Archive for June, 2009

What is it with Mark and sex??? What is it with Mark and abuse??? I keep getting these images of Swaggart and Bakker coming to mind… The following was pointed out to me today… to say I am appalled falls short of how I feel… It’s not that I’m squeamish about sex, but Driscoll… what can I say. Read the article, then come back and read my ranting about it below (posted on another blog where someone was defending him, not for this, but for all the other stuff that’s been surfacing).

But first, here are a few excerpts from the link below:

“During the sermon, which was entitled “Sex, a Study of the Good Bits from Song of Solomon,” Driscoll interpreted Song of Solomon 2:3 as referring to oral sex and then said, “Men, I am glad to report to you that oral sex is biblical…. The wife performing oral sex on the husband is biblical. God’s men said, Amen. Ladies, your husbands appreciate oral sex. They do. So, serve them, love them well. It’s biblical. Right here. We have a verse. ‘The fruit of her husband is sweet to her taste and she delights to be beneath him.'”

“Driscoll went on to tell an anecdote about a wife who he said won her husband to Christ by performing oral sex on him. Driscoll said he told her that giving him oral sex would be following the admonition of Scripture. A transcript of the sermon quotes Driscoll saying he told her, “1 Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness,” referring to oral sex. Verses 1 and 2 of that chapter, however, tell wives it is their “pure and reverent” conduct that will win their unbelieving husbands.

“In response to the idea that the Song of Solomon is an allegory about the relationship between Jesus and the Church, Driscoll said: “If so, it is weird, because Jesus keeps making out with me and touching me in inappropriate places. It’s bizarre, Jesus has his hand up my shirt. That doesn’t help the interpretation in any way. Now I’m gay … or highly troubled … or both.””


Does anyone else get it? Does anyone else see how sickeningly sexually abusive it is for Driscoll to teach young husbands (by the thousands!) that they can basically demand oral sex from their wives because, he says, the Bible strongly endorses it?! What if that wife is opposed to oral sex? What if she has past sexual abuse issues where her dad or other abuser orally raped her or forced her to perform fellatio on him? Come on, Driscoll, and everyone else, please, open your eyes! This is beyond, waaay beyond merely putting up with a “Christian brother” who has differing theological views than I do.

The man is doing and saying countless things that appear extremely abusive: spiritually, psychologically (verbal/emotional), and now sexually, in that he is outright condemning the poor woman who will not “submit” and make herself perform oral sex for her husband because it “pleases him.” Oh, and then he claims that one believing wife brought her husband to the Lord by performing oral sex on him. Okay.  I see this in John 5:9… NOT!




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Verbal & Emotional Abuse

I was listening to June Hunt on the radio the other evening, and what she described reminded me of Patricia Evans Book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, and together, these took me immediately to various videos of Mark’s sermons (especially the abusing abusers one) as well as to many accounts of those who write about having been directly harmed by him and the MH system.

June Hunt talked about the following:

NOTE:  [my words in [brackets] ]

Abuse is basically to be mistreated.

Emotional abuse is any ongoing behavior used to control and manipulate another [or a group].

It damages the victim’s sense of dignity and wounds their spirit.

Pr 18:14, “A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness,
but a crushed spirit who can bear?

People who abuse are not healthy and whole, they are fear based.

Pr 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

[If Mark Driscoll is as verbally/emotionally abusive as he appears at times to be, especially in his stage presence and his alleged interactions with several members, then for those who know Mark up close and personal–perhaps the elders who were apparently unjustly fired because they dared to question him and his new By-Laws, perhaps his wife, Grace, and/or perhaps those who are his “friends” and subordinate pastors, etc… –some of this might fit when you think of Mark]:

Control, control, control. Overtly, and/or covertly. The Passive Aggressive Abuser emotionally and verbally abuses by using sarcasm, ignoring, giving the silent treatment. His tactics are invalidating, “I never said that. You’re perceptions are wrong.” He uses minimizing and countering. It doesn’t matter what the truth is. Truth is disregarded. What’s true is what he says is true, period. He gets you with the passive dagger. It’s all about his efforts to obtain and maintain control and he’ll do whatever it takes to get that. He is a master of manipulation.

June’s web site is:


[She seems to offer some good stuff. I have not yet read her books.]

The following comes from:


pulled 5/7/08, and is written by Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, www.probe.org

He acquires much of his information below from Patricia Evans book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, and from Bach and Deutsch’s, Stop! You’re Driving Me Crazy.


…Verbal abuse is a kind of battering which doesn’t leave evidence comparable to the bruises of physical battering. … Like any area of human action, [verbal/emotional abuse] begins in the mind and heart [of the abuser]. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” What a person thinks in his mind and heart will be reflected in his words and actions.

… The victim of verbal abuse lives in a gradually more confusing realm. In public, the victim is with one person. While in private, the abuser may become a completely different person.

…  A victim is often the target of angry outbursts, sarcasm, or cool indifference. The abuser’s reaction to these actions is frequently cloaked in a “What’s wrong with you?” attitude. She is accused of “making a mountain out of a molehill.” Over time she loses her balance and equilibrium and begins to wonder if she is the one who is crazy.

The key to healing is to recognize verbal abuse for what it is and to begin to take deliberate steps to stop it and bring healing. Since the abuser is usually in denial, the responsibility for recognizing verbal abuse often rests with the partner [or the parishioner].

Characteristics of Verbal Abuse

Now I would like to focus on some of the characteristics of verbal abuse as outlined in The Verbally Abusive Relationship.

1. Verbal abuse is hurtful and usually attacks the nature and abilities of the partner. Over time, the partner may begin to believe that there is something wrong with her or her abilities. She may come to feel that she is the problem, rather than her partner.

[Notice, it attacks the PERSON not their specific behavior. It is shame based. The purpose is to make you feel inferior and flawed, to increase your self-doubt. By de-stabilizing you, the abuser can more easily control you. Driscoll was attacking the people in his rant, not merely their behavior. He was shaming them.].

2. Verbal abuse may be overt (through angry outbursts and name- calling) or  covert (involving very subtle comments, even something that approaches brainwashing). Overt verbal abuse is usually blaming and accusatory, and consequently confusing to the partner. Covert verbal abuse, which is hidden aggression, is even more confusing to the partner. Its aim is to control her without her knowing.

[Driscoll is becoming quite famous for his “angry outbursts and name calling.” He comes across as extremely accusatory and blaming. This is verbal/emotional abuse. Those who know him closely probably get a taste of the covert abuse.]

3. Verbal abuse is manipulative and controlling. Even disparaging comments may be voiced in an extremely sincere and concerned way. But the goal is to control and manipulate.

[In another clip, when Driscoll superficially apologizes for his pride and then quickly launches into his criticism about how proud the parishioners and “a couple of elders” in ‘his’ church are, he is being manipulative. When he squelches all dissent, he is being controlling. He apparently has no problem with tearing into his congregation, and then in the blink of an eye, going into this soft, compassionate voice and looking directly into the camera, face smoothed out of former disdainful expression, and saying something like, “It’s because I love you…”].

4. Verbal abuse is insidious. The partner’s self-esteem gradually diminishes, usually without her realizing it. She may consciously or unconsciously try to change her behavior so as not to upset the abuser.

[From the ex-Mars Hillians’ stories I have read, their self esteem seems to have been diminished by their experience at MH, and most of them seemed to have tried to alter their behavior to please and submit to Driscoll’s apparently legalistic system].

5. Verbal abuse is unpredictable. In fact, unpredictability is one of the most significant characteristics of verbal abuse. The partner is stunned, shocked, thrown off balance by her mate’s sarcasm, angry jab, put-down, or hurtful comment.

[At the beginning of the ranting clip against abusers, Driscoll was talking in a somewhat normal tone, when all of a sudden he takes in a breath, (I found myself instinctively holding mine), he then spews out in high volume, “How dare you?! Who the hell do you think you are?! …” and proceeds with what appears to be his own abusive rage (and most definitely NOT the Holy Spirit as Mark claims it to be).  It was unpredictable and shocking. When he goes into his tirade of the abusers ‘out there’ not being God, not being men, etc… and calls them “little boys” who need to man up before they love a woman, he is dripping with disdain and sarcasm.  Mark yells in the face of his audience, “You change now, little boy–You change right now. You shut up. You put your pants on. You get a job. You grow up.” This is simply unadulterated verbal/emotional abuse].

6. Verbal abuse is not a side issue. It is the issue in the relationship. When a couple is having an argument about a real issue, the issue can be resolved. In a verbally abusive relationship, there is no specific conflict. The issue is the abuse and this issue is not resolved. There is no closure.

[How could one ever get closure on much of anything when dealing with a verbal/emotional abuser who insists they are always right and you are always wrong, one who fights dirty and will shame, blame, block, divert, minimize, withhold, threaten, etc., at a moment’s notice in order to win, no matter what? The issue in relating with such a person is the abuse and that cannot be resolved until he comes out of his denial and seeks help. This is rarely accomplished unless the abuser’s entire world crashes through and he is bereft of subjects over whom he might exert control… but, alas, even then, change is real iffy].

7. Verbal abuse expresses a double message. There is incongruence between the way the abuser speaks and his real feelings. For example, he may sound very sincere and honest while he is telling his partner what is wrong with her.

[Driscoll appears at times to be really, sincerely preaching God’s Word, but upon closer inspection, he is mostly preaching aspects interpreted in ways he is comfortable with, the parts that allow him to tell us how bad we are, how much we fail, and how much we’d better listen to him and submit to his authority and buck up and deal with it. From my limited perspective thus far, I see much emphasis on commands, obedience to leaders and submission of women to men, where there is a lot of apparent condemnation for not doing the Christian life perfectly… I have not seen anything about a deep intimate love relationship with Christ (in fact, he generally mocks intimate loving worship as being too ‘chickified’), nor do I see much on a loving “Abba, Father” relationship with our Father in Heaven, nor do I see much if anything about the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, our “Paraclete” (Gk) the one who comes along side, our Comforter. And yet, for all of that, Driscoll claims to “love” us and to “love” God. This whole thing feels completely incongruent to me. He mostly seems angry and uptight, and he does sound “very sincere and honest while he is telling us what is wrong with us.”]

8. Verbal abuse usually escalates, increasing in intensity, frequency, and variety. The verbal abuse may begin with put-downs disguised as jokes. Later other forms might surface.

[It would be interesting to go back and review much older sermons of Driscoll’s to observe his escalating over time in these kinds of abusive behaviors, both in frequency and in intensity].

More to come on Verbal/Emotional Abuse in Comparison to Driscoll’s Words & Behaviors.

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You might want to check out this link after you skim below.


I did not explore the rest of this site, but very much appreciated this post, the comments and dialogue. The video of course and the transcript that one commenter included is… well… a picture paints a thousand words…

Here is the transcript of this section of Mark’s sermon “against” abuse and abusers… I wonder if MD looks in the mirror and applies his own words to himself? Sadly, from my perspective, he is yelling about / against some of the behaviors and characteristics I see in him… He also attempts to shame others into obedience (research and experience prove this rarely, if ever, works over the long haul), and he swings his arm around as if he is backhanding someone in the face, then points his finger angrily at the congregation, while yelling at them. I got a sad image of what it may have been like in little Driscoll’s home where his alcoholic father may very well have behaved similarly.

In the transcript below, the parts in bold I wonder if they might apply to MD, and that he needs to say these to himself… Some of these I pray MD would hear and apply, some I pray he would repent of in his own heart and life… The parts in italics, are me going “huh??”

It is always a shock to me when someone who behaves in manipulative, controlling and abusive ways condemns the very same behavior in others all the while being completely oblivious that they are describing themselves!

Some of you guys are just–it’s so frustrating. Some of you guys have been coming here for years–you still got your hands all over your girlfriend.

Some of you guys been coming’ here for years–you’re still not praying with your wife. Some of you guys been coming’ here for years–you’re still single and having sex.

Some of you guys will even–even as I’m preaching the sermon–some of you will be sitting next to your girlfriend or your fiancé or your wife. Some of you guys have already given her that look. “Don’t cry, don’t let ‘em know they’re talking about me–just hold it together.” You’ve already intimidated her right here.

Some of you guys have already whispered in her ear. “I don’t want to hear it–we’re not talking about this in the car on the way home.” Some of you have already whispered in her ear, “I’m sorry, I’ll do better. Trust me–let’s just move on real quickly.”

How dare you?

Who the hell do you think you are? Abusing a women–neglecting a women

being a coward–a fool. Being like your father Adam. Who do you think you are?

You’re not god, you’re just a man.

You’re not an impressive man.

You’re not a responsible man.

You’re not a noble man.

You’re not a respectable man.

You’re not a responsible man in any regard.

I don’t care how successful you are. In this area, if you are a failure, It clouds all of your dignity. It robs all of your masculinity. There is no excuse for any man who claims the name of Christ to treat a woman in a dishonorable disrespectful way.

Some of you right now–you guys will get all angry. How dare he yell at me?

That’s the Holy Spirit telling you it’s you. I didn’t name you–he did.

You change now, little boy–You change right now. You shut up. You put your pants on. You get a job. You grow up, and maybe one day you can love a woman. It’s for men not for boys.

And those of you men who are here, and you’re wives are suffering under your folly and failure–shame on you.

Shame on you if you say you’re a Christian

And shame on you if you’ve not been attending Mars Hill

And shame on you if you’ve been surrounded by good men and have pursued none of them.

And shame on you if you’ve not become a member and submitted to spiritual authority.

And shame on you if you’ve not joined a community group so you can walk in darkness.

And shame on you if you’ve shown up to put communion in your hands representing the body and blood of your murdered savior and then go put them on your girlfriend or download porn from the internet or raise your hand in a threat to your wife.

Shame on you!

You guys are a joke. And there are a handful of good men who are tired of picking up your mess. So you step up, you shut up, you man up, and you use all that anger you have toward me right now to repent–you do business with God.

I’m going to let you sit in this for a while.

You don’t go get your kids–you don’t get up and leave. We’re going to do something we’ve never done–we’re going to pass the plate–you can give your tithes and offerings. Early on in the church, 1995 or 6, we didn’t. I didn’t want anyone to think badly of me. I haven’t led well in this area. We have people who come to this church every week they don’t worship. They take, they don’t participate. If you’re disconnected please fill out the visitor card. Thousands of people fall through the cracks. Don’t lose this opportunity to get connected, so we can help.

When you’re ready, you take communion–but you men–you hear me this. You apologize to your wife before you take communion. Corinthians says if you don’t, you’ll drink judgment on yourself. God might even kill you right here to make an example of you. If you’re here with your girlfriend, you apologize. If you’re a little boy, you break up with her in love. And you tell her that you’re not ready, and that she deserves better–because God’s daughters need to be loved like Christ loved the church.

When you’re ready–when you’ve sat in it for a while, you take communion, you give of your tithes and offerings, and then you sing in repentance to Jesus. I do love you. I am furious with some men, and I believe that fury is God’s. You are not cute, and he is not pleased, and time is short.

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(Updated 6/11/09 Apparently the person who claimed my blog site as his own got wind of my report to twitter and,  he removed my site address listed on his twitter as his own “web site.”)

This is really unfortunate that I even have to do a post like this…

Just for the record, I don’t know why this person chose to do this, but



Nor do I necessarily share his/her taste in humor,

Nor do I appreciate the fact that she/he has chosen to deceitfully list my blog site as his/her own web site.

I have sent in a complaint to twitter.



And if you have it within yourself to make a public apology both on my site and on your twitter that would be appreciated.

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Updated 6/11/09

Based on a comment I wish to clarify: When I state, “The following comes from…” I am referring to the entire post below my intro which is not my writing nor does it necessarily jive completely with my take… a lot of times it does, but not always. It gets a little confusing in this post particularly because the blog host of the post I’m including states her own intro, then she quotes at length her friend who is also quoting the story from an ex-Mars Hillian. So when there is a section below stating, “My disclaimer…” that is not me speaking.

I think from here on out if I feel the need to comment within someone else’s writing in one of my posts, I will intro the writing with something like, see my comments in [ ].

The following comes from others’ experiences of Mars Hill and how it affected them and/or how it affects people they know and are concerned about. I also found this on:


Sunday, April 27, 2008

the women’s blog at mars hill church

My friend Kimberly posted this about Mark Drisoll and his teachings at Mars Hill Church here in Seattle. I’m concerned about some things going on there and Kim wrote about this subject – I just feel significant unrest about the teachings there. I’ll paste what she wrote here and her blog is here.

“So, you have to forgive me for talking about Mark Driscoll again– I know he is just one of many voices on the gender issue. But, he is in my hometown and I am just getting more and more concerned by what his church (Mars Hill) is dictating on gender. Actually, concern is too kind. I am appalled.

You really ought to read this blog, which is the confession of a mother at his church who condemns herself for not being content with being at home. (The blog is part of the official church website, which in the past year has added women writers.) She tells the story of how much she has longed to finish her Masters program (she has 10 credits left), but she finally has repented of desiring anything but motherhood. Here’s an except so you can get the feel for how she describes the months after having a child:

“I was miserable. I felt isolated. I missed my job. I missed my old work friends. I missed commuting. I missed my morning Starbucks drive through. My husband was taken care of. My daughter was thriving. But I was going crazy. I felt like my brain was rotting with every load of laundry I did. Every morning I woke up dreading the day and how I would fill the hours, regardless of how many activities I had planned. I was filled with resentment, bitterness, and discontentment.

Isaiah 59:2 – “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”

“In September, a month after our daughter was born, God blessed us yet again. Samson was offered a job and came on staff at Mars Hill. An amazing opportunity and one we had been praying for and yet I was immediately seized with fear. Great, I thought. I could keep up the happy housewife façade with my husband and friends, but under the watchful eye of an entire church? I would surely buckle under the pressure. Everyone would know how much I loathed being home. How would people react when they knew the truth? They would be shocked at my worldliness. They would shake their heads at my husband’s inability to shepherd his wife.

“I grew increasingly angry with God. This isn’t how it was supposed to be! Where was my peace? Where was the joy and relief that I was supposed to feel? Hadn’t God called me home? Hadn’t he impressed this on my heart? I was surrounded by a wonderful supportive community. My husband was the most appreciative doting father, my daughter was the happiest sweetest baby, my friends were always there to guide me and walk with me. This is what I wanted, right? This was the calling that God had made me for. I was designed to be a mother to my child, a helper suitable to my husband.

“I believed it in my head but I didn’t feel it in my heart. I was ashamed and shocked at myself. I was so disgusted with the ugly and horrendous condition of my heart that I couldn’t tell anyone, not even my husband. It was a secret sin that I harbored within myself. And the longer I kept my secret, the more the sin grew. I began to resent my husband and daughter for needing me. I grew bitter towards women who could answer God’s calling with a joyful heart when I could not. I knew what I was feeling was wrong, but I couldn’t confess it because by now I felt my sin was too great. I had been feeding it for too long and it had grown out of control.”

“Also, it is a 2 part posting, and you can read the second part here. Here is an excerpt of how the writer feels when she decides to “repent” of pursuing her Masters degree:

“I confessed and repented to my husband and daughter for the selfishness and singularity of my sin. I embraced my role as wife and mother the best I could and slowly began to feel a joy and peace in my life that can only come from living for God’s will and not my own. I was not completely full, because in this life we never are, but I was walking with the Lord. I was headed in the right direction.

“Slowly and painfully I am coming to grips with the fact that I will never finish my Master’s degree. By now my student loan payments have started to kick in, a monthly reminder of that part of me I feel is so incomplete. My graduate student standing has long since expired, but I can’t bear to take myself off the department mailing list. I keep my textbooks tucked away in a dusty box, just in case the Lord changes His mind. I still have that darker part of my soul that hangs on to the temptation for a life apart from God to pursue my own glory.”

My disclaimer [Stephy’s friend, Kimberly’s disclaimer, not Freedom’s, although much of it resonates]: I think being a homemaker is honorable, but I think women should have choice in this. And when your theology and social networks tell you it is straight up sinful to desire anything different, than you don’t really have much choice. There is just so much harm to analyze here on a psychological and sociological level. I want to weep when I read this story, and the stories of the woman who write in to say they also have “sinned” by desiring more than marriage and motherhood. When will people see how much this theology harms women (and men and their families, too)?

I think the comments of fellow readers might be even more insightful too help us see the psychological harm women are undergoing at that church. Consider these comments of women praising the article:

“(Almost) every Sunday for the last 7 years since I officially ended my ‘career’, I ferret the Seattle Times Job Classified section to find all the jobs in the legal field I ‘could’ have. For some reason (that I quit analyzing or agonizing or guilting myself over many editions ago), this is comforting, to think there are jobs out there that I could pursue. Then Mark shakes his head and winks at me as he hands me the stinky kitchen rag that really should have went in the laundry yesterday, I wipe Jack’s oatmeal off the floor and last nights dirt from Henry’s nose before I sound my last holler alarm to the teenagers to GET UP NOW. (As a sidenote, occasionally, I still get cold feet when I think of my marriage, but that’s another story.) God is faithful and good to conform us into the image of His Son (that’s what this whole gig is about).”

“Thanks for sharing Elizabeth. My daughter was three before Christ set me “free” from my idolatry and gave me joy in being home with the kids.I would encourage you to keep on wrestling with this and pick all the weeds of wrong/worldly thinking that are associated with mothering. I thought I had pulled this one by the root until I heard my little girl say to her father last week…”When I grow up I want to be a mommy just like my mommy” How sweet, right? While this is now my thought, my first, sinful thought was “Oh no, she should go to college and do something really great…not just be a mom.” OUCH! Immediately I cringed, “where did that thought come from?”

Posted by stephy at 12:11 PM 9 comments


April 27, 2008 3:06 PM

J: oh, man. this is very interesting.

My mother was a working mom and continually felt stung by other stay at home mothers at church. it was an issue that could never be resolved.

i can not relate at all to the idea that finishing a masters degree is somehow sinful when you have a new child. although i don’t mean to take this situation to be light or funny.

i am not a mother but if God has plans for me to be one I intend to take it up with him and my husband what my future career plans will be. i don’t think any woman should be made to feel like they need to conform to any set church made ideal and the admissions of these women are unsettling. there is truth in our feelings and we can not deny them. God has a way of working things out, why couldn’t he work it out in various ways? why is the church in the US so set in making people be the same person?

April 27, 2008 7:53 PM


Holy sh&t. No, I can’t at all see how these people of the church would encourage this for women. If she wasn’t to get her Masters Degree then why did God give her the smarts to get that far and then stop just short of her goal? If God is directing her life then she should follow her heart and what she feels God is telling her rather than let the men of this ‘church’ dictate what she should and shouldn’t do.

This is one of the big problems I cannot overcome when it comes to dealings with the church. So controlled by men – and in that I also mean humans, not just men. Give me all your money. Give me all your time. I will tell you how to live your life. When you should reproduce. When you should be happy. Who you should marry. When you should breathe. I will control all this because I am a man and I will interpret God’s written word for you – you can’t do it yourself.

How I hope that these women get the strength to listen to their own hearts and their own God and learn to be happy with what ever they are doing. If that is motherhood, then great. If not, find out what it is and quit letting the ‘church’ dictate your entire life.

Find a church that embraces your love for God and I suspect that these women will grow and walk with God and be happy.

Sorry – this one just hits way too close to home for me.

For more of the comments:


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