Driscoll Calls Out the Spirit of Jezebel

Authored By: Mike Sonneveldt

Mark Driscoll knows how to make a splash. 


Recently, at the Stronger Men’s Conference, Driscoll took some time to point out what he thought was a dangerous display of idolization. 


What was he going on about? 


The event featured a man named Alex Margala performing on a raised platform. Margala took off his leather shirt, performed some acrobatic moves on a tall pole, and eventually swallowed a sword. 


Margala has competed on both “America’s Got Talent” and “Britain’s Got Talent” with stunts involving swords, chainsaws, and more. It’s reported that Margala previously worked as a male stripper, but for the sake of this blog: that cannot be confirmed. 


The Driscoll Fallout 

Pastor Driscoll climbed onto the stage the next day and spoke. He said, 

We're going to talk about how to be an Elijah and how to deal with the average Jezebel.  

But let me do this. [Kneels] I've been up since 1:00 in the morning. The reason I'm hoarse is I’ve been praying for you, and my heart is very burdened for you.  

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. The Jezebel spirit opened our event. 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.  

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.  

That man then ascended. See, our God is not arrogant. He doesn't ascend. Our God is humble. He descends. And then, he swallowed a sword, and Jesus cr—Okay, Pastor John, I'll receive that. Thank you. 


Pastor John Lindell yelled from the front row to Driscoll that he was out of line, and that he was done. Pastor Driscoll received the statement and left the stage. Later on, Pastor Lindell referenced Matthew 18 and argued that Driscoll was out of line with his public condemnation of the performance. Reportedly, the men met behind the stage and came to terms. Later on, the two pastors took the stage and publicly reconciled the situation. 


Matthew 18 

Driscoll was a guest at the church putting on the conference. He took the stage and proceeded to describe the presentation as that of a Jezebel spirit-driven moment. 


It’s understandable that Lindell then took the stage and voiced his displeasure with the fact that Driscoll should have approached him privately about the matter. In the spirit of Matthew 18, that does seem to be a fair point by Lindell. 


Approaching your brother privately about a matter retains respect and dignity for the one being confronted. Oftentimes, a miscommunication or a preconceived notion can be done away with rather easily through a simple conversation. 


Matthew 18 also gives direction if a person chooses not to listen to the correction. A man can go to his brother with two or three witnesses, and if that fails, then present his complaint to the church at large. 


Driscoll should have approached Lindell privately. If the act itself pushed him to wake up at 1:00 am praying for the other men, then it affected him enough to sit and stew for a while. There’s no reason a phone call or a pull-aside could not have been arranged. 


Following Matthew 18, Driscoll then could have relied on several others who saw the act to come with him if he so needed. And if all of that failed, he had the perfect pulpit to present to the men’s conference his frustration with the presentation. 


Was It a Jezebel Spirit? 

Driscoll pulled the “Jezebel spirit” accusation from Revelation 2, which states, “‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.” (Revelation 2:19-22) 


The accusation includes the idea that Jezebel leads the servants of Christ into idolatry and acts of immorality. 


The presentation does have a flavor of sexuality to it, though it’s hard to tell if Margala meant that or if that’s just how he presents himself in his performances. Driscoll was quick to add up the commonalities: 

Raised platform = Altar 

Pole = Asherah Pole 

Shirtless dancer = Tones of sexualized female 

Dance = Presenting “strip tease” 

Man climbed = Man ascending 


More commonalities could be pointed to. The man “led” the presentation, meaning he was the “priest” or “leader” of the “worship.” The quick descent is reminiscent of the casting out of Satan from Heaven. The leather pants are representative of the cow that would be placed on the altar. And we could go on. 


Driscoll saw the performance as a demonic takeover of the event at large. Whether he’s right or wrong, he tapped into something that seemed to be an odd and awkward connection to a men’s conference. People have lambasted this particular men’s conference in the past for some of the over-the-top “manly” things they’ve used as enticement. Tanks, Chuck Norris, wrestlers, sports stars, BMX riders, and the rest have all made an appearance. The show seems to run on the idea that a live conglomeration of action movies and barber shops is all that’s needed to connect to men. 


While the leaders of the conference may have been well-intentioned, the idea was not well thought-out. Without joining Driscoll in saying it was a ritual of Jezebel, the whole thing seemed disconnected from drawing men closer to God. Swallowing swords and death-defying stunts do match up well with men taking risks, but a man who rips off his shirt while wearing leather pants and proceeds to use a stripper pole in his performance seems counterproductive. 


This opinion may not win any fans, but the truth can be discerned without jumping into the wagon of “It was a total Jezebel presentation.” It may have been a subtle laugh by demons, but the lack of discernment by those running the event shows in spades. 


Who Was Right? 

Both. Lindell was right that Driscoll stepped out of line by confronting the situation publicly before ever confronting Lindell and his staff behind the scenes. 


Men as guest speakers have chastised and berated churches from the pulpit in the past, but those situations rarely end well. One man steps off feeling vindicated that he let the kingdom of Satan have his tongue-lashing, and an entire congregation walks away A) Wondering what just happened, B) With a new thread of doubt in their pastor and church and C) Angry and frustrated at the spectacle they just became. 


The situation rarely finds a true healing considering most people become defensive or silent. The relationship with that man is destroyed and the pastor is left in the wake of the undermining he just received. 


Taking it to the man one-on-one provides an opportunity to rectify the situation. It also allows the home pastor to have the opportunity to confront the situation on his terms with his congregation. Giving him the chance to apologize or clarify can do wonders for the relationship between a pastor and his flock. 


Unfortunately, some men would rather stand and get credit for their recognition of righteousness than never have their name connected with their call out of sin. 


However, Driscoll recognized something awkward and discomforting in the presentation. It seemed out of place. It appeared in poor taste. Whether it was truly a “Jezebel spirit” is for the charismatics to argue about. Either way, a men’s conference does itself a disservice to have a shirtless man doing acrobatics on a tall stripper pole on a raised platform. 


Just think about that again. Does that sound like a spirit-filled men’s conference? 


What Now? 

Hopefully, the men putting on the conference will take this situation as a sobering reminder of how something with good intentions can go very wrong. In our hopes of connecting with men on their level while counteracting the feminized nature of typical church events, we run the risk of swinging whole-heartedly in a secular display of “awesome” moments and “action-packed thrills.” 


Meanwhile, there’s hope that Driscoll learned his lesson from this event. He’s a hard-charging, dominating personality (all the controversy aside). He tends to do what he wants to do and at times seems to shirk procedure and order. 


Let’s pray both sides learned their lesson in this whole situation. If the next Stronger Men’s Conference has a more toned-down theme while Driscoll is more careful of his judgments, we might see a redeemed event in a time of much-needed direction for men. 



Self-Evident Ministries