BELLEVUE, Wash. - Former members of Mars Hill Church are planning to protest on Sunday at the Bellevue location. They say the pastor, Mark Driscoll, is on a power trip.
"It's not about Jesus. It's about this hierarchical authoritarian regime," said former member Rob Smith.
Smith and his wife attended Mars Hill from 2002-2007. Smith says he was asked to be an elder, then all of a sudden he was forced out of the church after he had a disagreement with Pastor Mark Driscoll. "He said I will destroy you and used language a pastor should never use," said Smith.
Smith says he was shunned, completely cut off from the church community.
He also says he's not alone, he says the number of people kicked out and shunned by Mars Hill is in the hundreds and believes Driscoll is to blame.
Driscoll recently posted a video for member addressing the recent problems in the church. "A lot of the people we are dealing with in this season remain anonymous so we don't know how to reconcile," said Driscoll.
"Which is just a bold face lie. They know who we are, that was just a tipping point," said Smith about the video. He says Driscoll knows exactly who he has hurt. To remind him, former members plan to gather on Sunday morning with signs saying, " Question Mark!"
They've also started a Facebook page called, "Dear Pastor Mark & Mars Hill: We Are Not Anonymous."
The page had 524 members as of Wednesday night.
With so many former members upset, a rant posted by Mark Driscoll years ago, using his alter ego
"William Wallace II," resurfaced. It's called "Pussified Nation." He wrote, "It all began with Adam, the first of the pussified nation, who kept his mouth shut and watched everything fall headlong down the slippery slide of hell/feminism when he shut his mouth and listened to his wife."
Smith say Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll tried to get every copy of the rant from 2000 deleted, but someone still had it. Someone posted it in response to the recent dischord in the church.
Driscoll talks about how he would post using the name "William Wallace II" in his book on marriage. The book has been the center of controversy too. Mars Hill used $200,000 of church money to get Driscoll's book on the best seller list. Driscoll's also been accused of plagiarism.
KIRO-7 wanted to interview Mark Driscoll tonight. The church website says he's not doing interviews for the rest of this year. KIRO-7 asked why Driscoll isn't available for five months, "To reset his life and take time to focus on the local church and his family, Pastor Mark stated earlier this year that he will stay off social media, and do less interviews and events at least through the end of the year, " said Mars Hill spokesman Justin Dean.
Dean also said the church wouldn't comment on the protest planned for Sunday, "We would prefer not to comment on a potential protest at a Mars Hill weekend service. We recognize fully that there are wide-ranging views and opinions about our church and our pastor and we acknowledge the right for anyone to disagree with us on any and all issues-we would only ask that they do so peaceably and respectful of those who do choose to worship with us," said Dean.
Smith says he's tried to talk to Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill leadership and they will not meet with him.
"It is you do as we say. If you don't do as we say we will throw you out in a harmful way and shun you," said Smith.
The protest is planned for Sunday at 10 a.m. at Mars Hill in Bellevue.