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Mark Driscoll Is A Bully

July 11, 2011

Rachel Held Evans has a good post today concerning fake tough-guy, demon-worshiper, non-discerning, and bad scholar Mark Driscoll. We can now add to the list: bully. Real tough guys don’t need to spend all of their time convincing everyone they are men. Fake, insecure bullies on the other hand do. In Mark’s case it is worse: he has a bully platform and apparently is surrounded by yes-men and people who have to respect his ‘authority’.

Mark, you are not a ‘tough guy’; stop pretending. Your overcompensation is getting beyond pathetic.

Mark Driscoll is a bully. Stand up to him.

Mark Driscoll is wrong. 

Godly men stick up for people, not make fun of them.

Godly men honor women, not belittle them.

Godly men love their gay and lesbian neighbors, not ridicule them.

Godly men celebrate femininity, not trash it.

Godly men own their sexuality, not flaunt it.

Godly men pursue peace, not dismiss it.

Godly men rise above violence, not glorify it.

Godly men build up the Church, not embarrass it.

Godly men imitate Christ—who praised the gentle and the peacemakers, who stood up for the exploited and abused, who showed compassion for the downtrodden,  who valued women, and who loved his enemies to the point of death.

If this Facebook status were Pastor Mark Driscoll’s first offense, it might not warrant a strong response. But Mark has developed a pattern of immaturity and unkindness that has remained largely unchecked by his church. In evangelical circles, he’s like the kid from high school who makes crude jokes at every opportunity, uses the words “gay” and “queer” to describe the things he most detests, encourages his friends to subject the unpopular kids to ridicule, and belittles the guys who aren’t “macho” or “manly” enough to be in his club.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Rachel also ends the article with a call to write the elders of the church where Mark ‘pastors’ so that hopefully they can put a check on this ridiculous and abusive behaviour.

This has to stop. As followers of Jesus, we are obligated to stick up for the least of these, especially when they are being publicly bullied in the name of Christ.

We are also obligated to use the proper channels to do so. Many have asked that Mark apologize, but he has refused. Many have written blog posts expressing their concern, but he remains defiant. It’s time to take some more practical steps:

Today I emailed Mars Hill Church to request that the elders take whatever measures necessary to stop Mark’s bullying once and for all. No more empty apologies. This behavior must change.

If you wish to do the same, here’s how:

Mars Hill Church
1411 NW 50th
Seattle, WA 98107

(206) 816-3500


…Mark’s bullying is unacceptable.

Stop talking about it and do something.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris E permalink
    July 11, 2011 9:00 am

    I apologise if you posted this link already, but this post is also apposite here:

  2. July 11, 2011 9:27 am

    “You’re” overcompensation? Correct to “your.”

    • July 11, 2011 9:33 am

      Thanks! That’s what happens when you go for indignation before the first cup of coffee has done its job!

  3. Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
    July 11, 2011 9:59 am

    What Driscoll sounds like is “Hypermasculine”, a psych term I first heard about in a copy of a 1943 OSS psych profile on Adolf Hitler. From the context of that report, “Hypermasculinity” consists of defining masculine behavior in extremely-macho terms (usually around dominance, aggressiveness, and “toughness”) and firewalling these to the point of eliminating everything else. Part of this Hypermasculine behavior is a violent avoidance taboo on anything that might detract from this Uber-Manliness such as homosexuality, anything implying homosexuality, or any sort of “girly” (i.e. Not Hypermasculine) behavior.

    Personally, it’s always struck my that Hypermasculinity brings its own conflict. Since Hypermasculine = Good and Feminine = Baaaaaaad, I’d expect it to have a strong pull towards male homosexuality (sex uncontaminated by the feminine) which would conflict directly with its integral homosexuality taboo (homo = unmasculine). We’ve seen elements of this conflict in male-supremacist memes such as Extreme Islam and its Christian copy of Quiverfull/Patriarchy.

  4. Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
    July 11, 2011 10:25 am

    For example, in the video clip, Driscoll makes disparaging remarks about the “fat guys” who sit on the sidelines and critique the sport. The implication, of course, is that the fit guys in the cage are the real men; true masculinity is revealed in the fighter’s body. A simple glimpse of a boxer or a wrestler—these guys are extraordinary physical specimens—reveals thick necks, tree trunk legs, v-shaped backs, even strong jaw lines. No doubt about it, so the argument goes, these are the archetypes to which all men ought to conform. — article cited by Chris E

    Now to compare and contrast Mark Driscoll with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (There is method in my Brony madness.)

    Driscoll seems to have only ONE archetype of masculinity — “I’m Tough and I Can Beat You Up.”

    The six main characters of MLP:FIM are also archetypes — six very different archetypes of femininity. Take-charge, blunt-talking Applejack; studious nerd Twilight Sparkle; competitive athletic tomboy Rainbow Dash, femmie fashionista Rarity, painfully shy and nurturing Fluttershy, and random free spirit/force of nature Pinkie Pie. Six very different archetypes of the feminine as defined by Lauren Faust. Why is there only ONE archetype of the masculine — “I Can Beat You Up” — defined by Mark Driscoll (who by implication claims to speak for GOD)?

    • WenatcheeTheHatchet permalink
      July 11, 2011 5:43 pm

      Oh yeah, they recently rebooted My Little Pony, didn’t they? Lauren Faust as in “worked with Craig McCracken on Powerpuff Girls” Lauren Faust? Never cared for My Little Pony before but if Lauren Faust is involved with the reboot I might at least give it a shot. On account of my two-year old niece I’ve started watching Kipper.

      Ironically for years the most popular band at Mars Hill had a singer who was described as sounding like a 12 year old boy. Sounding like a prepubescent boy is apparently still better than being effeminate?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
        July 12, 2011 10:06 am

        Yes, and this incarnation of MLP is very well-written, with high-quality production values and all-ages appeal that has generated an explosion of dedicated fans and fan-creations such as has not been seen since Star Trek.

        After you’ve checked it out, thousands of Bronies are standing by to welcome you to the herd.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
        July 12, 2011 10:08 am

        Ironically for years the most popular band at Mars Hill had a singer who was described as sounding like a 12 year old boy. Sounding like a prepubescent boy is apparently still better than being effeminate?

        Remember what I said above about Hypermasculinity having a side effect of a pull in the direction of homosexuality? As one ancient male-supremacist culture put it, “Women for breeding stock, men for love, boys for pleasure.”

  5. Michael permalink
    July 11, 2011 3:20 pm

    MY worship leader can beat up YOUR worship leader.

  6. Just Sayin' permalink
    July 11, 2011 9:57 pm

    Thankfully, Canada seems to be free of these freaks.

    • WenatcheeTheHatchet permalink
      July 11, 2011 10:03 pm

      Yeah, so long as you pretend Todd Bentley doesn’t exist. 😉

      • Just Sayin' permalink
        July 11, 2011 10:08 pm

        I’d forgotten about him, now you’ve gone and reminded me!

        Maybe he’ll go to the U.S. again soon.

  7. July 12, 2011 5:58 am

    For some of the best work that I’ve read on this subject you can check out Dr. William Pollock’s book “Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood”.

    He calls the type of mentality that Driscoll displays “The Boy Code” and if you Google that you will get some very good articles which capture the essence of Pollock’s research (yeah, can you imagine, ACTUAL research before spouting off!)

    Here’s the essence of The Boy Code:

    “The Boy Code is a set of rules and expectations that come from outdated and highly dysfunctional gender stereotypes: the idea that boys need to keep their emotions in check; that violence is an acceptable response to emotional upset; that their self-esteem relies on power; and that they must reject any and all signs of “feminine” qualities. Boys learn the Boy Code in sandboxes, playgrounds, schoolrooms, camps, churches, synagogues, temples, and hangouts, from peers, coaches, teachers, and just about everybody else. Even very young boys report that they feel they must “keep a stiff upper lip,” “not show their feelings,” “act real tough,” “not act too nice,” “be cool,” “just laugh and brush it off when someone punches you.” These boys are invoking strict rules they have absorbed about how they “must” behave — rules that most of them genuinely fear breaking.”

    I ran across Dr. Pollack’s research by accident, but it is some of the finest that I’ve read in this area. There is also a companion workbook. I bought his book used through Amazon for $0.01 (plus $3.99 shipping), and the workbook for $0.99 – best two books that I’ve bought for a dollar in a long time!

    If you’re raising young boys, then this book – along with Dr. Leonard Sax’s book, “Boys Adrift” – should be required reading in your home.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
      July 12, 2011 10:09 am

      The above-mentioned “Hypermasculinity” is just “The Boy Code” firewalled to the point of madness.

  8. July 12, 2011 2:53 pm

    Apparently Mark is having a “Man Campout”! You can find the advertisement for it on Craiglist here:

    You’d better hurry if you want to be a part – he has over 72,000 followers on Twitter… OMG!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
      July 14, 2011 8:36 am

      More like 72,000 Fanboys.
      “I Can Beat You Up” wannabes.

  9. Brian M permalink
    July 12, 2011 5:05 pm

    Some of the comments over at the RHE site are scary. Those people are authoritarian followers to the max.

    Not sure I agree with her description of a lovey-dovey Jesus, though. That’s as much cherry picking as any fundamental manly man’s version.

  10. July 13, 2011 1:13 pm

    Wait…you are seriously going to take him to task for pointing out effeminate worship leaders? Seriously Scott??? Dude, 2 minutes on this site and there’s example after example of you making fun of nearly every kind of Christian.

    I don’t need to defend Driscoll, I just find it highly ironic you would ridicule someone else for an impolite/insensitive remark they’d make about worship leaders.

    BTW, I assume you find Jon Acuff (SCL) and Jesus Needs New PR bullies too. They’ve made fun of this same type and many more in the Church much more aggressively that Driscoll. Reminder, your blog description is “For those that don’t take themselves too seriously”…I hope that applies to effeminate worship leaders, of which I’m friends with many. Those deep V neck, tight pant wearing sissies 🙂

    • July 13, 2011 1:42 pm


      I am always glad when you drop by. Hope you are well!

      I believe, though I could be wrong in my own self-perception, that I take people to ‘task’ when they are theologically wrong, willfully ignorant, or intolerant.

      I would hope, though I am open to correction, that when someone like Driscoll is being a bigot that I can point out their bigotry and hate-speech without being a bigot myself.

      Though, like I said, I am open to correction.

      • July 13, 2011 2:48 pm

        Hey man,

        I appreciate your humility and I’m not trying to scold you for anything(if we’re talking about unwise comments/blogs I’m chief of sinners). I know you do critique a lot on the basis you mentioned and I think critique (even bad critique) is useful and healthy for the Church as long as we are humble knowing our perspective is not infallible.

        Driscoll just responded to this skirmish so if you or anyone is interested I’d encourage yall to take a read:

        Driscoll has publicly repented for private correction he’s received numerous times and that’s one thing I really respect about the guy. Whether that correction has been from John Piper, CJ Mahaney (who coincidentally is under his own public correction for issues of pride), or local elders and pastors inside A29. I thought it was a flippant remark (as he admits in the article) but I don’t believe him to be a bigot. The fruit of his life, ministry and relationships proves otherwise.

        Couple soup bone quotes from the article:

        “I then put a flippant comment on Facebook, and a raging debate on gender and related issues ensued. As a man under authority, my executive elders sat me down and said I need to do better by hitting real issues with real content in a real context. And, they’re right. Praise God I have elders who keep me accountable and that I am under authority.”

        “a sincere thanks to all my critics who sometimes have good wisdom that helps me out”

        Thanks for your response Scott, and I do frequent your site often. Always thought provoking stuff.

        • RED permalink
          November 7, 2011 4:33 pm

          “Real issues with real content and real context”?

          The failure to do those things is NOT what was wrong here. What was wrong is that he said something cruel. I worry that he can’t just outright apologize for saying something wrong. Being cruel is wrong. It’s not something that becomes right just because you’re able to point to a specific contextualized incident.

  11. Veni White permalink
    July 13, 2011 5:28 pm

    Regarding the above link to Mark Driscoll’s reply:

    “Real men” apologize when they are wrong, not just summarize that their elders talked with them about what they should/shouldn’t have done. A simple, “I am sorry, I was wrong, I did not well represent the Jesus I believe in” would be much more “manly” than sharing your new blog. I follow Mark Driscoll on twitter because he does have a lot of good to say about living as a godly person. But on this fB post issue, he was wrong, and should simply apologize. Anything less, or more, speaks poorly of the Christ he/we follow and hope to woo all people to.

  12. Scotty Newman permalink
    July 27, 2012 2:05 pm

    It is sad that people would follow someone who is so proud about being unrepentant, and who replaces sound Christianity with swagger & hubris. It is sadly a sign of our times that people are so blind as to think this circus act of a man (so akin to Simon the sorcerer in the book of acts) is actually a sound Christian. Mark at the very least needs to repent & take a year off from any form of ministry and get to know this Jesus we worship.


  1. Confession: @PastorMark, I collected beanie babies. | Unsettled Christianity
  2. Standing up to the bully Mark Driscoll - Gentle Wisdom
  3. Confession @PastorMark - My Wife Thinks I'm Pretty | Homebrewed Theology
  4. (Possible) Bibliobloggers and #ManlyMen Discuss Biblioblogging and Bullying | Exploring Our Matrix
  5. Mark Driscoll, Rachel Held Evans, and “Effeminate” Worship Leaders: Why Love and Prayer Must be at the Center of Disagreement : THEOLOGY21 | Renovating Theology for a New Generation
  6. mark driscoll responds after his elders ‘sit him down’, offers no apology « XKV8R: The Official Blog of Dr. Robert R. Cargill
  7. Mark Driscoll, Rachel Held Evans, and “Effeminate” Worship Leaders: Why Love and Prayer Must be at the Center of Disagreement : THEOLOGY21 | Renovating Theology for a New Generation
  8. Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together - Christian Forums
  9. Book Review – Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship and Life Together « Friday's Child

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