Thursday, August 21, 2014

from earlier this year, Mark Driscoll on bitterness as a satanic foothold circa 2008, cf his bitterness at Grace over a lack of sex per Real Marriage in 2012

This material was first discussed on March 17, 2014.  Since Mark Driscoll has seen fit to start a multi-part series on spiritual warfare recently it seemed good to revisit material from the 2008 Spiritual Warfare teaching session he gave at a leaders-only event in which he expounded on a variety of topics. 

For those who know the narrative of Real Marriage Mark Driscoll mentioned how he figured once he and Grace were married his sex life could pick up where it left off but he discovered his previously fun and carefree girlfriend became his fearful and frigid wife.  This became a point of bitterness for Mark Driscoll. 

This revelation on the part of Mark Driscoll in the 2012 book was alarming for many of us who were attending Mars Hill at earlier stages of its history.  For instance, while there was much talk about "Pussified Nation" it was probably overlooked that William Wallace II also wrote "Using Your Penis."  Even if we assume for the sake of conversation that Driscoll was playing a character one can fairly ask on what material he was drawing for the character because it was pretty clearly not William Wallace but some other person's experience.  Whose, exactly?  Note that the way William Wallace II lays out the following problem presupposes unfaithful unmanly men who end up marrying Christian women raised on a steady diet of "gnosticism" and view sex as dirty and then the guy ends up in this bummer marriage where there's not that much sex and what sex there is is guilt-ridden.  To read the text would suggest that this was second-hand rather than first-hand observations on the part of William Wallace II ... or so it seemed to a few readers at the time.
William Wallace II
Member   posted 01-18-2001 11:13 AM             
Christian pornography. Christian phone sex. Christian cyber-sex. Christian lap dances.
Someone recently asked me about these issues. And, they are quite valid.

The problem with many unfaithful unmanly unmen is that they have heads filled with desires and dreams, but they marry a Christian women raised on a steady diet of gnosticism (so she hates her body) psychology (so she thinks too much before she climbs into bed) and guilt ridden don't have sex because it's a dirty nasty thing that God hates and makes you a slut youth group propaganda from hell/Family Books.

So the poor guy is like a starving man who is told he can only eat once ever couple weeks and his restaurant only has one crummy unspiced bland item on the menu and he either eats it or starves to death.

Bummer for that guy.

What the guy wants is to see a stripper, a porno, and have some phone and cyber sex. What the guy needs is a good Christian woman. The kind of woman who knows that men like unclothed and sexually aggressive women. Why? Because they are breathing. As long as a man is alive he is ready for sex every minute of every day.

Ladies, listen closely. The guy will never get the big dreams out of his head. He can either explore them with his wife, become bitter and sexually repressed, or sneak off to Deja Vu or log on to the net and escape in a moment of adventure. Birds fly, ducks float, dogs bark, and men think about sex every minute of every day because they have a magical ability to continually think of two things at one time, one of which is always sex. Any man who denies this is a liar or has broken plumbing.
So it would behoove a good godly woman to learn how to strip for her husband. Some nice music, a couple of drinks, candlight and a wife who has thrown her youth group devotionals to the wind would be nice. Most women do not do this because they are uncomfortable with their bodies. Know that for a man there are two variables with a woman's body. One, what does she have to work with? Two, how does she use it? Now I will tell you a secret, number two is the most important.

How about a Christian guy who wants to watch porno? Maybe his wife should get a Polaroid and snap a few shots of her in various states of marital undress and bliss and sneak them into his Bible so that when the guy sits down to eat his lunch at work and read some Scripture he has reasons to praise God. Or, maybe if the lady would plug in a camcorder and secretly film herself showering, undressing, making love to her husband etc. she could give it to him when he's on the road for weeks at a time, or maybe just so the poor guy can see his wife as some undressed passionate goddess. I have yet to find a wife take me up on this be rebuked by her husband.

And what guy breaking his stones on the job every day wouldn't like a hot phone call from his wife now and then telling him in great detail what awaits him when he gets home. Or how about the occasional instant explicit message from his wife rolling across his screen giving him some reasons to expect that dessert will precede dinner that night.

Do you know why the adult entertainment industry is raking in billions of dollars? Because people like to have sex and have fun. Does it lead to sin? Yes. Can it lead to worship. Of course. If you resist this message, please stay single until you get your head straightened out. If you are married and fully constipated, bummer for you and your upcoming divorce.

And this interpretation would tend to have been reinforced by comments from the pulpit years later in which Driscoll would sound off on how happily married he was.
Part 6:1 Timothy 3:1-7
Preached February 08, 2004

... I love my wife. I've been totally faithful to her. I'm a one-woman man. I met her at 17. I married her at 21. I've been chasing her ever since.  I'm quicker than she is, so I'm happily married.  You know, things are good. I just am. I love my wife. I adore my wife. I enjoy my wife, you know? ...

There were potential hints that not everything was ideal.
[roughly one hour in]

...Elimelech is the guy--everything falls apart. It looks dark, it looks bad. He takes a poll he makes a plan. He decides Moab has a lower cost of living. Moab has more vocational opportunity. Moab has food on the table. I will make a plan, I will be the sovereign. I will take care of everything. Trust me. I know what I'm doing. He leads well. He plans well. He tries to be the sovereign (they're all going to die anyways). I am Elimelech.

I asked my wife, "Which one am I?" ... She didn't even breath, didn't even take a breath, "Oh, you're Elimelech." And his name means what? MY GOD IS KING! That was me. If you asked me, Jesus, sovereign, lord, king, God! And if I ever need Him I'll call him but I don't think I do because I've got all this taken care of.

However, as noted earlier, it wasn't until the publication of Real Marriage in 2012 and the sermon series associated kicked off that things like this came along.  The new narrative suggested that perhaps the lament of William Wallace II on behalf of the guy who wasn't getting any sex in his marriage might not have been as abstracted as some former attenders of Mars Hill might have supposed.

Real Marriage: the truth about sex, friendship and life together
Mark and Grace Driscoll
Thomas Nelson
copyright (c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0

PAGE 9-10
Before long I was bitter against God and Grace. It seemed to me as if they had conspired to trap me. I had always been the "good guy" who turned down women for sex. In my twisted logic, since I had only slept with a couple of women I was in relationships with, I had been holy enough, and God owed me. I felt God had conned me by telling me to marry Grace, and allowed Grace to rule over me since she was controlling our sex life. 

PAGES 14-15
Although I loved our people and my wife, this only added to my bitterness. I had a church filled with single women who were asking me how they could stop being sexually ravenous and wait for a Christian husband; then I'd go home to a wife whom I was not sexually enjoying. 

... We still disagree on how often we had sex (I [Mark Driscoll] was bitter, and she [Grace Driscoll] was in denial, which skews the perspective), but we both agree it wasn't a healthy amount to support a loving marriage.

Now that the historic stage has been sit for the bitterness that Mark Driscoll said he harbored against his wife and against God, we can proceed back to the rather long and substantial 2008 spiritual warfare lecture Mark Driscoll gave. 

While Mars Hill scrubbed the content of the 2008 Spiritual Warfare series about a week after Wenatchee The Hatchet broached this topic and its background in Driscollian material, the material seems relevant again now that Mark Driscoll has a new spiritual warfare series going up that largely recapitulates the basic ideas from the earlier series but in a significantly more sanitized written form compared to the rambling audio session of 2008.  A particularly salient quote is where Driscoll references a statement by Amy Carmichael about how bitterness is like water in a glass, that the water is already either bitter or sweet and that the bitter person was full of bitterness and can't blame the offender for that bitterness.  Driscoll also spent a considerable amount of time describing bitterness as a satanic foothold.  But the Carmichael paraphrase will arrive ... :
February 5, 2005
Mark Driscoll
Part 2, The Devil

about 34:10
The way bitterness works, as well, is bitter people are prone to blame their bitterness on the person that they perceive offended them. Amy Carmichael. she's a missionary, her little book If, she gives this great analogy she says:

If I have a glass filled with sweet water and I bump it, what comes out? Sweet water. She says if I have a glass of bitter water and I bump it, what comes out?  Bitter water.

All that sin against us, perceived sin against us, or bitter envy and selfish ambition by us reveal is what's already in our heart. The bitterness is IN there, and someone or some thing spilled it. And bitter people will say, "Look what you made me do. You made me sin, you made me gossip, you made me angry, you made me bitter, you made me fight, you made me run into conflict, you made me sin in my anger. Look what you made me do." And the answer is, "I didn't make you do anything. That was what was in your heart." I just bumped you.

about 45:00
What he says is, if you're a Christian and God, through Jesus Christ, is not bitter with you but forgives you then you must use the Gospel in your relationships to forgive other people. You have no reason to be bitter with them. In being bitter with them what you are saying is, "I refuse to use the Gospel for my relationships. I refuse to allow Jesus to do anything." And when you say that you ARE saying, "I am inviting Satan instead."

Now if Driscoll were to have applied all of this teaching to himself  and his long bitterness against his wife over the lack of sex in the marriage wouldn't that bitterness be inviting Satan instead of Jesus to define a key element of the relationship?  It would see as though if Driscoll applied his own teachings about others to himself he would have to reach this general kind of conclusion.  What happened after Wenatchee The Hatchet raised this question months ago was Mars Hill simply scrubbed the Spiritual Warfare material from their website without any announcement of explanation. 

But in light of formal charges coming to light and pastors expressing concerns about Mark Driscoll having said things behind closed doors there are reasons a person could raise questions about whether Driscoll applies to himself teaching he was comfortable applying to others that was available for public consultation for years. 

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