Mark Driscoll Back on Stage as a Dying Star

mark-driscoll-at-GATEWAY-conference

Yesterday morning I received a message in my inbox from a male Christian friend in his 30s who is married,

“I don’t. I cant even understand how people do this. I cant.

Mark Driscoll’s Latest Sermon at Grace City Church

Apparently Grace City Church believes that Mark Driscoll has the credentials, or at least the fan base, to preach on “Becoming a Godly Man.”

My male millennial friend sure was not impressed. But hey, I love a good honest redemptive preacher and maybe Driscoll would display some humility in this sermon, tell the boys and men the ways in which he was not a godly man, and the ways in which God is restoring his heart.

Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Instead, Driscoll preached at the boys and men and charged them to be good “heads” of their lives, wives, children, and even grandchildren. The issue is that Driscoll believes “head” to mean that of “leader,” without legit scholarly research.

Although “head” may mean “chief” in our modern English language; there is little to no evidence that this is its meaning in ancient Greek (See post below for more academic information on the biblical word “head”). 

What does “Husband Headship” Really Mean?

Driscoll literally had boys 18 and under stand to their feet and he made a special emphasis on submission, especially to mothers. He states that submission leads to maturity. He tells them, you are supposed to “submit, honor, and obey” your parents.

Driscoll is psychologically training these boys in submission because he knows that someday, these boys will become men and that they will “need” to teach their wives to “submit, honor, and obey” them. The terrifying thing is that Driscoll uses Jesus’ name and the Bible to brainwash young minds.

To be fair, Driscoll does state that it is not about following rules, but falling in love with Jesus and being Spirit led. Yes, thank you Mark. But, why do you preach a mixture of law and grace to young boys? Why not just grace, mercy, truth, humility and love?

Driscoll’s advice to young boys would have seemed OK, if one did not fully understand Driscoll’s theology of men and women.

Driscoll’s past women’s pastor states,

“Mark held to a view [based on his reading of] Genesis that the woman’s primary problem is that she desires to control men. When applied to his teaching about wives submitting to their husbands or being sexually available to their husbands, this made men (and women) automatically suspicious of any woman who critiques Mark’s teaching. This suspicion made it hard for women at Mars Hill to speak up, whereas in a lot of churches that hold similar views, women feel perfectly free to voice their opinions (Source).”

Driscoll has never publicly announced that he has changed his theological views on women. 

Driscoll then had men 18 to 40 stand up and told them to put away childish things – not to be “boys with beards.” He states that “the entire system is rigged to destroy you.” This would have been the perfect opportunity for Driscoll to get real, take a posture of humility, and mention his many personal failures as a young man, but he did not mention even one personal failure during his whole talk.

This seems odd in light of the fact that his major public mistakes are “hot off the press.”

Instead, he focuses on the “crisis” of young men failing to grow up. He states that for the first time in history, women 18 to 40 are more likely than men to be in college, church, have jobs and drivers licenses. Instead of emphasizing how women have grown and are taking responsibility for their own lives, he chooses to shame young men.

Driscoll does not get millennials and those younger.

I am sure most of those boys and men, 12 to 40, were rolling their eyes; and if they were not, they should have been because Driscoll did not once state how he acted like a “boy with a beard” for many years and it devastated his life, his church, and certainly, his loved one’s lives.

Driscoll then had men 40 to 60 stand up (his current life stage) and basically honored them. Of course he honored them; only praise for the men who represent himself. This is classic of narcissistic behavior and I am not reaching when I say in all honesty; Mark Driscoll seems to be a full-blown narcissist, which is a real mental disorder.

It is not uncommon for a narcissist to become a pastor – they enjoy the power and attention this role provides them.

I know I seem judgmental, but I believe that the evangelical church needs to be more judgmental (using sound reason and logic) of spiritual leaders in power, and less judgmental of victims, women, the marginalized, the vulnerable, and Christians who have no power.

I see right through Mark Driscoll (as many do) and I believe he is currently a very dangerous man to the Kingdom of God. He is funny and charming, and he is an excellent communicator. He wins Christians back over and over, no matter how outrageous his behavior is.

Driscoll is sly; a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and it is only a matter of time before we see his inner “wolf” appear again, because he is already starting a new church and guest speaking at large churches. 

Driscoll ends with having the elderly men stand. He honors them, which was cool. It was the only part of his sermon that I enjoyed. But Mark ruined it for me, when he called them “patriarchs in God’s house” because I was reminded of Driscoll’s obvious goal to become a “patriarch” himself – with his “hot” wife (as he called her in this sermon) serving him, his children praising him, and his grandchildren climbing on his throne.

There is but one “head” as we understand this word in our modern language, and His name is Jesus Christ. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We don’t need our husbands, pastors, or elders to be our leaders. We need to get our eyes off humans and on to the living God. He is jealous for our hearts and will not continue to tolerate our idolatry. 

Driscoll’s dream is to be front and center at all times and he doesn’t comprehend sitting at Jesus’ feet, finding true humility, allowing God to truly break him, and getting a regular job for a season.

It is easy for these “celebrity” evangelical pastors to get up and shame men into being more responsible and getting jobs, when their jobs consist of sitting on their behinds researching subjects they enjoy, writing and making book deals, preaching sermons, getting to be in the spotlight, traveling, spending their off-days in their pools with their kids, and having coffee with the members of their church that they favor.

If I were a man, working a “9 to 5,” or working midnight’s or waiting tables or chasing kids around all day, I would kindly tell these celebrity preachers to bug off with their “shame speeches” and so called “motivation” to be “godly men.”

When Driscoll was forced to resign from the church he founded as a young man about two years ago; I believe God was pushing him into “the spiritual desert,” as God often does with men and women he wants to break, mold, and reshape for His glory. It seems spiritually symbolic that Driscoll moved from Washington to Arizona (the desert).

Moses, in the Bible, spent 40 years wandering in the desert (literally and spiritually) before he was ready to fulfill God’s mission. Driscoll spent about two years in the desert, had his personal ministry, blog, and twitter account up and running much of that time, and never got a regular job that I know of.

Driscoll clearly has a great call from God on His life, but he refuses to get low. He knows how to fake getting low and some will fall for it, but as of now, he is just another dying star.

If you read this post, Mark, I encourage you to listen to this song by Jason Upton (below). In fact, as a preacher and writer myself, who spends most of my days sitting on my behind researching, writing, and is starting to have a “spotlight” ministry; I listen to this song about once a month.

May we all get out of Jesus’ way, become authentic about our struggles instead of preaching at people all the time, so we can bring glory to God. May the whole evangelical church allow God to bring us to our knees, so we can get on with our true identity – to evangelize the nations.

Read My Other Post On Driscoll Below:

Why No Woman Should Support Mark Driscoll’s New Church

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28 Comments

  • Jory, I don’t know if you can really call someone a wolf in sheep’s clothing and then say that he has a call on his life. I believe that he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I don’t think God calls wolves. He warns us about them. And He tells us that He is sending us among them.

    “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16

    I think a lot of us Christians make the mistake of engaging with someone as a brother when in fact, they very likely are not. We are to engage with our enemies a whole lot differently than a brother.

    • That is a very interesting point. But, I believe every human being has a call on their life. We can choose to expose our inner “wolf” or we can choose to hide it.

  • The hardest aspect of reading anything about Driscoll, to me, is that it always brings up the truly horrible revelations about how he treated Grace’s past decisions and how utterly beaten-down her versions of these stories are. To see Grace speak is to watch someone who has spent so long bottling up her own thoughts and feelings and echoing Mark’s that she doesn’t seem to be able to really access her own truth any longer, only his.

    I get a little sick to my stomach every time something new about him pops up. His marriage has been such an eternal run of him judging Grace and “forgiving” her, and of her judging herself and thanking him for his forgiveness.

    He lacks humility and introspection, he lacks self-awareness, and he reminds me of nothing so much as of Jim Jones during the very early fundamentalist-flavored days of the Peoples’ Temple (before it totally became a personality cult). During his Mars Hill days, the similarities were truly deeply troubling.

  • Male dominated systems often include the fear and suspicion of women getting any power or control within the system, and in some cases this becomes a paranoid obsession. Driscoll is an example – he has wired this into his theology of gender. His treatment of his wife is chilling: his constant and public objectification of her body, his public exposure of how he feels she has failed him, his complaints about how her rape turned her “frigid,” and how much he suffered as a result.

  • Ah Driscoll. Sadly, until Christians care more about character, humility and love than they do about charisma and personality people like Driscoll will always be around. I hate that and hope I’m wrong, but unfortunately I’ve seen it too often.

  • ” He knows how to fake getting low “…haven’t we all seen this typical behaviour…this is the kind that says speciously that women have a high calling…been there, done that…no more.

  • This is so right on. I wrote something similar somewhere when it all hit the fan with him. Specifically that there is nothing more dangerous than a narcissist in the pulpit. I had hoped he was going through the breaking process after that and would emerge a humbled human being. It is tragic that this has not happened and that those who are unfamiliar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will fall under his spell and be duped.

    • Thanks Monique. It is actually sort of sad, but if Driscoll will not humble himself, God will do it for him. When will he learn though? Seems he has already been caught and should have hit rock bottom by now.

  • As a woman, I cannot follow God *and* Mark Driscoll. They are in conflict. God has a purpose for my life. Driscoll has a very different, ungodly purpose. “We must obey God rather than men.” Literally.

  • The whole ‘biblical submission’ teaching is absolutely toxic! Despite the fact that it is a residue of the shepherding movement (whose leaders have long since repented of their teaching) men are still peddling versions of this crap because it panders to their egos and means they get to be ‘over’ others. It damages lives and is the antithesis of Jesus’s teachings.

    In my own experience, when I complained about the abusive and bullying behaviour of my male co-leader, that behaviour was not even questioned and I was made out to be the problem. I was given the choice to submit to his “godly leadership” or resign! And just like MD, this man now runs his own church, and I fear for those ‘under’ him!

  • I’m not sure if the problem is really Mark Driscoll himself, but perhaps more the evangelical celebrity culture that allows him and others of his ilk to come into power. The Bible instructs us to be gentle as doves, but also wise as serpents. We are not wrong at all to call out and bring awareness to Driscoll and his faulty theology and character flaws, but also need to figure how to address the culture that allows them to rise to these positions.

  • One nice thing about being 70+ is that, by this age, some things come around at least a second or third time. He’s nothing new; just a new wrapping. He scares me. I think many Christians need a huge measure of discernment ’cause they’re going to reap exactly what they let be sown.

  • This just made me sad. Thanks for writing it though, because he is starting a new church. Unfortunately, I do believe to some extent that people that are raised to think that women are inferior because of some interpretation of the Bible are in a sense brainwashed. But the more that it gets out there the abuse that these kind of pastors engage in, maybe more people will snap out of it. But ultimately, the more people that at least know who they are dealing with as he starts a new church mini$try, the better.

  • What is sad to me is that he has learned nothing. Just read about some property of his new church that is valued in ranges of 16 to 22 MILLION!!! Million. Where is the humble reflection, time with God in the desert, serving without pride. To purchase a property of that sort of valuation screams, “I’m gonna be a megachurch star again, just watch me!”

    I’d believe his heart had changed if instead he had gone out and humbly served the poor and preached the Word without fanfare, without expensive properties, without megachurch visions dancing in his head.

    Really, it’s to weep that people will follow and just feed that ego instead of encouraging him to fight against that thing in him that wants to be the center of a big show.

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