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Mark Driscoll Kicked Out of Men's Conference for Rebuking 'Jezebel Spirit' at Event

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Mark Driscoll, who is no stranger to controversy, stepped into the heat again over the weekend.

The once-embattled preacher, who resigned in 2014 from his role as founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, amid accusations he abused his spiritual authority, took to the stage over the weekend at the Stronger Men’s Conference, where he deviated from his planned message to rebuke what he described as the “Jezebel Spirit” present in the Great Southern Bank Arena in Springfield, Missouri.

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Driscoll, 53, was swiftly called out and removed from the platform by John Lindell, lead pastor of James River Church, which organized the annual men’s event.

But before he was de-platformed, Driscoll spoke for several minutes, beginning with a condemnation of the myriad sexual identities that have become ubiquitous in Western culture before turning his address toward the kickoff of the Stronger Men’s Conference, which he saw as morally and spiritually problematic.

The segment Driscoll was referring to came at the start of the conference, when stunt-performer Alex Magala of “America’s Got Talent” fame took to the stage wearing a leather outfit. Early on in his act, he removed his leather shirt and performed acrobatic moves on a metal pole in the middle of the stage before ultimately swallowing a sword.


After urging the men at the conference to stand up against LGBTQ identities, which he described as demonic and “the counterfeit image of the mind,” Driscoll, who is now pastoring Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, turned to critiquing events that transpired at the start of the two-day convention.

“I’ve been up since 1 o’clock in the morning,” the pastor said, taking a knee, removing his baseball hat, and softening his tone of voice. “The reason I’m hoarse is I have been praying and my heart is very burdened for you.”

The mood in the arena shifted from one of vociferous agreement to attentive listening.

“I want to be very careful with this, and it’s not what I want to say,” Driscoll continued. “But the Jezebel Spirit has already been here. The Jezebel Spirit opened our event.”

He explained, “This is a rebuke and a correction of no one. This is an observation. Before the Word of God was open, there was a platform; it was a high place. On it was a pole, an Asherah, the same thing that’s used in a strip club for women who have the Jezebel Spirit to seduce men.”

Driscoll’s use of the word “Asherah” was a reference to a goddess from the Canaanite pantheon.

“In front of that was a man, who ripped his shirt off like a woman does in front of a pole at a strip club,” he told the men as an air of discomfort seemed to fill the space.

It was around that time that Lindell interrupted Driscoll, telling the Scottsdale-based preacher he was “out of line,” telling him to stop speaking: “You’re done!”

“OK, Pastor John, I’ll receive that,” Driscoll replied, standing up, returning his hat to his head, and collecting his things from the pulpit. “Thank you,” he added as he left the stage.

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At that point, Lindell reclaimed the platform as the crowd’s quiet listening turned into a calamitous uproar.

Men could be heard chanting, “Bring him back!” referring to Driscoll.

Lindell, though, was clearly upset and unmoved by the uproarious crowd. He said, “Mark is out of line. If Mark wanted to say that, he should have said it to me first; he didn’t.”

At that point, the James River preacher brought up the New Testament passage of Matthew 18:15-17, in which Jesus explained how believers ought to address sin between fellow Christians.

The passage (NLT) reads:

If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

“If your brother offends you, go to him privately,” Lindell said, referring to Scripture. “I talked to Mark for a half hour. There was not one word of that. He’s out of line. If he wants to say it, he can say it to me. You may not agree with me, you may not agree with him, but we are brothers in Christ, and there’s a right way to handle this.”

CBN News reached out to both Driscoll and Lindell via their respective ministry websites. If either pastor responds, this story will be updated to include their remarks.

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Tré Goins-Phillips serves as a host and content creator for CBN News. He hosts the weekly “Faith vs. Culture” show and co-hosts “Quick Start,” a news podcast released every weekday morning. Born and raised in Virginia, Tré now lives along the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he has built his career, often traveling to meet and interview fascinating cultural influencers and entertainers. After working with brands like TheBlaze and Independent Journal Review, Tré began his career at CBN News in 2018 and has a particular passion for bridging the chasm between the secular world and the church