Rachel Held Evans: Mark Driscoll is a bully. Stand up to him.

There have been lots of posts on Mark Driscoll lately (and there are a few more to come, sigh), but I had to share this post by Rachel Held Evans calling on Christians to speak out against Driscoll’s bullying. Trigger warning for bullying and homophobic language.

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.

Read the whole thing: Rachel Held Evans | Mark Driscoll is a bully. Stand up to him..

ETA: The Tyler Clark post RHE quotes is also excellent, particularly in how it pinpoints that isn’t about sexuality so much as it is about gender expression. An excerpt:

Your language is not only hurtful to gay men. It is hurtful to many straight men. As a [straight] 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.

Over the years, I have fallen away from the church. Recently, however, I have been longing to reengage. As a look for a new church, I need one that is welcome to all men—no matter how masculine.

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.


12 Comments on “Rachel Held Evans: Mark Driscoll is a bully. Stand up to him.”

  1. Hey, I hate Christians too! They never do anything but judge. Is there any way we can get them all fired from their jobs?

    I am adding your blog to my blogroll. You should see some increased traffic from mine to yours. Let’s keep up the heat on these H8ers!


  2. Wow. It’s good to see Evangelicals standing up to Driscoll. This didn’t happen a few years ago when I left the movement. Still glad I’m no longer Evangelical and don’t have to tap dance around people like Driscoll and the lack of accountability and discipline in the non-denominational movement, but I am glad to finally see some people stand up to him and demand accountability.

    • Grace says:

      It’s definitely very encouraging. But I also agree with your point about accountability – the whole idea that just anyone can go out an start a church and make up their own rules about how to run it… well, I get why it’s appealing, but it can lead to a lot of harm if there aren’t checks and balances or if the leaders involved take the trust of their congregations lightly.

  3. Ted says:

    The only men he is supposedly accountable to are the two top “executive elders” next to him in authority.

    “Two guys in a cage with no balls.”


  4. Blaine says:

    Driscoll issued a statement at theresurgence.com
    Not an apology for his beliefs, but how he expressed it on Facebook.

  5. Looks like there’s been a new development in “Effemigate” as of today. I’d be very interested to hear your take on it.

    • Grace says:

      SF – welcome to the blog. I’m aware of Driscoll’s woefully inadequate response to the controversy he kicked up, but thanks for the link.

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Re Driscoll, I find it interesting that Lauren Faust’s current reboot of My Little Pony presents six vastly-different archetypes of being feminine:
    * forceful, athletic, competitive tomboy (Rainbow Dash)
    * shy & nurturing (Fluttershy)
    * sober, hardworking, take-charge type (Applejack)
    * silly, bubbly, eccentric (Pinkie Pie)
    * intellectual & studious (Twilight Sparkle)
    * classy, elegant, artistic (Rarity)

    While Driscoll (and by implication/attribution God Almighty) can only present ONE archetype of being masculine:
    * “I CAN BEAT YOU UP”.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    • Grace says:

      Really good points. It’s one of the few ways I think complementarianism can be more restrictive for men than for women – there really is only one way, in this model, to be a “dude.”

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