Life Mars Hill: Bigger Than Ever
posted by October 2 at 14:29 PMon
This morning, the Seattle P-I profiled Mars Hill Church, which just opened a new satellite church at Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle, under the headline “Young Families Finding their Faith in Mars Hill’s Urban Ministry.” The piece is an utterly uncritical—nay, glowing— look at the church’s “urban ministries,” focusing primarily on Mars Hill’s plans to “become ‘missionaries to the city,’ displaying biblical hallmarks — a commitment to traditional marriage and family, a dedication to serving others — that would attract others.”
“God has positioned us on the fault line between two worlds,” [chief pastor Mark Driscoll] said, adding that those with more means have the opportunity to help their less-affluent neighbors in a city growing more densely populated.
Since urban areas bear so much influence in cultural, social, political and other spheres, “if you want to change the world, you must reach the city,” Driscoll said.
The P-I describes Mars Hill’s philosophy as “contemporary biblical teaching.” Oh, really? Here are few of the things Mars Hill’s members believe (all quotes are from Driscoll’s sermons):
â€˘ God does not want women to have jobs. Their role is to get married, stay at home and have as many babies as possible. (Conveniently, birth control is immoral, too.) “Women will be saved by going back to that role that God has chosen for them. Ladies, if the hair on the back of your neck stands up it is because you are fighting your role in the scripture.”
â€˘ Women also should not seek leadership roles, either in society (“There is no occasion where women led a society and were its heads and the men complied and followed. … It’s a matter of Biblical creation”) or in the church (“Every single book in your Bible is written by a man.”)
â€˘ Homosexuality is an abomination. People who are gay can change. “Your banners, your floats, your buttons—they’re not good. It’s just like letting cancer come into a body… until the cancer consumes the body and kills you. … We will extricate the cancer, and if that person who has the cancer is repentant and wants to kill the cancer, then we’ll welcome them back. But they have to accept that anything but one man, one woman, one God, one life is sexually immoral.”
â€˘ Evolution is a lie. Humans were descended from a man named Adam created by God a few thousand years ago. “The lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. This is the making of the first human being, our father Adam. We all descend from him and there was no human life before this man.”
â€˘ Hell is a real, physical place, and“it’s hot. Real hot.”
Contrary to what you’d think after reading today’s P-I, Mars Hill is an evangelical church with a radical-right agenda and a taste for conquest. “Contemporary biblical” theology is a completely misleading way to describe what Mars Hill teaches its legions of young members. The growing influence of right-wing megachurches like Mars Hill (3,500 active members so far, with plans to expand to 10,000), especially among young adults, should alarm anyone who believes in civil rights, reproductive freedom, and women’s equality.