Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mark Driscoll and the influence of porn: postlude--a 1-30-1992 polemic from Mark Driscoll at the Daily Evergreen argues against the legitimacy of porn in a way that suggests more than passing familiarity with the genre


Earlier this year this blog had a series of posts examining Mark Driscoll's public career and his comments on porn as well as a consideration of porn as a cultural influence informing Driscoll's approach.  When Real Marriage was published in 2012 Heath Lambert expressed concern that in allegedly trying to argue against the influence of pornography Driscoll was more likely to introduce people to it who previously might not have been introduced to it.

We've looked at how, within the 2012 Driscoll book, Mark Driscoll recounted that he concluded the cure for his depression and mood swings was more sex from/with his wife and how he made a case for how/why that needed to happen.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2016/06/mark-driscoll-and-influence-of-porn_50.html

So it's been remarkable that Mark Driscoll has presented himself as a guy who has a standing from which to inform guys how to shake free of porn the way he did in May 2016.  This is the guy who said in a sermon that "virginity should be a season and not a goal"; who described how in his experience in pastoral counseling 99 percent of the time marriage problems got solved by the guy getting more sex; who managed to mention "clear heels" (aka "the stripper uniform") in about a dozen sermons just between 2004 and 2008; who, by his own account, asked a distraught male attender of the early Mars Hill who confessed to watching a porno, "Was it a good porno?"; or his notorious Scotland sermon story about advising a woman to give her husband oral sex; or the interpretive gloss on Song of Songs proclaiming that the woman needs a snack break because they've been making love for SOOO long her blood sugar is low; for that guy to sound off on the negative influence of porn in 2016 invites further questions as to where he's coming from on these things. 

http://markdriscoll.org/im-addicted-to-pornwhat-do-i-do/
May 2, 2016
00:53
...
I grew up, down the street, from a couple of strip clubs next to an airport. Prostitution. Green River Killer. Ted Bundy. Highly dangerous, volatile, sexualized climate. I grew up in an area that was just rife with pornography and thankfully it was before the advent of the internet [emphasis added], and for guys who now have access to every conceivable disgusting, debased, deplorable thing on their phone privately that communication is absolutely deadly.  And so for every man, especially for young men, this is the war of a generation. 

And so this guy asks me this question. He said, "I write this to you feeling totally defeated." Buddy, you're not alone. There's a whole generation of young men, in particular, and I'm addressing this to all men but especially to young men in light of this young man's question.  They feel totally defeated. They feel ashamed, embarrassed. [emphasis added] Their pastor doesn't talk about porn or it's just to talk about sickos and they feel disgusting, and they feel disqualified and they feel defeated. ...
2.20ish

So I'm honored to answer this question.  I've answered it for hundreds and thousands of guys in conferences and classes over the years and I'm glad to answer it again. It says, "I struggle with a daily addiction to pornography."  Let me just say this, that sin leads to death, that the appetites of the flesh are never satisfied and fulfilled. So if you start feeding sinful appetites it's not like you can manage them; their goal is to destroy you. 
We've already had reason to be skeptical about this guy being a spokesman for telling guys how to not be ruled by their members before.  But having noted Driscoll's writing for The Daily Evergreen earlier this week, his polemic for why adult entertainment isn't a legitimate category of entertainment might be a capstone. 

http://content.libraries.wsu.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/evergreens/id/118060/show/118047/rec/1

He wrote an op-ed published on January 30, 1992 that might prove in graphic detail that secularist axiom that the sorts of people most involved in censorship can be most familiar with the sorts of things they act to censor.  Driscoll opened briskly with an assertion that porn is not necessarily protected by the First Amendment.

But when Driscoll mentions when someone rents Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo the matter is a matter of public concern because the film is rented or sold.  Okay ... since it was 1992 there wasn't this thing called IMDB.  Fortunately for readers there's no screen caps or anything like that, but there's some modicum of documentation that the movie title Mark Driscoll insisted on mentioning by name was not a movie title invented out of thin air for purely rhetorical effect.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162881/

Driscoll didn't mention whether or not he had seen the film in his 1992 op-ed.  He did, however, in his 2008 book Death By Love mention that he also "occasionally looked at pornography":

DEATH BY LOVE
 Copyright (c) 2008 by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears
 Published by Crossway Books
 PDF ISBN: 978-1-4335-0423-5
 ISBN-10: 1433501295
 ISBN-13: 9781433501296

page 166
... For example, before I met Jesus I was guilty of sexual sin. I was sexually active prior to marriage and also occasionally looked at pornography. But because Jesus died for those sins and saved me from them, I have been able to put those sins to death. [emphasis added] As a result, you were brought into a family where your mom and I truly love one another and have been faithful to one another in every way.  We know that apart from Jesus , dying for our sin, sin would have killed our marriage. You would have been either raised by a single mother or trapped in a home of sin and bitterness, marked by unrest and hostility between your mother and me, if it were not for Jesus' death on the cross.


Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo seems like a really specific movie title to mention some guy renting if this is a polemical point made by a guy who ... occasionally looked at pornography, doesn't it? Maybe it was just a memorable title he happened to hear about from some other dude.  But the comment about the ... nope ... it's so nasty that it's not quite worth mentioning.  Let's just say Heath Lambert couldn't possibly imagine how right he was to express worry that some Christians would learn about some nasty stuff only because Mark Driscoll insisted on mentioning them.  Damn, dude, if anyone at Antioch knew Driscoll wrote this 1992 op-ed they might have never let him be a pastor, though.

http://content.libraries.wsu.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/evergreens/id/118060/show/118047/rec/1

Driscoll's tone of moral outrage about how oral and anal sex gets filmed will seem all the more astonishing in his 1992 op-ed if we bear in mind that one of the controversies among evangelicals about the content of the 2012 book Real Marriage is how Mark and Grace Driscoll made cases for the legitimacy of oral and anal sex as on-the-table-if-they-both-want-it.  Over the course of twenty years Mark Driscoll's public statements about sex from his student journalist days to his megachurch rock star pastor days suggest that, if anything, while he retained his opposition to pornography in itself, he became more permissive about what husbands and wives could, in theory, do together in the marriage bed.  The Mark Driscoll who in 1992 openly advocated for upheaval and a crusade against pornography would turn into the Mark Driscoll who, as William Wallace II wrote something in the "Using Your Penis" thread of the old Midrash we've quoted before:
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-raw-text-no-pun-intended-of-william.html
http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2016/06/mark-driscoll-and-influence-of-porn_26.html

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.
So what changed that, some nine years after he wrote an op-ed at The Daily Evergreen denouncing pornography while somehow also managing to name-drop a film you can look up now on IDMB, Mark Driscoll as William Wallace II was ready to extol the potential or even actual legitimacy of what he was willing to describe as Christian pornography, if only as an abstraction?

Well, to go by the narrative in Real Marriage, Mark Driscoll was super-duper bitter about not getting enough action with/from his wife.

By 2012 Mark Driscoll was presenting himself as the kind of guy who was willing to have the "real" conversations about sex and marriage the other people weren't willing to have.  And yet didn't the recently deceased co-author of Left Behind books Tim LaHaye publish The Act of Marriage with his wife Beverly the year that Mark Driscoll was ... six years old (aka 1976)?  The level of buying your own hype that is needed to speak as if no one before you was writing about sex in religious life seems pretty epic.  Anyone with even a passing familiarity with the evangelical publishing scene could point out that the only person who seemed to believe beyond all doubt yet another book on Christian marriage was neded and that his book in particular needed to be written might just have been Mark Driscoll.  And so the book was written, and so the book was promoted via Result Source deal, and made integral to church life within the church known as Mars Hill, and defended as the "real" deal about marriage, and presenting what was the real story about the Driscoll marriage that had not been shared, apparently, over the previous ten years.

All this invites another question, if you read the tone of moral outrage in Mark Driscoll's 1992 op-ed against the legitimacy of what's known as adult entertainment and compare that to his defense of his writing in 2012 it does invite a question as to whether Mark Driscoll had capitulated to the mentality he thought he was arguing against back when he was a college student at Washington State University, ranting against the influence and pervasiveness of porn on the pages of The Daily Evergreen.  As far back as Mark Driscoll's writings as William Wallace II in his "Using Your Penis" thread, it could be argued that Mark Driscoll embodied not the bold stand against the pornification of culture his 1992 self objected to and perhaps not-so-secretly showed a cognitive debt to, but that by his William Wallace II days of early 2001 and his 2012 days of stardom he was more rather than less capitulated to that mentality in what he was willing to teach as "just teaching what's in the Bible".


POSTSCRIPT
07.50PM

These op-ed pieces for The Daily Evergreen provide some additional context to things Mark Driscoll's said about his journalistic career over the years.  Take this:

http://theresurgence.com/2013/12/02/6-simple-ways-to-write-better-blog-posts

I’ve taken on editorial duties at Resurgence, at least for a season. This means I’m reviewing nearly every blog article before we post it and giving content feedback in an effort to help our writers get their message out even further.

...

I don’t pretend to be the world’s greatest writer. But I did start writing professionally as a journalist in high school, paid my way through high school and college writing articles and editing my college newspaper [emphases added], got a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the top-notch Edward R. Murrow School of Communication, and have written blogs and articles for everyone from CNN to the Washington Post to Fox News.
The op-ed pieces Driscoll wrote for The Daily Evergreen give us at least some insight into what he wrote that he thought passed for professional journalism.  If anyone who's affiliated with Wazoo wants to dig up and verify what financial compensation a student journalist in 1992 could expect to get writing for The Daily Evergreen comments are open but automatically go into moderation.

Then there's Driscoll's response to "the kerfuffle":

http://pastormark.tv/2012/04/16/an-official-response-to-the-kerfuffle-at-liberty-university

The trouble started with a Southern Baptist blogger . . . yes, you should have seen that one coming. Now, to be fair, the blogger quoted an anonymous “source.” And, we all know that almost everything bloggers say is true. But, when they have something as solid as an anonymous “source,” then you can rest assured that when Jesus talked about the truth over and over in John, this is precisely what he was referring to. I have a degree from Washington State’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and worked professionally as a journalist, and I can assure you that The Kerfuffle is a very serious matter to be taken with the utmost sobriety and propriety. In fact, one anonymous “source” I spoke to said that Watergate pales in comparison.

Of course it turned out that while Mark Driscoll was attending the college he wrote an op-ed where he explained that he ended up there because none of his financial aid applied toward schools outside Washington state.  So, to invoke the verbiage Driscoll so regularly said to guys about what woman to marry, he went with the one in front of him. 

If Driscoll's idea of having worked as professional journalist is based on the kinds of op-ed pieces he wrote for The Daily Evergreen his idea of what passes for professional journalism is even more skimpy than the outfits he says Christian women shouldn't be wearing in public.

For the folks who read all of Pussified Nation, that was actually probably the toned-down version of Mark Driscoll in polemical mode.

POSTSCRIPT II
08-14-2016
09.00pm

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/11/2-5-2008-spiritual-warfare-part-2-part_18.html
http://download.marshill.se/files/MH%20Vodcast%20Video/2008/20080205_the-devil_vodcast.m4v
10:23
How many of you would think that a couple that doesn't have enough sex is experiencing demonic spiritual warfare? It's true. How many Christian marriages divorce?  Well, statistically, more than those who are not Christian. When non-Christians can work it out a rate that is more successful than Christians that would indicate to me that Satan has really found a way to climb into bed between a husband and a wife and, in one way or another, cause devastation.


When I'm meeting with a couple and one of them, maybe it's the husband, says, "Well, my wife's not being very nice to me so I'm gonna deny her sex and until she's nice to me I'm gonna withhold it."  That's demonic. ...

To be sure, there are sex addicts in marriage who are unreasonable in their expectations of their spouse but what I'm talking about is the common situation where one person in the marriage wants to be intimate more often than the other and they're rejected, they become bitter,  Satan comes in and feeds that bitterness, baits the hook of their flesh with the temptation of the world, and all of a sudden Satan puts in front of them images and people and opportunities to lead them astray and to destroy everything.

sa

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)

page 164

As with many things in marriage, communication is key. When I cam to the conclusion that the cure for a lot of my moodiness was having more frequent sex with my wife, I simply told her. Yes, it's that simple. [emphasis added] For years, when I would endure depression, I tried to talk to Grace about it. Her natural inclination was to want to have long talks about our feelings toward each other, and I know that connecting with her like this is important. But sometimes I was jsut too frustrated and ended up blowing up and hurting her feelings. The truth was I wanted to have more frequent sex with my life, and we needed to discuss how that could happen.

To make matters worse, seemingly every book I read by Christians on sex and marriage sounded unfair. Nearly every one said the husband had to work very hard to understand his wife, to relate to her, and when he did that to her satisfaction then, maybe, she would have sex with him as a sort of reward. After many years I finally told Grace that I needed more sex. I asked if we could have sex more days of the week and try a variety of positions. She'd be the one to decide exactly how we would be together. Grace said that helped her think about our intimacy throughout the course of the day, which helped prepare her mind and body. To our mutual delight, we discovered that both of us felt closer more loved and understood, and were more patient with each other if we were together regularly in some way. And whether my depression was testosterone-induced or not, I just generally felt happier.

Between these two points, the insistence that not-enough-sex-within-marriage was the first category of what Mark Driscoll called the ordinary demonic on the one hand, and the claim that the cure for his mood swings and depression was more frequent sex with his wife on the other, it seems fair and reasonable to ask whether or not the kind of man who sincerely believes that the cure for his self-attested mood imbalances is more sex may have formed a dependency on sexual intercourse as a mood stabilizer in a way that should cast doubt on his fitness for ministry.  After all, as we explored at length, during the same season that Driscoll was convincing his wife he needed more sex to cure his mood swings and depression, former Mars Hill pastor Bill Clem was talking to single guys about how even in married life a man has to forego sex if, say, his wife is slowly succumbing to cancer and to recognize there are ways husbands can love and serve their wives whether they get the sex they want or not.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2014/01/mark-driscoll-on-bill-clem-leaving-in.html

There was someone who left a comment raising the point of whether or not someone could be considered a sex addict.  While it can seem a pretty fair point to raise, it's also a delicate one to discuss from the perspective of someone unable to make a formal/clinical diagnosis.  But that it was raised made it seem like another postscript was in order. 

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