I can’t remember if I’ve blogged about Driscoll before, and with our internet running at a snail pace I can’t look it up. I’ll just recap Driscoll from what I know.
Mark Driscoll is a pastor of a growing church in Seattle called Mars Hill. He’s a super trendy, cool dude (not to be confused with the other super cool, trendy dude from Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Rob Bell) who is the new face of the conservative calvinist church movement. If I were to take a guess, I’d say the old face was and has been John Piper, Minneapolis based pastor, whose sermons and books have been quite formative in my faith and theology.
Though as I’ve journeyed along in my faith I’ve come to find some of my views are in stark contrast to Pipers, he’s still very much a ‘mentor’ of mine and someone I respect deeply. That said, you’d think I’d feel similarly about Driscoll. Not the case.
Sometime last year Driscoll said some absolutely ridiculous things (apparently he says this sort of thing frequently, but this time it was youtubed [p.s. This video is terribly offensive, viewers beware]) and it stirred up quite the controversy in the blogosphere. Here’s my basic summary: Driscoll has a habit of trumping up the masculinity of Christ and demeaning women at the same time, people complained, a protest was planned for a coming Sunday, both sides agreed to meet on a Thursday and Driscoll both apologized and agreed to meet with someone who would ‘counsel’ him on why some of his language is inappropriate.
Needless to say, I was impressed by this move on Driscoll’s part and hoped to see some good come of it. Fast forward to this past week. I saw a link to a New York Times article on Driscoll, Who Would Jesus Smack Down? I clicked over and gave it a read, and through the first page I was quite impressed. I appreciate Driscoll’s candidness on issues, and I even dig his commitment to his theology. But, I was sadly disappointed when I started reading the same sort of language he’d been rebuked on coming up, and the remaining four pages had not a word about any change that he’s made. Now, it could be the author simply missed this, but you’d have to admit it’d be a hard change to miss.
Driscoll constantly rails against what he calls the “feminization” of Christ, continually using feminine and many other ‘female’ oriented terms in a negative way. He describes Protestant culture as “chicks and some chickified dudes with limp wrists,” clearly not intended as a compliment.
Who does Driscoll think he is? With both a wife and five kids, how does he think it’s in any way appropriate to refer to women in such a condescending way? It absolutely blows me away. And what’s even more distrubing to me is that pastors like John Piper, who I truly admire and respect, seem to be silent or even supportive of Driscoll. I even found a video on a semi-related note by John Piper on why he invited Mark Driscoll to the Desiring God conference back in June of 2008.
Piper, someone who is brilliant and extremely intentional with his choice of language, seems to have blinders on to the dehumanizing and sexist attitude and choice of words that Driscoll seems to promote. It breaks my heart that Piper hasn’t spoke up on this (Piper, if your out there listening, I’d love to hear you speak up on this).
Mindy recommended an illustration to help the inappropriateness of Driscoll’s choice of language really sink in. Replace any other oppressed group title into the above quote and the offensiveness becomes quite clear. How would you feel if you heard a pastor saying this:
“The church is full of black people and black-acting dudes with limp wrists.”
I don’t think you need to go much further then that to see how obviously inappropriate Driscoll’s language is. I’m very open to Driscoll making a case for Jesus being a more hard-lined, Calvinist theology-like savior (not that I agree with him, but I’m fine with him saying it). But to do that at the expense of half our population? To promote a theology that calls for female submission in the church and at the same time degrades and dehumanizes our mothers, sisters and daughters; That’s not just un-Christ-like, it’s inhumane.