole of popular evangelical culture is rife with this dysfunction. (follow the money!)

Even those who speak out about it one day find themselves complying with it the next week because it is affecting them personally. We speak about persecution and pray for the TRULY persecuted church all over the world, but in this country we aren't even willing to suffer the loss of a job, the loss of reputation, status, some ridicule, or some financial insecurity in the name of speaking the truth as Christ has commanded.

This should not be. I know I speak idealistically. I pray I would have the strength to not back down if I was faced with the same dilemma. But I don't know.

(continued in part 2 sorry)

terriergal said...

(2) (cont'd) I watch people consistently and deftly taking apart Ergun Caner when Caner pulls another stunt or his career is further advanced by willfully blind people complying with the mafia rule. So many are complaining that they're tired of hearing about it. But the people who are being sued and destroyed by Caner's frantic attempts to cover his own lies certainly *need* someone like James White being willing to risk the threats against him to stop the bully. It's about those people. It's about the Muslims who are watching, in whose eyes the name of Christ is being blasphemed, too.

I guess that doesn't matter to the mafia, because the mafia's highest priority is preserving their market share and raking in more money. They pretend they want to reach the world for Christ but what about the ones needing to be ministered to and reached right in their own churches who are being abused?

Then you have some people who can see the sin of C J Mahaney because he's Calvinist, but not Ergun Caner because he's NOT Calvinist so he must be being persecuted. Obviously! Who can follow men like that who play favorites all the time and cannot call out the people with whom they agree theologically? What credibility will they have in calling out those with whom they DISagree, then?

The victims who have suffered under the horrible charge of C J Mahaney's criminally negligent protection certainly need Brent Detwiler and Janet Mefferd and Boz Tchividjian who risk and receive the ridicule and persecution of the Evangelical Mafia for speaking out on behalf of the broken hearted and victimized everywhere.

The victims of the Mars Hill bus matter, too, and the victims of the stampeding Elephant, far more than these narcissistic Evangelical Dons do. But if you speak against the Golden Boy the wrath of much of evangelicalism will fall on you. It's as bad as TBN and their "touch not the Lord's anointed" blind worship of men.

Those victims cannot repay such good deeds, of course. Not in this life, most likely. But to quote Ben Franklin "If we do not all hang together we will surely all hang separately."

Ezekiel 34:1-16 Has a stern warning for these hirelings and sheep beaters. We should be out seeking to bind up the wounds of those they have harmed and neglected. And the only way to do that is to put out a beacon indicating that we understand and know what has been going on at the hands of these worthless men and their cowardly enabling friends.

terriergal said...

jeff bettger - good to know you have not suffered as some (i.e. many) have.

Anonymous said...

When we were "in the circle of trust" at the Olympia campus, we were told that pastors were "strongly encouraged" to sign gag clauses when they left the fold and in return they would receive several months salary and an excellent reference. The reference part of the carrot is critical if someone wanted to stay in the vocational ministry, which many of these men do.

The Campus Pastor at Oly was fired about this time of year last year and he had just bought a house in the area. Maybe this is like "The Lottery" and someone has to be sacrificed once a year to make the crops grow.

I witnessed firsthand the buying of warehouse loads of copies of "Real Marriage" from "MH MIlitary Mission" monies that we were told helped get the book on the New York Times Best Seller list. It was a twofer. Send free materials to soldiers while stacking the book in favor of its author. All at the expense of the little old lady who puts in her final two coins.

You can't make this stuff up.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Given that jsuffering made a response to a number of conspiratorial comments on this post the comment thread is being kept up but as a point of clarification, the speculation about gag orders and non-disclosure agreements would need to be backed up by some actual evidence at some point. Not saying that such agreements do or don't exist because there's no significant primary documentary evidence and just second or third-hand accounts.

Normally no one comments at Wenatchee The Hatchet and the comment thread here has rambled in directions that make it seem like a good idea to not allow comments for posts that are intended to be informational.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

and with that in mind, comments are closed. The anonymous insinuations, implications and assertions made about jsuffering in response to an informational post are stupid enough to be self-evidently self-incriminating as far as Wenatchee The Hatchet is concerned. The original post has been edited to reflect revisions made in the link quoted from.