You're probably sick of hearing about Pastor Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church (I bet even he's sick of hearing about him), but the hits just keep on coming.
This weekend, as Christopher mentioned in the Morning News, MHC announced that three branches are closing (downtown Seattle, the University District, one in Phoenix) and a fourth is on the brink, all due to steep declines in attendance and giving over the past few months—declines the church has blamed on "negative media attention."
And this morning, Patheos posted some more embarrassing language Driscoll wrote under the pseudonym "William Wallace II" back in 2000 and 2001 (remember those "pussified nation" comments?), posting to a message board that church leaders later tried to erase—they pulled down the page and also called up members and ex-members, asking them to destroy any old paper copies.
Take it away, WWII/MD:
The first thing to know about your penis is, that despite the way it may see, it is not your penis. Ultimately, God created you and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while.
While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home...
Therefore, if you are single you must remember that your penis is homeless and needs a home. But, though you may believe your hand is shaped like a home, it is not. And, though women other than your wife may look like a home, to rest there would be breaking into another man’s home. And, if you look at a man it is quite obvious that what a homeless man does not need is another man without a home.
In case you're feeling charitable and think Driscoll's women-as-men's-real-estate metaphors were just the product of some ill-advised, late-night anony-blogging over a decade ago, consider what I heard at a Mars Hill service in 2012:
After the band played two indie-rock hymns, Pastor Driscoll appeared on a live video feed from his Ballard church. His "Men and Marriage" sermon was relatively tame: A husband should be the firm and responsible head of his household, the leader of a "little flock called home and family." He should think of his wife as "a garden" and himself as "the gardener." If you look at your garden and don't like how it looks, Driscoll preaches, just remember: "You are the gardener."
He said he knows his views are unpopular—that he's even been called a misogynist. "And I don't even know how to give a massage," he joked, his eyes twinkling roguishly toward the camera that was beaming his image to 11 screens in 11 churches across the city, as well as churches in Oregon, New Mexico, and California.
Driscoll hasn't changed much—but the world around him is moving fast.
A reader just pointed out to me that the William Wallace text above was actually on Wenatchee the Hatchet's blog back in July, as well as more WW/MD doozies. Apologies for not getting the original attribution right.