Why a Masculine Ministry Rose and Fell – Re: Christianity Today’s Podcast Episode of Mark Driscoll’s Sexism
David French, author of the piece I am excerpting later in this post, claims to be a conservative, but he leans pretty liberal, and he is totally wrong about Critical Race Theory.
I do not endorse his acquiescence to the far left, on his acquiescence to the left to basically just lay back and permit CRT being allowed into public schools.
But I do think many of French’s points in his essay about Mark Driscoll (the sexist, crackpot, control freak pastor of The Trinity Church and formerly, Mars Hill), and the state of Christianity today (over stressing masculinity as much as they do) are correct.
Yes, complementarians often take sin and paint them as virtue, as French notes in his piece.
The Bible does not teach that men should rule over women, but that male rule over women would be a result of the Fall – and complementarians today twist that and insist sexism against women was all part of God’s original intent and design: complementarians are demonic in teaching vice as virtue.
Complementarians also spend more time trying to get men to act like masculine manly-men (and at that, usually patterned after Hollywood movie characters or historical tough guys), when the Bible tells men (and women) to pattern themselves after the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
(Link): Why a Masculine Ministry Rose and Fell – Learning the lessons of Mark Driscoll’s decline. by David French
….[The several part pod cast series] by Mike Cosper at Christianity Today [is remarkable, French says], and it chronicles the rise and fall of Mars Hill church in Seattle and the corresponding rise and fall of its celebrity pastor, Mark Driscoll.
The thing that’s remarkable about the podcast is that it spends as much time describing what worked about Mars Hill—why Driscoll and his church became a sensation—as it does describing why it failed.
… Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill in 2014, under fire for his harsh, “domineering” leadership and almost a year after Driscoll apologized for “mistakes” following plagiarism allegations. Mars Hill Church dissolved shortly thereafter.
[Much of French’s essay is spent explaining how Driscoll encouraged male members of his Mars Hill church to act like tough guys. French thinks this started out fine, that it’s much needed in a culture that seems to demonize all men, but after some time, Driscoll took things to the extreme – which not only hurt men but also women]
….One of the core reasons for the Driscoll failure (and for other failures before or since) is that he met a cultural overreaction with an overreaction all his own. He opposed a specific secular extremism with a Christian extremism that ultimately proved his critics correct.
…So what’s the Driscoll sin? What’s the common mistake of so many efforts to celebrate Christian masculinity?
It’s to functionally take the exact opposite approach of the APA—instead of treating these characteristics as inherent vices, the Driscolls of the world turn them into inherent virtues. They glory in aggression, competitiveness, and achievement.
The end result was a theology that conformed Christianity to traditional masculinity rather than conformed masculinity to Christianity.
A theology and community that focused on sex differences created a world in which masculinity and male power was central to the identity of the church and the movement.
The most heartbreaking of the podcasts so far was Episode Five, entitled “The Things We Do to Women.” It discusses how the church’s extreme focus on empowering men and fostering a “biblical” masculinity resulted in a culture that subordinated women to such a degree that wives were often treated as playthings for their husbands—encouraged to strip for them and perform sex acts that they found deeply uncomfortable and degrading.
But the “smoking hot wife” was the reward for the godly man, and satisfaction of his insatiable sex drive was his entitlement.
And thus you see the depravity of a thinly Christianized version of true toxic masculinity.
What was first a church that challenged men to restrain their vices (Stop sleeping around! Stop watching porn!) ending up indulging men in modified versions of those same vices (You can still have all the sex you want! Your wife is your porn!)
At the end of the day, the Driscoll example for young men was dangerous—he sent a message that with daring and discipline, you could become not just a responsible man, but a dominant man.
Thus, perversely enough, Driscoll sanctified a secular version of masculine toughness and virility.
(Link): Obnoxious and Sexist Preacher Mark Driscoll Wants Christian Singles to Stay Single Indefinitely – And Even Though Unwanted, Prolonged Singleness has Been a Huge Issue For Christian Singles for A Couple Decades Now – Driscoll: ‘Christians should not marry pro choicers’
(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias