“Raised Catholic”

Mark Driscoll was raised Catholic.  I know this because I’ve read many of his sermons and every time he mentions Catholicism he points out that he was raised Catholic.  He also likes to mention how Irish he is and how his last name was actually O’Driscoll before his ancestors immigrated to the United States.  Oh, and his Grandma liked the Latin Mass.  And he was an altar boy.  That is how “Catholic” he was raised.

Driscoll and other fallen away Catholic’s like to throw it out there that they were raised Catholic, I guess, because they think that doing so makes them some kind of expert on the subject.  Folks, if you think that being “raised Catholic” makes you an expert on Catholicism, please continue reading!

Mark Driscoll is clearly not an expert on Catholicism.  In his March 28th Sermon, “Jesus as Sabbath Lord,” Mark Driscoll points out that (you guessed it) he grew up Catholic.  He then says that he has no idea why he gave up meat on Fridays growing up.  That’s pretty basic.  Somebody who was raised Catholic should at least know basic stuff.  I don’t know how many times Mark went to Mass on Sunday or how many times he served as an altar boy growing up, but somebody who went often probably wouldn’t be so clueless as to what Mass actually was.

Mark knows why this is.  He simply wasn’t raised Catholic very well.  In a Sermon on Mary, he even quite humbly points out that he knows many Catholics who are, by his definition, real Christians but he, “wasn’t one of them.”  Mark Driscoll did not fail Catholicism.  Catholics failed Mark Driscoll.*  That’s the unfortunate part of having so many humans working for the Church.  Humans fail sometimes, and in the case of Mark Driscoll, we failed.  Mark was taught “the rules.”  He just wasn’t taught the faith that “the rules” are there to serve.  “The rules” should never be passed on as obstacles for authentic worship of Jesus Christ as they were for so many Catholics Mark’s age.  We here at DriscollWatch would agree with Mark that following rules for the sake of following rules does nothing for the believer.  But we also hope to point out that many of “the rules” that Pastor Mark rebelled from can actually serve worship of Jesus Christ and we invite you to keep reading DriscollWatch to learn why that is.

Mark Driscoll speaks a lot about Catholicism from his own particular experience.  I (and other contributors who will hopefully be here in the future) have different experiences.  I don’t expect the reader of this blog to choose between my experience, Mark Driscoll’s experience, or anybody’s experience when making judgments over the Catholic faith.  I expect them to make these judgments based on the content of the faith itself, which we at DriscollWatch will be trying to present to you as clearly as possible.  We hope to be of service to you whether you have never had any experience of Catholicism, whether you consider yourself to have been “raised Catholic,” or whether you currently practice the faith.

In the meantime, lets all keep in mind that simply being raised in any Church, Catholic or otherwise, does not immediately make you a credible witness to the content of that particular faith.


16 comments on ““Raised Catholic”

  1. Justin says:

    What you do and condone Catholicism says so much about you I cannot hear a word you say… I don’t know if that’s how everyone else feels but it’s how I do.

    • zeeehjee says:


      Welcome to DriscollWatch. You are free to elaborate on your comment if you wish. If not, I’ll just leave it at that and invite you back to read some of our articles.

      God Bless.

  2. Daron says:

    So do you believe all Mark needs now is a proper Catholic church and a proper Catholic Priest who can properly teach him now? And then he would understand Catholicism correctly and then…………convert to Catholicism?

    • zeeehjee says:

      Not necesserily. Mark should worship as his conscience dictates. You and I should as well. However, because Mark has been improperly formed in his faith and does not know simple teachings of the faith – which he admits is the case in the sermon I mention in this post – his conscience in the matter is not properly formed. If he were to be instructed properly and then his conscience instructed him to convert to Catholicism then he should convert to Catholicism.

  3. Mel says:

    Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. Romans 14:3

    Satan is the enemy, not each other.

    Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. 1 Cor. 3:18-23

    • zeeehjee says:

      Well, In this case I did not judge anyone. Mark judged himself. He says that he did not understand basic teachings of the Catholic faith which he claims to have been raised in. I am only saying that a person’s personal experience in a Church is not we should use to evaluate that Church. We should instead be concerned of what the Church actually teaches.

      I started this blog because I feel as though Pastor Mark does not explain properly what the largest Church in the World teaches.

      I believe that Pastor Mark is on Jesus’ side and I think that he understands what the Gospel could do to transform a city like Seattle. It is also my opinion, however, that he misrepresents my faith in some of his sermons.

  4. Tom says:

    “Satan is the enemy, not each other.” -Mel

    Yes, but either the Catholic Church is right, or Mark Driscoll is right (or neither is right). It seems to me, as a Christian, the answer to the question “Who is right?” is rather important as answers to religious questions may have eternal implications.

    Further, it seems to me this post has not made Pastor Mark into an enemy. This post is merely a response to someone of influence who has made innaccurate claims about the Catholic Church.

  5. Jonathan says:

    “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?”

    The issue here isn’t judgement but rather correction. zeeehjee didn’t say that Mr. Driscoll was a bad or evil person but rather that he said something that was incorrect. The first is judgement, and the second is not.

    The Bible tells us to judge not, lest we be judged. It also tells us to admonish those who act or speak incorrectly. For example, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 says the following:

    “If anyone does not obey our word as expressed in this letter, take note of this person not to associate with him, that he may be put to shame. Do not regard him as an enemy but admonish him as a brother.”

    In Matthew 18:15-17, we are instructed to correct our brothers who sin and even to bring it to the Church if our brothers persist in sin. The issue here may or may not be sin, but this is simply another example of correction.

    We also see throughout the New Testament examples of the apostles correcting fellow servants of God who were incorrect in behavior or speech. Some additional examples are when apostles write to various churches, beginning with praise and following with correction, or when some of the Jewish Christians thought that bodily circumcision was still necessary. The latter example speaks of faithful servants who were wrong on a certain point and were corrected.

    There are, of course, more examples as well.

    Here is the core of the issue to me. God is truth, and God, being perfect, doesn’t change. This means that truth doesn’t change, and a consequence of this is that it’s possible to act and believe in a way that is contrary to God’s truth.

    Our goal as Christians is to reach perfect union with God in Heaven. Love dictates that we also take care to help others on their way as well. This means that, to the extent that we love our neighbor, we will correct him when he is wrong in order to bring him into a more full union with God.

    As Catholics, we believe that we are members of the one visible Church established by Jesus Christ, and given the importance attributed to this Church (which is called the “fullness of Christ” in Ephesians 1:22-23, the “pillar and foundation of truth” in 1 Timothy 3:15, and “the body of Christ” in Ephesians 1:23 and 5:29-30), we believe that others would do well to be a part of it. When people slander or misrepresent the Church and her teachings, we will then understandably attempt to correct them.

    Through this, we will be doing our best to ensure that God’s faithful servants will be as faithful as is possible and to draw others even closer to our Lord.

    What is not loving is to ignore the ignorance or faults of others. We will then be willfully allowing the individual in question to persist in error and will be held accountable for our part in it.

  6. […] And then we get basically a cultural equivalent of pagan Catholicism. Let me unpack all of this. I grew up as a Catholic boy, went to Catholic school, was an altar boy for some years. And the way it would work in Catholicism is you would go into the confessional with the priest. […]

  7. […] after 43 minutes into this Sermon, Pastor Driscoll (after pointing out that he was raised Catholic) says to the Catholics in attendance, “Very glad to have you. Welcome to Mars Hill, enjoy our […]

  8. Christian says:

    Most Catholics unfortunately stop learning about God and Faith in 8th grade. Then years later, it seems silly or irrelevant or false, because they have become adults but still have a child’s knowledge.

    Not that this necessarily applies to every former Catholic.

  9. […] thankful that Pastor Mark has rephrased the way he explains his experience as a Catholic.  It is objectively more honest than other statements he has made about his past, and the people […]

  10. […] called the Protestant Reformation. Now, I don’t mean to get into all the issues of Catholicism. I was raised Catholic. Altar boy, went to Catholic school for a few years. There are some Catholics who love Jesus. But I’m a Protestant and I agree with the criticisms of […]

  11. Don Lambirth says:

    I am a fan of Mark and occasionally attend his church. I am a Protestant that recognizes that there are many people in the catholic church that love Jesus as passionately as me. And I also recognize that going to church whether it be catholic or protestant does not auto guarrantee a seat in heaven. What I like about Mark is that he doesn’t bash Catholics like many in the Reformed community do but merely points out his differences. Sometimes humorously.

    • zeeehjee says:


      Thanks for the visit. I have wanted to visit Mars Hill for some time now. Unfortunately, now that I’m at my own Church my Sundays are a little too busy. Maybe one day I’ll attend. I have gained a lot from Mark’s insights. I do disagree with you a little about whether or not Mark Driscoll bashes Catholics. He doesn’t do so directly, but he does not really explain our doctrines or customs adequately, in my opinion. This, however, has changed since I met with him. We had a great discussion and he has since worked a bit harder to avoid doing this.

      For this, I respect the man greatly.

      God Bless you!

  12. […] talked about this before, as well.  You can read up about it here, but if you don’t want to, I’ll give you the quick version: Pastor Mark was not raised Catholic […]

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