Mark Driscoll is a bully. Stand up to him.

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Mark Driscoll is wrong. 

Godly men stick up for people, not make fun of them.

Godly men honor women, not belittle them

Godly men love their gay and lesbian neighbors, not ridicule them

Godly men celebrate femininity, not trash it.

Godly men own their sexuality, not flaunt it

Godly men pursue peace, not dismiss it

Godly men rise above violence, not glorify it

Godly men build up the Church, not embarrass it

Godly men imitate Christ—who praised the gentle and the peacemakers, who stood up for the exploited and abused, who showed compassion for the downtrodden,  who valued women, and who loved his enemies to the point of death. 

If this Facebook status were Pastor Mark Driscoll’s first offense, it might not warrant a strong response.But Mark has developed a pattern of immaturity and unkindness that has remained largely unchecked by his church. In evangelical circles, he’s like the kid from high school who makes crude jokes at every opportunity, uses the words “gay” and “queer” to describe the things he most detests, encourages his friends to subject the unpopular kids to ridicule, and belittles the guys who aren’t “macho” or “manly” enough to be in his club.  

As blogger Tyler Clark put it, “When you put out a call on Facebook for people verbally attack ‘effeminate anatomically male’ men, I find myself back in high school—shoved against a locker, with the bullies calling me a faggot.” 

What we have on our hands is a bully. 

And this bully is teaching the young men at his church and under his influence that bullying is an acceptable expression of “biblical manhood.”

This has to stop. As followers of Jesus, we are obligated to stick up for the least of these, especially when they are being publicly bullied in the name of Christ. 

We are also obligated to use the proper channels to do so. Many have asked that Mark apologize, but he has refused. Many have written blog posts expressing their concern, but he remains defiant. It’s time to take some more practical steps: 

Today I emailed Mars Hill Church to request that the elders take whatever measures necessary to stop Mark’s bullying once and for all. No more empty apologies. This behavior must change. 

If you wish to do the same, here’s how: 

Mars Hill Church 
1411 NW 50th
Seattle, WA 98107

(206) 816-3500


If you know Mark personally or attend his church, approach him as a friend and request that he get the counseling he needs to deal with this destructive pattern. Bullying is as harmful to the bully as it is to the victim.

And to turn this bad situation into something good, consider joining the “I’m Sorry Campaign" to apologize for the ways that we as Christians have harmed the LGBT community.

Mark's bullying is unacceptable.

Stop talking about it and do something.

 [Update: Mark Driscoll has responded.]

End of article logo.

Shareable Permalink

© 2011 All rights reserved.
Copying and republishing this article on other Web sites without written permission is prohibited.
Browse articles with tags: faithpopular