More stories of abuses of power by church leadership are coming out of Pastor Mark Driscoll‘s church on the We Love Mars Hill blog. This latest one tells of a man who wanted to become a youth pastor despite allegations of voyeurism. Even though his alleged crimes were known, he was protected by the staff from the legal consequences and allowed to remain in leadership.
From the testimony of “Phillip C”:
After the blow-up with Mr. X I told my wife about his voyeurism. She was alarmed and looked it up. It was a Class C Sexual Felony and if convicted can be sent to prison for up to five years and required to report as a sex offender for ten years after that. This was concerning because he was studying to be a youth pastor and if convicted that goal would likely disappear. We brought the issue up with Pastor R. He told me that they reported it right away. A few weeks later he told me that, actually, it fell through the cracks and they hadn’t reported it yet. Eight months after the crime was revealed to our pastors the victim of the crime had not been notified about what had taken place and the pastors still had not reported it to the authorities.
The story continues:
R then suggested that my wife is very fearful and that’s why she’s having such a strong reaction to the situation. Now, I know my wife and she definitely doesn’t lean towards fearfulness. She was the director for an at-risk youth program in White Center near West Seattle and is trained in de-escalating stressful situations in a professional manner. She is also trained to look for sexual predators and warning signs of abuse and was a mandatory reporter. She refuted R and said that if the church takes the Bible lightly, then she should be alarmed. And that hiding someone who confessed to a sexual felony in a community group should bring forth such a reaction, especially since he was actively seeking out the high school girls from our [community group] to talk with him about starting a youth group.
R thought we were being judgemental and blowing things out of proportion. He suggested that perhaps we were listening to demons. I told him that I believe in demons and angels but we aren’t listening to demons.
The story concludes with Phillip C and his wife leaving Mars Hill over the issue, after the pastors suggested he and his wife were in sin and had issues with authority.
… I mean, yeah, seems like they did. With abusive authority.
As usual, Mars Hill had nothing to say on the matter.
(Image via Shutterstock)
(Note: Portions of this article have been edited since the original posting.)