Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church has come under fire for a facebook message earlier this month asking “So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed?”
The now-deleted post brought new attention to Driscoll’s terribly unchristian homophobic and transphobic (not to mention misogynistic) attitude.
The Church has been terrible to gays and lesbians. You have surely spent enough time talking with gay people in your community to know that the image of Christians tends to be a hateful one. In the same way that you want church culture to be more welcoming to blue-collar dudes, it also needs to be more welcoming to the gay and lesbian community. Your languageâ€”most recently including your Facebook post about â€œeffeminate anatomically male worship leadersâ€â€”doesnâ€™t help this.
Your language is not only hurtful to gay men. It is hurtful to many straight men. As a man who has always been intimidated by more traditionally masculine men, your words tell me that I am not welcome in your church or among your friends.
When you put out a call on Facebook for people verbally attack â€œeffeminate anatomically maleâ€ men, I find myself back in high schoolâ€”shoved against a locker, with the bullies calling me a faggot.
Mark Driscoll has since issued a non-apology buried under a mountain of misdirection and code words, but I think it’s important to note that this is nothing new for Driscoll.
On top of all the examples Held Evans mentioned in her post, here’s part of a promotional video Driscoll made in 2006. (cued to 1:54)
I got a feeling you got around Paul when he was a young guy, you got around John the Baptist or Elijah, I mean these dudes seem pretty rough to me. You know, they don’t seem like church boys, you know, wearing sweater vests and walking around singing love songs to Jesus. Guys like David are well known for their ability to slaughter other men.
I’ve gotta think these guys were dudes: heterosexual, can win a fight, punch you in the nose dudes. And the problem in the church today, it’s just nice, soft, tender, chickified church boys.
60% of Christians are chicks, and the 40% that are dudes are still sort of chicks.
It’s funny that he should mention David, who was a musician, cried an awful lot, was the runt of the litter, and had a male lover in Jonathan, whose love for him was “deeper than the love of women.”
Secondly, the ability to win a fight does not infer heterosexuality, and the lack of such ability does not infer homosexuality. I know some gay “dudes” who would kick his ass and make him beg for mercy.
Did you ever wonder why people like Mark Driscoll hold anything that isn’t hyper-masculine in such contempt? He lets that one slip in the next few sentences. (same video, starting around 2:37)
I mean, it’s just sad. You walk in, it’s sea foam green and fuchsia and lemon yellow. The whole architecture and the whole aesthetic is real feminine, and the preacher’s kind of feminine, the music’s kind of emotional and feminine. And we’re looking around going, “How come we’re not innovative?”
Because all the innovative dudes are home watching football, or they’re out making money, or climbing a mountain, or shooting a gun, or working on their truck. They look at the church and they’re like, “That’s a nice thing for women and children.”
To be clear, I am not suggesting that Mark Driscoll is a closet homosexual. On the contrary, he doesn’t set off my gaydar even a little. I just think he’s an extremely image conscious, in shape, attractive man whose fashion sense tends toward rough trade, and that maybe he’s gotten grief over it.
Whatever the reason, bullying (more correctly, abuse) from a church leader is just plain irresponsible and reckless.
In all sincerity, pray for the gay and/or effeminate boys (and men) in Driscoll’s church. He’s declared open season on them, and other kids (and some adults) in the congregation of over 7,500 will surely jump at the chance to show “Pastor Mark” how much of a “dude” they are.
May God have mercy on his soul.