Mark Driscoll slams Jezebel spirit after megachurch hosts sword swallower Alex Magala

Mark Driscoll rebukes a performance by sword swallower Alex Magala at the James River Church Stronger Men's Conference held April 11 - 12, 2024.
Mark Driscoll rebukes a performance by sword swallower Alex Magala at the James River Church Stronger Men's Conference held April 11 - 12, 2024. | Screeshot/X/@thecfrazier

Mark Driscoll has been forced to defend himself after he was temporarily asked to leave the stage during James River Church’s Stronger Men’s Conference in Missouri for calling a performance by an aerial sword swallower and admitted male stripper, which opened the conference, “the Jezebel spirit.”

A viral video clip of Alex Magala’s sword-swallowing performance, which made him famous on family-friendly shows like "America’s Got Talent" and "Britain’s Got Talent," followed by Driscoll’s response to it, has already sparked a wave of comments on social media and headlines in a variety of publications like USA Today, which Driscoll insisted on Monday misinterpreted what he means by the Jezebel spirit.

Merriam-Webster defines a jezebel as ‘an impudent, shameless, or morally unrestrained woman.’ It's a derogatory word akin to 'tramp,' and, according to the Jim Crow Museum, has ties to racism and anti-black imagery," USA Today reported. 

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Driscoll, the outspoken senior pastor of Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, took the time, however, to correct USA Today.

“The Jezebel spirit is not a synonym for ‘tramp,’ and it's got nothing to do with racism. The Jezebel spirit is a demon that has worked through men and women for centuries, from Queen Jezebel in 1st Kings to Jesus's rebuke of the church in Thyatira in Revelation 2,” he wrote on X. “This demon seeks to control and dominate, most often through seductive women but oftentimes through overbearing, domineering men. I literally wrote the book on this. I want to give it away absolutely free. I get nothing out of it, I just want men and women to learn more about the spiritual war behind the war we see.”

In his book NewDays, Old Demons Driscoll presents a “prophetic study of sex, gender, woke politics, and how progressive Christianity is just a rebranding of ancient paganism. The same demons that were active in the days of Elijah are active today castrating the men, mutilating the children, closing the churches, and silencing the Bible teachers.”

Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the the now defunct Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington.
Mark Driscoll is founding pastor of Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the the now defunct Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. | Screengrab: Real Faith by Mark Driscoll/YouTube

In his critique of Magala’s performance at the Stronger Men’s Conference, which ran from April 11-12, Driscoll objected to the performance, arguing that it embodied the Jezebel spirit. It was unclear whether he was aware of Magala’s performance prior to the event and James River Church did not respond to questions from The Christian Post asking if Driscoll was aware.

In 2016, while Magala’s star was rising as a family-friendly sword swallower on "Britain's Got Talent," a Daily Mail report revealed that Magala also worked as a pole-dancing striptease artist in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for women and gay men.

“My life is like a movie,” Magala told the publication. “Perhaps you've seen in films when a killer gets a text about his next victim. I have the same story. I receive the address of the club, the time, and the color of underwear. I arrive at the place: lights, music, fire.”

Magala, now 34, did not immediately respond when asked by CP if he still worked as a striptease artist.

“We're going to talk about how to be an Elijah and how to deal with the average Jezebel. But let me do this,” Driscoll said, kneeling in a video of his critique of Magala’s performance at the conference posted on X.

“I've been up since 1 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,” he explained.

“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,” he continued.

“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,” he said as he was cut off by James River Church’s Senior Pastor John Lindell who indicated Driscoll was “out of line.”

“Let me just say this … If Mark wanted to say that he should have said it to me first. He didn’t. Matthew 18. Matthew 18. If your brother offends you, go to him privately,” Lindell said in a recording of his comments posted on X.

“I talked to Mark for a half-hour. There was not one word of that! He’s out of line. If he wanted to say it, he could say it to me. You may not agree with me. You may not agree with him. But we are brothers in Christ, and there's a right way to handle disagreement,” he added.

Not everyone at the conference was happy with Driscoll’s removal from the stage and video shared by Protestia on X, show that Driscoll was eventually brought back on stage where he admitted he did not handle the situation well.

Driscoll referred to Lindell as a “good pastor and spiritual father” who had been there for him and his family during the toughest seasons of his life.

Lindell admitted that as Driscoll was calling out the Jezebel spirit, he told his sons that he was like John the Baptist.

“Mark’s a prophetic voice to our generation,” Lindell said. “Nothing about what was said changes that. And Mark and I talked. We went outside where we could be alone so we could talk, and we reaffirmed our friendship. And Mark, I want you to know. You’re a gift to the Kingdom. You’re a gift to James River.”

Driscoll called the Stronger Men’s Conference “the greatest men’s event I believe in the country right now” and apologized for the “most awkward moment in the history of any men’s event.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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