At Least He’s Being Honest? March 29, 2011

At Least He’s Being Honest?

***Update***: The video is back!

Well, hand it to pastor Mark Driscoll, he doesn’t care about being politically correct.

You may want to get some popcorn before watching this. It’s great.

Will everyone who doesn’t know about Jesus go to hell?




It greatly disturbs me when well-known pastors and preachers and authors get invited onto television studio sets where the lights are on them and the world is listening to them and the interview inquires of them, “If you don’t know Jesus, are you going to hell?” and they squirm or they change the subject or they appeal to the emotions or they tell a story… they do anything but say, “Yes. Yes…”

[Jesus is the only way to salvation. Are there any other ways?]

Buddhism. NO!

Hinduism. NO!

New Age-ism. NO!

Mormonism. NO!

Jehovah’s Witness-ism. NO!

Nice people. NO!

Good people. NO!

Generous people. NO!

Religious people. NO!

I have a hard time deciding who helps atheists out more:

The honest, aggressive, loud dicks like Mark Driscoll who probably push more people away from Christianity than they bring in…

Or the hipstery, sweet, Jesus-loves-everybody folks like Rob Bell who don’t “correctly” follow Christian theology, who are apolitical, and who are not anti-gay/anti-abortion… but may draw more people into the faith in the process.

Unlike the similar schism in our own movement between the “angry atheists” and the “accommodationists,” I don’t think you can say “We need both kinds” in this case.

The two types of Christians here have very different objectives — Driscoll wants to save souls for the afterlife and he thinks he knows how to do it because the Bible gives him the directions. Bell leads the charge to “be more like Jesus” because that makes for a better world for all of us; saving people almost seems incidental after that.

You can’t have it both ways. These are two different interpretations of how to live according to the Bible. They’re not both right, and only one (if any) will win out. There will be a schism in the Protestant world before those sides come together.

(Actually, neither one is right when it comes down to it… but you know what I mean.)

Meanwhile, the two kinds of atheists simply have different tactics of getting people to accept the truth — but we’re working toward the same goal.

(via Christian Nightmares)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Shells

    The video’s now private.

  • Mark

    It’s private!

  • Philip
  • I’m from Seattle, where Mark Driscoll and his hip church, Mars Hill are located. He’s done a fabulous marketing job.. making conservative Christianity very hip and cool. He’s got branches of his church in all the best and most popular Seattle neighborhoods, and lots of people go to the churches. I don’t know how many stick around after they hear his very conservative views when he opens his mouth. Most of my Christian friends are of the more progressive variety, and don’t like his church either. I just wish he’d shut up.

  • I always wonder about individuals like Mark Driscoll…is he the idiot he appears to be by spouting this crap, or is he a smart business man making a hefty profit along the way with this charade?

  • John McCready

    Whatever this fool is, he is a REENFORCEMENT of why I am atheist!
    What do you think would happen if one of his “attendees” DEMANDED PROOF OF WHERE A DEPARTED “SOUL” has gone? Think it might rattle his cage a little bit?

  • Oh Driscoll. Sometimes I’m able to laugh at him and shrug it off, but other times I want to punch through my computer screen. This is one of the latter.

    One of the most amusing things is that both Bell’s church and Driscoll’s church are called Mars Hill. I’m a Christian, who subscribes much more to Bell’s biblical interpretations, but I have friends on both sides of this one. Whenever somebody references Mars Hill, if you know their theology you know which one they’re talking about without having to ask.

  • These two ways to interpret the “teachings” of Jesus have been debated to centuries. None if this is new. Universalism was only one of the movements that tried to sell the idea that god “wants” everyone to be saved. There are others and many people hold onto Christianity by hanging onto the idea the God is essentially good.

    I would argue that the Christian movement that pushed to end slavery was this same conflict (only in 1860). Progressive Christians felt that Jesus wanted ALL men to be given rights since ALL men had a soul. Fundamentalists always argued that slavery is accepted in the Bible (which it is).

    Same old, same old… you can’t make good sense out of any of it.

  • I used to listen to some of Driscoll’s stuff when I was a Christian so I understand his appeal. The un-watered-down preaching has something going for it. And frankly – what I like about him is that he doesn’t try to change Christianity into something more palatable. That kind of drives me crazy about most Christians. Look at Christianity for what it is and what it says – and then take it or leave it. I chose to leave it.

    As far as his message about hell – looking at it from the outside now I find it hilarious that one person can stand up and say they know that hell exists and that they can tell you exactly who is going there. The arrogance is crazy. But that’s what happens when you believe the bible contains all truth. Once you embrace that book – you suddenly know everything.

  • Why would this guy want to hide THE TRUTH from all the heathen unbelievers?

    What a hypocritical bastard.

  • DaveS

    What a tool! Funny that all of a sudden Hemant’s link to the video is marked ‘Private’ – after Driscoll screams at people to ‘spread the word’ of Jesus to everyone. Ha!

  • @Marlon Moyer,

    “…is he the idiot he appears to be by spouting this crap, or is he a smart business man…?”

    The two are not mutually exclusive. Many successful business people are complete idiots.

  • Cameron

    Intellectual consistency for the win. Too bad he’s completely deluded.

  • Tim

    “There will be a schism in the Protestant world before those sides come together.”

    ^^ Do you know what the “Protestant world” is? Not much more than an unending torrent of schisms. From the Magisterial Reformers on through today, nothing has changed. Schism after schism after schism. The impending split you reference will unquestionably go unnoticed.

    I like Driscoll’s honesty. He really is a very intelligent man (believe it or not!), he’s clearly passionate about other people and he’s a great speaker. The problem is that he’s being intellectually honest and consistent with a flawed system, but chooses not to recognize those flaws.

  • Jeebus

    FAIL! There’s about 6 billion other delusional people that think everyone else is going to hell. They can’t all be right, can they?

  • Danish Atheist

    “We need both kinds” …. Nope, we need neither 😀

  • Annie

    I felt like I was watching a halftime show at a religious wrestling match (do they have half-time shows at wrestling matches?). I found myself wondering if he was fake crying, or if his own preaching really moves him so.

  • Annie, I completely agree with you; I was just going to say I think those are crocodile tears. The dude’s a bad actor.

  • HamsterWheel

    Excellent. I love it when Christians expose the uncensored absurdity and cruelty of their beliefs for everyone to see, but unfortunately Driscoll doesn’t go far enough. He still doesn’t explain the deepest, darkest, rotten core of Christianity: DON’T TRUST YOUR OWN INTELLECT. You do not have the qualification or the right to question those of us who tell you what is real and what is not. A three-day-old corpse came back to life, and 2+2=5 if we say it does.

    To accept Christianity is in a sense to lobotomize oneself.

  • AngelWolf

    I just had this great vision of this guy, Driscoll, in a pith helmet and safari gear traipsing through the amazon to find some long lost tribe and tell them about his god. Wonder how long it’ll be before that happens? Probably about as long as it takes a fictional hell to freeze over.

  • Richard Wade

    It seems like the middle is being hollowed out. The extreme specialists are increasing and the generalists are diminishing. On one extreme are the everybody’s-going-to-heaven super liberal Christians. Their ideas are so inclusive that they lead to the question, “Then what is the need to worship at all?” On the other extreme are the only-MY-followers-are-going-to-heaven ultra conservative Christians like Driscoll. His ideas are so contrary to the general way that cultural attitudes are going, I think more people will find them repugnant than find them attractive.

    Evolution shows us that in the short term, specialization can make an organism successful, even dominant, but in the long term, specialization always precedes extinction.

    I think that the short term life expectancy for these two specialized sects will be no more than 50 years, and the whole genus including the generalists will be nothing but fossils in about 150 years.

    But my optimism might just be a specialized evolutionary trait…

  • If the goal is more atheism then Driscoll definitely helps us more. If the goal is a better world in general then I’d have to say that Bell helps us more.

    While I would like to see all religion rejected I am realist enough to recognize that this it unlikely to happen. I can live quite happily with nice religious folks who aren’t anti-gay/anti-abortion/anti-women’s rights apolitical and think being a good person is more important to God than being religious. I can agree to disagree with those people just like I agree to disagree with people who like eggplant.

  • Jonas

    Even apart from Acts 4:12 and John 14:6, to Romans 3:23 “All have Sinned …”

    I think I’ll quote Steve Martin, when I say —

    “Well Excuuuuseee Meeeee!”

    And paraphrase Dan Barker, in saying to be an Atheist is to know that you don’t need salvation.

  • Tim

    @Richard Wade-

    “I think that the short term life expectancy for these two specialized sects will be no more than 50 years, and the whole genus including the generalists will be nothing but fossils in about 150 years.”

    I like your analogy. It’s clever!
    I do think it’s important to realize that these “sects” have only been around for ~100 years? Probably less (judging by their theology), with their closest relatives being no more than two-hundred years old. The original Reformers themselves were absolutely nothing like these “sects”–the genus just keeps changing and changing. So yes, I look for fossilization within 150 years as well.

    It’s the 2,000 year old Eastern Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Indian Orthodox, Coptic and Roman Catholic Christians I’d be worried about. They’ve proven to be pretty resilient, and (with the exception of the Roman Catholics…) haven’t changed much at all over the course of two millennia. Is there a scientific term for an organism whose change seems to slow as they persist for quite some time?

  • Steven Casteel

    I think it is funny that the two polar opposite Church’s by Driscoll and Bell are both called Mars Hill. Where is Bell’s? Michigan or something right?

    Wanna know one of my favorite things about being an atheist? I’m not a sinner. I could have a threesome with two smokin’ hotties and not feel a shred of guilt. Masturbation is pretty awesome too. haha. It’s sad to see people living in fear and condemnation instead of just enjoying the one life they have been blessed with [by chance] here on earth.

  • Jalyth

    The tears! I couldn’t finish watching. It’s almost triggering for me.

    I had a roommate once who had Mars Hill written on a postit, and I had to speak up. Turns out he didn’t go. Driscoll is pretty anti-gay, and I’d kick a roommate out for going there with no remorse.

  • Ubi Dubium

    Is there a scientific term for an organism whose change seems to slow as they persist for quite some time?

    How about “living fossil”? Seems appropriate.

  • Tim

    Perfectly appropriate. I’ll have to remember that.

    I suppose I’m a part of a living fossil, then. Pretty cool!

  • jonezart

    tears = fake!

  • jonezart

    also…. lol at Jehovah’s Witnessism

    And sniffles and luuuurve. LOL.

  • cornbread_r2

    It seemed that Driscoll himself did a pretty good job of dancing around and deflecting the question of whether or not miscarriages go to hell. If I understood him correctly, he trusts his Father to not eternally condemn miscarried babies, but 1 day old babies are on their own. (?)

  • SoulSpud
  • Pseudonym

    So… Rob Bell is not being honest? Is that what you’re implying, Hemant?

  • I first discovered Driscoll in this vid, where he addressed atheism.
    I don’t think I’ll waste more time with him.

  • ACN

    I did too Cafeeine!

    The whole series made my head hurt.

  • ACN, I have the dubious honor of posting the first comment on that video.

  • ACN

    Thank you for putting this out here. Its educational to see what pastors say about atheists when there? is no atheist there to correct them.

    Wham bam thank you ma’am 🙂

  • martha

    We can and do have it both ways. There is no “true Christian.” Christianity is whatever your particular group decides it is. Given that a large majority of people in the world believe in some sort of god/absolute, I want more people like Bell. Religion is the norm and I prefer the norm to be nice and liberal.

    As far as Driscoll being more intellectually honest than Bell, I am not sure that is the case. Bell doesn’t necessarily believe that his position is false or misleading. The bible is ripe for interpretation so interpreting it isn’t necessarily intellectually dishonest.

    For me, the bottom line is that Bell has values I can respect. Driscoll does not.

  • Sue

    I think there’s something up with the video link – instead of showing me the video the whole page just redirects to

    I can get back here by clicking the back button but the video is still missing.

  • When I read your blog on Google Reader, the audio for this starts up on its own. Yet, when I visit your site, I don’t hear it. Am I the only one?

  • Karen

    Jittery. Hyper. Nose Rubbing. Sniffles. Seems like dude just came off a cocaine bender, which would explain his ridiculous rant.

  • I don’t believe in Jesus. I don’t believe in hell. As a stick it is a bit lame. As a carrot it is even worse. I’m happy to let them debate the modern equivalent to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Like that medieval question the modern question of hell is a non starter for me. Those who engage in such tedious nonsense have only themselves to blame when their audiences lose interest.

  • L.Long

    He is great! What a great presentation of outright ignorance! Wait for some parents who get their new born baptized and dies the next day. Since it ‘never KNEW jepus …straight to hell!!!’, I’m sure there are some that would still believe this BS.
    He claims this is so because ‘this is what jepus said’. And he knows jepus said this how? As jepus was too lazy or too ignorant to write anything down. the only words he knows were written by 4 cons who used phony names.

  • Slider33

    During the first part he talks about how he trusts god to make the right decision on infants and children who haven’t heard of Jesus.

    Then, in the end he says “…because of Jesus I have been taken out of the path of your wrath.”

    I guess, being an ex-Christian I find that preposterous to think that god is both loving and merciful and yet will send you to hell for all eternity for simply not believing.

  • Lou

    This is the first Atheist blog I have been on. I must say, you seem to be really bitter. Whats up with that?

  • Rechelle

    When I see a person like this, I just assume they suffered from child abuse. It’s the absolutism – my father is the same way and I know exactly what his childhood was like.

  • Will my newborn or miscarried baby go to Hell?


    But I trust that God will treat it sort of nice before it suffers in fire for all eternity. Actually, God probably knew it would be a heathen before it was born, so he just killed it early to save me the disappointment. THANKS GOD!

  • Lesa

    There is something profoundly pathetic in his monologue. It’s like watching an emotional and psychological train wreck of delusion. It’s like me pleading with the Easter bunny to hide eggs for me, and me never finding any, but pleading every year anyways. I don’ mean that in an insulting way at all. I mean I feel incredibly bad for him and everyone listening who believes him. To live a life terrified out of your mind that you’re going to hell or someone you love will–that good people go to hell just because they haven’t accepted Jesus–that fear tactic is so intense and so effective it’s akin to abuse. As a survivor of chronic depression and anxiety I know what it feels like to live in constant dread, and it’s truly a hell of its own. That they would subject children, who too often lack any defense mechanisms against adult indoctrination, to this rhetoric is inexcusable.

  • John Myste


    They are all right. We are all going to hell.

    I would say more, but I have been recently attacked multiple times for making from of the devout, something I do not do. I satirize their positions, but that is not teasing.

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