the difference between mark driscoll and westboro baptist church

Question: What’s the difference between Mark Driscoll and Westboro Baptist Church?
Answer: Westboro makes signs.


Other than that, neofundamentalist Mark Driscoll and Westboro Baptist are theologically about the same when it comes to the sectarian nature of their soteriological claims.

Here’s what “Pastor Mark” tweeted today:

In case he deletes it, here is a screencap of the tweet:

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church tweeted the following on January 21, 2013 just before President Barack Obama's second inauguration: ""Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know."

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church tweeted the following on January 21, 2013 just before President Barack Obama’s second inauguration: “Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know.”

And here’s a transcription of what he wrote:

“Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know.”

Remember the difference:

Westboro Baptist Church child protestor.

Westboro Baptist Church child protestor.

Westboro Baptist says: “God hates fags!”

Mark Driscoll screaming,

Pastor Mark Driscoll

Mark Driscoll: “God Hates YOU!

…and apparently President Obama too, but he’s “praying for him“, so it’s not disingenuous or condescending or self-righteous or otherwise dickish in any way.

(and for the record, here was Westboro Baptist’s tweet for the day. Like I said, Westboro Baptist makes signs, but it’s the same sentiment as Driscoll toward gays.)

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mark driscoll allegedly adds exorcisims to his ‘spiritual gifts’

Exorcism at Mars HillMathew Paul Turner has the story, entitled,”Exorcism at Mars Hill: One Woman’s Story“.

MPT is an excellent, and very fair (he followed professional journalistic procedure and called Mars Hill and gave them an opportunity to respond) author, who has covered Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill for years. And the evidence is pointing toward a potentially tragic climax.

When will it end? Story. After story. After story. After story. After story. After story. After story. After story. After story. After story.

The preponderance of evidence is growing and increasingly tilting toward what we already knew:

Mars Hill is a cult.
Mark Driscoll is a cult leader who claims supernatural powers of exorcism, psychic visions, and extrasensory perception.
Mark Driscoll’s message includes the subjugation of women and the chastisement of homosexuals.
Mars Hill attempts to shame any who leave.
Mark Driscoll has gradually consolidated power and diminished accountability to himself and his select cronies.

In my professional assessment, we are dealing with a cult, and one that is planting satellites around the U.S.

Read the story at Matthew Paul Turner’s site.

UPDATE: Half-Hearted “Retraction” Issued by Berean Baptist Church Pastor Sean Harris

Sean E. Harris, Pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC

Sean E. Harris, Pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC

Sean E. Harris, Pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC, who recently called on parents to hit their children for demonstrating any semblance of what he interpreted as “effeminate” behavior, has issued an audio “retraction” for advocating that parents beat their children, but not for his bigotry.

I can’t tell what’s more stomach-churning: his initial comments, or his self-justifying, holier-than-thou attempt at righteous indignation and his claim that his words ‘were taken out of context’ by those involved in the political process of legalizing same-sex marriage.

If you want a lesson in how NOT to apologize, listen to the audio “retraction.” Bill Clinton apologizes better than this guy.

absolutely sickening homophobia from the pulpit

Here’s this week’s reason why Americans need to take a good, hard look at the bigoted venom that is being spewed forth from many of our houses of worship.

Neal Broverman shares with us this story of Sean Harris, the senior pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Fayatsville, NC.

This is absolutely sickening. I guess it’s not just Mark Driscoll in the great northwest that is preaching this homophobic nonsense, but now it’s of Berean Baptist Church in Fayatsville, who argues that parents should hit little boys (“crack that wrist” and “give him a good punch”) for showing the “limp wrist,” and “reign in” daughters who are “acting too butch.”

Then, listen as the pastor clarifies his story, stating that he in no way meant that parents should physically harm their children, but reiterates his hatred of homosexuality.

Did you catch the end of the news piece? The pastor got some “nasty,” even “threatening” phone calls and emails?? I’m certain they weren’t literally intending any harm. It was probably just “hyperbole.”

Question: at what point can we conclude that advocating violence against children – for whatever reason, but especially for reasons of bigotry – from a Christian pulpit is ABSOLUTELY NO different than when militant preachers of other religious traditions advocate violence from the pulpit?? Can we condemn one and not the other? And can we go ahead and admit that inciting violence in the name of God is reprehensible and unworthy of the protections commonly afforded religious institutions?

bent meyer, mars hill church elder fired by mark driscoll, speaks out

Don't drink Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill Kool-Aid

Don't drink Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill Kool-Aid

One of the elders fired by Mark Driscoll in 2007 has spoken out. You can read the comments by Bent Meyer here at the Wartburg Watch. The entire article is worth a read.

With all of the turmoil that Mark Driscoll has brought upon his Mars Hill church franchise in recent months (see the exposé by Matthew Paul Turner here), including his highly suspect and cult-like disciplinary tactics meant to shame and humiliate any who would not submit to his authority and/or might threaten to leave his church, it is important to get the back story from those who know it best.

A portion of Meyer’s response reads:

The downside is Mark’s pathology shows up in ways that are impulsive, aggressive, irascible, shut off from effective relational influence, and most apparent not respectful and submissive to anyone, though he claims otherwise.

I have hoped and still hope for something short of him destroying himself that would bring about substantial change for this ever increasing population of worshiper. Some have fretted there will be a great loss of Christians with the demise of Mark and/or the Church. I don’t think so. The church that comprises all of us will survive. The chaff will be blown away, but the church will remain.

Bent Meyer is a good man, and his voice should be heard in this matter. Read it here.

how much more evidence do you need? mark driscoll’s mars hill church is a cult

Mark Driscoll

Cult leader Mark Driscoll

You must read Matthew Paul Turner’s most recent exposé of cult leader Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill Church’s cult behavior when it comes to church discipline.

You simply will not believe what is going on behind the scenes at Mars Hill. We’ve already seen Mark Driscoll discuss (watch about the 3 minute mark) how he builds his church by intentionally targeting young men and their businesses. But now, Mars Hill’s disciplinary practices have been exposed for the cult tactics they are.

Now, according to Turner, a copy of a Mars Hill ‘church discipline’ contract is posted online, where the ‘sinner’ who has been ‘brought under church discipline’ has his sins spelled out, and in turn is asked to write out his further sins in full detail, meet with a prescribed ‘community group’ regularly, ‘write out in detail his sexual and emotional attachment history with women and share it with’ the pastor, and ‘write out a list of all people he has sinned against during this time frame, either by sexual/emotional sin, lying or deceiving, share it with’ the pastor.

Also available is the letter of ‘church discipline’ sent to the rest of the church after the member decided to leave the Mars Hill church. The document spells out the terms of the excommunication, citing the sexual nature of the individual’s sins, and detailing what members of the Mars Hill community can and cannot do with the excommunicated former member on their own time.

It will turn your stomach.

Dr. Benjamin Zablocki, Chair of the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University, defines a religious cult as “an ideological organization held together by charismatic relationships and the demand of total commitment,” usually due “to members’ adulation of charismatic leaders,” often “contributing to the leaders becoming corrupted by power.” (Zablocki, Benjamin, “A Sociological Theory of Cults,” presented at the annual meetings of the American Family Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, 1997.) In my opinion, the behavior of Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill church meets the classic definition of a religious cult.

The individual in Turner’s exposé is compelled as a condition of further participation in the group to write out in detail a list of his potentially shameful personal sexual history, while refusal to do so leads to personal details already confessed to the leadership being revealed to the community, along with directives to the community to ostracize and not communicate with the excommunicated individual – a community which in many cases is the sole friendship and support group for the individual. That is the definite activity of a cult.

We all knew that Mark Driscoll was a tumor on the face of Christianity, but these latest revelations may signal the end for the community, which if we’re honest, is probably not a bad thing at all.

Go read it. Part 1. Part 2.


If you a member of the Mars Hill church, get out. And if you would like help getting out, feel free to comment below or email me, and I can refer you to counselors who specialize in helping people remove themselves from abusive relationships, communities, and cults.

Robert R. Cargill

fuller seminary’s ‘the burner’ blog reviews mark driscoll’s new book on sex (er, marriage)

Mark Driscoll's "Real Marriage"David Moore of “The Burner” (Fuller Theological Seminary’s blog), has posted two reviews of Pastor Mark Driscoll’s (and his submissive-by-God’s-command wife, Grace’s) new book, Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship, and Life Together.

The first review is entitled: “(It Seems) Mark Driscoll Thinks Wives Are Only Good for Sex.” The second review is entitled “Mark Driscoll’s Chauvinist Views on Appropriate Roles in Marriage.”

Both reviews are, unfortunately, dead on.

In the first review, an editor’s note points out that the words “(It Seems)” were added to the title after complaints in the comments area that it was too harsh. They should have left it the way it was, for the review accurately articulates Driscoll’s obsession with his own powers of extrasensory perception and psychic visions (which I’ve critiqued earlier), and his ability to use them as a time-traveling voyeur to ‘see’ the sexual pasts of his wife and those he counsels.

The Burner’s review states:

Listen to how many times Mark considers women (and specifically Grace–his wife and co-author) as merely sexual beings:

“One night…I had a dream in which I saw some things that shook me to my core. I saw in painful detail Grace sinning sexually during a senior trip she took after high school when we had just started dating. It was like watching a film–something I cannot really explain but the kind of revelation I sometimes receive…Had I known about this sin, I would not have married her. But God told me to marry Grace, I loved her, I had married her as a Christian, we were pregnant, and I was a pastor with a church plant filled with young people who were depending on me.” (11-12)

“Day after day, for what became years, I spent hours meeting with people untangling the sexual knots in their life, reading every book and every section of the Bible I could find that related to their needs…I had a church filled with single young women who were asking me how they could stop being sexually ravenous and wait for a Christian husband, then I’d go home to a wife whom I was not sexually enjoying. One particularly low moment occurred when a newly saved married couple came in to meet with me. I prayed, then asked how I could serve them. She took charge of the meeting, explained how she really liked her body and sex, and proceeded to take out a list of questions she had about what was acceptable as a Christian for her to do with her husband. It was a very long and very detailed list…After they left the counseling appointment to get to work on the list of acceptable activities, I remember sitting with my head in my hands just moaning and asking God, “Do you really expect me to do this as a new Christian, without a mentor or a pastor, in the midst of my marriage, and hold on for the next fifty years?”

“Perhaps the most damaged among us are prostitutes whose bodies have been sacrificed to the god of sex.” (112)

“As with many things in marriage, communication is key. When I came to the conclusion that the cure for a lot of my moodiness was having more frequent sex with my wife, I simply told her. Yes, it’s that simple… [He goes on to state that when he tried to talk to Grace about his depression, she talked too much about emotions] The truth was I needed to have more frequent sex with my wife, and we needed to discuss how that could happen…To make matters worse, seemingly every book I read by Christians on sex and marriage sounded unfair. Nearly every one said the husband had to work very hard to understand his wife, to relate to her and when he did that to her satisfaction then, maybe, she would have sex with him as a sort of reward.”

“Some couples use [anal sex] to prevent pregnancy. In conjunction with the rhythm method of birth control in which normal penis-vagina intercourse is suspended on a woman’s days of fertility, it is possible to use anal sex as an option.” (186)

This might be a new low for Christian marriage books. Is there more to marriage that male sexual satisfaction?

In a second review, The Burner explores Driscoll’s apparent misogynistic approach to sex and marriage:

Driscoll follows this line of thinking in creative ways. The man is the really, really important one in the marriage:

“In this season we shifted into ministry-and-family mode, neglecting our intimacy and failing to work through our issues. This became apparent to me when my pregnant wife came home from a hair appointment with her previously long hair (that I loved) chopped off and replaced with a short mommish haircut. She asked what I thought, and could tell from the look on my face. She had put a mom’s need for convenience before being a wife. She wept.” (11)

See? He doesn’t hate his wife–she’s just not as important as him.

“Men, we can help our wives by serving them, especially if they are working outside the home or have children who can take forever to get down for bed. This may include, if finances permit, a housekeeper or other help to free up some of your wife’s energy.” (166)

Heaven forbid that the husband actually help his wife himself. Not to mention the implied belief that household duties and childrearing are the wife’s job.

“In choosing a church, it must be a church that the husband wants to attend. Too often the wife is the one choosing the church because it meets her emotional desires and the children’s programming needs… [He explains that men don’t like to go to church.] To curb this trend, you, the husband, need to take the initiative to find a church that you also find challenging, one that is filled with men you respect, enjoy and would pursue godly relationships with.” (59)

Poor women. They can’t distinguish between their girly feelings and their need to worship God corporately in a community of faith.

I shall also refer you to reviews by Rachel Held Evans, which in part reads:

But by far the most disturbing part of the book is the first chapter, in which Mark and Grace go into extraordinary detail about their troubled sexual relationship. In this section, Grace is often cast as the damaged and sinful wife who withholds sex from her deserving husband, Mark the hero who is justified in leaving his wife but instead comes along to rescue her. The amount of guilt and shame that pervades this part of the book makes me so sad.

I shall conclude with the following:

Mark Driscoll is now the Christian equivalent of Ancient Aliens star Giorgio Tsoukalos: His fanatic cult followers buy his skubala because they’re nuts, while the rest of us watch incredulously and protest the horrific train wreck.

I shake my head as Mark Driscoll makes his money selling harmful waste in the name of the Lord. What? You don’t think it’s about saying outrageous things to stir controversy and make money selling books? Why, there’s even a book tour and a giveaway of an iPad filled with all of Driscoll’s sermons.

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