My Spiritual Home

Mars Hill Church is located in Ballard, Washington.  I live less than a mile away from the church.

It is more than my spiritual home; it is nothing less than the place where God and I meet for sustainence.  I cannot count the number of times where I have gone in feeling blackened and bruised from the week’s blows to the soul and come out loved and restored and ready to face the week.  There is something more to this church than any other church I’ve ever attended.  There is a fierce love here that is stronger than just the passion of a large group of young college and post-college aged people. 

Mars Hill Church preaches Jesus and His Word.  That’s it.  There is a dogged effort to not concentrate on the religion of men, of all of the theological add-ons that man places on the Word of God.  While there is some interpretation necessary, Pastor Mark Driscoll teaches about Jesus through His Word, and places it in the context of our lives.

Some of that intensity comes from Pastor Mark.  There are two speeds to the man, full-blast and off.  He is a hard-living, intense work-a-holic who finds nothing more exciting and restorative than to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He (and by extension we) hold strongly to a realistic, bible-oriented view of who Jesus is, placed in the context of our culture.  Mars Hill is the name of the hill in Greece where traveling performers, teachers, politicians, entertainers would all come and perform and get the attention of the surrounding city.  In short, the gospel was preached at Mars Hill in Greece because it was the center of the local culture.  Mars Hill believes quite strongly that instead of disengaging from the culture — don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t go to movies and have a good time like we do — we engage the culture with love and passion because, through it, we engage the people of the city of Seattle.

It is in this context that I came to find a radical, restorative change to my sexuality.

I have two men at Mars Hill, J.B. and K., who are unlike any other men I have known in my life.  They are godly men who are passionate about Jesus, unashamed of their sinful humanity, and embrace God’s grace and mercy with fullness and intensity.

I don’t trust many men.  They say that if you are suspicious and untrusting of people, you’re not terribly trustworthy yourself.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, I only know that I have been burned before and burned hard by religion and by churches who did not care to know me past my tithe check.  But here, here is where the slimiest dirt is known in my life, and where I am loved anyway.

The church’s website is on the blogroll.  Sermons are available in mp3 format as well as a weekly podcast of the sermon, music and lectures from the theology department (Capstone) as well as the Film and Theology lectures, hosted by my friend Pastor James Harleman.  If you are in Seattle, come and visit the church.  You’ll be surprised and, I hope, compelled to investigate further.

~ by WriterRand on January 9, 2006.

2 Responses to “My Spiritual Home”

  1. Hello Brother
    Mars Hill is my Spiritual Home also. I have been a Christian
    for over 25 years and because of various moves I have worshipped
    and/or been a member in several churches; Nazarene, Baptist,
    Free Methodist, and two non-denominational. Thankfully, Jesus
    Christ was well preached in each. Unfortunately, they all had
    limited success in reaching the community. They tended to
    be somewhat exclusive and became “holy huddles” because of
    their efforts to avoid contamination from outside.
    Mars Hill is dynamic and is growing and reaching thousands
    in the community because we realize our strength is in Christ
    and that we can engage the community without being
    contaminated. Mars Hill Church really is a hospital for sinners.
    I have been attending (and became a member) for just over
    one year. I also retired recently and because I have the time
    and because I am having so much fun I have become involved
    in four different ministries. At 65 years old I am enjoying life
    more than ever. I would not have believed that possible a few
    years ago.
    Like you, I do hope that many of the scoffers will back off
    the critizism and come by and investigate for themselves.
    God can change their lives and give them meaning and
    purpose also.
    Praise the Lord,
    Mike O’Dea

  2. your church sounds very interesting, I am ready to release my past and trust my heart fully. The universe brings me what I need, and I have been very burnt many many times in my life. I need a good apartment in Seattle. I am a spiritual woman and have a lot to offer to the right people who can understand me. I have 8 llittle birds who are very well loved and taken care of. I hope to learn more of your church when I am able to move to Seattle, which I need to do real soon. thanks and blessings.

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