Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Note to Our Friends...

About six months ago, in response to a comment made at The Wartburg Watch, I decided to share my story about my experience at Mars Hill.  Since I left, I had struggled with what to do with what happened to me.  My husband and I wanted to just forget about it and move on, yet we were both constantly troubled by the idea that if this is what happened to us, are there others?  What about single young women?  What about new Christians who have never had any other church experience? If this or something like it happened to them, would they continue their Christian walk? What kind of damage is this causing to others?  How can we just walk away and be glad that we "dodged the bullet"?

I had already submitted my story several days before it came out.  I simultaneously started this blog (in response to another comment), which I thought would be some obscure little piece of the internet. I had no idea that just one day prior to my story being told, Matthew Paul Turner would write about Andrew's sad experience.  I could not have imagined the chain of events that would follow.

Shortly after the release of my story, The Stranger wrote an article about Lance, another person with a story.  In that article, my blog was linked (without my prior knowledge).  This was followed by The Slate Article, which was picked up by the Huffington Post.  Then many of us were contacted to participate in KOMO News Story.

The result of all of this unsolicited publicity following the telling of my story has been a response I couldn't have predicted.  People have come forward with their stories in large numbers.  Some are posted here on the site, and some have been shared privately.  The response has been overwhelming (literally), and each time I have wanted to quit, to walk away from it all, I receive another email from someone, telling me their own experience at Mars Hill.

Now, six months later, I find myself at a crossroads. You can read about it here. I am grateful for all of the people I have met and want to support you in anyway I can, but at this point, I do not feel like I have a lot left to offer.  I need some time to heal, to not think about Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill and the problems that plague it every day.  Kaelee has expressed the same feelings.

So, we wanted to let our readers know that we will not be posting regularly.  To do so requires that we monitor Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill.  We left to get away from it and yet it is still a daily part of our life.  So that begs the question, are Kaelee and I really "free from Mars Hill"?

I believe that we have been effective in bringing the red flags to light.  I am confident that anyone who is questioning will be able to find plenty of information to help them answer any questions they may be having.

We are aiming to start the Walking Wounded class (that you may participate in anonymously) at the end of July.  I will post more information as soon as it is available.

I am blogging regularly at about my journey now.  I would love for you to join me there.  Disclaimer: If you left Mars Hill but still completely hold to the reformed doctrine and complementary roles, I might make you uncomfortable as I wrestle.

Kaelee blogs occasionally at  She explores her questions about faith and other topics.

And as always, you can follow UnReformed's insights at his blog, .

We are also open to anyone who would like to guest post here on Mars Hill related issues!  After all, this is ALL OF OUR refuge space. If you are interested, please email us.

We are still available via email at and and would love to hear from you.  Also, if you want to share your story, please email it to us.  We will post occasionally and show up if anything major happens.

Comments will continue to be moderated and posted.

We love you guys and pray for you regularly and ask that you do the same for us!


Open Discussion: Pre-Marital Classes & Redemption Groups

I received an email from some heartbroken parents.  Their daughter and son-in law are distancing themselves from the parents. I was not married at Mars Hill, so I am opening up these questions to the masses. 

They are wondering the following:

  • Do you have any idea what these Marriage Classes are instructing these couples?
  • Where do you think all this is coming from? Are my daughter and son-in-law being brainwashed? 
  • How can I approach them in a loving manner & help them see this church is "bad news"? 
Please answer in the comments!!!

The Wartburg Watch is Down

Many of you may or may not know that The Wartburg Watch is our "mother" blog.  They are experiencing technical difficulties or have been hacked.

Hang tight...they will be back at it soon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Church Sues Blogger - Court Day

For those of you who don't know, a woman who started a survivor's blog about a specific church is being sued for $500,000.  Today is the first court hearing.  Obviously, we are paying close attention.

You may read the blog here:

Please keep Julie Anne, Hannah, and the other defendants (commenters on the blog) in your prayers!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Beauty from Ashes II (Or Things I Have Gained)

This is a cross-post from my other blog, I wanted to share it here as an encouragement.  You can read about my losses I am grieving as well.

This wasn't exactly included in the rebuilding after deconstructing series (although finding what remains is pretty similar), but my husband and I, while making the losses list thought this would be beneficial for me.

So here is my list of Beauty from Ashes (or things I have gained):

I have gained an "underground railroad" of sorts...people who have been or are on this journey who understand me and are safe.

I have gained respect for other theological viewpoints.

I have realized that we are all wanderers, and that nobody knows all the answers.

I have gained confidence in my ability to discern the guiding of the Holy Spirit just as well as any leader, elder or pastor.

I have gained compassion for those that consider themselves outsiders and unaccepted by the church.

I have gained new perspective on political and social issues, such as women's issues, gay rights...and that Christian does not = Republican.

I have gained a purpose, perhaps a calling to help people who have been spiritually abused.

I have gained friendships with people whom I may not have become friends with (and would have previously judged)...and my life is richer for it.

I have gained respect for my own opinion and feelings, even if someone whom I want to validate them, won't.

I like myself so, so much more now.

I have realized that being a part of Christian Culture is much, much different than following Jesus....and I have chosen the latter, whatever that may look like and whatever it may cost.

I have gained unity in my marriage and the connection of having a shared viewpoint and experience.

I have gained the conviction that women should be free to use their spiritual gifts and be treated EQUALLY in the church...even if lots of people don't agree.

I have gained the empowerment to teach my daughter that she can do anything, and that God is not limiting her simply because she is female.

What beauty have you pulled from the ashes?  What have you gained?