Mark Driscoll’s Apology

mark driscoll's apology cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

(click on image to shop for David’s art)

Recently Mark Driscoll said,

“I know who made the environment and he’s coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.”

He apparently received so much backlash from it that he decided to issue an apology. But it’s not an apology. It’s an explanation.

Here’s a short lesson in apologies.

A good apology is when:

1. you apologize for something you said or did
2. you take responsibility for your words or actions
3. you promise to change

A bad apology is when:

1. you apologize for how your words or actions were received
2. you blame them for being hurt by your words or actions
3. you tell them they need to change so they won’t be hurt in the future

Like the cartoon says, Mark Driscoll used this as just another opportunity to rebuke and ridicule.

Oh… and when you instruct me on how or when I am supposed to laugh, you’ve already lost. I don’t care how long or biblical your instruction is.

(If you like, you can read Hemant Mehta’s critique of his apology.)

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://heckledtrio.blogspot.com Helly

    Ah yes, gotta love it when people “apologize” with “I’m sorry you were offended/hurt/etc…” … and that was the biggest non-apology I’ve ever read.

    I also wanted to add that his “minivans driven by guys who feel like a mini-man”, joke or no joke, belies his sexist views (as if that wasn’t already obvious).

  • http://www.facebook.com/robin.slater.75 Robin Slater

    I had someone recently tell me that I misunderstood something he wrote on FB because I didn’t get his sense of humor. Right. Since I’m under no obligation to ‘get’ his sense of humor, I don’t feel bad for telling him to be careful how he ‘jokes’ about my mother. Idc who u r…you mention my mom, they be fighting words! Lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/wendy.smith.75436 Wendy Smith

    Why do people even give this guy the time of day, or even a moment of energy? As a female, I’d really like to prove that I could make him cry like a little girl. Just sayin’.

  • http://heckledtrio.blogspot.com Helly

    If it weren’t for the fact that he’s not on FB, I’d swear you were talking about someone I know who does this EXACT same thing when people get offended at something he says. No, it’s never his fault for being a crass idiot, it’s OUR fault for not “getting” him/his sense of humor.

  • hollisbballis

    Some people LOVE the smell of their own shit.

  • http://forthisisthetime.com/ Esther Aspling

    It would be nice if he’d lead by example and show people how to truly apologize….

    http://forthisisthetime.com/

  • JD929

    It’s so crass derive someone’s identity from what they own. I have more of a problem with his attitude and how he regards people than I do with what he owns. He also rails against materialism while blatantly participating in it.

  • Al Cruise

    Driscoll knows that he is not regarded, as a credible theologian. Intellectually he lacks depth, substance and sophistication . He deliberately says these things to try and keep his status in the pop world of celebrity christian gurus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/keitheyoung Keith Young

    Who in the blue hell puts footnotes in an apology?!?

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.borsay Adam Puma Borsay

    Not that anyone here is going to necessarily care what I have to say……but his whole point of this riff was the ridiculousness of a culture that finds their identity in these things. He was mocking the cultural stereotypes that say I drive such and such and it means this and that. His whole point was your identity is not about those things. This is not an issue of “you just don’t get his humor”, it’s an issue of totally misrepresenting what his whole point is.

  • Artor

    Be careful! He might pick you up and carry you across the room. Apparently, he does that every day with his wife, to show his superiority of something.

  • Artor

    Yet somehow, he is incapable of making his points without coming off as a sexist, misogynist, bigoted jerk. Why is that? Also, he was not mocking stereotypes, he was reinforcing them. He’s a manly man; he drives an SUV and doesn’t give a shit about the environment, because Jeebus said not to. If you aren’t like him, you must be a sissy-man who lets his wife wear the pants.

  • Pingback: The Subtext of Mark Driscoll’s Pseudo-Apology

  • http://www.facebook.com/chastainsteve Steve Chastain

    His “apology” is soooo loooooong… he must be sincere.

  • Lennie

    tl; dnr. What is he “apologizing” for now?

  • Gary Y

    I completely agree that this isn’t an apology. And I despise pretty much all of Driscoll’s ideology. But to be fair–he never called it an apology. I honestly don’t think he intended it to be one, so critiquing it as such is a bit off-base, like critiquing a comedy for being a poor tragedy. Or, perhaps, like critiquing a _terrible_ comedy for being a poor tragedy, as it were.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    He has a long history of comments that provide the context for criticizing this one. He’s lost his benefit of the doubt by being awful over and over again. He doesn’t need apologists, especially since his phrasing doesn’t resemble the defense you want him to have.

  • http://findinggod365.com/ Ann Webb

    Mark Driscoll is a bully dressed up in Christian clothing. Thanks for calling him out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chastainsteve Steve Chastain

    Gary – he said “I’m sorry” twice early in his post. While “apology” isn’t in the title of the post, I think the point here is he threw that in if anyone criticizes him more about his statements, he can proudly proclaim something along the lines of “Well I said I’m sorry – what more do you want!”

  • Gary Y

    Great point, Steve—I missed those weak “sorry”s amidst the rest of his rambling. I think we’re on the same side of this…neither of us appreciate how he handled this, nor probably 90% of his perspectives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robin.slater.75 Robin Slater

    Yep, they’re everywhere!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wendy.smith.75436 Wendy Smith

    Only if I were dead or unconscious would he EVER lay a hand on me. And he better hope I remained dead or unconscious after he did.

  • davidforeman

    This man has very serious emotional and psychological problems!

  • Claire

    How anyone takes this tool seriously is baffling to me. He claims to have the spiritual gift of pornovision for crying out loud. That puts him squarely in Jim Jones territory in my book. Sorry, Mark, but your perverted fantasies about all the coeds in your congregation ain’t visions from God. I’m waiting for him to tell all his sheeples that God is going to strike him dead if they don’t send him 8 million dollars overnight.

  • Susan Gerard

    It’s an egregious example of a bad apology. Maybe he didn’t owe anyone an
    apology, and that’s OK if he believed that. But if he realized that so many people took offense that he had to salvage his reputation, he could have been humble about it. But he wasn’t. He goes on to lecture all those offended by his humor by citing examples of the humor of JESUS.

    Driscoll states: “Jesus actually made fun of how (the Pharasees) did religion. While it will likely shock our sensibilities, which have been refined by postmodern pluralism, Jesus made fun of how they prayed, saying, ‘And when you pray…’ He also made fun of how they fasted: ‘And when you fast…’ Jesus made fun of how they tithed, declaring, ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees…’ Finally, Jesus made fun of how they led people and made fun of their followers: ‘They are blind guides…”

    unbelievable! I have to admit, I wish I saw more examples of Jesus’ humor in the Gospels. Maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough. Was Jesus funnin’ us when he said, “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.”?

  • Rob

    “I don’t care how long or biblical your instruction is.”

    It seems obvious that Driscoll is *not* apologizing, just gently chiding them.
    So in other words you want to beg the question, since naturally, if Driscoll has nothing to apologize for, there is no problem on his end. But apparently you are not even willing to consider that possibility?

    Don’t you think it’s a bit hypocritical of you to expect Driscoll to be correctable while refusing to even consider the possibility that you yourself might be in error or justifying why your standards for humor should trump everyone else’s?


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