Opinions on faith and life

Voltaire Was Right

2009-04-04

“God created man in His image, and man has forever been trying to return the favor.”
Truer words were never spoken-- especially regarding one Mark Driscoll. Do you think maybe he’s compensating for something?

Mark really likes a good fight, so I thought it would be an act of Christian charity to slap him around a little. In fact, he begs for it. Let me “smack down” a little testosterone rage performance sermon he gave last year; you might want to read that first. (WARNING: As with anything to do with this guy, the article and comments contain coarse language and some “mature” content.)

Driscoll focused his three-and-a-half-hour talk on the need for pastors to be more alpha.
Yeah, “Seek ye the first place in line, and all these followers shall be added unto you.” That’s what Jesus said, right? Only a wimp would have said something like “Whoever wants to be the greatest must be the least”.
“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.”
What deep theological insight! I’m in awe-- of his sheer ignorance of what The Community of Believers is meant to be. There’s no “the pastor” as CEO of anything, whether it’s a “church”, a ladies’ quilting bee, or a men’s lodge. Maybe the boys’ club Driscoll prefers has a “lead pastor”, but Jesus had something entirely different in mind. Maybe Driscoll has excised that part of the Bible that says Jesus had a seamless garment that the soldiers wouldn’t divide up among themselves. Sounds kinda “high fashion”, eh Mark?

No, this Jesus that Driscoll has invented is in his own image, in his own likeness. He must spend untold hours painting this picture of his ideal man. I wonder if he’s ever read about the Greek myth of Narcissus?

“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.
In contrast to Driscoll’s imagination,
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him...

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not...

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth...

Isaiah 53

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.

Mt. 23:37

And I loved this ”special pleading“ for King David:
Same thing with King David. Yeah, he might have played a lyre, but he slaughtered thousands of guys.

Oh, so even if you write drippy poetry and play the harp, you’re still a real man if you kill thousands. And how many did Jesus kill?

Now listen to this glowing praise of Driscoll by a fawning admirer:

At last year’s Converging Conference, Driscoll talked about standing up when you piss and I got really excited
Uh huh. I suppose they practice the manly art of refraining from urination while, um, doing that other thing. Wow. But wait, there’s more!
...[Driscoll] 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.“
What this is all about? What WHAT is all about, Mark? What religion is this you’re pushing? Do you think the antidote for wimpy Christians is for men to fight for preeminence and drag women by the hair? Like Islam?
When none of the five took a swing, Driscoll had them escorted from the building and proceeded to hit himself five times.
If I’d have been there, I’d have jumped up and down and shouted, ”Oh! Oh! Pick me! Me me me!!“ I would SO loved to have punched that man in the face! And I would love to have some video of him punching himself. Maybe we can all ask him to do it again for the cameras. You think I’m out of line? Read on.
”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.“
Man, what an ego! What utter contempt for anyone who isn’t exactly like him! And he thinks everybody else is the problem? But what’s worse is that his disease is spreading. Young men want to be like him, further inflating his hyperinflated self-image. As one of his sycophants said, ”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.“

A church like that needs to not only decline but fall! It’s a church of Satan, of phallus worship, of pride in the flesh, of all that is wrong with the world. And pray tell, Mark, how does any woman ever become Christ-like? And if David can be manly by doing the guns and ammo thing, does that make women like Sarah Palin and Annie Oakley manly men? Oh, I forgot, they can’t pee standing up.

As for the comments following the article, does anyone really think that as long as you have a few doctrinal ducks in a row, you can get away with this anti-Christian tripe? Or does Driscoll get a pass because he punches himself in the face? Is this what Jesus has been reduced to: a brawling, cussing, hog-riding killer?

It’s time to let the Driscolls of the world wallow in their own theological filth and take their poisonous teachings down the sewer with them. I will have no part of this ”church".

There, Mark, is that forceful enough for you? Now go punch yourself some more. And wash your mouth out with soap.

39 Comments

Lin

believe it or not, he has cleaned up his act some. That is how bad it is. A few years ago right after the Ted Haggard scandel, Driscoll wrote a this treatise on this blog about why this happens and blamed...are you ready?...pastors wives for letting themselves go. He went on and on about these women who let themselves go and how that makes the guy wander.

All I could think about was his poor wife. What if she gets breast cancer? Or is in an accident and disfigured? I could picture her running 10 miles everyday trying to keep him happy because he is so shallow.

Well, the outcry was so great, he ’repented’ (as he always does when it does not go over) and took it down.

He is a clear example of the blind leading the blind. It is amazing how many young men are falling for his schtik. He is nothing but a stage performer who uses Jesus as his marketing tool. There is NOTHING of Christ in it at all. As a matter of fact, he insults my Savior calling Him a redneck, etc.

Lin

Ok, I wish I would slow down. Here is the corrected part of sentence 3: Driscoll wrote a treatise on his blog about...

How do you spell schtick? Is that right???

Paula Fether

He fits the profile of an abusive husband: Indulge your ego at others’ expense, get caught, back down and promise to do better, wait till things blow over, then go back to the old ways with a vengeance. He knows nobody will stand up to him, at least not in enough numbers or with enough consistency. Men like him are still whining, "That woman you gave me..."

But for Driscoll, who extolls the virtues of a good porn selection at the barbershop, wherein the ideal female is a made-up doll and not a real person, we shouldn’t be surprised. He truly has created a Jesus in his own image.

I think it’s "schtick" and is from the Yiddish word for "piece". I’d probably choose something a little more graphic for Driscoll, and he’d probably think it’s cool.

TL

He very likely is an abusive husband. On his marriage video he repeated several times where he reminded his wife that she needed to do what he said because he was her leader. Of course, the things he confessed to were always only about her doing things for herself. But those of us who have experienced abusive husbands and abusive people have a good idea what is between the lines. There are signs.

TL

Oh and his attire on the marriage video was completely opposite. Now he is trying out the black suit and tie with sneakers. It wasn’t bad, but just a bit too polished for my taste.

Paula Fether

If anybody epitomizes "bowing to culture", it’s Driscoll. And right now, culture ain’t pretty. As for his choice of clothing, maybe he thinks it’s time to try and relate to a wider spectrum. It’s the suits and ties who have all the money. :-p

Janice

"If anybody epitomizes ’bowing to culture’, it’s Driscoll."

I agree.

You get used to men in the church laying down the rules about how women should look, act, think and feel. Driscoll and his followers want to do that men too. But they’re not looking to Christ for their example. They’re looking to hypermasculinist characters out of comic books or Hollywood blockbusters - all bulging muscles, smouldering libido all ready to burst into flames and a limitless capacity for violent subjugation of all their enemies.

My guess is that they have gender identity issues. Being a man isn’t enough. They have to be what they’ve been taught to think Superman might be if he were an overlord rather than a servant.

Sydney Anglicans love Driscoll. What a mess!

Paula.............high how are you doing.......What do you know about Mark Driscoll??? We are reviewing a " Vintage Jesus " by him......I do not like his " bravado or macho stance but he uses Scripture in this Video. I do not like his stance re that perhaps ( me excluded ) some of us see Jesus as a " wimpy character " . Since I came to Christ that was never an issue. I was a tough enough " guy not dude " in my time but the " draw of me by God through Christ " was much more powerful than anything I could experience in this life time.........Aside from this.....has he ever been unbiblical in his teachings or has he ever been censured by other Evangelical peers.... I would appreceiate your views as always they are insightful. I miss our conversations but really do not " blog " much........... Best Regards...........your friend Chester ........In His Service.

Paula Fether

Hi Chester, I’m doing fine, thanks. Good to see you here!

I know about Driscoll what he chooses to present to the public, and it is cause for dismissal as a Christian teacher. Remember "not so among you" and "teachers will be judged more strictly"? The Christian teacher must be on a higher standard of behavior, because they are to be a role model, the epitome of the spiritually mature. Driscoll is immature and worldly, a poor role model even for civilized unbelievers. He reduces Jesus to a barroom brawler and makes the Pharisees look like models of tolerance.

It is the Holy Spirit who draws, it is Jesus who died for us. The human vehicles through whom the message comes are only doing their jobs. Technically, people could by saved by tree worshippers if they relayed the gospel accurately. If we credit the people who told us the gospel with being allowed to get away with un-Christlike behavior, we have set up an idol and turned the warning about teachers upside down.

Should we excuse vile behavior just because it comes from someone who helped us in some way? Can sin be swept under the rug as long as the sinner preaches the gospel-- something even an unbeliever can do? Driscoll is not to be judged on the basis of one video or sermon, but on statements he makes any given day: such as recommending porn (what about "lusting in his heart"?), cursing a blue streak (what about "controlling the tongue"?), teaching domination by the alpha male (what about "not lording over others"?), and even accusing others of "sinning by questioning" as I blogged about not long ago.

So what I’m saying is that even if his doctrine was perfect (which it isn’t), he should step down as a teacher and sit under one who exhibits both mastery of the scriptures and a life of purity such as our ultimate role models showed: Jesus, Paul, John, etc. Paul even spoke of his having been a "violent man" as being part of his former, worthless life, not his current life as a believer. Driscoll has yet to grasp this.

And as for his teachings, as I said, he promotes lording over, both of men over other men and husbands over wives. Between that and his violence and foul mouth, he would turn the church into a mob of barbarians! He also teachers hard Calvinism, a view of God so warped and evil I’ve seen it turn many from the gospel. He displays none of the fruit of the Spirit, no tolerance for those who disagree with him. He is gravely mistaken about the difference between reaching out to the dregs of society in order to lift them out of it, and wallowing there with them to become like them.

Is it not the "fruit" of the likes of Todd "bam bam" Bentley that made it clear how important it is for anyone purporting to teach believers to behave in a manner consistent with the Bible’s teachings? His doctrine was obviously false, but there are many teaching falsehood today, yet the church tolerates them. But when public figures like Driscoll bring contempt upon the Name of Jesus by their behavior, no one will listen to their doctrine-- or ours. He makes a laughingstock of all Christians; the chasm between his words and his deeds is not lost on the lost. Because of him we are all branded hypocrites.

Again, thanks for bringing this up, because there are surely followers of Driscoll who would bring them up as well. But please consider what the Bible demands of any who would presume to be teachers.

Lin

We always get around the the doctrine defense for Driscoll. It is stated he has correct doctrine and therefore what he teaches is good.

Let’s say for a moment I agree with his doctrine but I would be a fool to allow him to teach me because he lacks love and fruit. Here is something that many overlook when this topic comes up:

Dr. Martin on what the Bible has to say about false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Of the 210 verses that refer to false prophets, priests, elders and Pharisees, here is a summary of their content: • 99 verses (47%) concern Behavior • 66 verses (31%) concern Fruit • 24 verses (13%) concern Motives • 21 verses (10%) concern Doctrine

It is interesting that most Christians who deal with apologetics, false teachers and Bible-based cults are most concerned with doctrine only.

But doctrine represents only a small portion of what Bible speaks about concerning false teachers, essentially only 23% of what the Bible points out as problematic. According to the Scriptures, we should be very concerned with both the behaviors and the fruit of spiritual leadership in the church and in parachurch organizations. This is not gossip or mean-spirited criticism but what Scripture actually teaches us to observe.

Dr. Paul Martin (an evangelical Christian) is CEO and Founder of the Wellspring Retreat & Resource Center

Lin

One more indicator of a false teacher in this day and time is one who spends an inordinate amount of time on non salvic secondary issues. We see this all around us today. More and more churches are focused on sex, marriage, money, etc.

Driscoll has made a primary salvic doctrine of male/female "roles". Scritpure does not do this.

I believe he has a masculinity cult following. And I think all this male/female focus is really a clever and nice way to focus on sex issues in our culture.

Lin

One more thing...No one would pay a bit of attention to Driscoll if he was not a shock jock. We create our own monsters by following them. We are the ones who want to be entertained. Just say no. :o)

Paula Fether

"We create our own monsters..." -- is exactly my point, and one made also on the "you are the man" post. Driscoll and many others have invented a god of their own ideals.

We’ve seen (and continue to see) the pendulum swing wildly between two extremes: throwing doctrine away completely, and throwing love and humility away completely. Neither extreme gets a pass. What is required of Christian leaders is both doctrine and spiritual fruit. Others can be still in a growth process and still working on many things, but the leader must be a role model of both doctrine and fruit. Anyone who lacks in either is unfit to lead or teach.

Doctrine and outward behavior are the two sides of a coin: doctrine alone is cold and hard, while behavior alone is unstable and prone to error. We must have both, and we must demand both in our leaders.

TL

Dricol is the perfect example of why I believe that churches need elders, older men and women, to oversee the ministries of the church. Older men and women, over 50, who have been in the lord for many years, who have already been through the phases of muscle testing, who have been chastized and redirected by the Lord, have wisdom and experience with God to hopefully keep things like that out of the ministries. But there is a phase we are going through (hopefully going THRU, not staying) where older people in the Lord are being set aside as if they were grand parents who are only needed to pray and babysit, rather than share their wisdom and help to guide.

But because now its the seminaries that choose who is to be a minister and what he is to teach, we get status seeking, testosterone driven young men like Driscol.

Lin

"What is required of Christian leaders is both doctrine and spiritual fruit."

Paula, I am convinced that most folks would not know what spiritutal fruit looks like.

"We’ve seen (and continue to see) the pendulum swing wildly between two extremes: throwing doctrine away completely, and throwing love and humility away completely. Neither extreme gets a pass. "

Boy can I agree with this! I saw the lack of fruit in the leadership of quite a few mega’s and realized they also had very shallow doctrine. They also love their ’postitions’. Correct doctrine does not grow huge churches where one must focus on felt needs, the unity of ’relastionship’ instead of unity in the Spirit.

On the other hand, I found the arrogance, love of ’position’ and vitriol in the Reformed movement to be quite alarming.

Paula Fether

TL, I’ve been asking questions like "why are young kids teaching the ’seniors’ class"? for decades. It makes no sense. Why do the seniors put up with it? Because they’ve been conditioned just like everyone else, ever since Constantine. The Reformation never pulled down the stronghold of the Nicolaitans, those control-freaks who turn relationship into religion. So I hate to say it, but this really isn’t a phase-- it’s a history, a tradition. They know no other way.

Lin, I can’t fathom how generations of theologians have never seen these things. If they know doctrine so well, where does all this hierarchy and lifelessness come from? They have had their moments-- gusts of conviction, showing a spine now and then-- but for the most part it’s the status quo-- with an emphasis on status.

Paula Fether

And why is it that only now I recall to mind 1 Cor. 13?

Paula Fether

Here is a new blog from a recent ex-member of Driscoll’s church: Mars Hill Church, Driscoll & Spiritual Abuse

If there are any doubts remaining now about whether someone with correct doctrine can utterly deny it by their actions, this should put it to rest. The evidence is clear: this is no Christian organization but a personality cult.

Don

Paula, you pulled no punches in your assessment of Driscoll.

Jesus was neither macho nor wimp, but some go too far in opposing one that they become the other. What ever happened to balance?

Paula Fether

That’s the $64,000 question, Don. When either doctrine or behavior is isolated, it is the deadliest form of deception. But both together form an unbreakable bond, a wall that cannot be breached. The day Christians learn to stay anchored to both is the day we truly "overcome". Both extremes must therefore be opposed in the strongest terms, because souls are at stake.

And besides, Mark wouldn’t want anyone to pull their punches. ;-)

Lin

Paula, You should do a post on the Nicolaitians.

Paula Fether

Ah, but I have! Pharisees, Churchianity, control freaks... all of those are pieces of the Nicolaitan puzzle. In fact, the whole Egalitarian sub-site is all about that, since it encompasses both women’s issues and "church" issues. Even so, perhaps a summary of some kind is in order.

Greg Anderson

Paula,

I would submit that Driscoll is just part of the American dream mythos and so long as his coffers go ka-ching, he’ll continue to entertain his audience.

If it involves donning a suit and courting a more well heeled constituency, so be it, showmen are known for their ability to shape-shift and elicit fawning adulation from a crowd.

This is a guy who confuses a believer’s courage with as you have said, macho penis worship and escapist fantasy like "Rocky IV" and "Fight Club".

It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if he referred to Dietrich Bonhoeffer as "that fag", or to Corrie ten Boom as "an old bag who needed her ears boxed".

And ya know what the grand irony is? For all of his posturing about how tough he is and how he loves a fight, I’ll wager that he wouldn’t have lasted 90 days in the places that Bonhoeffer and Boom endured during the Third Reich.

Paula Fether

No doubt, Greg. The biggest talkers are often the biggest cowards. And the strength to endure extreme challenges like torture and deprivation comes from God, who is quite unlikely to give such strength to the proud.

Paula Fether

Lin: "Paula, You should do a post on the Nicolaitians."

Girl, you don’t know it, but I am now starting what I think will be a full-length book by that title.

"Coincidentally" (not!), the last few days or so have been a time of wondering what’s next. I began to feel that familiar tap on my shoulder where God wants my attention, and I listened and waited. Yesterday, in another part of teh internetz, I was prompted to construct a treatment of Genesis 1-3 that put together all my bits and pieces. It’s about women, but that in turn is part of the overall issue of control and power, hence the Nicolaitans. In fact, I may send you what I have on Genesis just to see what you think. Let me know if you’re interested.

Lin

I would love to read it. I have read different views of what the Nicolatians is referring to. Most say it is Gnosticism but how is Gnosticism different than wanting power? There were different types of Gnostics, right?

In any event, Christendom (or what passes for it) is being overrun by this hierarchal focus. It is everywhere. It is sort of freaking me out that Christians who live in one of the freest countries in the world end up following men yet many in dictatorships will defy earthly authorities for His Name Sake. This goes back to what Greg said above and we all know that ’talk is cheap’. there are just too many souls out there defying authority and being persecuted adn many are women!

yet, we are for the most part biblically ignorant. We have to have a preacher interpret it for us. I could go on and on but am talking to the choir. :o)

Paula Fether

Kewl, I’ll fire that off to you. Tanx!

I’ll get to what the word means eventually, but this first part is a foundation that doesn’t really go there yet.

Greg Anderson

I too look forward to a work on the Nicolaitins. I have every confidence that you will give it a rigorous treatment, go where the data leads, and damn the torpedoes.

Janice

The Nicolaitans. Interesting. A few years ago I read somewhere that the term referred to "conquerors", i.e., that it represents the conquering of the laity by the priestly class.

A couple of nights ago I watched a program on the emperor Justinian on the History channel. Apparently he used his position to do whatever he wanted. The people got so fed up with his high-handedness that they began their revolt against him by shouting "Nikos" (sp?) at him, in the middle of some chariot race, and everything went downhill from there.

Paula Fether

Tanx Greg! I shall endeavor to torpedo the rigor out of those Nics.

Janice, yes, the Nics were probably control freaks. But I really won’t spend a lot of time on who they were historically, since I have the impression there wasn’t a lot to go on. Some equate them with the Balaamites but that is easily dismissed. Instead, I’m going through pertinent Bible passages and only concentrating on scripture.

And if any of you regulars would also like chapters as they’re finished, just let me know. More eyes means better proofreading.

TL

"In fact, I may send you what I have on Genesis just to see what you think. Let me know if you’re interested."

I’d love to see what you’ve come up with.

Also, please keep me in your prayers. In my women’s Bible Group I’ve a bunch of women candidly asking me questions about women in leadership, teaching, etc. And I’ve been candidly answering them. The atmosphere has become quite excited.

TL

Oh Oh. Formatting went haywire. :(

Paula Fether

Formatting removed from hay and rewired properly, no charge. :-)

Will do, TL. (But remember, you have to be "regular".) :-0

Paula Fether

Tell ya what, "regulars"... I’m going to email you a url where you can go to read the chapters. That way I don’t have to keep sending them out as they are updated.

Paula Fether

question wolf sheep

Frozen Banana

That wolf sure looks like Mark Driscoll. Or Doug Phillips. Or a lot of other guys that I’ve heard of. Everyone have a good Easter!

Paula Fether

Welcome, Frozen Banana! (makes my teeth hurt just to think about it, but that’s okay) And you have a nice Resurrection Day too!

Glad to know my little pictorial message wasn’t too subtle after all. ;-)

Frozen Banana

I live in Alaska. Hence the nickname "frozen banana"! I thought it very witty :D

Paula Fether

Ah. Maybe I should be "overripe apple" :-p