This week the Christian blogosphere worked itself into a frenzy over a Facebook status posted by Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. The status, which was later removed, read, "So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you've ever personally witnessed?"
The news of this post quickly drew responses from bloggers like Rachel Held Evans, who called Driscoll a bully, and Tyler Clark, who reflected on his own experience as an oft-labeled effeminate male. These responses consequently elicited counter-responses from writers like Anthony Bradley, who accused Evans of libel, only to be met with counter-counter-responses, such as Brian McLaren's contribution to The Washington Post. The discussion finally culminated with Driscoll issuing his own response, admitting his comment was both "flippant" and failed to address "real issues with real content in a real context."
The biblical author James once described the tongue as a "small spark" that sets a great forest on fire. Watching this debate ignite, I couldn't help wondering whether James penned those words with the Internet in mind. That said, my intent here is not to throw additional kindling onto the flame.
Moving beyond the firestorm catalyzed by Driscoll's words, many evangelicals are not quite sure what to do with him anymore. This is not the first controversial thing he has done, so is it time to draw a line in the sand?
Before I answer that, I should confess my conflicted feelings about Pastor Driscoll. On the one hand, comments like the one cited above are, I believe, harmful for both men and women. On the topic of manhood and womanhood, I disagree with Driscoll often.
However, God is undoubtedly using Driscoll to edify ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 63+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more