Ahead of the Valentine’s Day release of his new book, “Real Romance: Sex and the Song of Songs,” controversial Arizona pastor Mark Driscoll is presenting an eight-week sermon series about marriage. To publicize the sermons and book, co-written by Driscoll’s wife, Grace, his church is posting messages on billboards throughout Scottsdale.
The Twitter account Stuff Christian Culture Likes recently shared images of The Trinity Church billboards. “Thanks to informants in Scottsdale we have evidence of Mark Driscoll’s new sex sermon,” reads the caption. “I can’t help but remember all of the women I knew who went to Mars Hill who told me that Mars Hill dictated that women weren’t allowed to tell their husbands no.” It also cites a midwife who surmised that “most” babies born to Mars Hill couples “weren’t conceived consensually.”
In 2014, Driscoll resigned from Mars Hill, the church he had founded in Seattle. Allegations of bullying, controlling, and even “cult-like” behavior followed Driscoll to Trinity, which he launched in 2016.
Stuff Christian Culture Likes was founded by Stephanie Drury, who advocates for “women harmed by evangelical culture” and once ran a @FakeDriscoll Twitter account.
Billboards: God ‘Wants To Heat Up Your Marriage’
Messages on the electronic billboards include “Married Couples: Has your bedroom become your bored room? We’re here to help” and “The same God who heats up the valley wants to heat up your marriage!”
The person who sent Drury images of the billboards writes, “Sorry for the shakiness, I started laughing as I took the photo.” Another text-message screenshot calls the signs “weird,” noting they “make it seem like his [Driscoll’s] church is handing out [V]iagra.”
Each billboard includes the URL TrinityChurch.com/RealRomance, which provides details about the sermon series beginning Jan. 7. On its website, the church invites people to come hear about the “Bible’s most overt book on marriage, the Song of Songs.” It promises, “By attending this sermon series and applying the principles to your relationship, you will have a stronger, more intimate, more enjoyable marriage!”
Attendees are told they’ll receive a free early-release copy of “Real Romance” and be entered in a drawing to win a staycation. Near the end of the series, attendees can take advantage of a “FREE extended date night with childcare.”
‘This All Looks Eerily Similar’
Among the Driscoll-related controversies at Mars Hill was one involving the promotion of his 2011 book “Real Marriage.” A report indicated that a marketing company was paid $200,000 to push that title onto the New York Times bestseller list.