Singleness and Driscoll Drivel

This just in from the Facebook page of Mark Driscoll:

“I recently heard two guys in their 20s passionately arguing over which superhero is the best of all. I took the liberty of asking them if they were single. They were. Who saw that coming?”

Hmmm, so Driscoll is equating singleness with immaturity. Yeah, like that’s biblical! Nice one, Driscoll!

He may well be just joking, but his comment betrays an attitude that Driscoll is well-known for: disparaging singleness. Driscoll’s quote above demonstrates his own personal immaturity and how much he projects his own persona and preferences into his theology, which he then foists on others. Perhaps he was upset that the two young guys hadn’t considered him for the title?

DriscollFolks, don’t listen to this kind of drivel from Driscoll. Singleness should not be equated with immaturity. Immaturity should be equated with immaturity! What Driscoll says in the quote above is completely unbiblical and unhelpful.

And besides, a lighthearted debate between friends about which is the better superhero…so what! It’s no different really from friends debating which macho football team is better, which car gets more miles to the gallon, which restaurant serves the best steak, or which store stocks the best lipstick!

So, while we wait for an apology from Driscoll, let me just say to all my unmarried friends: I’m sorry there are jerks like this who disparage your status. But don’t worry—just stick to the Bible, which actually praises singleness. Mark Driscoll may disparage you, but God doesn’t.



31 thoughts on “Singleness and Driscoll Drivel

  1. Isn’t it just a bit of a dig at guys who are into Superheroes so passionately aren’t the type who are going to make a girl’s heart flutter? Not necessarily a dig at singles? Anyway – I think Superman’s the best, but I wouldn’t mind having Spiderman’s abilities either (and I’m married!)

    • You might be right, Mundy. But knowing Driscoll’s take on singleness, it either isn’t or his phrasing is very unfortunate. Either way, whether he meant it or not, it’s a comment from a supposed Christian leader that will alienate many single people and give them a sense of inadequacy — especially if they look up to Driscoll as an authority. It was a very unwise thing for him to write.

  2. Whilst what Driscoll said was wrong, was calling him a jerk right?

    We should be careful about our own disparaging remarks.

    And Batman rules.

  3. But I note this from Dorothy Sayers (writing in 1947): “When we think about the remarkably early age at which the young men went up to university in, let us say, Tudor times, and thereafter were held fit to assume responsibility for the conduct of their own affairs, are we altogether comfortable about that artificial prolongation of intellectual childhood and adolescence into the years of physical maturity which is so marked in our own day? To postpone the acceptance of responsibility to a late date brings with it a number of psychological complications which, while they may interest the psychiatrist, are scarcely beneficial either to the individual or to society.”

    • That’s dealing with an earlier adulthood in cultures-economies that had higher levels of subsistence than ours today. Even still, it’s dealing with age and decision-making, not marital status.

  4. Hi George

    I agree with you on this, and I am actually a bit fed up with MD. He is very disrespectful in general, and I don’t listen to / read him anymore. I watched a sermon where he was dissing Jews. He was making a mockery out of their religion, and I cringed at the thought of someone having brought a Jewish friend to that service. He has a very bright mind, and he explains theology very well, but he is extremely immature and needs a few years of life experience before he should be allowed to speak / write publicly. He does a lot of damage.

    Why is it that we as Christians tend to have our “Gurus” that we feel the need to put on a pedestal, pay lots of money to listen to them – and quote them as though they are equal to God’s word? Usually a prerequisite for these idols of our faith is that they run big impressive churches and have written a lot of books. Sad. Sorry for my rant but I guess your post struck a nerve!

    Bruce Retief

    • I’m with you there, Bruce. I remember when Driscoll came to Sydney and made some unhelpful comments in which there was an underlying assumption that aspects of our culture were just like America’s. And they weren’t. Driscoll may want to deal with important issues, and I give him credit for trying to do so, but there are some major personal and theological weaknesses that affect his angle of attack.

      • Hmm, those comments that Driscoll made that infuriated the Sydney Anglican hierarchy so much and made him a target for the vitriol being poured on him in posts like this…. I remember sitting with a bunch of pew sitter friends and marvelling at how he had come in and been able to put his finger so squarely on the problem in our own churches. And then we watched in disbelief as outspoken voice after outspoken voice shouted him down, and we despaired at the inability of our own leaders to find the humility to acknowledge that Sydney Anglicanism is not the one true church, and may even (gasp) have some things wrong.

  5. I appreciate reading/hearing a variety of blogs, articles, sermons from different pastors, Christian writers, etc. I especially appreciate when the person speaking/writing puts forth his/her own thoughts and opinions on something and sticking to the subject. Everyone has a right to his/her own opinion without being bashed by another. It’s one thing to disagree and another to bash. I don’t know much about Mark Driscoll and have only heard him a few times, but I find it a little insulting to my own intelligence when someone feels the need to put down another’s opinions or thoughts on something rather than just sticking to their own. Again, I’m fine with referencing something that was said or stating disagreement but it’s not necessary to belittle or bash. We have enough of that from anti-Christians that it really bothers me when Christians do it to one-another. If you have an issue with that person, why not contact them directly. You obviously have an issue with the way he speaks on a particular subject. Why not discuss it with him and how you feel it comes across?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Jenn. I’m trying to deal with those who will feel alienated and inadequate for being single after reading Driscoll’s comments. I know plenty of people who read his stuff or look up to him, and would like to point out that if they’re feeling a bit raw and on the outer, it’s because a shepherd just acted a bit wolfish (again) with them. I see that plenty of others have taken him to task for his comments already.

  6. I so agree with what you are saying. Need to be careful with putdowns about anything. Unnecessary to humiliate. Just tho didn’t feel comfortable George with the way you talked about Driscoll. Jerk? Not sure that you aren’t doing something similar. Is it ok to put people down if we are saying right things about them? Can you perhaps stick to the topic and not call him names. I will hear you better that way.

    • Tracey, I hope that people are thick-skinned enough that Driscoll’s comment just bounces off them and that, as a result, I’m the one who appears like an immature jerk. I’d happily look the fool here for that outcome.

  7. I do find it a very unfortunate comment – also odd coming from a guy who likes watching men in superhero outfits (with no superpowers) wrestling in a ring.

    I think he was probably making a comment on these guys being “un-datable” rather than dissing singleness as such – mind you, Driscoll is on record previously as holding singleness in dubious regard. Ridicule like what he offers above will not change peoples hearts in any case.

  8. Rather than singleness, is Driscoll targeting the lack of manliness of the men in his city? Men who have children but don’t look after them, who dont work and are dependent on others, like their girlfriends or parents. Is it driscolls issue with the lack of the biblical man which drives him to make somewhat inappropriate comments?

      • Driscoll’s church has a lot of young guys who refuse to grow up and start taking responsibility. He use satire against them all the time to highlight the ridiculousness of their attitudes and to motivate change. I have no problem with that, biblical writers used the same technique. I don’t see a reflection of Driscoll’s theology of singleness in that post. A reflection of his theology of young single guys who spend their time reading comic books rather than taking responsibility maybe, but not singleness in general. My issue with your post is it divorces Driscoll’s comments from their context and ends up making offence where none is intended.

        • I know Driscoll didn’t mean to disparage single people. But there are single people who have felt disparaged by his comments nonetheless. And as some have pointed out, his theological take on singleness leaves a lot to be desired.

  9. Mark made similar comments when he was out here a few years ago. Back then his line was that single guys in Sydney shouldn’t be living with “mommy” and need to “man up and move out”. I think his point was that guys can be immature and need to start leading. However, I think the way he expressed it may have shown more about his misunderstanding of culture here. How many people move out for their own selfish immaturity? How many more people could stay home and use their singleness to support their single or elderly parents?

    Perhaps it’s a good reminder that polarising hyperbolic sermon illustrations aren’t always so helpful.

  10. I agree that MD is often off the mark & fails to see outside of his own cultural biases, but I think you’ve picked a bad example. Driscoll is equating immaturity with singleness, not the other way round. I don’t think he’s right with this analysis, but we might all agree that someone who is immature is more likely to be single.

    Were you to critique him, I think you’d have done a lot better to point to his regular FB/Twitter comments about which MMA fighters are going to win in the next UFC match. Just as immature to haggle over which dude is going to beat another dude into submission!

    • Tim, I have no interest in critiquing Driscoll’s MMA fighters comments. I’m more interested in the effect this one particular comment has had amongst those who are single. If you go through some of the comments on his Facebook profile responding to this one particular update, you’ll find a lot of upset single people. You can go to town on me for what I’ve said about Driscoll and the semantics involved. But what I’d like to do is affirm that single people can actively ignore Driscoll’s comment and be assured of God’s perception of them instead.

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