Elders and former elders at Mars Hill Church in Seattle may face a civil lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
Mars Hill announced that it was to cease operations in January following a string of revelations about the conduct of its leadership team, and that its satellite congregations would become independent churches if they were financially viable.
Allegations that money raised in donations for its Global Fund for church-planting work in Ethiopia and India were diverted to general purposes were denied by the church.
However, according to Warren Throckmorton, who has reported extensively on developments at the church in recent years, former deacon Rob Smith and Seattle attorney Brian Fahling are preparing to launch a lawsuit naming former pastor Mark Driscoll, Sutton Turner, current teaching pastor David Bruskas and Jamie Munson as defendants....
I --don't-- think God is too harsh or how Gil stated it in this sermon about errant leaders or laity in this sermon, [URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=128111050574]]]http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=128111050574 (God's High Demand for Holiness)[/URL] and this sermon is quite pertinent to this topic as it is to several others as well. Give it a listen and see what you think. and for that matter,
Gil Rugh said or, wrote: Sin in the church must be dealt with according to the instruction God has given. Within the church - that is the dwelling place of God - blatant immorality cannot be practiced, nor tolerated. When the church fails to carry out its responsibility to deal with sin, God will - and it will be painful to the church and the individual.
summary for,[URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=2170612618]]] How the Church Must Deal with Sin[/URL] What you might appreciate, UPS, [URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=22406132621]]] Settling Disputes Between Believers[/URL]. I think you would like this one.
UPS, very good points. Except for one thing, is the main Mars Hill Church functioning as a church itself? Did the people who were involved in this dispute agree to settle this matter among themselves or at least have another Christian arbitrate it? (By the way SA aren't you happy I decided to read at least part of the article )
Smith wrote: Because of the abuse of both people and money, it is essential that the dissolution of the church be delayed until the abuse can be clearly articulated by the church leadership, and repentance and restitution be made. At this point, only a just legal action will stop the dissolution of the church. A legal team has been hired and the delay of the dissolution will be sought so that true repentance and restitution can occur.
By the way, if you think God or Gil are being too harsh you'll see in the sermon, [URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=128111050574]]]God's High Demand for Holiness[/URL] It's pointed out that God has given quite a bit of wiggle room for sinners, just that sin will be rebuked sometime, and there are limits even to wiggle room, listen to the sermon, SteveR.
As far as disputes go, UPS, my pastor probably haa used the same verses in the same way as you have.
This would be one thing if they had said that the charges were initiated by local law enforcement. The article clearly states the lawsuit was initiated by a former deacon. It is a clear violation of the teaching of Scripture.
I Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
It's rather a simple matter, SteveR. the complaintants and decided that they were not dealing with Christians. So in that way, one could say exposing this sin was even better by going verypublic with it. So, it empty the pews whenbiblical principles are used on erent people? It will empty the pews when it isn't. As if you also listen to gil sermon, it was pointed out that the sons of Aaron were put the death by God also. Aaron wasn't allowed to grieve for them.
While God seems to be a tough task master at times, such as learning experiences are good for the individual Christian and the corporate body! as I said listen tothe sermon, it contains good advice, which unfortunately is not always followed.
I was discussing resolution of conflict between Christians, not a standard for deceit. or even the validity of the accusations. Im saying a secular response to organized crime is not the manner Christians should resolve Church issues
A Baptist Preacher I visit often preaches if Ananius & Sapphiras sin would always be resolved in this manner, the pews would be empty. I will add this corollary. If people, Christian or not, can sue Churches with RICO for diverting funds even when intending to replace them after the light bill is paid, the diaconates would be empty.
Jim Lincoln wrote: SteveR, while I appreciate your extra information, but when does a lie not become serious for a Christian? Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,
SteveR, while I appreciate your extra information, but when does a lie not become serious for a Christian?
Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? 4 "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God." 5 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it.---[URL=http://www.lockman.org/nasb/nasbcmp.php]]]NASB[/URL]
It appears God considers this type of behavior a serious matter and what happened at Mars Hill should also be considered serious. By the way, to hear about this man and his wife listen to the sermon, I have already mentioned, [URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=128111050574]]]http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=128111050574 (God's High Demand for Holiness)[/URL]. Hypocrisy is evil!
Poor title by Christianity Today, it should read they are facing a RICO lawsuit not charges which implies Criminal RICO.
Civil RICO was designed to secure assets from organized crime, not Churches. I guess when there is this much money around even church peoples will accuse others of horrendous misdeeds. So instead of prostitution, drugs or murder, Driscoll is accused of securing money from missions to 'scam' the NYT Best Seller list. I guess that means the Church bought lots of pre sell books with money diverted from missions.
Gil Rugh said or, wrote: In the Old Testament the manifestation of Godâ€™s presence was in the midst of the nation of Israel. Today the Church has become the manifestation of the presence of Christ in the world.
The indwelling of Godâ€™s presence in both believers individually and corporately makes holiness an absolute requirement. God expects believers and the Church to be transparent and sincere in all matters. Lying to give the appearance of godliness is a serious offense before God. Lying to the Church is in effect lying to the Holy Spirit who indwells the Church. Even when Satan tempts and incites people to sin, personal responsibility is not excused for behavior and choices made.
Godâ€™s requirements for His people and the serious consequences of sin go unchanged. That being the case, great care and discernment must be applied in all situations to make no allowances for ungodly practices or adjustments to the worldly ways, in neither individual lives nor the corporate life of the Church.
Summary for [URL=http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=128111050574]]]God's High Demand for Holiness[/URL]