Shane Claiborne supports “Mark Driscoll Foundation Fund for Women in Ministry”

On Nov. 5, Shane Claiborne, an activist and author, posted a picture to his Facebook page which described his friends’ intentions to form the “Mark Driscoll Foundation Fund for Women in Ministry.”

The fund was proposed as a reaction to Mark Driscoll’s recent Act Like Men conference. Driscoll, author and pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., teaches that women play a much different role in church ministry than men. However, Claiborne disagrees with Driscoll’s position on women in the church.

Driscoll’s official website cites being “a man” as the first “Qualification for Elders/Pastors.” He has received criticism regarding possible sexism from several bloggers for a 2012 interview with British radio host, Justin Brierley, for his views on “Women in Leadership.”

Students discussing the post at Calvin have pointed out the irony of his picture’s caption.

“I appreciate the satire,” said senior Katie Van Zanen, “I think it was a clever joke.”

“[Claiborne] takes ministry seriously,” said senior Catherine Kramer, “but he’s not afraid to make jokes.”

However, students questioned Claiborne’s post, wondering if the announcement of the “Foundation” was justified.

“I thought it was hilarious,” said senior Anna Geurkink, “but I didn’t know if it was an appropriate use of sarcasm.”

“I think it’s funny. I don’t know if it’s fair,” said senior Rebecca Broekhuis.

In addition to questioning the fairness of the post, students were unsure about its possible effectiveness.

“Sometimes when you make a joke of something it’s just a way of not dealing with it,” said Van Zanen.

Public commentary has echoed Van Zanen’s sentiment, with one blogger from DePaul University commenting that “[the post] will probably become another joke at Mars Hill,” the church at which Driscoll is a pastor.

Conversations among students suggest that they think Driscoll’s comments are a topic that should be addressed.

“[The post] will raise awareness on the topic,” said Kramer. “If someone doesn’t know who Mark Driscoll is, but they see this, and they’re like, ‘Oh, what’s that?’, they might go and look him up and learn more about the things he’s said.”