Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill church is splintering, and the problem seems to be a common one: a charismatic leader, a cult-like following, and the ego and weird psychological flaws of the leader gradually expand until they dominate the discourse. Everyone had to have known from the beginning that Mars Hill is peddling poison.
In Mars Hill theology, female members are viewed through the lens of complementarianism, a theological position that prescribes separate roles for women and men including male headship. A woman being advised to get down on her knees and give her husband a blow job represents just one of a spectrum of submissive behaviors touted for females, who are encouraged to find their meaning in the traditional roles of wife and mother. The virginity of women is prized, and by some reports Driscoll’s late discovery and fury that his wife had sex with another male as a teenager became bizarrely significant in their relationship and in the life of the church even though he himself was not a virgin when he married.
And now we’re finding out that he plagiarized chunks of his ‘bestseller’ book, and that one reason it was a bestseller is that he used church funds to buy up copies, and that many former church members are leaving in protest against Driscoll’s authoritarianism. It’s good to see. You can find more at Mars Hill Refuge, where former cult members share their stories.
A couple of years ago, some Mars Hill church members tried to recruit me to do a debate there — even then I got a creepy cult-like vibe from them, and turned them down flat.