In very recent news, controversial pastor, Mark Driscoll, is starting a new church.
Former Mars Hill Church senior pastor Mark Driscoll has filed incorporation papers in Phoenix for a new entity called The Trinity Church in Arizona, 14 months after he resigned his Seattle pulpit and just under a year after Mars Hill ceased to exist. The new entity will be a “Bible-based Christian church” with Driscoll and two other directors, each giving the address of Mark Driscoll Ministries in Phoenix. Driscoll and his family moved to the “Valley of the Sun” last summer (Source).
According to a Relevant Magazine article released in March of 2014,
The frequently controversial leader of Seattle’s Mars Hill church has been accused of everything from plagiarism to gaming his way onto the New York Times Bestseller list. There have been troubling stories from inside the church, and a few tweets that might be described, at best, as “ill-advised” have made the rounds (Source).
Relevant also included Driscoll’s open letter of apology and includes, “It’s worth noting that Driscoll issued a similar apology back in 2007,” although this link has now been deleted. I want to be fair to my brother in Christ, so I read his full apology on the Relevant article from 2014.
Christians who are seemingly fans of Driscoll are encouraging the evangelical church to “forgive” him, as he has repented. One such blogger writes,
You may have profound differences of opinion with Mark Driscoll. You may be disappointed in many of the stories which came out of Mars Hill; his ministry may not be your cup of tea. But where is your grace…There must come a point when a repentant man is restored. If we do not believe in the power of forgiveness, second chances, restoration and grace, what do we believe in (Source)?
I agree, if a Christian repents, we as the Church should show him or her grace, let their mistakes go and help to restore their life and calling. So, I googled this exact question: “Did Mark Driscoll repent for calling women penis homes?”
The first article that came up was written by Libby Anne (written in September of 2014). She writes,
“I have rarely seen an evangelical man assert male superiority and prominence this directly,” and then she directly quotes Mark Driscoll:
The first thing to know about your penis is, that despite the way it may seem, it is not your penis. Ultimately, God created you and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while. While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wandering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home (Source).
So, I went back to the Relevant Magazine article (which includes Mark’s full apology letter) to see if I may have missed him repenting for calling women “penis homes.” He did not repent for this. In fact, he did not apologize for any misogynist remarks he has made through the years in this open letter.
So, I went back to google. Maybe he apologized for being sexist towards women somewhere else, I thought. No, he did not. The only other apology I could find is one directed towards Joel Olsteen.
Complementarian and egalitarian Christian women alike – Do you believe that God created you to be a “penis home?” Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you so that your body could be used as “a very nice home” for a man’s sexual organ?
Do you believe that Abba God, our loving daddy, would have you (and your daughters) sit under a pastor who believes you to be “shaped” simply to fit a man’s sexual needs? I hope you know that you were created for more and that you have a divine purpose outside of providing a home for your husband’s penis.
Driscoll may have repented for being an angry, cheating, prideful leader; but I cannot find any apology for his misogynistic remarks about and to women.
Driscoll, in response to a woman on the discussion board: “I speak harshly because I speak to men. A woman might not understand that. I also do not answer to women. So your questions will be ignored. I would however, recommend to you a few verses to memorize: I Timothy 2:11-15; I Corinthians 14:33-35.To learn them, ask your father or husband. If you have neither, ask your pastor. If she is a female, find another church. If you are the pastor, quit your job and repent (Source).”
The truth is that Driscoll answers to no woman, not even his wife, Grace. The two were married as teenagers and one can tell by watching just a few of their online videos that Grace has an extremely laid back (maybe even oppressed) personality. Don’t take my word for it, go to YouTube or even Driscoll’s own blog and see for yourself.
Driscoll totally overpowers Grace and it is evident that he dominates their lives. I don’t know any complementarian or egalitarian women who would sign up for this type of marriage. Why would any woman attend a church of a man who does not and will not ever hear a woman out and ignores their questions?
In Driscoll’s open apology he very generally refers to all his past comments as part of his “angry prophet days,” but let’s examine what an angry prophet actually is.
Angry is defined as having a strong feeling of or showing annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Prophet is defined as a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. Therefore, Driscoll is not taking back anything he wrote or said about women. He still believes his words to be “truth” and the Will of God. He is simply regretful for not “prophesying” in a kinder, cordial, more politically correct fashion.
Driscoll does not respect women in the least and I am honestly not sure if he even likes women. Jesus treated women with the utmost care, honor, love and respect and in this regard, Driscoll is nothing like Jesus.
Additional Sources and Context:
In 2000 Mark Driscoll posted the nasty sexist comments (listed above) under a troll name. You can view the screenshot of his original statements (under the fake name William Wallace II) in this blog post: (Source).
He apologized and the world let it go for 14 years. (Source).
He then got busted for lying and cheating on his book sales/promotion (See sources above) and rumors of him being a prideful and abusive leader surfaced from his church. In 2014 Driscoll’s ex-women’s pastor stated,
“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).
I noted Mark’s apology letter in 2014 above (in Relevant magazine). Sadly, Mark does not mention his treatment of women through the years. He has not changed his theology concerning women and it is his theology towards women that makes him a threat to God’s daughters.
It appears that Driscoll is quick to apologize when he gets busted doing something insanely wrong, but does not show genuine heart change (especially towards women). Yes, let’s show him grace and love, but our grace cannot be cheap and our love must be tough. In my opinion, any woman who sits under Driscoll’s pastoral leadership is in emotional, spiritual and psychological danger. We forgive a “shooter,” but we certainly don’t hand them another gun.
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