dear pastor mark: pontificate this.

Hello, Pastor Mark.

I’d like to talk about something you said on twitter yesterday.

mark driscoll is a douchebag

I realize that you have been raked over the coals by a number of bloggers in the past couple of years. Christian bloggers have taken you to task for suggesting that God hates people. They’ve called you out on your homophobia and weird gender rules, and for your shock-jock attention seeking bravado. They’ve expressed frustration about the way you belittle women, exalt fist-fighting as conflict resolution, make fun of gay people, blame Haggard’s affair one his wife, falsely describe Jesus as a brute instead of a peacemaker, suggest women who criticize their husbands need to be kept in line, and your dangerous advice to lay counselors about sexual abuse. They’ve questioned the shame you heap on your wife and the cult-like control at your church. There are even blogs dedicated to former members of your church who need a place of support.

I can see where bloggers may not be your favorite group of people right now. I know that your tweet wasn’t directed at me per se, but I suspect it was either directed at one of my friends, or a indictment of bloggers in general. And I’m a little riled up, because this Jesus Juke attempt at silencing and dismissing bloggers is wrong on so many levels. First of all, yes, bloggers pontificate. (So do pastors). We analyze and consider and sometimes, we confront.

But to imply that we, therefore, aren’t “getting stuff done”?  Come at me, bro.

We build schools in Haiti.

We fund-raise for birthing centers.

We lobby for children’s rights.

We match waiting kids with adoptive families.

We recruit sponsors for impoverished children.

We fund adoptions of special-needs kids.

. . . and these are just the projects that I’ve personally been involved in.  I know a lot of bloggers, and there is no way I could even begin to quantify the kind of “get stuff done” things they are behind. Make no mistake about it, BLOGGERS ARE GETTING THINGS DONE.

My friend Zack Hunt sums it up well:

“The first is to caricature bloggers as lazy nerds who live in their parent’s basement or, and this seems to be a particular favorite, simply “haters.” Celebrity preachers default to these caricatures because, well, they work. Why do they work? Because they dehumanize the opponent, turning them into a ridiculous parody which is fair game for treating as less than a person.

The reality is that many bloggers, at least those with the widest audiences, are smart, creative, active leaders in the church and their community. They’re missionaries, preachers, authors, artists, and activists. Which is probably why their critiques sting.”

Also, be careful when you start admonishing people about pontificating about what others are doing. You seem to have built your brand on doing that very thing. You feel justified to speak into a myriad of issues that are outside of scriptural teachings. You pontificate quite a bit. Loudly. All over the media. (Also . . . ON YOUR BLOG). You seem to revel in the attention this provocative pontification gets you. As a fellow Christian, it’s embarrassing.

Not all of us have the daddy issues or broken background that makes your brand of leadership attractive. Some of us don’t find shame to be a spiritual motivator. A whole bunch of us think that you are misrepresenting Christ. And we’re talking about it, because we think it’s damaging. We think it’s spiritual abuse.

You may not like it, but you are not going to keep me quiet with some vague attempt at silencing that you’ve dressed up as piety. I’m going to pontificate all I want, and I’m going to get stuff done, and I’m not going to be ashamed about it.  If anything, your self-righteous tweet just prompted me up to speak out more about the kind of person you are. Your growing popularity in Christian circles is baffling, and it scares the crap out of me.

Since the “shut up, useless bloggers” technique probably didn’t work, might I suggest another idea? Instead of pretending that we are purposeless echo chambers, or trying to shut us up with Jesus references, why don’t you start listening? Why not seek some professional counsel for some of these issues?  Why not humbly and prayerfully consider if there are some areas where you need growth?

When so many people are saying the same thing, it might be time for some personal reflection. 

Note: I realize that I am going to have some readers who are Driscoll fans, or who belong to his Acts 29 network of churches. I have many people in my life who I respect who are a part of Acts 29. So let me say this: I started this post thinking I was addressing an annoying shock-jock pastor. As I went deeper in reading his quotes and watching videos, I became deeply disturbed. I now suspect that he is a misogynist with a personality disorder and some serious issues with sex and women. If you belong to a church that is affiliated with Driscoll. I URGE you to do your research about this man. The links above are a good place to start. If you are also troubled . . . speak up. Hold him to accountability. He’s a charismatic guy and is described by many as a bully, and it’s time for people to stand up and say, ENOUGH.


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