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A Love Letter to Mark Driscoll

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*Mark Driscoll is the Founding Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington.

 

Mark,

 

I was 12.  I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.   I prayed and prayed.  I walked down the aisle multiple times.  I felt no assurance that I was truly a follower of Jesus and I couldn’t figure out why.

 

There was a tough youth leader that I really liked and respected.  I decided to take my conundrum to him.  I poured my heart out and asked, “Why won’t God give me any assurance of salvation?”  After a long thoughtful pause, the youth leader replied, “Because you are a pussy.”

 

A number of years ago, I sat down with a friend who told me about attending one of your church planting conferences.  The young man was really struggling to make a living and pastor his small church plant.  When he asked you “Why can I not make a living if God has called me?” you replied, “Because you are a pussy.”

 

Much like the youth leader I experienced as a young man, Mark your behavior is that of a bully.  I think it is because someone had one of these “you are being a pussy” type conversations with you and it pushed you to be who you are.  Jesus is not a bully, Mark.  I actually believe if you really met Jesus you would probably call him a pussy too.

 

The language of pussy is very problematic in and of itself…as it furthers patriarchy and makes the assumption that one sexual organ is better or worse than another.

 

Mark I am tired of all of this oppressive stuff that you keep putting out.  It is wrong and it is not of a God who declares God’s self to be love.

 

With this said, I am also tired of the manner that Christians are responding to you.  There is nothing wrong with explaining to you that your words about Jesus are apostasy and harmful, but there is something wrong with using the same language that you use to dehumanize and degrade you.  I refuse to participate in the dehumanization of anyone.

 

Mark please make no mistake, your writings and ministry are incredibly harmful to a large number of people.  I understand that you are trying to change your tone (http://www.christianpost.com/news/mark-driscoll-takes-apologetic-tone-during-sermon-mars-hill-church-board-addresses-latest-controversy-115857/)…but again please make no mistake…your tone is not the problem…it is your writings and ministry that consistently further misogyny, homophobia, patriarchy, bigotry and many other oppressions and that will remain true as long as you as you say the types of things you say no matter how you say them.  I do not believe that oppression and hate can ever be of God.  Mark, in many ways you are my enemy…but Jesus tells me to love my enemies.

 

So I just wanted to send you this love letter.  I also wanted to tell you that there are only a few men that I have ever felt as strongly about as I do you.

 

Love you Mark.

 

Jeff

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