Leonardo Burr, Christian Post Reporter
March 2, 2016 11.27a
While Driscoll did not respond to a request for comment from The Christian Post by press time, the ECFA issued a statement to CP noting that the individuals bringing the lawsuit "have no direct knowledge of the ECFA's accreditation process" and are "wrong" about the ECFA's involvement with Mars Hill Church.
"Neither ECFA nor any of its employees are named as parties in a private lawsuit that has been brought against the leader of a formerly accredited ministry," said ECFA, which highlighted that it was not sued but was instead listed as a co-conspirator. [emphasis added] "It also appears that the individuals bringing the lawsuit have no direct knowledge of ECFA's accreditation process and have the facts wrong regarding our involvement with the ministry in question."
That is technically very true. ECFA's just named as one of the non-party co-conspirators not a party.
Since apparently plenty of people read about the 42-page filing rather than the filing itself perhaps we should consult it?
C. Non-Party Co-Conspirators
12. Certain other non-party individuals and business entities, as set forth below, played roles, direct or indirect, in RICO Defendants scheme to defraud the Jacobsens, Kildeas, and other MHC members and non-members who donated monies to MHC in response to RICO Defendants’ fraudulent solicitations.
h. Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (“ECFA), Winchester, Virginia.
(1) On its website, ECFA states: “Founded in 1979, ECFA provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with established standards for financial accountability, transparency, fundraising, and board governance. Collectively, these organizations represent over $25 billion in annual revenue.”6
(2) ECFA also claims that “[m]embership in ECFA contributes to the integrity and image of the entire Christian community. The greater the credibility of the individual member organization, the greater its contribution to the total membership. That the image of Christian ministry has been scarred by the actions of a few organizations is undeniable. However, membership in ECFA is a powerful statement that a ministry acts responsibly and honors its commitment to accountability.”7
(3) ECFA recognized that “[i]t’s not always easy to earn people’s trust. Just as people are more likely to trust an accredited college or a product with the Good Housekeeping seal, donors are more likely to share their resources with an organization they believe to be trustworthy. ECFA enhances trust in Christ-centered churches and ministries by establishing and applying ECFA's Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™ to accredited organizations.”8
(4) In its 2012 Annual Report, MHC printed the following announcement by ECFA: “We are pleased to welcome Mars Hill Church as ECFA’s 1,700th member. By meeting the stringent criteria ECFA applies to all applicants, this certifies to supporters of the church and the public that Mars Hill meets the highest standards of financial ethics, faithfulness, and accountability.” (Quoting Dan Busby, President, ECFA)”9
(5) In a September 20, 2012 post to its website, ECFA featured MHC and this quote from Driscoll: “At Mars Hill, we are dedicated to utilizing the resources entrusted to us in faithful adherence to our mission to make disciples and plant churches in the name of Jesus. In proactively submitting ourselves to the scrutiny of ECFA, we openly state our commitment to proclaim Jesus to our communities with utmost ethical honor.”10
(6) At all times relevant hereto, from September 2012 forward, ECFA accredited MHC in spite of RICO Defendants’ ongoing and habitual pattern of racketeering activity involving RSI, the Global Fund, Campus Fund, and the Jesus Festival.
(7) ECFA’s accreditation of churches is, at best, a rubber stamp. In view of RICO Defendants’ fraudulent conduct detailed herein, it is inconceivable that ECFA would have accredited MHC and held it out to the public as meeting “the highest standards of financial ethics, faithfulness, and accountability.”
(8) As a result of ECFA’s ringing endorsement and declaration that MHC met the highest standards of financial ethics, faithfulness, and accountability, the Jacobsens, Kildeas, and thousands of other donors continued to be deceived, making donations to MHC they would never have made if ECFA had disclosed RICO Defendants’ wrongdoing, rather than making a “a powerful statement” that MHC “acts responsibly and honors its commitment to accountability.”
and so is Dan Busby, president of the ECFA. But for that you should go read the whole thing for yourself.