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Mark Driscoll Kicked Off Stage for Calling Out ‘Strip Club’-Like Performance at Stronger Men’s Conference

Mark Driscoll Stronger Men's Conference
Screengrab via YouTube / @ChaplainReece

Controversial pastor Mark Driscoll was kicked off stage during his sermon at James River Church’s Stronger Men’s Conference in Springfield, Missouri, on Saturday after publicly disagreeing with the conference’s opening performance.

Driscoll said the performance was something that could have been seen in a “strip club for women.”

The Stronger Men’s Conference is known for its over-the-top opening performances, which have included a live MMA fight, death-defying circus-like acts, professional bull riding, motocross, and monster trucks.

RELATED: Controversial Performer From Stronger Men’s Conference Speaks Out, Cites Christian Faith in Defense of Performance

Driscoll is the founder and senior pastor of The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, but is best known for founding and leading the now-dissolved Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington—a multi-campus megachurch from which he resigned in 2014 after he was accused of controlling and abusive behavior.

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In a clip of Driscoll’s sermon that a conference attendee posted on YouTube, Driscoll can be heard talking about demons in sexual terms. “Demons want [you] to be like them and not like [God],” Driscoll said. “He made you male and female, [and] they want to remake you as not male or female so you’re no longer manifesting the image of God but the counterfeit image in your mind.”

Specifically naming people who identify as nonbinary and trans, Driscoll warned the younger men in the audience that they are “living in a cult called America.” He then warned the older men “that if you tolerate, they will dominate.”

RELATED: ‘How Dare You!’—Mark Driscoll Shares the Story Behind His Most Controversial Sermon

Driscoll received a roaring round of applause after saying, “In the next session—if I’m allowed to come back—we’re going to talk about how to be an Elijah and how to deal with Ahab and Jezebel.”

“But, let me do this,” Driscoll said as he took off his hat and knelt down on one knee.

“I’ve been up since 1 o’clock in the morning,” he continued. “The reason I’m hoarse is I have been praying for you, and my heart is very burdened for you. And I want to be very careful with this. And it’s not what I want to say, but the Jezebel spirit has already been here.”

Driscoll proceeded to say that the “Jezebel spirit opened our event.” Before explaining what he meant, Driscoll indicated that what he was about to say wasn’t a “rebuke” or “correction” but rather “an observation.”

“Before the Word of God was opened, there was a platform—it was a high place. On it was a pole of Asherah,” Driscoll said. An Asherah pole was a sacred pole, possibly at times a tree, that ancient Canaanites used to give honor to the fertility goddess Asherah. Such poles are referenced in Exodus 34:13Judges 6, and 1 Kings 16:33.