Another week, another case of Mark Driscoll overcompensating.
This week, everyone's favorite Big Grown Up Boy was at Catalyst Dallas. (Catalyst and Dallas? SWOON.) Apparently Mark said he drives an SUV because he knows "who made the environment and He’s coming back and going to burn it all up.” Then, just for good measure, he made fun of minivans.
I'm sure some of it was a joke. He loves stupid jokes. It's just Driscoll being Driscoll. Hell, if he believes the earth will burn, gas guzzle away. Seems like there'd be more accurate ways to reflect Jesus (and save money), but it's hard to argue with, because he probably doesn't care to listen to arguments anyway. I assume he just sits back with that smug little face he always makes, and gets off while Twitter explodes in apoplexy.
Driscoll-watching is a favorite pastime for the substantial amount of Christians aligned to Mark's theological left, and I get it because I've done it many times. It's fun to laugh at Mark Driscoll. It's fun to post that one picture where he looks limpwristed. It's fun to lightly infer he's a closet case. It's fun to watch him dabble in every obvious micropenis stereotype known to man, from MMA to SUVs, and then tweet about it, like I did right before I wrote this. Folks annoyed by Driscoll tend to take two different tacks: ignore the guy, or write long blog posts about him and claim people need to stand up against his statements. I understand both.
But the other day, my family walked to a taproom by our house, and we were sitting outside next to a table with two young couples and a kid. They were friendly to our daughter and our dog, and we got to talking. They were exceedingly nice, and I pegged them for Christians quickly.
Sure enough they attend the Mars Hill plant here in Portland. Right away, I wanted to ask "Why? Why do you buy into this guy as a pastor? Why watch him on a screen from over a hundred miles away?" But you know who asks that question of relative strangers? An asshole. So we sat and talked about other things. It turned out they knew my sister through a mutual friend, for instance, and one of the guys was helping organize a walk to fight malaria in the developing world. They were lovely people, and I would've ruined it by being a jerk.
Honestly, I think Mark Driscoll is probably a pretty good leader, and I think he's teaching people to follow God. He's teaching plenty of theology I disagree with. He has an obsession with masculinity that's common in men deeply insecure about their masculinity. He's a bully, and a bully is about the worst thing you can be in culture anymore. I'm not defending those things.
But when all you see is the bad in Mark Driscoll, and all you do is get pissed off when he says stupid things, it's time to recalibrate your perspective. Maybe start by looking at pictures of him smiling instead of smirking. He's kind of likable there, right? Like a hairy little butterball. Think of him as your obnoxious brother in Christ, the guy you love not simply because you're supposed to, but because he means just as much to God as you do.
Maybe you think he isn't your brother, but that's just falling into the trap.