The Washington Post recently posted an article on Mark Driscoll’s place on this site, questioning why Patheos is giving a platform to someone who is a “disgraced and misogynistic pastor.” The article can be found here. This article outlines some of the problems which have been raised with regard to Driscoll, and focuses especially on his comments about women. The problems with Driscoll are numerous, including financial scandals, plagiarism, and rejection of ecclesiastical authority. These various issues have resulted in Driscoll’s alienation from many evangelicals, including those who at one time supported him. Though much could be said on this topic, I have a few comments to add as one who now shares a hosting platform with Driscoll.
First, let it be known that the majority of authors on Patheos Evangelical are not pleased that Driscoll has been given this platform. I cannot speak for every author, but I have spoken with numerous other writers on the site, and our thoughts are the same. We do not feel that he deserves any more publicity after the numerous scandals in which he has been involved, and we also reject some of the extreme statements he has made in the past about women and other issues.
Second, as a complementarian with regard to gender roles, let me say that I find Driscoll’s statements about women as cited in the article horrifying. At one point, Driscoll refers to women as “penis homes.” Seriously. It is extremely damaging to have someone like him given a platform on a site, wherein he is viewed as some kind of representative of traditional Biblical gender roles, which he is not. As a complementarian, I believe that men and women were created differently, with equal value, but different functions in the family and other places in society. It is rather unfortunate that Driscoll’s insane comments demeaning women can somehow be applied to this perspective. Biblical manhood means that men should fight for the dignity and value of women, which Driscoll’s comments do not display at all. There is a story in the linked article in which a woman does not want to perform oral sex on her husband, and Driscoll claims that Jesus commands her to, and that she therefore must perform that sexual act whether she wants to or not. This displays an awful view of sexuality in which the man can demand whatever act he wants from the wife and she must perform. In opposition to this, sex is described by St. Paul in terms of mutuality and self-giving to the other person (1 Corinthians 7:4-5). To demand a sexual act that one’s partner is uncomfortable with is the opposite of the self-giving love expressed in sexuality.
Third, I fear that some will pick up on Driscoll’s comments, as well as his place on this site, as determining something about evangelical and/or complementarian Christians. Let me make it clear that Driscoll is in no way representative of Christianity, evangelicalism, or the views of the evangelical channel on Patheos. I will continue to voice my opposition, but as an individual writer here, I have no say as to who this platform is given to.