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)

CajunPunk | 02:57 pm on 7/09/2008

"It is not uncommon to meet pastors' wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin, but she may not be helping him either." - Mark Driscoll on Ted Haggard's wife.

If he isn't an arrogant, self-righteous he-man, I don't know who is. Watch some of his sermons on YouTube like "Scatological Humor" and "That's What She Said Jokes," and tell me his theology is "solid."

Anonymous | 03:14 pm on 7/09/2008

No real disagreement whatever and ever. That Driscoll has shown up as a target for The Door is proof that God is not mocked and that we do eventually reap what we sow. If Driscoll has been sowing to mockery for a decade he's reaping it and this is such a brilliant satire that I heard from friends who attend Mars Hill who haven't read The Door and thought this stuff really happened. When The Door satire sounds like the genuine article and fools Mars Hill members that's saying something!

I've seen two defenses of Driscoll over the years. One is that he's human and fallible and deserves grace, the other is that his heart needs to be understood because he's saying the right stuff. Thing is neither defense accounts for whether Driscoll has taken the golden rule to heart. If he mocks people it suggests he is comfortable being mocked. So in a way the legacy of Pussified Nation is still in his ministry, something some folks were hoping wasn't the case. The good news is Jesus died for Driscoll's sins of the tongue and he has time to sow a different crop than the kind that lands him in The Door.

whatever and ever amen | 07:20 pm on 7/09/2008

"The good news is Jesus died for Driscoll's sins of the tongue and he has time to sow a different crop than the kind that lands him in The Door."

The question is will he?

Anonymous | 01:32 pm on 7/10/2008

I'd like to say 'yes' but I would probably have to say 'no'.

Anonymous | 08:58 pm on 7/10/2008

"Watch some of his sermons on YouTube like..."

Like these?

http://www.youtube.com/user/ReallySad1

.

Anonymous | 11:22 pm on 7/13/2008

Haven't you all ever heard of parody? Hyperbole? If you haven't heard him preach, you have nothing on which to base your opinion. The end.

canon | 12:55 pm on 7/14/2008

does MD call MH an emergant or emerging church?

I don't understand how a man or woman can alianate a group of persons based on their personality, tastes or characteristics? Created in God's image. Hmmm. Does God have characteristics that each of us could have been given? Not to say that we are God in anyway. But that men can be "sissy" and very "strong" at the same time (and eat tufu -it does come in a savory flavor).

Could the "fall" of the "American Church" be that we have based our salvation on the kind of doctrine, Bible, church (building) or biblical interpritation style that we consider "right." (open for discussion...because it could be many other things) And I often wonder if our salvation is recognizing the need for Jesus to be at work in our lives and letting Him do it (Holy Spirit too). An ongoing process.

excuse my spelling

Jeff | 05:28 pm on 7/14/2008

Driscoll is an ass

Not as gullible as you are | 06:50 pm on 7/16/2008

I was at the conference - this whole article is BS and is meant to be a joke. Consider the source, will you?

Anonymous | 08:36 pm on 7/16/2008

The fact that many of MD's own acolytes mistook it for the real thing, shows that fiction is not so far from the reality. That's what's scary.

BJ | 09:32 am on 7/21/2008

I spoke to someone who attended the conference. He said Mark had his brother Phil kick him in the nuts while playing the trumpet.

Jeff | 10:54 pm on 7/21/2008

he is still an ass.

Benjamin Saxton | 04:36 am on 7/17/2008

Can't both be true? I think there is incredible strength to be seen in the soft spoken man who lacks the stereotypical "male" tendencies. During certain moments of my life, it was truly the only kind of powerful love I was capable of receiving. Anything too "male" would have put my natural "male" guards up so high you'd need more then a tattoo and a set of cool scars get through to me.

But at the same time.... I have walked into church trying to bring the soft-spoken, gentle (for lack of a better term - effeminate) love to people and I have walked out of church having been THOROUGHLY and PAINFULLY walked all over!! and thought... "Jesus could not have been like this!!!! I FEEL SO WEAK ITS REDICULOUS!!!!!!!"

So, bottomline, can't we just agree to find strength in both images when the time is right?? Maybe Hulk Hogan brings an image of love when you're faced with a group of people attempting to "pull the speck from your eye" and maybe Mr. Rogers is a sign of strength and love when an 8 year old girl asks you why her daddy is never home?

Better yet, maybe we should stop trying to put the love and strength of God into some "Hulk Hogan-esque" or "Mr. Rogers-esque" box that fits our world?

Just Love People. Like Hulk Hogan or Mr. Rogers????

Who cares.

Roy | 10:11 pm on 7/20/2008

This is so stupid its funny. Surely this is a joke right? Calls Pastors... PASTORS? up on stage and demands they slug him in the face? Then when they dont (as any rational human being wouldnt) Kicks them out of the Church and slugs himself in the face?

Thats too funny! I wonder what he would have done if they refused to leave... "No one kicks me out of God's Church" Would he have assaulted them? Really? And this is terribly entertaining to watch but so far from the Spirit of Christ as defined by Galatians ch 5 the fruits of the Spirit.

TV preachers.. I dunno

Anonymous | 08:10 am on 7/21/2008

Too many pastors are mean horse's behinds already. If the fruit of the Spirit is evident in a man's life then he is truly a "real" man, most of this other "acting" is a symptom of the uber weenie boy syndrome. They admire the "Rambo" false image of a man and know they can never measure up to that, so they have to put on an act of macho to hide it and make them feel better.
Poor weenie boy! :(

Neon | 07:10 pm on 7/21/2008

I tried listening to this guy, hoping he would educate me on area where I didn't understand parables that Jesus Christ had left behind for us to understand and I went through several podcasts waiting for the part when he actually does a sermon. He repulsed me instead, chatting away about a troubled girl who felt dirty because of a bad history with molestation, but he went on and on and on. There were children in his audience, for goodness sakes! I'm still trying to figure out what Jesus has to do with his rambling on about this unfortunate troubled female who still feels the shame.

Anonymous | 04:57 pm on 7/22/2008

I think he's being dramatic to prove a point. I remember being put off by Christians that were effeminate and weird. Mark goes overboard sometimes but generally guys need to MAN UP.

Fred | 02:20 pm on 7/28/2008

This is the second time the expression "man up" has appeared in the comments here. Can somebody please explain what it means? I worked my way through college and work hard to provide for my wife and kids. But I've never done any extreme sports or been in a bar fight, and I generally can't stand the taste of beer. Does this mean I'm not "manning up"?

I Am A Dude | 07:52 pm on 7/22/2008

Greetings and Salutations to all,

I want to thank Jesse Benjamin, and "The Door" for turning me onto Mark Driscoll. I found the article so interesting that I had to go and listen for myself. No offense, but I would rather hear it from the horse's mouth than second hand.

Now, I've been through a number of those YouTube posts, and have listened to a few recent Podcasts off his (Mark Driscoll, Mars Hills) site, but I can't find anything on this "Pastor’s Conference in Houston last week". I'm not saying it didn't happen, just that I would like to hear it first hand and in context before I make a final judgment. I can't speak for what was written in the article because I was not there and I have not yet found the transcripts or podcast or youtube or whatever.

I've read through all the comments, and I see that some folks support Mr. Driscoll and some folks don't. Which is normal for any person. What I don't see is any scriptural backing for opinions.

I have a simple request: can anyone show me in the Bible what is wrong with Mr. Driscoll's postion on Men, which is located here:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?i=29285475...
I hope that takes you to what I've listened to.

Anywho . . . I may not agree with everthing that Mr. Driscoll says, but so far I haven't seen any biblical reason to disbelieve what he says.

Hugs and kisses all around,

David

whatever and ever amen | 05:25 pm on 7/23/2008

Again, let us recall that this is SATIRE. The fact that many people can't descern that is both sad and hilarious.

Norm A. Tive | 09:35 pm on 7/27/2008

I've never heard of this Driscoll character, but he sounds like a real tool. Reminds me of the jock-type youth pastors who used to ridicule the teens in youth group who liked art, music and anything that didn't involve sweaty men.

Hmmm. Maybe Dorsey is right. Driscoll may be overcompensating.

When I was in the 9th grade, I was terrorized by a 10th grade bully every morning on the way to school on the bus. This kid had a reputation for being "tough," and looked the part: crew cut, muscle shirt, chiseled jaw, etc. He bragged about beating kids up in his former school. I tried to ignore him, but one day I just hauled off and slugged him in the nose after he got tired of the "sissy long-hair" taunts and began pushing and knocking my books out of my hands (no backpacks in those days). He fell on the floor of the bus and began CRYING LIKE A BABY! I felt terrible (well, not really).

Won't this asshole be surprised when he comes face to face with the deity and SHE punches his lights out - permanently!

NORM

Brian | 03:50 pm on 8/09/2008

I think Mark Driscoll would benefit from some CPE.

Barthian1 | 03:02 pm on 8/14/2008

I think I saw this movie; wasn't it called "Fight Club?" The pastoral staff in that movie were certainly manly men! How humble and Christlike.

whatever and ever amen | 07:19 pm on 8/15/2008

Actually Driscoll really loves "Fight Club" they have spoken have having a version of it at MH in the past. In fact, I think they have a Eastside version of it already.

http://bellevue.marshillchurch.org/2008/05/05/mars-hill-eastside-mma-clu...

Barthian1 | 02:11 pm on 8/18/2008

I had no idea Driscoll was into head trauma as a theological tool. Dissociative identity and blunt force head trauma may be under appreciated in most Evangelical circles (maybe it's over represented in vivo?).

Pigseye | 06:48 am on 8/17/2008

OK lets open our bibles to leviticus chapter9 verse 5... but first lets all stand and sing..
I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK

Richard | 12:49 pm on 8/19/2008

Mark Driscoll obviously is very insecure about his own masculinity--and he obviously has not read the Bible but some freaky science fiction book. He certainly hasn't read Paul who wrote: "......but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." II Corinthians 12: 9 (RSV). He is another in the long line of so-called preachers who will do more harm for the Kingdom of God than good." God help us.

Sad | 10:22 am on 8/26/2008

“The problem with our churches today is that the lead pastor is some sissy boy..." So I guess if your lead pastor is a woman you are just SOL for being able to see the image of God in your church leader. Ugh.

Guys like this are so freaking obsessed with performing their gender roles that they turn into a parody...I'm going to start calling them drag kings.

brothersimon | 02:09 pm on 8/27/2008

Hey, being a very critical person myself I started with certain reserves listening to Mark Driscoll. But let me tell you with my German directness: He's one of the best teachers I've heard over the last years.
His "harsh language" (as he calls it himself) is intentionally used! See http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1352_Mark_Driscoll_on_Harsh_Language/

His theology is one of the best and balanced around. In stark contrast to Rob Bell who denies some Biblical truths!

Don't let this chance slip to have some fun listening and be convicted and convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is precious and to be fought for!

pk | 05:29 pm on 9/07/2008

Intentionally using a potentially harmful tool is no better (though, maybe no worse) than using it unintentionally. That's not really a revelation. The problem is that if you happen to disagree with him on any point, it ceases to be "fun" to listen to him pound on you; it's not like you can argue with him, because he's employing all the devices of dominance that the culture has to offer: being male, standing on a stage, yelling, laughing at his opponents' positions, making references to physical dominance and challenges to manly courage, and giving sideways and unsupported claims like "In stark contrast to Rob Bell who denies some Biblical truths!" in a tone of manly enthusiasm that inspires sheepish agreement.

Anonymous | 02:19 pm on 8/28/2008

I think this is the part when all the ladies roll their eyes and let out a long sigh because we all know the problem with the American church today is that too few pastors act like 12 y/o boys. Oh dear..

Anonymous | 07:12 pm on 9/09/2008

I am not sure if anyone has brought this up, but this is the sweetest MMA sponsor website yet: jesusdidnttap.com

Also, Driscoll is a solid, reformed pastor. I have been listening to his stuff for over 3 years now, and his "being a dude" has much more to it than most people think. Although watching UFC is really fun...

Finally, this article made me laugh a lot...because I could plausibly see Mark doing this.

TomW | 11:25 pm on 9/14/2008

I don't think Driscoll is saying "be your sex". That's what causes sexual frustration in the first place, because how can you be any different anyway? A stereotype has no genitals, and neither does an idea.

female who likes real males | 08:26 pm on 9/22/2008

I just have one thing to say and that is this urge I see and hear in the church of making the Gospel relevant is very bothersome to me. I don't think Jesus was afraid of hard physical work but I hardly think he'd be at Thunderdome on Saturday night.

I believe we need to tailor our lives to be relevent to the Gospel rather than the other way around. God and the Gospel never change and God is always relevant.

The problem is because women's roles have permeated society and so many think men are dispensible. Men's roles are being redefined and thoseof us in the Seattle Area often hear Mark Driscoll stirring the pot.

He has interesting things to say about women too. Something about belonging at home??? I can't remember exactly:)

Mark is an entertaining figure and I believe his intentions are honorable but his expression is less than respectful. But I have to give him credit for being direct.

Okay, I guess I had more than one thing to stay and I'll stop there!

Anonymous | 05:29 am on 9/25/2008

I cannot believe that this type of false teaching can be allowed - how unbelievably ill informed is this testosterone filled airhead calling himself a pastor? May God forgive his sin!

Anonymous | 07:49 pm on 9/30/2008

This is ridiculous. The picture of Driscoll punching Piper is photoshopped. Driscoll was actually reaching behind Piper's head and giving a fist pound to Matt Chandler. Seriously, if you want to make a case against someone, at least use facts, not doctored photos. Go to the following to see the real picture: http://bp3.blogger.com/_iR70Wz3kK60/R8mgX_x1QFI/AAAAAAAAAL8/Ou6fJpPH-oY/...

James | 10:14 pm on 9/30/2008

It's startling how many people don't realize that this article is a JOKE!

Barthian1 | 08:05 am on 10/01/2008

The Door has always been filled with "satire" mixed in with actual events (real opinions and discourse); I've read it for years and have been insulted, humored, exposed, and often led to radically challenge my own assumptions; that's why I read it. However some articles are abviously "tongue in cheek" (JOKES) and meant to be taken "only" as such, but I don't see this article being in that category. I'm curious as to why you consider this article a JOKE.

James | 10:17 pm on 10/01/2008

By "joke" I mean it's fictional and intended to be funny. Yes it is satire and it is making a point but my comment was directed to those that thought this article was real, that Driscoll had *actually* attended this conference. It's quite obviously a parody.

Brian | 08:35 am on 10/02/2008

If this guy asked me to hit him , I'd knock the red neck out.

Russ Myers | 08:41 pm on 10/09/2008

I love the theology and the hard work Driscoll has put together for most other churches to use and emulate. It is not Driscoll we are emulating but the way of Christ and His church. MD has done a lot of work sifting through the Christology, Ecclesiology, and Missiology that we must pay attention to. Driscoll is called to rebalance the church in it's effort to engage men of a particular demographic that for the most part, has been overlooked by most feminine, appropriate, and behaved churches. If you read any of his books, you will realize that he promotes Jesus, not himself, and desires that our theologies govern the way we minister. Most of his comments are gross exaggerations in order to evoke thought. If you read any of his books, you'd probably catch that. He desires for people to rethink their Christianity, well, you're blogging aren't you. He's bothered you. He's doing his job. He's got you real irritated. That is his calling. That's what people with the gift of prophecy do. I hate hunting, I'm not big into guns, I don't frequent bars, chew tobacco, I like art work, I occasionally will cry watching a good flick, and I enjoy design. I am not a redneck, lumberman, construction worker, but I work at a desk and work with people. I would think that I am in the category of men that could take offense to Driscoll's comments. You need to see the intent behind the words before you judge what he's saying. Listen to him. You don't have to agree with 100% of what he is saying but he's got a point and praise Jesus he is obnoxious enough that we all take notice and blog about it. The church has become to some extent irrelevant to men. It has, over the course of the last several decades, become unbalanced in it's femininity.

Tom White | 08:24 pm on 10/13/2008

There are a lot of mean-spirited comments on this page. Everyone's ideas are offensive to someone, but only Jesus's ideas count. Was Jesus not a manly man because he was his Father's biatch? And he spoke about flowers and their *clothing*, whilst being a carpenter. He didn't really do stereotypes or promote them, either being 'manly' or being a 'pansy'. What is this, Spongebob???

steve | 04:06 pm on 10/16/2008

I love Driscoll! He says what everyone else is afraid to say. He's not Politically correct...or should we say religiously correct.

Anonymous | 10:54 am on 10/23/2008

Why bother balking at a nutter like Mark Driscoll? You'll never change a crack pots mind. There's no cure for crazy. Any protesting will only bring attention to him.

When will women learn that there is no place for them in christianity er, rather paulianity except as children who constantly need discipline and direction. The christian basis for controlling women is based off of the male inability to control his sexual impulses. If he can't control his, then he will control women and push it as "godly" via scripture. I find it so telling that Mark using anything feminine as a derogatory term. Sissy, girly, chickie etc. Words like that leave no doubt as to what his archaic view on women is. My sister brought this up with her pastor (another nutter evangelist) who insisted in wasn't a misogynist (he doth protest too much...). During a church basketball practice, he told a kid that he threw like a girl. She took him to task right then and there telling him if he wasn't the misogynist he claimed, then he wouldn't have used such terminology as an insult. He was speechless. She finally came to her senses and left christianity after that.

Women too often are trying to play things by male rules which are set up to benefit men and only men. Why try to change men like him? Why, why, why support this or bring attention to him? In Marks world, women are only an afterthought and are only important for male sexual pleasure & breeding purposes and well rounded men with intelligence are pussies. Why bother with someone so intelluctually inferior? It's like trying to teach chemistry to a Dachshund. Religion is a disease. Men and especially women are dumb to succumb to it. True macho men don't have to beat their chests over and over and say "HEY LOOK AT ME!!! I'M A MACHO MAN!!" Any guy claiming he is such is just a wannabe. I'll bet he's short, pudgey and has penis envy.

Reader | 11:47 am on 10/24/2008

Unfortunately, the what has been lost is what I believe Mark is speaking to when he talks about being a man. He is clear in his sermons and writings that it is not about being a jock scratching moron. It is about taking responsibility, assuming leadership, protecting your family etc. Driscoll said that if you don't cry on your daughters wedding day than you aren't a real Christian man.

Of course we love to stereotype and criticize. So rather than looking at Driscoll's words introspectively this blog is full of self righteous hypocrites seeking a splinter through their squinting eyes.

It is a sad commentary on where we stand today. In short. Hike up your skirts ladies and do something productive.

Anonymous | 10:06 am on 11/02/2008

stupid gay !

Roatsrags | 01:50 pm on 11/07/2008
slave4jesus | 01:50 pm on 11/10/2008

Wow! I grew up with a father like Mark Driscoll, a man's man, and i thought a man was a guy who went around kickinga_ _ and taking names, and having sex with as many women as possible etc. Until Jesus set me free from all that junk. Hey you want to be a man, look at Josef Tson a Romainan Pastor who had to choose between preaching the Gospel or loosing his life, Tson is a meek man but he's got more manhood in his pinkey than Mark Driscoll has in his entire body. The church in America has way too much time on it's hands.

Lou Martuneac | 04:41 pm on 11/17/2008

Sorry, I'm late to this discussion, but I want to weigh in on Driscoll's methods. I have been very active this week at a major blog dealing with Driscoll's "corrupt communication." You can link to it from a related article my blog.

http://indefenseofthegospel.blogspot.com/2008/11/filthy-communication-of...

KInd regards,

LM

Gospel of Matt | 03:00 pm on 12/04/2008

The saddest (and gayest) thing I ever heard in church was our pastor admitting that the Carpenters were his favorite group.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.