Washington megachurch Mars Hill announced that it is closing several branches, and has dismissed a pastor after he recently called for the resignation of founder Mark Driscoll, who had created controversy with his anti-LGBT and anti-woman views.
In a letter posted to his Dropbox account, Pastor Mark Dunford said that he had been dismissed from the church's Portland branch after calling for Driscoll's resignation, saying that the founder created a "culture of fear" inside the church.
An August profile of Driscoll published by The New York Times explained that he had been accused "of plagiarizing, of inappropriately using church funds and of consolidating power to such a degree that it has become difficult for anyone to challenge or even question him."
A month earlier, it was revealed that Driscoll had posted hundreds of inflammatory Internet comments almost 15 years ago.
On Monday, "Love, Joe, Feminism" blogger Libby Anne pointed out one of the more disturbing notions from Driscoll's Internet trolling days.
"Ultimately, God created you and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while," Driscoll wrote under the name William Wallace II in 2001. "Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home."
"Therefore, if you are single you must remember that your penis is homeless and needs a home," he continued. "But, though you may believe your hand is shaped like a home, it is not... And, if you look at a man it is quite obvious that what a homeless man does not need is another man without a home."
Anne observed that she had "rarely seen an evangelical man assert male superiority and prominence this directly."
"In Driscoll’s treatment, women are no more than penis homes," she wrote. "Women were created to satisfy men. There is nothing uplifting or honored in that."
Over the weekend, Mars Hill said that "negative media attention" had caused financial difficulties, and announced that it would consolidate several branches and lay off employees.
Driscoll told church members on August 25 that he was taking a six-week leave of absence from the church.