Forgive & Support? What is Mark Driscoll’s Gospel?

What is the “gospel” according to Mark Driscoll? Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church, is one of the loudest anti-gay voices out there – every word spoken “in the name of Jesus.”

This is Rob, Susan’s husband writing today…

It appears that the Elders at Mars Hill Church have had enough. Yesterday, Driscoll stepped down because of his abusive message (and some other issues too).

Supporters are calling for forgiveness for Driscoll ‘so that he can get back to preaching the gospel.’

Seriously? But, what is the gospel according to Mark Driscoll?

Isn’t the gospel and message of Jesus about how we treat people, how we love them – instead of about their behavior and converting them into whatever ideal on which the church currently agrees?

Remember, the church has been wrong in the past — slavery, women voters, women in leadership, civil rights, biracial marriage. And the non-affirming church is wrong again about gays. The handful of scripture used to condemn gay relationships have been misinterpreted and incorrectly taught while ignoring many more scripture about love and grace and acceptance.

Grace, unconditional love – and by unconditional I mean without condition, no asterisks, not one – isn’t thatthe gospel? Isn’t that the good news?

If we can “take grace too far” it’s not grace. If we place a single condition on love, it’s not unconditional. Period.

It’s become clear that Mark Driscoll’s gospel’ is not about love, grace and freedom, it’s about guilt, shame and control.

I believe there is something much deeper going on here. I believe this kind of gospel message reflects Driscoll’s deeply held belief in how God treats him.

Anti-gay preachers like Driscoll judge, condemn, reject and abuse people – even fellow Christians – because this is their idea of how God treats us! They believe God is an angry, abusive god who condemns gays, shames people because of their differences, considers women as less-than — basically a bully.

Sad? Yes. Dangerous? Absolutely.

Driscoll has stepped down, and it’s time for others like him to step down and seek God’s truth and heart — for it is very different from the message they preach. And that message is producing devastating, tragic results in LGBTQ and their families.

But the more they speak, the more the light of truth is revealing the darkness of their motive and message.

There is hope.

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Cottrell-Rob and SusanROBERT COTTRELL and his wife Susan are founders of FreedHearts. Rob has nearly 30 years experience in the nonprofit and music industries. He is national speaker and teacher, and the proud father of their five amazing children. He has become a vocal ally and advocate of the LGBTQ community.


SUSAN COTTRELL is a national speaker, teacher, and counselor with years of Biblical study and discipleship experience. Her books include: Mom, I’m Gay – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faithas well as How Not to Lose Your Teen and The Marriage Renovation. Through her nonprofit organization – – Susan champions the LGBTQ community and families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with her wise insistence that “loving God and loving others” are the foundation of the rest of the scripture, just as Jesus said.

She is the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin, and her “Mom, I’m Gay” book has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and others. Sharon Groves, PhD, HRC’s Religion & Faith Program Director says, “I often get asked by parents for resources that can address the struggles of raising LGBT sons and daughters without having to leave faith behind. Susan Cottrell’s book, Mom, I’m Gay, does just that. This is the kind of book that parents will love.”

She and her husband have been married more than 25 years and have five children – one of whom is in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at and here in IMPACT Magazine’s FreedHearts and Jesus Blog columns.