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Seattle’s Mars Hill Church thinks you are all “infected with AIDS”

Timothy Kincaid

January 17th, 2013

Mars Hill is a hip, cool mega-church in Seattle with about the nastiest anti-gay culture you can imagine. And like many mega-churches, it has various “campuses” – spin-off churches, sometimes with their own pastor.

Well Mars Hill is all excited that one campus has a new location, right next to Capitol Hill, the gay neighborhood. (press release)

“This is an incredible opportunity to be a ministry hub for downtown Seattle as it will allow us to better serve the business men and women in our city, as well as the homeless and marginalized, as we’re closer to one of our ministry partner, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission,” says Tim Gaydos, lead pastor of the Downtown Seattle church. “Also, being closer to Capitol Hill is a blessing as we are serving and ministering to those who are infected with AIDS on the hill.” CrossCut News recently reported on some of the church’s community reach efforts.

So I went to see what CrossCut News had to say about the service and ministry to “those who are infected with AIDS on the hill”. I didn’t find any mention of services or care, but I did find this:

Mars Hill is known as hip, but also theologically conservative. Two issues, in particular, tend to put Mars Hill at odds with much of liberal Seattle: views on homosexuality and the role of women.

So I asked Gaydos, “What about gay people and people of other faiths? Are you comfortable working with people like that?” “Absolutely,” said Gaydos.

“We want to make this a great city where everyone flourishes and that means loving everyone of different backgrounds and beliefs. Actually, we have a lot of gay people coming to the church.”

To be clear, GLBT are welcome to attend and participate at Mars Hill Downtown. They are not able to become members of the church.

That’s it. Just “a lot of gay people coming to the church”. But surely that can’t be what they mean by “those who are infected with AIDS”, can it. Surely they don’t just assume all gay people are “infected with AIDS”.

And what’s with that term: “infected with AIDS”? I don’t think I’ve seen that particular phrase since some time in the 90’s.

So I looked closer. What is the message of this ministry to Those Who Are Infected With AIDS On The Hill? Well, the church is doing a series on Who Do You Think You Are (buy the book) by Pastor Mark Driscoll, author of the exciting Real Marriage (buy the book).

It’s full of exciting advice on how to avoid “a false identity apart from Christ” and includes such zingers as “Sin may explain some of your activity, but it’s not your identity.” Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

But maybe I’m oversensitive and misunderstand. So I checked Mars Hills website to see if they do indeed have a ministry in service to those who are, well, ya know. And when I looked for ministries I found a few choices: Family Ministry, Student Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Global Ministry. No that didn’t seem right. But there also were Biblical Counseling, Pre-Marital (clearly not us), and Redemption Groups.

Wait. Redemption groups. Hmmm. Maybe the service and ministry to the AIDS-infected is under Redemption groups. Yep, I clicked on Redemption groups (buy the book) and there we were: “the gay lifestyle was everything I was” — redemption in the life of Dan.

But that was 2010 and not AIDS-infected specific. Surely a church with a ministry to T.W.A.I.W.AIDS.O.T.H would have some mention of it somewhere on their rather extensive website.

So I searched the entire site and Yes! I found it:

In this church we have some people who are both rich and righteous. They’re like Boaz. You never hear of them because they’re not looking for accolades. They’re just looking for opportunities. You know, we have a ministry to those who struggle with same-sex attraction, for example. And we had someone who had a brother who died of AIDS, and he sent us a very generous check saying, “Use this money to help people who are struggling with same-sex attraction, so that they know the love of Jesus and have a new life.” That’s very generous. Didn’t owe us anything. Never even met this guy – what is that? Righteous rich. That’s a kind thing. That’s a nice thing to do, because he understood the gospel.

Overlooking the morality tale about “don’t leave your assets to your homophobic ahole brother” it’s a revelation. There we have it. Voila, we found the ministry to “those who are infected with AIDS on the hill”. It’s the ministry to those who struggle with same-sex attraction.

You say “gay”, Mars Hill says “infected with AIDS”. Same difference.

Comments

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Jim Burroway
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

I guess I can stop taking that test now.

jerry
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

I hope the gay boys of Seattle have enough sense to refrain from entering those Cretin Whorehouses.

Steve
January 17th, 2013 | LINK

Mars Hill is a cult:
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/church-or-cult/Content?oid=12172001

They are homophobic, sex-obsessed misogynistic Calvinist extremists who completely take over their member’s lives before they realize what is happening and then dictate their decisions with excessive punishment. There have been reports of people being told to cut off contact to their families (remind you of another certain cult?). If people try to leave they are harassed. It’s only a matter of time before they make their members drink the Kool-Aid.

Ben in Oakland
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Voila, not viola.

Timothy Kincaid
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Whatcha got against Viola. She’s lovely!

(Thanks. Fixed)

Josh
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

For the curious, here’s a sermon from “Pastor Mark” on gay issues: http://marshill.com/media/cg-sync-q-a-with-pas/reaching-seattles-gay-population

Some highlights:
* “a gay couple walks into the [Redemption] Group, you’re supposed to tell them to repent”. What an asshole to deny me that part of life so flippantly; I see no empathy in him whatsoever, just a cold guy who’s really good at developing effective algorithms for making people think and do what he wants. Even in this sermon he’s open about his manipulation at several points, rating people at levels of spiritual goodness and discussing strategies for dealing with people of different levels. Jerk.

* “Again, this will be controversial, but in our experience and some controversial sociological studies would indicate, that often times the trigger for same-sex attraction is sexual abuse early on. […] To even say that in the gay community is very contentious.” No shit. “the trigger”? As if it’s a foregone conclusion such a thing exists. He spends several minutes expanding on this point. I find it much simpler to say my brain developed a few “female parts”, for lack of a better term, that make me like things women tend to like in guys. A developmental switch got flipped, maybe in early childhood or the womb, that built up those structures rather than straight guy structures. Meh. The same sort of theory explains bi and trans people pretty neatly, though the theory is extremely vague.

* [After telling people to build relationships with gay people] “…get some of their history, lift up that ‘rock’, and see if it is not abuse that is under the rock as part of the trigger for certain conditioning behavior […] and often times that’s what you’ll find”. More manipulation advice.

sohab416
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Very true. Mars Hill has been infecting the towns and cities of Washington State, taking their “gospel” to each High School throughout the state, setting up their circus tent each Sunday in each city. Givin’ us that old time religion. They have “rock” bands and the whole set up is much like watching “Jan and Paul”, purple cotton candy hair and all. Same shit, same diaper.

Marcus
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

“Gaydos”?

Steve
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

@Josh
He also thinks that masturbation is a form of homosexuality because no opposite-sex partner is involved. Driscoll is probably deeply in the closet. Mars Hill is a cult of personality that revolves solely around worshiping him. There used to be other pastors involved at the top, but he launched a coup and kicked them out.

Robert
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

Not to mention but the local AIDS organization said this church does nothing for people with AIDS via the community, they just have a pray away the gay program, which, like you said, is the same thing as infected with AIDS.

Jim-

Keep taking the test….

Rev Ray Neal
January 18th, 2013 | LINK

While pastoring Emerald City Metropolitan Community Church Seattle, an LGBT congregation, from 2009-2012, I tried to help several LGBT persons who had been included in Mars Hill small group ministry. The individuals were harassed and bullied by their small group members, asked to come to lunch by one person to find as many as nine others waiting to confront them for having been seen at a trans conference or at Pride events. The group tried to set them up with dates with members of the opposite sex. Demanded to know if they were LGBT. Told they would go to hell if they didn’t change their sexuality. Offered to have enrollment paid for to go to ex-gay camps to be converted. When they tried to walk away the group members demanded they come back. When they didn’t they were shunned. This is a dangerous cult-like church. Stay away from their not so loving church.

StraightGrandmother
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Josh & Rev. Neal. thank you very much for this information, I had no idea until reading your comments and link to the sermon.

Josh it was very useful that you took the time to excerpt part of the sermon as so many of us won’t (or can’t) take the time to listen to the full sermon.

SGM

Reed
January 19th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid – I loved this article.
**** (those are four stars, not a four-letter word auto-censored)

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