Aggressive attitude

Driscoll’s aggressive attitude

In his book Confessions of a Reformission Rev, Mark Driscoll illustrates his aggressive attitude towards churchgoers with whom he does not agree. He writes:

‘Over the years, I’ve just accepted that if I do not quickly open the back door when God is trying to run people out of our church, I am working against God by keeping sick people in my church so that they can infect others. Indeed, the church is a body, and one of the most important parts is the colon. Like the human body, any church body without a colon is destined for sickness that leads to death.’

In Driscoll’s mind, God wants to run ‘sick people’ out of the Church. He says that to accomplish this task the church needs a colon to excrete ‘sick people’, before they infect others in the church. So in Driscoll’s church there is no place for ‘sick people’. Yet Jesus Christ said he had come for the sick: Jesus said to his disciples: ‘They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick; I came not to call righteous, but sinners to repentance’ (Mark 2.17). But Driscoll disagrees with Jesus’ approach to sick people.

In another talk, given the day after he had fired two church elders, Driscoll describes how he deals with ‘stiff necked, stubborn, obstinate people’ in his Mars Hill Church. He says he is all about blessed subtraction.

‘There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus, [he chuckles] and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done. You either get on the bus or you get run over by the bus. Those are the options. But the bus ain’t going to stop!’


Members of his congregation who get in the way of the bus are going to be run over. Driscoll then refers to two Mars Hill Church elders (Pastor Paul Petry and Pastor Bent Meyer) who were fired because, he claims, they were ‘off mission’, and so are now unemployed.

Here is an extract from Pastor Paul Petry’s letter to the Executive Elders (EE) of Mars Hill Church:

‘You have grievously sinned against us [his wife and children] by the ungodly manner in which I was terminated, threatened, my name and character maligned and the malice that has been carried out against me and my family in the way my unjust trial was handled. The harshness, abusive power, anger, manipulation, and control exhibited by Pastor Mark and the EE team.’

Here is an extract of a post by Pastor Bent Meyer [posted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:06 PM said:]

‘I am one of the men fired the day of Mark’s rant about two elders he felt needed broken noses. Someone asked what has happened since that day… As to my motives, I want Mark’s best. In my opinion he is a very troubled man. He is caught in his own hell. The consequence, of course, is the influence he has on others, which is mixed…

The downside is Mark’s pathology shows up in ways that are impulsive, aggressive, irascible, shut off from effective relational influence, and most apparent not respectful and submissive to anyone, though he claims otherwise.’

Driscoll’s aggressive, impatient attitude in dealing with people who disagree with him is diametrically opposed to the teaching of Scripture. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy, pastor of the Ephesian church: ‘And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will’ (2 Timothy 2.24-26). Timothy was a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ; as such he was to resemble his Lord, who was meek and lowly, always gentle, who when he was afflicted opened not his mouth, who never retaliated against those who reviled him.

The apostle Paul had this testimony: ‘But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children’ (1 Thessalonians 2.7).  He instructs Titus: ‘To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers (not to be contentious), but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men’ (Titus 3.2). Note that Titus, a servant of the Lord, is to show all meekness to all men.

From the above Scripture it is clear that the Lord’s servant must be gentle and patient. He must also be meek in his inner spirit. Even with those who disagree with him; as a follower of Christ, he is never to be aggressive or haughty. Jesus told his disciples: ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant’ (Matthew 20.25-26 NASB)

The apostle Peter exhorted church leaders to feed the flock of God. ‘Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock’ (1 Peter 5.3).

Driscoll has made himself Lord over the congregation which he rules with an iron fist. Those who challenge him are out. They are identified as ‘sick people’ to be excreted via the church colon, or as ‘stubborn people’ to be run over by the church bus. It is not difficult to discern that Driscoll’s attitude is not that of a servant of the Lord, for it is contrary to Scripture and anathema to the Church of Jesus Christ.

For more on Driscoll’s see: Driscoll on Anger

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