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.
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”).
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:
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