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

UPDATE: Check out Mark’s latest blog-post where he has time to spell out some advice on how churches can respond with this kind of scandal. Hear the guy out. Lets not take one or two words from Mark’s previous post and run a cross country marathon with them. Huh???

And when you are done, jump in below and read the original post.

ORIGINAL: Mark Driscoll has a fair bit of press right now with his controversial post about women and wives. He has got himself mentioned on Andrew Sullivan – one of the biggest bloggers in the world. Andrew Sullivan probably doesn’t know that I exist, even though I am only 4 notches down from him in the Google world of aggregated “Andrew” rankings. But he knows about Mark Driscoll. This is the quote he picks:

“Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.” [Read the original here on Mark’s blog]

Jabba-1

Heres a flashback from me:

“And i would expect a few of those dangerous moments on his blog as well. Hopefully it will be driving adventure without the wreckage. . . . His blog is called Resurgence

TSK, Is the Blogosphere ready for Mark Driscoll (Jan 28, 2006)

I bring up Mark’s comment, not because i have time for controversy, but because;

1. Mark is a good friend and I love and respect the guy. I am willing to take one for him if i need to.

2. Until now, I have been the Christian blogger with the most insensitive blog comment about women. And I am more than happy to officially hand over my mantle to Mark .

3. There is a fair bit of conversation about Mark’s comment on my other blog posts and i would rather shift it here to a dedicated post.

4. Its going way too far. People are accusing Mark Driscoll for saying things that i know he would not say.

Example here where Mark goes beyond the fat lazy comment to say that God hates us and the non-Christian world are all cannibals. COME ON! This is crazy. Mark is one of us. Don’t believe everything you read!

Goodyear 800-2

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In Marks favor,

– realize that Mark is talking in generalities, not specifically about Gayle Haggard – who we all agree is a fine looking woman and has not let herself go in the least.

– also realize that Mark gives quite a number of thoughts on the Ted Haggard scandal and the concern for wives letting themselves go is just one of them

– realize that if Mark is able to add to that comment, he will probably agree with a lot of the criticism –

YES – men let themselves go also and

YES – that is no excuse for grazing in other pastures and

YES – its Ted’s fault and

YES – its more than than looks that count . . . . etc

and the whole argument doesn’t have to be gender specific. In fact, I know one or two male pastors who have let themselves go . . . one or two. . .

Rear Lights Quizsm

Having said that, there is no argument that his comment has opened up a can of squirm. The ladies are seething and the men are not always seeing where Mark went wrong. It is here that I should open up the wound of my own insensitivites . .. before one of you beats me to it. The notorious post of mine, Urban Poor and Girls, commonly known as “the GIRLS Post’, was a case study in sloppy blogging and gender stupidity. It is the only post I have ever made that has its own anniversary, with people emailing me to remind me each year of its reunion. Students of the blogosphere were taking notes on the rate of comments and the spiraling anger. I had over 50 comments before i looked at it again and those where the days (almost 3 years ago) when nobody in my world ever got more than 50 comments on anything.

You can read the Definitive History of the Girls Post if you are interested in such things.

But 50 comments on my blog is not the same as 50 blogs commenting on Mark Driscoll.

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Now that i have fessed up, what say you [ladies], if anything, about the comment of Mark Driscoll? And [men] was I unfair to Mark to call his comment “untimely” in my post Haggard and the Hazzard of Hotels?

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?

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" :-)

63 Comments

  • Not unfair at all… very, very poorp timing. I think the big thing is that without mirror image cautions to men, the cautions to women come off as… no are, really sexist and demeaning.
    And for the record- thos quote you linked to are really, really out of context- but true. I’ve heard those sermons. The one about God hating us was the Driscoll sermon that Made Bob Most Angry. )I’m looking for teh lonk…)

  • TSK, I’m gonna take up your challenge a bit here. I want to think about how to interact with Driscoll in light of your attempt to contextualize his statements as you do here:
    – realize that Mark is talking in generalities, not specifically about Gayle Haggard – who we all agree is a fine looking woman and has not let herself go in the least.
    – also realize that Mark gives quite a number of thoughts on the Ted Haggard scandal and the concern for wives letting themselves go is just one of them
    – realize that if Mark is able to add to that comment, he will probably agree with a lot of the criticism –
    YES – men let themselves go also and
    YES – that is no excuse for grazing in other pastures and
    YES – its Ted’s fault and
    YES – its more than than looks that count . . . . etc
    1. If that’s what Mark intended, then in an area where Christians are widely perceived to be either open or closet mysoginists, would not wisdom court more caution and more nuance?
    2. Even if Mark is speaking in generalities, think of the kind of claims he is making! They are sweeping in scope, and likely to be completely ignored by anyone with a hankering for information based on, oh I don’t know, say, social science, rather than the rantings of a pastor sharing his highly subjectivized views. To me his comments are a classic case of ‘annecdotal evidence’ gone overboard.
    3. His analogy to ‘taking one for the team’ – also in poor taste considering the nature of the Haggard case, likely to further alienate those who will disagree with him – implies an ‘oh, I’m just speaking the truth here, and now I’m going to get slammed again, but at least I’m “manly” enough to say what others won’t’ attitude. In light of his other comments on the alleged feminization of evangelicals – basically asserting their spinelessness, in a CT article as I recall – it certainly seems a plausible assertion that Driscoll is in a very public way making a series of blinkered statement on women.
    All this leads me to seriously question Driscolls tactics, to the point where I’ve stopped paying attention at all to his statements directly. I have a hard time beleiving his remarks were made in anything other than poor taste, and will be taken as such by many, many women.

  • OK, Andrew, you are inviting us to be honest. Well, in which case, I found Mark’s comments, not only deeply offensive, unreal, and totally out of touch, but smug, self-satisfied and provocative.
    First, what sort of sad person would even relate a tale of a woman paying him for sex duriong communion. Secondly, this guy, that is, Ted Haggard, whatever we may have thought of him in the past is going through a personal hell and the best repsonse as his brothers – as his brothers – is to support him. Thirdly, what sort of priest, pastor, or whatever ISOLATES himself from his congregation. For goodness sake we can’t even comment on his blog!!!!
    And while I am at it, the Song of Songs, whatever else it is, is not sex counselling for 21st century couples. And what Mark gets out of it (oral sex etc) is put there by him.
    And I think we ought to be as bold as him in naming it.
    I don’t have women in my congregation paying me to have sex when I administer communion. I doubt that Mark has. If he does, he should keep quiet about it!
    We are all sinners and saints, sometimes more sinners, sometimes more saints. I really don’t find this sort of condescension helpful.

  • Andrew, let’s be honest. If you want people to come to your blog site, you need to say something controversial and sensational. How are you and Mark any different than Lighthouse in that regard? There are a lot of people out there posting about Ted Haggard but most have at least some element of grace attached. Obviously, many in the emerging movement have learned that sex sells. How much more ‘seeker sensitive’ can you get?

  • Melody, you may not have noticed but they are already saying it on other posts of mine that are not directed related.
    some bloggers dont allow sidetrackers and delete their comments. I, on the other hand, create a space for them to have their say.
    this is that space.
    if you want to complain about my lack of grace, i can start a blog post for that also and you can be first to leave your comment.

  • The thing about his comment concerning fat, lazy pastor’s wives that is interesting to me is that it really doesn’t fit at all with the other points. The other points are written directly to men in the ministry and things they can do to protect themselves. After all, that is the whole point of his blog post.
    Mark Driscoll has just signed his name on a cheating husband’s permission slip. He has given them an “out”. A person who is in this sort of sin always looks for an out no matter how desperate it appears. Mark just shored up the majority of the cheaters’ excuses. “Honey, I am sorry. I take full responsibility. But, if you would have just lost those extra 20 pounds and swung from the chandelier when we had sex, I wouldn’t have had to go elsewhere.”
    That one lone comment sitting at the top of his list is written towards women and a pastor has no control over it (if it was true). People are saying that this list was directed at men but that comment certainly wasn’t. What is a pastor to do who has a fat, lazy slob of a wife at home who refuses to give him oral sex in the tradition of Song of Songs? What control has he over that situation and how is saying what he did going to help men protect themselves?
    I am sorry but he may take one for the team but he doesn’t get a walk from me. But, then again, I am not on “the team”, I guess?
    It wasn’t edifying, timely or helpful. And he should have apologized for it instead of justifying it. If he would have told pastors to take care of themselves and to treat their wives lovingly so their sexual relationship doesn’t suffer, then it would have been a good bit of advice. After all, he was speaking TO pastors about protecting themselves from this sort of sin.
    I think that there is a time and place for that sort of advice and if he cares so much about reaching people for the Lord he would do well to approach such subjects with less disgusting and offensive tactics. Does he realy care about people and helping them? Does he care about women? And we wonder why eating disorders are rampant among middle age women?
    “Pass me the botox and a breast lift, my husband might leave me for an 18 year old.”
    I am all for fitness and beauty. But, we should not be defining beauty in the way the world does.
    Kind of like his recent post: “Porn Again Christian” about a female porn star. Is THIS the kind of beauty he is referring to? What exactly is “beautiful” according to him? What happens when many women fall far short of this “beauty” that has protected him and his male assistant?
    And, Charity, I am glad you are not offended personally by that post. I am sure you don’t have a weight problem. I am not going to brag about my looks but after 10 children people are amazed that I look so young and I look so “good”. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel empathy for the poor fat, manipulative slob of a pastor’s wife that Mark was referring to.
    You really can’t be defending his statement and the way he said it and the context he spoke it in, can you? If you are, why? How does his comment fit with advice TO pastors? And why isn’t this bit of advice TO pastors, telling them to be the best they can be so their wife WANTS to have sex with them?

  • Andrew, I appreciate your loyalty to your friend, but what he needs more than this right now is for his friends to confront him on this stuff.
    You are a man, I understand why you don’t “get it”. Thank God my husband and other men actually DO get it.
    It’s not just this post, it’s this post in light of so many of his other articles and comments that are characteristic of the misogynistic attitudes in his and churches like his.
    You might have thought emerging grace’s post was overboard but in my opinion, she spells it out quite accurately.
    Again, I don’t fault you for not getting it. But I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed that you don’t at least give some weight to what us women see wrong with Driscoll.
    I have no doubt that were I to meet him, that we could get along and I might even grow to appreciate certain things about him…but he needs a wake up call regarding his writing lately, and if you’re his friend, you’ll call him on it

  • Defending his statement? i was the one who said it was untimely.
    but surely there is a better way through this all than just spitting out venom towards Mark. And maybe this space might help towards greater understanding on our part and greater humility on mark’s. lets see.
    and btw – my wife has had 5 kids. you had 10? dang!

  • makeesha – where did you come from? the last comment was for Corrie.
    but while you are here – A number of Mark’s friends in Young Leaders (including myself) pointed out to him some instances in the 90’s where he spoke inappropriately concerning women. This would not be news for him today.
    but that was a long time ago. its possible that Mark has a new set of colleagues now with a theology closer to his heart. Lets see what the Reformed folk say about it.
    and in case you were wondering, i emailed mark half an hour ago to tell him about these posts.

  • Hi Andrew,
    I am sorry for that mix-up! I know you aren’t defending that statement. I meant that comment for Charity the pastor’s wife.
    I should have been more clear. Sorry about that. In fact, I was just going to write in regards to Makeesha’s point about you “not getting it” and say that I think you DO get it and I appreciate you even opening this up for discussion. Just the fact that you did bring this up shows me that you DO get it.
    I am enjoying your blog. Thanks!
    BTW, read your post about girls in China. Just to let you know, even though I haven’t read through all of the comments, I don’t understand the controversy. I wouldn’t have blinked an eye at what you said. πŸ™‚
    I am curious to see what the Reformed folk say about his comment, too.
    Congrats on your 5! You are half way there! LOL

  • There is nothing new under the sun. I can’t help thinking that surely at least one version of everything that could have been said has been by now… anything more will simply hurt the Haggards more, give Mark more publicity for his views, etc etc. Plus ca change…

  • It seems that Mark is mostly using the publicity of the moment to spread his message of why women are to be under men in all ways. We cant serve God in any way in the church and he want’s to let the world know…
    His words to women here were very very offensive, but its Driscoll what else is new. Men seem to be confused as to why women find his words offensive, and I find that be be seriously depressing and a sad indication of how little women are valued in the church. But I also had serious issues with Mark’s assumptions about pastors. To cut oneself off from the congregation (no calls, no email, don’t get familiar…) is to place oneself above the congragation which many are saying is part of the basic issue with this whole thing in the first place. To ask an attractive/flirty woman to never return to your group is utterly unchristian. Imagine the stories that would be missing from our bible if Jesus had done that!
    As for now blocking women now from even secretarial positions in the church… why stop there? Isn’t the issue that women are attractive and can cause men to stumble? Why let us work at all and cause any christian man in our presense to stumble? Shouldn’t we just stay in our homes and only be allowed out under the watchful eye of a husband? And even then should we not cover ourselves completely so that no man can see our attractive features?

  • Corrie, I’m not sure what my weight would have to do with it. In truth, I’ve had good times and bad times in that area. πŸ™‚ Still not offended.
    I don’t see MD as giving men an out at all. Keeping a marriage healthy is a mutual endeavor. I think he’s just pointing that out. I Corinthians 7:1-5 says basically the same thing.
    *shrug* I think we girls just need to stop being so sensitive.

  • Andrew,
    Just a general thought……
    Where do we as Christians get our view of sexuality in general? Where does this “hot sex” thinking come from? Where does the “variety” thinking come from?
    Song of Solomon is tossed around quite a bit but it is no way answers the questions above.
    We live in a sexually charged society. Many of us at one time to another have viewed porn. Hot sex is the norm in most TV shows and Movies.
    Could it be that our previous exposure to porn and our ongoing exposure to what Hollywood considers good or hot sex has influenced us to such a degree that we have brought things and attitudes into our married sexual relationship that is actually foreign to a Christian view of sexuality? Perhaps we need to challenge the very validity of the porn star sex life (monogamous) that is promoted by so many Christian speakers and writers.
    When a person asks their marital partner if they would like to do_____________ perhaps we should at least pause and ask ourselves where did the “thought” to do such an act come from.

  • I think Mark, as he does too often, speaks “over the top,” hitting a legitimate nail with a 20 pound sledge. His point is dead on, that spouses have to take responsibility for the sexual satisfaction of their spouse.
    I appreciate that Mark is big on men. I don’t think he gave men an “out” at all. I think he nailed us right between the eyes.
    I share the concerns of many that Mark is far too flippant and crass in the pulpit. But I don’t think this was one of those times.

  • I was surprised and disasppointed to see Mark’s original post, as was my beautiful wife Wendy (and we’ll be the first to ruefully admit that neither of us is the same weight we were when we married 21 years ago).
    I thought Emerging Grace did a fine job of responding, and that’s why I linked to both your Haggard/Hazzard post and also Grace’s Fat Lazy Pastors’ Wives.
    What I found disappointing is how vicious people have gotten in the comments. I don’t want to put words in Emerging Grace’s mouth, but I don’t think that was the effect she was hoping for. Grace has always impressed me as a voice of graciousness and respect.

  • Hi, just watched a movie with my kids. back for a minute then off to bed.
    glad you like the images.
    emerging grace was fair and honest and most other christian blogs but mark is getting a beating at the hands of fundieHaters – take a look at technorait and see.
    and h. luddite – i am sure we bring our stuff into the scriptures like we always do but at the same time i have preached through song of solomon and one of my sermons was called Sex That Sizzles
    so i guess i hold a similar view
    but that came from the imagery of the book – the verdant garden, the fruit, the well. etc
    but its a good question to ponder.

  • Flannel Christian: Pastoral Ethics – Evangelical vs mine

    Flannel Christian: Pastoral Ethics – Evangelical vs mine
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  • Andrew,
    As a woman, expressing my views about Mark’s comments has been extremely frustrating.
    To share an opinion, even respectfully, opens one up to being accused of judging, bashing, spewing venom, being overly sensitive, etc. Of course, that is a sure way to shut down the conversation.
    Overwhelmingly, the reaction by women to Mark’s comments has been that his comments felt demeaning. Sadly, in many cases this reaction is being dismissed as unfounded.
    It would seem with so many people reacting in the same way, their opinion might be worth listening to. We expect our voices to be marginalized in Mark’s world. It is disappointing to experience that in many other places also.
    I have a great deal of respect for the men who have been willing to stand up and say that Mark’s comments were wrong, not only untimely, but degrading to women.
    I agree with Makeesha that it would be more helpful to Mark and the church to confront him about his comments and his attitude toward women.
    Adjusting my head covering,
    grace
    PS. Thanks for your kind words Robby and Makeesha.

  • Grace – oh do I EVER share your frustration.
    Charity – no one is being overly sensitive. As Grace said, it’s completely lose-lose when us women choose to call a man of high leadership and prominence on his ill chosen words and poor timing not to mention his demeaning attitudes toward women.
    I think it’s unfortunate that people are being overly harsh if Mark chooses to read these comments, for that I am sorry, but I stand by my statement and aligning myself with Grace and her sentiments on the issue.
    I think it’s very interesting that he’s calling for more accountability but his followers and supporters rail on anyone who tries to point out comments of his that need to be judged.

  • and for the record, there are plenty of awesome men and women of God providing valuable insight into the Haggard thing, I don’t need to sift through Driscoll’s dumpster in the alley to find something with only a small amount of rot when I have a five course meal waiting for me in the restaurant. So the whole “let’s take what we can from what D. says” line is just a platitude and completely worthless drivel

  • I’m still confused as to what is demeaning about the Driscoll statement. What I’m hearing from MD is that carelessness/frigidity *could* leave a husband more vulnerable to temptation. Again, I Cor. 7:1-5 bears this out. What is so offensive about this? Do women have zero responsibility in this area?

  • Hi Charity,
    I knew the “overly-sensitive” comment was coming. I am not surprised or disappointed. πŸ™‚
    As a pastor’s wife, I am sure that you know you can not approach people concerning issues that are very sensitive without being compassionate and sensitive yourself, right? If you never had a weight problem, I would advise to please try and be compassionate to those who do. It isn’t as black and white as “she got fat, she disgusts me, and now I have problems lusting after other women and watching porn”. Maybe she got fat because he ignores her and she is self-medicating herself with food?
    Also, you said that MD was trying to point out that marriage is mutual? Could you point me to where he was expressing mutuality in his comment about fat, lazy wives who trapped their pastor husbands into monogomy? I must have missed the “mutual” part in that quote?
    And, Larry, what was it that was hard-hitting in regards to men? What convicted you in regards to you (generally speaking here, not saying you have one) being responsible for your own lust and sex addictions?

  • Where does 1 Cor 7:1-5 deal with carelessness and frigidity? The text deals with conjugal fidelity.
    IMO, Driscoll talks way too much about sex ,and when he does talk about it he couches it in language often better left in the locker room. (particularly when women are a part of his audience)
    I remember hearing a talk to pastors where he talks about his wife being hot and that every man wants his wife to be hot. In particular, if I remember right, the context was clothing.
    It is in these areas that Driscoll is at his worst. Thankfully, sanctification is an ongoing work.
    I am no prude. No Puritan. But I do suggest that there are some things that should remain behind closed doors between husband and wife.
    Who defines hot? Who says how much sex is enough? Are these not personal, private matters between a husband and wife. My sex life is not the business of any pastor. Yes, preach what the Bible deals with but do not go beyond and intrude in areas that are not your business.
    The world has been making too much of sex for years. As usual, we as Christians, arriving late on the scene, are currently infatuated with sexuality (both our own tand that of others)

  • “Kind of like his recent post: “Porn Again Christian” about a female porn star.”
    Does anyone else notice the over emphasis this man has around sex and women?
    To me his comments were not untimely they were meanno matter when he chose to say them and I think Jesus said something about where our words come from…it discloses the disconnect the man and those that follow him have around the real world and adult maturity let alone Christian character. To have to hide oneself away and become a separatist male to keep oneself pure is amazing to me for folks who seem to have all the “right” answers to living this “pure” life…I am amazed as I read the comments from both men and women that not only defend Driscoll’s outrageous lack of character in the way he continues to justify his arrogance but also in then attacking the very women he has offended for being offended…maybe his “male assistant–his heterosexual male assistant” should have passed his comments by a “heterosexual” woman that was not a pastor’s wife before posting…if this sounds mean, I am sorry but when you are this public you set yourself up to be called out.
    This is all a very sad commentary on our faith. I feel deeply sorry for the Haggard’s and what their family must be going through.
    Andrew I appreciate you giving a space for dialogue — I think MD must be held accountable for his public statements, if he doesn’t like it he should take a few years off from his ranting and over the top comments about women.

  • I agree with HL’s comments on SOS. It is instructive but it is only a snapshot in the lives of husband with multiple wives. She was not his only bride and the sex sizzled, as it should, but it doesn’t sizzle all the time nor is there a steady flow of sizzling sex 24/7/365. I wonder what happened to the Shulamite. She was never mentioned again? I am sure she got lost in the midst of his almost 1,000 concubines and wives. I wonder if she got fat because of being rejected and put on the shelf for another couple hundred women? πŸ™‚
    I think we do get our ideas about sex from porn and Hollywood and then people mash some SOS on top of it all and it suddenly becomes “biblical”.
    We have sexualized our relationships in the church, too. Now, we have to be suspicious and wary instead of being instructed to treat each other as brothers and sisters. Where does the Bible teach such a weird, highly sexualized view of the opposite sex? Paul traveled with women. Jesus and the apostles traveled with women. Where are all the sex scandals? Was self-control only an apostolic gift that ceased to exist along with tongues and miraculous healings?
    I would like to see a pastor teaching from the Bible instead of his own opinion on this subject. What does Paul instruct Timothy to teach and to do? Surely men and women can exist in the church and work side by side without it all boiling down to sex, right?
    I admit that it scares me a bit that I have better odds in a bar (from the opinion I am getting from some comments on various blogs) than I do in a church for being treated like a person and not some objectified sex object.
    I just do NOT see this high sex-drive that is almost impossible to control being taught in the scriptures?
    Are we new creatures or not? I really think this emphasis on gender and sexuality is destroying our churches instead of helping.

  • Corrie, I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. I don’t see letting oneself go as just having to do with weight. I think we ought to do the best we have with what we’ve got. We can’t change our husbands, but we can be responsible for ourselves.
    Yes, people are often reached with gentleness and compassion. There are dear sweet ladies who truly just need a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes some of us also need a kick in the pants as well. I know I do. That’s what I’d consider MD’s admonition.
    The entire rest of the post was focused on what men can do. So I don’t see any reason to get bent out of shape over the *one* statement directed at women. He admonished the guys a lot more than the girls.
    THL, I Cor. 7:1-5 refers to each fulfilling the needs of the other, in part to keep each other from temptation.
    Again, do wives have no responsibility here?

  • Charity Grace
    Yes, wives have a responsibility as do husbands, BUT let’s be careful we do not read into that responsibility a hyper-sexuality that is rooted in the world’s standard rather than God’s.
    29 years of marriage has taught me sexual intimacy is important BUT it is not anywhere near the top of the list of most important things in a marriage.Many young marrieds don’t understand this.
    Six children later…. Heartaches…Debilitating illness…. Loss….. A child with down syndrome…..have all taught me that my marriage is defined by a lot more than a great fling in bed.

  • Charity – no one is getting bent out of shape. Emerging grace says everything I can say about this issue – it’s more about the one thing you’re focusing on.
    I’m glad this doesn’t bother you, one less thing in your life to deal with πŸ™‚ But some of us find Driscolls comments about women CONSISTENTLY demeaning and this is par for the course. I normally don’t bother posting about it but I think this was over the top insensitive.
    I’m not a super sensitive nicey nice when it comes to leadership. I can appreciate people who are direct and forthright. But on the matter of women, marriage and esp. women’s roles, Driscoll is direct and a misogynist…bad combination ..or at least he comes across as a misogynist, if he’s not, he needs instruction on how to write.

  • Hi Charity,
    Thanks for getting back to me. I have an opinion and I don’t think it is an opinion on a small thing. It is a majorly sinful attitude towards one half of the church that I am concerned about being taught to others as if it is on par with scripture.
    Where does MD make reference to 1 Cor. 7:1-5? Where is it that he said this is mutual and tell pastors, since he was instructing THEM, to make sure that they did all they can to be attractive and pleasing to their own wives? I missed the mutuality.
    Yes, you brought up that verse and I agree you have a point but that verse was not brought up in Mark’s points nor did he even infer that this was some mutual duty.
    We, wives, do have responsibility. I exercise, eat right, fix my hair and wear nice clothing for myself. It makes me feel confident and energized. I do not feel good when I dress like a slouch and don’t bother with my hair. Anything done for another person will not last very long. One has to do it for other reasons because many have lost weight only to find their spouse walking out the door. Some people are just hard to please and they use anything as an excuse to keep someone down.
    This is all about power and control. It really isn’t about sex. It is the lust for power and control. It is like a drug to some. Just like rape isn’t about sex but about control.
    If we have to depend on how other people dress, how our spouse looks, whether or not we work side-by-side with the opposite sex to keep us pure, we are in deep trouble.
    Yes, we have a responsibility to our spouses when we are married. But, that isn’t what Mark said, is it? And I just don’t understand why people put such a charitable spin on these sorts of things. Why not just admit that what he said was in bad taste and not fitting for a pastor and it had nothing to do with giving advice for a pastor on keeping HIMSELF pure.
    If Mark had said that couples need to cultivate an intimate sex life, that would be one thing but he didn’t. He judged the very motives of some pastor’s wives as being manipulative, cold-hearted women who married knowing after they married they could all of a sudden blow UP into some big fat, hideous thing and their husband was trapped because he was a pastor.
    That just doesn’t make sense. That was a silly thing to say. And what does that have to do with Haggard? Nothing. As Makeesha said, there are plenty of other good posts to read about this situation where we don’t have to pick through all the misogynistic stuff. It seems that some people in the blogosphere take any chance they can get to make any problem into a female one.

  • Having been critical of MD, I have just come across his article on the emerging church in the Criswell Journal. It is balanced, fair, helpful and informative. I just wish he could always write like this and avoid the tone of even his latest blog, which I still think is ‘holier than thou’. (http://www.criswelljournal.com/)

  • mark is actually a really nice guy. its true that he doesnt want women in leadership in his church which is hard to understand but his theology informs his decisions in that area so i dont see it as a woman-despising issue.
    but saying dumb things about the opposite sex it is a pattern, yes, and it does reflect something deeper that does not flow from what we see as a holistic godly vision of the beauty of gender. and we bring it because we love Mark and want him to grow into the fullness of Christ.
    \
    and he does throw out ideas quickly – or maybe they are semi-ideas, like questions that need to either shot down or approved.
    and the fat lazy thing was shot down. Mark would do well to fess up on that one.
    if you want to understand mark a little better, go to my post called is the blogosphere ready for mark driscoll?”
    he is a man of obvious brilliance and obvious blindspots. and hes young. lets hope he acknowledges his transgression and learns from it.
    as for sex and the bible and marriage, Maakesha is blogging up a fury on the subject on her blog called In His Courts and, since this thread is getting long, it might be a good time to switch over to her.

  • Andrew, I just wanted to thank-you for your thoughts on this and how you have handled yourself. I don’t know much about the emerging movement and when I get some extra time, I will read through your blog. I happen to be in agreement with Mark on the issue of women not being able to hold positions of authority in the church but I am in opposition to many in the complementarian crowd who go overboard in trying to remove any type of female influence in the church- unless it is female influence in the church nursery or kitchen. πŸ™‚
    So, I kind of feel lost between two worlds. I do agree with you that Mark’s comments show some need for remformation in his own ideas concerning women.
    One of the morning shows had a segment on eating disorders and how a woman’s whole perception of herself is based upon her body.
    We need to be sensitive to this issue since it is SO very prevalent. I had anorexia when I was in high school. I won’t go into it here but even though I was beautiful and thin I still got the message it was not enough. My whole worth was based upon my appearance and I got this message from my own father. I have fought this problem all my life. Even women who are beautiful have a hard time thinking they are. I think most women are in bondage to this idea that we have to look a certain way or we will be judged unworthy of men and their attention.
    Thankfully there are many men who do NOT care if their wives wear make-up, get the latest hairstyle or wear the latest fashions. I am married to such a man. He loves me for who I am and he has never wavered in thinking I am beautiful no matter what I look like. I don’t think that I could stifle his desire for me even if I tried. He is truly reflecting Christ’s love for His Bride. And that IS what marriage is all about. Men are called to love their wives as Christ love the church. Our advice should reflect biblical truth not personal opinion.
    Missing from Mark’s advice was the fact that the Bible calls them to sacrificially love their wives and that they have made a vow to love in sickness and health and in good and bad times. It doesn’t excuse a wife who doesn’t give a rip about her husband but Mark was not addressing wives, he was addressing men.
    That is why I like the Dove commercials. We, as the Church, cannot allow the sinful world and the traditions of men to dictate how we look at the subject of sex and women.
    What I know of the emerging movement so far is that it allows people to go beyond tradition and start being able to think outside the box. I may be wrong but that is my first impression.
    God Bless you!

  • I, too, think MD’s comments had bad timing. As a matter of fact, I cannot think of an appropriate time to further marginalize and objectify women!
    TH’s indescrection is a tragedy in every sense… and would be in any ministry! But the general attitude that exudes out of Resurgence and MD is just unacceptable… MD uses inflammatory language and seems to be hyper-focused on keeping a woman in her place…
    I find his overall attitude offensive. Should pastors be cautious? Should they be above reproach? Always! But there is never room for arrogance in the light of someone else’s sin. And demeaning women in this situation baffles me, seeing how this particular situation didn’t involve a woman!
    Was it Wendy who said, β€œThe lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
    I have commented elsewhere that MD’s congregation needs to close down his blog and chain him to his pulpit… Of course, any publicity is good publicity, right?
    Off to find the girl blog…

  • This is what I think:
    Mark Driscoll and women
    Please do not apologize or back down.
    I don’t care what he might add if asked or what he has posted later. He wrote the original post and he intentionally posted it publically on his blog. And – he did edit part of his post to remove some videos, to (presumably) protect Ted Haggard/pastors.
    But he didn’t edit what he wrote about pastors’ wives.

  • I think Driscoll’s comment reveals a tell in those who are writing a lot about a crisis of masculinity in the church. As I look at the macho man theology that is emerging I wonder what is psychologically driving such a “hard” stance. I think posts on recovering masculinity in church are helpful and point to problems in the church, but they also reveal unconscious struggles within the bloggers. We are all reacting to something, and on this pendulum we sometimes can overreact. When it comes to men and the church there is a danger of impotence but the flip side is a danger of priapism. A priapistic theology is not the answer. To quote a friend “God designed men to be hard and soft. If you are soft all the time there’s a problem, but if you are hard all the time then you also got real problems.”
    Cheers.

  • Andrew, no need to go back to school. I learned what “priapism” means watching one of those “little blue pill” commercials on TV. πŸ™‚
    Jose, did you coin that phrase “priapistic theology”? Very clever!

  • I’ve mentioned it before, but Mark is equal in his critique of men and their responsibility to give their wives their best. He’s publicly mentioned a few times now, that he let himself get fat and that dishonored his wife so he began to work out and eat right. Honestly, wives are sometimes the greater victim of ministry because they are unable to process church issues like their pastor-husbands.. Maybe the timing is suspect but I know what he mentioned in that report are not new ideas in light of Haggard, but the standards that Mars Hill and Act 29 promote. I think the challenge to the women maybe has come off a little harsh, but it’s a valid question for women to ask themselves, then take it or leave it. I saw it as a small part of his suggestions, not the overwhelming theme at all.
    And Andrew I think it’s a bit of a discredit to say that Driscoll doesn’t want women in leadership. The Deacons at Mars Hill play a big part in running the church. He may not have women in their Pastor/elder leadership model, but neither do a lot of churches. I don’t see any reason to think that Mars Hill and Driscoll don’t live by their complimentarian views. Sure he does everything a little overboard, but I wish that could see past that a bit at what a great church leader he is..

  • Hi Andrew, well this is fun:-0 For my two pennyworth I read mark’s article on the 24-7 site and couldn’t believe it. Its actually much more than the ‘wives letting yourselves go’ stuff – its the danger of flirtatious women, hurting single women (he doesn’t mention single women desperate for sex!). It reinforces the pastor as god culture around which the whole church world revolves to keep him happy and safe so he can minsiter to ‘the people’
    Women are a threat and of course all male assistants must be decidedly heterosexual – although Mark and his are fine with 2 beautiful wives and 8 children between them.
    Of course we need common sense safeguards through a healthy self awareness ( and that discussion is healthy) but I am boiling at how demeaning this post was towards women and wives – in fact towards almost anyone except alpha males which Mark no doubt is ( being among the top 25 most influential preachers in the States and who have a million downloads of their talks each year)
    I’m sure mark is great – I had never heard of him before and will give him a huge benefit of the doubt:-)
    Hope you are well!

  • Good points Ian. I actually could see some point in what Mark was saying – seemed he was giving particular guidance to pastors about setting healthy boundaries for themselves and their families.
    I wonder too from looking at his post whether some of the right response in a situation where women are slipping notes to the pastor or sending naked pics to him would be to actually have a word with the woman concerned and try to help them – rather than condemn them outright as some kind of nutter. That kind of behaviour would suggest some kind of deeper problem which could require counselling and support – rather than the Jezabel/temptress label that could be applied.
    Sometimes people wrongly expect the pastor to meet all kinds of needs and be like God to them. But if you are a lonely single mother without much support it’s probably a natural place to turn – that maybe speaks about the lack of relationship and community within that particular church perhaps?
    At the same I think sometimes members of the congregation aren’t always taught what healthy boundaries they should have either and about keeping themselves emotionally, physically and spiritually safe within a church context.
    Speaking as a single Christian woman, away from my home country and family, I don’t always find ‘the church’ a safe place to be. I feel at the moment I am in an increasingly growing group of single females who feel alienated from traditional church structures and ways in which men and women relate within that. Not sure what to do about it though!

  • Why are we still listening to Driscoll at all anymore anyway? Hasn’t he already said enough aburd and offensive things over the past decade that we all should have stopped paying any attention to him by now?
    Would we hold up a blatantly racist pastor as worth listening to, even if they did occasionally say true things? So why are we still listening to a pastor who seems to be pathologically sexist in nearly everything he preaches or writes?

  • People against Fundamentalism is organizing a protest to be held November 19 outside one of Mark Driscoll’s church campuses. If you live in the Seattle area and want to participate you can find more information here:
    Take Action on Nov 19: Mark the Misogynist and Mars Hill
    [tsk] – Helen, I really dont like this. I will leave your links in because i believe in free speech but i think the protest against mark is crazy, divisive and will not end up well. I advise you to pull the plug and find another way becuase:
    1. mark is NOT a fundamentalist but even if he was, such a protest is even more fundamentalist in its attempt to stamp out what Mark holds and practises.
    2. There could be some misunderstanding concerning Marks’s views and a protest outside his church is NOT the way to pursue a conversation that leads to reconciliation and understanding.
    3. this spectacle will be a poor illustration of the unity of churches that already exists in seattle in some measure.
    why not ask mark for a coffee and have a chat with him over these issues?????

  • Andrew,
    1. How is Mark not a fundamentalist? If something thinks like a duck, talks like a duck and acts like a duck, isn’t it probably a duck?
    2. This protest is being organized by a secular social justice group. Not by Christians. It’s not a question of the unity of the church.
    3. Perhaps the goal of the protest is not reconciliation and understanding with Mark himself. Perhaps the goal is to raise awareness of what he is actually teaching so that fewer people will be unwittingly lured in and deceived by him. As I understand it, Mark has enormous influence in Seattle and even the liberal media there has largely given him a free pass to spout his views without much critique. If this protest can wake some people in that city up to the fact that Mark does not actually speak for most Christians and that his message should not be trusted, then I think that’s a good thing. His message is a public one, thus it is appropriate that the protest against it be public as well.
    I know you’re friends with him and all, but honestly, don’t you think it’s about time someone confronted him about the damage his behavior is having on women? If you’re his friend and you don’t think a public protest will do much good, then why don’t you and Doug and a few other people who knew him in pre-emergent days plan some kind of intervention? Seriously, his abusive words and behavior are getting to be pathological. Someone needs to do something.
    Just my .02…
    -Mike Clawson

  • it is sad that the loudest voices, i.e. jerry falwall, pat robertson, mark driscoll, are the voices that most frequently mark society’s perspective of christianity (no pun intended). theirs is a rhetoric that automatically grants power and privilege to anyone who is like them while marginalizing otherness. there seems to be little ability to sit in the tension created by difference. it is far easier to label and cast aside anyone or anything that doesn’t embrace our ideals then it is to engage the other with authenticity. driscoll takes an extremely strong and objective stance on the issue of women in the church. he seems to be able to claim absolute truth and speak on behalf of god while simultaneously failing to acknowledge that his own lens of interpretation greatly influences what he claims to be truth. we are all contextual beings and how we interpret the world around us is largely influenced by that context. i hope that the mars hill community as well as driscoll himself will be willing to hear what is being said both in the blogosphere as well as on their front porch on november 19th.

  • Sorry, I am not one to get into long comment thread discussions, but I was surprised that comments by Mike and Bryan have really stuck with me.. You are certainly free to believe whatever you would like about him, but when you claim that you are the majority of opinion, as Mike said “Mark does not speak for most Christians” I would disagree with you. Because you are so passionate about your beliefs in egalitarianism that does not make you the majority. I would also be careful before you make broad sweeping generalizations about Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll without really have a good picture of their orthopraxy and theology. It’s easy to bash people because of a quote here and there, but that isn’t what the bible teaches us to do. It seems to me, (and I’m trying not to be guilty of the very thing I’m talking about) that you are strongly judging the entirty of their ministry from hearsay, and when people like Andrew or me, that know him or his church a bit try to put Mark and his words into greater context it’s so quickly dismissed. I’ve been to his church for conferences and services, listened to many, many of his sermons, read two of his books, and read more than just his two controversial blogs posts and he and Mars Hill are much more than the simple charicature that you are making him out to be. I don’t agree with everything he says, or some of his sensational remarks, or even some of his theology, but that doesn’t begin to negate a bit of his ministry. I actually hear the guy apologizing for his short comings and trying to explain his remarks a lot more than other high profile pastors. He’s not perfect, but nobody is.

  • Why do you assume that I am so uninformed about what Driscoll actually teaches and believes? Why assume that I have not been to the same conferences, downloaded the same sermons, read the same books and articles and all that?
    I am very familiar with Mark, what he teaches, and especially the tone in which he teaches. I have been following his ministry for nearly 7 years now. It’s not just one or two quotes taken out of context. This is a habitual pattern for Mark. He has been saying this kind of stuff with this kind of aggressive, abusive, mocking tone for years now, and it’s only been getting worse as time goes on.
    There may be many others who agree with Mark theologically when it comes to gender roles (perhaps even a majority – though few complementarians that I know go as far as Driscoll does in his beliefs about proper female roles), but he sets himself apart from all of them by the rudeness and arrogance with which he communicates these beliefs. Fundamentalism is about attitude as much as belief. For example, evangelicals and fundamentalist share essentially the same doctrinal beliefs, and yet there is a world of difference between a Billy Graham and a Jerry Falwell.
    When it comes to attitude, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the tone of a Mark Driscoll and that of a Falwell or a Robertson.
    And again, that’s based on an informed perspective.
    And again, I ask, what are the people who know him going to do to confront him about the emotional and spiritual damage his tone and his words are causing to people (and especially women) around him? It’s easy to sit at a computer desk and self-righteously say “A protest won’t do a bit of good”, but then, are you going to do something that will? If not, then stop criticizing those who are at least doing something to speak out against misogyny and spiritual abuse.
    Andrew asked why we don’t ask him for coffee and sit down to chat about these issues. The answer is that people have tried. Mark doesn’t take appointments like that anymore. He’s too busy, too important to listen to criticism apparently. Those who have called to make an appointment are told that he is booked solid for the next two years.
    But you guys say you know him personally. So why don’t you call him and ask him to coffee? Why don’t you sit him down and say “Listen Mark, this has to stop.” Someone needs to, and apparently you’re the only ones who can.

  • Andrew — For too long the church has endured Mark’s degrading and disgusting remarks about women with a wink and a nod and a “Heh, heh, yeah, but he kinda said Sorry later.”
    This is about justice and civil rights. Or to use more Christian-y language, this is about Gospel.
    Many people have approached Mark privately. Many people continue to attempt to do so. If you can obtain a meeting with Mark and persuade him to remove himself from his position of power in his church and Seattle and Christianity in general, everyone who is against the demeaning of women would be very grateful.
    In lieu of following down the same apparently fruitless rut of personal confrontation, People Against Fundamentalism on Dec 3 is planning an action to highlight the demeaning, degrading, and disgusting attitude Mark Driscoll has persistent communicated about women.
    When the Seattle Times gives Mark a column, it degrades the gospel. When secular magazines highlight him as a Christian influencer, it demeans the gospel.
    We only seek to shine a massive public spotlight on Mark’s very public actions and to finally stand–as Christians or as People for justice and civil rights–in solidarity with the many women in Seattle who have been ravaged by Mark’s degrading comments.

  • Mike, Is it possible that Andrew (and other Emergent types who have a history with Driscoll) still consider him their friend, but it may not be reciprocal? I think that’s a little of what Andrew is getting at when he says, “its possible that Mark has a new set of colleagues now with a theology closer to his heart. Lets see what the Reformed folk say about it.”
    The loving correction of Andrew Jones is probably not going to go as far as a convicting word from John Piper. If Driscoll is as much of the protege to Piper as it appears, then hopefully Piper (or Keller or ?) will have a word with him, and we’ll see Mark issue an apology. (To hope for “repentance” on this is hard for me to grasp, honestly.)
    I’m personally waiting to hear the Reformed camp call out one of their own. But I’m not holding my breath either.

  • steve, although mark and i are friends [he responded yesterday to a previous email] i think piper and keller and others from the reformed camp, as you say, have more weight in their advice to mark.
    but another question remains unanswered – is American Reformed theology with a Calvinist bent up to this challenge, or are there inherent weaknesses related to gender?

  • In regard to Marks comments concerning Gayle Haggard and “letting herself go” it should be rememebered that Ted’s sexual and drug preferences (or compulsions) are about power and control NOT sex. You don’t look at your wife one day and decide that she is getting a bit frumpy and decide to purchase gay sex and crystal meth. Mark may be a good guy but it’s a tough arguement to claim his language has to be seen “in context”. He has a bit of Royal Consciousness that left unattended has the potential to create emperial harm.

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