I am certainly not the first blogging critic of Pastor Mark Driscoll, popular writer and leader of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington; in fact, I’m rather late to the draw to add my criticism of his teachings. But here I am, writing about him, because I believe that even if something is redundant, if it is working for peace and equality, we must never quit writing it. I have also seen Mark Driscoll quoted in the evangelical circle as some expert or hero and frankly, it disgusts me. I’m sure that he has written pieces of truth and some good advice, but I haven’t stumbled upon those gems. I have only stumbled upon the very offensive comments he has made; what worries me the most is that he rose to popularity and remains popular because of, not in spite of, Christians.
Driscoll is widely celebrated and widely disdained. It is an interesting dichotomy. He seems affixed on the idea of sex and skewed ideas of masculinity and femininity. In a facebook status, he drew much criticism for writing: “So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed?”
Thus the idea is perpetuated that a man must fit Driscoll’s version of masculinity in order to be a man. In support of my statement, here are some other Driscoll quotes:
“If you drive a mini-van, you’re a mini-man.”
“The problem with the church today is that it’s just a bunch of nice, soft, tender, chick-ified church boys. Sixty percent of Christians are chicks and the forty percent that are dudes are still sort of chicks.”See this video (which is a satirical response to Driscoll, but contains the interview that he issued the above comment).
Men who cannot provide for their families are not men and a stay at home dad is worse than an unbeliever. See Driscoll’s video here. See this video for a theological response to Driscoll’s taking 1 Timothy 5:8 out of context and making it an universal principle.
In 2006, Driscoll stated in response to the Ted Haggard scandal:
“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.”
Thus the idea is perpetuated that a woman must stay beautiful in order for her husband to love her.
He also preached that it is “biblical” for women to give their husbands oral sex and actually, they should do so as a part of their marital duties. He drew criticism from the Baptist Press for this comment. I could go into further depth about the statements he has made regarding sexuality (especially homosexuality), but frankly, I don’t want them on this blog. You can check out further links from this article.
Though I try to write objectively, I find it hard to be objective here. I do not understand why he is received as a teacher, and a well-respected one. I do not understand why he is celebrated as a leader in Christianity.
So here I am, joining the ranks of those who not only disagree with Driscoll, but who say that his teaching is degrading, dangerous, and not at all reflective of the Christ I cherish.
I encourage you to heavily censor what you read from Pastor Driscoll.