Controversial preacher Mark Driscoll stripped from megachurch Hillsong conference lineup
Mark Driscoll, the preacher who stepped down from his Seattle megachurch in October 2014 after being accused of plagiarism, bullying and an unhealthy ego has been trying to return to some kind of speaking tour at Christian conferences. But the attempt was cut short Sunday when Hillsong, one of the most influential international megachurches, cut him from the speaker list at its upcoming conferences in the United Kingdom and in Australia.
Hillsong is an international megachurch based in Australia that has exported its influence to major global cities and into churches’ music across the United States. Hillsong’s founder, Brian Houston, released a statement saying he did not want the 30-minute interview with Driscoll to distract from the larger five-day conference.
“The teachings of Christ are based on love and forgiveness, and I will not write off Mark as a person simply because of the things that people have said about him, a small minority of people signing a petition or statements he has made many years ago for which he has since repeatedly apologised,” Houston said.
Houston called one or two of Driscoll’s remarks “outrageous,” though he did not note what they were.
“Clearly Mark has held some views and made some statements that cannot be defended,” Houston said in the statement. “One or two of the more outrageous things he is purported to have said, I have heard for the first time through the media exposure over the past week.”
An online petition collected about 3,000 signatures before Hillsong pulled the plug.
Driscoll admitted to and apologized for comments he made in 2000 under the pseudonym “William Wallace II” that were critical of feminism, homosexuality and “sensitive emasculated” men. Much of the recent focus has been on whether Driscoll referred to women as “penis homes.”
“’Ultimately, God created you and it is His penis,’ William Wallace II” wrote, according to a screen shot taken by a blogger. “‘You are simply borrowing it for a while.’”
“‘Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife,’ William Wallace II” wrote. “‘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.’”