Mark Driscoll Responds (Updated)

UPDATE: Protest is OFF

UPDATE:
Mark meets with critics.

UPDATE:
The Seattle protest for Dec 3 is still on, but People Against Fundamentalism organizers say they will stop it if their goals are met.

“Our goals for this protest are:

1. To expose to the city of Seattle to Reverend Driscoll’s anti-women diatribe.

2. To see Mark Driscoll removed as a religion columnist for The Seattle Times.

3. To extract a sincere apology from Reverend Driscoll for his comments and a pledge to cease demeaning women in the future.

If these goals are met prior to December 3, People Against Fundamentalism will call off this proposed rally for women’s rights in Seattle.”
[link]

Heres what I think:

1. The city of Seattle has already been sufficiently exposed to this discussion.

2. Let Seattle Times make up their own mind who they want to write for them.

3. Mark would do well to write a more sincere apology. If he can do that, the protest would have accomplished a lot, without going to the point of public embarrassment for the church.

Related:

Mark Driscoll: The Skinny

Mark Driscoll Responds

The fat lazy blog-post that has let itself go.

Is the Blogosphere Ready for Mark Driscoll?

ORIGINAL: Mark responds to critics on his blog regarding the explosion last week. I re-post here because comments on Mark’s blog are limited to attendees of his conference.

“Thank You, Critics

A blog I recently posted has exploded into quite a furor in some quarters of blogdom. Sadly, my intent has been widely misunderstood and/or misrepresented. Therefore, it seemed prudent that I provide some context and clarification.

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I am a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, Christian pastor. I became a Christian when I was nineteen years of age and have seen my life change very radically since that time. Presently, my priorities are to be connected to Jesus, my family, and the church that I pastor. In addition to that, I have the great honor of helping to pastor some other pastors.

Over the years, I have traveled the country to speak with many mainly young pastors. In those years I have seen far too many young pastors leave the ministry because of sexual sin. I can still remember the first such call I received; a friend who was the pastor of a new church in another state notified me that he had been caught in an ongoing adulterous sexual relationship with a woman in his church. To be honest, I felt like I was going to throw up. Since that first call, my phone has rung many more times and every time my heart breaks and I again feel like I am going to throw up.

Pastors are supposed to meet certain biblical criteria, criteria that are mainly about how we treat our wives, children, and tend to our home. Furthermore, we are to live in such a way that other people who call us pastor can imitate us, which means that fidelity is of the utmost importance.

As a result, when I got word of the recent fall of Pastor Ted Haggard, I again felt sick. Throughout the day, my wife kept asking me what I was thinking, and I told her that I could not stop thinking about his wife and children and what a horrendous season they had been thrust into. In an effort to help the pastors who allow me to speak into their lives in varying degrees, I then put together my blog, hoping to give some general practical suggestions for young pastors to think through.

What I did not mean to communicate was anything regarding the Haggards, particularly Mrs. Haggard. She is not to blame for the sin of her husband.

What I did mean to communicate is that most pastors I know who have fallen did so with a heterosexual adulterous relationship, often with someone they were close to in their church. In addition, as I met with many of these fallen pastors and their wives, I saw a common theme emerge: most of the marriages had serious troubles that included a lack of emotional, spiritual, and, subsequently, physical intimacy.

Sadly, too often the message of the Christian church to men and women is be a virgin until you get married and do not commit adultery when you are married. While this is true, it is also incomplete. What is sometimes lacking is full, free, and frank teaching from such books as the Song of Songs about the sexual liberties that can be enjoyed by married couples. As a result, there are some pastors I have personally known who have never really even discussed sexuality with their wife in any great detail.

The words of 1 Corinthians 7:1–5 are pertinent, “Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

For those who are Bible-believing Christians, we must continually ponder Paul’s commands. He is saying that there are some ways in which not being married has benefits—especially for those working in dangerous contexts where persecution and death are probable. But because not everyone will remain sexually chaste, it is also good for some people to marry so that such desires have a natural and holy outlet. Within marriage, we must also accept that our body is no longer solely our own but is given to our spouse as a gift. Practically, this means that both husbands and wives should tend to themselves out of love for God and their spouse. This also means that in a Christian marriage, there should be a satisfying sexual relationship that does not cause one person to be embittered so that an opportunity is opened up for sexual temptation and sin.

I will reiterate that Paul’s commands are to both husbands and wives. When either party in a marriage is not a good steward of their body, or uses sex to control or punish the other spouse, hurt, conflict, and bitterness can ensue. The tragic result is often sexual sin, such as pornography and adultery. While such sins are not excusable because of a difficult marriage, a biblical marriage can provide some helpful defense against such temptation and sin.

As I have re-read my blog, I can see how some may have misconstrued what I said. Because I was writing to male pastors, I spoke in such a way that was not as clear as it could have been regarding what is true of Christian marriage in general. Therefore, I hope that this post is more clarifying.

My heart remains deeply burdened for the many young pastors who either do not enter ministry with a history of sexual purity and/or are struggling to maintain it in marriage and ministry. Pastors must continually strive for loving and satisfying intimacy on all levels with our spouse and to finish our race well many miles down the road of life. If you are a young pastor or Christian leader reading this blog who knows deep down that you are not in the best of places with your spouse and fidelity to them, I would simply urge you to seek wise counsel right away. Do not settle for anything less than what God intends for your marriage because too much is at stake to take any risks.

Lastly, I want to thank my critics, especially the most vocal. They have helped me to understand that more than just pastors are following what I am saying. Subsequently, they are helping me to learn how to more clearly articulate what I am trying to communicate. In that way, they have been of great assistance to me as I seek to pastor most effectively for Jesus. I have waited some time to post this clarification because in times past I have gotten angry and responded with a tone that was defensive, prideful, and not helpful. I am learning that critics in some ways are also friends because there is often some truth in what they are pointing out. Subsequently, God is using my critics to teach me and is asking me to be willing to listen.”

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

59 Comments

  • Thanks for that. thats a helpful response, and i can see that he’s a good man, and more where he’s coming from.
    Where i would differ is that it still sounds like the Evangelical line of ‘get married to control your desires’ (my wife and i got married coz we love each other), and paints a picture of a moral tightrope that we all have to desperately struggle to balance on.
    i guess it just sounds all a bit too legal and striving, rather than natural and loving for me.

  • I keep finding myself in the middle of opinion about Mark.
    I think he should be allowed to express what, after all, has been standard Christian teaching on the roles of women and men for well – a long time. That’s what conversation is about. However, his method of expression pushes the boundaries, to say the least. And it upsets even me.
    Then he responds to his critics with a post that shames – or should shame – all those who have wanted him hung, drawn, and quartered.
    Andrew said that Mark’s entry into the blog world would be interesting. Obviously, Andrew, you are a prophet!
    Now let’s leave the guy alone for a bit. I think Mark deserves that.

  • I think this sounds, reads, very sound and true to the values of biblical life. Marriage is difficult, and I don’t know of anyone that haven’t sinned in that area. So teaching about marriage should definetly be included and enfurthened in teachings in churches and cell groups and all forms of christian life. Five years I have been married now, two kids, and I could count the teachings I have heard on marriage on the fingers on my left hand.

  • That was refreshing to read. I was expecting some digs mixed with an apology, but it seems that Mark has a clear idea of what he did wrong and he wants to make things right.
    So, uh, is the protest still on???

  • Good post and it’s interesting to read Mark’s clarification. Having been in ministry myself for some time I could see both sides of what people were saying about the original post. Mark did a good job of explaining further here though. He also was quite gracious and honest about his journey learning to accept criticism.

  • I hope this is the Mark of the future because I like him much better than the Mark I have seen recently on his blog.
    I think only time will tell. This writing style (which I do prefer) is very different from other things I have seen and heard from Mark; and one blog entry doesn’t establish that he is ready to give up his brash, hip image.
    May I observe that I thought there was a clearly established Christian process for if you cause offense. I thought it was, apologize, ask forgiveness and make restitution.
    I sure hope there is no exemption clause for pastors which says “for you, it’s enough to clarify earlier comments and thank your critics and do so in a way which sounds much more humble than you often sound”.
    However much you think this is a step in the right direction please let’s not overlook the fact that clarifying earlier comments and thanking one’s critics is not the same as apologizing, asking forgiveness and making restitution.
    But then, I suppose many people think he never did anything wrong and will regard even this clarification as an unnecessary concession on Mark’s part.
    By the way, Rachelle is kindly offering hurt people a safe place to share their Mars Hill stories. She writes:

    If you are a woman (or man) who has been damaged by the harsh complementarian doctrine that has been passed down at Mars Hill Church, I would like to offer you a place to tell your story. Out of a pastoral concern for the former Mars Hill women I have known – and for the many I’ve yet to meet—I would like to offer my blog as a place to tell your story in safety. May this, my virtual living room, be a place where you can curl up under an afghan, hold someone’s hand, and tell your story. It’s okay to use a whole box of Kleenex. We’ll still be here.

    She will post your stories anonymously and close comments wherever someone posts a story.
    Thank you, Rachelle.

  • I imagine some of his critics won’t be happy with the response because he didn’t apologize for specific things he said in his earlier posts. He clarified his context, his intent, and what he was trying to communicate. But he didn’t point to specific things he’d said earlier and say, “I shouldn’t have said that (in that way).”
    I think it’s a great & helpful response. But if someone had hurt me personally, and they apologized like this, my response would be to point to the specific things they’d said/done and say, “So what about this?” I’m guessing there will be some follow-up of that sort among his critics.

  • I wouldn’t consider myself a “critic” although I was definitely not happy wih Mark’s original post. “Critic” has now the same emotionally-loaded baggage as the term “heresy-hunter”, which is why I’d rather not be labelled as such.
    At the same time, Rich Schmidt’s comment is accurate when he says: he didn’t apologize for specific things he said in his earlier posts. He clarified his context, his intent, and what he was trying to communicate. But he didn’t point to specific things he’d said earlier and say, “I shouldn’t have said that (in that way).”
    While that doesn’t mean that I think what he posted is therefore invalid, a specific apology would have gone a lot further to bring some healing and reconciliation.
    Perhaps we’ll get to that point in the near future. For now, this is certainly a very good start.

  • I do appreciate Mark’s new tone, and willingness to listen to his critics as evidenced in this last blog entry; though I too note that he stopped rather short of actually apologizing.
    I still disagree with his opinions, but at least I can listen to and respect them when he communicates them in this manner.
    However, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the protest and all the controversy about Mark has to do with more than just that one post about Haggard. The Haggard post was just the final straw. Mark has a whole pattern of sexist chauvinism to be held accountable for. A more civil clarification of one bad blog post does not excuse 10 years of abusive words and behavior. Mark still has a long way to go.

  • Echoing many of the sentiments mentioned already – yes Mark’s tone is much more palatable in this response, but this is far short of an apology, or any form of acknowledgment of how damaging to relationship in the body of Christ his words and actions have been.
    It strikes me as pretty classic bullying tactics.

  • Some problems too with Marks’ expansion.
    It still doesn’t really deal with why he chose to write what he did in connection to Haggard. Haggards’ story was about drugs and homosexuality. Mark advises people to get male assistants. Which doesn’t add up.
    I’m also worried by his use of the term ‘Paul commands’. It smacks of the wrong sort of authority, and thus unhelpfully tinges my impressions of Mark with the same. Which may be important: I’m glad he realizes his readership is wider than pastors. I’m amazed he is naive enough to think that at a blog could be anything so narrow.
    I’d agree with Christine – he shoots first, and comes in all pastoral later. Which is something I’ve seen too much of in JesusWorld™.

  • There was no apology. There was no stepping down from his position of power. The protest is still on because–as Mike Clawson notes–this was not an isolated incident. There is a long history of degrading, demeaning, and distgusting comments that Mark has made towards women.
    I would like to make a plea to the men who are for egalitarianism, for treating women with equality and respect as fellow human beings. And I would like to make a special plea to Andrew.
    I was talking with a good friend last night and she said that when she talks with most egalitarian men they apologize and say “You go do whatever”. They don’t see that they have a dog in the fight. She said “I don’t need an apology, I need an advocate.”
    So, men. How about it? Will you be an advocate in this male-dominated, male-focused, male-obsessed world of Christianity? Or will you just stand around looking at the ground and mumble apologies?
    Listen to the women posting comments on Andrew’s Blog! Check out Deana’s excellent suggestion at endfundamentalism.org. Be an advocate!

  • “Where i would differ is that it still sounds like the Evangelical line of ‘get married to control your desires’ ”
    Though I appreciate where the comment comes from and I understand- I was chuckling a bit over this one. Because it seems that the “Evangelical line” is precisely what the scripture are saying- uneasy though it is!
    I think its a great response and I don’t think Mark has anything to apologize for- though I would have said what he said differently.
    A good point that I’ve heard from some critics is that we must be careful not to bring worldly-sexual values into christian marriage- especially as it pertains to beauty etc. However- there is another side of worldly sexuality that we must be careful not to import as well- that of sexual power-playing. Just like it’s hard to hate a brother you have to kiss every time you meet “greet one another with a holy kiss”- it’s hard to be bitter and harsh towards someone you make love with every day. “The husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also his wife”
    Paul

  • it is well written, and i do appreciate the tone.
    my mother would never have let me get away with an apology like that…

  • As a woman and a (thankfully) EX Feminazi I was able to discern the general spirit of Mark’s ORIGINAL blog and didn’t get my knickers in a knot as you all seem to have. Come on you lot! Have you mislaid your sense of humour, and your COMMON SENSE!!! Mark, like most christian PASTORS is trying to follow Jesus and that means that what he teaches is not always going to be er… “palatable”?? (Especially in our culturally squeamish, politically NEUROTIC generation.) Frankly I don’t see why he should HAVE to clarify anything. 😛

  • I agree with my wife (Mags). I think a sense of humour is one of the most important things in a marriage. You can get into very awkward “situations” which a laugh can diffuse better than anything. Sometimes the truth is unpalatable.
    PTD

  • i personally am not interested in getting into protests between complimentarian fundies and egalitarian fundies. i work in an ecumenical environment with some wonder woman pastors, and though we disagree with one another in some aspects of our theology it doesn’t stop from from collaborating on kingdom work. i don’t think the purpose of Christ’s atonement is to eradicate complimentarians. When the day comes and Jesus renews all things women pastors and men pastors will be out of a job. i really am not sure what is driving this protest but i can’t believe it is simply about brawl between egalitarians and complimentarians. viva the libertarians! jesus saved me from many things in my life but two that pertain to what I have learned from the emergent folks:
    1) he saved me from having to be right
    2) he saved me from having to be significant.
    i’m done commenting on this, peace to you all

  • Mags & PTD – Maybe the term “palatable” just happened to stick in the memory as you read through the comments… but I never said anything about wishing the content of Mark’s teaching to be “palatable”. I was refering to the “tone” (meaning attitude) of this follow-up message as being different than his original blog post, which I found offensive and not in any way humorous. I am sorry if I was not clearer.
    Peace and blessings to you!

  • Have you mislaid your sense of humour,

    Ah yes, I read the blog entry by a visitor to Mars Hill – she had no sense of humor, did she? Because when Mark made fun of feminists and everyone else laughed, she just thought it was awful.

  • “offensive” This seems to be a really big buzz word. Helen I would just ask what if someone is to find your theology of view of gender roles “offensive”. Just wondering who gets to call balls and strikes in your judgement. Last time I checked the Mark’s position falls with in the historical majority, and while feminist s may find it offensive that does not make him bad or wrong. Afterall, and this point is separate the gospel itself is offensive to many, but that does not mean we alter it, now does it? Wait I think I am wading into an emergent disscussion there…. oops!!

  • Helen I would just ask what if someone is to find your theology of view of gender roles “offensive”.

    My position is not to discriminate against women and not to say demeaning disrespectful things about them.
    How can it make sense that anyone finds that offensive?

    Last time I checked the Mark’s position falls with in the historical majority

    I think Hitler’s position on the Jews also fell with the historical majority too. So…the historical majority is not always right, is it?
    No I’m not saying Mark is Hitler. I’m just cautioning against reasoning based on the ‘historical majority’.

  • Helen the historical majority of earth as not advocated for the genocide of all Jews so no, Hitler’s view did not fall within historical majority.
    Once again Driscoll’s position of saying women can not be pastors is not discrimination. This word ungenerous and misrepresents his position. He believes in gender roles. Lets try and be fair. So my point still stands, just because his theology which their are plenty of biblical scholars who concur (Blomberg, Carson, Mounce) does not allow for women to be pastors does not mean he is discriminating.

  • Jose —
    I would agree that one should not create division around non-essential theology. Let’s say for argument that the style of baptism is one of those.
    Can you see that there is a difference between whether one is sprinkled or dunked and whether women are treated a fully human?
    The latter hardly seems non-essential

  • A lot of the discussion about Mark Driscoll focuses on who’s right and who’s wrong, both in theology and process of discussing it. Okay, I suppose this is nature in Christian debates.
    For me, an interesting, more general question is how do Christians react to their leaders’ wrongdoings and why. Specifically, why do we seem to have such difficulty when a leader, such as Mark Driscoll, has some pretty rough edges.
    I have developed some of my own ideas on my blog, but I wanted to raise the issue here.
    Brad Wright

  • Even in the original post, Driscoll was not being absolutist and saying anything along the lines of “all women are prudes who are damaging their husbands by refusing to play the role of whore“. These are some of his ACTUAL words:

    “[the wife] is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.”

    People are entitled to think that an apology is necessary but Mark is entitled to think otherwise. A demand for an apology does not automatically become legitimate and binding.
    But check this paraphrase of Matthew 15:12,13:
    Disciples: “You do realise that you’ve just offended a whole load of Pharisees?”
    Jesus: “Yeah. They’re blind guides anyway, so forget it and move on.”
    (Note: I am not accusing anyone of being a pharisee!),

  • so an overwhelming majority of emergent and emerging churches are white (95%-99%) and if you are part of the emerging/emergent church, then i must automatically classify you as a racist. Paul why are you promoting this movement in Christendom that continues to demean and degrade minorites in the US? are you are racist Paul? why do you hate non-anglos, and continue in this movement that devalues people of color? Paul that isn’t the Gospel, this is not justice. How can you be an egalitarian and defend the rights of anglo women but support a form of Christendom that is exclusively white?
    is that the way the logic works here?
    we are justified by God’s sheer grace, not because of any inherent right quality in us that makes appealing enough, nor by any inherent moral rightness in us that makes us good enough, nor because of any intellectual rightness in us that makes us smart enough, but the Gospel is that God accepts me freely for some absurd reason in Jesus Christ. Let’s talk embodied theology. How about embodying justification by faith alone…can you show the same grace to MD that God has poured out on you?
    a motion was made to invoke Goodwin’s law, i second the motion

  • Paul by your logic we are only fully human when we are allowed or able to to all the same things the opposite sex can do. So I guess men will never be fully human until they can have babies.
    I am not saying this to be sarcastic. I really mean it Paul. You can not say someone is not fully human because or roles that God has given them. Equality comes from being made in the image of God, not in what one is able to do. Think about it Paul we better promote androgyny so that men and women can be “fully human.”

  • RobH:
    It is true that Driscoll was not referring to all women that did not play one role as indicating the other. However, Driscoll does not mention anything about how male pastors could invite, encourage and motivate their wives to the appropriate level of sexual intimacy in that particular point. It leaves the (false?) impression instead that wives are solely responsible to help their pastor husbands in this area. That is why women (and more specifically, noncomplementarian women) were offended by the remark.
    As for his clarifications, it would’ve been beneficial for all involved if he had at least sympathized explicitly with the women he offended. (It would’ve been the noble and honorable thing, would it not?) With that lacking, it seem to show that Driscoll can not seem to persuade his critics in the goal of greater unity. What a shame!
    Jose: Grace, however, is not meant to be a form of leniency, but the best form of justice. Why is it in the interest of justice to avoid it in Driscoll’s case?
    Todd: The issue is that differences do not determine status. Androgyny does not have to be the end result here. To use a racial analogy, we do not become colorless because race is irrelevant for roles. Why, then, must gender?

  • hey – I just woke up (UK time here) and i agree its time to open up a can of Goodwin – all the arguments are in – it seems, plenty of wise words on both sides of the argument and the Hitler factor has come into play which has wooed Goodwin and signals a time to end this thread.
    Thanks for your comments everyone. If you want to discuss it more, i suggest migrating over to Helen’s site – conversations at the edge if you think Mark’s apology is insufficient and pick it up there.
    if anything noteworthy happens, i may post again but the weekend is upon us – and as you know my wife doesn’t like me blogging on the weekends.
    peace out
    comments closed

  • actually . .. i changed my mind after thinking about Mags comment re:humour and comments are open again
    but lets allow the conversation to take a different tack.
    Mags said
    “Come on you lot! Have you mislaid your sense of humour”
    and she has a point. we can get so brutally serious that both sides are scared to say what they feel. humour DOES go a long way – Mags’ Aussie wisdom is important in this. humour greases the way for the conversation to move forward.
    Speaking of which . . . I was thinking of a catch line and theme song for next years Resurgence Conference at Mark’s church [where the hand of God meets the hands of men] . . .hows this for a suggestion?
    “Its raining men . .. hallelujah!”

  • Mark has been a pastor since he was 19. He’s now 35. I submit that he needs another job for at least six months. One where he can work with women, including the single moms he fears so much. One where he’ll learn very quickly that mouthing off about women will get him in hot water. One where he’ll figure out that people are working to get the job done, and make ends meet, and juggle family and work responsibilities. It might teach him some things that he has obviously not learned in his hothouse ecclesiastical environment.
    Let’s face it, folks, Mark’s behavior would be unacceptable in the work world. Why do you church people put up with it? It’s a reason I don’t go to church; I figured out that my amoral employer treated me better than the church did.

  • Andrew —
    again, I implore you to make a stand for women. Change happens under two circumstances: the people with power give it up, or the people without power rise up and take it.
    It ain’t so funny to have your very being dismissed as less valuable.
    As a man in power in the Christian Church, will you advocate for women? Or will you shrug them off with a wink, wink to the Driscollites?
    And now for some humor:
    I think I’ll work with Dan Savage to get a choir of Drag Queens to crash Resurgence and sing your little ditty.
    Now that would be friggin’ hil-lar-i-OUS!

  • Why has this degenerated into a flap about gender? Let’s not forget that this all began out of a man sitting down in deep compassion and a sorrowing spirit, to reach out and offer some honest, practical advice from his own experience, for short-circuiting sexual sin in the church: something that doesn’t get ENOUGH airtime. And isn’t it interesting that in no time at all we have been distracted into ‘majoring on the minor’. Whose interests are being served here? I used to read Apostle Paul’s comments RE:women not disrupting meetings with controversy with a pinch of ‘contextual’ salt. Suddenly they make ABSOLUTE sense for the here and now. Can we lay aside our precious gender dignities and get back to some pragmatic discussion about the real (original) point in all this – how can the Body of Christ wise up on sexual sin?

  • “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
    “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
    As a Christian I have come to understand that the Christian life is not about our inalienable ‘human rights’ but about Jesus Christ as both our Saviour and our LORD. We no longer are worried about ourselves – now Christ is looking after us. We stand for Christ and follow him to the Cross if that is what we have to do. Jesus did not stand up and complain that He was not given his inalienable ‘Godly rights’.
    PS: I am sure that Jesus had a great sense of humour too!
    PTD

  • Mags, i absolutely agree that this is about sexual sin. What we are saying is that Mark’s words (consistently, over the years) perpetuate beliefs that are sinful about women’s minds, bodies and sexuality.
    i appreciate that you don’t understand why people are getting hurt over this, but i ask you to simply believe that they are. being told ‘just to get over it’ is like telling people who have been abused just to stay quiet because it’s not that bad, you’ll get over it, and the person who’s doing it is a nice guy really.
    i have worked professionally in situations where abuse has happened in churches. the language and beliefs often begin from the point that Mark is talking about. can you see why this is pushing so many buttons?
    so i beg you to have compassion for those whose experiences have been damaging and for whom this cuts deep – as much compassion as you have for Mark.
    andrew, i’d say that there’s just as much rough stuff that happens in a small village as there is in a big city. it’s just never spoken about. thank god for big cities where you have a hope of finding some like minded people.
    and Mags, it would be great to start up a conversation about how pastors can become resilient to sexual sin – but lets start from that position, rather than from the one that begins with how pastors can protect themselves from women. the two are not one and the same thing.

  • JADON said:
    “However, Driscoll does not mention anything about how male pastors could invite, encourage and motivate their wives to the appropriate level of sexual intimacy in that particular point. It leaves the (false?) impression instead that wives are solely responsible to help their pastor husbands in this area. That is why women (and more specifically, noncomplementarian women) were offended by the remark.”
    I totally agree that that men have equal co-responsibility in this area. When I read Driscoll’s remarks, I did so with the assumption that he would think the same, even if he did not state it explicitly.
    I guess others, who are opposed to his ministry, are less liable to fill in the gaps so charitably. His words are read with a sub-text of ‘Mark is a misogynist’ and so any context he omits is taken as evidence of the faults he is supposed to embody. I’m guessing it is nothing like as simple.
    Of course, I appreciate that there is a history at work in this story too.

  • Ellie, The whole thing Mags is bringing up is that you are highjacking Mark’s post on sexual sin to grind an axe you have with him and his theology.
    Have you ever stopped to think that just as many people have been damaged by your view on gender roles. This is where Mark is coming from, and many think he has a point. Men have checked out and stopped leading and caring about their families. And the church has become a place that masculine guys feel out of place and unable to see that Christianity can include them as well.
    I would just ask that you would take to time to realize that while you accuse Mark of being wrong and hurtful I am sure there are many who would think the same of your viewpoint. You should also be careful in saying that Driscoll has said many derogatory things about women “over the years.” It is just simply not true. I have listened to him for years, and he constantly advocates for single moms, and women to be honored, cherished, and cared for. He is way harder on the men at his church then the women, and I do not hear them saying he is anti-men.

  • Todd,
    I think you’re making some assumptions about my theology. i don’t remember talking about that – or gender roles – at all here.
    But i’m willing to listen to how the theology you assume i have has damaged people. I hope you’re willing to do the same in return. and i keep praying we’ll discover new forms of theology and gender roles that will not damage anyone. i hope you’ll do the same. Surely that would be God’s desire.

  • This is where Mark is coming from, and many think he has a point. Men have checked out and stopped leading and caring about their families. And the church has become a place that masculine guys feel out of place and unable to see that Christianity can include them as well.

    This is my opinion…
    Those aren’t men. Those are boys who never grew up.
    Real men don’t abandon their families because of the idea – horrors! – that women might actually be equal to men.
    Egalitarian theology doesn’t harm anyone. However, it might reveal which men are too immature and insecure to be called ‘real men’.

  • “Egalitarian theology doesn’t harm anyone”
    That is a debate for sure.
    A robust complementarian theology (not saying that Mr. Driscoll has this) challenges men to step up and take reponsibiblity for things that aren’t their fault (like Jesus), to sacrifically love their wives (like Jesus), to be the pastor of his family by teaching them the Bible. For the source of my diatribe go to Ephesians 5:18-33. It is silly to use Driscoll as the sole representative for complementarianism. I am sure there is sin on both sides of this theological divide

  • I also appreciate this discussion, because I feel this is what the debate is about, it’s theological.
    I think it an immoral tatic to label someone a misogynist to defend or strengthen one’s position for egalitarianism. It’s easy to play the race card, the gender card, the misogyny card and never deal with the issue. Accusing MD of misogyny or another other complimentarian of mysogyny is not helpful. It would be the same as accusing all egalitarians of misandry. If to be a complimentarian is to be a misogynist then CS Lewis is a misogynist (read his essay in God on the Dock, “Priestesses in Church”), but when you read of his love for Joy, I find it difficult to label him a woman hater.
    A few questions I would like to throw out…why is the complimentarian position have to be reduced to basically a position of men having power over women? how do you deal with Jesus being a man, forever being the God-man and ruling and serving his church and how does this play into the discussion? is it possible for someone to be both an egalitarian and a complimentarian? i personally don’t like the two categories, I think there is a third position that will get us out of the traditional liberal vs. conservative brawl on this issue?
    peace on this Lord’s Day

  • Two weeks ago I reacted to Mr. Driscoll by calling him out as a coward. His initial comment on wives of pastors was a classic example of someone lacking courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain. His post entitled “Thank You Critics’ lacks any regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another. This line is representative of the lack of regret:
    As I have re-read my blog, I can see how some may have misconstrued what I said. Because I was writing to male pastors, I spoke in such a way that was not as clear as it could have been regarding what is true of Christian marriage in general. Therefore, I hope that this post is more clarifying.
    If his goal was bring clarity, then he certainly seems to have done this repeatedly. In another recent post entitled “Episcopalians and Male Testosterone Show Corresponding Decline”, Mr. Driscoll writes this:
    All of this has led this blogger to speculate that if Christian males do not man up soon, the Episcopalians may vote a fluffy baby bunny rabbit as their next bishop to lead God’s men. When asked for their perspective, some bunny rabbits simply said that they have been discriminated against long enough and that people need to “Get over it.”
    Andrew, I admire you a great deal. Your voice is so graceful, so hopeful and so generous, even in disagreement. Mr. Driscoll exhibits none of these things – rather, he clearly takes joy in antagonizing people, adding salt to wounds and equating his gender with behavior that I would not accept from my 7 year old nephew.
    Friendship often carries accountability. I pray that Mr/ Driscoll’s friends ask him to shut up, to take a vow of silence, to pray uncesaingly for healing and for a peace that passes undertsanding.

  • Jose, i don’t want to divert from your second paragraph, but i need to point out that the dispute with Mark is not just theological. If you search for any time at all on the internet you’ll find people who agree theologically with Mark, but who are very disturbed at the tone, language and illustrations he uses in his comments.
    If we turn it ‘just’ into a theological conversation then we lose the point that no matter what theological persuasion you are, there are some basic elements of human dignity and respect that should be adhered to.
    it would be good to have the theological conversation but not to lose sight of the other as well.

  • Thanks Ellie. I would love if this conversation would distinguish when we are talking theology and when we are addressing MD’s concessions (1cor 7:6-opinions).
    I’m in agreement with bob.blog. My wife is not a stay at home mom, she is gifted by God to be a corporate leader, and she actually loves to work and have friends with people outside of church. She gets upset at the sexualized June Cleaver version of womanhood that is promoted as biblical these days.
    Bob Hyatt said something very wise on his blog (Driscoll, pt 2) “The best known church in the Acts 29 network, other than Mars Hill, has left the organization, in part in an effort to distance themselves from the blowback from Mark’s comments. There are still personal friendships there, to be sure. But when people have to start organizationally moving away from each other- that’s a sign to me that something is amiss. And it wouldn’t surprise me if other A29 churches weren’t moving in the same direction.”
    I think this internal pressure from within Mars Hill and Acts 29 will be way more effective than any external efforts to address MD.

  • I think Mark has done a good job explaining the context in which he was writing, the audience he was writing too (which we were eavesdropping on) and to thank his critics for pointing out how he was coming across and therefore explain himself further.
    Now some people may have wanted Mark to apologise and be disapointed that he did not. I say that it is not our responsibility, our responsibility is forgive Mark for any offense he may have caused us, regardless of whether he wants to apologise or not.
    I therefore think we should thank Mark for his response, for listening to his critics, extend the hand of generous friendship and dialogue, forgive and move on…

  • “I totally agree that that men have equal co-responsibility in this area. When I read Driscoll’s remarks, I did so with the assumption that he would think the same, even if he did not state it explicitly.
    I guess others, who are opposed to his ministry, are less liable to fill in the gaps so charitably. His words are read with a sub-text of ‘Mark is a misogynist’ and so any context he omits is taken as evidence of the faults he is supposed to embody. I’m guessing it is nothing like as simple.”
    RobH, the problem, as I see it, is that Mark was sending mixed signals by how he wrote his post, especially considering his reputation with some. Why couldn’t he have been more explicit originally so as not to give ammunition to his critics? Does he like playing the martyr?
    Although his clarifications helped some, they still were mediocore by subtly implying that it was the critics’ fault for not understanding his point. He did not consider why his writing created the harm or unpleasant effect toward women (who were the majority of critics). Call me cynical, but I don’t think it shows enough insight. As a result, the impression the clarifications tend to make is “it wasn’t really that bad”. How does that persuade or engage his critics?
    I have a friend who sometimes acts like Mark. He can be crude or provocative to “stimulate discussion”. Instead, all it usually does it cripple dialogue and just draws attention to himself. When others (like me) get frustrated at this, he just argues that I don’t understand what he’s trying to say. How does that help?

  • Here’s what I posted on the blog against fundamentalism site… it’s just a hope for grace really…
    “Can someone please show me in this whole converation/protest the love, forgiveness, generousity and mercy that seem to be hallmarks of Christ…?
    All I feel here is a hardening of my heart rather than a softening, a destructive solution, rather than a constructive one. We seem to be taking ourselves too seriously and God far less so.
    We can shout complimentarian or equalitarian theology at each other, posture, claim we are right, that the other side is wrong, so may I make a practical solution in helping us respond?
    May I suggest those of us who feel we are right, go and reflect on whether we need to lay down that right to be right, in this instant?
    That those of us who still feel we are right, go and wonder whether we have ever been wrong and whether we are still wrong about anything, afterall if St Paul who we like to quote in these matters only saw it in a dark cloudy mirror do we feel that we now have the full clear right HD handle on the subject…
    Those of us still left I suggest we consider Jesus words about judging others and decided whether we would like the same measure of judgement applied to our life? And when we’ve done reflecting on that consider whether we have ever said anything dumb or held a belief we look back now and shake our heads over? Ever flame anyone for that belief? Ever not do something you should have done because of that belief? Ever not apologised in either case? Anyone left with no sin can feel free to hurl the first stone, or lift the first placard or take the first step on the march…
    What would happen if we as christians could learn to talk to each other I wonder? What would happen if we found a way past our pride and our hurt and our anger and to something more humble, more mutually submissive, more honest about what we don’t know rather than being so clear and vocal about the little we do?
    There is a thing called karma which basically means for everything we do we get paid back, every action has a reaction – this protest is like a karma for Mark, he’s said things that have hurt some people, offended others, boy has he got this coming to him… funnily enough I think Jesus hits us with something new, something called grace, something called forgiveness, something he modelled as he was being executed in excruciating pain on the cross, with the words ‘Father forgive them, they know not what they do.’ Something that he taught us all who follow him to pray using these words (not as individuals but as a believing community who doesn’t always agree), maybe you if you are the praying kind you might want to join me…
    “Our Father who is in heaven
    hallowed be your name.
    Your Kingdom come
    Your will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us today our daily bread
    and forgive us our sin
    as we forgive those who sin against us.
    Lead us not into temptation
    but deliver us from evil.
    For yours is the Kingdom
    the power
    and the glory
    For ever and ever.
    Amen…”

  • Maybe I am unique in the blogsphere as one who wants to applaud Mark Driscoll’s frankness. As a male in ministry Mark’s words come as a criticism, warning, and reminder with a whole load of good advice for pastors (male or female) – ok Mark’s rhetoric comes across a bit strong, we can personalise Mark’s words, and cry about how much they’ve offended my sensibilities and to some extent it is appropriate to point that out to Mark. But at the end of the day so often people write academically balanced, non-judgemental responses, that are easily ignored.
    At the end of the day I am very glad Mark took the time to respond to peoples criticisms and they were certainly right to criticise Mark’s nuance (or lack of it) but we all need to hear that sexual sin is hardly ever two peoples problem (normally it involves wives or husbands of both partners) as well as practices and habits that leave men or women open to sin.
    At the end of the day we would all be wise to take heed of what Mark was trying to say- for the sake of the weaker brother or sister.
    Yours in Christ,
    James

  • I think the truth of God’s Word out weighs the tone. So beat me like a red-headed stepchild with the truth; for it’s the truth that will set me free.

  • Driscoll did not need to clarify anything nor apologise.
    His original blog contained radical common sense.
    Truth challenges. Concencus doesn’t.
    If we deal in concensus no-one gets upset but nobody gets transformed.
    God have mercy on His church.

  • thanks steven. i think a level of consensus was reached and so the public demonstration outside Mark’s church was called off.
    i saw that as a success.
    are you saying that the protesters should have rejected consensus and demonstrated anyway, in order to force Mark to see truth their way?

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