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"...The New Hipster Megachurch That Tells Women to Submit"


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http://www.alternet.org/belief/oral-sex ... paging=off

In the early 1990s, fresh out of college, Driscoll saw a problem with the state of Christianity: There were no men. In a 2006 interview with the organization Desiring God, Driscoll said, “Church today, it’s just a bunch of nice, soft, tender, chickified church boys. Sixty percent of Christians are chicks, and the forty percent that are dudes are still sort of chicks.â€

But as he read about Jesus and Elijah and Paul, the gospels started to appeal to him—and he saw a way for them to appeal to other self-proclaimed macho men. “I’ve gotta think these guys were dudes. Heterosexual, win-a-fight, punch-you-in-the-nose dudes.†This revelation became the foundation for his narrative of a masculine, tough-love Christianity. “If you want to win a war, you have to get the men,â€

That men lead the movement is key according to Driscoll, who ties myriad modern spiritual and societal problems back to the failure of female leadership. Driscoll traces his theory all the way to Genesis—in a 2004 sermon, he said Eve’s eating of the fruit of knowledge was “the first exercising of a woman’s role in leadership in the home and in the church in the history of the world. It does not go well. It has not gone well since.†What’s more, Driscoll describes Satan’s encouragement of Eve as “the first invitation to an independent feminism...the first postmodern hermeneutic.†For Driscoll, then, feminism and postmodernism are not only demonic, they are inherently linked; two revelations in the bite that led to the fall of man.

Both leaders and members of Mars Hill reinforce gender stereotypes and assumptions with the gusto of a 1950s-era ad for laundry detergent. Men need respect, women need love. Men are messy, women are neat. One member describes her relationship using a driving analogy, in which she drives her hot-pink car alongside her husband’s blue one, occasionally pulling behind to let him take the lead.

Kailea became a member, along with her boyfriend, Jeff, whom she married shortly after, when she became pregnant. A year later, she became pregnant again (Kailea used birth control, despite the church’s encouragement of the rhythm method, otherwise known as “Catholic rouletteâ€). Mars Hill’s emphasis on traditional gender roles began to strain their relationship. “[Jeff] felt like he was failing as a leader; I felt like I just couldn’t submit enough.†At the time, Kailea was working as a manager at a coffee shop and Jeff was staying home to take care of the kids. “There was a lot of pressure to change that.†The couple started going to marriage counseling with one of the pastors, who continually suggested that all their marital problems were rooted in their denial of their God-given roles. “No matter what we told him, that became what our issue was,†Kailea says.

She eventually quit her job and Jeff started working as a manager at a hardware store. Their relationship continued to deteriorate, and when she confessed an infidelity to Jeff, the church leaders took action, drawing up a “spiritual discipline contract†for Kailea. It promised, among other things, that she and Jeff would move back in together immediately, and that she would stop seeing her therapist, who was unaffiliated with Mars Hill. When Kailea refused to sign, she was kicked out of the church. The leadership posted a letter on the church’s member website asking her friends to stop contacting her, and she has not heard from a single one of them since.

And it only gets worse from there :?

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Guest Anonymous

There are quite a few threads about Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church, if you run a search.

If you want to start a new discussion, give us your thoughts as well as the quotes. :)

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oh sorry, i should have run a search.

No worries!

It's a subjective call if it's not on the first page or two.

Glad to have you participating.

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Driscoll’s views on gender roles, adulthood, marriage, and success in American society are almost identical to those in a flood of articles released between 2010 and 2011, like Newsweek’s “The Boy Crisis,†the Atlantic’s “The End of Men,†and Kay Hymowitz’s 2011 book, Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys. In an interview with the Christian magazine Relevant, his theory of male twentysomethings’ extended adolescence echoes Hymowitz’s: “We’re finding more women are getting better grades, more women are graduating high school, more women are graduating college, more women are buying homes, more women are doing things that are more adult and responsible.â€

But unlike his counterparts in secular media, Driscoll believes that current gender discrepancies are not the result of the growing strength of women, but of the weakness of men. By abdicating their God-given role, men have allowed for the demise of the traditional family structure and the spawning of a generation of unsupervised, unmotivated, Internet porn– and World of Warcraft–addicted young adult males, melting into their parents’ couches while women blow past them to lead the nation.

As the mother of three young adult sons, I find this bit interesting. I read Christina Hoff Sommers' The War Against Boys when my sons were growing up, probably about 10 years ago, and I found it unconvincing, to be kind. Are boys and men really so put upon? Is society really pushing them into irrelevency? I'm didn't see it then and still don't.

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So, according to Driscoll, succesful women threaten men. Driscoll presents men as emotional babies who fall apart if their wives say something critical. It is ironic that the conservative view of manhood is a whiny baby who desperately need women to give up control. Why the heck would sane people let these men lead anyone or be in charge of their families?

Being a fundie male must require a lot of determination to ignore that they hold several contradictary views about gender. On one hand they feel entitled because they have been told that they are more superior than women. They have a higher position just by being male. Yet, they've also been told that women can rip apart their confidence and create uncontrollable lust in them. Women have power that must be squashed or the man will fall to pieces. Women are more emotional even though it is the man's ego that must be protected. None of that makes any sense and it is insulting to both men and women.

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Snarking on Mark Driscoll never gets old. And, btw, that was a great article. Very interesting. Thanks for posting.

One of the saddest parts is how the women are persuaded into it against their better instincts. Like this excerpt below (bolds are mine). I can see why cleaner living - less partying, etc. - might make you feel happier, but why does that have to go hand-in-hand with being treated like a second class citizen? You don't have to trade your freedom for happiness; and its crappy that they present it that way. Oh, and the hell-scaring - ugh, so manipulative.

It’s hard to see 21st-century women signing up for this, and many of them were surprised about it themselves. Jess, who was raised in a secular family, discovered Christianity when, in middle school, she attended church with a friend’s family and found herself drawn to the warm atmosphere and sensitive discussion. When she came to UW as a freshman, hungry for community, she joined a religious group on campus but simultaneously, like many other freshmen, started going to parties and experimenting with alcohol and sex. After several months of feeling lost and unhappy, Jess tried attending a few services at Mars Hill, a church she heard about through friends. She hated the church’s ideas about women and gender roles, she hated that they told her that Jesus was the only one who knew how best to live, but most of all, she hated that she couldn’t stop thinking about it. Mars Hill challenged her and she wanted to prove them wrong, so she kept going back. Eventually, just as an experiment, she began to follow some of the church’s advice. And as she changed her actions—stopped partying as much, started reading the Bible, became less promiscuous—Jess realized she felt happier. The pastors told her that at some point she would have to make a decision: believe in Jesus or don’t. Jess looked at the community around her, weighed her skepticism against the risk of an eternity in hell, and decided to sign a covenant and become an official member of the church.
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Snarking on Mark Driscoll never gets old. And, btw, that was a great article. Very interesting. Thanks for posting.

One of the saddest parts is how the women are persuaded into it against their better instincts. Like this excerpt below (bolds are mine). I can see why cleaner living - less partying, etc. - might make you feel happier, but why does that have to go hand-in-hand with being treated like a second class citizen? You don't have to trade your freedom for happiness; and its crappy that they present it that way. Oh, and the hell-scaring - ugh, so manipulative.

Can we say "false dichotomy"?

See, this is why I don't think that "picking and choosing" is the huge sin that some other people seem to think it is. Not getting drunk, not having meaningless sex, being part of a community, finding meaning in life - these may all be good things. Being part of a church where members are ordered to shun those who don't tow the line, being coerced into ultra-sexist gender roles, being subjected to a theology that is frankly misogynist - not so good. It doesn't have to be a package deal.

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Can we say "false dichotomy"?

See, this is why I don't think that "picking and choosing" is the huge sin that some other people seem to think it is. Not getting drunk, not having meaningless sex, being part of a community, finding meaning in life - these may all be good things. Being part of a church where members are ordered to shun those who don't tow the line, being coerced into ultra-sexist gender roles, being subjected to a theology that is frankly misogynist - not so good. It doesn't have to be a package deal.

It's the same old same old. So many religious people want to draw that line that you can EITHER be religious with all the various beliefs and dogma that entails, OR you can live a meaningless life of partying, obsessed with the pleasures of the flesh and no real goals or meaningful relationships.

They just can't seem to wrap their heads around the idea that secular people can actually have sincere meaningful lives.

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It works that way with some none religious people as well. I have family who are Atheists and would not be caught dead in a church. However, they are Communists, and if you don't believe the exact party line, you are a tool of the capitalist oppessor. They can do indoctrination sessions that would put Steve Maxwell to shame. They also have their own "heresies" and the two most hardcore Communists I know detest each other over doctrinal differences.

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It works that way with some none religious people as well. I have family who are Atheists and would not be caught dead in a church. However, they are Communists, and if you don't believe the exact party line, you are a tool of the capitalist oppessor. They can do indoctrination sessions that would put Steve Maxwell to shame. They also have their own "heresies" and the two most hardcore Communists I know detest each other over doctrinal differences.

Cults don't have to be religious. Politics can be difficult if not impossible to agree on quite often. Thing is twenty people can read a paragraph in a book and come back with twenty different ideas of what's going on and what it means. That's why it's so hard for any writing or idea to take hold and for everyone to agree. We all have such vastly different experiences and perceptions that makes interpretations of concepts impossible for everyone to agree, even among people classifying themselves in a similar category.

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Mars Hill is one of example of a hipster megachurch that promotes submissiveness. There are churches like that nationwide. On college campuses you can sometimes find the hipster types leading student religion groups/organizations. It was that way with a few groups at the college I went to. One of the student groups was a liberal group though. Mark Driscoll knows how to reel in followers and other pastors do similar things but making their churches look fun and hip, but at the same time they promote a lot of sexist beliefs.

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Driscoll is a douche nozzle. Have we made any LOLMarsHills yet? Cause that would make me feel better about that asshat setting up one of his misogynistic churches in my home state.

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Mars Hill is one of example of a hipster megachurch that promotes submissiveness. There are churches like that nationwide. On college campuses you can sometimes find the hipster types leading student religion groups/organizations. It was that way with a few groups at the college I went to. One of the student groups was a liberal group though. Mark Driscoll knows how to reel in followers and other pastors do similar things but making their churches look fun and hip, but at the same time they promote a lot of sexist beliefs.

That's the scary thing about Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill (and the like). They're very good at dressing up this stuff in an outwardly "cool" package, and appeal to plenty of people leaving the more traditional fundie/fundie-lite versions of Christianity where alcohol is entirely forbidden, tattoos are evil, sex other than the missionary position is a no-no even in marriage, and dressing in any sort of reasonably fashionable way is frowned upon. Driscoll and his ilk have managed to put their finger on this and appeal to a slightly "rebellious" sensibility by allowing a certain amount of leeway on these issues but really not differing on most of the major ones. It's easy to fall for the window dressing and not see what's underneath until it's going to involve painful, difficult decisions to get away.

I think the best part in the article was a section where a young woman pointed out how Mars Hill's theology allowed her to essentially not make decisions for herself as an adult. That resonates with me. I've had moments in my life (particularly when I was first out of college) where making those enormous decisions was frightening or painful and kind of wished someone else would just tell me what to do. Fortunately, I came to my senses before delegating that kind of stuff to someone else, and I'm glad that I've made those decisions for myself. It's allowed me to become stronger, more confident, and more able to handle the next crisis that comes along. However, I can see how a church like this coming along in the right moment of weakness could totally suck an impressionable person in.

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Mars Hill is one of example of a hipster megachurch that promotes submissiveness. There are churches like that nationwide. On college campuses you can sometimes find the hipster types leading student religion groups/organizations. It was that way with a few groups at the college I went to. One of the student groups was a liberal group though. Mark Driscoll knows how to reel in followers and other pastors do similar things but making their churches look fun and hip, but at the same time they promote a lot of sexist beliefs.

I agree. Thus the insidious nature of the hipsters-promoting-patriarchy. I think people, both men and women, get reeled in before they understand what's really going on. You see it over and over again in survivor stories.

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Has anyone else here read Fromm's "Escape from Freedom"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_from_Freedom

It's a bit dated, but still surprisingly relevant. The idea is that sudden freedom from constraints is scary, and people will often rush to fill the void with a different ideology or authority, instead of making the full transformation to real individuality where they are happy and productive. The author was trying to explain how the rise of freedom in Europe came crashing down with Nazism and communism.

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That's the scary thing about Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill (and the like). They're very good at dressing up this stuff in an outwardly "cool" package, and appeal to plenty of people leaving the more traditional fundie/fundie-lite versions of Christianity where alcohol is entirely forbidden, tattoos are evil, sex other than the missionary position is a no-no even in marriage, and dressing in any sort of reasonably fashionable way is frowned upon. Driscoll and his ilk have managed to put their finger on this and appeal to a slightly "rebellious" sensibility by allowing a certain amount of leeway on these issues but really not differing on most of the major ones. It's easy to fall for the window dressing and not see what's underneath until it's going to involve painful, difficult decisions to get away.

I think the best part in the article was a section where a young woman pointed out how Mars Hill's theology allowed her to essentially not make decisions for herself as an adult. That resonates with me. I've had moments in my life (particularly when I was first out of college) where making those enormous decisions was frightening or painful and kind of wished someone else would just tell me what to do. Fortunately, I came to my senses before delegating that kind of stuff to someone else, and I'm glad that I've made those decisions for myself. It's allowed me to become stronger, more confident, and more able to handle the next crisis that comes along. However, I can see how a church like this coming along in the right moment of weakness could totally suck an impressionable person in.

I like you post. I agree, it is easy for some people to fall for the window dressings, while not knowing what is underneath. The article about Mars Hill and this thread reminds me of the NieNie thread on GOMI. For those of you who don't know, Stephanie "NieNie" Nielson is the Mormon mommy blogger who was burned in a plance crash. The GOMI thread about her sometimes ends up being a debate forum about Mormonism. There was one poster who I assume was female said that she was considering becoming a Mormon because she liked how the LDS promotes strong community attitudes and has various activities set up for people to socialize. A few other posters who knew Mormons or were ex Mormons posted in response and said that the LDS church isn't all that it is cracked up to be. I remember one poster said that he/she has never found anything inspirational about the LDS theology and that he/she was disgusted with how the LDS church treats women.

I can sort of see where that poster on GOMI wanted to become LDS. The LDS church does set up good programs for socialization and I follow Mormon bloggers who seem to have close ties with their fellow Mormons. A lot of Mormon bloggers will talk about having game nights, movie nights, with their friends from church. Evangelical pastors like Mark Driscoll have the ability to possibly reel in more followers that a Mormon missionary. Mormon missionaries probably lose potential followers once the no liquor, no caffeine, no R rated movies are mentioned. Driscoll could tell potential followers, "Sure our church is cool with drinking, tattoos, etc. and certain people will bite once they hear that. I also agree with you, Lady M , Driscoll has probably reeled in fundie or fundie lite types who want less rules about certain things.

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If there's any kind of church I can't stand, it's the "hipster megachurches" that appear modern and cool and lenient on "the rules," but in essence preach the same toxic patriarchal bullshit any other more "traditional" and "boring" churches do. At least fundies are up-front about their toxic beliefs. The uber-cool megachurches just look hypocritical next to them.

A startling number of these churches are also Southern Baptist, even if they claim to be non-denominational. So they'll loosen up on the forbidden alcohol, tattoos, and two-piece bathing suits, but then they'll kick you out if you're gay or a woman who is actually her husband's equal. It's all a load of lies, they are just trying to suck in a younger and fresher crowd.

As far as "Christianity was all women" bullshit goes, well, in the US women are more likely to be religious or spiritual than men. I have some theories about this, all related to patriarchy, but suffice to say that Driscoll is a patriarse in an already very patriarchal environment.

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