I love/can’t stand Mark Driscoll

mark driscoll Maybe this post will be the beginning of more than a few focusing on Mark Driscoll’s Christian MPD (multiple personality disorder), because I’ve been sitting on a few thoughts from his talk at the Convergence Conference at Southeastern Baptist Seminary back a little while ago too.

Right now, my pleasure reading is split between several books I’m picking up for twenty minutes at a time; sometimes bathroom reading (I know, too much information), sometimes work avoidance, and sometimes divine coincidence (a sense that I was meant to pick the book up at that time…don’t push me theologically on that because you’ll find my Christian MPD).  The main ones are Brian McLaren’s The Secret Message of Jesus, Barbara Brown Taylor’s Leaving Church, and Mark Driscoll’s Confessions of a Reformission Rev.  If that lineup doesn’t hold the potential to confuse me, I don’t know what will, but I digress.

I’ll just go ahead and say this;  Mark Driscoll holds the power to both deeply convict me and deeply disgust me; sometimes in the same sentence.  And I think I’ve been able to pinpoint the times he disgusts me from a wide range of exposure to him (the Convergence talk, videos on Youtube, his blogging on the Resurgence blog, and comments he’s left on other blogs).  Mark is brilliant.  Flat-out brilliant.  And his insights into discipleship and what it takes to be a church planter have changed my life and radically affected my thinking about human/God interaction.  This is why I’m excited to read his Confessions of a Reformission Rev. But Mark, in an attempt to be funny, especially in his freedom from a script (but not necessarily), says incredibly hurtful things about various groups and then in the same breath claims to have great love and appreciation for Christian leaders with theological convictions much different from his own.  I’m not the first one to say this (and I won’t be the last); Newsflash Mark, you can’t have both.

This twisted way of relating with others was shown perfectly in his Convergence talk where Mark in one breath gave a stunning repentance of the juvenile, un-Christlike ways he has interacted with others in the past, and about fifteen minutes later said “Brian McLaren has a new organization called ‘Deep Shift,’ and I think somebody inadvertently put an ‘F’ in there.”  Really Mark, really?  You’re really repenting?

I go out of my way (seriously, I do), to pay attention to Mark’s good thoughts, because he has so much that is wise and passionate and mentors me as a young man.  But I can easily see how others, either because they’re lazy or they’ve been so deeply wounded by inconsistent relationships in the past, shut Mark Driscoll out, never to give him a listen again.  And that’s unfortunate, both for them and Mark; and, I should say, for the gospel.

These thoughts have been spurred by a little section in Confessions where he says (my asides will be in italics),

“Since the movement (emerging church), if it can be called that, is young and is still defining its theological center, I do not want to portray the movement as ideologically unified because I myself swim in the theologically conservative stream of the emerging church. (sounds ok so far)  I am particularly concerned, however, with some growing trends among some people; the rejection of Jesus’ death on the cross as a penal substitute for our sins (historically speaking, Mark, this as the only understanding of the atonement is only one thousand years old; half the life of the church), resistance to openly denouncing homosexual acts as sinful (with you); the questioning of a literal eternal torment in hell, which is a denial that holds up only until, in an ironic bummer, you die and find yourself in hell (funny, but oversimplifies a complex Biblical issue); the rejection of God’s sovereignty over and knowledge of the future, as if God were a junior-college professor who knows only bits and pieces of trivia (sovereignty and knowledge are two completely different issues, and again, this is a complex Biblical issue); the rejection of biblically defined gender roles, thereby contributing to the “mantropy” epidemic among young guys now fretting over the best kind of loffah for their skin type and the number of women in the military dying to save their Bed, Bath, and Beyond from terrorist attacks (shut up Mark); and the rejection of Biblical names for God, such as Father, which is essentially apologizing before the unbelieving world for the prayer life of the flamboyantly heterosexual Jesus who uttered the horrendously politically incorrect “Our Father” without ever having the decency to apologize for being a misogynist patriarchal meanie (I get your point and agree with it, but the majority of the sentence is so juvenile that it completely obscures your point).  This is ultimately all the result of a diminished respect for the perfection, authority, and clarity of Scripture, all of which was written by patriarchal men (again, Mark, the Bible never claims perfection, it’s not all on the same level of authority, and you, as a teacher, should know that the Bible is the opposite of clear on the surface, and in some cases on a deeper level is intended to remain a mystery).

Then, four sentences later, Mark says, “I assure you that I speak as one within the Emerging Church Movement who has great love and appreciation for Christian leaders with theological convictions much different from my own.”  Oh.  My.  Word. How could he even write that after all that had come before, writing it off as “poking fun”? And is Mark willing at all to step back from what he has inherited as “true” to ask some serious questions about whether it’s something clearly expressed in the Bible or whether it’s a way of thinking relatively recent in history? This is a wisdom question. If he admits that he is changing continually (which we all are), shouldn’t that lead to stifling knee-jerk reactions he has for those who would challenge what he thinks is “true”?

The willingness to question what we’ve inherited is an important (and I’d say necessary) element of the best that the emerging church has to offer; because much of the questioning is helping us all to read the Bible in a deeper and more wise way. Do people go too far? Yes. But is my opinion on whether they go to far inherently truthful and wise? Of course not. So I suggest we all get off our theological high horses and take a strong dose of a humility pill before we throw folks under the bus (wherever on the spectrum of belief we are). I’ll go ahead and say this; there are plenty of ways to stand for what we believe is true in a passionate way that respects the perspective of others. Slapping the label of “heretic” on folks who disagree with you (which Mark does three times in the Convergent talk) benefits no one.

That wraps up my extended thought on Mark.  A horribly inconsistent, repenting yet wounding, wise yet juvenile, relational yet relationally-destructive follower of Jesus.  Sounds a lot like me, but I do try to be careful about how I word my skewering of others’ sacred cows.

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21 thoughts on “I love/can’t stand Mark Driscoll

  1. you give mark more credit than i do. the convergent talk completely turned me off, though i wasn’t all that surprised. but as you said god uses him. i just need to be more forgiving.

  2. You completely summarized all that I was thinking concerning Mark Driscoll. You are right in that he has a natural gift of speaking and can be brilliant with delivering a message. But it is so hard to overlook his foul mouth and his crude remarks about other religions.

    I remember him saying something to the effect that when his church first started he had less people than a Mormon family. We should be on our knees praying and giving our time to evangelize to these people… not cracking on the size of their families. I have seen this done on a number of occasions. His “Did Jesus Have Bad Breath” breath mint gimmick was also very distasteful.

    Anyways… I totally agree with you on the multiple personality thing, but I will bring a couple of scriptures from James to my comment.

    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

    Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

  3. Blake,

    I’m trying to give him credit because I do believe that he’s committed to following Jesus with all of his heart. But it seems he’s mistaken being “culturally relevant” and “prophetic” for “sinful and pretentious character attack.” And that’s a big problem, a HUGE problem.

    8thperson,

    I couldn’t help but notice that you made sure to highlight that he has a gift of speaking and can be brilliant in delivering a message; both having to do with something projected outside of a person, while you highlighted James’ calling us back to the heart of who we are; and the call to pay attention to our speech and action…”what kind of a man am I?” is a question Mark should honestly ask as he reads his words.

    While the call of James is deeply convicting, I would ask, though, are we completely single-minded in our ways, and do we bless always? None are (so that should lead to humility in both our speech and our words calling a brother or sister to account), but we are called to repentance when we fail. It seems Mark was attempting to do that at Convergent; and as I said, it was stunning to me. Maybe it’s the beginning of a new commitment to accountability on his part. Irregardless, what you have said here is extremely important; especially when Mark is in a profession where people value the gift of speech more than the heart of the leader

  4. As a student at Southeastern, I can say that Driscoll made a huge impression on people around here. Many hold his exact view of the Emerging Church movement now. I’m glad I was one that listened to him and read his stuff before.

    Anyway, you make an interesting point. I’m sure you’ve heard of his “Ask Mark” (or whatever it was called) series, where he opened the floor to various questions, and he would begin preaching on those questions after the New Year. One of the top questions was something along the lines of “How can you make fun of other religions and then expect them to come to Mars Hill?”

    I certainly have no intention of defending him. I think, however, he makes those over-the-line comments in an attempt to be funny (obviously), probably to try and ease the tension as he expresses his disagreement. It can be quite distasteful, though–you are very right. I hope in hearing the question raised from his own congregation, maybe he will realize that a simple heart of compassion is the way to deal with the tension that comes from disagreement.

    Nonetheless, a good post.

    -Alan

  5. Having been reading Driscoll’s books and being familiar with his reputation via Donald Miller and John Piper, I’ve come to something of a different perspective than the conclusions you’ve reached. Here’s the deal with Mark’s wisecracks. It might just be a cultural thing for me, but where I come from, wisecracks like those that Mark makes aren’t something that cause or are rooted in hostility, but are carried through friendships and familial relationships and can be an amazing bridge-maker in terms of developing communications….so, just from a Pennsylvanian/Appalachian perspective, it’s totally kosher and, really, genius in terms of reaching people.

  6. Alan,

    I think the result of Driscoll’s message at Southeastern is an example of what often results when someone with clout speaks authoritatively about something they seem to completely understand. Instead of wrestling with what the speaker says, folks see which camp (that he’s set up) they reside in and draw up the battle lines. If that kind of “camp-talk” is able to take into account the complexity of orthodoxy and how theology was not set for good either 500 years ago (for Protestants) or 2,000 years ago (for Orthodox and Catholics), then it opens up a good discussion. But if the speaker oversimplifies the issues and flames those who disagree with him even while acknowledging that he himself is a work in progress, a dangerous precedent is set. The “Ask Mark” question is a good one; you can’t build bridges in relationship with others if you’re burning them in the process. Not only does that come off as hypocritical, it ruins a lot of the work you’re doing to build bridges in the first place. It’s like you’re your own deepest enemy.

    It was almost like, at Convergent, Driscoll used his “repentance” as a rhetorical ploy (to make people feel like he’s humble and generous) rather than real. That’s where some of my discomfort lies.

    David,

    I live in the Virginia/Appalachian region, and that sort of behavior is not kosher at all. I don’t know of many people in deep relationship with others around me who can continually lampoon what the other holds in their core to be true and expect that person to want to be around them…for any span of time. Like I said, I’ve got what I think is a fairly wide understanding of Driscoll, and I’m not an enemy of his; I’m just deeply frustrated at his methods. I just don’t toe the same line as you on this issue.

  7. For me, it’s not even about oversimplifying. Comments like the “who accidentally put the ‘f’ in ‘Deep Shift’” was simply unnecessary and inappropriate (and, to use your word, juvenile). But, this isn’t the first time someone has brought the charge of his being low-brow, even from the pulpit. I’d be quick to harshly criticize someone like McLaren for constantly sidestepping the issue of homosexuality (just for instance), and I think a repentant person can be harshly opposed. It’s simply that low-brow sense of humor causing him to cross the line that is so hard to swallow, for me at least. That’s where he crosses the line from legitimate disagreement to simply being mean.

    I don’t know. I think we are in agreement here. And I think Driscoll goes in with a handful of other Christian leaders for whom I’ve developed that “love/hate” feeling for. I’ve been looking for the podcast from the Ask Mark sermon on making fun of other religions and expecting them to come to church. Hopefully it will be out soon. I guess ultimately, for me, I want to trust people who say they are repentant. Maybe I should and maybe I shouldn’t. Either way, it’s hard to say what is truly going on in their heart.

    David, I agree that there is probably a familial way to crack at people. My best friend (and former roommate) and I are like brothers. We constantly give each other a hard time. Even from the stage we’ve given each other grief. However, that’s only possible because that familial relationship exists. I would be highly offended to take that kind of grief from almost anyone else. Driscoll said at the Convergent Conference that he doesn’t know Rob Bell. I don’t think he and McLaren or Pagitt are close, either. I have to wonder if those cracks are fair. I think we could all agree that wisecracks have the tendency to tear down more than a tendency to build up.

    • hey jesus and paul the apostle weren’t easy on heretics.why should driscoll be? sarcastic humor can be used in a Godly way. (check out Galatians). I think Mark is in line with these comments. laugh at satan and call him out, but don’t go easy on him and his lies.

  8. Alan,

    Your comments are very wise. I want to trust people who say they are repentant too (and in Confessions of a Reformission Rev, there are multiple places where Mark repents for past action). I just should localize my discomfort with the Convergent talk. Is it truly repentance if one “repents” and in the same talk does the exact same thing one has repented of?

    You make an excellent point with familial cracking on each other; I’d suggest Mark’s labelling of all three men as heretics, thus causing Pagitt to be disinvited as a leader after the conference is certainly not that.

    I realize I’ve been critical to the point of harshness in this post and following comments. I will be much more positive in upcoming posts on Driscoll, because “Confessions” is a great book that I’ll be reading time and again.

  9. “I realize I’ve been critical to the point of harshness in this post and following comments.”

    If you feel this way, then by all means. I think you noticed something important, however, and called a spade a spade. I honestly enjoyed this post thoroughly. It seems very well researched and written.

    To which conference was Pagitt disinvited? I hadn’t heard about that. Interesting.

  10. Alan,

    Pagitt was to speak at a “Wired2Go” church leaders conference on Oct 16th, and in the week following Driscoll’s talk, he was disinvited from the event.

    And thank you for your perspective, both on this issue itself and my thoughts on it. I try hard to give people an honest listen; to dig beyond a more surface understanding of them and see what I can find. And Driscoll has much, MUCH under the surface. I really appreciate him. Period. I won’t qualify it at all this time.

  11. Numerous references above to MD “repenting” of something or other, such as Alan stating, “in Confessions of a Reformission Rev, there are multiple places where Mark repents for past action.” How exactly does MD “repent” in that book?

    Is just saying “I repent” equal repentance? Do we just accept that when someone says “I repent” that they have truly repented? Seems we have accepted a very watered down view of what repentance is.

  12. R Schmale,

    That “Confessions” quotation came from me, and came in the larger context of what I said earlier, namely;

    “It was almost like, at Convergent, Driscoll used his ‘repentance’ as a rhetorical ploy (to make people feel like he’s humble and generous) rather than real. That’s where some of my discomfort lies.”

    I would agree with you that Driscoll’s repentance(s) don’t come off as legitimate when he keeps saying the same destructive stuff over and over again. He does seem to have a watered-down approach to repentance. If it’s worth anything, I’d say part of his method that leads to such missteps is two-fold;

    1) Preaching for over an hour on a regular basis.

    It’s extremely hard, on a weekly basis, to come up with a sermon that is intentional, faithful, interesting, and contributes to the larger picture of faithfulness. Mine tend to be about 35 to 40 minutes, because I respect Mark’s point that to respect the Bible, we can’t de-emphasize (or “Guidepostize”) the sermon to the point of it offering no real guts. But I don’t think it’s wise to take it over an hour as a habit, especially when much of that hour is spent in free-flowing thoughts. Knowing people’s attention spans are shorter leads Mark to “spice up” his sermons with quips that keep people on their toes and attentive; and the compulsive need for such quips can lead to dangerous territory. Especially when one has developed a reputation for overstepping boundaries in the past.

    2) In “Confessions,” Driscoll admitted he styles much of his “stage presence” after stand-up comedians like Chris Rock.

    Now, Chris Rock can be funny, but Chris Rock is also not a role model, nor someone that a pastor should be emulating, in my book. Church is not a place where we go to be entertained or “oohed” and “ahed” as one charismatic personality keeps us hopping. Church is the gathered community of Jesus’ disciples, and should reflect a commitment letting the church family express their worship in a communal way that is specific to that family. When Chris Rock as a stage entertainer becomes the focus for Mark rather than leading his family to express their worship in an authentic, communal way in Seattle, then something is fundamentally missing.

    But that’s just the way I see it.

    Nate

  13. Pingback: Further thoughts on Mark Driscoll’s leadership « Thoughts and Ruminations

  14. Mark, dude, it’s me, Judas . . .

    You rock! That stuff you’re teaching about men is effing awesome! You really get it that men in pews are a bunch of effing nancies. But you’ve got it wrong about Jesus. I know. I was there. If I hadn’t seen it myself, I’d doubt he pissed standing up.

    You need to hear this: Remember that time when that whore was crying and carrying on and it was so G.D. pathetic? Wiping his feet with her hair, for eff’s sake. You don’t let a whore hang on to you like that, especially around the guys. You have to put whores in their place, not act like some spineless living snot rag. He starts going on about forgiveness like usual, the effing pansy, and he says she’ll be famous forever! Because of her looooooooooove. Yeah, right. Hooker with a heart of gold. Show me one and I’ll show you a scheming beyatch.

    That whore wasted so much coin with that nard. And he didn’t do anything! I told her she was looking to get backhanded, but he told me to leave her alone. He’s always jawing on about the poor, but he didn’t care then, did he? A total waste of cash I would have been pleased to pocket. Anointing, my ass. He was enjoying it a little too much, if you ask me. 33 and a virgin? Gimme an effing break! Now, there’s an opportunity for mockery you don’t want to pass up, dude. Next time you’re making fun of older single guys at Mars Hill, put him on the list. Take my word for it, he couldn’t get a piece to save his life. Total panty-waist. You should have seen it. 33 year old effing virgin, letting whores cry on him. Freaking unbelievable.

    He had no clue about manly behavior, dude, I’m telling you. We came to eat, and he sent away the slave chick and told us he was going to wash our feet himself! He was an effing terrible Messiah, you have no idea. He should have been organizing, and instead he’s on his haunches wiping crap from our toes, telling us if we want to be first we have to be last. You gotta be effing kidding me. What kind of crap is that? Wuss Boy Philosophy 101–like those Romans were just gonna pack up and go home if I licked their boots like he was washing my feet. Where did he get that crap, anyway? You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    I’m telling you, Mark, that’s how he was. He wasn’t any kind of leader, you can get that right out of your head. Yeah, maybe for organizing a game of ring-around-the-rosies or some crap like that. Ultimate Fighting? You don’t know how lucky you are to have that for inspiration. He could have used seeing a few episodes, no shiznit. He wouldn’t even carry a sword–Peter had to. He let the Romans do whatever, wherever. He didn’t say anything. He even paid their effing taxes and ate with the tax collectors, those effing traitors. Do you know what those turds put us through? If he had any nads at all he would have told the collectors to stop shagging the effing enemy and grow a pair.

    I was there, I’m telling you we could have taken them! Instead, he just kept mincing around with his twee little speeches. The crowds! The Romans would have had no chance, Mark. It was effing heartbreaking, sitting around for nothing. We really could have beat their asses, but no, he was too busy mewling about peace and the Kingdom of God. Oh, excuse me, and too busy healing the effing Centurian’s son. A Centurian, for eff’s sake! Something wrong with your eyes, Jesus? Don’t recognize the uniform? He acted like an effing girl, Mark. You would have been so ashamed at how effing soft he was, and at the most important times.

    He was weak, Mark. You have no idea what a wimp he was. I had enough. Such a G.D. disappointment. I was happy to tell them where to find him. I heard what happened in the garden. “I am He,” he says, and they all fall down. So then what? Does he tell them all to go to hell? Does he walk away while they’re eating dirt? No, Mr. Swishy Pants stands there until they all get up again, and waits, effing waits, for them to lead him away. Effing pansy, Mark, is that how you want your sons to be? No way, I know you don’t. Don’t believe the hype. He was effing effeminate, I’m telling you. No fight at all. Like a freaking lamb to the slaughter. A lamb! Maybe you’ve never seen them, but those are some stupid effing baby animals–I grew up around them, I can tell you.

    You remember what he did next? That’s right, remember, Mark–this is important. You need to get that macho Jesus crap out of your head. Face facts.

    He healed that dude’s ear. Peter finally acts like an effing man and cuts off that dude’s ear, and what does Jesus do? Yeah, real ninja training from Master Manly. Tell’s him to knock it off and he picks up the guy’s ear and effing heals him. All that power that should have been used for righteous purposes, and he wastes it on nancy moves like that.

    I don’t have to tell you the end of the story. They beat him and they spit on him, and he never threw one punch. Not one. “King of the Jews.” Yeah, that’s an effing joke. You really expect me to worship someone I could beat up? I know you don’t, bro. I know you know what I’m sayin, dude. You just need a little encouragement to go all the way and embrace the facts, man.

    Later, dude–

    Judas Iscariot

  15. I have to give it to you, “Judas,” that’s effective stuff right there. Using Mark’s methods to turn the message on its head. I’m not sure if you advance the conversation with this work, but it’s innovative.

    This “letter” smells a bit of trolling, but I’m going to let it slide because it humored me, and is flat-out incisive.

    Nate

  16. Hmmm. Well, thanks for letting it slide, man. I had to check the Urban Dictionary for the definition of “trolling,” since I don’t get out of hell much to surf and am unfamiliar with the terminology. Honestly.

    No trolling intended. My goal was to point out Driscoll’s issues in a way that is hoped will cause serious thought. Most Driscoll fans act first and think later. . .

  17. BTW, when you said that the letter “humored” you, did you actually mean that or did you mean you found it humorous? Judas doesn’t humor people, dude.

    But if it’s something humorous you want concerning Mr. Driscoll, check this out:

    Transcription from YouTube video . . .

    Mark Driscoll adjusts his headset, and leans his meaty forearms on a lectern. His adam’s apple bulges beneath a necklace made from a strip of leather, and his furrowed brow and flushed face are ominous signs of what’s to come. Either that, or signs of high blood pressure and a suppressed urge to scratch the scrot rot on camera. He clears his voice and fairly shouts:

    “It’s been brought to my attention that there’s stuff circulating on the Web where some poser’s pretending to be me and telling dudes about the diet of real men. He supposedly claims that fries and ketchup are the only masculine vegetables that I say a real man should eat. That’s a damn lie! The God-fearing farmers in this country work hard to make a living, and I’m not some pinko pansy who won’t support them! There are a lot of vegetables that men can eat, and I’m about to tell you which. So stop accusing me of being unpatriotic!

    “First off. There are absolutely no fruits a man can eat. If you eat them, you’re not a real man. There are no exceptions. So stop asking. So. Stop. Whining. . . Wash a vitamin C down with your stout or something, but stop crying about it. Suck it up and get a masculine perspective! Elijah ate locusts, you ninnies! I’ve put a lot of thought into the matter of masculine vegetables, and I want you men to pay careful attention. Women, you need to listen as well so you can be blessed wives and not disrespect your man with what you’re cooking and serving him. Single women, pay careful attention if you want a manly husband and want to know how to recognize one.

    “Since fries and ketchup were mentioned, let’s start there. Some say tomatoes are a fruit, but I say they’re not, so that’s that. Mark Driscoll says they’re a vegetable, dammit. Ketchup is a masculine vegetable, the poser got that right, but there are other tomatoes which are OK–heirloom and beefsteak varieties are okay, but only if they’re sliced thickly. And preferably sitting on top of a burger. A real burger, one made out of beef! By the way, watch out for those 5 dollar foot long meatball subs–they’re mostly soy, those lying bastards. I’ve half a mind to sue those pansies, but there’s not enough cash in the coffers right now. Anyway, tomatoes. Sissy varieties like cherry and grape are out! Got that? Can you imagine Peter and Paul tucking into a plate of baby lettuce with tiny grape tomatoes? No!!!

    “Fries are very manly. Tater tots are not. Home fries are okay, hash browns are not. Other forms of potatoes can be okay, depending. Scalloped potatoes are for low-rise, stove-pipe jeans wearing wimps who floss their teeth and get out of the shower to take a piss. Baked potatoes are okay, but only if they’re sitting on a plate next to a steak that’s at least 12 ounces. On their own, you have to be careful. With chili on top they might be okay, but you have to exercise discernment and insist on chili with chunks of beef, not bits of mystery meat. Topped with broccoli and cheese sauce, no way . . .” (There is some kind of disturbance in the audience. Mark quickly looks out over the people.)

    Someone shouts, “But what about cheese in a can?!”

    Mark blinks thoughtfully and says, “OK, dude, spray cheese in a can is definitely masculine. But none of that gruyere or brie or swiss crap in a sauce, okay? Think like a man. Where was I? Baked potatoes. Sprinkled with minced chives–do I even need to say?” (Laughter and snorts of derision throughout the audience . . .)

    “So, let’s try to get through the rest of this quickly. Onions and peppers–these can be okay if they’re balanced or outweighed by the amount of meat. You know–fajitas, pot roast, manly meals like those. Greens are real tricky. Watch out! Mesclun is not for dudes, lettuce and spinach are not for dudes. Popeye was part of a conspiracy to promote the convenience of canned goods while giving the appearance of masculinity–don’t take the bait. Frisee, endive, leeks, and arugula are for chickified, hanky-carrying, herbal tea-sipping eunuchs who’d be too afraid to scratch their spuds if they had any. Kale, mustard and some other greens can be masculine, provided they’ve been sufficiently stewed with ham hocks.

    “Corn is only okay if you’re eating it on the cob at a fourth of July cookout with a sufficient amount of fireworks and flags on display, and everyone there can see that you’ve got serious animal flesh on the rest of your plate. But be very careful to watch what you’re doing with your little fingers while you’re handling the cob! I don’t ever want to see some dude from my church holding a corn cob with his pinkys sticking out–if I do, you’ll be mocked at the next leadership meeting and called out on our next retreat. Those baby corns they put in Asian food? No way. If you’re eating out, let your daughter pick them out of your stir-fry. If the wife brings them to the table, send it back and remind her of your headship.

    “Cukes are not to be consumed. They’re for alternative purposes–see ‘This is Spinal Tap.’ Carrots are very feminine, and not for real men to eat. Exercise careful discernment here. Like, if you’re outside building a snowman with your kids, of course make sure they see you doing the heavy lifting. When it’s time for the nose, have your wife hand your daughter the carrot and then lift her up so she can put it in and no one sees you handling a carrot, dude.

    “Squash is masculine only if eaten on Thanksgiving in front of the game and there’s enough poultry on your plate to warrant fiber tablets with the pie. Don’t even think about squash filled ravioli with sage leaves and brown butter, dude. Only if you want people to think you wear lace anklets, push back your cuticles, use body wash, and get your chest waxed. (Guffaws throughout the audience.) Hey, you know it would happen. This is why you came! It’s why you brought a friend. I’m entertaining, I know it, it’s a gift, what can I say. . .

    “Real men should stay away from anything that can be broken into florets, described with the word ‘nibblets,’ or prefaced by the adjectives ‘baby,’ or ‘sweet.’ Legumes are complicated. Eating someone’s liver with fava beans and a little Chianti was cool for Hannibal, but you need to be cautious about what you pair with your choice of liver. (Groans and deep chuckles from the crowd.) Now, beans mixed with lots of pork or beef is good, honest, masculine food. Popping edamame is for incense sniffing castrati who order coddled cream and scones and wish they could wear their Spanx in public. I could punch those skipping hippies in the throat! Put down that can of mousse and listen to me, you long-haired gardenia-scented fuschia-wearing ponce! Eat like a man! Be a man! Don’t act like being a Christian means singing love songs to Jesus and noshing on sprouts! It doesn’t! This makes me so mad . . .”

    Driscoll’s voice fades under the sound of loud rap music, while images from a butcher shop flash to the pulse of the beat . . .

  18. Funny, but creepily and eerily possible. . .

    Here’s my contribution:

    I hold these Driscoll Demonstrated Truths to be self-evident:

    1. Any meathead who declares that masturbation is not a sin is guaranteed a crowd of slavering, troglodytic followers.

    2. When vulgar comedians are the chosen role models for a pastor’s preaching style, “polemics” becomes the sanitized term for what Scripture condemns as “contempt,” “strife,” “divisiveness,” and “meaningless quarrels.”

    3. When major evangelical players covet the media fame brought by a peer’s bad behavior, they put videos on YouTube defending their association with said bad boy.

    4. When machismo is more desired than Christ’s character, it is always the case that:

    a. derogatory terms for homosexuals will be bandied about

    b. women’s roles and male headship will be distorted and perverted

    c. bullying behavior will be attributed to Jesus

    d. love will be portrayed as “feminine,” “emotional,” and unbecoming to males

    e. you’ll know a tree by its fruit, but you’ll know a man by his piercings, tattoos, profanity, and violence

    f. darkness in atmosphere, architecture, decoration, and attire will prevail–as seen in the steadfast refusal to wear any color of the spectrum. Only shades of black, gray, and brown which the photosensitive rods of the human eye perceive in relative darkness are acceptable. Those with repressed metrosexual urges might wear navy.

    g. all masculine insecurity will be denied and compensated for by a-f

  19. I like what you wrote, and I must say, Mark Driscoll is a brilliant man. but he has deep wounds, character flaws, i myself am in the middle of a wonderful journey of inner healing, i too have been very judgemental and very closed minded, but as I allow God to fill me with his love, i become more open to others and their vies.

    mark clearly shows an anger, it isn’t right the way he speaks, i don’t sense God’s love, I am a missionary kid and have met dozens of the top christian leaders and authors from around the world and i must say many of them are still in need of much healing and character growth. just because you are a pastor or a leader does not mean that you are in a good place or even walking in love.

    if you contrast mark to rob bell you will see much more humility and love in rob bell.

    you can be the most genius person in the world but if you have not love you are a clanging cymbol.

    also i believe the western church needs to read mathew 23 and see where we are the same pharisees

    i read ephesians 4, phil 2 and i see something that only a remnant are walking in

    how are we to love a dying world if we are so angry with each other

    i mean if somebody doesn’t believe in miracles today, or that woman can’t preach that is so sad for them, for they are missing out on a huge part of God’s kingdom.

    I have seen miracles, my foot grew out an inch, i have been so touched by a message where a woman of God was teaching,

    if that is not christ being revealed through one of his kids, then hey,, what book are you reading.

    i just pray that mark finds the strength to recognize his own character flaws and humble himself being right less, and loving others more, it is a journey for all of us, and i am trying to walk in love, but the more i see how little i know of God’s love the more i see i need him more, every day.

    God is love, and he is truth, Truth in Love and his spirit will lead us into all truth.

    read 1 john 2:27, we have the anointing and we are to let it teach us. God will use men and schools and books as tools to teach us, but he is our teacher not mark, or rob, or donald, even though they are great they are in no way shape or form perfect in their understanding of God or his plans, or his ways

    God bless you my friends, I pray He continues to open your eyes to His love for you and enlarges your hearts to let him love others through you.

    : )

    • Thomas,

      Thanks for your contribution. Sorry I’m responding so late. While God is our ultimate teacher, we have human teachers whom we trust will lead us in wise pathways. This is essential as we seek the coming of God’s kingdom here in a more full way each day.

      I appreciate your personal story of inner healing. Good to hear!

      Nate

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