Not Comfortable With Driscoll

I was given a book by Mark Driscoll recently, Confessions of a Reformission Rev. I plan to read it soon. But I must say that I was once a big fan of this hard hitting preacher guy. I liked his smash you in the face style, his anti-Pharisaical approach. He enjoys a beer with the best of ’em! In fact in a recent article in the NY Times one member of Driscoll’s congregation was quoted as saying ; Driscoll’s theology “changed how I view women,” Conklin says. He quit going to strip clubs and now refuses to tattoo others with his old specialty, pinup girls (though he still wears two on one arm, souvenirs from earlier, godless days). Mars Hill [Driscoll’s Church] counts four of the city’s top tattoo artists among its members (and many of their clientele). While other churches left people like Conklin feeling alienated, Mars Hill has made them its missionaries.

But, a lot of Driscoll’s stuff leaves me feeling that he has taken a picture of Jesus as a soft limp wristed boy band lover and simply reversed it rather than corrected it. He has made Jesus out to be a macho footy loving, head kicking, violent ‘dude’ who quite frankly I would rather not want to meet. The end result of making your view of Jesus as a head kicker is a theology and an ecclesiology that looks like this;

Driscoll has little patience for dissent. In 2007, two elders protested a plan to reorganize the church that, according to critics, consolidated power in the hands of Driscoll and his closest aides. Driscoll told the congregation that he asked advice on how to handle stubborn subordinates from a “mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighter, good guy” who attends Mars Hill. “His answer was brilliant,” Driscoll reported. “He said, ‘I break their nose.’ ” When one of the renegade elders refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. One member complained on an online message board and instantly found his membership privileges suspended. “They are sinning through questioning,” Driscoll preached. John Calvin couldn’t have said it better himself.

Hmmm, not happy with that Jan!

The NY Times article finishes with;

Others say that Driscoll’s ego and taste for controversy will be Mars Hill’s Achilles’ heel. Lately he has made a concerted effort to tone down his language, and he insists that he has delegated much authority, but the heart of his message has not changed. Driscoll is still the one who gazes down upon Mars Hill’s seven congregations most Sundays, his sermons broadcast from the main campus to jumbo-size projection screens around the city. At one suburban campus that I visited, a huge yellow cross dominated center stage — until the projection screen unfurled and Driscoll’s face blocked the cross from view.

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6 thoughts on “Not Comfortable With Driscoll

  1. if you read that book, you will see his ego on display big time. The thing i struggle with the most apart from his ego is i find him condescending to women and gays etc. He argues that he is admiring and looking after women, but essentially he is a chauvanist.

  2. whatever he is (and he is a chauvinist for sure), no one is forced to listen to him, or go to his church, or give money to his church, or read his books – that is the power we have to choose.

    But, the longer i walk the more convinced i am that many of us “doing” church are simply attracted to “like” and as a result, spend much of our time engaging and existing at a fairly comfortable, even superficial, level.

    However, if we don’t have those who are our opposites, the Stranger, the Other, amongst us as beloved, then how will we ever learn the lessons we most need to learn? the lessons we don’t even know we need to learn? the lessons that only those who are different to us can teach us?

    So let’s not forsake mixing it up a bit – let’s keep the grace high and the fighting fair – let’s wrestle with one another and as a result, learn and grow and love more authentically. Easier said than done for sure, but what else is there to do? 🙂

  3. I rarely take much notice of criticism of pastors on the internet….by its very form it discredits itself.
    Its too easy to write crap from behind the comfort and security of a keyboard.

    Driscoll cops heaps, and he would be the first to say he is sometimes rash in what he says. but I like a lot of what he says, and how he says it. And he is pastoring a church which has seen a lot more non christians come to christ than I ever have…and dare I say it, more than anyone commenting here….and ‘you will know them by their fruit’….which is not to say I agree with everything he says, or how he says it…but I am not going to be critical of him…

    here is a good article on him.

  4. Thanks Mark, always good to get the other side. “You will know them by their fruit” – I am guessing you interpret that as ‘Fruit = people saved’? Is that how you read that passage?

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