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Lance balked, but his pastor insisted: "I'm the authority over you," the pastor said, according to Lance. "We don't even think you were a Christian to begin with," the pastor retorted, according to Lance, and left the room. Not only was he barred from speaking with his now-former friends at the church, Lance says his pastor threatened to contact any future church that he might attend.

"You agreed when you became a member that I am your authority, and you have to obey us." Lance was torn—on one hand, he signed that membership contract. In a final, tense meeting, Lance got fed up with the leadership's harping about submission and authority. The church told him to move out and, if he wouldn't submit to church demands, to cut off any communication with members of Mars Hill. And then Lance's pastor took the extra step of calling the father of Lance's girlfriend in Colorado.

"They were warning him how dangerous I was," Lance says.

o become a "member" at Mars Hill Church requires more than attending church.

Becoming a full-fledged member—a process highly encouraged, and sometimes thunderously demanded, in Pastor Mark Driscoll's sermons—requires months of classes and a careful study of , Driscoll's 463-page Mars Hill textbook.

Last modified 01-Sep-2016 08:37