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)

Seattleite | 01:12 am on 11/17/2008

Why shouldn't MANhood be more Manly?

Mark has problems with the emergent church because they are throwing out the doctrines of: the trinity, the virgin birth, and jesus' resurrection.

Why in the world would "Driscoll type" men be afraid of going to Iraq? I know people who still vacation there. At this point you are simply needlessly bashing. That has nothing to do with anything and you know it.

Lastly, how in the world is the emergent movement supposed to "Say" anything? The whole point is its just a big discussion.

Geoff | 01:12 pm on 11/24/2008

Rob hasn't thrown out any of the 'basic beliefs' of Christianity. The Trinity (even though IT ISN'T MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE), The Virgin Birth or the Resurrection. He has affirmed all of those beliefs. He has simply asked questions of them to make people think. God forbid anyone in the Christian community actually 'thinks' about any of these issues.

Driscoll's latest attack on 'The Shack' is a joke. I don't care if he hates to book but by telling others not to read it, he is basically saying 'I will inform you of all the truth you need; no need to educate yourselves'. That is arrogance on another level.

Yooper | 05:43 pm on 12/17/2008

Bell ought to be very careful as to who he looks to for spiritual guidance (e.g. Brian McLaren), the words that he uses to express his thoughts, who he has speak at his church and endorses:

One example from "Velvet Elvis":

"What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archaeologists find Larry's tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births? But what if as you study the origin of the word virgin, you discover that the word virgin in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word virgin could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being "born of a virgin" also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse?” p26

Jolson | 08:16 pm on 4/26/2009

It's a hypothetical. He's not actually claiming these things.

I think the point of the hypothetical is to explain that we need to be willing to look for truth, even if there is a chance that the truth might make us uncomfortable.

Then we need to believe that God is bigger than the details, and the problems we encounter don't demean or disprove Him, but rather suggest that maybe we've been assembling and interpreting the pieces incorrectly.

Because if God can't hold up to our investigation, then why on earth should we believe in him?

Dow | 01:11 pm on 5/13/2009

Bravo Geoff...bravo.

guyman | 12:31 am on 11/19/2008

Mark is just being Mark. He is passionate about men being men-especially here in Seattle.

Pete | 03:05 am on 3/03/2009

Mark Driscoll does not seem to know the risen Jesus personally. At all. I don't claim to be tight with Jesus but I know Jesus a bit (I have read the gospels) and Mark is closer to fight club and a demonic spirit of violence and vengeance than the PAX CHRISTI.

Blessed are the meek...F*CK MEEK! HIT ME! I AM MARK!!!! ARGGGG!

"do not resist the evildoer....F*CK EM UP!"

seriously, I used to be a conservative evangelical and john piper lover. and if I still was, I would be SO EMBARRASSED.

"hey, I will be a huge, cocky, arrogant, foul mouthed bastard, and the lost and unsaved will find a common sinful attitutde with me and then I will slip in a little Jesus with my hatemongering, hypermasculine, complety unchristlike self."

Boggy5 | 01:28 am on 3/09/2009

Pete, I am an evangelical, some might consider me conservative. And I am not one bit embarrassed of Mark Driscoll. You see, I don't take what he said literally. He makes jokes, funny haha; not 'oh you mean I really have to jump in the octagon with Chuck Liddell to be used of Christ? ok..' He uses humor like any comedian uses humor. The funny part about humor is that there is a little bit of truth in it. You would most likely see skinny guys in sweaters sitting at a coffee house, that's why it's funny. Now, there may be a guy who is 250, can bench 550 and just likes coffee and free internet. You may not want to call him a sissy, atleast within arms length. The point is humor has 'some' truth to it, that's why it's funny. Some people relate to Driscoll's humor, personally I do. Others don't and get offended. That's like a black guy who is insecure about being black getting offended when Chris Rock makes a black joke. The people getting offended may want to have a gut check moment.

Anonymous | 05:38 pm on 11/09/2009

That's nothing like a black guy getting offended when Chris Rock makes a joke. Marc is belittling guys with smaller frames than his. That's not very Christlike.

arnold | 01:36 am on 3/04/2009

I agree totally. I am 60, 6'4', 220, still pump iron 3 days a week and my favorite past time is shooting hand guns. But Driscoll is ignorant apparently that God chooses who He will use. One of the most effective soul winning pastors I ever knew was small, quite and had a heart so tender he would often weep from the pulpit as he plead for souls. He loved people into the Kingdom by showing humility, love and compassion. He stood about 5'6" and ministered mightily into his 80's. Even in his last decade of ministry, his church led our area in baptisms. He knew the Lord intimately and walked humbly with Him everyday. Driscoll may have impressed the crowd but the man I speak of I know pleased his Lord. There is a big difference. Driscoll may learn that one day, maybe in a terrible way.

Altonahk | 11:43 pm on 4/15/2011

People, will you please listen to EVERYTHING Mark says in his sermon. After many of these jokes he corrects himself and explains that you don't have to be Conan the Barbarian. He's just making jokes. It's kind of like Blazing Saddles making fun of racists by making racist jokes; they have racists be racist towards black men who are obviously MUCH smarter, better educated, and better cultured then the racists. He is making fun of this idea of a what it means to be a real man, while exhorting men to be men.

Many men that he calls roll-models are much smaller men that like lattes, wear cardigans, and have no interest in UFC. The picture in this post is of Mark Driscoll and one of his personal heroes: John Piper. John Piper is a cardigan-wearing, latte-drinking man with absolutely no interest, or ability, in any kind of physical combat, let alone MMA.

These attacks are as foolish as saying that Jesus was mean because he told people to cut off their hands. Pleas take the humorous exaggeration and satire as what it is, and the heart of his sermon as what it is. He is trying to get men involved in church, in a day and age when few men serve in church. He is exhorting men to stop being the lazy losers that many men are these days. Men tend to run from responsibility. He is exhorting men to take responsibility and act like men, not boys; to act like adults, and not children. The Lead Pastor of Mars Hill, Jamie Munson, doesn't even fit the Macho-Men that Mark jokingly presents; but he does fit what Mark presents when he is being serious.

I don't know who posted this Essay/Report/Story/Whatever, but they either don't know much about Mark, were having a little satirical fun at his expense, or are doing there best to smear him. Pleas don't base your opinion of Mark Driscoll off what this site says about him.

Boggy5 | 12:55 am on 3/09/2009

I'm guessing the people who had a problem with the "tough" actions of Mark Driscoll are probably the ones who are limp-wristed and feel they can't be a manly man if it requires hitting themselves in the face. Jesus, as far as I know, never punched himself in the face; there were always people ready and willing to do that for him. The point Driscoll is making is that the "church" in general has been so watered down, so tainted, so legalized, so traditionalized because the "men" in charge haven't taken a stand for what is right. How many denominations are there today? 100's! This alone shows the girlyness of the people at the top. It is exactly how girls handle fights, I should know, I have five sisters. "I don't like you, I'm taking my friends are we are haning out over here." Guys disagree, maybe wrestle, maybe a few punches are thrown, but they remain friends and agree to disagree. I've read Shane Claiborne's book as well, loved it. Would he punch himself in the face? No. Is that the point? No. He is reaching people you and I could never reach, people Driscoll could never reach, but that is his calling. He is a man in his own right. The Emergent Village is full of pastors who are both physically and figuratively girly-men; as Arnold would say. No backbone to stand up for what is Biblical. Driscoll is advocating for figurative manly Christians, it just so happens he is figurative and physical.

Anonymous | 07:40 pm on 3/31/2009

Last time I checked, the only hard thing to listen to from Rob Bell and his emergent brothers was that pulling out this "brick" of the virgin birth of Christ was no biggie.
And I'm sure going to Iraq in a time of war is a commendable deed, but that doesn't bring him any closer to heaven.

Bronson | 01:07 pm on 9/06/2010

I agree with Andy!

SRebbe | 02:02 pm on 7/07/2008

it's one thing when it's 'who' you are and it's another thing when it's part of the show. like watching a bunch of frat guys proving their manliness by ripping each other's chest hair off, jumping over bonfires, and having sit up competitions combined with drinking contests. but they're MEN, dammit! they're proving it with the stunts! *grunt*

Brian | 02:33 pm on 5/13/2009

You have obviously missed Mark's point. Being studious has nothing to do with being a sissy. You can be both studious and bold. We are talking about redeeming our role as men. Standing up for the gospel not bending over and letting satan give it to us.

Mike | 06:30 am on 7/02/2008

HA! This is hilarious! I really like Mark Driscoll, he's solid theologically and has stepped away from the emergent guys because he believes that much of their message is compromised. I'd encourage anyone who isn't familiar with his leadership and teaching to listen to some of his sermons before lumping him in with other "celebrity" pastors.

But really, this write up was a riot!

budda | 04:13 pm on 7/02/2008

Ya, um... I agree with Mike, you should definitely youtube some of his sermons and hear his theology. You really, really should. He sure isn't compromised. Especially before sending any money, or telling your friends you like Driscoll. Your right, he sure isn't compromised. Crazy yes, but not, thank God, compromised. That would be horrible.

dontgothereanymore | 08:21 pm on 7/02/2008

If Pastor Mark were to terminate any of his staff for fitting the wussie man part, half of them would no longer be employed. I used to volunteer at MH. The place is FULL of emos and Rob Bell doppelgangers. With that being said, if Christ is in you and working through you, who gives a rip what you look like. If behaving like a Christian means I have to start lifting weights and watching PPV television, then I've been wasting some precious time! And all this time I've been investing in my unsaved neighbors, friends, family, and coworkers lives. I'm gonna go repent and buy a protein shake and order me up some cable tv because, you know, I want to be more like Mark Driscoll. Anybody else game? If so, you can repent and ask Mark Driscoll into your heart right now. Repeat after me:

Dear Lord Mark Driscoll,
I know that I have been a douche bag sissy boy my whole life,
and I repent of it now. Please enter my heart and change me into the ultimate fighting machine you want and need me to be in order to benefit your kingdom and make your church grow and book sales sky rocket. I willingly give you my heavy, sissified yoke and gladly take upon your light and stylish leather, pooka shell, and shark tooth choker.
In your cool name,
Right on.

Anonymous | 07:50 pm on 7/12/2008

this was hilarious and probably needs to be spread around a bit... I like driscoll, and needed to be reminded that Jesus is the one who deserves worship not Mark.... ROFL

dontgothereanymore | 03:43 pm on 8/10/2008

I know that the Door will not retract comments made, but I would just like it to be known to all of you (including you, Mark D) that I am sorry for the above comment on Mark Driscoll. At the time of writing the above comment, I had a seed of bitterness that has now been brought to the surface. Having repented of that bitterness, I emailed Mark for forgiveness (he really had no idea what I was talking about, but that's okay). He forgave. Thanks Mark!
Blessings to you all.
Chad.

warren | 08:18 am on 10/08/2008

Awesome.. you are LEGEND

Boggy5 | 12:58 am on 3/09/2009

Again you appear to be one of the limp-wrists who likes tight jeans who has taken offense and missed the point completely.

Anonymous | 03:32 pm on 7/06/2008

solid theologically, is that a joke?

Adam Lane | 04:33 pm on 9/26/2008

I would argue that this speech, not speaking for anything else he has done, shows a very poor grasp of New Testament theology. This is evident from the fact that he tried to get five pastors to hit him in the jaw, and had them escorted from the building because they would not do it. Tell me where you find this sort of behavior promoted in the Bible.

Ok, so David was a real dude because he slaughtered a bunch of people. I guess that makes Osama bin Laden a perfect candidate for the ministry. Why is it that the church has forgotten that Jesus turned the other cheek, that Paul apologized for losing his temper and hitting the high priest in the face, and that we are to live at peace with all people as much as it depends upon us.

Can anybody actually tell me what this message had in common with Christ's teachings?

ben | 02:51 pm on 11/14/2008

I don't think you got the joke.

I'm just saying.

Boggy5 | 01:10 am on 3/09/2009

Adam Lane-
First things first. You asked where the Bible shows such behavior. How about when Church leaders had let the church become a market. Everyone using the church to sell products and make money. Did Jesus kindly ask them to say they were sorry? NO! He went Chuck Norris on them and started flipping tables and breaking stuff. By the way, the five pastors escorted were part of a stunt, used to make a point.

Again, I've said this before, you missed the point. Someone who stands up for what is right, biblically, theologically and otherwise is a man. You don't have to be able to bench press 400lbs. to be in ministry. You do need the marbles to stand up to someone who can if biblical principles are questioned.

Lastly, every man David killed, except for one, were because God instructed him to do so. David killed because he loved God. Osama bin Laden kills because he hates those who love God. Slight difference. But good attempt at making Dricsoll sound bad by using an off the wall rediculous illustration.

Anonymous | 06:09 pm on 11/13/2008

Right On! Mark uses solid theology in his teaching. He not only has stepped away, but is one of the few who will rebuke...Love that guy.

Sweetcoastie | 02:56 am on 12/16/2008

I agree with Mike! His teachings are solid. Have you guys actually listened to one of his sermons? Check out his teachings at http://www.marshillchurch.org/ Have a Blessed day. Oh another really solid teacher to check out is Zach Vestneys a Pastor in Petaluma, Ca. http://www.steadfastministries.net/288433.ihtml
His church site is www.calvarypetaluma.org

BJ | 06:35 am on 7/02/2008

A man's conference with tool and load in the title. At what point in the conference did they have the circle jerk.

Bobby B | 06:56 am on 7/02/2008

Parody!

BJ | 08:30 am on 7/02/2008

How's Whittney?

SE | 07:29 pm on 7/03/2008

It sounds like the whole thing was the circle jerk.

CDS | 03:20 pm on 7/07/2008

rough words from a guy whose initials are BJ

BJ | 07:54 am on 7/15/2008

You're right CDS. I'll try to soften up. Tell your mom thanks for the quality BJ.

Jason K | 07:37 am on 11/14/2008

No reply necessary. You've gotta know that if you are a believer, you took a fleshly thought and ran with it. We all get the connection, but you're thinking in the flesh. Don't promote those thoughts but rather condemn them brother. They're Impure, sensual, fleshly

Anonymous | 12:29 am on 3/26/2009

Now that is funny!!!

Anonymous | 07:21 am on 7/02/2008

I love Mark, his is a man's man. I listen to him all the time and I have learned alot from him. There need to be more men like him. There are way too many pansys in church today.

dorsey | 07:33 am on 7/02/2008

Yeah, they're a bunch of wussies. Probably too timid to even leave their real names when they post a comment on someone's website.

Seriously, Driscoll is the joke here. His macho shtick only calls attention to himself. Personally, I think he's, um, compensating, if you know what I mean.

Droslovinia | 11:54 am on 7/02/2008

Does being a "man's man" mean he's gay? If so, why doesn't his partner get to speak?

The High and The Mighty | 04:59 pm on 7/02/2008

Uh Huh!!Yes,Christ preached Turning The Other Cheek,But He also Beleived In Violence Only as A Last Resort!!!
Yes,Christ Could Kick Some Serious Butt When and If the time arose,
But He didn't Go Around Kicking Butt and Taking Names Either!!

Maurice | 07:18 am on 7/23/2008

Damn right!! You ever watch Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter?

Charles | 07:24 am on 7/02/2008

Do you think God really approves of ultimate fighting where men attack the image of God in other men? Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, we are to take care of them. Men can possibly die in those ultimate fighting matches. I can't believe he supports such a thing.

More Anonymous Than You | 07:42 am on 7/02/2008

Sharon, it's a guy thing. Butt out! Besides I wouldn't fit conveniently in either of your steriotypes. I am very studious AND very rough-and-tumble.

Charles, just what "image of God" do you think is taking a pounding in the ring? You don't even know what that is, do you?

Besides: "...in Him is neither male or female..."

dorsey | 08:09 am on 7/02/2008

At this point, Driscoll's "real man" would step in and kick the shit out of you for talking like that to a lady.
: )

SRebbe | 02:05 pm on 7/07/2008

nether male nor female... so you CAN be transgender... awesome.
more Rocky Horror for all.

BJ | 07:53 am on 7/02/2008

Scratch, Fart, Spit

BJ | 08:14 am on 7/02/2008

Burp, Adjust Balls, Spit

BJ | 08:37 am on 7/02/2008

Blow snot rocket, fix wedgy, spit

lisa | 08:58 am on 7/02/2008

Real men aren't obsessed with being real men. Kinda like wearing fake biceps or something. As my husband says, "If you gotta flaunt it, you really haven't got it."

BJ, I'd tweak your funny antics just a bit:

Scratch, Fart, Spit, for the Kingdom.
Burp, Adjust Balls, Spit, . . . for the Kingdom.
Blow snot rocket, fix wedgy, spit . . . yeah, that too.

We've lost the culture because we're self-centered. MD is just encouraging more of that sort of garbage. As a woman, I think this just is actually a little pansyish in and of itself. If my husband was talking like that (the real stuff not the parody) I'd be mortified.

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