Mark Driscoll’s Un-Brotherly Behavior Catches up to Mars Hill

by W.F. Price on July 2, 2014

Mark Driscoll founded the Mars Hill Church in Seattle some fifteen years ago, determined to bring conservative Evangelical Christianity to the most radically left wing city west of the Mississippi. He had great success, despite – or perhaps because of – the hostile political climate. In unchurched, liberal Seattle it’s easy to position oneself as the only “real” Christian church in town. This message resonated with a lot of young men and women who otherwise found themselves spiritually lost in a city of Pride Parades, public nudity and hostility toward conventional families and values.

Over time, as his church grew, Driscoll became very proud and confrontational. He made a number of veiled and open threats against those he saw as insubordinate, suggested that young men who won’t marry his female parishioners deserve beatings, and produced extremely matrifocal books on marriage. Throughout it all, he deferred only to his wife, who seemed very much to be the power behind the throne.

Perhaps because Driscoll came from a small town, working class Irish Catholic background he had something of an inferiority complex. Certainly, he seemed to feel that marrying into a “respectable” Anglo family was a great privilege. When he finally made it, all that old resentment must have come bubbling back up, expressed now as a mean streak and a ruthless, bullying attitude.

For some time, Driscoll’s dominant, pushy behavior worked. he kept his flock in line through displays of power, which included public humiliation of subordinates. But this kind of thing doesn’t last in the long term. Men want to follow someone with a noble spirit rather than a gangster. That is, after all, the appeal of Christianity.

Now, Driscoll’s church is beginning to fall apart. He alienated the wrong people: the men. Because of his folly, many have broken ranks, and some are calling it a cult.

Driscoll’s fall from grace should remind us that great accomplishments require that men cooperate, and that cooperation is best achieved through a sense of fraternity. Discipline will always be important, but when a man loves and respects his leader a mere look of disapproval is more effective than a whip in the hand of a vile thug.

We should recognize that if men can’t cultivate respect without resorting to attacks and actions designed to humiliate, they have limited leadership potential. This applies in all walks of life – even MRA – and it’s a lesson that cannot be forgotten.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

geographybeefinalisthimself July 2, 2014 at 13:59

“We should recognize that if men can’t cultivate respect without resorting to attacks and actions designed to humiliate, they have limited leadership potential. This applies in all walks of life – even MRA – and it’s a lesson that cannot be forgotten.”

I agree with you here, but this could be difficult to adhere to when convincing men that feminists will never care about men’s issues.

We all know that both financial and non-financial resources are finite, and that manginas and white knights will always go against their best interests and support ideas that are detrimental to other men.

As an example of this, I had to argue to a man on Father’s Day over the Internet that it is unreasonable under Obamacare for a widower who has sons but no daughters to have to pay for gonorrhea prevention for newborns when he hasn’t remarried and cervical dysplasia for teenage daughters he doesn’t even have. I even asked him if the widower should just get remarried to a woman who is under fifty and keep getting her pregnant until he manages to get a daughter if he thinks that forcing a widower who has sons but no daughters to pay for both treatments is reasonable.

Remember, Obama lied to people about whether or not they could keep their plan if they liked it. This man I was talking to apparently thought that lying to people about their health care is acceptable public policy and that people who are victimized by these lies should be gracious about it.

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geographybeefinalisthimself July 2, 2014 at 14:01

That should say to prevent blindness in newborns because the mother has gonorrhea. I imagine most widowers wouldn’t mourn a late wife who got infected with gonorrhea, but I could be mistaken.

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The Querl Xoralundra July 2, 2014 at 14:05

Ronald Reagan said that he would not criticize anyone else in the Republican Party. I have always thought that was a good policy for men. Men have a hard enough time of it without adding flak from others.

However Mark Driscoll does not make it easy.

I like how Biblical this is – a leader who cannot keep his women in line, acts un-Biblically and increasingly dictatorially, only to have the other men he needs to rely on drift away. You would think that Driscoll had never heard of Ahab or Herod or even Solomon come to that. Perhaps men who are bossed around at home don’t have a firm psychological basis from which to deal with authority over others?

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Mister Grumpus July 2, 2014 at 14:16

First let me reveal that I’ve been attending Mars for 4-5 years now. OK:

> He made a number of veiled and open threats against those he saw as insubordinate

“Threats” are of course far from classy, but as for the actual firings, I’ve never had a problem with that part. There has to be a chain of authority in any organization like a church (especially in Seattle), and that means that conflicts in leadership have to be dealt with. When it gets that bad — and evidently it did — something or someone has to give . There’s no escaping it.

> suggested that young men who won’t marry his female parishioners deserve beatings

Yeah. I was in the house for that one myself. And I was fine with it, too, until I hit “rewind” on him extending nothing but kid-glove sympathy toward the women who fuck those guys.

‘Because that’s not Biblical AT ALL. The Bible is actually quite sympathetic toward and honoring of men’s sexual needs, and condemns women who jerk it around to their own benefit. That whole Modesty thing. It’s more than a suggestion.

> and produced extremely matrifocal books on marriage. Throughout it all, he deferred only to his wife, who seemed very much to be the power behind the throne.

I feel you on that one too. Mars Hill DOES worship women, I’m very sorry to admit. It leaves this vaguely humiliated residue in my heart somewhere.

Like for example: Just a month or so ago was Fathers’ Day. The lead pastor asked the men to stand up, and reminded us of all the fatherless kids out there, and how messed up they’ll be. What he did NOT mention, of course, is that more than anything fatherlessness is the result of women’s shitty sexual choices. So why in the unholy dingdang didn’t he bring this up on Mothers’ Day instead?

That sort of thing. Mars addresses male sexual sin with anger, and female sexual sin with sympathy, and for me at least it’s getting mighty old.

So yeah. Even for a lay member like myself, it’s obvious from inside Mars that Something Is Going On. The pastors who have left — to great inconvenience to themselves and their families I might add — have been the ones I respected the MOST, and dangit-man that’s a bad sign for sure.

All that said, I’d sure appreciate it if you could give some more footnotes to help back up your accusations against Pastor Mark’s history and character here. ‘Not so that people like me can debate you, but rather as a favor to help educate people who have skin in this game and care about this issue.

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The Brass Cat July 2, 2014 at 15:23

Driscoll’s fall from grace should remind us that great accomplishments require that men cooperate, and that cooperation is best achieved through a sense of fraternity.

I agree, but it a high standard to strive for.

MRA, PUA, MGTOW, traditionalists . . . they all just need to remember who the enemy is, and it’s not each other. And it isn’t women. They’ve been grotesquely warped by Feminism. In fact, all of Western culture has been.

This Driscoll fellow is a real goon. Dalrock frequently writes about Driscoll’s corrosive messages. I think Driscoll et al. are the sort of people Dalrock mockingly refers to as “Churchians.”

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Lars Grobian July 2, 2014 at 15:32

There’s no “u” in “narcissist”.

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a. nony mouse July 2, 2014 at 16:03

Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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PA July 2, 2014 at 16:05

Ronald Reagan said that he would not criticize anyone else in the Republican Party.

At face value and without having read Reagan’s actual quote, a more effective approach would be to not criticize anyone to the right of oneself in the Republican party.

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W.F. Price July 2, 2014 at 16:18

@Mister Grumpus

All that I’ve written about Mark’s character here comes from his own mouth. I’ve watched a number of his sermons online, and he’s fairly open about his origins and opinions. So I wouldn’t call what I’ve written “accusations,” but rather simply a recapitulation of the facts as presented by Mark Driscoll himself.

I personally have no beef with the man. I’m not a big fan of his aggressive, rather brutal approach to preaching, but he’s done far less damage to the Christian community in Seattle than milquetoast Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen did back in the 70s and 80s.

That said, he’s erred in another direction. While he may not be fostering and protecting lecherous pederasts and cynical Bolsheviks, he’s running cover for women whose morality is equally questionable. Raising his fist against young men who are thirsty for righteousness is a misplaced effort, and, to put it gently, very unproductive.

I think it’s up to former Mars Hill pastors, perhaps under the guidance and advice of a morally straight and intelligent Christian man like Dalrock, to document his errors and bring him around to more fruitful guidance of his flock.

W.F. Price July 2, 2014 at 16:39

@a. nony mouse

That Stranger article documents a litany of bullying and control tactics aimed primarily at the men in the flock. The white knighting for women is the main feature.

How one could interpret it as evidence of misogyny is beyond me…

If anything, it only confirms the notion that Mars Hill sees original sin as applying to men only.

a. nony mouse July 2, 2014 at 16:49

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Anonymous July 2, 2014 at 16:54

“more than anything fatherlessness is the result of women’s shitty sexual choices”

This is a HUGE issue that is never addressed correctly. You’re implying the reason for single mothers (which is HALF of all mothers today) all comes down to women choosing wayward men, who they then can once again pass the blame onto, when in fact when most of the time it isn’t.

Women have ALL of the legal power in any relationship and initiate divorce 70% of the time and simply because they are ‘dissatisfied,’ in other words, bored and selfish statistically. And with a snap of their fingers/restraining order/911 women have fathers instantly and permanently removed everyday.

The rest of the single mothers never intended to live with or marry the father in the first place (that is, if they even know who he is) why? Because most women today are blatant and complete whores and fathers get in the way of a whore lifestyle.

Imagine a mother and father and 2 children in a house. The mother says, “I want a divorce and I want you to leave.” He replies, “NO! I am not leaving this house and I’m going to stay and be a father to my children!”

What do YOU think is going to happen next? Next thing he knows, he’ll be walking out in a new matching pair of handcuffs. Today, the only cause for single mothers is …single mothers. Women have ALL the power and use it to the fullest and routinely use every dirty, evil trick and false accusation to get fathers out of their lives completely. You see, they’ve ‘moved on’ and it’s ‘uncomfortable’ to have to deal with exes. It’s all about her, remember?

Plus, there is nowhere for your mythical wayward fathers to ‘run’ to even if they wanted to- move 1500 miles away and get a job and *BOOM* watch a quarter of your first payroll check magically disappear for child support. They track you through your social security number where ever you go. It’s 2014.

I just want to make sure we got that cleared up- WOMEN are the cause of single motherhood 98% of the time, not men. And it’s WAAAAY past time we all started discussing that and really, really getting that pushed into the light of day and quit lying to ourselves.

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Anonymous Reader July 2, 2014 at 20:33

a. nony mouse

Well, feminists hate him. http://community.feministing.com/2010/06/23/mark-driscoll-misogyny-and-masculinity/

So what? Feministas screech “misogyny” about all sorts of things, probably including the weather.

IF you are serious about posting here, then address Welmer’s point above, regarding your previous link: Mark Driscoll as pedestalizing, Alpha Male Other Guy (AMOG) who attacks other men and gives women a free pass, no matter what they do. That’s what matters. Driscoll appears to be yet another conservative who believes “women are better than men”, and he proceeds on from there.

The fact that feminists, who believe that “men are worse than women”, hate Driscoll is irrelevant to serious discussion. Feminists screech “misogyny” about all sorts of things, probably including the weather. The Female Imperative is not the discussion here, Driscoll is.

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revver July 2, 2014 at 20:34

The thing that you have to understand about Driscoll and Mars Hill is that they are firm believers in Calvinism (that God predestined everything that will happen, including sin). A brief reading about the founder: John Calvin, reveals all you need to know. Denunciations, public punishment, burnings-at-the-stake were all in a day’s work for the man.

It seems the control freaks (including Driscoll) aren’t keen on practicing their own doctrine, since doing action A or action B doesn’t change the outcome in the slightest.

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Paul Murray July 2, 2014 at 23:48

‘The thing that you have to understand about Driscoll and Mars Hill is that they are firm believers in Calvinism (that God predestined everything that will happen, including sin). A brief reading about the founder: John Calvin, reveals all you need to know. Denunciations, public punishment, burnings-at-the-stake were all in a day’s work for the man.”

Which is damn weird, because if I believed what Calvinists believe, I’d be making hay while the sun shines. Everyone goes to the hell they deserve (because original sin), except for a couple that God picks at random just to who how gracious he can be (because irresistible grace).

Of course, Calvinists don’t actually believe what they say they believe. What they really believe is that if you kiss God’s ass hard enough, he will let you into heaven.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 6
Dire Badger July 3, 2014 at 00:46

I think a. nony mouse is falling into the trap of assuming ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’.

If you are in a fight with someone and a tiger jumps on top of him and mauls him, that doesn’t make the tiger your ally.

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a. nony mouse July 3, 2014 at 03:19

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Shlomo Shunn July 3, 2014 at 05:29

I didn’t know who this jamoke was until I watched the videoclips. Then I remembered what a pompous dick-head he is (having seen him before online, but forgetting his name)…like so many zealots…only a beefier, more bullying version.

The fact is men, like all humans, have cooperated much more than they’ve competed. Whether it is sports or barn-raising, you have to have rules and roles and everyone “in the circle” to do things. Sports teams “look” like they compete, but actually they spend most of the time obeying written and unwritten rules of “sportsmanship.” They fire soccer balls at goalies, not bullets.

Even in war, each side cooperates with its own tribe.

The key is to find ways to peacefully cooperate and co-exist. Too many times men are mocked for doing that. The pious douche-nozzle “preacher” did that, trying to be a he-man whereas Mr. Rogers championed warmth and caring. Who had the longer ride and millions of followers?

Guys need to start making cooperation a good thing again.

That also means, per the MRM, guys need to be willing to do more than just type. There are millions of those already. Keyboarding won’t stop feminists.

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Shlomo Shunn July 3, 2014 at 05:41

> “Ronald Reagan said that he would not criticize anyone else in the Republican Party.”

Yet he expected Republicans to take action. He didn’t want them to remain mute and inert while complaining about active Democrats’ successes.

The frustration I feel with other men is when they rant about the evils that feminism spreads while not owning that their own male passivity lets it happen.

It’s like the scene in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” when the “whiners” admit they all volunteered to be “hospitalized.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc0_Xnvl3t4

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greyghost July 3, 2014 at 05:49

How dare you! Welmer.

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Thos July 3, 2014 at 06:51

Could be an interesting film.

http://therepresentationproject.org/films/the-mask-you-live-in/

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Anonymous Reader July 3, 2014 at 09:09

The thing that you have to understand about Driscoll and Mars Hill is that they are firm believers in Calvinism (that God predestined everything that will happen, including sin). A brief reading about the founder: John Calvin, reveals all you need to know. Denunciations, public punishment, burnings-at-the-stake were all in a day’s work for the man.

Interesting. So how many people did Calvin burn at the stake, or order burned?

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greyghost July 3, 2014 at 10:28

Maybe A nony mouse is Driscoll trying to get his street cred back.
How Dare You!

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Ecclesiastes July 3, 2014 at 11:48

The notion of a church “structure” where one man is above another is an inevitable product of “salvation through faith”.

Fortunately, this church is coming apart before it turns into something worse, as most do.

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Alex July 3, 2014 at 14:21

@Mister Grumpus
> suggested that young men who won’t marry his female parishioners deserve beatings

Yeah. I was in the house for that one myself. And I was fine with it, too, until I hit “rewind” on him extending nothing but kid-glove sympathy toward the women who fuck those guys.

Really? You were ok with it, Mr. Grumpus?
I only ask since you’ve been a member of his church for 4+years. Let’s leave aside the fact that in many places in this country Driscoll’s hit team would be gunned down, courtesy of open or concealed carry, but since you’re currently a member you might want to bring up the issue for discussion at your next meeting – why aren’t men marrying these women?

Maybe they’re sluts, former or active, maybe they’re diseased, maybe they’re genuinely trying to reform but still make for a bad investment due to past history and a high probability of backsliding, etc… Maybe Mars Hill church could drum up some incentives, instead of dispensing threats and beatings.

I suppose it’s only human nature, but one can imagine that the gov might well follow the same course (threats, beatings + taxes) if the marriage rate keeps falling and falling.

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Ray Manta July 3, 2014 at 18:09

a. nony mouse wrote:
Here’s what someone – a man – has to say about the status of women at Mars Hill.

You have a conflict in viewpoints between a white knight who’s wants to come to the rescue of a damsel in distress and an egomaniac who will throw anyone who gets in his way under the bus. Move along, nothing to see.

I’m just not getting a picture of Mars Hill being some sort of comfy haven for women.

What exactly is your point? That Mark Driscoll is a potential manosphere ally? It’s only too obvious he’s not; he pumps out a consistently lame ‘man-up’ message that’s guaranteed to empty the pews of men. He’s just a religious whore who makes his living by telling his main constituency (women) what they want to hear.

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Anonymous Reader July 3, 2014 at 20:31

a.nony mouse
Here’s what someone – a man – has to say about the status of women at Mars Hill. http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/03/memo-to-mars-hill-men-suppression-of.html

So what? Some guy in Oklahoma doesn’t like the way Driscoll runs his church – why should I care?

I’m just not getting a picture of Mars Hill being some sort of comfy haven for women.

So what? Have you even bothered to read the link in Welmer’s OP? Or the comment up thread by a man who attends Mars Hill? Or view any of Driscoll’s sermonrants, such as the infamous “How Dare You” one?

What’s your point?

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a. nony mouse July 4, 2014 at 07:15

Of course I read the link. Driscoll is headed down the same psychological path as other religious leader-wannabes like David Koresh and Joseph Smith (and a zillion others). None of whom were known for their respect and fidelity to the women in their lives.

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Chris July 4, 2014 at 18:14

“He made a number of veiled and open threats against those he saw as insubordinate, suggested that young men who won’t marry his female parishioners deserve beatings…”

I get the impression that guys like Driscoll and Joshua Harris have let the “Pharisee” part of them get the upper hand and they secretly desire others to be as miserable as they are.

From the sounds of things, Mark has a rather imposing style of preaching, especially when it comes to sexual morality. I’m not alone in thinking that the collective church’s sex-negativity has probably scared a lot of young people away from sex, even in marriage.

I predict that Mark’s ministry goes under, and that his marriage will probably follow suit.

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Dire Badger July 4, 2014 at 18:16

@Shlomo-

You constantly rail against MRA’s or redpillers not DOING anything, and yet they are… a lot of us who are here have done the con thing, the picketing thing, the urinal sticker thing, the grassroots thing…

Of course you never see or hear about it because, in the end, the MSM is controlled by socialism and feminism and ‘men reclaiming their rights’ is not only not news, but actively suppressed…. Look at Tom Ball.

What else do you expect us to do? Anders Breyvik?

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Paul Murray July 4, 2014 at 22:42

“Now, Driscoll’s church is beginning to fall apart. He alienated the wrong people: the men. … Driscoll’s fall from grace should remind us that great accomplishments require that men cooperate, and that cooperation is best achieved through a sense of fraternity.”

Or to put it another way: Driscoll violated the bro code. He was tempted by the lure of being alpha of a thousand bitches, and fell.

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Anonymous Reader July 5, 2014 at 10:43

a.nony mouse
Of course I read the link.

I don’t see any evidence of that.

Driscoll is headed down the same psychological path as other religious leader-wannabes like David Koresh and Joseph Smith (and a zillion others). None of whom were known for their respect and fidelity to the women in their lives.

I think I begin to see your problem – you don’t think abstractly, but for you “the personal is political”. So all that matters is how Driscoll personally treats some women. The fact that he puts women as a group onto pedestals, demands that men risk everything they have or ever will have by “manning up” and marrying sluts, the fact that Driscoll AMOG’s his church – none of these things even register for you.

No, for you, it’s all about the personal. You emote like a woman, and do not think at all.

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Anonymous Reader July 5, 2014 at 10:51

Chris
From the sounds of things, Mark has a rather imposing style of preaching, especially when it comes to sexual morality.

View some of his sermons, it’s much clearer then than the text.

I’m not alone in thinking that the collective church’s sex-negativity has probably scared a lot of young people away from sex, even in marriage.

Disagree with this, given a couple of facts. First, Driscoll himself has gone on and on about his own sexual history as well as some of his wife’s history (IMO she’s an Alpha widow, and Driscoll has to be More Alpha Than That Other Guy, this comes out in various ways in public) and second there is the fact that Driscoll wrote his own sex manual for Mars Hill members…which was another source of controversy. However, that was an “inside church” controversy over Bible quotes, theology, traditions and so forth, somewhat murky or irrelevant to many people.

Most of us are capable of understanding the problem with plagerism, whether it’s done by a celebrity or by the celebrity’s ghostwriter. Printing the words of other men as “mine” is stealing, at the very least Driscoll would fail the class in any reputable university – and possibly be dismissed from the school entirely.

Now one cannot help but wonder what other skeletons are in his closet.

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a. nony mouse July 6, 2014 at 03:45

Driscoll’s pronounced teaching on sexuality, and his “inspirations” concerning the supposed immorality of some of his parishioners are very telling to anyone who has studied religious cults. BTW this is not a 100% male leadership thing – there are disturbing accounts about Ayn Rand’s group leadership too. Bottom line: Driscoll is crossing a line re: proper sexual boundaries between adults. So did most cult leaders throughout history.

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Chris July 6, 2014 at 13:06

‘First, Driscoll himself has gone on and on about his own sexual history as well as some of his wife’s history (IMO she’s an Alpha widow, and Driscoll has to be More Alpha Than That Other Guy, this comes out in various ways in public)’

This strikes me as less of a bragging point than a red flag. If someone constantly brags about their personal life, odds are good there isn’t much worth bragging about.

Like I said, I think Mark is in for some tough times. I’ll pray for him.

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PRCD July 6, 2014 at 21:47
Mister Grumpus July 7, 2014 at 11:56

@Alex:

——–
Really? You were ok with it, Mr. Grumpus?
——–

Well for one, I didn’t take “threats of beatings” literally. Rather, the Bible says that God has serious serious problems with sexual immorality, and wants/insists better than that for everyone. Even if I was fornicating with a woman in the church (never have and never will) I wouldn’t take that as an actual threat to my physical safety.

Some fellows (and I would hope some women too, but I’m not holding my breath) have gotten talkings-to from pastors and deacons about Bad Behavior X, Y or Z, but as far as I know it’s never come to violence unless someone was already being physically attacked.

But don’t get me wrong: The church DOES get into people faces, that’s for damned sure. There was one fellow — at least a deacon-level guy, and a husband and father no less — who was a worship leader and finally confessed to someone for a big porn habit he was hiding. Word got out (unlike priest and therapists, the church explicitly does NOT keep such admissions confidential, especially there are innocent bystanders like children), some fellows DID show up at his house one evening, they DID insist that he pack up some stuff and come live with them for a while, and he DID go along with them. And they worked it out and he and his family are back together again.

So you can ask: Could this have come to a physical-force situation? If he had said “screw off”, would they have actually dragged him out of there? To be totally honest I just haven’t wondered about that. What I do know is that legally speaking THAT would have been “forced abduction”, which of course is against the law.

————-
Let’s leave aside the fact that in many places in this country Driscoll’s hit team would be gunned down, courtesy of open or concealed carry…
————-

Nigga-WHAT?!?!

————–
…but since you’re currently a member you might want to bring up the issue for discussion at your next meeting – why aren’t men marrying these women?

Maybe they’re sluts, former or active, maybe they’re diseased, maybe they’re genuinely trying to reform but still make for a bad investment due to past history and a high probability of backsliding…
————–

Oh I HAVE bought it up with pastors, and in private one-on-one, they’re not stupid about this at all and don’t disagree with any of this.

And that definitely tells us something, doesn’t it? (…sigh…)

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