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Don’t Take Pot-Shots at Worship Leaders, er, I Mean, ANYONE

Mark Driscoll posted the following question on his Facebook Wall yesterday:

Screen-capture taken 7/8/11 at 1:40pm EDT

In case you can’t read that, it says, “So, what story do you have about the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed?

I’m appalled. And disgusted.

If you aren’t familiar with him, Mark is the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, an extremely large church with thousands of members and multiple campuses. Mark reaches tens of thousands more via his podcasts, books, and appearances at conferences. He’s like a radio shock-jock – his schtick is to slap people upside the head with his words. He advocates a rough-and-tumble style of manhood, and as you can presume from the above question, is one who believes God hates homosexuality.

I am not writing about homosexuality or manliness today.

I’m writing about gossip and backstabbing and causing people to sin.

Naqsh-e Rostam IVphoto © 2009 dynamosquito | more info (via: Wylio)

Mark Driscoll had no business asking people to share stories about effeminate male worship leaders. This question would be absolutely inappropriate in a private conversation, let alone on a public Facebook wall. In doing so, he encouraged people to publicly malign, back-stab and cut down their own brothers in Christ. He asked people to engage in gossip about men who have put themselves out front, shared their musical talents, and given time and effort into church ministry.

This is sin.

…It is a clear violation of the Ten Commandments. “No lies about your neighbor.” (Deuteronomy 5:20)

…It breaks the instruction given in Ephesians 4:29-32 to only use words that build each other up and give grace to those who hear, to put away slander and malice, and to be kind to one another.

…It caused over 600 people to comment, potentially sinning with their words. (I read some of the comments, and many were full of hatred, spite, and meanness.) Matthew 18:7 says,“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”

Whether or not you believe that men should dress and act a certain way, you cannot dispute the clear commands to Christians to speak kind grace-filled words. We are to use our words to build up, not tear down. Romans 1:29 and 2 Corinthians 12:20 and 1 Timothy  5:13 all state that gossip is a sin, included in lists alongside envy, murder, deceit, jealousy, and anger.

Mark Driscoll should be ashamed of himself. He must not only remove this evil question from his Facebook wall, but he should confess it as sin and ask his page “likers” to forgive him for putting it out there and leaving it there as things got ugly.

It’s one thing to take a stand for or against something, it’s quite another to encourage others to tear a person down because they disagree with you.

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Note: A commenter noted that the post was removed. I confirmed this on Sunday evening, July 10, 2011.

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  1. Hi,

    This may already have been said, I don’t know, I did not read through all comments.

    Pastor Mark actually had a point. Unfortunately the point got lost in the hundreds of replies that were posted in a matter of a few hours. I followed this post, because I saw much judgment from people, even though this post was a question, not a statement.

    Here’s the point:
    -It’s probably not a surprise when someone observes that many churches have more women than men, in varying degrees of leadership, serving, praying, etc. Nothing wrong here yet.
    -Due to cultural change in the last century men have often been emasculated. The stereotype ‘real man’ may or may not have been right, but as part of the emasculation all men, Christian as well, were affected.
    -There’s a tendency for this to be displayed on the stage in worship leaders.
    -His comment had to do with the fact that he brought in someone as a guest, a man, who had certain believes about being a ‘real man’. When the person saw the worship leader he left because he was appalled by the dress code, the way the worship leader handled itself, or whatever it may have been. This man left the church because of an effeminate person on the stage.

    I’ll say this, that we are held accountable to people in the world for a variety of reasons, some good, some bad, and we don’t know what someone sees or hears when we display ourselves. However if we are to reach the lost we should be sensitive to some degree, so in that light I don’t feel the question he posed, not statement, is a bad one. It’s still just a question… And for the record, he commented once or twice somewhere in that thread, and that’s where I got my info from.




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