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

Memo to Mars Hill: The Suppression of Church Women Is Not the Cure For the Feminization of Church Men

About two years ago two young married men expressed to me their desire to uproot their families from Enid, Oklahoma and move to Seattle, Washington to be a part of the ministry of Mars Hill. Though I was familiar with Mark Driscoll, I was curious why these young family men felt the need to relocate. The reason they gave me was an eye opener. "We want to be some place where the masculinity of God is emphasized in the home, in church, and in leadership." These two men have since left Emmanuel Enid with their families. Their wives have little or no say in family matters or financial decisions. For example, each man has taken a stand against inoculating their children and no amount of objections from mom is sufficient to reverse this patriarchal decision to prevent childhood disease by faith rather than shots. Dad's word is law in the same manner God's Word is law, for the man is in the image of God. Woman is made from man, and her only protection is to obey the man as if she were obeying God. It would seem self-evident that major difficulties will one day arise if this kind of thinking regarding male authority and female subordination persists in any family--much less any church.  

I went back yesterday and listened to a young Mark Driscoll as he preached a message twelve years ago entitled Men and Masculinity. In this bizarre sermon, Mark recounts how as a lost person he never wanted to become a Christian because the only Christians he knew were "feminine men," known for their gentleness and tenderness. Then, after conversion, Mark realized that the feminization of men was not biblical. According to Mark, "Jesus is a man, not a woman. All sixty-six books of the Bible are written by men, not by women. God is our Father, not our Mother. Jesus is our Brother, not our Sister. Jesus came as a Warrior to bring down the enemies of God. Christianity is a masculine religion." Mark was too young at the time to come up with this dogma on his own. I blame John Piper, Bruce Ware and a handful of other evangelical systematic complementarian theologians who gave to Mark Driscoll his warped views regarding God's masculinity and male authority through the sermons they have preached and the books they have written.  The biblical text reveals something far different about God. Sadly, under the leadership of Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill has become a cathedral of male worship. Because of this, Mars Hill Church is in danger of reflecting more the authoritarianism of cultism than the equality of Christianity.

Today I read the incredibly tortuous account of the firing of Mars Hill pastor Paul Petry. Interestingly, it was Paul's wife, Jonna Petry, who wrote the compelling narrative that describes the spiritual abuse she and her husband endured at Mars Hill. Not wanting to take the Petrys solely on their word, I read through every single Mars Hill document that the Petrys provided on their blog as factual support for their account of events. I read the new By-Laws of Mars Hill (see page 112). Only males compose the church's legal standing. Only males vote on church business. Only males serve on leadership teams. Only males determine pastoral salaries. Only males convene for business meetings. Only males determine matters related to the church. Only males are the true members of the church. Females, for the sake of 'spiritual standing,' can be called 'members' and have access to the church's website, but females cannot be, in any form or fashion, in leadership at Mars Hill or considered as people with legal or moral authority.

Unless something changes at Mars Hill in the near future the church is going to implode. The cure for the perceived feminization of church men is never the suppression of church women. Instead of disciplining Jonna Petry for calling other women to prayer under the guise that she was attempting to subvert Pastor Mark's authority, Mars Hill should have asked Jonna Petry to be part of their leadership team and write the response to the hundreds of questions they received about the growing lack of transparency and distrust of the all male leadership at Mars Hill. Jonna is obviously gifted with superb writing skills and she would have done a much better job of communicating a message to the church than the male elders did. But, of course, Jonna Petry and other gifted women are to follow, not lead. Mars Hill men, you had better wake up. A revolution is taking place. Women in the church are waking up to the biblical truth that they are created as much in the image of God as you are. They are realizing that they possess the same gifts of the Spirit as men. They are arousing to the knowledge that when half the body is suppressed, the church is as dysfunctional as it when you perceive feminization in men. So go ahead, Mars Hill men, and act like men. Just don't make the mistake of suppressing your Spirit-filled women who are the only ones right now that might have the ability to keep your church from imploding.

Finally, if my friends who left Emmanuel Enid are reading this post, please know of my love for you. Because of that love I urge you to be willing to follow the leadership and wisdom of your wives. They have much to offer. By the way, they have already expressed their willingness to listen to  your wisdom and follow your leadership! Now its your turn. Christianity is mutual love and mutual leadership. God calls us to be servants of one another, not masters over anyone. It's the way He intends (Matthew 23:8-11).

83 comments:

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...

Wade,

This is one of the best posts you have ever written. Thank you for bringing balance to the faith.

My heart goes out to women who are married to these 'manly men'. True leaders don't have to berate people into following them. It just naturally happens.

Victorious said...

"A revolution is taking place."

Amen! Just as the Freedom Riders exposed the racial injustices of the in 1961, today's women have the use of an excellent "vehicle" called the internet to expose gender injustice.

Thank you for another excellent post, Wade!

Anonymous said...

The reason they gave me was an eye opener. "We want to be some place where the masculinity of God is emphasized in the home, in church, and in leadership."

Then why are they not bowing to Mecca five times a day with the Talibani? Why sip your male-supremacy watered down when you could chug it straight on the rocks with Extreme Islam? Because you can't get more hypermsaculine than Taliban-extreme Islam!

Bill Kinnon said...

Fantastic post, Wade. Thanks for this.

Howell Scott said...

Wade,

I appreciate you bringing this to our attention. I have begun to read the accounts of the Petrys as well as review the documentary evidence that has been posted on their blog. Even though lawyers (like Paul Petry and yours truly) may have left law to preach grace, there are a few things learned in law school and the practice of law that can come in handy in ministry. I'll have more to say later this week regarding this sad tale of (alleged) spiritual abuse at the hands of a pastor, Mark Driscoll, who has considerable influence on young SBC pastors. Thanks again and God bless,

Howell

Anonymous said...

One of the main things absent or improperly defined in this kind of manly teaching is, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,...." Eph 5:25

All men must pattern their lives to the qualifications of the pastor or deacon whether they are qualified or not. One of the leadership qualities of these positions is the ability to lead by example, "nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;" 1 Peter 5:3 So, husbands must exercise this type of relationship at home with their wife and children.

I like what you said about the Spiritual Gifts. It fits perfect. Additionally, no one can fit a mold. Not all women will be like the virtuous woman. Those are few and far between. Setting a "standard" creates non-achievable goals for men and create frustration for the man as well as the woman.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

Actually I thought I had always read that Jesus came not as he deserved, but as an infant...not as a warrior or King. The warrior and king stuff is to come later, but when he split time (B.C. vs A.D), he came as a child.

Here's a question that I got to wonder about this church. Who do they equate "love" to? They talk about everything about the Bible is all "manly" things. What is their stance on "Love"? Shoot even other religions of old equated love with a "woman" figure. With the ancient Romans it was Venus the goddess of "Love". In ancient Egypt, love was associated with the goddess Hathor. In ancient Greece it was the goddess Aphrodite who was associated with love. And these cultures of old were not considered whimpy cultures. Both the ancient Romans and the ancient Egyptians were considered very powerful and other nations feared them. And yet even these nations of old recognized that "love" was associated with a womanly figure.

So if our God of the Bible who is the one true God, has no womanly features about him...where is this church going to get "love"??

Just asking.

T.

G. Casey said...

I have not read your blog in some time. I read this. To be honest I have never been a fan of Mark Driscoll. The egomania has been apparent for years. Mark assumes a lot as to why men never will enter a church. My dad never did like church as he felt often horrible. In growing up in the faith, I am beginning to understand more as to why he did not. Too often ministers try to convict men as sinners instead of teaching a reformed approach. Many are Arminian and Finneyist in their approach. Can anyone obey perfectly? No they can not. In light of God's grace the empowerment lies in grace building up the believer and walking a different path from the world(Psalms 1). Mark never has sounded meek at all and quite honestly sounds "macsulinely" prideful. Some men can be "feminely" prideful as well. There is a masculine aspect that is very misunderstood. We should remember how Jesus empathized with women and men and build them both up.

Kristen said...

Wade, I think you may be right about this church at Mars Hill "imploding." Jesus said in Revelation that if a church left its first love (simple devotion to Christ) and would not return, Jesus would take that church's "lampstand" away-- which as far as I can tell means that the church will cease to exist as a local body of believers.

Turning church into a battle between "feminization" and "God's masculinity" where males must win in a war of the sexes is a prime distraction from that first love. I hope that the Mars Hill church will return to its first love.

Laura said...

This post brings to mind again the basic flaw in this whole masculine vs feminine Christian debate.

We see lots of discussion on what is "masculine", and how those attributes reflect God.

I see no sound definition on what is "feminine" according to these men, unless by feminine, they mean "silly", "trivial", or emotion driven.

There is indeed much in the American Christian culture that would be described in those words. When these guys lambast church culture, they always talk about weepy praise and worship music with substandard tunes and worse theology, among other things.

I believe that what they are saying is that the "masculine " side of God is sound, while the "feminine" side gives us gossipy prayer meetings, theology painted on coffee cups, ad nauseum.

Do they know that what they are saying is that God Himself must have a "silly" side? Does their Bible not read the same as mine, where it says that male and female are created in the image of God? That implies to me that both masculine and feminine traits are part of the whole package and that we all will aspire to both, in varying degrees.

Someone in another post, I think, said that if this male dominant thinking is correct we need to paint a mustache on the Bride of Christ.

I think the debate should cut to the chase and ask what are we calling "feminine"? Gentleness? Kindness? Meekness? Those qualities are not the whole picture of what we are in Christ, but I seem to remember that the fruits of the spirit are desirable to both sexes....Just a thought and thanks so much for this post and all the rest.

Anonymous said...

Kristen--very good reminding us of God telling us He will remove our lampstand if we stray from the simple first love of devotion to Christ!

Anyone else see a connection between all this power brokering going on and the decline in both attendance and membership?

I've felt for some time the glory has departed and Ichabod has been written over the SBC.

You've reminded me Jesus will have no one be Lord over His church but Himself.

And woe to us that try to take His place!

Linda

Wade Burleson said...

Laura,

Good words. Thanks for the comment.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Thank you for this article. I have long been sickened by the attitude of the leadership of Mars Hill,as well as a few others, as they pervert the Scriptures to fit their humanistic philosophies.

I have no hesitation in calling the cultivation, in a congregation, of an attitude of fear, as a deliberately manipulative, and sinful act designed to hold the congregation in bondage to the leadership, and to intimidate any who object or query.

stevelong79 said...

I hope these women realize that when their husbands fall from a stroke or heart attack they must pray mightily over their husband for healing and forgo the modern services of medicine, for surely God will decide when to bring these men home and not some doctor.

Kristen said...

You know, even when I was a complementarian, if my husband had forbidden me to have our children inoculated, I would have said "forget submission" and done it anyway. As a mother I am just as much a steward over the kids as their father, and he could not make me violate my conscience before God for the sake of submission to a man.

It is a terrible wrong that a woman would be taught that she has to plead with her husband for permission to give what she considers ordinary, basic care to the children.

terriergal said...

"Why sip your male-supremacy watered down when you could chug it straight on the rocks with Extreme Islam? Because you can't get more hypermsaculine than Taliban-extreme Islam!"

Because they still want Jesus' forgiveness and you can't have that in Islam. You have to martyr yourself to ensure you'll be accepted by Allah, and well, that just doesn't go too well with trendy reformissional narcissists.

terriergal said...

So... I'm curious... how do you react to a post like Phil Johnson made against women bloggers (and his comments in the comments section, naming a particular few) against women who speak out against certain abuses, a few months back?

The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Discernment Divas

Wade Burleson said...

Terriergal,

Your link to Phil's blog is broken. I have not read it, but if you will comment again and fix the link, I WILL read it, and if it says what the title implies, I intend to write about his views next week.

Wade Burleson said...

By the way, terriergal, after viewing your profile pic of a bow and arrow armed terriergal displaying your trophy game, I don't think any male should mess with you. :)

Thy Peace said...

Pyromaniacs [Phil Johnson] > The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Discernment Divas

Noah said...

I am a complementarian. I believe men should provide loving, sacrificial, Christ-like servant leadership in their homes (Ephesians 5). I believe the role of "preaching pastor" is reserved for men (1 Timothy 2).

As a complementarian who is committed to Scripture, I believe that women can and should serve as deacons, can teach, speak, pray, offer counsel, and offer respectful, servant leadership in the church and at home. Just as I am committed to Ephesians 5 and 1 Timothy 2, I must also be committed to the examples of Mary Magdalene, Phoebe, Priscilla, and dozens of others who made significant contributions to the church and Kingdom.

What is taking place at Mars Hill is not Biblical complementarianism. It is spiritual abuse. Please don't lump all complementarians together. We aren't all the same.

We may disagree over the correct interpretation and application of Ephesians 5 and 1 Timothy 2, but I am in total agreement that spiritual abuse masquerading as Biblical Masculinity is sinful, wicked, and shameful.

Pege' said...

Breathing in the FRESH AIR of FREEDOM in Christ and loving a man who is on this journey as a joint heir to the Grace of God.
Hey Mars Hill gang, being a man is not control but submission to the one who is in control...certainly not YOU...but GOD!!

traveller said...

This is heart breaking. The unnecessary pain and loss is overwhelming. May God provide comfort and peace to the Petry family and open the eyes of all at Mars Hill.

Sallie said...

Noah - Thanks for the good reminder that not all complementarians are cut from the same cloth. From what you wrote, you are a super soft complementarian and I mean that in the best possible way. If the bulk of comps believed as you do, the church would be in a much better place.

Not all egalitarians are cut from the same cloth either. It's good for all of us to remember that.

Bill said...

God is not masculine. God is neither male nor female nor androgynous. God is Spirit. The Father is not masculine. The Son is not masculine until He became so in the incarnation. The Holy Spirit is not masculine. This notion of the masculinity of God is heresy.

Recovering Southern Baptist said...

Bill,

Amen! Amen! Amen!

Wade,

Great post.

Katherine said...

As a woman complementarian, I am growing weary of the kind of language that we reserve for people who don't share our convictions EXACTLY.

I find it acceptable and fair to criticize John Piper's view if one feels led to do so biblically. But phrases such as "Piper's warped view" have no place in Christian discourse. Disagree as much as you like, but let's not malign him. Another blog calls Piper a "mysoginist". Really, Piper is that bad in his views? I have never read anything that indicates that Piper has little respect for women or their accomplishments.

Yet again, I'm amazed at the way Christians treat each other for the simple act of not being in complete agreement. There are few words we won't use and even fewer tactics used that are not well-thought out except for the goal being to maim and hurt. John Piper is not Mark Driscoll and any comparison, stretches the truth.

Is it possible anymore to disagree without being disagreeable?

This makes me feel sad and disappointed.

Victorious said...

Katherine,

Even Jesus used strong, biting words to describe those who were vipers, hypocrites, serpents and said they were of their father the devil. His disdain for their love of prominence, authority, injustice, and hypocrisy was publicly asserted.

And Paul strongly accused the magician, Elymas, of fraud and deceit and called him a son of the devil for making crooked the ways of the Lord.

Words express thoughts and feelings and sometimes reflect the degree of pain and disillusionment being experienced by many by these men. And yes, there is much bitterness expressed toward Piper for his condescending attitude toward women. I, for one, do not find this unusual nor unchristian.

Mike Frost said...

"Even Jesus used strong, biting words to describe those who were vipers, hypocrites, serpents and said they were of their father the devil."

Is this what you think Jesus would be saying to Piper?

"And Paul strongly accused the magician, Elymas, of fraud and deceit and called him a son of the devil for making crooked the ways of the Lord."

Are you saying that Pipers complimentarianism views are as evil as the magician, Elymas'?

If not, why make the comparisons? If so, you are on dangerous ground of making you rinterpretationthe only interpretation. This may be what you want to say, I hope not.

Victorious said...

Mike,

You miss my point. My post was in reply to Katherine's in that she was saddened by the names directed toward Piper. If someone (including me) think the descriptive label for him is mysoginist, it would not be unchristian since that correctly reflects his teaching about women.

My scriptural support for calling such teachers a word that reflects their error, is Jesus and Paul who sternly confronted false teachings by the Pharisees and Judaizers with no apology.

Piper's teachings lay heavy burdens on women and twists scripture to create a masculine gospel.

Anonymous said...

"John Piper is not Mark Driscoll and any comparison, stretches the truth"

Should I link to the video of Piper saying he loves Mark Driscoll's theology? or Driscoll speaking from Piper's stage saying every word out of his mouth comes from the Holy Spirit?

Piper is the one who taught that Christianity is "masculine". If that is not misogynist, then what is?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Oops, I forgot to mention Driscoll's "porno divinations" which are part of his "theology" that Piper loves.

Piper has over and over and over again affirmed and promoted Driscoll for years.

Mike Frost said...

"Piper is the one who taught that Christianity is "masculine". If that is not misogynist, then what is?"

A lot of people have said what they understand Piper to believe, what has Piper said about "Masculne Christianity"? Here is his words:

Theology and church and mission are marked by overarching godly male leadership in the spirit of Christ, with an ethos of tender-hearted strength, and contrite courage, and risk-taking decisiveness, and readiness to sacrifice for the sake of leading, protecting, and providing for the community—all of which is possible only through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s the feel of a great, majestic God, who by his redeeming work in Jesus Christ, inclines men to take humble, Christ-exalting initiative, and inclines women to come alongside the men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work.

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...

Mike Frost,

Perhaps you haven't read Wade's previous post on John Piper.

Here it is:

Piper's Christianity Actually Emasculates

Mike Frost said...

Wanda,

I read it and disagree with Wade. I see Wade's approach to disagreeing with others as wrong.
I disagree with his egalitarian view. This is not an evil to do so. I will not call Wade out for our differencesbecause a case can be made for complimentarianism.

Jesus did as much as he needed abd wabted to do to liberate women from the wrong view that they are doormats but he did not put any woman in charge in the church or over the husband in the home. He did not call one woman to be part of his 12 inner circle. No doubt women were present but they were not a part of the twelve and given the call to be apostles.

I agree with Piper that the bible has a feel of masculanity.

Steve Glazier said...

Wade,

It appears the PARABALANI are alive and well at Mars Hill.

Steve G.

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...

Mike Frost,

And I disagree. May I ask you a very serious question? Can we agree to disagree?

Anonymous said...

Theology and church and mission are marked by overarching godly male leadership in the spirit of Christ, with an ethos of tender-hearted strength, and contrite courage, and risk-taking decisiveness, and readiness to sacrifice for the sake of leading, protecting, and providing for the community—all of which is possible only through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s the feel of a great, majestic God, who by his redeeming work in Jesus Christ, inclines men to take humble, Christ-exalting initiative, and inclines women to come alongside the men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work."

Mike, So then who is our model for Christ-likeness since we are women and Christ was male? Are we not to be Christlike? If so, how can we when it is "masculine"?

Lydia

Mike Frost said...

Wanda,

"Can we agree to disagree?"

Absolutely. I was not asking you to agree with me nor intending to be disagreeable.

For me the bottom line is the level of the being disagreeable among so many. Name calling, and belitting seems inapropiate among the Christian family.

Mike Frost said...

Lydia,

"Mike, So then who is our model for Christ-likeness since we are women and Christ was male? Are we not to be Christlike? If so, how can we when it is "masculine"?"

Does one need to be in a position of leadership to be Christlike? No. If yes, then all Christians would need to be in leadership.

When there is a disagreement in direction in the home, as there are in all homes, how does the family determine the direction? Scripture, yes. What if the wife senses God is saying something different than the husband is sensing? How does the decision be made? Don't do anything? It could work but if that is what one party wants then that whole position could be used to get thier own way.

I hope I answered your question. Let me ask you one.

What does God mean when he says, "the husband is to be the head of the wife."?

Victorious said...

Mike Frost said:

"but he did not put any woman in charge in the church or over the husband in the home. He did not call one woman to be part of his 12 inner circle. No doubt women were present but they were not a part of the twelve and given the call to be apostles."

The word disciple means a "learner." Jesus taught the disciples much about the value of women; something they needed to learn.

Jesus was sensitive to the social conditions with which women had to struggle, and saw the need to teach men the same sensitivity.

While the disciples would never had spoken to a woman in public (and especially a Samaratan), Jesus showed them by example that the social sigma enforced upon them was enforced by man, not by God.

The disciples were indignant when the woman with the alabaster vial ministered her love and honor for Him. They had staunch priorities that money was of the most importance. Jesus taught them that the action of this woman would be remembered forever.

When Jesus was teaching in the Synagogue and was approached by a woman bent over for 18 years, the male official was indignant that Jesus would heal her on the Sabbath. Jesus had to teach him that that woman was far more important than one of their animals. He called them hypocrites.

When Jesus saw the widow putting a small token into the treasury, he taught his disciples that the woman had been far more generous than all the other contributors because her donation was made by great personal sacrifice.

He needed to teach them to humbly wash one another's feet just as the woman who washed his with her tears.

After these lessons, you would think today's disciples have learned these, but unfortunately, this is not so. They still need the lessons repeated as they think they are more entitled than women. May Jesus continue teaching the male disciples that obviously hard lesson that they are not more special than their sisters.

Anonymous said...

Mike, you sidestepped the real question and went straight to preeminance of men.

I will rephrase it: If Christianity is "masculine" then who is the feminine model for being Christlike for women since Christ was "masculine".

Anonymous said...

"What does God mean when he says, "the husband is to be the head of the wife."?"

Kephale. It means literal "head" as on your shoulder. So we have to ask how the 1st century person would have understood it. Since we have other sources to check for this we know that they thought the "head" on your shoulder was the source for the Body. (Lots of head/body metaphors in scripture)

We also know that in the 1st Century it was believed that all thinking and decision making came from the heart. It was not until about 100 years after Paul that thinking started to change.

In the first century women were considered property of their husbands. They were basically chattel. Only wealthy Roman women had some means of independence. Ever read the Talmud/Misha? Or the Roman household codes? If you do, you will realize the situation and connect the dots. The woman in the 1st century needed this "head" as her source to live in that environment for food, shelter, etc. HEr husband was her "source". Paul makes a similar metaphor in 1 Corin 11 but show how woman came from man but then women gives birth to males. Interdependence is the message.

Paul telling all believers to submit to one another in verse 21 was a step up for women. It was very radical in that culture. But the true meaning of that passage starts earlier with "be filled with the spirit".

And those who are "filled with the spirit" have no need to run around defending some sort of superior status, as they wrongly perceive it, as being in authority over others in the Body or marriage. It is a huge sin trap for you, my friend.

Take care,
Lydia

Anonymous said...

"Does one need to be in a position of leadership to be Christlike? No. If yes, then all Christians would need to be in leadership."

Jesus came as a servant to all. Not the grand leader the Jews were waiting for to take on the Romans.

And becausse of Christ, we, true believers, are all "ministers" in the Holy Priesthood and according to 1 John, all true believers have been given "annointing" by the Holy Spirit.

There are "functions" within the body such as those who are given the gift of pastor, teacher, etc. They are not positions or offices (that word was added by translators laboring under a state church mentality). If they are then you would have had to "obey" Jim Jones had you accidently wandered into "his" fake church.

I am afraid you have fallen for the caste system of faux Christianity, my friend. It is a horrible sin trap.

Blessed are the meek. Not those who love to have preeminance over others.

Lydia

Mike Frost said...

"After these lessons, you would think today's disciples have learned these, but unfortunately, this is not so. They still need the lessons repeated as they think they are more entitled than women. May Jesus continue teaching the male disciples that obviously hard lesson that they are not more special than their sisters."

You use a word hee which is possibly the reason for so much debate. You are approaching this as if all men think they are more intitled. I would agree that many do but the ones I know who would support complimentarianisn, even if they never have heard the word, would not feel this way. I don't. If I did I would not be having this discussion with you for the sole reason you are a woman.

I'm late for dinner, so I must go. My subordinate wife who has been ill the past few days is making me dinner. What a wonderful woman. Of course this is the first meal she has prepared in about three days since I have gladly been caring for her nonstop. She wanted to get up and be active, hoping it would help. Hmmmm, how would a man who is complimentarian by nature do such a thing? I guess it is truly understanding what Chrit, who is my head, would do. Not out of intitlement but out of love.

Anonymous said...

Mike, who you are and what you do or don't do in your marriage or with women you interact with has nothing to do with the ridiculous premise of a "masculine Christianity" that you defend.

Again, I must ask who is our feminine role model for Christ- likeness since Christ was male and the masculine aspects of Christianity are considered important?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Mike, who you are and what you do or don't do in your marriage or with women you interact with on blogs has nothing to do with the ridiculous premise of a "masculine Christianity" that you defend.

Again, I must ask who is our feminine role model for Christ- likeness since Christ was male and the masculine aspects of Christianity are considered important?

Lydia

Victorious said...

Mike, you said:

"You are approaching this as if all men think they are more intitled. I would agree that many do but the ones I know who would support complimentarianisn, even if they never have heard the word, would not feel this way. I don't. "

You may have convinced me, had you:

1) Not labeled your wife as "subordinate"

2) Said she was preparing dinner for "us" rather than just for you

3) Said that Christ is "our" head

Your words are still self-centered and so Jesus' lessons to his disciples about the "equal" value of women still seems to have escaped you.

Carry on...continue learning.

Bless you on your journey.

Mike Frost said...

"You may have convinced me, had you:

1) Not labeled your wife as "subordinate"

2) Said she was preparing dinner for "us" rather than just for you

3) Said that Christ is "our" head

Your words are still self-centered and so Jesus' lessons to his disciples about the "equal" value of women still seems to have escaped you."

I guess you missed the intentional humor. For clarity though, she was fixing dinner for me, she was not hungry. The tuna fish sandwiches were terrific.

As far as # 3, to say such would speak directly against what scripture states. Who am I to make such a statement when God's word states it clearly one way.

"Your words are still self-centered"

As are yours.

"and so Jesus' lessons to his disciples about the "equal" value of women still seems to have escaped you."

The lessons were not about the equality of women in servant leadership roles but the proclamation that women are not second class citizens who are to be trampled upon.

Carry on...continue learning.

Ditto.

Mike Frost said...

"Again, I must ask who is our feminine role model for Christ- likeness since Christ was male and the masculine aspects of Christianity are considered important?"

Christ is the role model, not in his masculinity but in what he taught and in his character. God did not design women to take on the Christian role he gave men, no matter how much they want to have the role or how many men give it to them.

Victorious said...

"Christ is the role model, not in his masculinity but in what he taught and in his character. God did not design women to take on the Christian role he gave men, no matter how much they want to have the role or how many men give it to them."

The only "role" Jesus gave a man is to love their wives and sacrifice himself for her should he marry.

You may be interested, btw, in the misuse of the word "role" in furthering a hierarchy agenda.

http://www.pbpayne.com/?p=539

Johnny D. said...

Wow. I had no idea. Thanks for this eye-opening post, Wade. I'm going to read through the links myself.

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...

Mike Frost,

Based on your most recent comment - "God did not design women to take on the Christian role he gave men, no matter how much they want to have the role or how many men give it to them", I'm sure you're overjoyed by how Aussie Ken Ham describes his submissive wife.

Interview with Ken Ham

"Mally is a very, very submissive, supportive wife. She has always supported me five million percent."

Anonymous said...

"Christ is the role model, not in his masculinity but in what he taught and in his character."

There. That was not so hard. So his masculinity has nothing much to do with it. Because, IN CHRIST, there is no male nor female.


" God did not design women to take on the Christian role he gave men, no matter how much they want to have the role or how many men give it to them."

I cannot find "role" in the bible. Only functions and it seems by your interpretation no single men, either. :o) But I find it strange that Deborah and Hulda were allowed to teaach men in the OT but there is new prohibition in the New Covenant. Very strange, indeed.

But you hold on tight to your preeminance in "role" for all it's worth.

Anonymous said...

"There. That was not so hard. So his masculinity has nothing much to do with it. Because, IN CHRIST, there is no male nor female.
"

I guess this means the only thing Mike has left is body parts to argue his "roles"?

Anonymous said...

"God did not design women to take on the Christian role he gave men, no matter how much they want to have the role or how many men give it to them."

I'm a widowed mother of three children ages 9, 11 and 13. I lost my husband almost 7 years ago. As a result, I've had to take on roles I never dreamed I would have to take on. Just exactly where does it leave me and my children if there are certain roles that God never designed me to take on? Am I to only do the woman's role? Who takes care of the man role for me?

Having done all roles in the family for almost 7 years, it makes no sense to me to have a list of what I can and can't do....because, frankly, I've done all of the roles and done them fairly well...and my kids are well adjusted, doing great in school and love the Lord. I wish things were different....but they aren't and so I make the best of it, roll up my sleeves and do what has to be done in order to raise a family.

Thy Peace said...

NYT > Genetic Maker of Men Is Diminished but Holding Its Ground, Researchers Say

Mike Frost said...

"I'm a widowed mother of three children ages 9, 11 and 13. I lost my husband almost 7 years ago. As a result, I've had to take on roles I never dreamed I would have to take on. Just exactly where does it leave me and my children if there are certain roles that God never designed me to take on? Am I to only do the woman's role? Who takes care of the man role for me?"

Scripture teadches that sin brought death into the world. As a result many godly women, such as your self, will find themselves without the spouse God chose for them. I wish it were not so but sin does these things.

I applaud you for filling the roles within the home where there was no male figure. I praise God you have well adjusted children who love Jesus and are moving forward in their lives even with being without that present father figure.

With that said, maybe the easiest way I can say it is, this is not nor ever was God's design for the home. Sin disrupted and messed up God's plan. That you did these things and did them with grace and did them well does not change God's blueprint for the home, or the church. Do I think you were living in sin because there was no male presence to take on that role? Not at all. I think you did what had to be done with what you were faced with. No where do I find in scripture that a widow must go find a husband so there is a male presence. No where.

here is what I think needs to be stated. When there is a husband in the picture, it is his god given responsibility to lead (not dictate). Lead out of love for what is best for the family. taking the spouses feelings into consideration but knowing that when all is said and done, he will stand before God for his role as the husband / father.

I undersand that when a man is not in the picture we ought not to ignore the role they offer. For the sake of the kids, they need to see that side of a family. I believe you did well and applaud you for your heart and service.

Mike Frost said...

"Because, IN CHRIST, there is no male nor female."

Scripture teaches this clearly within the subject of salvation. If the bible takes it further thanthis can you point us to that passage?

Anonymous said...

"Scripture teaches this clearly within the subject of salvation. If the bible takes it further thanthis can you point us to that passage?"

Go back and read the whole thing. It is talking about full inheritance. I can imagine some did not like that truth about slaves, either, back then.

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...

Mike Frost,

Out of curiosity, did you contribute to this book?

The Shaping of Things to Come

Mike Frost said...

Wanda,

No I did not.

Victorious said...

...."it is his god given responsibility to lead (not dictate)."

Scripture please.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

One thing I failed to mentioned (but should be noted) is that we had a partnership marriage where leadership was shared. When he died unexpectedly, I wasn't left helpless. I had experience in many things because we didn't have strict roles. There was freedom in our marriage to allow each other to lead in areas of giftedness....and freedom to defer to the other person for the final decision.

I can't think of an instance where he "had" to make the final decision. We always prayed until we got on the same page and then made the decision.
I think we will both stand before God and be held accountable for our actions, not just him.

It is because of the partnership (and of course God's grace) that I was able to move forward and trust that my life is not second best, even if I would have planned it differently. Yes, I would give anything to have their father back in our lives. However, I can't live thinking we are a second class family who is settling for a second best life. We have a beautiful life. None of us have the pre-fall life....and all of us are affected by sin, not just those with the status of single parent, widowed parent, etc.

Mike Frost said...

"I think we will both stand before God and be held accountable for our actions"

I agree.

Gene S said...

On simple comment: When bull excrement becomes so stirred, somebody is going to get sick!

When women get griped off, somebody is going to sleep on the couch and regret the day he demeaned his wife for not being a partner in marriage

Mike Frost said...

Gene,

Partners can still have a leader among them. As far as sleeping on the couch, I'll take your word for it that it really happens. Personally, I would not know.

Victorious said...

"Partners can still have a leader among them"

Scripture, please.

Gene S said...

Mike---did you get the name Frost before you married or after?

Maybe, if your daddy was like you, he got frosted for being always first!

My parents were the best. When momma went to work teaching school, daddy saw no shame in starting supper nor grocery shopping to help her new responsibilities balance with family life.

I think much of this has to do with men being lazy and enjoying their sports on TV while the wife slaves and tries to do the impossible.

Leadership comes from respect which any wise husband earns by helping with things needed----like pick up your clothes and vacuum when needed!

Kate Johnson said...

And, from what I understand (and I admit to not having read it but only quotes from it) Driscoll also calls for "soft paternity" in the home in his new book about Marriage. No thank you.
Let me tell you what soft paternity leads to... spankings, beating and abuse. Now, before an uproar takes place, I am NOT saying all complementarians are abusive, but it does often become the excuse to abuse. Texts are taken out of context to justify the abuse, even hitting wives because men "are the head and must teach the wife to submit." I deal with this ALL the time in my ministry. (you can find us at www.ccada.org) I also dealt with this all the time in my own life, over 25 years of abusive marriage, staying because I was told to be more submissive and I bought into that crap. And then the woman is blamed for the abuse she suffers because she is not submissive enough. It becomes her fault that her husband has to resort to abuse. Sad, very sad.
If we truly want to take scripture in context, how about Eph 5:21 before Eph 5:22? There is no word “submit” in 5:22. It is in 5:21 where we are instructed to submit ONE TO ANOTHER. There is a mutuality in Scripture that is often abandoned in favor of a text taken out of context.
Now, please here me. I am NOT saying all comps are abusive, but I am saying that it is a slippery slope. Women are to be honored, respected and treated as equal in all respects, as leaders and as equal heirs to the kingdom – apart from finding salvation through a human male. We do not need a mediator, we already have a Mediator.

Mike Frost said...

"Leadership comes from respect which any wise husband earns by helping with things needed"

All the complimentarians I know help around the house. They wash clothes, cook supper, pick up after them selves...

I am sure there are some who do not. I am quite sure there are those who are egalitarian who do not help out around the house.

Complimentarianism is not a road to laziness. Laziness is a character flaw, not a theological position. Making such a claim is about as honest as saying egalitarian men are sissies. The argument doesn't hold water. Does it>

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

Thanks for sharing this. It is easy to come across as unloving when exposing the truth, but you have nailed it in a loving way. Thanks for your example! As a woman, I have a really deep negative reaction in my gut right now to what is going on a Mars Hill. Glad it's not just me that can see this stuff. Thanks again.

phill said...

I am a man, and left the church after being a pastor in some large churches for over 13 years.

Now that I have been out of the game for three years I have often wondered what church attracted me before I became a pastor in my mid twenties.

And the answer was none of them. It was Christ who attracted me.

I am not advocating not being in fellowship or attending a church...I still go to a church.

But what I have found is that my identity in Christ is what makes me a man...the mission of christ is what gives me purpose.

I have moved over the last three years of only having "christian" friends to almost having none...I spend more time with Muslims and atheists than I do Christians. It is the place that God's plan for my life have placed me.

I wanted to post this because after giving my life to christ I was trained up in a mars hill type church. I loved it as a young man, newly married, and not having a clue about Christ, marriage, or relationships.

But now that I am older their is no way we would survive in such a place...because what I have learned is that Yes men are warriors...but being a Vet and spending a lot of time with Vet's, women are just as capable of being a warrior...

And anyone who thinks that women cant take care of business come spend a moment with my wife...she will run circles around you.

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog. Driscoll's not a theologian nor a pastor and lacks training and oversight. Everything he does reflects lack of spiritual character and maturity. He attracts a certain slice of the western population who want to invent their Christianity as they go..."Buyer beware". Don't buy what he's selling.

Anonymous said...

The Mars Hill call for the church to 'man up' is more a tin can clanging than a trumpet sounding. To 'Christ up' would have more resonance. These man-ster sermons come off more like the bleating of sheep who need affirmation to their sexuality, as if a more Man-God icon at their altar will make them more male themselves.

Mars Hill is the religious equivalent of a gang of adolescents bashing beer cans on their foreheads and yelling 'boooyah!', thrilled for having consumed their first beer. Replace the beer can with a bible and the shout with 'Me Man! Me Man!' and you've got the picture that comes to mind. Well. mine anyway.

Real Men don't need constant confirmation of their masculinity. You either is or you ain't. Get used to it but don't let it go to your head. (pun intended, compliments of Ephesians)

/superman-and-i-know-it

Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew said...

Having talked to with the leaders of several churches about this issue I'm left with a question. What would happen in a church where leadership was shared with women. I find it just a little bit suspicious that men seem to be so terrified of the idea. Even the complimentarian pastors I've spoken with came to the following conclusion with me: that women's relationship with men has been modeled since creation; that a women's vote in a decision is not only important, but essential; that without the unique qualities of female leadership, then the church is missing fifty percent of the picture. How many women have a vote in the decision to disallow women from entering leadership? The idea of complimentarianism only raises more questions for me. The thing that upsets me the most is the idea that one size fits all. I am a staunch egalitarian, but our household looks very traditional. When you limit the giftings of women in the church do you help grow the community faster, or slower? When is a women allowed to speak truth to a man, and how does a man know when he has the authority to take council from a women? Where do women fit into the picture? The whole idea of complimentarianism only serves to marginalize women's importance in the church. More dangerously it opens up grey areas like spousal rape to exist without contest. I could go on, but these are just a few of my questions and concerns.

Wade Burleson said...

Matthew,

An excellent comment.

Our Leadership Team at Emmanuel (trustees and Chairman of Committees) has five women (of the twelve total).

They are sharp, excellent leaders.

Our church is better BECAUSE of their gifts. It makes me wonder how dysfunctional churches really are that discount or suppress women.

Jim Henderson said...

you might enjoy my book The Resignation of Eve www.resignationofeve.com

Anonymous said...

The sermons at Mars Hill are not the only problem. At a "Bible" retreat/conference for men only Driscoll punched himself in the face after a presentation..daring the other men present to do so as well.(There used to be a You Tube video of this but it was taken offline long before trouble started brewing in more recent times).

Most of the attendees did not participate, but some starting literally playing "fight club" after Mark's little show.

Scotty Newman said...

It is sad that people like MD (a bit of humor... in the sixties, MD referred to a wine made by Mogen David that was nicknamed "Mad Dog". That sadly seems to fit Mark Driscoll) are able to deceive young people. If I recall correctly, Jesus said that "He who would be greatest shall be servant to all". It seems that the only "service" Mark is willing to give his wife is lip service. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5 that men are supposed to "love their wives as Christ loved the church, and gave His life for it". How did Jesus serve? He not only gave His life for us, He washed feet. I wonder if Mark does the equivalent today? I have a beautiful wife who serves me, and guess what? I serve her. I do dishes, vacuum, etc. Even though I am in ministry, my 1st ministry is to love Jesus, and my second ministry is to show my wife that same serving love. So many people do not understand Ephesians 5:20 through the end of the chapter. It is about love that is mutually serving & mutually submitting. My wife and I really do this (and we credit God's grace that He has given us this gift). I wonder what Mark's "service" to his wife looks like. If he practices what he preaches, I feel so sorry for her.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

Dear Wade, since I'm not a technical whiz on googleplus I am writing this here- you may delete it if it is too much of a high-jack of another issue!

Feel free to email me about it on www.facebook.com/theblogbitesbetterthanthebullet

I really want to hear your thoughts about this- my thoughts so far are below the link that concerns me. God bless!

http://pastormark.tv/2012/09/04/5-reasons-why-esther-may-be-the-toughest-bible-book-ive-ever-preached

As a woman who has been very hurt by many of the things Mark has said in Real Marriage and publicly elsewhere, I am REALLY concerned about Mark's claim that Esther was predominantly a sexual sinner and his focus on the "sin" rather than the grace that God showed to his people in placing her in the right place at the right time. I don't believe she ever had a choice, and she was a virgin until given to the king, and I believe there are cultural implications that Mark is butchering to make his warped points!

I am wondering if there is any way he could be challenged on this stuff, though it is clear to me he does not listen to anyone he doesn't agree with, and wouldn't see a female such as myself as qualified to raise a concern with him in love.

I am terribly concerned that if he is allowed to continue to run unchecked in this way that untold damage will [continue to] be done to the church universal, and that women will be considered as somehow lesser than men in the kingdom of God!

I am happy to support my husband and submit to male eldership where God puts us; I am not happy to be somehow considered MORE culpable than Adam for the Fall! I believe this is from whence such thinking flows.

Your comments would be much appreciated: I did try to write Mark with concern on his Facebook wall in June when he announced this series and called Esther a sexual sinner, etc., but I was ignored.

Anonymous said...

I see lots and lots of cherry-picking of scripture to serve as "proof" of what God meant. I'll let you decide if I mean the wife-beating neanderthals or the feminazi's.

If you can't pull a coherent message from scripture over the difference between men and women in the Christian faith, you aren't praying enough. If you DO have a coherent thought, and your church doesn't meet your expectations, find one where you fit in. Feeling "sorry" for some other church/group who believes differently on this kind of secondary issue is just a nasty bit of passive aggression.

I think this energy would be better spent talking to people who don't know God at all.