The “No Talk Rule” And The Real Reason Mars Hill Is Falling
Many long years ago, Larry Taylor wrote the following in a guide for Calvary Chapel assistant pastors: (Note: Taylor has long since disavowed this writing and to my knowledge it’s no longer published by CC.)
Never Gossip : Gossip is a sin that most of us feel we are not guilty of, and which most of us are very guilty of. Gossip may be defined as saying anything negative, whether true or not, to anyone about the pastor or about the ministry. If there are things wrong, take it to the Lord in prayer. Tell absolutely no one, including your spouse. Do not repeat anything that would cast aspersion on the ministry in any way. Doing so dishonors Christ and His cause. But, you say, what do you do if there are real problems? Pray about them and forget them. If that doesn’t work, take your concerns directly and only to the pastor himself, and share with him honestly. If that doesn’t work, resign and move on. Under no circumstances should you ever say anything negative about the pastor or the ministry to anyone, even after you’ve quit. In a situation where something in the church is so completely wrong that the sheep in the body are in spiritual danger, then say nothing to anybody, resign, and move on.
Defend the Pastor and the Ministry from all negative talk: Anything that would hinder or cast aspersion on the ministry will adversely affect the work of the Holy Spirit in your town. Therefore,defend the ministry. When you hear anything even slightly negative about the pastor or about the ministry, intervene, correct it, stop it.
This is what we call the “no talk rule” and it’s not unique to Calvary Chapel.
Birthed in the ethos of “family” it is prevalent in religious groups and old school criminal organizations alike.
In religious groups it is enforced from within by the threat of shaming and excommunication, from without by the same and the imagined consequences of “touching the Lord’s anointed”.
It is the strongest unspoken rule there is and the biggest impediment to transparency and accountability when there is corruption in the ranks.
Leaders know that even in this age of social media and blogs that they can withstand most attacks from outside the group.
They also know that it is internal strife and dissension that is the real threat to their thrones.
Mark Driscoll’s real problem isn’t the exposure to misdeeds by the media, it’s the fact that people are talking.
Those who are now or once were insiders are opening up…and the more recognizable names that do so, the more others feel safe to do like wise.
It’s the former elder, assistants, and pastors that can and are bringing accountability to this matter…and if the process is to continue it has to be from the inside out.
Carl Trueman speaks to Janet Mefferd about breaking the silence about corrupt celebrity pastors.