“When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don't be surprised if they learn their lesson” Will Rogers
When I am stymied about what to write about, I can always mosey on over to the subject of Mark Driscoll and he never lets us down. Two years ago, on this blog, we informed our readers that CJ Mahaney was assigned to help old Mark “get some humility” and control his rather foul mouth and his increasingly dubious reputation. LINK
So, how is that radical “solution” working out? Well, recently, Driscoll posted this comment on his Facebook. Here is one LINK.
So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed?”
As anyone with half a brain can imagine, the blogosphere lit up with the usual suspects who make excuses for him and far more level headed folks who were properly incensed..
He did NOT apologize but he did make a comment admitting that he was flippant. Apparently his “elders,” who must need to work overtime to overlook his issues, let him know that he “needed to do better by hitting real issues with real content in a real context.”
“…a sincere thanks to all my critics who sometimes have good wisdom that helps me out,” Driscoll added at the end of his post.
Once again, readers, please observe there was no apology. However, to reassure his breathless admirers, he said that “ he will be launching new website where he will speak on social issues in a fuller context."
“In the past, I’ve not had a regular place to work out personal commentary on social issues, and so I’ve erred in sometimes doing so in places like Facebook, Twitter, and the media, where you can have a good fight but don’t have the room to make a good case,” he stated.
And guess what, dear readers? His first posting on the new site will be on the issue of gender! Whenever this guy opens his mouth on the issue of gender, he makes news. Ah well, it makes for good blog material.
I guess CJ was unable to convince this man to stifle himself. Driscoll appears to subscribe to the philosophy of speak what you will and then weasel your way out. This has become such a habit with this man that I no longer believe that these comments are mere slips of the tongue. I think that these statements are planned and intentional.
Because this sort of thing has been going on for years, I am beginning to believe that Driscoll is a troubled man. The Christian community needs to begin to ask some very hard questions about his emergent (yes, that was a joke) issues.
I was a bit surprised by the commentary of Sarah Pulliam Bailey- (addendum 11/26/11 this was written by Sharon Hodde Miller, Pulliam Bailey was the editor- I apologize) of Christianity Today who has done a yeoman’s job on representing women’s issues in that venue. She was one of the first women to explore Beth Moore’s teachings and did so brilliantly. However, I take exception with her review of this matter. In a blog post entitled, Much Ado About Mark Driscoll LINK she writes :
“On the topic of manhood and womanhood, I disagree with Driscoll often.However, God is undoubtedly using Driscoll to edify the church and minister to God’s people.”
“I have heard consistently positive feedback from the members of his church. His congregation clearly loves him, and not in a “they drank the Kool-Aid” kind of way, but in a transformational Jesus community kind of way.”
She then takes on how to respond to pastors with whom we disagree.
“Here it is helpful to look at Paul’s example in Philippians. Imprisoned and awaiting an unknown fate, Paul experienced insult on top of injury when rival evangelists sought to worsen his condition. Paul describes them as preaching Christ “out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.”
Surprisingly, Paul responds to his opponents not with bitterness or even condemnation. Instead, he rejoices in the message they preach: “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”
Although it is difficult to comprehend Paul’s utter lack of gall, his apathy to their motives is equally confusing. Lest we think Paul was growing soft in his old age, he later employs harsh language in Philippians 3, referring to false teachers as “dogs” and “mutilators of the flesh.” Why such a different approach to these ill-intentioned preachers?
First, Paul’s rivals were Christians who preached Christ. They believed in salvation through grace and not the Law, a message more important to Paul than his own reputation or the impure motives of these men. Given the modern temptation to make every issue a gospel issue, that is a point worth noting.”
“A second factor informing Paul’s response was his knowledge of his own sin.”
I appreciate Pulliam Bailey’s (Hodde Miller-correction) wish to be positive in this matter and had this been a couple of isolated incidents, I would applaud her effort. But, this behavior on the part of Driscoll has gone on for years. We have documented all of this on numerous occasions on this blog as have many others.
- He consistently speaks of women as “gullible and easily deceived.”
- In fact, he consistently focuses on women as the problem and is highly insulting as he does so. ”Without blushing, Paul is simply stating that when it comes to leading in the church, women are unfit because they are more gullible and easier to deceive than men. While many irate women have disagreed with his assessment through the years, it does appear from this that such women who fail to trust his instruction and follow his teaching are much like their mother Eve and are well-intended but ill-informed. . . Before you get all emotional like a woman in hearing this, please consider the content of the women’s magazines at your local grocery store that encourages liberated women in our day to watch porno with their boyfriends, master oral sex for men who have no intention of marrying them, pay for their own dates in the name of equality, spend an average of three-fourths of their childbearing years having sex but trying not to get pregnant, and abort 1/3 of all babies – and ask yourself if it doesn’t look like the Serpent is still trolling the garden and that the daughters of Eve aren’t gullible in pronouncing progress, liberation, and equality.”
- He has made some worrisome comments about how he screens his wife’s emails and physically threatened men to stay away from her when she was a college student.
- He has made physically threatening statements about staff who disagree with him.
- He blamed Ted Haggard’s wife for his foray into a homosexual relationship.
- “I hated going to church and wanted one I liked, so I thought I would just start my own.”
- “There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a pride fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”
- “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.”
In case there are some people out there who do not understand how destructive and mean Driscoll’s statements can be, I refer you to this poignant post by Tyler Clark.
"Dear Pastor Mark Driscoll,
First off, I want to acknowledge that I don’t know you personally, and I have never attended your church. Most of what I know of you is based on a small handful of your sermons and statements. You and your ministry are surely nuanced and complicated, but this is how a casual viewer perceives you.
When I was in high school, I was called “faggot.” A lot. Walking down the hallways, it wasn’t rare to hear, “Queer!” before being shoved against a locker.
You can probably imagine the guys responsible—macho, rural bruisers who road four-wheelers, played on the football team and dated the cheerleaders.
I was not one of them. I was likely what you, Pastor Driscoll, refer to as “effeminate.”
For whatever it’s worth, I am straight. I’ve been married for five years. I’m a modest sports fan—although one of my favorite sports is tennis, so that might not count for you—and I write this during a break from building a fence in my backyard.
However, I have always been on the outside of the Dude’s Club. When I was a teenager, I chose theater and choir instead of sports. My tendencies were never macho. My time was spent listening to David Bowie, Lou Reed and Rufus Wainwright. To this day, I don’t understand the appeal of Michael Bay or professional wrestling. Even my mother-in-law calls me “prissy.”
But in church I found solace. When I was 13, I met a youth pastor who believed in me. He and his church were patient, kind and celebrated the fact that I was a bit different. Having a musical background, the church found a place for me. Throughout my teen years, I led worship music at several churches, camps and various Christian events. It was a place of belonging for me." Read the rest here. LINK
Instead, what does the Christian publishing community do, they chastise a blogger for calling Mark Driscoll a bully. In fact, one author claims this is LIBEL! In this article by Anthony Bradley entitled Libel Is Not Love, LINK we read
That’s where Rachel Held Evans and her blog post, “Mark Driscoll is a bully. Stand up to him,” come in. There is nothing loving about calling a pastor a “bully“—that is, “a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.” That is a serious charge. In her post, Evans describes why she believes Driscoll to be a bully, implying that he, his teachings, and the elders at his church are not functioning in ways consistent with Scripture. While it is more than reasonable to understand why someone would take issue with Driscoll’s post, Evans’ way of responding cannot and should not be encouraged. What was even more disturbing was the way in which many other believers jumped on the slander bandwagon to feed on the carnage once it went viral.”
See, so long as you tell women to stay home and make sure that pastors are men, then you can say whatever you darn well please and Mr. Bradley will be your wing man.
Here is a link to Evan’s wonderful blog post, proving that this smart woman gets it far better than a gullible man.
Think about it, folks. This is a guy who claims he wants to be missional and yet he routinely denigrates and insults 50% of the human population. The Christian world needs to begin to realize that Mark Driscoll may be a deeply troubled man in need of serious professional intervention. Instead, what does the Christian establishment do? It sends in none other than CJ Mahaney, which is like sending in Bernie Madoff to counsel Congress on how to save money. Folks, both Mahaney and Driscoll need serious help and the Christian community must stop pretending that their antics are normal.
How Driscoll Learned to Make Bank
Finally, Mark Driscoll seems to have learned one thing from his mentor, Mahaney, and that is how to make bank. Besides forming his own little community of churches, Acts 29, Driscoll is also writing books and going on speaking tours. He has also picked up on how to “lead” tours to Israel and other venues. Here is a link for one that has just left. Please note the cost. Do you think this is just a “nice” thing that a pastor does to "disciple" his needy flock? Think again, folks.
This activity is a potential big money maker for big pastors. Here is a comment, LINK, by New BBC Open Forum over at FBC Jax that gives a brief synopsis of this money maker. Remember, Driscoll is doing this every year.
“A general rule of thumb on these Holy Land trips is that the sponsor gets one free trip or the price thereof for every five paid trips. Other packages are available, but that's a popular one.
So in this example if they're charging $3000 for a trip, each full-fare traveler is paying an extra $500 which goes towards the price of the sponsor's trip and the fares of his family and friends or just to fatten his bank account!"
Go to this link to see how these trips advertise to pastors. Here is a quote.
“Our recommendation is that you set up your tour based on a minimum of 15 passengers. Assuming the tour cost is $2,000, you sign up 16 passengers directly you two go free and earn $2,000 + (3%) $960. You invite other potential Tour Hosts to join you and build your group size to 45 passengers. You would earn the 10% $2,700 and a group size gain of ($173 x 45) $7,785. You have 2 free trips and $13,445 in cash.Do this 2 times a year and you have income of $26,890.”
Here is a LINK to an excellent post written by New BBC Open Forum back in 2006 called Are Holy Land Tours a Shearing of the Sheep?
“Are Pastors acting as tour hosts making large amounts of money off Holy Land and other travel tour trips?
I always assumed the Pastor and his wife traveled for free on these trips and the participants paid extra to cover this. It never occurred to me that Clergy (it is not just the Baptists) may be making tens of thousands of dollars per trip. Now if all of this extra markup and income for the tour host has been fully disclosed then the sheep were knowingly fleeced I suppose. But if people unknowingly lined the pockets of a tour host it stikes me as stealing. If it is disclosed that the host got a free trip, but not that he also got a fat check then that too is stealing.
"The price of a tour is affected by departure date (winter season is the least expensive), hotel quality, meal plan, choice of airline, single or multiple destinations, group size, religious holidays, and the selected host benefits."
“We are talking about a potential overcharge of $37,000, which could balloon to $50,000. Remember, this is just ONE trip. The host and wife travelling for free is understandable. Beyond that why not give the participants a price break as more people sign up?”
In the end, I believe that there are far too many people who are willing to give pastors like Driscoll a pass so long as they are attracting lots of people and preaching the Calvinista party line of extreme complementarianism and hyper-authoritarianism. Could it be that the Reformed leaders are willing to sell out their standards in order to sell their message? But aren’t the standards a part of the message? Schizophrenic theology ain’t pretty.