This is a post where I’m raising a question that I flat-out don’t know the answer to. I watched a conversation yesterday between Derek Rishmawy who represents what I call the “Calvinist you can talk to” perspective and Stephanie Drury who is a “post-evangelical feminist.” Derek had written a post about the importance of not dissing King Solomon and the sacredness of scripture just because Mark Driscoll has misused Solomon’s words in Proverbs and the Song of Songs. Stephanie’s response was that for people who have been spiritually abused, some words in the Bible are permanently toxic as a result.
Complementarian megachurch pastors are like pitchers who only throw 40 mile an hour change-ups. It feels cheap and dirty to swing at their pitches, but I’m genuinely bothered by what I’ve been hearing lately from that strange foreign land where Christians believe that wives are supposed to submit to their husbands. First I learned that it’s trendy for pastors in that world to tweet out photos and commentary to their congregations about their “smoking hot wives.” And then Mark Driscoll busts out his latest gaffe (transcript here) about how nagging wives who refuse to submit to their husbands are like leaky faucets that keep you awake at night with their dripping. So I just needed to say that my wife is not a rotisserie chicken or a leaky faucet. Continue reading
There’s something attractive about Mark Driscoll to Methodists in a Clint Eastwood (pre-chair-incident) kind of way. We often see our denomination’s attendance decline as punishment for our unwillingness to “stand up for the truth,” “call sin a sin,” use words like hell and Satan and wrath in our sermons, etc. We’re surrounded by independent evangelical megachurches whose preachers have booming baritone voices that tell it like it is, which is why they’re growing faster than any tower Babel ever built. And then Driscoll tweets this:
I’ve often wondered if the same thing that makes violent video games appealing is why young evangelical guys are so infatuated with penal substitution theology. I figure a scary bad- !@#$%^&* God is cool for the same reason that the loud wet smack of a linebacker knocking the wind out of a quarterback is cool (I was that linebacker once).
I’ve decided to take a risk and share truthfully about a phase in my Christian life that I have been afraid to talk about. There’s been a lot of debate in the evangelical blogosphere about the appropriateness of female pastors. Mark Driscoll suggested that British evangelicals are failing because they have female pastors. More recently, Rachel Held Evans asked for Christian men to share their thoughts on John Piper’s assertion that “God has given a Christianity a masculine feel.” I’ve got scriptural arguments for why I support women in ministry, but I’ve found before that making appeals to the Bible doesn’t change “Biblical” minds who have already figured everything out and barricaded themselves behind their proof-texts. So I thought instead that I would share a real life story about Pastor Cheri, my first female pastor. I was only at her church for about nine months, but she had a decisive influence on my Christian identity. Continue reading
The latest blogosphere controversy involving Mark Driscoll concerns the church discipline practices at his church Mars Hill. Matthew Paul Turner shared on his blog this week the story of a young man named “Andrew” who confessed to a sexual impropriety and was asked to sign a discipline contract as part of his penance. When Andrew refused to sign the contract and opted to leave the church instead, his sin was disclosed on an intra-church website with the instructions that Mars Hill members were not to associate with him. The situations sounds pretty blatantly abusive. I haven’t had a whole lot of exposure to churches who do this sort of thing. My United Methodist Church (generally) has the opposite problem of Mark Driscoll’s church; we offer our people absolution of sin without confession or accountability, which is theologically grounded in the doctrine of prevenient grace, but our lack of any concept of church discipline denies our people one of the sweetest gifts that Jesus’ sacrifice has to offer: integrity. Continue reading
All of a sudden, sex is everywhere in the Christian blogosphere. Seattle megachurch pastor Judah Smith is starting a sermon series called “Jesus is bringing sexy back.” This Friday, Texas megachurch pastor Ed Young is going to lie in bed with his wife on the roof of their church as a 24 hour “sexperiment” (hopefully without doing anything that will get them hypothermia) in order to promote their book Sexperiment which challenges Christian spouses to have sex 7 days in a row as a way to reinvigorate their marriage. Then of course there’s Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage book. Continue reading
What is the difference between an alpha male and a man of God? I’m finding myself wrestling with this question as I contemplate the following passage from Mark Driscoll’s new book Real Marriage.
In choosing a church, it must be a church that the husband wants to attend. Too often the wife is the one choosing the church because it meets her emotional needs and the children’s programming needs… A man chooses a church not so much because of style or programming but rather because he admires the senior leader and is willing to submit to him, follow him, and emulate him. So husbands must find a church led by a man who believes the Bible, loves Jesus, and leads his home and church as well as a man’s man. Continue reading
My wife and I decided to do something bold for our wedding. Each of us preached while the other person washed our feet, rotating halfway through the sermon. The text we preached on was the controversial Ephesians 5:22-33 passage which says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord.” I’ve been thinking of our sermon lately as I’ve encountered the reviews of megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll’s new book Real Marriage, which apparently takes his views on the divinely ordained inferiority of women to a new level. Rachel Held Evans is gentler in her review than conservative evangelical blogger David Moore. I’m not going to talk about a book that I don’t have time to read, but I thought I would share some of what my wife and I preached about as my contribution to this week’s blogosphere conversation about marriage. Continue reading
Mark Driscoll created another controversy recently in a sermon when he told his listeners that God hates some of them.
Some of you, God hates you. Some of you, God is sick of you. God is frustrated with you. God is wearied by you. God has suffered long enough with you. He doesn’t think you’re cute. He doesn’t think it’s funny. He doesn’t think your excuse is “meritous.”. He doesn’t care if you compare yourself to someone worse than you, He hates them too. God hates, right now, personally, objectively hates some of you. Continue reading