The Gospel of Mark Driscoll

So...young, "hip" Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll's comments on the whole Haggard scandal are offensive in so many ways. Some highlights:

"Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either."

"Churches should consider returning to heterosexual male assistants who are like Timothy and Titus to serve alongside pastors. Too often the pastor’s assistant is a woman who, if not sexually involved, becomes too emotionally involved with the pastor as a sort of emotional and practical second wife. I have been blessed with a trustworthy heterosexual male assistant who can travel with me, meet with me, etc., without the fear of any temptations or even false allegations since we have beautiful wives and eight children between us."

"Pastors need to carefully protect their cell phone number. If that private number gets out, too many of the wrong people have access to the pastor. Not only should the cell phone number of a pastor be given out to only a few people, he should also consider eliminating his voicemail and simply have calls forwarded to his assistant. In this way people will not become too informal with the pastor and if the pastor knows someone is trouble (e.g., a flirtatious woman), he can see that on his caller ID and simply refuse to answer the call or have to deal with a voicemail."

Driscoll's comments are, to me, one of the more disgusting things I've seen that have come out of this whole Haggard controversy. Apparently in Driscoll's mind, either the woman is a fat old married slob who isn't putting out for her husband, or she's a flirtatious whore trying to entice men off of the straight and narrow. Ugh. When I first read this I was so mad I had to get up and pace around the room until I calmed down. And apparently now he's "apologized" for his earlier comments. Well, forgive me if I'm not quite willing to just brush the whole thing off now. The problem is that his clarification really does nothing to counteract the genuine spirit of misogyny that seems to underlie so much of what he says - he may not even be aware of it. But there are just so many little digs against women in his messages - even when he doesn't seem to be directly referencing anything to do with male/female roles in Scripture, or what have you. I mean, check out a few more quotes directly from the man himself:

"Some women think they can do everything on their own and that if men sit by idly like cowards because they don't want to get into it with their hot-headed, emotional, wives, eventually the women will take over the church, and then the church will go to hell."

"When you disagree, when you're super-theological, when you're all fired up, the first thing you don't do is start yellin' at the pastor and yellin' at the church, firin' nasty e-mails, and declarin' war and puttin' together a, a, little group of, you know, feminist women with guns who are gonna make a difference."

In reference to the election of a woman as head of the US Episcopalian church: "All of this has led this blogger to speculate that if Christian males do not man up soon, the Episcopalians may vote a fluffy baby bunny rabbit as their next bishop to lead God’s men."

"I eventually had to distance myself from the Emergent stream of the network because friends like Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt began pushing a theological agenda that greatly troubled me. Examples include referring to God as a chick, questioning God's sovereignty over and knowledge of the future, denial of the substitutionary atonement at the cross, a low view of Scripture, and denial of hell which is one hell of a mistake."

"Many women, particularly younger women in our age of insanity, try to evade the clear commands in these verses as their mother Eve did. Many will believe that they can better help God’s cause in this world, better help their husbands, better help their children, and better help themselves by doing and being different than what God through Paul commands. However, they would only be continuing the legacy of their mother Eve who was well meaning and trying to help, but simply became deceived into thinking that her wisdom soared above God’s."

"The major blind spot of megachurches is that they tend to be very effeminate with aesthetics, music, and preaching perfectly tailored for moms. Manly men are repelled by this, and many of the men who find it appealing are the types to sing prom songs to Jesus and learn about their feelings while sitting in a seafoam green chair drinking herbal tea — the spiritual equivalent of Richard Simmons..."

"The two hot theologies today are Reformed and emerging. Reformed theology offers certainty, with a masculine God who names our sin, crushes Jesus on the Cross for it, and sends us to hell if we fail to repent. Emerging theology offers obscurity, with a neutered God who would not say an unkind word to us, did not crush Jesus for our sins, and would not send anyone to hell."

"Jesus was a carpenter who walked a lot of miles and was therefore a fit, blue-collar type of guy who would never drive a Cabriolet, rock out to Mariah Carey, or wear lemon-yellow."

"I have sat in the room with him and been told "If your wife is working, you are a selfish bastard. How dare you make her shoulder her half of the curse and part of yours as well."

"You need to stop watching porno and crying like a baby afterward and grow up, man. I don't have time to be your accountability partner, so you need to be a man and nut up and take care of this yourself. A naked lady is good to look at, so get a job, get a wife, ask her to get naked, and look at her instead. Alright?"

"There is no occasion where women led a society and were its heads and the men complied and followed. ... It's a matter of Biblical creation."

"Every single book in your Bible is written by a man... Priest[hood] is reserved exclusively for godly men."

"Women will be saved by going back to that role that God has chosen for them."

"Who gave them the right to take over literature, sociology, and gender studies departments at universities? Who gave them the right to speak?"

"I have some other opinions. I went to community college. I have a degree in women’s studies. I have a pushup bra and clear heels and opinions!"

There's plenty more where that came from, and a lot of the same from people associated with Driscoll and Mars Hill. It all just smacks of "Aw, aren't these little ladies so CUTE when they stay in their place and don't get uppity?" There's just so much condescension and disrespect dripping off of his words. People keep saying, "Oh, his words were taken out of context!" Well, I don't care what context they're in, they're still demeaning towards women and they're still disgusting to see in someone who is supposed to be shepherd of a flock of men AND women. Actually, when you stop to think about it, Driscoll's attitude is just as demeaning towards men as it is towards women. He's trying to fit everyone into rigid, compartmentalized roles based on what he thinks masculinity and femininity are. And that just won't fly. If this is the new face of evangelical Christianity, it sure looks a lot like the old face. Dressing his message up in tattoos and rock music and Snoop Dogg doesn't make Driscoll any less of a misogynist. It certainly doesn't make him more "relevant." I just hope the kids out in Seattle realize this eventually.


  1. Seth Studer said...
    Your attitude isn't very Biblical, Kristi. It's like Mark said: you may be single and think these teachings don't apply to you...or maybe you're single because you haven't applied them to you.

    Because obviously no one would choose to be single, especially not a woman.
    The Roths said...
    You should try living in the Caribbean. Here, it's not just the "Christian's" who think that way, but the ENTIRE CULTURE! Not cool.
    Carole said...
    I love that you started a blog, it's so much easier to keep in touch. Of course you can add me to your links, and I'll do the same for you.

    As for Mark Driscoll, I hadn't really heard of him before, but he sounds like the worst kind of 'chistian' nut case.

    It's interesting living in Atlantic Canada, because, like parts of the US, almost everyone comes from a protestant background; however here no one is very serious about it, so it's weird for me to read about the fanatics.
    Anonymous said...
    I'm just going to comment on what seth said.

    I wonder, why a woman wouldn't choose to be single? My happiness as God's creation and as a woman does NOT hinge on whether or not I'm married and to believe such is a horribly distorted view of what God desires for our lives.
    Anonymous said...
    One year later - more controversy.

    KING 5 News: Controversy Brewing at Seattle's Mars Hill Church
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