Mars Hill Church Recants

Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church in Seattle has publicly apologized for sending a cease-and-desist letter to a church named Mars Hill in Sacramento, California:

When cases like this arise in the business world, it’s customary for a law office to send a notice asking the other organization to adjust their branding to differentiate it. This is commonly referred to as a cease and desist letter. On September 27, 2011, our legal counsel sent such a letter to these three Mars Hill churches requesting that they change their logo and name. In hindsight, we realize now that the way we went about raising our concerns, while acceptable in the business world, is not the way we should deal with fellow Christians. On Friday we spoke with the pastor of Mars Hill in Sacramento to apologize for the way we went about this. We had a very productive conversation and look forward to continuing that conversation in the days and weeks ahead. [READ THE REST]

But if you find this case interesting — and troubling — please see the comments on my earlier post.  There, you will find some humorous comments, some intrepid googlers who found very old Mars Hills, and, most interesting to me, the guy who planted another Watermark, before Watermark (who says that they looked everywhere to make sure there was no other church named Watermark before they named their church Watermark).

  • Blake

    It is worth pointing out that they are only ‘apologizing’ for sending the cease-and-desist letter without calling to make their demands verbally first.

    The ‘apology’ also goes on to suggest it was wrong for anyone connected with the other Mars Hills to have ever let this cease-and-desist letter become public. Not just a bully, but a bully who expects his victims to remain silent. Rather sad.

  • http://Taddelay.com Tad DeLay

    The guy that originally broke the story has added a note to say that, contrary to the way Mars Hill has worded their statement, they weren’t just asking for a logo change- they demanded the church change it’s name. MH makes a brief reference to the name in the statement, but then reverts in the last line to suggest they aren’t asking for any name change. Since the cease and decist isn’t public, I suppose this can’t be verified yet, but I found it interesting that Mars Hill seemed to dance around the name change demand- which was the most controversial part of it all.

  • Tess

    I have a suggestion for-what-it’s-worth:

    Unless you are a bonified denomination, with accountability and your flavor of theology and cultural presentation defined, just name your church by some local identifier, such as, “Greenville’s Community Church.”

    If Mar’s Hill has a cultural presentation you want others to know you have, then call it, “Greenville’s Mars Hill.” Then there won’t be any confusion. Nor will there be any extra money made off selling Jesus to your downline, either.

  • http://finalinsurrection.blogspot.com/ Lock – The Troll

    Anyone who has ever been bullied by legal threats knows that is is super-uncool, especially for it to be done by a church.

  • http://www.scotthagan.net Scott Hagan

    Tony, here is my response to the Mars Hill Seattle blog post. I posted my response today on my blog with a full replay of the events over the weekend, if possible, I would appreciate if you could share it on your blog, thanks

    scott hagan, senior pastor of mars hill, sacramento

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