Driscoll Mocks Scripture
A key characteristic of Mark Driscoll’s ministry is to find fun and humour in the Scriptures. Driscoll plainly declares to the congregation of Mars Hill Church that he wants to give them a few laughs. He claims that the Bible is full of irony and sarcasms. The reaction of the congregation to many of Driscoll’s sermons is to laugh at God’s Word. Driscoll enjoys making fun of Noah, a just man, perfect in his generation, who walked with God (Genesis 6.9). In his book Vintage Jesus, Driscoll makes fun of Jesus and his parents. Driscoll slanders Gideon, God’s mighty warrior, by calling him a complete coward.
Here is an extract from Driscoll sermon, entitled ‘Divine Wine and Holy Humor’ based on John 2:1-11.
The Gospel of John, Part 5: Divine Wine and Holy Humor
The aim of Driscoll’s sermon is to find humour in the Bible. ‘What I want to do tonight is give you a few laughs and make you really frustrated and send you home as quickly as we can. That’s my duty tonight—I want you to walk out here with a lot of dilemma and tension; I believe that the Christian faith is about tension and that we live in this place of tension.’
Driscoll tells his congregation that a really important attribute of God is his sense of humour. Quote: ‘Attributes of God that I think are tremendously important and often overlooked is that God has a sense of humour—God is a funny God. It says in the psalms that God laughs at his enemies. I’m not saying that God tells knock-knock jocks or pull my finger, that’s not the kind of humour that God has, God has witty, insightful, profound humour, we like to call irony and sarcasm. I love thinking humour; I don’t like base junior high humour. I like thinking, clever, insightful, penetrating humour, and that’s the kind of humour that God uses… As I read the Bible I found things that are really funny, and I wasn’t sure what to do with them for some people had told me the Bible is about sin, and God, and very serious things, and there’s nothing funny in there. But if you’ve ever seen someone who is deep in sin sometimes they’re funny, I mean not that you laugh at their expense, but they’re still funny.
Give you an example, go back to the old Testament and God tells this gentleman named Abram you are going to be the father of a great nation, many people are going to come from you. Abram is about 80 years old with a barren wife—that’s funny— that’s funny and so they both laugh at God, and God makes them wait 20 years or so to have their child—that’s funny too. [laughter] As if eighty wasn’t bad enough, your hundred-year-old chasing a kid around—that’s funny. At least, to me that’s funny. Maybe it wasn’t funny to Sarah trying to nurse at a hundred, but to me that’s funny. [Raucous laughter]
Turning to the Gospel of John, Driscoll continues to find great hilarity in the Scripture. ‘I think John is the funniest gospel. You’ve got John the Baptist who is a complete freak. And if you look at how Jesus came into the world it’s totally ironic—he is born to a teenage virgin in a dumpy rural town. That blue collar carpenter guy works with his hands has got a freaky cousin who lives out in the woods on bugs and sugar. Jesus, God, reaches about 30 years of age and is a classic under achiever, no wife, no kids, no viable career, he doesn’t have a home – like what has he been doing, what has God been up to – it’s like God has been on vocation until he reached 30 and then he decided to put his life together—to me it’s funny, maybe not to you, maybe it’s blasphemous; to me its funny, I look at it and I go, man I’m 30 and I got more done than God did. You think about that—man I got a mortgage, you know [raucous laugher]. How funny is this that God comes to earth, and if we’d saw Jesus at 30 we’d have thought you’re not that impressive, you’re not that impressive?’
Web links of interest:
The sermon ‘Religion Saves Part 2: Humor, Pastor Mark Driscoll | January 13, 2008 is more of the same mocking of Scripture.
You can learn more about Mark Driscoll’s ministry in the book, The New Calvinists (2014), published by The Wakeman Trust and Belmont House Publishing. The book is available from belmonthousebooks.com/
Foolish talk and course joking
The congregation laughs with Driscoll as he makes fun of God’s Word. Does a preacher who is doctrinally sound preach such as sermon? The claim that Driscoll is doctrinally sound is without foundation. No person who preaches sound doctrine mocks God’s Word. Out of Driscoll’s mouth comes the overflow of his heart. Scripture is clear. ‘Let there be no filthiness, nor foolish talk, nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving… let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience’ (Ephesians 5.4, 6).
Dr Larry Perkins Professor of Biblical Studies at Northwest Baptist Seminary in his blog addresses the question: How witty should a Christian be?
“Humour is one of God’s great gifts, but our human depravity mars this too. Pride and ego twist humour into an abusive, mocking, destructive force. Paul speaks to this question in Ephesians 5. He carefully demarks those things which are “improper for God’s holy people” and ‘out of place’ (vv.3-4). One of these is ‘coarse joking’ (eutrapelia), along with ‘obscenity’ (aischrotēs), and ‘foolish talk’ (mōrologia).
All three words only occur in the New Testament in Eph. 5:4. The third term in this series is eutrapelia and it is translated as ‘crude joking’ (English Standard Version), ‘coarse jesting’ (New English Translation), ‘coarse joking’ (New International Version), or ‘vulgar talk’ (New Revised Standard). The adjectival form of this word describes something that turns easily. When applied to intellect, it suggests a mental agility and suppleness which can be positive – ready wit, or negative – mockery.”
Mark Driscoll it appears, revels in foolish talk and crude jocking that is condemned by Scripture as improper for God’s holy people.
‘The heart of fools is in the house of mirth’ (Ecclesiastes 7.4)
‘The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate’ (Proverbs 8.13)
‘Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you’ (Proverbs 4.24)