The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

It's hard to believe.

This morning I read a blog post about Mark Driscoll, and then someone brought him up in class during our discussion of radical Protestantism, and then I lamented about him over dinner with Kelsey. Have you heard of this man? He runs Mars Hill Church in Seattle, a megachurch among megachurches that has 8 sites and worships nearly 10,000 every Sunday. They've planted 300 churches in the US alone and are planning to plant more than 500 more. Mark Driscoll's goal is to have 250,000 people in worship each Sunday being broadcast his message. 250,000.

Mark Driscoll is young, and hip, and preaches in jeans and a hoodie, and didn't go to seminary [though he does have a BA in Communication!], and tweets and blogs and podcasts his sermons, and teaches his followers the most abrasive, destructive form of mainline protestantism I have ever encountered.

I know that I am usually all about loving my neighbor and respecting the opinions of all people, especially respecting the religious beliefs of all people. But I draw the line at beliefs that hurt the believer or those who come into contact with the believer.

It's hard to imagine that there is anybody in this country who when they hear the word "Christian" thinks of us, nice, boring Lutherans, instead of the rabid followers of this man. Based on the sermons of his that I have read (some of the most hurtful of which are linked below) I cannot think of a religious leader who I am more committed to combating than Mark Driscoll. You might say that Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church are worse, but there are only like 30 of them and they are most likely certifiably insane. Mark Driscoll has thousands of followers across the country and around the world, and knows exactly what he's doing.

As though we don't already live in a world dominated by men, Mark Driscoll is working to keep women down. He made an awful statement about the female bishop of the Episcopal Church, saying that if we weren't careful, the Episcopalians were going to elect a "fluffy bunny rabbit to lead God's men" next.

I was telling Kelsey that I hardly have words for this man. That might be why this post is so scattered. It just seemed like all of the contact with him I came into today made me need to get my words out.

A sermon on why women cannot be pastors. -- The most devastating part about this one is how he involves his daughter. How he teaches his daughter that she cannot grow up to be anything she wants. That all of the women in the history of the world who have fought to be equal to men are not only not equal in the eyes of men, but are not equal in the eyes of God. That's not just misguided, that's abusive.

A sermon on why Jesus is the only way to salvation and all other religions are too exclusive. -- Because Jesus is a "narrow door" and only so many of us can fit. And because other religions have too many rules. AS THOUGH his is not a religion of exclusion. And he calls out religions in these "sly" ways. Like, he lists these negative attributes and then slips in the word "synagogue" or "Mecca" or "reincarnation" so that we all know which heathens he's talking about this time.

A sermon about what it is to be the true family of Jesus. -- Here, we learn that we are the light to the world. We are the bearers of Truth, convictors of sinners (in that part, he never says forgiveness of sin, just finger-pointing), spreaders of the news that everyone needs to hear (esp our non-Christian friends and family). Not lovers of neighbors, or anything. [Also, he calls out women for having sinful wardrobes. But not men!]

I have to stop. That should be enough, anyway. If you want more fuel for your fire, just scope his sermons online. Or read any of the 13 books he wrote, like "Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe."

Today is the day.

Buy Zach Berkman's new album, "The Valley" as soon as you can.