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? ...
This was largely the public story of Mark Driscoll about his relationship to Grace in the first half of the `00s. There were a few difficult seasons but there was rarely any sense that there was anything seriously, hugely wrong.
Of course Grace Driscoll describing her husband as a "short-fused drama queen" might have seemed like an indication that there were some things a little off.
March 6, 2008
When the Lord isn’t talking to this man, kiddingly called a short-fused drama queen by his wife, his critics are blogging about him. Some of the sharper barbs make it difficult for Driscoll to hide the hurt.
Another hint that maybe things were a bit less than picture perfect came courtesy of Mark Driscoll sharing a story. Driscoll asked Grace who he most resembled in the book of Ruth. He was probably fishing for a compliment on how like Boaz he was. Nope. Grace had a different answer altogether:
[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.
Now that Mars Hill as a corporation is dying Grace Driscoll's words may have proven remarkably prescient, perhaps?
Then Real Marriage got published.
Real Marriage: the truth about sex, friendship and life together
Mark and Grace Driscoll
copyright (c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0PAGE 9-10
Before long I was bitter agaisnt 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.
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.
This is looking like an awful lot of bitterness and if by Mark Driscoll's 2008 account bitterness is a demonic foothold and not enough sex in marriage is a demonic foothold then how demonic was the Driscoll marriage early on?
Even Mark Driscoll's counseling to young couples further fueled his bitterness. When your attempts at working in a pastoral counseling way simply fuel the bitterness and resentment you feel toward your wife over the sex life you think you deserve wouldn't that fit into what Driscoll described as bitterness being "ordinary demonic?"
If one simply quotes Mark Driscoll accurately and in context both from his 2008 teaching seminar and his 2012 marriage book it becomes difficult to avoid the question of whether, by Mark Driscoll's own teaching, the Driscoll marriage wasn't a hotbed of demonic footholds and whether or not Mark Driscoll's bitterness had over the years escalated to a damaging degree.
In fact, if one simply compares everything Mark Driscoll had to say about not-enough-sex-in-marriage and bitterness in 2008 to the narrative in Real Marriage and accepts all the statements at face value then one is virtually compelled to conclude that the majority of the Driscoll marriage was characterized by such a level of infrequent sex and bitterness that Mark Driscoll, by his own metrics, had a mountain range of demonic footholds.
It's worth asking in light of Driscoll's teaching on bitterness as demonic in 2008 and on his bitterness at a lack of sex in marriage whether this was a problem that could be remedied by reverse-engineering his life with advice from Jon Phelps. Hadn't Driscoll by his own account gotten bored with MH and blowing everything up to introduce "strategic chaos" back around 2001-2002? Yep. So it's possible that a good deal of chaos Driscoll saw in his life was chaos he deliberately created ... excepting the lack of sex ... and a question Phelps in particular must some day be able to answer is why Driscoll was worth investing so much in if by Driscoll's teaching and life disconnect a person could ask whether or not Driscoll's demonic footholds were leading in such a chaotic direction.
The level of bitterness Driscoll seemed to say he had against Grace in the earlier years didn't sound like a small thing. What level of bitterness on the part of a pastor over a lack of sex crosses a nebulous threshold into "not qualified for ministry"? In the case of "not enough sex in marriage" this could have been something where maybe Grace was single-handedly capable of disqualifying her husband by not putting out enough regardless of Mark Driscoll's response, since it's possible in Driscoll's system that the husband (or the wife) could unilaterally decide how little sex was too little.
If the Board of Overseers somehow imagines that Mark's sin issues have not constituted sin enough to question his qualifications for ministry let's at least consider the possibility that Mark Driscoll's cumulative testimony may be testimony against himself.