Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mark Driscoll and the Gospel of [escaping] white trash: Part 3--presenting the entirety of Genesis as a hillbilly redneck saga, a selection of sermon quotes

Enclosed for your consideration is a parade of quotes from Mark Driscoll's sermons shortly before and during the Genesis sermon series. Highlighted for your consideration are a variety of ways in which Mark Driscoll presented Genesis as a hillbilly redneck soap opera with, of course, the most salient passages highlighted in red.  Sometimes coloristic puns are just necessary for underling the point.


Part 10 of Epistles of John

Pastor Mark Driscoll | 1 John 4:17-5:5 | September 12, 2004

... Finishing up 1 John this summer, and then, October 3rd we’re gonna kick off Genesis. I’m so excited. It’s like a hillbilly redneck soap opera, the whole book. It’s just everybody’s drunk and marrying their sister and pimping out their wife. It’s crazy. So it will be great, and we’ll start that in October, and in the next couple weeks, you will get 190-page commentary on the book I wrote for you, and so just get you all geared up and ready to go.


Part 5 of Genesis
Pastor Mark Driscoll | Genesis 4:1-26 | October 31, 2004

“Cain lay with his wife,” – where’d she come from? A lot of people are like, Cain, Abel, and then there’s a gal. Well, we know she wasn’t created directly by God, otherwise she wouldn’t have had a sin nature, and she’d be here to tell us what happened. This was probably his sister or a close relative – hillbilly redneck, little chunk of Kentucky right there in the Promised Land.


Part 8 of Genesis
Pastor Mark Driscoll | Genesis 9 | November 21, 2004


As we’re dealing with Noah today, it’s one of the most peculiar stories in the Bible. The great patriarch gets drunk and naked in a tent. You think I’m kidding – it’s in the book. We’ll get there. And it’s cool when we go through books, ‘cause we talk about things we otherwise wouldn’t (like naked drunk rednecks). Like I wouldn’t do a series on that. But I could ‘cause they’re in the book. So as we go through the book, you’re gonna meet your first parents, and maybe this will make your family look pretty good and encourage ya. ...

So, these are his three sons. My daddy had three sons. I’m the oldest of three sons. There was also two daughters. Read the story. Here’s what happens. "Noah" – this is just a weird text – “Noah, a man of the soil,” – he’s a farmer, good job – “proceeded to plant the vineyard.” Then he gets drunk and passes out naked in his tent like a hillbilly redneck on vacation.  ...

My family – the reason I’m here today preaching and not working off my hangover is because of my dad. My dad’s name is Joe. I was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and my whole family is a bunch of drunks and thugs and criminals and people that are nothin’ to speak about. My dad got married to my mom. She got pregnant with me, and they decided that everything would stop with their kids. That’s how we got to Seattle. They said, “You know what? We’re not raising our kids around the rest of the extended family that are filled with sin and violence and folly and drunkenness and shame and nonsense.” They literally moved out here with nothing. I was a baby. That’s how we got to Seattle. My dad for over 20 year hung sheetrock as a union drywaller. He would come home at night and lay on the floor ’cause his back hurt so bad. He did that ’til one day on the job, he literally broke his back and had to go through reconstructive surgery on it. He did that to feed five kids, of which I was the oldest, and my mom stayed home with us kids.

I grew up behind a strip club down by Sea-Tac Airport, and I was the only kid that I can remember (there may have been more) in my neighborhood that had a dad. My brothers and I all make good money, happily married, own homes, responsible, don’t abuse drugs, alcohol – doin’ good. My two sisters, nice ladies, one’s in college, one’s married – doin’ good. The only reason why our family looks so much different than everyone else with my same last name is because of my dad. Children grow up in the world that their father creates. We’re not individuals. We’re not autonomous. We don’t show up on the earth with a blank slate. We’re part of a family history. And if you have a good dad, you’re born privileged. If you have a bad dad, you’re born in trouble.

My kids eat what I eat. They eat what I provide for them. They live in the home that I purchased. They drive around in the vehicle that I provide. They are raised by the woman that I married. The fact that she stays home is because it’s my responsibility to feed my family and to pay our bills. And I learned that from my dad. I learned that ‘cause everything stopped with my dad. My dad is different than the other men in our family. He’s a hardworking, faithful guy, who would swing a hammer, come home, play catch with his sons, have dinner, coach Little League, and told us, “You’re Driscoll boys. That means something. You do this, you don’t do that. The Driscoll boys are different.” I still tell my sons that. “You’re Driscoll boys. We’re different. We do things different.” And it started with my dad. Noah’s that guy. Whole family of sin, chaos, violence, and with Noah, it stops because God gets a hold of him. And now, Noah has a bad day, and rather than loving his father, respecting his father, Ham dishonors that man who saved his life and makes light of him.


Part 14 of Genesis
Pastor Mark Driscoll | Genesis 16 | January 09, 2005


wore my NASCAR jacket just to commemorate this week. Father Abraham gets a girlfriend, and the hillbilly redneck saga that is Genesis takes a nefarious turn, and so, I thought we would do hillbilly redneck Sunday. So, I wore my boots, and we’re gonna do cornbread and gravy for communion. I’m just kiddin’. I thought of that, though, ‘cause I was teaching in Missouri this week, and it’s all fireworks and cornbread and gravy and rednecks, and it was pretty cool. So, I wore my “Dale Earnhardt, Jr.” jacket as well. This was given to me by one of the community groups in the church in mockery ‘cause I’m always hittin’ on rednecks and – not hittin’ on ‘em – I’ve had a long day. I’m hopped up on chicken wings and Red Bull and it’s late, and we’re missing the season premiere of “24.” So – but I love you, and we’ll talk about Jesus in a little bit, but first I gotta tell ya about my coat.


Part 16 of Genesis
Pastor Mark Driscoll | Genesis 18 | January 23, 2005


Abraham says, “Hypothetically – and here he gets into like reverse auctioneering. “Fifty, fifty, fifty do I hear, forty, forty, forty, do I have forty, forty-five, thirty, thirty, thirty, ten, ten, ten, ten, ten sold.” No road tar. (Laughter) yeah, it just – he kinda goes backwards, reverse. He’s, he starts at fifty and whittling down like; “If I could find 27 rednecks there that have a Bible, would you smoke the town?” (Laughter) You know he is trying to figure out sort where the bottom line is for who does and does not qualify as a righteous person.

“What are there are fifty righteous people in the city, will you sweep it away? Not spare the place for the sake of fifty righteous people. So we got a whole town. There’s fifty righteous good believin’ people there, would you save it? Far be from you to do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you. Will not the judge of the earth do what is right? You’re not going to smoke everybody right? There’s got to be fifty good guys there?” ...


Part 23 of Genesis
Pastor Mark Driscoll | Genesis 24 | March 13, 2005

... Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban,” – Laban, we don’t know if he’s a believer or not. He’s an opportunist. He’s always looking to make a buck. He’s a crooked guy. He’s gonna be real prominent in the rest of Genesis.

His name literally means white. He’s a white guy with a white tank top who drives a white El Camino. (Laughter) He’s that guy. He’s the white guy. He’s the crazy, hillbilly, redneck in the story with a tank top who changes his own oil and shows up on Cops a lot. That’s Laban. (Laughter) This is a fun day for me. “As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms,” – opportunist, sees money – “and he had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. ‘Come, you who are blessed by the LORD,’ he said.” “Mr. Bling, come to my house.” “‘Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.’ So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. The food was set before him, but he said, ‘I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.’”


Part 34 of Genesis
Pastor Mark Driscoll | Genesis 35 | June 05, 2005

... If you are new, we’re just gonna jump right into the Book of Genesis. We’re in the 35th chapter. We’re going right through the Book. The hillbilly redneck saga continues this week with Jacob. So, you can find that in your Bible, Genesis 35. Look at the whole chapter this week. And just jump right in and get to work. So, I’ll pray, and we’ll get busy.


As we jump in, we’re gonna do some final work this week on Jacob. This week the life of Jacob sort of tidies up the loose ends, and the next week, the scene shifts to the next generation. For those of you that aren’t up to speed, it’s three generations we’ve been looking at. Abraham, God saved him, made him a man, toughened him up, made him a believer. And then he had a son named Isaac, who God made into a man, toughened up, made him a believer. And then Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau.

The problem is that Esau was a man. He was a man’s man – tough guy, crazy, red-headed, Ford F150, shotgun,  Copenhagen dip dude. But he didn’t love God. And then he had a brother named Jacob, who was a total momma’s boy, not very tough, not a guy who was all that impressive, didn’t like conflict, didn’t like work, didn’t like responsibility, major late bloomer, did whatever his momma told him to do.

That is, believe it or not, merely a little bit of a tour de force of Mark Driscoll quotes describing the whole book of Genesis as a hillbilly redneck soap opera. 

There was a strong negative reaction from the John Macarthur wing of American Christianity.  We'll get to that general reaction and have an observation or two about it but, for this post, it has been sufficient to let Mark Driscoll's words speak for themselves as to just how thoroughly he interpreted Genesis in white trash terms.  Macarthur's crew took issue with the fact that this was done at all without necessarily plumbing very far, in the midst of their outrage, as to possible reasons why.  But in order to get to that observation it will help to first observe what their reaction was.