Mega church pastor Mark Driscoll has made headlines this week in the wake of an announcement that a number of his churches will be closing down. Driscoll has been well-known for his incendiary comments about Christianity, patriarchy, homosexuality and Biblical morality, but the most recent revelation — that he once referred to women as “penis homes” — has left a number of people wondering how a person like Driscoll could have had enough followers to fill one church, much less a series of them.
Sadly, his metaphor (“Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home.”), was penned in 2001. Here are four more recent and just as problematic quotes from Pastor Driscoll.
1) “‘Serve‘ your husband.“ How do you show your love and obedience to God? According to Driscoll, oral sex on your husband does the trick. “I said, ‘You need to go home and tell your husband that you’ve met Jesus and you’ve been studying the Bible, and that you’re convicted of a terrible sin in your life. And then you need to drop his trousers, and you need to serve your husband. And when he asks why, say, “Because I’m a repentant woman. God has changed my heart and I’m supposed to be a biblical wife. She says, ‘Really?’ I said, ‘Yeah. First Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness.’” Of course, there’s no mention of a husband serving his wife with anything in return.
2) “I would not have married her.“ Driscoll is a happily married man. Possibly. But in his own book he outs his own wife’s “sin” of being a victim of sexual abuse, blaming her for hiding her secret and allowing them to have really bad sex because of it. “My previously free and fun girlfriend was suddenly my frigid and fearful wife. She did not undress in front of me, required the lights to be off on the rare occasions we were intimate, checked out during sex, and experienced a lot of physical discomfort because she was tense… One night, as we approached the birth of our first child, Ashley, and the launch of our church, I had a dream in which I saw some things that shook me to my core. I saw in painful detail Grace sinning sexually during a senior trip she took after high school when we had just started dating. It was so clear it was like watching a film — something I cannot really explain but the kind of revelation I sometimes receive. I awoke, threw up, and spent the rest of the night sitting on our couch, praying, hoping it was untrue, and waiting for her to wake up so I could ask her. I asked her if it was true, fearing the answer. Yes, she confessed, it was. Grace started weeping and trying to apologize for lying to me, but I honestly don’t remember the details of the conversation, as I was shell-shocked. Had I known about this sin, I would not have married her.”
3) “Masturbation is homosexuality unless your wife is in the room watching you.“ Some quotes just have to speak for themselves. “First, masturbation can be a form of homosexuality because it is a sexual act that does not involve a woman. If a man were to masturbate while engaged in other forms of sexual intimacy with his wife then he would not be doing so in a homosexual way. However, any man who does so without his wife in the room is bordering on homosexuality activity, particularly if he’s watching himself in a mirror and being turned on by his own male body.”
4) “You have sexual demons.“ Lindy West at Jezebel has an old and aptly titled “Worst Guy Ever” post listing many horrible things that Driscoll or his church has done, but one of the more alarming may be when he accused a parish member of having a “sex demon” in her. “It was only the three of them: Amy, her husband, and Mark,” reported Brendon Kiley. “Amy was sitting beside her husband on a leather couch. They were facing Mark. ‘Mark started the meeting by telling us he was convinced that I had demons,’ says Amy, ‘and then he went on to add that my demons were “sexual demons”. Amy describes Mark’s demeanor toward her as a ‘fiery tirade’. During this encounter, Mark told Amy he believed that every one of her sins were ‘sex based.’ He said that the demons inside her were out to destroy every one of the marriages in their circle of friends. ‘At one point,’ says Amy, ‘he asked me which one of my husband’s friends I had imagined sleeping with.’”
With all this context, it’s not surprising that Driscoll’s churches are closing, but only that they remained open so long.