Rob Bell is going to be able to sleep tonight, because finally, drama and controversy has sparked elsewhere in modern Christianity.

Macho pastor Mark Driscoll gets a wedgie from a 100 pound girl.

Of course I don’t mean this literally, and I know better to never guess a woman’s weight…but the mental picture gives me a chuckle, so I’m keeping the metaphor.

Here’s the story:  Mark Driscoll, posted something inappropriate on his Twitter.  Big surprise, right?  Well, this time, he struck a nerve with someone who actually gets more than 20 people reading his or her blog.

(Many humble thanks to my 20 fans out there.)

Queue Rachel Held Evans to the scene.  She’s a fellow blogger/writer – only she’s about 1,000 times more successful than Fourfingerculture.  I’d be jealous of this fact if she wasn’t freaking amazing.  I’ve been a fan of hers for a few months now and she’s never disappointed me. So Rachel blogged a response to Driscoll’s beef-headed comment that, in my opinion, was absolutely brilliant. The bully gets a wedgie.

But like any good drama that’s discussed over the internet, people on both sides of the spectrum got and are still getting a little too passionate.  Rachel’s blog is less than 24 hours old and I’ve already seen numerous Facebook conversations about it.  Because I’m such a phlegmatic person, I get a little squeamish when Christians take arms with each other.  I’m still hiding under a rock due to the whole Love Wins “controversy”.  But there are some good points that both sides seem to be making, so I have to write about them.

Oh, and if you haven’t stopped reading this blog to Google Rachel Held Evans by now, here’s the direct link:  http://rachelheldevans.com/mark-driscoll-bully

Let me begin by saying this:  Rachel’s blog was spot on.  Too many times Mark Driscoll  has harmed Christianity with his antics.  You don’t need a theology degree to see that some of the things he says and does are simply wrong.  And even if you’re a Driscoll fan, you have to admit that he has a really strange passion for picking on guys that aren’t of the lumberjack persuasion.

I’m trying to be objective here but I have to assume that I’m a bit biased.  I’m one of those guys that Mark Driscoll loves to hate.  I’m kind of a chick.  I love art and music.  I write poetry and songs.  I love children.  I cried like a baby while watching “August Rush”.  But I’m also very much a dude.  I love risk-taking.  I like beer and action flicks, and things that go “boom”.  And I’m fairly confident that if Driscoll and I were to put on boxing gloves, I’d drop him like a bad habit in the third round.   So ultimately Mark Driscoll doesn’t personally offend me and I can say with objectivity that he needs to be accountable for his words and grow the heck up.

But I’ve also been reading the opinions of those who are for Mark Driscoll and against Rachel Evans.  While I think most of these opinions are incredibly misguided, they’ve been making me think.  And as much as it pains me to say this, if you take Mark Driscoll and strip away his misogyny and bully tactics, there’s a little tiny kernel of truth that he carries that is worth mentioning.

Our culture has somewhat emasculated the man.

Turn on the TV and you’ll find a mass of sitcoms and commercials where men are portrayed as ignorant buffoons that only care about the basic necessities of food and sex and that are scared to death to do anything outside of their wives’ expressed, written consent.  These men always get portrayed as being completely clueless to their wives’ needs and continuously drop the ball at being good fathers.  But at least they’re good at swinging a hammer and catching a football.

We live in a society where the jock is always dumb and the guy who works with his hands is always devoid of emotions.

This stereotype goes beyond society.  It’s landed in our churches.  I’ve seen countless of times where macho men get somewhat of a bad rap at church because many of them are more stoic during worship and dry-eyed during prayer time.  I’ve seen macho men on the outskirts of church fellowship because they have a hard time relating to more touchy-feely times of discussion.  But if you want someone to hang dry wall, help with a prison ministry, or to grab a young punk by the scruff of the neck and give some much needed tough love, that’s often where the macho man shines.

So I’m glad that Mark Driscoll is putting some gristle back in the church…but only a small part – like 10%.  The 90% that is Driscoll’s bullying  should go away.

Because the truth is, It doesn’t matter if you drive a motorcycle, can bench 400 pounds, or if you read Tolstoy or have gotten teary eyed at a commercial (don’t judge me) – these things don’t define you as a man.  A real man has valor.  A real man is faithful.  A real man has integrity and honesty.  A real man loves his family and takes care of them self-sacrificially.

Real men don’t hide who they are and don’t ridicule other men for not being like them.

If you’re looking for what a real man looks like, look no further than Jesus.  He is both a lion and a lamb.  He was a manly carpenter and still found the time to hold some unhindered kids.  He said things like “blessed are the meek” but went commando on the money changers in the temple.

Jesus was the ideal man. Mark Driscoll is not.  And nether am I.

But I still think I knock him out in the third round.

Comments on: "The many beef-headed words of Mark Driscoll (and the few that make really excellent points)" (12)

  1. Katie Hahs said:

    this blog utterly confused me… mainly because i still have no freakin clue who Mark Driscoll is… and now im curious as to what he said that got him in trouble? lol

    • Katie, Google him already! 🙂 In a nutshell, he’s a very successful Calvinist pastor who often says things that make you want to do a facepalm. There’s a ton of short Youtube vids about him, that’s the best place to go if you want to capture the magic that is Mark Driscoll.

  2. Man, I have to say, I’ve despised Driscoll for years now, even back in my Christian years.

    I agree with Rachel’s blog post 100% and yours, well, 95%.

    The only thing I want to point out is that machismo is actually a stereotype in and of itself. (I’m not sure if this is what you meant, so I wanted to expound here, if for no other reason, than I just love the sound of my voice… in my head… as I type this.)

    So of course not every “anatomically” male person will be 100% masculine in the eyes of society. Mutatis mutandis for women.

    Taken one way, all fall on a spectrum of more or less “gender-appropriate” likes and interests. But “gender-appropriate” is a complete non-sequitur. It’s almost entirely a false category. To be a man, you need a twig and berries dangling between your legs. Everything else, all the things a man may be interested in, is optional. Really. (And let’s not even bring hermaphrodites into the picture here. I mean, God doesn’t even admit to creating them. But they’re out there.)

    So a second approach should warn us against suggesting much of anything is “gender-appropriate”, at least not exclusively so. Some very few things are, but most things simply are not.

    Were I still a worship pastor, I would fall in Mark Driscoll’s line of fire here. I was that guy. Manly men with hairy chests and beer guts would mock me. They did, actually. And it hurt, though less and less as time went on.

    But in my opinion, Mark Driscoll has a bigger problem than being a close-minded bully, because as much as he goes against some scriptures, like the ones Rachel pointed out, he has just as many, if not more, to support his views. On women, on gays, on sexuality, on peace and violence and, you get where I’m heading here. So long as he reads his bible, he is just as likely to focus on those scriptures and continue down this trajectory as he is to pay more attention to the others and do an about-face.

    As for me, I have no excuse when I say something is “gay” as a pejorative. I am learning to apologize every time I say that, even to people who don’t find it offensive. Because I no longer want to proliferate that kind of attitude towards gays.

    I don’t need a scripture to tell me homophobia is wrong (does one exist?).

    Appealing to scripture gets us nowhere in this debate. We only move forward by appealing to reason. Experience tells us what being hurtful or tactless or sexist does to people. Reason tells us these things are worth stopping in our society in order to ensure more happiness and do less harm.

    And that’s as a simple and as complex as it need be. Why appeal to a book that, at best, supports both sides in such debates?

    • Tony I’m glad you’re a fellow chick with me 😛

      You made some good points. I guess in a way I’m just as guilty as Driscoll and Evans by saying “A real man is…” when in all actuality a real man is defined by what’s occupying space in his Levi’s.

      But then of course, this also outcasts the eunuchs. Poor little guys.

      I guess I’m arguing from a “when in Rome” perspective. Everyone seems to have an argument about what a “real man” entails. And even though I was a little anatomically inaccurate, I think it’s more impacting to say, “Don’t judge a man by his reading of Tolstoy or by his love for Nascar, judge him by the content of his character.” instead of “Don’t judge a man…..judge him by the fact that he’s got a twig and two berries.”

      I’ve always wanted to say “twig and two berries” in a blog.

      As far as the Bible goes, Driscoll’s interpretations creep me out a bit. So you have a point there. But there’s this one word that I didn’t hear once at our time in Bible college that has made a world of difference. Narrative. If you piecemeal the Bible, you’re going to have a license to believe some incredibly stupid things – things I believe Driscoll is super guilty of. But, at least to me, the Bible makes a lot more sense – and echoes common sense – when it’s read more as a whole.

      Do I sense another ‘Dueling Liberals’ piece coming?

  3. Thank you for thinking that I weigh 100 pounds. 🙂

    • Rachel – two things:

      1. I’m honored that your read my blog.

      2. I’m relieved that my 100 pound comment went over well. 🙂

  4. Ugh.. I just typed out a great response and my daughter somehow deleted all of it and I cannot find any way to undo it. So…

    To sum it up, I pose these questions:

    Since God mandated the stoning of homosexuals in the bible (thus casting Driscoll’s derision and mockery in a much better comparative light), has God changed his mind? Or has he learned from a past mistake? Was any of that ever moral, and if so, has morality changed? (I should hope not in the latter case, since that would make you, and not me, the moral relativist).

    I suggest it was Jewish culture, just people, that decided to stone gays, and that they and the monotheistic traditions who have borrowed from them these past millennia have maintained that tradition, only stopping when culture insisted. When the zeitgeist changed. In some places, clearly it hasn’t, since homosexuality is still a capital offense in many countries and in many more it is met with the same violence tacitly approved by a populace and government that looks the other way.

    In my view, Culture, that is, people in their respective cultures, are the ones learning the lesson here, slowly and painfully learning that their previous stances on homosexuality were harmful, and adjusting to that information.

    I declare that it is and always was wrong to treat homosexuals this way, mockery or murder, it’s all the same to me. Anyone who tells you different, in my mind, is selling something.

    And I accept your invitation. *removes white glove and promptly smacks opponents cheek*

    Duel we shall!

  5. Patricia said:

    I couldn’t get to Rachel’s blog because for some reason, trying to open her website jams my browser and makes it quit working. Oh well.

    I have to say that my favorite writers of all time tend to be those who also wrote poetry and faerie tales, and they’re men. I could only imagine the gently spoken-but-to-the-point dressing down a George MacDonald would give to a Mark Driscoll. Perhaps his poem, “Preacher’s Repentance” would be appropriate …

    O Lord, I have been talking to the people;
    Thoughts wheels have round me whirled a fiery zone,
    And the recoil of my word’s airy ripple
    My heart heedful has puffed up and blown.
    Therefore I cast myself before thee prone:
    Lay cool hands on my burning brain and press
    From my weak heart the swelling emptiness.

    From: Diary of an Old Soul, January 31

    • Patricia,

      That poem couldn’t have come at a better time for me personally. Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve not read Diary of an Old Soul yet. I’m still scraping my heart and brain off the wall from Unspoken Sermons. 🙂

      • Patricia said:

        Joshua, I certainly did not mean the poem as any sort of rebuke to you. Please forgive me if you took it that way. Like you, I’ve never gotten over Unspoken Sermons. I don’t know if I ever will, even though I feel that perhaps my faith is gasping. It was so much “easier” when I delegated my thinking to the likes of Driscoll’s ilk. But there’s no going backward, to use Dr. Beck’s term, once you’ve gone “meta.”

      • No, no rebuke at all! It was encouraging in a way and humbling in other areas of my life. It was great.

        That’s funny – I’ve been pondering a lot lately how there’s no way I could ever “go back”.

  6. Felipe Ramos said:

    I does not like Mark Discroll.

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