“Because I was single I felt second class.”-by Chandin, former Mars Hill member & single, on Mars Hill church
The lady who wrote this started out single at Mars Hill and later got married. But she discusses, that while she was single, there was some adult singles shaming going on at Mars Hill.
Early on, Chandin served as a leader of a woman’s only Mars Hill Bible study group.
Here are excerpts:
- Community groups discussed the sermons from the previous Sunday. Group leaders were given guides to go through with our groups.
This was particularly difficult when we studied Song of Songs. Driscoll’s view of sex and marriage in Song of Songs (the Peasant Princess series) was extremely uncomfortable to talk about in a group of single ladies who wanted to be married and one married woman (I am amazed she stuck with us!).
I asked my coach if we could do a Bible study rather than discuss the sermon on Sunday. I was flatly told no.
That this was good information to have while we were single, so when we married we would be prepared.
The sermon series felt torturous.
Because I was single I felt second class. I know Pastor Mark would address singles occasionally, but for the most part it was difficult to sit through and then lead discussion on it.
I had attempted to step down from my group twice, but was talked out of it by coaches and pastors.
…. One of the Pastors reached out to me shortly after the meeting and expressed that he wanted to get to know me more and talk about my abuse further. I agreed, thankful that he cared and wanted to help. I went over to his house for dinner with his family.
We talked about Anchor and of Brian who I met there.
Brian and I had discussed dating and marriage, and the pastor was interested in talking to him. After we finished our meal, we began to talk about the abuse I was just coming to terms with. I started to cry.
His wife stopped me and looked me in the eye and said, “You don’t have to wallow in self pity”.
I was stunned. I looked at her husband, the pastor, and he nodded in agreement. Crying about trauma, though it happened years before, was considered self pity. I didn’t want to talk about it further. I left confused and felt ashamed for crying.
[She describes how she and her fiance Brian met again later with the same pastor and the pastor’s wife, where the pastor tried to discourage Brian from marrying her]
… Walking back to my car, Brian told me about what they had discussed before I arrived. The pastor told Brian that he could be a “righteous man” and choose to end things.
He cited Matthew 1:19 and implied that because of my past, he could quietly and righteously end things with me. “Joseph was a righteous man and wanted to divorce her quietly” was said many times. The point was clear: I was damaged goods and if he wanted to end things, he should do so quietly.
Again, I was shocked. I got into my car and cried as I drove home.
At Mars Hill I felt like women were occasionally brushed aside in favor of men. I even felt that Mark gave permission to objectify women as long as the woman was their wife.
But I never felt like it was misogynistic. That seemed too strong, too extreme.
But in that moment, I felt like less of a person because I was a woman. The pastor never asked Brian about his past or struggles, but he knew I was impure.
It was clear that I was lesser not solely because of my past, but because I was a woman with a past.
He reiterated that it was acceptable if Brian wanted to marry me, but he would be righteous to think I was too damaged for marriage.
… I’m happy to say that Brian and I were married. We have 2 incredibly adorable kiddos. I still feel like I am recovering from the attitude and culture of Mars Hill.
…. I hope they see how women have fallen by the wayside in favor of men. On paper, Mars Hill is complementarian, but it has been taken too far and has tread into misogynistic waters.
(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias
(Link): Obnoxious and Sexist Preacher Mark Driscoll Wants Christian Singles to Stay Single Indefinitely – And Even Though Unwanted, Prolonged Singleness has Been a Huge Issue For Christian Singles for A Couple Decades Now – Driscoll: ‘Christians should not marry pro choicers’