Dozens protest 'poisonous' Mars Hill Church pastor

Dozens protest 'poisonous' Mars Hill Church pastor »Play Video
A protestor holds a sign outside Mars Hill Church in Bellevue, Washington. August 3, 2014.
BELLEVUE, Wash. - Protestors are calling on the pastor of a popular mega-church to repent, resign, or maybe both.

About 70 people, many former members of Mars Hill Church, stood on the street outside the Bellevue branch in response to statements they say are offensive to women and others who support equality.

Pastor Mark Driscoll is the founder of the church that now has 15 branches in five states, with sermons that are seen by as many as a million online viewers a month.

"It's hateful to women," says protestor Andrew Lamb, who attended the church for four years before leaving in disgust. "It's also very homophobic. It's anybody who does not fit his mold of strong manly man."

Lamb says Driscoll has a long history of espousing a chauvinistic interpretation of Christianity that dictates women should be subservient to men.

Former member Judy Abolafya says the pastor's words go against the teachings of Christianity.

"He does need to be above reproach," Abolafya said. "It's not okay for him to be abusive, or arrogant, or prideful. A lot of people are calling for him to step down permanently."

The protestors point to a vulgar blog post Driscoll admits to writing 14 years ago. The pastor is on vacation, but a spokesperson said the church leader is sorry.

"He apologizes and he repudiates, really, the whole thing. This isn't what I believe today, this isn't how I would deal with this today," said Rev. Anthony Ianniciello. "No the church is absolutely not anti-women."