"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Is There a Thing Called Radical Masculinization?





I am grateful for the gospel ministry of Mars Hill and her pastor Mark Driscoll. I am not very familiar with much of Mark's teaching, but I came across this video on YouTube, obviously intended to be a parody of Mark's belief about males in the church, and it made me wonder if there is such a thing as masculinization. I often hear of evangelicals being concerned with the feminization of the church, but I am honestly asking (and don't even pretend to know the answer), if it is possible to be so pro-MALE in the evangelical church that we lose sight that the New Covenant gospel is not as nearly concerned with the separation of the rich and the poor, the black and the white, the slave and the free, the male and the female, as it is in the restoration and healing of every soul to the proper place of finding one's true identity and significance in Jesus alone?

Just wondering.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

95 comments:

Thy Peace said...

As I was perusing some old posts, I found this comment, that answers the question of Pastor Driscoll as he said:

“They are sinning through questioning."

In the below comment, is the link that shows you how Driscoll made that comment.
-----------------------------------
Anonymous said...
Wade Burleson said:

"Hopefully, he will tell me the NY Times is a misquote."

It has been a couple of months.
You never got a call back, did you?
It was not a misquote.
And his comments were not taken out of context as some have suggested.
That's what is scary, and really sad.
You can actually watch and listen to those quotes on these video clips:
Mark Driscoll -- Misusing the pulpit to silence members. [Link title edited by "Thy Peace" + Next link added]. If that link does not show the video try this.
Tue Apr 14, 07:56:00 AM 2009
.

Thy Peace said...

I am discovering that the true macho-ness for either males or females is found in dying to oneself.

This requires so much strength and grace, that one can not do by themselves. It has to be given from above or from within by The Holy Spirit.

How does this compare to the male macho-ness as being required of "dudes" in the above video?

I say there is more power and solid steel strength in a soft and kind word than in "wordly" words of macho-ness.

Driscoll you have it backwards. I understand you are casting your nets in the "rough" waters of seattle. I say those waters are not really "rough". They are only in your imagination. Including the "rough" church members at Mars Hill.

Blake said...

I agree with Thy Peace's second comment (not sure what the first comment had to do with what Wade was asking). One can be pro-any issue to the detriment of the gospel.

As much as I admire Driscoll's preaching (and I've listened to a LOT of it), his attitude towards masculinity is over the top and I think unscriptural. He talks so much about the judging God and end times Christ that he neglects that the model Jesus lived for the early church and for us is nothing like a script for an episode of Walker: Texas Ranger.

Jesus gave us the Beatitudes and then modeled them all the way to the cross and his disciples did likewise to their own deaths. The church was not built on the backs of macho men with rights and property of their own. They were radical servants and stewards whose idea of masculinity was transformed in Jesus. They set about the creation of a true counter culture. Too many Christian men still unquestioningly allow too much of culture to influence their identity as men rather than taking such questions to the scripture.

I think Driscoll's teaching on being a Christian husband and Christian father are spot on. However, here he goes too far and ceases to be critical of culture and searching of scripture.

Anonymous said...

Wade,
It seemed to me that Mark's point was that if you reach the father in a family, you get the whole family. Statistics back this up in a very powerful way. Unfortunately in the American Church we have not done a bang up job of reaching the men in our culture. We have feminized the church in a way that turn many, not all, but many men off to even listening. I do not thank Mark does not want to reach the women, but he knows that the greater impact on a family is reaching the man.

As a Woman's Minister I can really appreciate that fact. It is often said that "if Mama ain't happy then no one is happy", but in reality if the father does not lead the family in the ways of God, in other words is the man Christ calls him to be, than no one in the family, as far as the children are concerned, may end up taking the faith seriously. I want those women in church bringing their kids, but I want them to still be coming when they are 30 something with kids of their own and I know that the best way to accomplish this is by reaching dad.

I am so grateful for a husband who has a heart to see men be what Christ calls them to be, spiritual leaders of their homes. I am so glad God has called me to reach the women and teach them to be all God has called them to be, godly wives, mothers and ministers of the gospel. We are all called to be the latter, it is not meant to be a hidden feminist statement.

I can not say that I agree completely with the way Mark portrays a woman's role, but I don't totally disagree with him either. However, I don't think that was the point of this particular video clip.

Just a woman's perspective!

Vicky

New BBC Open Forum said...

Who Would Jesus Smack Down?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Mark Driscoll - Beating your own leaders

Shut up and do what you are told!

The verdict should be thrown out. #1

The verdict should be thrown out. #2

Throw out the verdict. #3

How to keep my elders in line and obedient

Humility and how to ignore your members

Mark Driscoll - Who can fire the pastor?

Kevin in Manila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin in Manila said...

I think Driscoll gives us serious food for thought. There's a great deal of truth to what he's saying here. We need to seriously consider how we can more effectively reach young men.

Does he take it too far sometimes? Maybe. As with many things, we tend to over-correct.

I'm not sure anyone has a "perfectly balanced" ministry--perhaps this is an example of the Body of Christ needing different voices.

John Daly said...

We have a local fellowship here in St. Louis that entitled their Easter Service: "Jesus Wouldn't Tap Out!"

They had a cage and everything, the local media covered it quite extensively. I have no problem with using the culture as a means to win some as long as the message is biblical.

So if that's not reaching out to the ultra-male then I don't know what is.

Yo, ya gotta a prublem wit dat? :)

Tim Marsh said...

I want to sympahtize with Driscoll to some extent. Church is difficult for men, especially if they have not been raised there.

However, much of the world's evil in the history books is due to our "testosterone" - the same things that Driscoll said that all the men are doing. Guns, sex, war, business (look at Wall Street)...

I believe that Jesus and Paul were pacifists (not saying all Christians should). Jesus "wept" on several occasions. Paul was over-the-top respectful when defending his ministry to the Corinthians, when he really could have let them have it. Jesus welcomed children into his lap.

Too, the historical background of the gospels suggests that many would-be Messiahs were raising up followings to overthrow Rome. It was a time of nationalism and many were ready to run Rome out of town. Jesus weeping over Jerusalem was because he knew that Rome would wipe them out, and in 70 AD, Rome did. (If we do not read the erroneous dispensational premillenial scenerio into Jesus' words or the traditional they rejected Jesus and would not repent of their personal sins). Jesus told his disciples to get their crosses and follow, and that they had better not be ashamed of his intentions in Jerusalem.

If peace is feminine, then I would embrace peace at the expense of being charged as such. It is a fruit of the Spirit, as opposed to the works of the flesh.

I think that Driscoll really needs to reconsider whether or not he is projecting his own desires onto God and the heroes of scripture rather than proclaiming the gospel of peace, joy and love.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

I completely agree with Driscoll's message here. one of the trademarks to my own ministry thus far and will always be to make a safe place for men to be who God has called them to be in the church. And it starts with ditching the doilies and plastic flowers and baskets all over God's houses of worship. Let’s face it--women simply do not know how to decorate a church. Most SBC churches look like grandma’s living room. The focus is all wrong.

We must raise up confident men in the faith to lead their families in what Spurgeon called "Little Church."

On the flip side, I am opposed to Easter Sunday cage fights and other such nonsense, but I'll go on a men's hunting trip to Canada and have no problem with the ladies quilting club, provided stuff like that in the church is evangelistic in nature.

I indeed have a passion to bring back "male-ness" to the church.

Oh, and btw, it would be a sin to comment negatively toward this comment or to question me.

:)

absonjourney said...

Wade-

Why are you attacking this guy? That's two different occasions when you have used questionable sources to go after a man who is reaching people for Jesus, is Reformed, and who is speaking the Gospel in more public forums than most of us ever will.

You say you are largely unfamiliar with his ministry. Please become more familiar with it before you post anything else about Driscoll or Mars Hill. I think you might change the tone of your posts.

BTW Tim-
War, genocide, etc are the result of man's inherent sinful nature not testosterone. And there is nothing unmanly about weeping, but there is a real tendency in churches to stress that men be "nice" and "docile" rather than direct and confrontational. There is a need for that in the church.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lin said...

If all these roles and rules for 'biblical manhood and womanhood' and the focus on masculinity and femininity are so important then how can women be Christlike since He came as a male?

Thy Peace said...

My first comment was related to this post of Pastor Wade's:
.
The Problem of Authoritarianism in the Conservative Pulpits of America.

Thy Peace said...

NASS, blogger has started garbling links and the follow up space/linefeed/dead characters. So I normally add the 'period' or '.' char after the links, to anchor them, where I want them to be. You can add other characters too.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Yo, ya gotta a prublem wit dat? :)


Yes, and I am prepared to duke it out over the fact that that was INSANE!

I did not go to my home church this year for Easter. I went FBC Fenton, the pastor, Dr. John Greever (one of my professors) tried something a lot of churches have stopped doing...he preached a sermon. :) I love music do not get me wrong, but I am sick of Easter "Cantatas." I am sick of the church using the easter bunny and eggs hunts and santa and other such crap. WE need to get into the Word of God and make our worship biblical.

On a side note, I found Emmanuel's Palm and Easter Sunday services to be quite next to perfect from my perspective. One could tell that worship to a holy God was the central theme. Plus, I am always impressed with pastors who do not stop a series to preach a holiday sermon. Calvin was also a good example of that.


k (so John, lets go out back and fight over not fighting :)

Anonymous said...

sorry, markie baby, but the "chick haircut" and necklace scream out that you may be a "wannabe dude"...give me a break. goofy rhetoric don't make a dude...dude

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"how can women be Christlike since He came as a male?"

Lin,

I am of the opinion that it is not the sinless life of Jesus the man that we are to emulate. If this were so, much more about his life would have been written. No. We are to "put on Christ" by first dying to self, then knowing more fully the God that we serve by putting on and living out the communicable attributes of God as described in His Word. Women will have no problem doing this if they are fully committed to serving the God-man.

k

Lin said...

"I am of the opinion that it is not the sinless life of Jesus the man that we are to emulate. If this were so, much more about his life would have been written. No. We are to "put on Christ" by first dying to self, then knowing more fully the God that we serve by putting on and living out the communicable attributes of God as described in His Word. Women will have no problem doing this if they are fully committed to serving the God-man."

I agree with you totally that being Christlike transcends gender. That is why I do not understand the constant focus of so many on this subject.

What is 'male' Christianity and what is 'female' Christianity?

Obviously some believe there is a huge difference or all this focus on masculinity and femininity would not be needed.

Joe White... said...

Wade,

I think that Driscoll may actually be on to something here. As usual, he comes across a little harsh. However, there is much truth in what he is saying.

Tim Marsh, I have a question. Was Jesus a pacifist when he threw the money changers table over? Was Jesus a pacifist when he bundled ropes together and drove them out of the Temple?

I tire of this picture of a long haired, skinny, peaceful guy telling stories on the sea shore view of Christ. Our Lord was a man’s man... brought up most likely as a carpenter, attracting followers who were fishermen, and enduring one of the greatest beatings and deaths of all time. Please stop with the perpetuation of the myth that Christ was a pacifist wimp. As for the heroes that Driscoll mentions; Elijah, John the Baptist, and David... they were not pacifist either.

Rex Ray said...

Let’s see:
At the time of this writing, Wade’s post says 17 comments, but there are only 9 as others have been deleted.

Sort of like our church membership—huh?

These people like Driscoll that gripe about feminization of the church ought to have their heads examined.

Sure, most of the Bible is about men heroes, but as a person said it was written by men. :)

Look at the facts:
Women tried to care for the body of Jesus.
Peter said, “I go fishing.”

Our church last Wednesday night:
“What’s going on tonight?”

“There are no committee meetings and the women are ending their Bible study course. Next Wednesday, things will get back to normal.”

Besides the staff, as far as I know, outside of some working on basketball goals for our church, that was about it.

In my opinion, if women were taken out of the church, there wouldn’t be a church.

For proof; in the world there are many churches without men, but how many without women? I’d say none unless it’s in a prison.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe White... said...

Wade and others,

Watch this link if you would like to hear the context of the comments. Driscoll is speaking of new church plants and church planters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lex6orNNzTs

Wade Burleson said...

absonjourney,

I realize it is hard to hear emotion or understand intent by simply reading words on a computer, but you have my assurance there was not one iota of attack in my heart toward Mark Driscoll. I was attempting to ask a legitimate question, admitting I don't have the answer. The question, again, is - can we be just as guilty of emphasizing one cultural gender preference (male) over another (female) as we charge radical feminists are guilty of emphasizing feminism over maleness? Again, just asking.

Lydia said...

" And it starts with ditching the doilies and plastic flowers and baskets all over God's houses of worship. Let’s face it--women simply do not know how to decorate a church. Most SBC churches look like grandma’s living room. The focus is all wrong."

I agree with you here but ironically there are some funny stories that make the point in other ways, too. (But what does chuch decor have to do with it anyway? We could meet in a garbage dump and worship)

This really happened: A mega church decided to change their carpet in their huge atrium (we are talking football field size) and both men and women (elders and senior staff) were in on the decision. They settled for a more masculine geometric pattern and the work began which cost a ton. (Because 'feminization'is a huge issue at this church and the old carpet was a sort of mauvish blue which some men declared was too feminine)

The Sunday after the installation, several people were rushed to the hospital after becoming dizzy and passing out. Quite a few others became sick and starting throwing up.

So, they had to tear it out and start over with something less masculine. Good thing they are a rich mega church. Maybe Robert's mom spoke there after the carpet was torn out?

Another church redid all the men's bathrooms in male themes such as sports, racing car, etc. to attract males and keep the current ones happy.

I am sooo glad we are focused on such important considerations in the Kingdom. Now, all those manly men I know who love art and literature can stay home because they don't fit in as they don't like to hunt, race cars or care for sports. After all, they would prefer a theme with Tolstoy and Manet and more classical music like Handel.

Tim Marsh said...

Regarding Jesus' pacifism - It was war against Rome Jesus rejected. His messianic vision was of a peaceful king who would lay down his life for his people, rather than a king who would order others to their death for his own glory.

It has nothing to do with Jesus being "non-confrontational." He was confrontational. His temple demonstration was because people who thought that they knew God failed to recognize the time that God visited them, and the things made for peace (Luke 19:41-44).

Regarding Jesus' death, I agree Jesus was a "man's man." It takes more of a man to receive what Jesus did and still forgive all from the cross, and trust that God would raise him from the dead (which is what God does for all who trust Him). I do not like the pale, skinny Jesus who looks into the clouds any more than any of you.

Absonjourney, point taken. However it is interesting that we "Christian men" have proven little better in the course of the church's history than the rest of the world. The bloodiest war per capita in the history of the world is Europe's 30 Year War, which was fought between Protestants and Catholics.

Where is our "testosterone" when women are abused, treated as sex objects, and abandoned? Where is our testosterone when the poor are oppressed, when racial discrimination is fostered, when certain groups of sinners are singled out as opposed to all sinners?

You are all right who argue that we men should not be so nice and be a little more confrontational. It is the things that we are confrontational about that I call into question.

Thy Peace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thy Peace said...

Now, all those manly men I know who love art and literature can stay home because they don't fit in as they don't like to hunt, race cars or care for sports. After all, they would prefer a theme with Tolstoy and Manet and more classical music like Handel..
.
That's me :)

absonjourney said...

Tim-

I agree with you. We should be more confrontational about those things- esp. when it comes to taking a stand for abused and neglected women and children as well as injustices perpetrated by politicians and corporations that take advantage of the poor and disaffected. And the church is responsible for calling men to do that.

Take a look at the current series Trial going on at Mars Hill and look at the sermon directed to men. You will find your comments in that sermon preached by Driscoll.

Pastor Wade-

I will take your words at face value because I believe you are honest. I would suggest that next time you not use a mash up of Driscoll's teaching but use actual footage from Mars Hill's vodcasts to make your point. I interpreted your use of the mash up as an attack because it did not accurately display Driscoll's own teaching about men and masculinity but how he has been caricatured by his critics. You Tube is a fun resource for levity but in my opinion not a good source for starting a discussion as serious as this one. But it's your blog not mine, and I know you do not need me to tell you what to post! :)

In answer to your question, could their be a thing called "radical male-inization?" Of course there could be, but I think you would have a hard time finding it. Maybe Church for Men which is in Florida I believe?

In my humble opinion, there needs to be some adjustment in most churches, because they do skew feminine in their presentation and verbiage- especially in the area of music. But we do not need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, considering their are both feminine and masculine characteristics present and visible in the revealed nature of God.

I'm not sure if that answers your question, Wade, but at least I tried.

Rex Ray said...

Sorry Joe,
I thought most would see the importance of ‘feminization’ in the church if all the ‘feminization’ was taken out.

It’s obvious you didn’t get it.

Speaking of “babbling”, what does “Good grief” and “Sam Hill” have to do with anything?

Do you have an ax to grind?

John Daly said...

Truth be told peeps, I have the most manliest photo on this blog. Blake would be second, Kevin in Manila third. Tim...not so much :) For those who don't use real pics, I can only guess why, maybe you're not gifted in that area :)

Wade could probably do something to "man-up" his photo. Maybe a shot of him losing to one of his kids in basketball!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Why Do Men Hate Church?Ho hum article but very interesting comments.

Lydia said...

Folks are always saying we need to hear Driscoll in context. I agree...so here you go:

From Driscoll's Spiritual Warfare Series, pt 2

Two minutes into his teaching on Spiritual Warfare, part 2: Driscoll begins his women-bashing. In his “Demonic Counseling,” he claims to counsel more women than men [implication: more women are demonized than men?]. He quotes Scripture, “women are the weaker vessel,” and states this is evidence that they are the more easily deceived. (This would have to mean that men are more willful sinners and cannot be trusted to lead?)

Nine minutes: Driscoll discusses what he terms, “the ordinary demonic.” Of course the first thing he talks about is that lack of frequent sex among married Christians is demonic [Great for him: “As in, if you don’t have sex with me as much as I desire, that is ‘frequently,’ you are demonic.”].

Eleven minutes: He states that in most of the marriage ‘counseling’ he does, there is almost always the problem of one not wanting sex as often as the other. He says this is like having “Satan in bed between the two of you.” [Driscoll is preoccupied with sex.…]

Fifty minutes: Driscoll asserts that Satan loves gossip and busy-bodying, “Ladies, this one is for you.” Driscoll spends FIFTEEN MINUTES castigating “women who gossip, or busybody.” He fails to mention anything about men who gossip or busybody. He even warns women not to rely on or trust in older women [contrary to Scripture] because they are likely to be busybodies and gossips, unless they are especially spiritual and very submissive.

Fifty three minutes: Driscoll describes how he protects his wife from other women who want to go have coffee with her and get to know her, because, guess what, “that is Satanic,” and he says he knows what they’re really up to.

Fifty four minutes: “Female manipulation.” Women use emotion to manipulate others, especially into gossiping and being busy-bodies. He says, are you ready, “That’s Satanic.” The only safe place to keep these frighteningly dangerous and sinful women is in their homes, busy with their kids, serving their husbands, having sex on demand, and Bible reading. Apparently, women getting together with other women (unsupervised by the correct authority) is too dangerous an activity for Mars Hillians.

Fifty six minutes: “Sometimes women’s ministry is the cesspool that this kind of activity flourishes in. Some people ask, ‘Why don’t we have women’s ministry?’ We do, but you have to be very careful. It’s like juggling knives.” The message seems to be that even when women are allowed this little bit of autonomy and power, they are so sinful and unstable they create a “cesspool.” He states that women meeting together end up secretly ripping on their husbands, “It happens all the time.”, he says.

How is that for misogyny?

Fifty seven minutes: The women who want to be in leadership and who want to lead women’s groups are “the wrong kind of women.” That is Satanic. When you meet a woman who tells you she wants to marry a pastor, Mark exclaims, “Run! That is Satanic!” These are controlling and busy-bodies. They are the “gossip mamas and drama queens.” Then he goes on to describe the sweet, submissive, quiet women who are fit to lead.

One hour and twenty three minutes: Driscoll states that our self talk is demonic, that when we have self accusations (e.g., “you can’t do that, you aren’t good enough”), it is demons speaking to you. He says that anytime you find yourself thinking about yourself using “you” instead of “I,” it is Satanic because in his reasoning we should never refer to ourselves as “you,” but only “I” when thinking about ourselves (Mark thinks about himself a lot so he had this one down pat)


On Peasant Princess Part 2…

Mark said he blocked his wife's, Grace’s, email, only allowing certain emails through because he “wants to keep her safe.” Is she incapable of discerning when an email is safe or not? (This is the daddy/daughter model of patriarchal marriages. This feels parental to me, as if she is her husband’s little girl, rather than adult partner. He said when they were dating, she didn’t call him when she’d arrived at WASU as she’d told him she would, so he skipped work and drove for 5 hours, knocked on her door, “Why didn’t you call me?” “I forgot.” “Oh, okay,” then he said he got back in his car and drove the 5 hours back.

Additionally, when Grace lived at a different university, she had to be in a co-ed dorm for awhile. Mark said he went and knocked on all 20 rooms’ doors and “threatened” every single man to “keep his hands off of her, to not even talk about touching her, think about touching her, or he’d beat ‘em up!” That is verbal assault. And yet he brags from his pulpit about these dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors. He’s actually proud of them. This speaks to me more of the style of an obsessive stalker type "boyfriend," one whom a woman would definitely want to be rid of--and fast.

On another note, Driscoll wrote a few years ago on his blog about the Ted Haggard situation. What was strange is that he thought it was the perfect opportunity to dig at pastor's wives 'who let themselves go' (he was very descriptive and insulting here) and becasue they let themselves go it makes the man 'wander'. He was blaming women!

I got the impression that his poor wife better never get breast cancer or gain weight. It would decimate their marriage if she was in an accident and could not longer have sex or perhaps her face disfigured.

Of course, the outcry was so loud, he took it down and once again, 'repented' as he is always good at doing when it gets too hot.

What is in Mark's heart comes out of his mouth. He is crude, arrogant and has some sort of inferiority complex when it comes to women.

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New BBC Open Forum said...

Thank you, Thy Peace. Obviously putting other punctuation at the end of a link doesn't help. WHAT is the problem the past three days? It's hard enough getting everything to space properly when posting blog articles. (It's hit and miss and requires dozens of edits... which is one reason I don't post any more articles than I do.) Now that it's squishing the spacing in comments together... aaaaaaaaargh! It's not doing it with only links either. It does it with quotes, etc.

Joe Blackmon said...

Sometimes women’s ministry is the cesspool that this kind of activity flourishes in. Some people ask, ‘Why don’t we have women’s ministry?’ We do, but you have to be very careful. It’s like juggling knives.

The women who want to be in leadership and who want to lead women’s groups are “the wrong kind of women"
These are the best lines ever. Without a doubt 90% of the Bethmoore-ite type of women's ministry is just feminist dreck. It's like the "Okra Windbag" show with the exception that Jesus is mentioned every once in a while. It's good to see someone who will call it like it is.

greg.w.h said...

Cuing on the part of feminism that most SBs would cue on as radical: when the effort to re-emphasize masculine behavior sidelines women in the church, we probably ought to call that radical masculinism.

I think Lydia's exegesis of Driscoll would fit neatly as an excellent example of radical masculinism in the church.

While I understand where Joe is coming from on his continual emphasis on complementarianist theology (and agree that the complementarian interpretation of the words of Scripture is the simplest, most direct reading of the most important passages...with some minor exceptions), notionally the concept that the same position on a staff of a church having a different title when a man fills it than when a woman fills it strikes me as intentionally discriminatory. If the salary also changes to match the title (unless it were to decrease when the position is held by a man that is), it just furthers my intuitive sense that the behavior is inherently and unjustly discriminatory against women. And referring to the differences between the supposed "roles" of men and women, in my mind at least, doesn't justify the discrimination.

Now Joe has been explicit in the past that he especially focuses on the senior pastor/elder being male. So please don't read into what I wrote that Joe supports intentional, unjust discrimination against women in ministerial roles because I've seen no evidence that he has ever supported that position. I'm just borrowing what he wrote to try and construct an analysis of behavior I've seen at some churches in how they handle men v. women in the same ministerial roles. And suggesting that it is an example of what one might call radical masculinism as an analog to--and polar opposite of--radical feminism.

Greg Harvey

John Fariss said...

Tim Marsh, you said, "Where is our "testosterone" when women are abused, treated as sex objects, and abandoned? Where is our testosterone when the poor are oppressed, when racial discrimination is fostered, when certain groups of sinners are singled out as opposed to all sinners?"

Preach on, bro! Speaking as an ex-cop turned preacher, I can think of little more masculine that "going to war" on such issues. Yet have we? It's no one's fault but our own. Wer need toget on the stick!

John

John Fariss said...

Joe Blackmon, you wrote, "The women who want to be in leadership and who want to lead women’s groups are 'the wrong kind of women'These are the best lines ever."

How do you define leadership, Joe? And under what circumastances? In other words, are leaders those who have specific roles, i.e., authority given them by a situation? Or do leaders lead because they are leaders? When I was on a large city police force, we had certain officers who had authority given them by virtue of the administration: a few sergeants and lieutenants, I don't reecall any of higher rank. These were men we obeyed begruguingly, and only for as long as they were within sight or could reasonably be expected to check up on us. But there were others--going up the chain to the Chief, but also including some who were "just" officers with no formal rank at all--whose word we'd take as law, and storm the rottenest slum if they said to, simply because they possessed leadership.

In other words, Joe, you seem to ascribe leadership to roles; I suggest it is a God-given quality which, under the best of circumstances, human hierachies simply recognize, and then formalize through titles such as "sergeant," or "chief" or "general" or "agent-in-charge"--or maybe "pastor". If nothing else, it explains why Jesus was a leader with no human-bestowed title (except the occasional, informal, and incorrect one of "rabbi").

Is it possible that God-given leadership explains why some women lead?

John Fariss

Tim Marsh said...

John Daly,

What's more "masculine" than being a proud father on a Sunday after church? :)

John Farris,

I have heard that police officers dread domestic violence calls. Thank you for your service to the Lord as a police officer and a preacher. You are right that there are more issues than the ones I named.

Lydia,

I was appalled at what you wrote about Driscoll's sermon. Having recognized the "possessive" boyfriend in a few acquaintances, what you concluded sounds on target.

I agree with absonjourney that the context is also other sermons that Driscoll has preached and the manner in which he normally addresses these issues. That was the problem with Jeremiah Wright, or was it?

Is it context or is there something inherently off-base? (And Jeremiah Wright is one of many that I could have mentioned)

Tim Marsh said...

For clarification - the "problem" being that we have not heard all of Jeremiah Wright's sermons or Mark Driscoll's sermons to really judge if certain comments should cause alarm. We do not know and are not used to the language in which either addresses their audience.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Without a doubt 90% of the Bethmoore-ite type of women's ministry is just feminist dreck. It's like the "Okra Windbag" show with the exception that Jesus is mentioned every once in a while."I strangely find myself almost in agreement with Joe Blackmon on this! I say "almost" because I would not use the adjective "feminist" to describe anything to do with these types of programs. A lot of it is just plain dreck.

Rex Ray said...

BTW,
The picture is a slide 40 feet high. More than one said their heart stopped.

A wife, who went before her husband, kept yelling, “Come on down, you big sissy!”

The 270# man kept saying he was concerned.

The second person down was a 6 year old girl who went many times with no coaching.

So who’s the big HE man?

I still say women are the backbone of the church.

Who was the ‘strength’—Judson sitting in prison, or his wife crawling to give him food?

Lydia,
Started to make the comment above but read yours.

If I hadn’t chewed on Joe for saying “Good grief”, I’d say the same.

When in my previous comment, I’d said, “…ought to have their heads examined”, I didn’t know how much it applied to Driscoll.

On the topic of women, he’s scary.

Joe,
I see you still don’t get it.

I think I know now why you see “clear” teachings of the Bible as you do. You ought to join Driscoll’s church.

I don’t need to set some goals; I need to build some, so I’m out of here.

Joe Blackmon said...

John

Women in leadership roles outside of church are no different than men in leadership roles outside of church. Further, as long as the leadership role was appropriate for a woman in the church, there'd be no problem with them serving in leadership (I Timothy 2). Not all comps believe that ALL women must be subordinate to ALL men at ALL times.

Lydia said...

Is it context or is there something inherently off-base? (And Jeremiah Wright is one of many that I could have mentioned)

Thu Apr 16, 12:20:00 PM 2009

Good question. There is a theme running through most of Driscoll's teaching, preaching and personal behavior of obession with his authority. The woman issue is just one part of that theme.

Driscoll is obsessed with his authority. This was proven by his coup in the church, firing two other pastors who dared disagree with him and changing bylaws of the church without explanation or vote, making him and a few other yes men the sole authority of his church.

Those who questioned these moves were castigated in sermons. I believe BBC linked to a few of them. (I believe this is the one where he threated to go 'Old Testament' on them, whatever that is supposed to mean.)

The whole feminine/masculine issue is perfect for him in many ways. He can castigate other men whom he feels do not measure up to his definition of a manly man and therefore elevate himself even more as the Alpha male. Men are shamed into being more culturally manly.

I do have one question. Will he be wearing necklaces at 60? Or is that something that manly men grow out of? Just curious.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I left three whole lines between the quote and my comment. Blogger? We've got a problem!

Thy Peace said...

Fifty four minutes: “Female manipulation.” Women use emotion to manipulate others, especially into gossiping and being busy-bodies. He says, are you ready, “That’s Satanic.” The only safe place to keep these frighteningly dangerous and sinful women is in their homes, busy with their kids, serving their husbands, having sex on demand, and Bible reading. Apparently, women getting together with other women (unsupervised by the correct authority) is too dangerous an activity for Mars Hillians..

All the below links are from NYT:
.
Women, Extremism and Two Key States.
There have been two recent reminders of the cost of extremism. In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai signed a law that effectively sanctions marital rape. In Pakistan, a video surfaced of the Taliban in the Swat Valley publicly flogging a young woman screaming for mercy. Pakistan’s government compounded the indignity on Monday by giving in to Taliban demands and formally imposing Shariah law on the region.

It says of Shiite women: Unless she is ill, “a wife is obliged to fulfill the sexual desires of her husband.” That is licensed coercion.
.
.
Three Cheers for Afghan Women.
I’m awed by the courage of those 300 Afghan women who endured stones, jeers and threats to march through Kabul today demanding a measure of equal rights. As my colleague Dexter Filkins reports, the women were chased and insulted as “whores” by a mob of men and women three times as large. The women were protesting a new law, applying only to Shiites, that obliges women to sleep with their husbands on demand and bars them from leaving the home without their husbands’ permission.

It’s particularly impressive that many of the women apparently were Shiites — from the Hazara minority — because Hazaras are poorer and less likely to school their daughters. I find Kabul a pretty scary place sometimes, and I can’t imagine the guts it would take to be a Hazara woman walking with a banner demanding equal rights through an enraged mob of stone-throwing, spitting fundamentalists. Dexter describes this scene:

The young women stepped off the bus and moved toward the protest march just beginning on the other side of the street when they were spotted by a mob of men. “Get out of here, you whores!” the men shouted. “Get out!” The women scattered as the men moved in. “We want our rights!” one of the women shouted, turning to face them. “We want equality!” The women ran to the bus and dove inside as it rumbled away, with the men smashing the taillights and banging on the sides.
.
.
The Limits of Tolerance.
Update: A Response From Randy

Online images recently showed a 17-year-old girl in Pakistan’s Swat Valley being flogged in public for going outdoors with a man not her father, a violation of Islamic practice. In Afghanistan, a proposed law would severely restrict rights of Shia women, forbidding a wife to leave the house without her husband’s consent and condoning marital rape. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan, like the United States, are signatories of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which forbids sex discrimination. For us, gender equality is a fundamental value. But we also profess tolerance for other people’s culture and religion. Which principle should prevail? Should we respond to these developments with tolerance?
.
.
Women Erased in Israel, Flogged in Pakistan and Restricted in Afghanistan.
.
Women in Afghanistan.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Wade questioned teaching. Wade did not call Mark a dirtbag. Therefore, no attack on Mark.

In the light of Christ's teaching of worship being in spirit and truth [which revealed a shift in redemptive history from worship having to be in a fixed location and place], I don't think it is good to give too much thought to flowers in a building.

I'm kind of speaking off the top of my head, but isn't one of the qualifications for being an elder a Greek word [that one is not supposed to be] from which we get our English word "macho" from? If so, then is there anybody who would like to comment on the meaning of that word?

Lydia said...

"Men and women have equal rights under Islam but there are differences in the way men and women are created. Men are stronger and women are a little bit weaker; even in the west you do not see women working as firefighters."

--Ustad Mohammad Akbari, an MP and the leader of a Hazara political party in Afghanistan.

Perhaps he has been talking to Bruce Ware. :o) Equal in essence but unequal in role.

greg.w.h said...

Joe wrote:

Women in leadership roles outside of church are no different than men in leadership roles outside of church.I think John might have been referring to a concept of leadership that extends beyond any limiting definition included in the word "role". We are all leaders all of the time, every day and every night. We lead ourselves. We lead by example. Sometimes we lead in the positive direction, sometimes we lead in the negative direction (what in the military might be called charging towards the front or charging towards the safety of the rear). We influence with the choices we make. And we even sometimes make an explicit, intentional effort to lead. We're always accountable to God for how we lead.

And in some, special circumstances, we are--presumably by God's providence--given a specific role that requires continuous acts of leadership. But I think it is a dire mistake to ever excuse myself from being responsible for leading in every situation in life. As a complementarian, I also take final responsibility in my marriage for the combined efforts of us as a couple being forward leadership and not rearward. I guess I could express that from an authority viewpoint, but I instead think of it strictly as a responsibility. If I let up or if my wife lets up in our leadership of the home, I view it as my responsibility to step in the gap and close the ranks. But my wife does this at times, too, and confronts me as well. I get just as prickly about it as she does, so we must both be doing it "right", right? ;)

The same thing should occur in the church. Women in the church, especially in a Convention that emphasizes congregational polity, are just as important in the confrontation of poor leadership as men are. And women in the church, especially given the emphasis of the Bible on all having gifts and all being members and all members being valuable to the body/Bride, are just as responsible for both intentional and accidental acts of leadership. A Baptist church without any committees would be like--ahem--a camel without humps. And such a church that always limited those committee roles to men would be as anti-Southern Baptist as an effort to restrict the Boards of Trustees of our entities either to just men or to just clergy. That isn't to say there aren't odd duck churches out there that have done this, but we all need to recognize how destructive their behavior is and how anti-Southern Baptist it is.

I think the subject of leadership is the primary content of Jesus's choice to live among us and especially to call his men to go with him in ministry for those three years. Clearly Jesus did not believe that leadership could be taught in a seminar fashion in a classroom with a professor standing at the front of the room writing on a whiteboard (ahh the glory of using intentional anachronisms to make a point!!) His style of leadership was to live the way he wanted us to live and ask us to examine his life, to see the benefit of wholesome, holistic relationship with the Father, to desire it, to seek for it, and to pay any price to obtain it.

Oh, that all of our pastors lived like that. Oh, that all of those who feel "called" to leadership felt a call to do exactly that. Oh, that none of us felt any need ever to prove either our masculinity/femininity or our authority ever. Oh, if we lived in the perfected, complete world that is anticipated by John's revelation of a new heaven and a new earth.

But until we do live therein that new, perfected world, we have the privilege of modeling the eikon of Christ Jesus to the world. It is a great privilege and opportunity of intentional leadership and one none of us take as completely seriously as the duty and responsibility it is intended to be. Oh, that the world could see Jesus through us everyday and in every way.

Greg Harvey

Wade Burleson said...

I liked liked the word masculination - offered by some - instead of my awkward male-inization, so thus the change in the post.

Thanks to all for some excellent comments.

Anonymous said...

Women may be the backbone of the church, but that's not what God had planned.

This truth also speaks as to why the church today is utterly powerless.

However, the blame is on the lack of men leaders, not women who are filling in where they shouldn't be and aren't equipped to be.

I disagreed with Driscoll at first, but when I read all of his comments in context thanks to Lydia, I now think he is right on.

Thanks Lydia.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Wade,

If you're grasping for a real word, I think you meant "masculinization." In this case, however, I think "male-inization" was more appropriate.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Men and women have equal rights under Islam but there are differences in the way men and women are created. Men are stronger and women are a little bit weaker; even in the west you do not see women working as firefighters."....

Obviously they haven't seen this.

Of course, being Muslim, he'd have to gouge his eyes out if he did.

Lydia said...

I disagreed with Driscoll at first, but when I read all of his comments in context thanks to Lydia, I now think he is right on.

Thanks Lydia.

Thu Apr 16, 01:40:00 PM 2009

So, would that make you an "anonymous" masculinist? Don't manly men in Mark's world sign their names?


If you are a gal, I give you a break because your words are just vain babblings of a deceived woman, according to Mark.

The good news is that in either case, you can wear a necklace!

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks BBC. Changed.

John Fariss said...

Greg,

You got it! It is not an issue (for me) or complimentarianism or of egletarianism (see, I can't even spell this stuff), but leadership that is real whether or not it is formalized in human terms.

John

John Fariss said...

Anony at 1:54,

I think it was the late Dr. Ray Frank Robbins of NOBTS who was asked to intervene in an argument in a church about the Second Comming--whether pre-mill, mid-mill, etc. His response was something like, "I don't know. I wasn't put on the Planning Committee for that event. I will be part of the Welcoming Committee, at least if it happens in my earthly lifetime, but I'm not on the Planning Committee."

Were you put on the Planning Committee for about the church's structures?

John

New BBC Open Forum said...

Lydia,

What amazes me most about your 11:21 a.m. comment is that you actually listened to an hour and 23 minutes of Driscoll! Wow. I'm impressed. Somewhat appalled, but impressed!

Benji Ramsaur said...

I found what I was looking for.

It is the Greek word "amachos" that is translated "not a brawler" in 1 Timothy 3:3 and "to be no brawlers" in Titus 3:2 in the KJV.

Are there any Greek scholars out there who might want to take a stab at the meaning of that word and if it relates to the question Wade has asked?

Chris Ryan said...

Can the church deify masculine traits? Yes. Can the church deify female traits? Yes. Has the church occasionally baptized either male or female traits without actually redeeming them? Absolutely.

Both male and female have natural tendencies that are reflections of God's image in us. Both also have qualities that are far from godly. We have a tendency to want to accuse females who are opperating out of the godly characterists within them of usurping the "role" of men. We tend to accuse men who have left behind the godless aspects of testosterone of being sissy. That should not be.

As a man, I should be ready to lead, ready to make hard decisions and confront evil and enequity. But I don't have to be rude. I don't have to be crude. I don't have to hunt, camp, lift weights, chest-bump, or spit to prove I'm a man. Can I hunt or lift weights? Yes. Should the church find ways to reach out to men with these activities? Yes. Is that what defines masculinity? No.

Masculinity isn't about strength. It isn't about domination. It isn't about violence. It's not even about unbridled sexual desire (contra Driscoll). It's about the ability to love your spouse and children as Christ loves His church: the readiness to die for them. It is about serving the Church as Christ serves it: giving yourself completely.

We shouldn't confuse masculinity with agressive pasttimes. Males may be more aggressive, and avenues should be provided to take out that aggression in Christ-like ways. But that aggression must be redeemed, not merely affirmed.

Tom Parker said...

If our SBC churches are feminized and I do not think they are--what is the solution?

absonjourney said...

thanks for your unbiased assessment Lydia.

I would recommend everyone who has not heard Driscoll listen to him and form their own opinions now that we have Lydia's take. You might find she takes things a "little" out of context.

Just sayin'...

New BBC Open Forum said...

Tom,

Maybe this?

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

I'm not sure why my opinion causes you to call me a bunch of names.

It's my opinion whether I give you my name, my mother's maiden name, my dog's name, or even whether or not I tell you if I'm male or female. Frankly, it's none of your business.

Relax and don't be so intimidated by other people's opinions.

Unless your very insecure, of course.

Whoops, there it is!

Wanda said...

Lin said:
"What is 'male' Christianity and what is 'female' Christianity?"

Lin,

You should check out the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website (cbmw.org) for answers to your question.

To give you a taste of what you will find there, here's an excerpt from an article on the CBMW website, along with the link:

www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-12-No-2/Younger-Evangelicals-and-Women-in-Ministry-A-Sketch-of-the-Spectrum-of-Opinion

"Mars Hill Church endorses gifted (but ap­parently "gullible" and "easily deceived") women to lead and to teach men so long as such women are not ordained as pastor/elder."


Wade said:
"The question, again, is - can we be just as guilty of emphasizing one cultural gender preference (male) over another (female) as we charge radical feminists are guilty of emphasizing feminism over maleness?"

The answer is: ABSOLUTELY!

That's one of the reasons why this CHICK has abandoned the SBC! There doesn't seem to be any room for the "gullible" and "easily deceived" gender in the Southern Baptist Convention, so I'm taking my time, talent, and treasure elsewhere.

Darby Livingston said...

I wasn't going to watch the clip, but all the comments enticed me. I don't think anything in that clip was off. I think there is such a thing as radical masculinization. But you won't find it in most American churches. It's no secret that churches are filled with more women than men. Are we to believe that the only reason this is the case is because women are more inherently godly than men? Or could it be that churches appeal to women more than men?

Joe Blackmon said...

"That's one of the reasons why this CHICK has abandoned the SBC! There doesn't seem to be any room for the "gullible" and "easily deceived" gender in the Southern Baptist Convention, so I'm taking my time, talent, and treasure elsewhere."

Don't tell me, let me guess....CBF?

Only By His Grace said...

Wade,

I have not read your article or one comment, yet; however, I will before the night is over. Right now, I need to hit the shower, rush to church to get ready to take my VBS crew to a meeting forty miles away.

I do not know Mark Driscoll or anything about his church. I only know what I heard. I hope his Vid is not definitive of him or his ministry.

First of all, King David and John the Baptist lived in a different world than that in which we live, but more importantly, the Old Covenant (Old Testament) demanded killing, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; the stoning to death of a child that struck a parent and on and on. Death was all over the Old Covenant from the daily sacrifice to the Day of Atonement lamb, to the practice of "harem" in which all living creatures were killed.

The New Covenant is tremendously and wonderfully different. There is not one verse which allows us to harm another person let alone kill them: not for capital punishment, not for war or any other thing. The killing is reserved to the "magistrate" (King, President, General, etc) whom the lawless are to fear for his wrath is backed by the sword.

I have seen Mark Driscoll's macho type men at Pee-Wee football games screaming at the referees and at their own sons; I have seen them playing at church league baseball games without decency and common sportmanship; and woe be to the church that allows a softball team made up of the men of the church to represent them without strong supervision. I have seen the ethics of church members which allows them to cheat their companies and steal from their partners while climbing over everyone and anyone to get to the top of the success ladder.

No, I will take my gentle Deacons who have lived long, and if they have not done it, they have seen it. I will take the Lord Jesus who willingly gave his back to the smitters, and his beard to the pluckers without returning blow for blow or curse for curse.

In High School, I was the school bootlegger. If they had given DWIs before I was saved, I would have over a dozen wracked up on my record; I was in the Oklahoma County jail at least ten times for fighting, rioting and drunkenness. I am ashamed of those "macho" years without Christ, even though they are under the blood. I will take a soft answer that turns away wrath and words of love that ministers to hurting souls.

Phil in Norman.

Dee said...

Hi Lydia
Thanks for your comments.
I just wanted to let you know that tomorrow, my sweet daughter (5 ft 3", 120 pounds) will graduate from fire academy in a large city here in the south. She will join the force next Monday. She can carry a 175 pound man, hold down a high pressure hose, and has muscles of steel. She loves the Lord and is willing to put herself in harm's way for all of us. Granted, she will be one of only 16 women out of 600 men but she can do it.

Please visit my blog and see my tribute to her at www.thewartburgwatch.com. Click on the word blog at the top of the passage and it will take you to the blog I posted it yesterday. (True authority)

BTW she no longer is a Southern Baptist. Perhaps, one day, she will save the life of one of these men who would call her gullible and easily deceived. I wonder, if she was dragging him out, would they lecture her on gender roles and tell her she can't save him?
Love you all
Dee

Anonymous said...

Here we go all you "christians" who voted for Obama.

From Reuters, 16 April 2009:

"Georgetown University hides Christian inscription for president's address after Obama requests all religious symbols, signs be removed from view."

A piece from the story:

"Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, covered up religious insignia symbolizing the name of Jesus during President Obama's address there Tuesday after the President requested the change."

Wow! And a lot sooner than I expected.

Of course, some way or another I'm sure this is Bush's fault.

God help us in the days and years to come.

Wanda said...

Anonymous,
"Here we go all you "christians" who voted for Obama."

WOW! That was a far out comment!

Who do you think voted for Obama in this thread? Come on, fess up!!!

Anonymous said...

You must be new here.

There are a lot more that voted for Obama then you think.

What a few comments more.

Lydia said...

Dee, Congrats on your daughter. I love your blog and will put it in my favorites to check back in.

I especially agree with this:

We believe there are "A" and "B" issues within Christianity and that faithful Christians can disagree about "B" issues and still worship together. We believe that Christian leaders and pastors who elevate "B" issues to "A" status cause irreparable harm to the body of Christ. We plan to tackle these issues using a scholarly approach.

One final matter . . . We sincerely believe that we, as women, have something of value to say to both women and men.


(I got a chuckle out of your list of whipping boys)

Kevin M. Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

Dr. Akin knocked one out of the park today in chapel at Southeastern.

I love this brother in Christ

God bless Danny Akin!!!!!!!!!!


www.sebts.edu

Blake said...

At Joe White from Thu Apr 16, 09:51:00 AM 2009

My memory of scripture must be hazy but I don't recall any part of scripture that says John the Baptist attacked people. So I'm not sure why you think it is out of the range of possibility that John the Baptist might have been pacifist.

Pacifism does not equal wimp nor does it equal hippy. I don't believe Christ was a wimp or a hippy. You are right about him being a carpenter and who he attracted, but that has nothing to do with pacifism. I know a lot of pacifists since I'm attending a Mennonite seminary and most of them aren't people who roll over and let people walk all over them. They are very confrontational and very passionate, but they won't resort to or respond with violence in any situation. I think it's disgusting that you think Christ's beating and crucifixion is only "one of the greatest beatings of all time." Let me assure you it was the greatest beating of all time and no one in this world in any situation ever has any idea the torment and trauma that Jesus suffered for humanity. Don't brush it off by pretending anyone has ever seen worse physical, mental, emotional or spiritual trauma than Jesus.

The metaphor the scripture gives us is "like a lamb to the slaughter." Not a bear, bull or lion, but a lamb. That doesn't mean Jesus was a wuss, but it does say something about his demeanor and attitude toward his fate that a bull, lion or bear would not have.

As far as the temple goes, Jesus's fulfilling of the law had to include bringing about a modicum of respect for the residing place of God the Father. THink about it. GOD Himself resided in the temple and the Jews thought so little of it that they allowed it to become a den of thieves and robbers rather than a place of worship and prayer for all nations. I don't blame Jesus for using violence there, but there is no temple since the crucifixion. We have nothing to violently defend like Christ did. What we have are the teachings and the model Jesus lived which is otherwise nonviolent and nonresistant.

Finally, the strength of will it takes to live nonviolently and nonresistantly like how Jesus and the disciples did is far more impressive than being a "man's man" and letting your muscles and testosterone think for you. Chuck Norris, Mel Gibson, Jean Claude van Damme, etc. do not model the Jesus we have in the Bible.

Rex Ray said...

Blake,
Never have I been in this situation:
You disagree with Joe White. (I like your reference to the date and time of April 16 09:51 AM)

Joe White disagrees with Tim Marsh’s comment of April 16: 08:23 AM when Joe said Jesus and John the Baptist were not pacifists.

So, do you agree with Tim Marsh who said Jesus and Paul were pacifists?

I think all you guys are right because you’re looking at the word ‘pacifists’ from different directions.

Webster—“To make to be at peace; to allay the agitation, excitement, or resentment of; to tranquilize; calm.”

By Webster’s definition, Jesus, Paul, and John the Baptist were not ‘pacifists’. None of them ‘went along to get along’.

Blake, you said, “Pacifism does not equal wimp…” and your description of the Mennonite seminary brings that out, but you said, I don’t recall any part of scripture that says John the Baptist attacked people. So I’m not sure why you think it is out of the range of possibility that John the Baptist might have been pacifist.”

Blake, it looks like you contradicted yourself. John refused to baptize Pharisees. That cancelled him being a pacifist.

Jesus was the opposite of a pacifists—“I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)

Having ‘guts’ is more than some brave (or stupid) action. I once told Patterson it was harder for me to ask him a question than to swim alone four miles across the Sea of Galilee.

You see, I don’t like to confront people unless I’m behind a computer. :)

Blake, your fuss with Joe saying, “one of the greatest beating of all time” is ‘apples and oranges’.

Christ physical beating was not near as bad as thousands of others. (Apples)

“Spiritual’? Now that’s ‘oranges’. Never, never, never, will we come close to realizing or understanding the spiritual and physical pain that turned Christ’s blood to water on the Cross.

And that was only a drop in the bucket compared what He endured in hell. Only God knows and felt that pain as He punished his Son for the sins of the world.

I believe an hour before Jesus died, he could have told his Father, ‘I quit’. I believe after a minute in hell, Jesus could have said, ‘I quit’.

Maybe in heaven, we’ll know the depth of love Jesus and his Father had for each other and the world. Maybe in heaven our greatest joy will be knowing how much he loves us…even bloggers.

Chris Ryan said...

Rex,

I pulled out my Webster's too, only mine didn't have the definition you offered.

Pacifist: of, relating to, or characteristic of pacifism (first definition)

Pacifism: opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes (fist definition).

Operating off of these dictionary definitions, Jesus and Paul were both pacifists (Blake and Tim for the win). It is generally only the oppenents of pacifism that try to characterize the ethical system as opposing all forms of conflict.

As to your interpretation of Jesus' comments about sword bearing, I think we can agree that was a metaphor. What the object of the metaphor was we may disagree on, but it certainly was not saying that the Kingdom comes in by violent coersion.

Furthermore, where do you get that John refused to baptize Pharisees? The "brood of vipers" language is applied only to Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew. In Luke, it is John's message to everyone who gathered there. Certainly you don't think John refused to baptize everyone who came to him? The picture is of a man who baptized those who came to him as a sign of repentence. The questions are really, "Who warned you to repent? And how did you get over yourselves enough to come here to find repentence (rather than the temple)?"

Anonymous said...

When I listed to that clip I thought I was listening to a young and unwashed Paige Patterson and his guns and elephants.

Methinks he tries to be too masculine because he probably isn't. The whole clip make me feel creepy.

Linda said...

Church is feminized??????

Yeah, right, we ladies are runnin' everything and making oh so cutesy.

As long as we don't speak??

And remember, while I am a strong complementarian I take that to mean BOTH the male and female points of view and spheres are essential to life and the church.

Women do not need to be like men. Men do not need to be like women.

But a feminized church?

Hardly!!

Anonymous said...

Linda, good point. How can it be feminized when we have no authority. I mean the guys are in charge so what are they complaining about?

Anonymous said...

This whole series is worth reading about Driscoll and his vulgar preaching style:

http://www.shepherdsfellowship.org/pulpit/Default.aspx

A comment from Phil Johnson to a driscoll supporter about Driscolls 'repentance':

"One of the deep frustrations I have with this whole dialogue is the causal way word repentance is thrown around so meaninglessly by the defenders of Mark Driscoll. Where, precisely, has he expressed any actual "repentance" for the Scotland fiasco? Can you quote the words and show me with some biblical rationale why anyone is obliged to think this has anything to do with "repentance"?

Because I'm prepared to demonstrate from Scripture that authentic repentance bears actual fruit.

What Driscoll has said about the Scotland sermons (including the sanitized, edited version of "Spring cleaning") is a cover-up based first on lies, then later on half-truths and omissions. Nowhere does Driscoll even imply that he now realizes that sermon that was out of line and utterly inappropriate for the audience to whom is was preached (regardless of whether it was ever posted on the Internet). There is absolutely no expression of "repentance" there--even in the final, corrected version of that post. Moreover, the sermon IS still on line and downloadable from the original source.

Notice, too, what Driscoll says his critics have "taught" him: not that he should clean up his act, but that he has a very large audience and a huge worldwide influence. He didn't grasp THAT before?

Is it really a sin against charity to think that looks an awful lot like faux humility--or no humility at all? because the point he actually underscores in the end is the opposite of a humble one.

I could say more, but I shouldn't need to. Why is it that the defenders of Driscoll CONSTANTLY claim he has "repented," and yet they keep pleading for more time for him to mature and grow out of the trash-talk habit? How is it not a slight against the biblical doctrine of repentance to insist that people are obliged to act as if such a lame and falsehood-filled cover-up is a sure sign of true repentance? That corrupts both the biblical idea of charity and the biblical standard of true repentance."

Tim Marsh said...

Blake, Chris and Rex,

I think that you hit the nail on the head when all of you defined pacifism. If pacifism means non-confrontational, then Jesus and Paul were not pacifists. However,if you define pacifism as the refusal to use violence to coerce your opponant, then Jesus and Paul were. I do not think that the Temple Demonstration was "violent" in the sense that Jesus did not kill anyone, nor did he intend to kill anyone. It may be violent in the sense that it was a display of anger against the people and their occupations.

Furthermore, having studied under both pacifists and just-war proponants, no one ever defined pacifism and violence. It does not surprise me that different people have different definitions for what composes pacifism. It is hard to say "I am a pacifist" or I believe that force is justified if you do not have working definitions. Great points from all of you.

While it may seem that men get a kick out of violence, especially in movies, you do not hear veterans talking about their combat action in a macho kind of tone. The ones that I have talked to are humble, and thankful that they survived. Many refuse to talk about combat at all. Maybe a little combat action for Driscoll would cure his desire to express his masculinity? Maybe it would for us all?

Tim Marsh said...

Blake,

Revelation 5:5-6, and you, say it all.

When John turned to see the champion - i.e., the magnificent Lion of Judah - he got what he did not expect, a slaughtered Lamb.

Rex Ray said...

Tim Marsh,
Good job of summarizing what all of us have been saying.

We probably all believe a little stronger of what we believed to start. :)

BTW, I noticed Matthew 3:7 and Luke 3:7 quote John the Baptist saying, “brood of vipers!”

Strange both had the same chapter and verse.

It seems realistic for John to call the Pharisees and Sadducees vipers, but unrealistic in Luke for John to call the crowd vipers.

I believe the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy would view Luke’s omitting Pharisees and Sadducees ‘one day’ to be seen as an illusion.

Beth Duren Lancaster said...

Found this blog linked from iemissional and wanted to comment on this issue.

At this point, I've lost count of how many videos, articles, blog posts, and audio clips I've seen, read, or heard of Driscoll teaching ideas laced in anger, fear, and disdain toward women. Any time I have questioned or have witnessed another person question these teachings, the response is always one of two things:

1. This is taken out of context
2. Mark is a really great dude, but he's being a little harsh here.

How many times exactly must I hear him speak before I get the general idea of context? Is watching a video or reading an article in its entirety not enough to get his context? Unless he's at some point preceded his words with "I don't mean a word of what I'm about to say" then I think I have the context in mind. Yet, it's still the same vastly immature teachings of a man with serious issues with gender in general. The "you're taking Driscoll out of context" defenses are becoming enormous cop-outs.

And if he's consistently having to "repent" for things he's said or written that were too harsh, yet continues to say them, then no repentance has taken place and he should be removed from his position of authority.

The most grave error of his teachings, I believe, is his unapologetic suppression of women. He would rather women be weak and passive than have the strength and boldness that is characteristic of a spirit-filled individual. Women can and should be spiritual warriors, leading, directing, and proclaiming the power of Christ in our lives. Driscoll can't handle that.

To stand in front of the people of God and belittle women for the apparently gender specific sin of gossip (???) is so vastly immature and so spiritually destitute that I fear he might be producing a host of little Driscolls who will seek to put women in their spiritual place of birthin' babies and cookin' dinners and vacuuming the house in high heels. These women will have the most minor of roles in the church and will probably only be allowed to work with the children, since they won't be able to corrupt men or women that way.

I am sad for the women who sit in his audience and feel like his words and ideas are how God feels about them. Driscoll is a terrible representation of how God feels toward females, and every time I hear some new vitriolic teaching toward women, I am appauled that he's still a pastor.

Almost as bad but not quite, is the fact that he preached for an hour and a half. I mean come on, at some point, it's just a rant.

As a 24 year old female, if this is the future of the church, myself and my peers will not be part of it. If this is the "good news" of Christ to women, the population of women of my generation will be virtually non-existent in the church. When the world is telling women to be strong, brave, and powerful, the message to be passive pawns of the male hierarchy seen in both the home and the church is a revolting and completely unrealistic idea. That isn't what the Bible teaches, regardless of how Driscoll tries to distort it.

Lin said...

"How many times exactly must I hear him speak before I get the general idea of context? Is watching a video or reading an article in its entirety not enough to get his context? Unless he's at some point preceded his words with "I don't mean a word of what I'm about to say" then I think I have the context in mind. Yet, it's still the same vastly immature teachings of a man with serious issues with gender in general. The "you're taking Driscoll out of context" defenses are becoming enormous cop-outs. "

Beth, you are right on. I have been listening to him and reading him for a while now and have to wonder why everyone thinks our concerns are 'out of context'. They aren't at all.

I also fear for where Driscoll is leading many of our young men and women.

They have devised a 'female Christianity' and a 'male Christianity'.

New BBC Open Forum said...

One of the best comments I've read on this subject comes from a review of Piper and Grudem's Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism by a person identified only as "a reader from Buffalo, NY." S/he writes:

This book is the best proof I have found yet of the danger of defining ourselves according to social institutions and patterns given to us by the world. Claiming that God's ideal for men is for them to be protectors and providers overlooks the glaring issue that in God's ideal world, protection and provision wouldn't be needed. If the world had never fallen into sin, we would still be living in the Garden of Eden, where God had provided all we could ever need, and thus men wouldn't be "providers". There would be no sin and thus no violent tendencies; ergo, no need for protection. The fact that we live in a sinful and fallen world has required men (up to this point) to take on these sad duties, and when we overlook this fact, we become desensitized to our own depraved natures.

So this is the predicament we're in: we humans have screwed up, and now we're on our own to provide for ourselves. For thousands of years, the harsh environment required brute strength in order to reap nourishment from the earth. Men were obviously better qualified to attend to this need. Today, however, brains matter much more than brawn, and so women are on an equal playing field with men when it comes to taking on the need for provision. Trouble starts because men have defined themselves as men, not by finding their identity solely in Christ, but (at least partially) by their provider role. As this role ceased to be unique to them, men felt their identity threatened, and voila! you end up with the kind of reactionary conservatism found in this book.

Once we understand this scenario, it's hard to claim that God's ideal for manhood is a leader, protector, and provider when God's ideal world (a sinless one) required absolutely none of these things.

The proper role for Christians is to be found in one place: Christ. Men are to emulate Christ, and so are women. It's not always lady-like to be Christlike, and it's certainly not always macho or manly to be Christlike either. We must resist finding our identity in the situations and roles that our fallen, sinful world has placed us in, because if we don't, we become resistant to ameliorating the effects sin has had on us and our world. I can think of no greater tragedy.

Anonymous said...

This is absurd logic. I guess he has not given much thought how much pre-converted Paul thought that Christians were feminizing Judiasm. Driscoll has some serious underlying anger issues and fissures in his doctrine. Elisha didn't need to hit anyone but the Lord defended his honor. I have heard stories about how God supernatually defended pastors who were being defamed without one issue of anger. They knew the Lord would defend their honor. Now that's faith! Remember Job and the faulty counselors...at the end God told him that He depised their counsel but still advised Job to pray for them

Anonymous said...

Did not realize the video was two years old? Wondered where his position is now on the matter?

Anonymous said...

Did not realize the video was two years old? Wondered where his position is now on the matter?

Sun Apr 19, 01:09:00 AM 2009

Worse. He "repents" and gets worse. Read the recent Shepherd's fellowship link above.

Dee Lauderdale said...

"For proof; in the world there are many churches without men, but how many without women? I’d say none unless it’s in a prison."

that's the everlovin' point! Men are turned off by what the church has been turned into. Two great books "Why Men Hate Going to Church" by David Murrow and "The Church Impotent:The Feminization of Christianity" by Leon Podles. Great books with solid research to back up their conclusions.

And it's not about going to an extreme. If you'll LISTEN to Driscoll you'll hear him call the men in his church to get a job, love/marry a woman, have children, then provide/protect and pastor them. Quit being boys and be men. You may not like his tone but I've taught unchurched men using a similiar tone and they respond. They respond to challenge.

I had women in a church I was pastoring come up to one day after a service and said "I don't really get what you're doing but he likes it so keep it up" She was speaking of her husband who had NEVER been to church in his 40 years. Several weeks later he gave his life to Christ as did his two kids. I got to baptize the entire family. So there is something to this and it is worthwhile.

Steven said...

Four remarks: First, pacifism is not a passive response but an active one that eschews violence in favor of other means. The great exemplars of pacifism in the 20th century were Gandhi and MLK. Both found the inspiration for their active non-violent resistance, not surprisingly, in the life of Jesus.

Second, Lydia's comments strike me as a fair representation of Driscoll's teaching. Such "muscular" Christianity taps good energy for causes foreign to those displayed in the life of Jesus. Why is it that one can build a mega church denigrating women, but it's hard to name a mega church that built its reputation on ministries to the poor, the imprisoned, the disabled, and the oppressed (c.f., Luke 4)? Before someone suggests Saddleback, Rick Warren's laudable, new ministry focus is a fairly recent conversion and notably led by his wife.

Third, the shape of the life into which the Church invites people to participate matters. If that life does not resemble the life of Jesus -- a life of costly service to those on the margins -- then successful outreach to men is no success at all. To its original audience (and apparently still today), one of the most culturally subversive features of the Gospels was the prominent place of women in the ministry of Jesus -- women whom the culture marginalized but nevertheless appear in positions of honor in the Gospels, even as the first witnesses to Jesus' resurrection.

Instead of pandering to gender stereotypes and insisting that people submit to folks whose lives apparently do not commandeer respect on their own merits, perhaps we should return to the way of the Cross. That is, a life of service and submission modeled on the life of Jesus. If that is attractive to contemporary men, then great. The invitation of the Christian life is to follow Jesus not to market hIm successfully at the expense of distorting the biblical portrait. As Matthew reminds us, "narrow is the way" (7:14). I'd like to think that this emphasis on muscular Christianity is misguided evangelism, but when I hear some of its leading proponents I become suspicious that it is the same old misogyny disguised in trendy ripped jeans and spiked hair.

Finally, thanks for this forum, Wade.

Steven Porter