My goodness, our very favorite right-wing misogynist has been a busy busy little bee on his blog this past week! Lord Snow Presides… over Mark Driscoll’s wildest hopes!
It Wuz Demonz! All Uv It! DEMONZ!
Last week we figured out rather quickly, as a commentariat, why Mark Driscoll chose to reprint old material about demons: all of it seemed to subtly hint that he wasn’t responsible for his past failures with Mars Hill and that anybody who still holds that mess against him is sinning. So when we look at his many posts of the previous week, bear in mind that he’s laying a foundation that he clearly hopes will get him back into the kind of power and authority he enjoyed back at his now-destroyed megachurch. He’s got a lot of ground to cover to make himself seem more credible as a Christian authority figure.
Having suitably–he thinks at least–absolved himself of responsibility for Mars Hill’s disintegration and his own loss of power, now he has to lay tracks down about his personal integrity.
As always, all links to his dreck will be archived, first so they don’t disappear, and second because I ain’t giving him any clicks that I can help.
So first we have a humblebrag from “Pastor Mark” about how his kids are all super-fervent fundagelicals still (oh btw if you want to see the videos, you’ll hafta go to his actual blog because they don’t usually work with archiving, but I advise against that course of action for reasons that will become glaringly clear in a minute here). Having kids who are actually still Christian is a big deal for Christian parents these days, considering the deluge of kids disengaging or deconverting from the religion altogether.1 Christian parents give themselves all the credit (or blame) for their kids’ belief or lack thereof, which seems very silly to me, but you can bet Mark Driscoll is grabbing for every single bit of credit he possibly can–whether he deserves it or not.
If you want to save yourself nine pointless minutes you will never get back, let me run down the accompanying video for you. It’s just him preaching in a church–probably the new one he snagged in Arizona, using the listicle format that fundagelical leaders love so much.2
This one won’t be any exception to the norm, as you’d guess. Here’s his listicle for being just as awesome a parent as he is (where I quote, they’re from him):
- Children are a blessing (even when they feel more like a burden).
- Children are a parent’s responsibility (not a school’s and not the gubmint’s).
- “The point of parenting is godliness.” Here I found myself gasping out a creative profanity at his comparison of raising an obedient child to raising an obedient pet. But if a parent can’t produce a proper TRUE CHRISTIAN™, then nothing else matters.
- Babies are born with “a sin nature and no theology.” It takes a nasty Calvinist to see a baby as anything but a sweet and innocent life just starting out, doesn’t it? He affirms that nobody is born Christian, but insists that a parent’s job is to make the kid Christian and to torture the “rebellion” out of them.
- Children are vulnerable. He talks up how prone to injury boys are (not girls–he says boys and only boys, cuz obviously girls aren’t allowed to play like that). Parents must protect children from predators and harmful experiences. A pity he didn’t realize that he was one of those experiences.
- Christians’ imaginary friend knows a child better than parents ever could. He offers no evidence for this claim but claims, also without evidence, that “the Holy Spirit has access to your child’s heart and mind.” He tells a story about how he was once “going crazy” trying to force a stubborn son to obey him. He finally grabbed the kid and forced him into bear hug embrace, which the child resisted ferociously, and pinned that thrashing child against him until the child stopped struggling and showed throat. He attributes that show of docility to Jesus because he was praying the whole time. I literally felt my skin crawling at this story. This man is a walking horror show and should not be entrusted with children, much less a church. He says he “sicced the Holy Spirit” on his son, adding “Amen?” (that’s Christianese for “amirite?”) and the congregation kinda laughed a little (to me it sounded like they were maybe super-uncomfortable, but who knows, maybe the acoustics in his new little church are just that bad). Mark Driscoll thought this was the funniest anecdote in the world. God, this man’s poor children. God.
- You should always love your child and the goal of parents is “to work toward enjoying each other.” He talks about how he takes video of his kids against their wills and makes fun of them for snarling at him when they don’t want to be photographed or recorded.
The tealdeer is that Mark Driscoll is giving advice to his flock about how to be a great Christian parent, but he accidentally reveals that he is in fact an absolutely terrible parent. I’m still fighting the creeping horrors over that anecdote about pinning his child. I’d rather be covered in a million foaming spiders than even think about what it must have been like for his children to have him as a father. That story is all I need to hear to know that there is no omnimax god doing anything on this planet.
As with his earlier sorta-original blog posts, he’s not actually responding to anybody’s questions. Most of his listicle isn’t actually any kind of advice, just Christianese glurge. I’m guessing that he recorded that video probably weeks ago and is just re-running it on the blog. And he thinks this parenting advice is going to give him more credibility and boost his image with fundagelicals.
I hate knowing that it just might–for a lot of them.
Christians, please do not assault your children or bear-hug them into submission. That’s a cruel violation of a child’s personal space. Bear hugs are sometimes taught as a safe last-ditch restraint method for a really violent child in institutional settings, but it really doesn’t sound like that’s what was going on in the anecdote and I doubt that anybody as sheerly clueless as he is about consent has gotten the necessary training to know when or how to use the technique. And FFS don’t photograph or record a child who clearly doesn’t want to be there JFC what is even wrong with this guy
Really, nobody should take Mark Driscoll as any kind of authority on childrearing.
The Big Problem Here.
Mark Driscoll was pinning his children against their will and recording them without consent and mentally forming listicles like these for parents while he was doing all the terrible stuff he was doing at Mars Hill. While he was writing on Mars Hill’s message board about his hatred for single mothers, he actually had children at home right then that he was tormenting-for-Jesus. While he ruled over what one Christian conference speaker called “the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with,” he was raising a pack of children (at least insofar as macho fratbros-for-Jesus like him do anything involving housework or childcare, “amen?”) with his long-suffering wife Grace. Whatcha wanna bet that he was ten times worse at home than he was in his imperial seat at church?
Really, the most confusing part of his new blog is how he’s pretending that Mars Hill just never happened. I’ve been saying for years that fundagelicals have really short memories, but every time that fact comes to the surface of my mind, I’m surprised all over again.
And I reckon I have a very good idea now of exactly why so many kids leave this religion the second they’re able to make up their own minds about it–and likely also why so many of the kids I knew in church when I was Christian seemed so unenthusiastic about the religion.
Copies of Copies of Copies.
Oh, and he’s still on a tear about yoga; according to him, it’s evil and demonic. And oh yeah for sure I’m totally sure that “a mom named Stephanie” emailed him her “curious question” about it (do a lot of people use textspeak abbreviations like “ur” in emails?), given that the post is almost an exact copy of a post he wrote while ruling Mars Hill (from what I can see, he just removed phrases like “often at Mars Hill Church” and inserted the copy about “Stephanie”). The Mars Hill blog is gone, but someone reblogged it. Mark Driscoll can’t run away from the internet–we might be rowdy at times out here on the Rim, but our memories out here in the electronic frontier are very, very long.
You can’t stop the signal.
I’ve got no idea why he chose to talk about yoga at all, though. Since he wrote that post some six years ago, it’s become an even bigger part of our culture. It’s just weird that he’s using this big huge platform at Patheos to regurgitate old blog posts and book chapters he’s written. It just comes out sounding like he’s an Old Man Yelling At Clouds or something.
Lying’s still a sin in Christian-land last time I checked, “amen?”
Lord Snow Presides… Over Mark Driscoll’s Missing Comment Box. What would you say to these posts of his if you were on his blog and he actually allowed comments?
Lord Snow Presides is our off-topic Monday post to chat about anything we want. If you want to respond to these posts by Mark Driscoll as if you were commenting on his own blog, feel free! If you’d rather share pet pictures or talk about something else, that is totally fine too. See you tomorrow!
1 Disengaging is withdrawing from the devotions and observations of a religion, like praying or attending church but still calling oneself Christian; deconverting means losing faith altogether.
2 Oh, listicles, you luscious boon to those seeking to ultra-simplify complex ideas for gullible flocks that value fee-fees over substance! They just can’t quit you!