Breaking: “I Am A Christian.” Sword-Swallower Hits Back At Mark Driscoll For Likening His Performance to a ‘Strip Tease’

The sword-swallowing acrobat at the center of the recent Mark Driscoll rebuking controversy has responded to the obstreperous, ‘should-be-disqualified’ pastor after he was accused of ‘rip(ing) his shirt off like a woman does in front of a pole at a strip club.’

Alex Magala, who claims to be a Christian and whose mentor attends Driscoll’s church, said in a statement:

In response to recent criticisms of Stronger In response to recent criticisms of Stronger Men’s Conference produced by James River Church, I feel compelled to clarify the context and intention behind my specialty act. My performance, which some have controversially likened to inappropriate entertainment, is deeply rooted in a historical and cultural tradition that dates back over 1200 years and has since become a respected discipline showcasing human strength and agility.

Pastor Mark Driscoll’s remarks about my act failed to recognize the difference between a male strip tease and a stunt performance rooted in art and sport.

Only an uninformed person would draw a comparison between my act and an inappropriate performance. I feel that this danger act is perfect for the Stronger Men’s Conference. It provides inspiration to the audience and permission for them to reach new heights of what’s possible in their lives.

My mentor Dan Meyer, is a leader of Sword Swallowers Association International, a multiple Guinness World record holder in sword swallowing and just so happens to be a member of Pastor Mark Driscoll’s own congregation. Dan says, “It wasn’t a “raunchy male pole dance” or “stripper” performance. Alex is the top of his field as a master in the classical 12th century martial arts acrobatic discipline called Chinese Pole acrobatics which he performed at the Olympics.

This is WAY different than a male stripper. It’s like comparing classical ballet with striptease. No comparison. The convention hired Alex because the theme was “strong men” and Alex is the best at what he does!”

I am a Christian and have always aimed to use my talents to inspire and entertain audiences in a way that respects my faith. The act in question was designed to be a celebration of physical human achievements and is aligned with the James River Church’s purpose in bringing others into the light of God.

It’s essential to approach such performances with an understanding of their intention rather than reducing them to mere entertainment.

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11 thoughts on “Breaking: “I Am A Christian.” Sword-Swallower Hits Back At Mark Driscoll For Likening His Performance to a ‘Strip Tease’

  1. I don’t believe there should have been an apology.
    This act was not the place to be performed . It was ungodly and certainly made some men feel uncomfortable.
    It was not honoring God in this setting.
    Did you really need this type of entertainment. What happened with lifting up prayer, hymns, worshipping???
    This type of meeting is certainly biblical end time falling away.

    1. The setting was a basketball arena, not a church. The event featured many entertainment acts centered around the theme of strong men. It was not a church. It was not a church service. Anyone shelling out the money for tickets (it isn’t cheap) would know what to expect.

      Do we need such entertainment to spread the Gospel? I don’t really care for it. But if this act was ungodly, the entire event was ungodly.

  2. Instead of stopping evil (stripper/pole dancer), the fallen away pastor stops Mark Driscoll from addressing the evil. All you men at the conference should have walked out. Welcome to the last days fallen away church.

  3. Protestia doubling down on defending these worldly entertainments. I guess as long as they don’t use movie clips or wear skirts in Christmas specials, anything else goes. But woe to the one the one that crosses their arbitrarily line in the sand – wherever it is this week.

  4. I shall have grace for the guy. He most likely does not understand that there are biblical rules for what is appropriate in a context like that. That’s true for most Christians.

    That said, this was not a worship service. This was something else, a side activity, a conference. I would argue the biblical rules of conduct are more lenient in the context of a conference. The Bible does not mandate having conferences. Now was this a good conference? Probably not, judging by the organizer. Was probably a stupid conference, with stupid men on the stage, speaking stupid stuff, like the “Jezebel spirit”. Not because of one sword-swallower mistaken as a male stripper by one stupid talking head and a lot of stupid observers incapable of critical thought.

  5. This WAS NOT A CHURCH SERVICE. The act was one of strength and talent and had absolutely nothing to do with ‘stripper poles’, ‘Asherim,’ or especially a “Jezebel spirit,” (of which there is no such thing).
    I like much of Driscoll’s teaching and I don’t question his love for the Lord, but as even he later admitted, his emotions got the best of him and he acted out improperly. Incident closed.

  6. Magala states, “I am a Christian and have always aimed to use my talents to inspire and entertain audiences in a way that respects my faith.” Did he really mean to say “always?” If he’s honoring God now with his talent, good for him. But his former work as a stripper disqualifies him from claiming he has “always” aimed to use his talents to inspire. Surely he knows that.

  7. The whole thing was an abomination and everyone loses by being involved.

    Driscoll has no business being behind a pulpit (Mars Hill anyone ?) and Lindell has demonstrated he is no pastor as well

    Again, everyone looks bad here. And a Christ was not glorified either

  8. Is this event a Christian event? I fear the answer to that question is NO.

    John Lindell, the pastor of James River Assembly of God in Springfield, MO, is the producer of this clown show. John Lindell has built a kingdom in Springfield that rivals any prosperity teacher. His church, James River, is a circus act of showmanship and entertainment.

    James River = Six Flags over Springfield.

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