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Friday, 4 December 2015

mindy bak north heights lutheran church arden hills mn: the toxic aftermath of mike breen 3dm

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Following North Heights Lutheran Church (NHLC) extrication from the clutches of 3DM in April 2014, there is an ongoing bitter dispute with details emerging that NHLC are experiencing a gargantuan division due to financial difficulties, the closure of its satellite church in Roseville and leadership problems. Interim Pastor, Mindy Bak, has been accused of attempting to gain leverage by feeding the secular press her own very biased view of the troubled situation, saying that "many have rebelled" - strong words from the woman who is at the epicentre of these problems! The congregation of NHLC has decreased dramatically by two-thirds from 3,400 at its peak about ten years ago, to 1,600 a week earlier this year according to Interim Pastor, Mindy Bak. A breakaway group of about 900 strong calling themselves "Bondservants" are now meeting at the AmericInn Hotel & Suites in Mounds View. 

MELINDA (MINDY) BAK:
Interim Senior Pastor North Heights Lutheran Church 
Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area 
 2007 – Present (8 years) Arden Hills 
Education:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA Journalism, Print and Documentary Production 1980 – 1984
Luther Northwestern Theolgoical Seminary
M.Div., Pastoral Studies and Theology 1984 – 1988

It appears that no thorough background check was carried out on Bak when she was employed as a staff member of NHLC in 2007. Bak is said to have been removed and escorted out of two previous churches for dishonesty and deception. A horrifying catalogue of Bak's alleged misdeeds can be found on the link below {1}. Bak resigned her previous position as Principal of Gethsemane School and her membership of Gethsemane Lutheran Church following a successful vote by members of to remove her. Frankly, had the leadership of NHLC not been so negligent, they might have avoided this awful situation!

Bob Shaw's Article at TwinCities.com. Pioneer Press Local News: North Heights Lutheran Church is a Church Torn Apart dated the 3rd of October has many inaccuracies and is obviously biased towards Bak. The acrimonious comments at the end of his article give quite a different picture and speak for themselves. Bak has attempted to claim that this is a gender issue, though her detractors vigorously deny that gender has any bearing on the problems.

NHLC:  "It is our desire that this church body be functioning through and reliant solely on the Word of God, the Lordship of Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit." It always amazes me when churches make these kinds of statements, but then only implement them when it is convenient!  (Luke 6:46-49) 

      RED FLAGS AT NHLC - A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE:
  • 1 Timothy 2:12 precludes a woman from taking up a pastoral role in authority over men. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; 
  • Bak's history of dishonesty and divisiveness.
  • Bak was part of the leadership of NHLC when they introduced 3DM. Where was the spiritual discernment at NHLC prior to taking on Breen/3DM? They could not have done their homework or they would have known about Breen's ecumenism and the scandal surrounding the Nine O'Clock Service. In my view, it was foolish of NHLC to allow Bak to continue in leadership after the removal of 3DM (aka 3D Movements aka Missional Communities UK).
  • North Heights Lutheran Church is a registered 501(c)(3) organisation which means they are government controlled. A 501(c)(3) church will jeopardise its tax exempt status if it openly preaches against, or organises anything in opposition that the government declares "legal", for instance abortion or homosexuality. In other words, in many cases, 501(c)(3) churches put financial considerations and political correctness above God (Matthew 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:10).
  • NHLC hosts the controversial and much criticised Alpha Course. Alpha is the vehicle which has been used to introduce false doctrines and the Third Wave into the church. For more information about Alpha see the link below {2). 
  • Church membership is unbiblical if it involves taking oaths or making commitments and promises. The procedure for becoming a member at NHLC is not on their website. However, dual attendance was unknown in the early church, and in my experience it does cause a "them and us" situation with non-members being excluded from important decisions.
  • On or about September 21, 2015 Bak's ordination license was revoked by International Ministerial Fellowship (IMF).
  • There are rumours of Bak's continuing involvement with 3DM.
  • Bak oversees an authoritarian leadership style at NHLC which circumvents the congregation and lacks accountability. 
  • Bak closed down the Roseville location without having a congregational vote according to NHLC bylaws.
  • Bak: "We all tithe 10 or 11 percent. We have the goal of increasing that by 1 percent a year, so it will be 20 percent in 10 years."  Tithing is not found in the New Testament. Malachi 3 is the passage commonly cited in order to justify tithing. However most people do not realise that Malachi condemns the abuses of the priests of Israel (Malachi 1:6; 2:1), and the sons of Levi (Malachi 3:3), not the people! To have this goal of 20% is legalistic and an unreasonable burden to put upon any congregation. No one should give under compulsion! (2 Corinthians 9:7)
  • The decision by NHLC Council to retain an attorney to investigate misconduct allegations against Bak and certain Council members flies against the scriptural mandate for internal disputes to be settled within the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:1-8). The expense of hiring an outside attorney is yet another matter of ethical concern which has been described as "irresponsible stewardship of the congregations tithes and offerings." {3}
  • Bak: "There is going to be an outpouring"..... This phrase is the repeated mantra of many false teachers. The Bible has a great deal to say about end time apostasy and delusion, not revival! (Luke 18:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:3)
  • NHLC Announcement to Remove 3DM was very questionable in its wording:
    "North Heights DNA is one soaked in the Holy Spirit;"  "DNA" is a typical Breenism! "Soaking in the Spirit/soaking prayer" is a phrase used by the Arnott's of false Toronto fame among other false teachers. Why can't these people use biblical language rather than parroting dubious phrases from known apostates? (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:18) {4} 

Council of Elders Special Meeting 19th October: "Consider and adopt a resolution directing the Council of Elders to terminate any and all relationship between NHLC and Pastor Mindy Bak."  {5}

At the above meeting, the majority of the congregation voted to direct the Council of Elders to remove Interim Senior Pastor Bak, but they were ruled out of order. Apparently this has happened on more than one occasion and is the response to every motion the congregation puts forward.

SOME DISTURBING ALLEGATIONS FROM THE CHURCH TORN APART WEBSITE:  

• SHE was previously removed and escorted out of two churches for making false accusations, lying, and deceptions.
• SHE falsely accused a well respected interim senior pastor from her previous church of sexual advances. SHE wanted him gone so she could obtain his job, he had to resign in shame. Women of that church stated he was a great man and never would have done such a thing.
• Several women from HER previous church stated, “SHE almost destroyed our church”.
• Women from HER previous church have warned men at our church not to be in a room alone with her because she could accuse them of sexual harassment.
• SHE maliciously fired many people at her previous school church because they didn’t agree with her way of thinking.
• “She hates men” this comment was stated by several women from her previous church.
• SHE went to the Council of Elders at her previous church and made a false statement about how a respected woman pastor of 30 years physically assaulted HER. SHE wanted her fired from that church so SHE could move into that position.
• SHE has verbally and maliciously attacked two well respected male pastors at our church, and one previous well respected male Senior Pastor at our church.
• SHE is doing everything possible to remove Pastor Greg Berglund from our church. SHE has attacked Pastor Greg Berglund with false accusations, lies, and deceived him numerous times. She wants him gone because he states the truth and he is in her path of destruction.
• SHE has lied and deceived Horace Beale who was on the Council of Elders at our church and pressured and threatened to sue him until he finally resigned in disgust.
• SHE continuously lies, assaults, and deceives many of the staff.
• Many members of our church have stated SHE continuously uses our church pulpit for political statements about running for the position of senior pastor....

.....and on it goes! {1}

UPDATE 7th March 2016

North Heights Lutheran Church Shutting Down 
http://www.twincities.com/2016/03/07/former-mega-church-north-heights-lutheran-shutting-down/ 

{1} http://www.churchcancer.blogspot.co.uk/p/facts-march-21st-2015-north-heights.html
{2}  http://www.banner.org.uk/misc/alpha.html
{3} https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1ed76762450972abcadf2cc92/files/Dekalb_Decline_to_Interview_7_13_2015.pdf
{4}  http://www.nhlc.org/filerequest/36785
http://www.churchcancer.blogspot.co.uk/p/facts-march-21st-2015-north-heights.html
{5} http://www.northheights.church/what-we-believe/department_directory/council_of_elders

Further Reading: 

http://bewareofthewolves.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/mike-breen-3dm-playing-havoc-with_1.html#comments
http://theoldblackchurch.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-church-torn-apart-and-woman-is-to.html
http://www.i-m-f.org/
http://www.northheights.church/media/sermon-series/arden-hills-sanctuary-media/media-item/353/living-faith
http://www.schooleyfiles.com/2013/11/mike-breen-and-building-discipling.html?showComment=1443940146353#c9131639488582734338
http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2014/01/02/no-501-c-3-church-can-be-a-church-of-god/
http://hushmoney.org/501c3-facts.htm
http://eliora.hubpages.com/hub/HOLY-TRINITY-CHURCH-LEICESTER
http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_28913678/north-heights-lutheran-is-church-divided
http://nhexiledservice.blogspot.co.uk/

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just an observation from a believer who has no connection to this church. It appears that this fellowship was not part of any denomination. We used to refer to this type of church as a mom and pop church. Without the over-site of a synod or any mentoring group, that the church has placed themselves under, there are always problems. In this case they are their own denomination. Also, this is a church that has a large asset base. Pastor Bak seems to be the focal point in this struggle. If this pastor were to leave it appears that the church could begin to heal and the many hundreds of people may return. There are many other churches that teach the true gospel of Jesus. It would be very easy to move to one of those. "Satan has sifted them like wheat." Pastor Bak should leave for the sake of the unity of believers, as it appears that she has caused the dis-unity.

David Ulrich said...

34 Let your[d] women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

So...? If ANY gathering is within...disobedience--"the Lord's commandments"wise--they're go to... prosper, somehow? A (so-called) "Pastor" in...rebellion--for starters, huh? Why...? (Well, who cares, truly: it's leaving one...incredulous, FOR STARTERS, here.) How...? Does the like remain in...control--the Word of God, leadership of...Christ, conviction by the Holy Spirit NOT ruling, otherwise? David...Grand Marais

David Ulrich said...




So...(according to my last commentary--addressing Paul's address to the Corinthians !4:34-37) IF YOU'VE (apparently, yes?) an entire CONGREGATION in rebellion against the Word of...God--delivered unto the apostle Paul--you have A...CONGREGATION'S being guilty of "wirchcraft", thusly?

"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” I Samuel 15:23

While...? Praise the Lord and THANK...GOD, God (or, the Lord) shows forth...mercy--ala, hopefully, PERMITTED THIS: that entire...CONGREGATION may "repent", rightfully, yes?

"They refused to obey, And they were not mindful of Your wonders That You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And in their rebellion They appointed a leader To return to their bondage. But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them." Nehemiah 9:17

And, while...accusing that (formerly, since there's no more any...congregation supporting her, seemingly) "Pastor" MIGHT BECOME a convenient "excuse"--for just HOW...LONG did(n't) they ALL allow for...? Disobedience THEIRS, yeah? (I mean did...SHE ever just walk in--taking over upon her own...merits, or, account? Or, wasn't she..."installed" by themselves, REBELLING, obviously, against the Word of...God, and...? "The Lord's commandment", right? I mean, throw out the apostle Paul's teaching--and, go..."modern", hey? NOT!!?)

David...Grand Marais

Anonymous said...

Hi David,
Mindy Bak was the "Interim" senior pastor. Appointed by the Council of Elders when the former senior pastor resigned. Not called or voted on by the Congregation. As a matter of fact she wasn't even hired as a pastor, she was a staff member. She slowly worked behind the scenes to secure her power base. Over time she managed to get seven Council members to resign(including the President). Then appointed replacement Council members that were of a like mind. The point here is the congregation had no control over what happened. When the congregation became of aware of what was going on they took action. Special meetings were called and votes put forth to remove her. Every vote was ruled out of order by the Council. 1,000+ members of the congregation (that's 2/3) along with four pastors started worshipping at a rented Hotel ballroom in protest. We even went to court to try to force the Council to allow us to vote. The judge told us to resolve it within the framework of our constitution. Unfortunately the constitution wasn't written to account for the Council not following the will of the congregation. We were basically powerless. Constitutional changes and Council member elections can only be put forth once a year(May). The Constitutional changes were ready to go to address the situation. No guarantee that would have worked though. The Council had already been busy pruning the official membership list. They had the power to redefine membership qualifications at will. So the dissenting 2/3 were being targeted for removal. I know on the surface it seems simple. But, trust me there were many, many people fighting the good fight. That said those worshipping at the Hotel are still together and have invited with open arms those that still worshipped with her and are now without a place to worship. More information on the Hotel congregation can be found here: http://www.nhexiled.com/
God Bless!

Anonymous said...

10 years ago I visited NHLC, and while I was waiting for the service I went outside to an area where people were visiting. As I sat down I noticed a sign off to the side that said "Warning, poison ivy." I thought how strange. Why would someone purchase a sign like that? Wouldn't it be better to just remove the poison ivy? A couple years ago when I first heard of the problems, and the split occurring over 3DM, I thought, that must have been a warning from God.

BTW, when the council and Mindy were hauled into court (I was there) Mindy sat there with two council members on each side and her body guard sitting in the rear of the court.

Jan B said...

Can someone tell me what is 3DM? My first impressions on hearing of this dissension is that there is a Jezebel spirit at work which is most certainly not the Holy Spirit.
Jan B

Treena Gisborn said...

I have written separate posts about Mike Breen and 3DM on this blog and also on Hubpages Jan. God bless

Anonymous said...

Hi Jan B,
The "teachings of 3DM" was the previous spiritual attack that North Heights fought off two years ago and is documented by Treena here: http://bewareofthewolves.blogspot.com/2014/05/mike-breen-3dm-playing-havoc-with_1.html

There was a period of chaos while 3DM was being removed from North Heights. The senior pastor at that time (who was the Regional Director of 3DM) resigned leaving a door open which allowed the Jezebel spirit to walk right in. At the time everyone was just relieved to have 3DM removed and our guard was down. They needed an interim senior pastor quickly and I believe the outgoing senior pastor recommended Mindy Bak. Bak had been hired as a staff member not a Pastor. She was appointed by the council to the "temporary" senior pastor position and never properly vetted. If you do some research into her history you'll find what happened here is nothing new for her.

Sadly Bak managed to accomplish what 3DM had been unable to do. She took control of the Council by surreptitiously getting Council members to resign and appointing hand picked replacements. And thus took control of the church. In the end she wreaked far more havoc than 3DM ever did at North Heights.

tom h said...

No pun intended, but thank God I am an Atheist. However, I am not one of those anti-Christian militant hate Atheists. I just don't care to believe in God. Most of my family and friends do and I have no problems with that. Actually I support them in their beliefs. I was raised Catholic, became Lutheran later in life and then decided to no longer believe or should I say, have faith in a God. I still hold many of my Christian values that I was raised on, just without the belief. It is sad this whole situation had to happen as I'm sure it has hurt many people needlessly. I hope everyone is able to get past it and find what they are looking for. I would say I will pray for you, but being that is not my deal, I will just wish all, good luck and enjoy our short time in this life.

Treena Gisborn said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment Tom. I know these things are a very bad witness to non-believers and it is very sad. Nevertheless the scriptures do predict a "falling away" (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and I believe that this is precisely what is happening in the churches generally. ".....for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized." 1 Corinthians 11:19. Let God be true though every one were a liar (Romans 3:4).

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15

Anonymous said...

Hi Treena,
There have been some very encouraging developments at North Heights. After the church closed it's doors and Pastor Bak was fired. The remaining council members realized new leadership was needed and appointed a new Council to take their place.

The new council has worked tirelessly to heal the rifts and get the church ready to open again. Yesterday the doors were reopened and we had an amazing service. Almost 1,900 people in attendance.

More information can be found here:
http://www.presspubs.com/shoreview/news/article_41ff43a8-fb40-11e5-967d-5b9740bc33e0.html
http://www.presspubs.com/shoreview/article_474efb5c-ff5d-11e5-b0ec-67f310f5fe00.html

Hallelujah! Still a long way to go, but this has been a true miracle from God.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for us,
JB

Dave Anderson said...

Watching from Phoenix, AZ, we are saddened by the struggles/train wreck at North Heights. We are praying that God will bring about a resurrection of the NH ministry. Could it be that "the best is yet to come"? Could it be that out of the ashes will come a testimony of God's grace and mercy that is stronger than the testimony of the fracture of an amazing church? Dave and Barb Anderson