Scary Sexist Homophobic Christian Preacher of the Day

From the blog of Peter Rollins I learned about this horrorshow video on church planting and the discipleship of men, featuring a west-coast pastor named Mark Driscoll:

Okay, am I missing something here? I can agree with Driscoll’s idea that young men need Christ’s message more than any other segment of society. But his is a pandering and gynophobic strategy to evangelize the guys. By implicitly endorsing many of our culture’s homophobic and patriarchal assumptions of what it means to be “a man” seems to me at the very least to be a travesty of the Gospel, if not evidence of how the church’s worst enemies are found within. Driscoll seems to be advocating a cheap repentance where all that is required of a man is an acquiescence to purity-holiness in terms of sexual behavior, followed by giving up the computer games and potato chips and then getting a real job — and getting married and having lots of kids, of course. Rather than acknowledge that the Gospel invites us to the amazingly exciting and challenging task of thoroughly reinventing what it means to be a man (or a woman) in the light of grace, Driscoll settles for taking cheap shots at the herbal tea and aromatherapy crowd. If this is what it means to be a Christian, no wonder church attendance is declining. As Meister Eckhart said, “Truth is something so noble that if God could turn aside from it, I could keep the truth and let God go.” In other words, if I have to choose between truth and the crap that Driscoll is mongering in the name of Christ, it’ll be the easiest decision of my day.

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  • http://www.yearningforgod.blogspot.com Jan

    WHO is this so-called minister?? What a regressive, patriarchal message, only to MEN. Are there no female ministers?? And that Jesus was NOT for the marginalized?? The Jesus I’ve met in the gospels does not come across as a warrior, let alone a “triumphant warrior.” He also did not FORCE men (or women or children) to follow him. I can see why young people would leave church with such a message as this guy–at least, I would hope they would not stay around to be influenced by him!

    Thank you for your words, and especially the quote by Meister Eckhart.

  • Brad

    Man, I can’t help but sigh on this one…

    “By implicitly endorsing many of our culture’s homophobic and patriarchal assumptions of what it means to be “a man” seems to me at the very least to be a travesty of the Gospel, if not evidence of how the church’s worst enemies are found within.”
    Considering how often he speaks against abusiveness and glorification thereof in culture, I can’t see where you are going with this.

    “Driscoll seems to be advocating a cheap repentance” – If you’ve heard any of his other sermons, you would realize how very seriously he takes repentance. Seriously, give them a listen sometime.

    “where all that is required of a man is an acquiescence to purity-holiness in terms of sexual behavior, followed by giving up the computer games and potato chips and then getting a real job — and getting married and having lots of kids, of course.”
    - I fail to see how this is such a negative suggestion. In today’s world of mysogeny where women are sex symbols and marketing tools, or rappers can simulate sex on stage with a minor (referring to Akon at a concert in Trinidad), I would think his pressing for a responsible and caring masculinity would be a breath of fresh air. Also keep in mind that this video was used at a conference for church planters, those who are already Christians or pastors. Much in the same way that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was directed at His disciples, he is working from the assumption that they are well aware that grace is given not earned. Taken out of context, sure, it can be sound very legalistic.

    “Driscoll settles for taking cheap shots at the herbal tea and aromatherapy crowd.” Actually, the guy has a personal, all-herbal/organic nuitritionist who is trying to help him restore his over-taxed adrenal system due to stress. Humor, my friend. Laguh with it.

    “If this is what it means to be a Christian, no wonder church attendance is declining.”
    This is perhaps the least accurate of your statements, with all due respect. Having planted Mars Hill Church over 10 years ago now, they reach a weekly attendance of more than 6,000, with at least 2/3 of them already members. Not too shabby, and DEFINITELY not declining. On top of that, Acts 29 (the church planting network he founded) has had more success than any existing denomination in planting churches with the sole exception of the SBC (in the U.S. anyway). In fact, most of those churches that are declining are those that either completely “acquiesce” to the culture (thus becoming TOTALLY indistinguishable from it) or refuse to adapt at all to culture. Mars Hill falls into neither category.

    His results and the lives his church have transformed speak for themselves.

  • Brad

    Jan,

    Jesus also said that he did not come with peace, but a sword (Matthew 11, I think).

    Revelations pictures Christ returning in glory, wearing a robe dipped in blood with “King of Kings” tatooed on his thigh and wielding a sword.

    Driscoll is not wanting to force anyone to lead them, but to actually LEAD by example and sacrifice.

  • Rob

    Oy.

    No offense to the supporters of Driscoll, but any type of putative attitude (real or perceived) is what so often turns away those outside the faith. Driscoll refers to church planters drawing others to them, but this seems anything but attractive to me.

    I think the one thing that most identifies us as followers of Christ is that we unconditionally love others, not that we love others and then tell them how they should change.

  • http://www.yearningforgod.blogspot.com Jan

    Brad, we can keep quoting scripture to each other. . . .You will not convince me that Jesus condoned warfare or would have used the imagery of a “triumphant warrior” for himself. From the lectionary reading for this Sunday:

    Galatians 5:1, 13-14
    5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
    5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.
    5:14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

  • Brad

    I am not saying that Jesus condones warfare. That would be highly contradictory to “turning one’s cheek.” My point with those quotations was that war imagery is used in scripture, thus Mark Driscoll’s is appropriate as an illustration. We are most certainly at war, but not in the Iraq/Afghanistan sense:

    Ephesians 6:11-13
    11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

    Paul very clearly saw those who follow Christ as being at war with “spiritual forces of evil” and their pawns in the physical world. Does he advocate killing our fellow man? Certainly not. But neither is Driscoll in talking about being a “good soldier” (who is again only quoting Paul’s own words).

    Again, I am not advocating violence or war in anything but the spiritual sense.

  • http://www.yearningforgod.blogspot.com Jan

    Thank you–I’m glad it’s in the spiritual sense, not the actual as seen too much in today’s world.

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  • JD

    This is a great video. I can’t help but chuckle at the author of this blog who says “If this is what it means to be a Christian, no wonder church attendance is declining”. Driscoll’s is one of the fastest growing churches in America drawing mostly young, urban unchurched people.
    lol.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlmccolman/ Carl McColman

    You’re right, JD. Evil always draws a crowd.

    N.B. I’m not saying Driscoll himself is evil. Just his misogynist, homophobic message.


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