Read. Watch. Decide.
Rachel Evans: Mark Driscoll is a bully. Stand up to him.
But Mark has developed a pattern of immaturity and unkindness that has remained largely unchecked by his church. In evangelical circles, he’s like the kid from high school who makes crude jokes at every opportunity, uses the words “gay” and “queer” to describe the things he most detests, encourages his friends to subject the unpopular kids to ridicule, and belittles the guys who aren’t “macho” or “manly” enough to be in his club.
Jonathan Martin: The Boorish, Middle School Remarks Have Gone Far Enough
I don’t like bullies, and I don’t like bullying remarks. And for as easily as I find it to be compassionate to the failings of leaders, there is such a thing as justice. For me, when oppressed and/or marginalized groups within the body of Christ are maligned, you stand up every single time and you tell the truth. That’s what preachers do—we stand on behalf of people who are bullied.
Dr. Robert Gargill: Tumor on the face of Christianity
Dr. Benjamin Zablocki, Chair of the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University, defines a religious cult as “an ideological organization held together by charismatic relationships and the demand of total commitment,” usually due “to members’ adulation of charismatic leaders,” often “contributing to the leaders becoming corrupted by power.” In my opinion, the behavior of Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill church meets the classic definition of a religious cult.
Roger Wolsey, Sojourners.net: Driscoll Needs Help
He’s so in control that he’s out of control. He and his ministry are heading toward a train-wreck. … It’s been apparent to many of us in the wider Christian community that Driscoll is likely dealing with some serious demons and that he’s repressing his shadow side to the point that he’s acting-out more and more. There is evidence that he may be self-sabotaging himself and his ministry. … For someone to go out of their way to mock men who he deems as looking “effeminate” suggests someone with issues.
Brother Maynard: Masculine behaviour is killing people in one’s youth?
Whatever would possess a well-known “successful” big-church pastor and author to go around suggesting that effeminate worship leaders should be publicly ridiculed and that David was much more masculine than the average worship leader because he started killing people as a kid? Um, yeah, are you serious? That’s your apologetic for a trucker who doesn’t like effeminate worship leaders? … Is it really a better apologetic to reinforce the stereotype this guy already had, and characterize “proper” masculine behaviour as killing people in one’s youth?
Discontinuity: Bigotry is Wrong, Even for Pastors
Pastor Mark once gave us a peek inside his head when he described his “Evangelical Continuum.” This goes from +10 to -10. Brand new Christians are at 0. As you go up the scale, you reach the ranks of deacon, elder, and top out as lead pastor at +10. What of the opposite direction? Pastor Mark puts Mormons at -5. Atheists are only a -8. But what could be lower on Pastor Mark’s scale than atheists? One of his favorite targets: gay atheists (-9). If the gay atheist speaks in their defense, they are a “gay atheist activist,” and get the worst score of -10.
Andy Horger: Mark Driscoll fails to take responsibility
What stood out earlier as odd about Mark’s perspective of the past was that Grace was humbly reconciling her past, but HE wasn’t! What at first appears to be a book about their marriage is really a book about Grace’s marriage. … in fact Mark barely recognizes his responsibility in this at all. … He has yet to recognize his own responsibility in much of this, to the point that his wife is publicly apologizing to him for past offenses he participated in himself with seemingly no remorse or consequence on his part.
Christine Marietta: Suffering Under an Oppressive Regime
In my interactions with these women [who left Mars Hill], I notice one glaring theme that prompted both of them to leave the church: They began to trust themselves more than any external authority. They decided, in direct violation of the teachings at Mars Hill, that their own still, small voice was not the voice of sin, but the voice of Spirit, worth listening to. Take this line from a blog post by one of Mars Hill’s female deacons: “As a young woman, I prided myself on having enough money, education, and independence to make my own way, unencumbered by a man… My attitude reeked of arrogance toward both God and men.” But … The cure for sin is forgiveness. The cure for blindness is not forgiveness, but sight. The cure for captivity is not forgiveness (and certainly not submission), but freedom and empowerment. The cure for lost-ness is found-ness, or direction. So, I think this blogger could have seen her predicament as one of suffering under an oppressive regime, and in need of freedom. She could see it as a problem of having an impoverished spirit from years of being taught in a million subtle ways that her gender is less valuable. The cure for poverty is en-rich-ment, in her case, an increase in competence, power, and self-direction—exactly where her heart was leading her as a young woman.
Salon: Illogical, demeaning
Driscoll blames Haggard’s affair with a male escort not on the former pastor’s homosexuality — which he abhors as much as that other spawn of Satan, feminism, — but on his wife, Gayle Haggard. “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,” he wrote on his blog. “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.” This argument is as illogical — that a man would have sex with another man because he was turned off by his aging wife, and not because he’s gay — as it is demeaning.
Dianna E. Anderson: A Neverending Parade of Stupid
And it is with a heavy heart that I realize that Driscoll has been running this church, training these elders and pastors (all without formal training himself, it should be noted and highlighted and underlined and bolded), and developing this church discipline system for the past ten years. Ten years of abused members. Ten years of people being told that they are unlovable unless they obey the church, which has taken the place of God. Ten years of people being made to feel like complete and utter shit.
Slate: Disturbingly controlling
Is Mars Hill’s PR drama a case of an increasingly powerful organization abusing its members’ trust?
New York Times: I break their nose.
In 2007, two elders protested a plan to reorganize the church that, according to critics, consolidated power in the hands of Driscoll and his closest aides. Driscoll told the congregation that he asked advice on how to handle stubborn subordinates from a “mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighter, good guy” who attends Mars Hill. “His answer was brilliant,” Driscoll reported. “He said, ‘I break their nose.’ ” When one of the renegade elders refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. One member complained on an online message board and instantly found his membership privileges suspended. “They are sinning through questioning,” Driscoll preached.
My post [Mark Driscoll’s Top Ten Manliest Ways to Die] was so over the top misogynistic, homophobic and egotistical that it probably says something about Driscoll himself that Driscoll’s PR director would want me to add a content disclaimer.
Inhabitatio Dei: Wives, be dirty
Driscoll’s sexual explicitness is all deployed in the interest of coercing women to fulfill whatever sexual whims their husbands might have. As MacArthur rightly points out, Driscoll’s regular sermons on what the Song of Song has to say about sex always ends up pointing out “obligatory acts wives must do if this is what satisfies their husbands, regardless of the wife’s own desire or conscience.” This is the real problem, people.
Lest anyone think Driscoll is being misrepresented here, listen to just a couple quotes from one of these sex sermons: “Ladies, let me assure you of this: if you think you’re being dirty, he’s pretty happy. Jesus Christ commands you to do this.” This is misogyny sexual domination at its worst. From the pulpit we have an evangelical pastor ordering the women in his church to perform any sex act a husband might desire because, after all, Jesus commands this. In the Song of Songs. I guess.
The Wartburg Watch: Narcissistic Cowboy or Knight Errant?
He seems to enjoy speaking about violence. Why? Was he bullied as a child and this is payback time or is he the perpetual bully?
One of the fundamental problems with this whole discussion is a refusal by many to acknowledge the crucial (and elementary) distinction between strong language and obscene language. Mark Driscoll himself contributed to this confusion by blending and blurring the two issues in his message last fall at the Desiring God Conference. … I have written Mark privately with my concerns. He rejected my counsel. As a matter of fact, he preached the sermon I have been quoting from seven weeks after receiving my private letter encouraging him to take seriously the standard of holiness Scripture holds pastors to.
Bill Sergott: A scared, little pansy
He obviously grew up as a jock and a bully, and these tendencies have gone unchecked his whole life. Bullies only become good people, when they bully the wrong person and pay the price for that. He is better suited to selling insurance in some small town and talking about the “glory days” of his “almost high school football state championship” from over 20 years ago, rather than pastoring a church.
David Sessions: a testosterone-oozing Calvinist bruiser
[Driscoll] seems to think that if you’re not cut out for the locker room, you’re not cut out for heaven. If you’re a woman, you’d better make sure you keep your husband fed and serviced. … The first chapter of Real Marriage, is something different, and it’s creeping nearly everyone out….At best it’s extreme oversharing, and at worst some see it as more evidence of Mark’s pervasive obsession with sex and a degrading view of women.
He doesn’t hate his wife–she’s just not as important as him. … Heaven forbid that the husband actually help his wife himself. Not to mention the implied belief that household duties and childrearing are the wife’s job.
‘Prominent Pastor’, on The Broken Telegraph: Risk becoming the Taliban
This is, of course, precisely where the rub comes because without severe limitations on [spiritual discipline], we run the risk of becoming the Taliban, both in our levels of scrutiny, and punishment, and hypocrisy. Unrestricted control of fallen people, in the name of ‘discipline’ doesn’t just turn people off from a particular local church- it turns people off to Christ. For that reason, the misuse of discipline needs to be held up to the light of scripture and exposed. I’ll note that the scriptures offer no precedent for mining confession of further sin, no precedent for shunning one who has confessed.
Ian Ebright: Disregarding the Damage
An insulated church is happy to give some version of their side of the story, but it will marginalize pushback either by claiming Godly authority or using insults, two tactics that Driscoll employs with regularity. As an example, Driscoll often makes fun of bloggers in different ways, saying they should find better things to do with their time (or accusing them of sin) when he gets called out, and yet he himself takes to his own blog to complain about an interview that didn’t go his way. In an insulated church, criticism will be fierce and constant as long as it is directed outward. It’s the rhetorical equivalent of a preemptive strike.
Brendan Kiley: It’s His Hypocrisy
A pastor who says his words are above questioning is, in his own mind, making his words equal with God’s—if you believe in that sort of thing. And even if you you do believe in that sort of thing, Mark Driscoll’s arrogance should be deeply, deeply troubling.
Fred Clark, Slacktivist: The Definite Activity of a Cult
Driscoll wants to make the sergeant at arms an officer of the church — he wants to serve in that role himself. And that means, inevitably, that he has a very different notion of what it means to say extra ecclesiam nulla salus — “outside the church there is no salvation.” For Driscoll it’s all about control and authority. His control and his authority. It means that he can always kick you out. … The church leadership then sent out a letter to every member of the mega-church — all 10,000 of them — informing them that Andrew was “under church discipline” and forbidding any of them from associating with him except “for the purpose of admonishment.”
Surprising Grace by cooking tonight so she can get a break. Hahahahaaaaa as if!