Mark Driscoll Kicks His Own Ass

07/01/2008


By Jesse Benjamin

Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, took a dramatic stand against girly men at a Pastor’s Conference in Houston last week.

The conference, called “re:tool and re:load,” previously billed as “jesus 2.0,” featured speakers from around the country with the stated focus of “Making the Gospel and Missiology Relevant to Post Modern Culture.” Speaking at the last session of the conference, Driscoll focused his three-and-a-half-hour talk on the need for pastors to be more alpha.

“The problem with our churches today is that the lead pastor is some sissy boy who wears cardigan sweaters, has The Carpenters dialed in on his iPod, gets his hair cut at a salon instead of a barber shop, hasn’t been to an Ultimate Fighting match, works out on an elliptical machine instead of going to isolated regions of Russia like in Rocky IV in order to harvest lumber with his teeth, and generally swishes around like Jack from Three’s Company whenever Mr. Roper was around.”

Driscoll Hands

Pacing the stage in a vaguely threatening manner, Driscoll focused on Biblical examples. “Jesus and Paul were serious dudes. They had teeth missing. Jesus was a carpenter, Paul was in prison. These guys didn’t eat tofu dogs and bean sprouts. They didn’t play tennis. If there were trucks back in their times, they would have been doing driveway lube jobs on a Saturday afternoon. Same thing with King David. Yeah, he might have played a lyre, but he slaughtered thousands of guys.”

The 300 pastors from around the country roared with approval, even though many of them had heard the same labored formulations at previous conferences called “reGeneration” and “resurge and reform.”

“At the Re:Ignite conference he talked about how Jesus and Peter didn’t wear matching sweatshirts that said ‘Best Buds’,” said John Kinston, a conference attendee who was live-blogging the event.

Kinston is emblematic of the many young pastors who support Driscoll. He planted Kiona Community Church three years ago in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. He attends 37 Mark Driscoll conferences each year, because he said he needs the support of fellow church planters and the inspiration of steroidal statistics.

“Numbers aren’t important, but we’ve grown 81.7% a year since our launch date and I still can’t get the guys to step up and be warriors," said Kinston. "We want to love our city and we can’t do that with a bunch of pansies who would rather play video games than go to a monster truck rally or tattoo their faces like Mike Tyson.

Driscoll Mullet

“At last year’s Converging Conference, Driscoll talked about standing up when you piss and I got really excited. We started a men’s-only Bible Accountability Group. It was a combination of scripture study and Muy Thai Stick Fighting. It was great for a few weeks, until my worship pastor lost an eye. I had to make a tough call then and there: no more Muy Thai Stick Fighting at Kiona Community without protective face gear. I still think it might have been a spiritual compromise.”

In Houston, Driscoll was intent on making absolutely clear that he is in favor of masculinity. At the 2 hour, 15 minute mark, he invited five pastors from the audience to take the stage, put his hands behind his back, stuck out his chin, and said, “Hit me with your best shot. Go on. I won’t hit you back. I want to show everyone what this is all about.” When none of the five took a swing, Driscoll had them escorted from the building and proceeded to hit himself five times.

Driscoll Punch

“This is what being a pastor is about, guys. If you can’t handle it, go back to teaching yoga or playing My Little Pony with the other girls.”

The rest of the session followed the same general tone, with Driscoll ridiculing insulated coffee cups, haiku and dental floss as feminine while extolling athletic cups, tobacco spit and broken load-bearing bones as being “essential for a pastor.”

The blogosphere heated up quickly in the wake of Driscoll’s talk. At Jesuswasaman.blogspot.com, one post read, “This is the only thing that will turn back the tide of the Church’s decline in America. Until more guys step up and start punching themselves in the face, people will continue to leave the Church.”

Driscoll’s detractors had their say as well. At thereisaplacefordriscollinhellbesidehitler.wordpress.com, Angel23 said, “It doesn’t matter that Driscoll’s church has 6,000 people coming to worship God, if he continues to use words like sissy he will be smited.”

Driscoll turned down our request for an interview, saying, “Interviews are for wimpy guys who wear Sans-a-Belt slacks and chew sugar-free gum.”


Comments(448)

Anonymous | 06:01 pm on 5/25/2009

Paul, can I ask what your definition of heresy is?

Anonymous | 12:54 pm on 6/30/2009

Listen to yourselves, "Christians". Which God are you following? Lord Driscoll? The Bell Diety? It's a bit shameful, or was Driscoll crucified to you? Were you baptized in the name of Bell?
Read 1 Corinthians 1. Repent. Then focus outward so that you may produce the fruit of bringing others into the knowledge of Jesus. Pathetic Christians.

neal | 04:44 pm on 3/25/2010

pathetic indeed. some even go by the name "anonymous."

Brian | 02:21 pm on 5/13/2009

Bell is a borderline heretic, If this were a few hundred years ago they would have burned him.

Anonymous | 07:48 pm on 5/13/2009

Brian. Did you really just say that? you are backing him up and i know you didn't mean to. jesus was crucified. they might have burned Bell for teaching the Gospel and its truths. I'm positive he would rejoice in a death of that nature, because he would be sacrificing his life for the love of Jesus.

Anonymous | 04:01 am on 12/17/2009

Im in total shock at this filthy display of leadership in the church! I was really digging what both men had to say about Jesus. I didn't agree with everything they said, but chew the straw spit out the sticks! But this crap of you have to be uber manly to be a Godly man, is ridiculouse! I never saw jesus Tell anyone to hit him to prove how tough he was!!!! I'm really bummed about this cause i was really starting to enjoy what driscoll had to say on things!!! But to publicly bash people or men that that aren't that way is really sick and not Christ like! prayer is all that can be done for him nd i pray that he comes out of this very immature way of thinking!!!

Anonymous | 09:23 am on 3/30/2011

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Adam Lane | 04:25 pm on 9/26/2008

It is likely that you would be hard pressed to get Bell to commit to being an emergent pastor; although it certainly seems he has some of those tendencies.

Anonymous | 02:56 pm on 9/30/2008

Dog is still speaking.

Andy N | 03:10 pm on 1/05/2009

No. Driscoll is embarrassed that his church is the same name as Rob Bell. Driscoll teaches from the Bible, doing it extremely blunt, too blunt for some. Bell's "Bible" is so watered down to nothing. Driscoll talks about how his Christian fundamentals is never changing from the old testament. But his ways to get them across are progressively changing. Bell on the other hand is progressively changing both.

Slip Slap | 01:46 am on 2/19/2009

Do you think men need to be creative enough to come up with a new name. Jesus didn't name his church.

Anonymous | 10:45 pm on 2/25/2009

I like Bell but I think driscoll rocks, I really enjoy the fact that he tells it how it is and doesnt feel the need to impress the churched people while going after the lost, as christians we all need to focus on the lost and stop at nothing that isnt sinning!

Anonymous | 02:13 pm on 3/04/2009

That's awesome! I would watch it!!!

kk | 01:01 am on 5/06/2009

I love Mark and wish all Christian men would put on the full armor of God and act like a real man - protect, provide, nurture and be ready to fight for the Gospel.

Billy | 01:35 am on 10/07/2009

That's not what that passage means. The full armor of God does not mean that each of us individually puts on our armor and we go around helping each other to 'don' their armor. The Greek word is plural-i.e. We as a whole church, the Body of Christ, together we put on The One and Only armor of God. There is only one armor for the one Body, and we as a whole church are to put on the armor of God. Their are to be no closet christians. We do not fight alone. To quote a Founding Father-if we do not hang together we will surely hang separately. But we only have one weapon. The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Driscoll is out of line talking about the manly man I just read about. First, we are not called to be manly men we are called to be Godly men. Willing to lay down our lives, or die, for our faith our wives, whatever. But the word for life is psyche. We are to sacrifice our dreams, our wants, our desires for the Cross of Christ. We are to deny ourselves, pick up our cross daily, and follow Christ. Humble, meek, recognizing that we are Spiritually bankrupt. Filled with the Spirit when we are attacked for the cause of Christ we respond in love, not returning evil for evil but with the Word of God. That is our only weapon. The whole Bible is true. All of it. Addressing the earlier post if Christ was not born of a virgin then God is a liar because He prophesied about it. If God is a liar then we might as well throw away our Bible's.

Carlin | 02:36 pm on 10/27/2009

Amen - preach it Billy

Jethro6m | 05:55 am on 8/05/2010

Man...It's just like us to split hairs doctrinally, and criticize brother so and so for doing things, Not the way we think they should. By all counts he (Driscoll) admits he's a little out there,Unorthodox in delivery at best. I would even say, Over zealous. But he is one of the most doctrinally sound, sincere, intelligent,articulate and Unapologetic Preacher/Speaker/Teachers of our day. I think he is shocking and Bold, and his style appeals to Young Christians, and The unchurched and unsaved-because he's hip, and makes Jesus approachable-Leaves conviction to the Holy Spirit...He GETS that we've been given Authority to be Messengers and salt and Light...But he couples this with the Humility of the Servant,Christ also commands we be. We have been a generation of apologetic, politically correct, Cautious, Legallistic, Passive...Sons and Daughters of the Most High far too long. Mark Has determined to run HOT all the time. My Bible says Hot Beats Lukewarm anyday.

Anonymous | 01:02 am on 5/06/2009

Driscoll is an amazing man of God. This article loses credibility in its last quoting. Learn to get credible sources!

Anonymous | 07:02 am on 5/31/2009

Driscoll is an idiot. He wants all the focus of him...it is not about Christ but rather about him.
He's forgotton some of the truths about speech seasoned with salt.
I should try to love the man...but I hate what his view is.

Anonymous | 08:22 am on 2/14/2011

knowledge and leadings from the books that I have read of his, no one is perfect, except the Lord..and everyone is open to attack at anytime in their lives..no one is better than another...we should not boast or judge, only seep the thruth of the word and witness and pray...this means for Others too...So if you have a problem with someong..you think justified or not, maybe some prayer would be ore loveing and productive that just slamming them...642-813 \ 642-902 \ 70-662 \ 70-640

Marcus | 01:58 pm on 2/16/2011

In his "denying of the virgin birth" he or she had been making a rhetorical stage, it would be like taking a sound chew from a pastor referring to sinful points as well as as well as declaring he was instructing individuals to be sinful.Check Backpage Miami. Estimates devoid of their meant framework can be drawn in numerous directions these were not intended.

I've listened to each Bell and Driscoll, as well as I have by no means heard either of these state something that captured my attention as heretical. They have different styles yes, plus some various understanding of points, but they are each performing their finest to spread the word of God.

mary | 01:40 am on 3/03/2011

Yeah this was talked about on a family website and I came to a similar conclusion.

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obd2 scanner reviews | 08:43 pm on 4/04/2011

A bit over the top here. People should not be so judgemental. No one is perfect and the definition of perfect to one person maybe different from anothers. Just learn to live happily with all our differences! obd ii scanner reviews

Sharon | 06:29 am on 7/02/2008

Why do you persecute people for their personality traits. I know men who are rough and tumble and I know men who are more studious. It has nothing to do with relegion. Jesus uses who we are...where we are.

Andy | 10:53 am on 7/05/2008

I don't want to be to harsh towards Mark Driscoll because he does have some good things to say. But the way he is acting with his Christian-WWF stylized idea of manhood just shows ignorance. And his attacks upon other Christian leaders who he thinks are pansies, or whatever, is almost hateful. Personality does have some parts to play in this discussion, but then who is he to say that a man with a less confrontational and butch personality is less of a man? He is being judgemental. Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, and various other Emergent leaders I personally see as much harder to listen to as a reflective follower of Christ, because their sermons and books have messages that the majority culture doesn't want to hear. Most church people in America are uncomfortable with them because of how far they and others with them are willing to go for Jesus. The most un-confrontational person I can think of happens to be the same one who has thrown himself in many situations that many Driscoll type of "men" wouldn't dare put themselves into without a gun. Shane Claiborne went to Iraq in the midst of the bombing, in order to be with the people of Iraq in that time of war.

Point being to this reply, personality does contribute to how we all act, but Jesus wants to transform all of us into people who live like Him. I agree that Jesus was a real "Man", but you don't see him going around punching himself in the face, (or anything remotely similar) to prove his manliness.

Anonymous | 06:07 pm on 11/13/2008

The reason why Driscoll is so harsh is because many of these "emergent pastors" have stepped away from God's teaching on basic beliefs in Christianity. We are supposed to rebuke the religious leaders who are leading people away to some other belief in Christ that is not true. Rebuke away Mark! All you people who think we need to just be nice and accept everyone...Get a life! Jesus rebuked the Pharisees who were skewing what the Bible taught.

Peace.. | 01:13 am on 11/17/2008

Dude. thank you.

Geoff | 01:09 pm on 11/24/2008

Give me a break. I love Rob. I don't agree with everything he says but I love him and what he does for people. I'm so sick of Christians spending sooo much time arguing dogma that they completely forget the 'widows and orphans'. Driscoll is a chest-beater that thinks he's 'radical'. Please. I love how 10 different pastors will have 10 different opinions on any give passage in the Bible. So Rebuke away and watch the rest of us simply walk away.

Pigseye | 08:12 am on 12/06/2008

And just what is wrong with girly men?

Anonymous | 02:00 pm on 12/19/2008

go right no simply walking away from, the truth, from Jesus, and in the end Life(the life that comes from The truth of Jesus)! Driscoll is willing to stand up and speak Truth(big T), Rob has a new and (maybe) dangerous idea of turth(small t).

joshposhbgosh | 02:43 pm on 3/01/2009

First of all, dude (and I'm assuming you're a dude, because I doubt there are too many un-battered women who agree with Driscoll)... learn how to spell! And the internet is already anonymous without you compounding that by making that your name to post - own your opinions!

Second of all, if you really believe Driscoll's got the TRUTH, how effective do you think you are being in spreading that message by screaming incoherently at anyone who disagrees with him? Jesus met people where they were. Driscoll is no Jesus, and anyone who claims that some dude talking now can have a direct scope on what Jesus meant two thousand years ago is delusional. We live by faith, not by knowledge.

Third of all, Driscoll reminds me of the guy who called me a "fag" for suggesting that he was getting a bit out of hand screaming at people in a pick-up soccer game on the lawn of my University. It's not a Christian description of masculinity he's touting, it's a redneck, bully, blustering kind of maleness that has to attack anything other than brute force because it reminds him of what he probably thinks he is - a big dumb ox with real small ideas.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear about this guy getting arrested for selling illegal steroids out of the trunk of his car, or beating up some kid in his youth group for partaking of "girly" activities like painting or playing an acoustic guitar unplugged.

This guy is like Benny Hinn for forty-year-old jocks who never left high school.

A wise friend told me recently that I need to make sure I'm loving on the deluded heretics I meet in the church as well - and that's true - but there comes a time when the most loving thing you can do is call someone out as a wolf who's not even bothering with sheep's clothing.

Anonymous | 03:53 pm on 2/17/2010

More probable is that we find out that he was abused as a kid.

soldierforchrist | 04:51 pm on 6/05/2010

LoL! its so sad to hear you guys haten on Driscoll. My small group listened to his marriage and men sermon and what he has to say about what a true man of christ is, is Awesome! Men do need to step up and take the lead! after i heard his sermon i continued to spread it among my christian buddies and they loved it and shared it so on and so fourth. You can talk to just about any sisters in christ they'll agree that so many men today are nothing but a bunch of sissys!

If what driscoll has to say about masculinity is stirring you up so much it probably because its hitting home. You see it not what people don't understand about the bible that upsets them, its what they do understand, because its what they understand that calls them out on sin. So it sounds to me like you need to take a step back and stop hatein in driscoll and look at your own lives. God is obviously doin miraculous things in his church, you can see that with how many people are coming to know Jesus. And always remember, the secular world sees Jesus in how we love our brothers and sisters in Christ, so you must be careful in how you speak. Because in all things your representing christ!

Mark Driscoll speaks honest and blunt truth! its what we as men of God need to hear these days! So learn from him, dont hate on him! He was appointed by God to lead the church, and as christ followers it is our duty to listen to those God has set in authority over us! Listen, learn, love! represent christ in a godly manner! control your tongues! "..and in everything you do, it must be done in love..."

Anonymous | 01:43 am on 3/05/2011

we live by faith, not by knowledge? Come on now, you have to KNOW what you BELIEVE to have faith IN something or someone.

Altonahk | 11:07 pm on 4/15/2011

"We live by faith, not by knowledge."
What? Are you serious?

Pisti: Conviction of the truth of something; Belief. Most commonly translated as "Faith" and "Belief".

The verb form is:

Pisteou: To be convinced/persueded that something is true. Most commonly translated as "Believe".

Living by Faith is the state of performing the action of believing something to be true. Believing is being persuaded and having the conviction that something is true. Believing something is true is knowing something to be true, because you have had sufficient evidence to convince you. Knowledge is the heart of Faith.

Christopher | 03:53 am on 1/28/2009

Thank you for sharing. I agree with you completely. I am at a loss of words for this frat boy parading around as a divine gift from God.

*Sips Starbucks and repents via completion of 3 Hail Driscoll's and a punch to the groin.*

Anonymous | 11:56 pm on 2/22/2009

HAHAHA now that is just plain funny! I actually like both of these knuckleheads. They both have some good points.
However hitting ones self repeatedly to prove how manly you are isn't one of them. Honestly that is one of the most pathetic things I have heard or seen. I wonder if Driscoll has ever had to pick up what was left of a little boy who stepped on a landmine, has ever had his buddy next to him hit in the head with a bullet and had to look this guy in the eye as he died, seen the pain in a little girls eyes after she had been raped, been in a prison, had his entire family killed by a drunk driver, or any number of other things I have seen my friends go through these things and still remain faithful to God and Christ. I can tell you some silently bucked up under intense pressure, some openly wept, I did while holding that little boy, others cursed, and others simply went away to be by themselves. These guys are men. This isn't to say that if you have not been through this then you are not a man. I am saying that the frat boy silliness that Driscoll spews is not in any way what being a man is about. I have known men far more manly than Driscoll is, doing the very things he says are for girly men. These are guys that have been in the thick of it and have never said "Jeez if I do this will I be manly or girly, hummmmm?" A real man sees what needs to be done and just does it. He could care less what knuckleheads like Driscoll think of them. They care what God thinks of them. And if they are married they care what their family thinks as well. That's it, period.

Anonymous | 03:34 am on 4/01/2009

i know Mark Driscoll I have actually spoken with him face to face unlike most of these bloggers. I understand why you think Mark hasnt gone through anything tough in his life such as some of the things you listed, but its because its not his job to stand on the stage and tell you everything he has gone through. Its his job to teach people about jesus and how to be like jesus. That is what he does. For the people who actually know him, rather than all the bloggers who think they know him because they heard about him or just listened to one of his sermons, they know that he is not just a pastor, he is also a counselor. Between the 4 live sermons he preaches every sunday, he actually counsels people in between them listening to what they say, and helping them through their struggles. The thing is, not to many people realize this because he doesnt stand on the stage and tell the audience people struggles. He preaches jesus and when he is not preaching jesus, he is counseling the people who are struggling to understand jesus.

Anonymous | 08:19 pm on 5/10/2009

But to teach people to be like Jesus, doesn't he have to be like Jesus? Doesn't sound like the Jesus from the Bible to punch himself in the face like that. Maybe a caricature of Jesus or some man-made thing.

Anonymous | 03:37 pm on 1/30/2010

Thank you so much for posting that. It really made my day.

Anonymous | 05:18 pm on 2/27/2011

Well said......very well said.

Anonymous | 12:22 am on 3/26/2009

Amen...Amen...Amen!!!

Anonymous | 09:29 pm on 2/04/2009

Interesting example, rebuking the Pharisees. . . the religious leaders at the time. The ones that everyone thought had it right. . . much like mainstream evangelicals which is Mark Driscoll. Jesus was rebuking them most often for being too legalistic and not accepting. Just a thought, MD really lost it for me with his response to the Ted H. situation. . . how unloving and judgemental can you get?

John | 02:52 pm on 2/17/2009

He didn't rebuke the pharisees for their knowledge he rebuked them for the way they treated people... you know without love and acceptance. They used their interpretation of to be cruel to people they considered "dirty"... you proved the opposite of your point tool!

Jonno | 08:25 pm on 5/13/2009

Be careful you don't confuse 'God's teaching' with man's interpretation of God's teaching. This is often why wars are fought and people die. Let God be true and every man a liar--this includes those who think they're heroes of the faith and guardians of 'God's teaching.' God doesn't need heroes or champions for his cause--he's bigger than that.

Eugene | 07:13 pm on 6/26/2009

What are these "emergent pastors" preaching that is so far removed from God's teaching on basic beliefs in Christianity? Everyone just says it's watering down the message of Christ, considering this both Bell and Claiborne are labeled as Emergent.

Anonymous | 03:17 pm on 9/15/2009

I'd punch him if he offered me to.
Maybe I should go to church more.

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