That's pretty much the lesson I took away from this piece on Mark Driscoll in this week's NY Times Magazine. Ooh, look--he wears t-shirts with skulls! And jeans! And talks about sex in his sermons! And isn't down on drinking and smoking! And he cusses!
Yeah. He also gay bashes and says his followers need to "abandon their feminism at the door."
God called Driscoll to preach to men — particularly young men — to save them from an American Protestantism that has emasculated Christ and driven men from church pews with praise music that sounds more like boy-band ballads crooned to Jesus than “Onward Christian Soldiers.” What bothers Driscoll — and the growing number of evangelical pastors who agree with him — is not the trope of Jesus-as-lover. After all, St. Paul tells us that the Church is the bride of Christ. What really grates is the portrayal of Jesus as a wimp, or worse. Paintings depict a gentle man embracing children and cuddling lambs. Hymns celebrate his patience and tenderness. The mainstream church, Driscoll has written, has transformed Jesus into “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ,” a “neutered and limp-wristed popular Sky Fairy of pop culture that...would never talk about sin or send anyone to hell.”Mind you, this is coming from a Neo-Calvinist, a guy who believes at heart that your fate is predestined, that God has already decided whether you're going to heaven or hell and that we're all just playing out the string. God gives people cancer. God knows when kids are going to get raped by their relatives or babysitters. God planned 9/11,if you get right down to it. We're dealing with predestination, after all, and He has His reasons, which we are too simple to comprehend. Yeah, I'd say that if you can believe that, then the notion of a God who considers women and gays to be actual humans is probably way out of bounds for you.
I suppose Driscoll is interesting in that he's got the Southern Baptist Angry God who hates gays and thinks women are lesser, just without the frowning on music and drinking, but in the end, it's still the same old act. Men should be on top, women should worship them, and gay people ought to have the decency to just vanish. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.