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Be a Man!

Little did we all know it, but apparently males are being systematically excluded from the Christian church.  Yes, contrary to all appearances, it seems that the reason that churches in America today lack innovation and energy is because the men are being excluded.  Mark Driscoll tells us why (with some visual aids, thankfully thrown in by somebody from YouTube).



  1. signonthewindow wrote:

    Good Lord! How disturbing. Somebody call Amy Laura Hall, quick.

    Am I guessing that this is a church that does not allow women to exercise gifts of teaching and preaching? If so the “you preach like a girl” comment wouldn’t make a lot of sense….

    and did he really just call me a “chick?”

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 10:30 am | Permalink
  2. Halden wrote:

    Actually, I think they let women teach or preach (at least in theory, I don’t think it happens often), but make sure they can’t be in any positions of authority (i.e. elders) in the church.

    He makes a big deal about the fact that they have women deacons. I guess that’s supposed to make this stuff all ok. Wild.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  3. Halden wrote:

    Yeah, here’s what they say in the doctrinal statement for the Acts29 Network (the church planting network that Driscoll founded and through which they continue to found more churches of this sort):

    “We are not egalitarians and do believe that men should head their homes and male elders should lead their churches with masculine love like Jesus Christ.”

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  4. Kevin D. wrote:

    Okay, obviously Discoll is taking it too far, especially in not recognizing the suffering servant motif as the epitome of Christian manhood (not David slaughtering Goliath); however, much of what he says is quite true. The super sanitized architecture, sappy hymns, sentimentalized sermons, etc. are conducive to a safe (and, as they say, “feminine”) environment, which is not proper to a gospel which is about, as John Paul II would say, the radical call to holiness — a servanthood heroism.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  5. JBH wrote:

    I’m always wary of the seething hatred of non-egalitarian theories of gender given that any Christian who has a high view of Scripture must assert that female submission and male headship was at one time in salvation history (i.e. in the first century) not only allowed but instructed. Egalitarians are surprisingly unable to read the text of Scripture. Liberal interpreters are able to see the patriarchy and reject Scripture for that very reason.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 10:58 am | Permalink
  6. Aric Clark wrote:

    “We are not egalitarians…” that’s an understatement. Driscoll is one of the most disgustingly public misogynists I’ve ever met.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  7. Halden wrote:

    “Egalitarians are surprisingly unable to read the text of Scripture.”

    Have you ever read any of these egalitarians? I can think of many, many, many such people who deal with the difficult texts of the Bible head-on. I actually think the reverse is true, it is hierarchicalists who seem unable to really read the text of Scripture. The form of subordinationism that is present in the New Testament (no short hair, no talking, no teaching of any kind) is certainly not what is advocated by heirarchicalists of today. They use such texts to legitimate a very different for of subordiantionism that is foriegn to the biblical texts.

    It’s much like using the wars of the book of Joshua as a warrent for the U.S. going to war with Iraq. It is simply a category mistake that only has weight because of the cultural prejudices that it happens to serve.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  8. Jeremy wrote:

    Evangelicals seem to have become obsessed with this extreme machismo. The NY Times has a piece today on a “purity ball” for fathers and daughters where the fathers swear to protect their daughter’s virginity – all while standing under two upraised swords. Paging Dr. Freud.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  9. I almost cannot believe this. Is it really for real? This is a serious question. I am not very familiar with this man (Mark), but is it true that a bunch of people see him as a good leader? And hasn´t he figured in or close to the “emerging church”? Someone please explain!

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  10. Rachel wrote:

    Wow, this made me mad and I’m not even a guy! Besides the blatant gender stereotypes that he just whips out there, I am with Kevin on the most disturbing part being the fact that Driscoll presents a picture of a “real man” being an ass-kicking hulk. Can we say “theology of glory?” Someone needs to clue him in to a theologica crucis and fast!

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  11. Matt wrote:

    Whoever edited this is brilliant. That Rob Bell photo after Driscoll’s “nice, soft, tender, chickified church boys” was hilarious, not to mention the soundtrack! Do members of his church sing Randy Savage before each of Driscoll’s sermons?

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 12:17 pm | Permalink
  12. Andy wrote:

    I guess if I was more of a man, like Mark Driscoll, I would know what “seafoam green” is.

    that was immature, i know

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 12:38 pm | Permalink
  13. KC wrote:

    I’m pretty impressed. It’s like he read “Wild at Heart” and made it more stupid. And then forgot that he read it.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  14. Philip wrote:

    What shocks me is how Driscoll just keeps rolling with this stuff–even after his church was protested by other Church leaders in Seattle. And, there is so much of a martyr’s complex in all of his statements about “the most unchurched city in America” etc… Oh, we are so impressed by your amazing ability Mr. (not Rev.) Driscoll to offend otherwise perfectly content pagans with your non-chickified Jesus rather than the Jesus who — call the 6:00 news… — let himself be killed. Why do other respectable American evangelicals side with this feller?

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  15. signonthewindow wrote:

    hey wait. I was told Portland was the most unchurched city in America. Should I sue for that title?

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  16. Philip wrote:

    A manly man wouldn’t sue…he would just go beat everyone in seattle up in a fit of righteous indignation.

    I can see it now:
    Christian manly man from Portland, showing off his barbed wire tat — “Oh, you think you are more pagan than this?”

    Christian manly dude from Seattle — “Yeah, well, this one time I stayed up 36 hours straight playing video games. That was before I met Jesus, you know. Now I keep that in check. But here in Seattle, we can go, like, 24 hours playing video games–no problem.”

    Portland: “Yeah, that’s pretty pagan. But we’ve got more tree-huggers.”

    Seattle: “We drink more lattes.”

    Portland: “We are closer to San Francisco”

    Seattle: “Shooot, we’re closer to Canada. We all hate America here in Seattle.”

    And then, they fight.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  17. Jon wrote:

    Slaughtering other dudes is totally what Jesus was all about. I mean, just look at how He totally kicked those Roman guys in the ass. Pilate tried to crucify Him, Jesus was all “Screw you!” then punched him in the groin, and gave him an upper cut, summoning a legion of angels and forced the Kingdom to come… oh wait. That didn’t happen. I was thinking of the Gospel of Chuck Norris, not Jesus Christ. My bad.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
  18. Chris wrote:

    As I sat in my recliner, watching this video, scratching myself, sipping my beer, and thinking of shooting a gun or working on my truck, something occurred to me—no, not that I should get off my butt and go make babies or more money. What occurred to me is that there is something more pernicious in the church than a prevailing wussiness. What is especially disturbing is that there are men leading churches who get up in the morning and don a leather necklace with a seashell on it. Seriously, they put it on, look in the mirror, and think, “Man, I look good!” The problem is that the gospel they preach is equally faddish and superficial.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  19. signonthewindow wrote:

    It’s okay for me to sue, I’m not a manly man. I’m a seafoam green chick.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  20. Ben wrote:

    Y’all, I watched one of this Driscoll guy’s videos, and so far as I’ve seen it’s more doctrinally orthodox than most of the other evangelical stuff I’ve seen.

    The video I watched wasn’t at all about the macho man stuff, I don’t know if that’s the main point of his preaching.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  21. Jon Trott wrote:

    Good thing God’s not a girly-man. I can sleep better at night now. I mean, the past 8 years have certainly shown us all what a great version of Christianity this is. I am glad to know that I no longer need to worry about being a patriarchalist, but can grab my biblically-endorsed version of Iron John and make for the trees — I mean, Church.

    I can hardly wait to go off a few men so I can be a true dude for God!

    (And yes, the above is being sarcastic.)

    Jon Trott

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Permalink
  22. He’s basically said church sucks because of women. Apparently it’s a bad thing that churches are full of women.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Permalink
  23. Well yeah Ben, Driscoll has every box checked down to the big wooden pulpit, that and, good old fashion patriarchy (its even in his little intro movie where Eve turns away from Adam from the link you gave).

    Seriously though, women shouldn’t be an insult (in the video above) and they weren’t the sole reason for the fall (in the link you gave), however, such assumptions will permeate all of one’s theology. This will make your orthodox positions quite violent against half of humanity and all relationships problematic, and theology is nothing if not relational.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 4:09 pm | Permalink
  24. Ben Myers wrote:

    One of my most memorable experiences as a student was taking an honours class in feminist literary theory. One day there was some very heartfelt discussion about women, which somehow led to everyone talking about the way men have been excluded, lost their identity, etc. Finally the professor threw up her hands in exasperation, and exclaimed: “Why the hell does every discussion of feminism these days end up with people feeling sorry for men?!”

    So maybe Driscoll’s desperate misogynist outbursts are just expressions of his sensitive feminine side. Speaking of which, what’s with that necklace he’s wearing? And that styling product in his hair? I’m pretty sure those Old Testament dudes didn’t have their hair styled when they were out being manly and slaughtering people, screwing prostitutes, etc. (Oh, such inspiring examples of masculinity — if only Christian men today could do as much killing and screwing!)

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  25. darren wrote:

    I’ve been known to take the odd swipe at Mark and his theology before, and have since stopped because I was only helping his google ranking…

    For right and/or wrong reasons I’ve come to be suspect of big churches and their leaders, for the same reason I’m suspect of brands like Nike and Coke.

    That is because the more and more I see them I realise the one core truth about marketing: “if you tell them what they want to hear they will come.”

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 6:14 pm | Permalink
  26. jake dockter wrote:

    first off
    why are sappy, emotional services “feminine”?
    Are men not into emotions? Do men not equally get caught up in the moments of worship?
    This is a socialized version, not true sexuality.
    Driscoll is buying into the CRYING IS FOR PUSSIES myth all to much.

    Also…explain to me how the church has been feminized? ask any feminist how being in charge of the church is going…

    a friend of mine is kinda into the Masculinity Doctrine and has said things like “the proof that the feminine has taken in over is in things lile the floral carpet and the stenciled designs in the bathroom.” THE ONLY THING THAT IS PROOF OF IS THAT GUYS DONT CARE ABOUT THE CARPET AND THE BATHROOM. can i worship in it? can i crap in it? fine. it works.

    how is design indicative of the state of the church?
    aesthetics aside, emotions are the real evidence provided and that is a construct.

    I am a firm believer in the differences of men and women. That women are to be submissive (but i define that very different than driscoll) and I am to serve them like christ loved the church. Driscoll inserts himself into the text when he says “MASCULINE LOVE LIKE JESUS CHRIST” the bible merely says love like christ loved the church. which means selflessly, subserviently, dying on a cross, being beaten, being mocked, being “weak” and lifting, loving and living for.
    not taking advantage of.

    the other reason MASCULINITY DOCTINE sucks is that it denies womens ability to be christlike. if we are called to be christlike, all of us. than we can all attain it. but in Driscolls drivell, he denies women the ability in the fact that they can never be a man. This is bead theology as Christ came to seek and save…the lost. not the lost who have the good fortune of having a penis.

    Driscoll needs to be schooled. To bad he would probably rather fist fight than mentally spar.
    Jesus loves him anyway. and we should be love him as well, and I can. but i can also think his theology is bad, arrogant and horribly horribly misogynist

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 7:16 pm | Permalink
  27. I’ll be positive. I totally agree with him about those ‘love songs to Jesus’, though not because they are ‘feminine’ but because they are blasphemous and absurd.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 10:35 pm | Permalink
  28. Geoff wrote:


    Mark Driscoll is talking about manliness and yet I don’t see anything actually “manly” about him. I see no callouses or bruises on his hands from working hard. I don’t see any scars from either fighting or perhaps turning the other cheek. He’s slightly overweight, has styled hair, and doesn’t have a beard. I’m not sure why his vision for masculinity is called masculine but I don’t see it as useful nor as necessary for the church.

    I mean, I, by sheer luck have been in a couple of near misses with drug dealers and thugs, one of which nearly required me to actually use violence to protect somebody else’s children. Those confrontations were neither manly or chickifide, but simply subhuman.

    Monday, May 19, 2008 at 11:11 pm | Permalink
  29. Jason Oliver wrote:

    After recovering from the sheer nausea developed from watching this clip, I have to think and wonder about the impact of this message has on the Church and society-at-large. I tend to think that I don’t know what a man is suppose to be or who a man really is. Looking towards Christ for this answer is how I maintain any sense of clarity and peace.

    But listening to what Driscoll and others like him have to say about manhood, I can’t help but notice that their idea of manhood is rooted in the image of American Western white man i.e. Marlboro Man or John Wayne. Christ viewed through this veneer is troubling and blasphemous.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 2:17 am | Permalink
  30. Ben Myers wrote:

    James, yes I agree with you about the songs too (even if it has nothing to do with Driscoll’s hideous notion of “masculinity”). A friend of mine once referred to certain contemporary Christian worship songs as the “God-is-my-girlfriend songs” — I thought that summed it up perfectly!

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 4:45 am | Permalink
  31. mike d wrote:

    No one has mentioned perhaps the weirdest part of the video; his assertion that churches aren’t creative b/c all the creative “dudes” are at home watching football. I have plenty of friends who stay home and watch football in lieu of going to church. They don’t strike me as the creative piece that the church needs to break through.

    Be great to have them there but I don’t sit around thinking boy I wish dude x would put his Doritos down, stop watching football and come to church – his creativity would be so refreshing around here.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 6:19 am | Permalink
  32. Philip wrote:

    agreed mike on the “hey, see that slob watching football–he’s really creative, in fact, way more creative than any of the “chicks” in here!”

    And also, agreed on the love-songs-to-Jesus bit. Driscoll, though he goes about it all wrong, has a point.

    I still fail to see why other respected evangelicals–even those who hold similar views on gender — would stand for this sort of crass attitude.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 6:31 am | Permalink
  33. nick wrote:

    i agree that many worship songs are saturated with romantic/semi-erotic imagery, to the point where they become uncomfortable to sing. south park did a great job of pointing that out.

    however, i wonder about the early christian mystics and ascetics (many of whom were women) who employed deeply sexual imagery when writing about their encounters with God. is it a mistake to assume that that language is only proper to the category of human relationships/dating? i remember that sarah coakley quote that halden posted a little while ago: “Talk about God is not repressed talk about sexuality; talk about sex is, in fact, repressed talk about God.”

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 7:21 am | Permalink
  34. Ben Myers wrote:

    Hi Nick: good point. Nothing wrong with a bit of sexual imagery, in my opinion; it’s the cheap sentimentalism that’s so boring (“Jesus you’re so awesome, I can’t live without you, blah blah blah…”).

    Actually, I just remembered a terrific quote about this in Daniel Radosh’s new book — I’ll head over and post it on my blog.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  35. nick wrote:

    yeah, point taken. the trite sentimentalism and melodramatic platitudes i could definitely do without..

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 7:17 pm | Permalink
  36. Chris Green wrote:

    First, Kevin, you said M. D. took it “too far,” equating masculinity with “David slaughtering Goliath” rather than Jesus’ suffering servanthood. But this isn’t a mistake of degree! He didn’t take it too far; he got it completely wrong.

    Second, I agree with Ben and Nick. Sexual imagery in worship isn’t necessarily a problem; it is the sentimentalism that should concern us. By the way, didn’t Hauerwas say sentimentalism is one of the greatest threats to the integrity and vitality of the North American church?

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 9:06 am | Permalink
  37. Ben,
    exactly right. I’ve often thought you could substitute a name in for ‘Jesus’ or ‘God’ and it would be a love song. What’s that crazy song that says ‘I want to touch you’. To clarify, I shouldn’t have used the word ‘totally’.

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 11:11 am | Permalink
  38. Ben Myers wrote:

    And just to put in a good word for contemporary hymns: if you ask me, the so-called “traditional hymns” are often just as bad as any contemporary stuff. All that ghastly bourgeois 19th-century sentimentalism!

    Great hymn writers like Charles Wesley have always been the exception rather than the rule. And I reckon the best contemporary songs (e.g. Stuart Townend’s remarkable songs “In Christ Alone” and “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”) are infinitely richer, both musically and lyrically, than most of the crap that fills our traditional hymnals.

    Friday, May 23, 2008 at 2:43 am | Permalink
  39. Samuel Bothen wrote:

    Ok what is his problem.. So being a man should be to go around slaughter people???? Is this how we are going to take people to salvation. Come to the church be a man slaughter some people comit adultery??? crazy

    Monday, August 18, 2008 at 5:24 am | Permalink

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