Thursday, August 21, 2014

a new series on spiritual warfare by Mark Driscoll has been going up, Driscoll in the present on gossip and Driscoll in 2008 on gossip (with respect to women, especially)

This series has been going up over the last month even while Driscoll was on vacation, which suggests that either Driscoll has had a very, very loose understanding of taking a sabbatical from social media or some suitable proxy has been reassembling and recycling older material on his behalf during the hiatus.  Precisely what inspired a recycling of old material about spiritual warfare might be difficult to discern.
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Posted: Aug 21, 2014

Spiritual warfare, part 5: Satan’s schemes
Scheme 3: the Devil

The Bible speaks of Satan’s work in what can commonly be understood as the ordinary demonic and the extraordinary demonic.

Ordinary demonic work entices us to sexual sin, marriage between Christians and non-Christians, false religion with false teaching about a false Jesus, unforgiving bitterness, foolishness and drunkenness, idle gossiping and busy-bodying, lying, idolatry, attacking our identity through false and condemning thoughts, demonic dreams and night terrors.

Extraordinary demonic work includes torment, physical injury, counterfeit miracles, accusation, death, and interaction with demons.

But since the material has been going up it might be a suitable time to revisit some earlier material in which Mark Driscoll has addressed gossip as a sub-topic in a discussion about spiritual warfare.
Spiritual Warfare part 2, The Devil
February 5, 2008

about 50 minutes in to the 1 hour mark.

How about this one? Idle gossip and busybodying. 1 Timothy 5:11-15. This one is amazing. Ladies this one is especially for you. Some of you say, "Oh, it's not me." Yeah, it is. 1 Timothy 5:11-15, but refuse to enroll younger widows for when their passions draw them away from Christ they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.  Besides that they learn to be idlers

Women learn how to make a lot of free time. Going about from house to house. Well now it would be from email to email and from phone call to phone call. Technology makes idle busybodying far more effective than ever.

And not only idlers but also gossips. They like to talk about people. How are you doing? What are you doing? And this isn't sisterly accountability, this is "I need to know what everybody's doing because I like to know what everybody's doing and then I can tell other people what other people are doing and then I can say, `Hey, you need to pray for so-and-so.' and I can make it sound spiritual so that when I'm gossiping and busy-bodying I'm doing so in a way that seems really Jesus-like." And busybodies, they need to know what everybody's doing. They need to know what everybody's doing, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children and manage their household, right? Stay busy, and give the adversary (that's Satan) no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. Hmm.

A woman who's a gossip and a busybody; a woman who has to put her nose in everybody's business and knows what everybody's going on; know what they're doing, she's working with Satan. Now I know most women would say, "No, no, no. I'm not Satanic, I'm concerned. I'm not Satanic, I'm an intercessor. I'm a prayer warrior. I'm not Satanic, I'm an accountability partner.  I'm not Satanic, I'm a concerned friend."  Okay, you're a Satanic intercessory prayer warrior accountability partner concerned friend but just start the whole list with "Satanic" so that we don't misunderstand your job description. 

Now there's a difference between someone inviting you into their life and saying, "I want to be friends, I want to have an accountable  relationship." and you pushing yourself into everyone's life, okay?  I'll tell you, in the history of Mars Hill, I mean, I have had to put up a firewall, a moat, guard dogs, and a high wall with barbed wire on top, and snipers behind it, around my wife. There are certain women who, they just need to know what Grace is doing and they are determined, they say things like, uh, "Hey, we need to have dinner with your family." [slight chuckle] No you don't. "Hey, we need to have coffee." No you don't.  "Hey, phone number." What? Nope. "Email." Nope.  Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

"Oh, come on." Nope.
"But I thought you were our pastor."
I am and my first lesson is to tell you you're Satanic.
"Oh, come on, in our last church the pastor's wife [sob] she was my best friend and I got to talk to her all the time."

Well, she was Satanic, too.  Give me her number, I'll call her and tell her. We'll help her out.
You ladies KNOW these women. Right? How many of you ladies know these women? They will try first with the hyper-spiritual, "Oh, praise the Lord! I'd love to pray for you. Let's get together. Let's do Christian community. Let's go to heart." If you decline, then they emotionally manipulate, [inhales, sobbing voice], "I thought we were friends, I thought you loved me. I don't have anybody to talk to." It's all manipulation. It's FEMALE manipulation.  Some of you ladies, right now? You think, "I can't believe he said that." It's all true. It's Satanic, Satanic.

Paul says, "Don't be a busybody, stay busy." Right? Your husband, your kids, your family, your home, Jesus Christ. You got things to do.

Busybodies stay busy inserting themselves into everyone else's life. In some churches there are certain women, if you call them, they'll know everything that's going on because, somehow, they know everything. There's a difference between being a woman who is invited into someone's life for friendship, prayer and accountability, and a woman who emotionally manipulates and is pushy and is sometimes hyperspiritual and demanding and forces herself in because she's a drama queen and has to be at the center of all the drama. That is a Satanic woman.

You need to believe that and the worst thing you can do is accomodate it. Okay, we'll have you over for dinner once. And then, the next month, it's "Okay, buddy, we haven't been together in a month. We need to get together again. I'm sure a lot has happened in your life and I don't know what it is and I need to know because I need to know everything. I have a God complex of omniscience. I want to know everything about everybody." And what you find with these people, Paul says, they tend to be gossips, meaning you don't just talk to them, then they talk to other people.  "Well, did you know their marriage is struggling? Did you know that she's depressed?  Did you know that  she's post-partum?  Do you know that, sexually, her husband's impotent?" These are conversations I've heard in this building. Really?

Sometimes womens' ministry is the cesspool that this kind of activity flourishes in. Some have asked, "Why don't you have womens' ministry?" The answer is we do, but it's, you have to be very careful, it's like juggling knives. You put the wrong women in charge of womens' ministry, the drama queen, the gossip mama, all of a sudden all the women come together, tell her everything, she becomes the pseudo-elder  quasi-matriarch; she's got the dirt on everybody and sometimes the women all get together to rip on their husbands in the name of prayer requests. Happens all the time. Happens all the time. We have worked very hard so that the women who teach here are like Wendy Alsup who I really love and appreciate and respect. She's not like that. It is not that no woman should lead, that no woman should teach, that no woman should in a position of authority over other women  under the authority of their husband, Jesus and the elders it's just that the wrong women tend to want it. The wrong women tend to want it and they tend to want it for the wrong reasons. And sometimes it's the humble woman, who isn't fighting to be the center of drama, control and power; who doesn't have to be up front; she's usually the one who is most capable and qualified.  

And for you single men as well I would say be very, very careful because if you're on staff at Mars Hill  (everything I say sounds terrible, this will just be added to the pile) there are certain women who will tell you, "I want to marry a pastor." Really? You should want to marry a Christian who loves Jesus, loves you, loves your kids should God give them to you. I've lectured enough Bible colleges and seminaries, the young women who come up and say, "I want to marry a pastor"  my immediate default question is, "Are you a gossip? Are you a busybody? Are you a drama queen?" "No. No, I feel called to serve the Lord."  Well, you can serve the Lord without being called to be a pastor's wife in fact, take it from me, it's easier to be a woman and serve the Lord than being married to a pastor.   You single  guys, you gotta be careful, man. There are some women, they want to marry a pastor so they can be the center of power, authority; they can be the first lady;  everybody knows them, everybody wants to be their friend, everybody wants to tell them everything; and they can be the center of all the drama. Run for your life. Run for your life. Run for your life. It's Satanic.

See?  I need you women to really search your own heart. Are you Satanic? Is this still part of your flesh, this sick desire in you to know everybody's business? I'm not saying you don't have friends but how much are you on the internet? How much time do you spend emailing? How much time do you spend crying nad freaking out and knowing everybody's business and on the phone and having to meet with people because, "Did you know so-and-so did such-and-such and so-and-so is feeling this way and did you?" Are you the center of LOTS of activity? Why? It's Satanic. It's Satanic. I think I've made my point.

On the subject of gossip as somehow a uniquely "feminine" or "womanly" vice Wenatchee The Hatchet has become ... skeptical.  It is possible for men to be every bit as prone to gossip as women supposedly are but men may find ways to "spiritualize" the talk in a different way.  The evasion would not come through "go to heart" rhetoric as much as "shop talk".  We're not gossiping about a guy, we're just talking about how sub-standard his work is when contractors in an industry just sorta happen to have a meeting at a bar one night.  We're not gossiping about someone so much as we're discussing current events.  It is possible for men to be even bigger gossips in some settings because of ... do we playfully call them "industry standards"?  Let's consider the text of an old statement Mark Driscoll made in 2006.  It would be the one most generally misrepresented as having ever been a commentary on Gayle Haggard.
My suspicion is that as our culture becomes more sexually rebellious, things will only get worse. Therefore, as a means of encouragement, I would like to share some practical suggestions for fellow Christian leaders, especially young men:

 •The only way to stay away from sin is to stay close to Jesus. Colossians says that we are prone to making a lot of rules but that if we don't deal with the issues in our heart, we are fooling ourselves; holiness cannot be obtained by the sheer force of white-knuckled will power. More than anyone, a Christian leader needs time with Jesus in repentance, for their own soul and not just to make them a better leader or teacher. Death comes to every Christian leader who goes to Jesus and Scripture for purely functional and not relational purposes.

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

Why did Mark Driscoll feel any need to enquire into the sex lives and sexual conversations of "most pastors I know"?  So Mark Driscoll met pastors' wives who really let themselves go?  What about Mark Driscoll's own history of weight fluctuation?  What about Mark Driscoll's career spanning bromide about how your wife is your standard of beauty.  If she let herself go then let-herself-go would be your standard of beauty if she's your wife, right?  But since Mark Driscoll by his own account objected to a "mom" cut because he loved Grace having long hair Driscoll's ability to live out in his own life the axioms he gives to others has been shaky.  If your wife is truly your standard of beauty and she tries out a "mom cut" that's your standard of beauty until she grows it back ... or is it?

Now it is probable that all of the above was merely rhetorical flourish but if Mark Driscoll was making a point to talk with most or all pastors he met about sex how, amidst all that, did he still somehow find no one to talk to about the struggles in his marriage?  And, to put Driscoll's 2006 comments up alongside his comments in 2008 about women as busybodies and gossips how, exactly, would Mark Driscoll probing the sex lives of "most pastors I know" to find they were not satisfied not an exercise in having to know what everybody was doing because he wanted to know what everybody was doing or not doing in the bedroom?  If Driscoll is willing to preach it and teach it to others has he successfully lived out in his own life the warnings to not be a gossip?  The formal charges that have recently been disclosed might themselves be considered gossip (though Paul Tripp's recent public announcement of resignation should give us pause, since if he publicly stated the BoAA cannot do what it was supposed to be doing it is not clear that leaving the charges "private" would be effective). 

And yet if Section 12.1 of the by-laws founders on there being no formal agreement of employment between Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church then the BoAA or Board of Overseers could not even remove Mark Driscoll as preaching and teaching pastor from Mars Hill precisely because the power to remove him would be stipulated on the existence of an employment agreement with terms and conditions that actually provided for his removal.  In other words, until Justin Dean and company publish the formal employment agreement that could be invoked according the bylaws Section 12.1 it's not a given that not sharing the formal charges to the public (which may or may not be what some of the former pastors have done in the last 24 hours)  would constitute "gossip" any longer.

So, we've reviewed what Driscoll has said in 2014 on gossip and a bit of 2013 content and compared that to what he said in the 2008 spiritual warfare series that got pulled earlier this year.  There are a couple of other details to be revisited from the 2008 series which, though it has been pulled has never been publicly repudiated or recanted in its substance by Mark Driscoll.  It is probably safe to operate under the supposition that until such time as Mark Driscoll publicly recants the substance of what he taught leaders in a leaders-only session in 2008 about spiritual warfare that he still subscribes to the things he taught then.  If anything the 2008 commentary on women as manipulative busybodies and gossips could do much to explain the cryptic concerns Mark Driscoll mentioned about wanting to avoid certain types of female manipulation in the earlier chapters of Real Marriage.

1 comment:

Russ Shaw said...

I gave them the benefit of the doubt for far to long...
A fellow Failed Ministry Leaders Perspective.

My Story of Spiritual warfare...
And No I didn't do it for self promotion I posted it to help my fellow brothers and sisters those who left and are still at MHC.