Seattle-based megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll, who is never shy of controversy, stirred the social media sphere on Monday when his name began trending on Twitter after posting a link to a news story video with a rather peculiar storyline – and a provocative comment.
"Do not bring your tambourine to church unless you want to get Tasered. [story link]" tweeted Driscoll, who is @PastorMark on Twitter.
The lead pastor of Mars Hill Church referenced a story out of Oklahoma about a "religious ruckus" at a church in the city of Edmond that resulted when a woman was "apparently playing a tambourine too loudly during Wednesday night services," according to a local TV news report.
After being escorted out by an off-duty Oklahoma County Sheriff's Deputy, she broke free and attempted to go back inside the church.
There was a physical confrontation and the deputy was "forced to pepper spray and tase the unruly woman," KFOR-TV reported.
Although no one on Twitter appeared to have a clear answer as to why "Mark Driscoll" was trending on Twitter for at least an hour Monday morning, some people did speculate that it was about the unusual story tweet, including Driscoll's pointed Twitter commentary.
When asked on Twitter by this Christian Post reporter as to why he thought Driscoll was trending, Pastor Tim Gaydos of Mars Hill Church Downtown Seattle tweeted: "Possibly the link to tambourine lady?"
In between Driscoll's tweets linking to his blog posts about "8 Biblical Marks of a True Church" and about the spiritual gift of mercy (Do you find yourself being drawn to people who are needy, hurting, sick, disabled, or elderly?) the pastor did not seem fazed about the rush of trending popularity on Twitter.
Driscoll has 253,000 followers on Twitter and more than 144,000 "likes" for his Facebook page. The same post about the tasing incident on Driscoll's Facebook page drew more than 100 comments and nearly 400 "likes" by midday on Monday.
Facebook user Scott asked: "Why is this video even newsworthy or something that a pastor would post?"
Kathy commented: "The real question should be: Why is an off duty Oklahoma County Sheriff's Deputy taking a Taser and Pepper Spray to Church?"
Driscoll received criticism earlier this year inside and outside the Christian community about his most recent book penned with his wife, Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together.
Some said the Driscolls went too far, or didn't go far enough, in their discussion of marriage and sex found in the book. A book tour promoting the book included a stop at "The View" in which co-host Joy Behar wanted to hear the couple's view on homosexuality.
"Well, we are Bible-believing Christians," said Driscoll during the interview. "We do hold to the teaching of Scripture and that is that sex is reserved for a married couple … a heterosexual married couple. So, even when we were dating and we were sexually active we were wrong. So, we don't want to say we are better or holier than anyone, but we were wrong as well and had to make some changes."