Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 1 part 4 commentary 2, the predictable conformity to the world by gender in Driscoll's survey of men and women who don't and do want domestic life


So do not love the world. Number two, do not let it shape your values.  Paul says in Romans 12, "Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world. Don't let this world set your value system. I mean hundreds of women I've spoken to they say, "I love Jesus and I wanna be a mom and I wanna stay home and I wanna raise my kids, but, but what will everyone else think? They're gonna think that I'm, I'm just a mom."

Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world [with a slight chuckle]. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, keep reading your Bible and see what God says. "Yeah, but if I'm just a wife and I'm just a mom and I'm staying home with my little kids, you know, what am I gonna boast about?  I can't boast about my job and how much I make and, and all the cool things I do and all the people I help and all the places I travel.  What am I gonna brag about?" Pride?

When Driscoll moves to discuss how one should no longer be conformed to the pattern of this world and be transformed by the renewal of the mind it's no surprise at all that his examples come from his pastoral counseling.  It's also no surprise that the case studies take the form of an aggregate gestalt and conform to particular notions about gender. 

Thus, the woman at Mars Hill feels as though she's got nothing to boast in if she's just a wife and a mom?  Mars Hill was the kind of church where if a married couple decided to have children and it took a couple of years to get pregnant the child could be hailed as a miracle baby.  On the moderated Midrash it was not that difficult to see women advocate for natural family planning or to even suggest that one should simply trust God will provide a way to provide for the children you don't avoid having because you want to trust that God will provide a way.  In Real Marriage Driscoll took time to say some guys sinfully didn't want to man up and give their wives the babies they wanted and that such desires were good and godly on the part of the women because they're clinging to childish ways (page 52 or thereabouts in Real Marriage).

Considering how much Driscoll has bragged over the years the idea that women in the church would come to him fretting about not being able to boast seems ... well ... incredible. 

And then there's ... :

I meet with guys, same thing, "Why should I get married? If I get married then I've gotta sleep with one woman for the rest of my life and then I get to hear about my buddies and all the women they're sleeping with and, you know, why is marriage a good thing? Why shouldn't I just stay single and enjoy a lot of women?" Uh, really, the whole point of life is to lust with your eyes, to feed the desires of your fallen flesh and then boast about all the women you conquered? That's demonic. It's not just an alternative lifestyle, it's demonic. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. It's an issue of getting people to think differently and think biblically because, again, the world is absolutely at work in every way to inform, to instruct, to shape the value system of people.

Wenatchee The Hatchet was not in the habit of going to the mens' retreats at Mars Hill (which were ludicrously named "advances" because men weren't supposed to "retreat", though WtH has been informed by military service folks that the preferred nomenclature has since turned into "tactical repositioning" which is a wonderfully defeat-neutral way of describing what used to be called "retreat"!).

So Driscoll was regaling folks with how women in the church felt that if they were "just" a wife and mother that was somehow nothing in spite of it being promoted relentlessly, meanwhile, somehow, guys were insisting that it made no sense to marry cuz then, dude, the guy has to have sex with just one woman.  Right.

As for boasts of conquests what about Driscoll's obsession with repeatedly saying at the end of each fiscal year how many baptisms happened, how many "marriages got saved", how many weddings happened, how many campuses opened?  If the axiomatic Driscoll bro-dude wants to boast of the women he's conquered it seems irrelevant since a reconstruction of some generic man or woman pales in comparison to the boasts Driscoll has made in public, to say nothing of what boasts he may have done in private.  We're not even counting humblebrags here.

And let's not forget that the Board of Advisors & Accountability defended the use of Result Source Inc. to pump sales for Real Marriage as not technically illegal.  After having inveighed against side companies in 2009 Driscoll set one up in 2011 to manage book royalties.  If Driscoll wants to tell other people boasting is satanic then Driscoll may want to take stock of how much boasting he's done.

And with respect to Driscoll hearing guys boast of their sexual conquests ... let's say it's true for the sake of discussion.

Real Marriage
Mark and Grace Driscoll
Copyright (c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 978-1-4002-0383-3
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0 (IE)
from pages 14-15
Mark: In the second year of the church we had a lot of single people getting married, and so I decided to preach through the Song of Songs on the joys of marital intimacy and sex. the church grew quickly, lots of people got married, many women became pregnant, and my counseling load exploded. I started spending dozens of hours every week dealing with every kind of sexual issue imaginable. It seemed as if every other young woman in our church had been sexually assaulted in some fashion, every guy was ensnared by porn, and every married and premarital couple had a long list of tricky sex questions. Day after day, for what became years, I spent hours meeting with people untangling the usual sexual knots in their lives, reading every book and section of the Bible I could find that related to their needs.

Although I loved our people and my wife, this only added to my bitterness.  I had a church filled with single young 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.  [emphasis added]

As Driscoll noted, pastoral counseling was something that made him resent his wife even more than he already did because he got to hear how much sex everybody else in the church but him was apparently having.  It almost sounds as though Mark Driscoll may have envied the amount of sex, if not the variety of partners, some of these alluded to but not necessarily ever-identifiable guys in Mars Hill were having.

And there's this other thing, Driscoll keeps evading that the housing bubble and financial crashes have played a role in guys not marrying in the last ten years.  While the neo-Calvinists have bewailed the crisis of "adultescence" over the last decade and wrung their hands about how the median age of first marriage is higher than it's ever been what about the statistical possibility that the last time that statistic was so high was during the Great Depression?  Maybe there are a lot of people who would like to marry or eventually marry but find they can't?  As the population in the United States ages into retirement and out of the work force there are settings in which being married can penalize older couples on matters like health care and eligibility. 

And as Wenatchee The Hatchet has noted at some length, one of the conundrums in markulinity is Mark Driscoll's habitual failure to have lived up to his own ideals of manhood.  It'd be absurd if Driscoll told single guys to not even bother marrying unless they were making 75k a year if Driscoll wasn't already making that himself, and if he was then how did he reach that point?  If you're the president of a corporation you co-founded it "could" be easier to set that kind of compensation.

This section of the warfare presentation is a bit banal and that's precisely because it's a parade of Driscollian gender expectation.  The other two case studies that came up later in the session are of slightly more interest.

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