Monday, April 04, 2016

revisiting Grace Driscoll's 2015 "I've never seen him as a misogynist ... " in light of renewed availability of Mark Driscoll's description of women's ministry as resembling "juggling knives".

Brian Houston: “So when in Australia your visits started to rise to the floor in secular Australia that word misogynistic. Uh, started being thrown around fairly liberally. I looked it up in the Oxford Dictionary and it says, “dislike of, contempt for, or engrained prejudice against women.” Are you, were you ever misogynist?” (35:35-36:55)

One of the classics of Christian contributions to social media anything would be consulting a dictionary definition so as to establish in advance something does or does not fit the bill for the selected definition.

Mark Driscoll: “No, but because of things I have said foolishly, that impression is entirely my fault, and I have no one to blame but myself. That’s now how I feel, that’s not what I think, um, but for certain, have uh, allowed that to become an impression.” (36:56-37:15)

Brian Houston: “Sure, and those are things you said when you were in your late 20’s.” (37:16-37:18)
Because ten months or so away from being 30 is kind of the same as 19 when you're past 40?

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, and I have a heart to see, part of this Pastor Brian is, young men aren’t going to church, young men aren’t going to college, young men aren’t marrying women young, young men are not raising their children, and I have such a deep burden and passion to see men. You know, 1 Corinthians 13 when I was a child I thought like a child I spoke like a child I acted like a child, when I became a man I put childish ways behind me. I want to compel young men to grow up to take responsibility and sometimes in doing that I have communicated that in a way that demeans women and that’s not helpful and that’s not right and in the grace of God I need to repent and do better at that. But I still want, I mean no one would say that young men are in the western world highly impressive and we’re all encouraged. There’s a lot of work to be done. And so, I regret the times that I have not communicated in such a way trying to compel them and up and it seems I’m pushing the women down and that’s my fault.” (37:19-38:20)

All of that suggests that after decades of blue collar shtick Driscoll tipped his hand and revealed he was after white collar money in the end, maybe?  Half a century ago the unskilled labor market was more robust and the advantages of that unskilled labor market were not so evenly distributed across all young men.

Bailing on his own church rather than comply with the restoration plan makes it hard to see how, if Driscoll wants young men to learn responsibility, he's leading by example.

Brian Houston: “That’s how you feel. You can change moving forward?” (38:21-38:23)
Mark Driscoll: “I hope to with the Grace of God yeah, absolutely.” (38:24-38:27)
Brian Houston: “Good.” (38:28)

Grace Driscoll: “I mean, I’ve never seen him as a misogynist, and never even thought that him of that at all. So, I’ve witnessed the opposite and so, and I’ve known him 27 years And so I can say yes there were methods that were wrong in the beginning but I knew his heart.” (38:29-38:46)

So Mark said he sometimes tried to compel young men to grow up in a way that demeaned women, followed by Grace saying she never saw him as a misogynist and that some methods were wrong in the beginning but she knew his heart.

Mark conceded he said things in a way that demeaned women and pushed them down.  Okay, that seems to have been referencing the William Wallace II stuff from about 2000. 

But what about later in the decade?  What about 2008?
February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll

Part 2: The Devil

How about this one? Idle gossip and busybodying. 1 Timothy 5:11-15. THIS one is amazing. Ladies this one is especially for you. Some of you say, "Oh, it's not me." Yeah, it is. [emphasis added] 1 Timothy 5:11-15, "but refuse to enroll younger widows for when their passions draw them away from Christ they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.  Besides that they learn to be idlers"  Women learn how to make a lot of free time. Going about from house to house. Well now it would be from email to email and from phone call to phone call. Technology makes idle busybodying far more effective than ever.

And not only idlers but also gossips. They like to talk about people. How are you doing? What are you doing? And this isn't sisterly accountability, this is "I need to know what everybody's doing because I like to know what everybody's doing and then I can tell other people what other people are doing and then I can say, `Hey, you need to pray for so-and-so.' and I can make it sound spiritual so that when I'm gossiping and busy-bodying I'm doing so in a way that seems really Jesus-like." And busybodies, they need to know what everybody's doing. They need to know what everybody's doing, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children and manage their household, right? Stay busy, and give the adversary (that's Satan) no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. Hmm.

A woman who's a gossip and a busybody; a woman who has to put her nose in everybody's business and knows what everybody's going on; know what they're doing, she's working with Satan. Now I know most women would say: "No, no, no. I'm not Satanic, I'm concerned. I'm not Satanic, I'm an intercessor. I'm a prayer warrior. I'm not Satanic, I'm an accountability partner.  I'm not Satanic, I'm a concerned friend."  Okay, you're a Satanic intercessory prayer warrior accountability partner concerned friend but just start the whole list with "Satanic" so that we don't misunderstand your job description. 

Now there's a difference between someone inviting you into their life and saying, "I want to be friends, I want to have an accountable  relationship." and you pushing yourself into everyone's life, okay?  I'll tell you, in the history of Mars Hill, I mean, I have had to put up a firewall, a moat, guard dogs, and a high wall with barbed wire on the top, and snipers behind it, around my wife. There are certain women who, they just need to know what Grace is doing and they are determined, they say things like, uh, "Hey, we need to have dinner with your family."

[slight chuckle] No you don't.
"Hey, we need to have coffee."
No you don't. 
"Hey, phone number."
 What? Nope.
"Email." Nope. 

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

"Oh, come on." Nope.
"But I thought you were our pastor."

I am and my first lesson is to tell you you're Satanic.

"Oh, come on, in our last church the pastor's wife [sob] she was my best friend and I got to talk to her all the time."

Well, she was Satanic, too.  Give me her number, I'll call her and tell her. We'll help her out.

You ladies KNOW these women. Right? How many of you ladies know these women? They will try first with the hyper-spiritual, "Oh, praise the Lord! I'd love to pray for you. Let's get together. Let's do Christian community. Let's go to heart." If you decline, then they emotionally manipulate, [inhales, sobbing voice], "I thought we were friends, I thought you loved me. I don't have anybody to talk to." It's all manipulation. It's FEMALE manipulation.  Some of you ladies, right now? You think, "I can't believe he said that." It's all true. It's Satanic, Satanic.

Paul says, "Don't be a busybody, stay busy." Right? Your husband, your kids, your family, your home, Jesus Christ. You got things to do.

Busybodies stay busy inserting themselves into everyone else's life. In some churches there are certain women, if you call them, they'll know everything that's going on because, somehow, they know everything. There's a difference between being a woman who is invited into someone's life for friendship, prayer and accountability, and a woman who emotionally manipulates and is pushy and is sometimes hyperspiritual and demanding and forces herself in because she's a drama queen and has to be at the center of all the drama. That is a Satanic woman.

You need to believe that and the worst thing you can do is accomodate her. Okay, we'll have you over for dinner once. And then, the next month, it's "Okay, buddy, we haven't been together in a month. We need to get together again. I'm sure a lot has happened in your life and I don't know what it is and I need to know because I need to know everything. I have a God complex of omniscience. I want to know everything about everybody." And what you find with these people, Paul says, they tend to be gossips, meaning you don't just talk to them, then they talk to other people.  "Well, did you know their marriage is struggling? Did you know that she's depressed?  Did you know that  she's post-partum?  Do you know that, sexually, her husband's impotent?" These are the conversations I've heard in this building. Really?

Sometimes womens' ministry is the cesspool that this kind of activity flourishes in. Some have asked, "Why don't you have womens' ministry?" The answer is we do, but it's, you have to be very careful, it's like juggling knives. You put the wrong women in charge of womens' ministry, the drama queen, the gossip mama, all of a sudden all the women come together, tell her everything, she becomes the pseudo-elder  quasi-matriarch; she's got the dirt on everybody and sometimes the women all get together to just rip on their husbands in the name of prayer requests. Happens all the time. Happens all the time. [emphasis added] We have worked very hard so that the women who teach here are like Wendy Alsup who I really love and appreciate and respect. She's not like that. It is not that no woman should lead, that no woman should teach, that no woman should in a position of authority over other women  under the authority of their husband, Jesus and the elders it's just that the wrong women tend to want it. The wrong women tend to want it and they tend to want it for the wrong reasons. And sometimes it's the humble woman, who isn't fighting to be the center of drama, control and power; who doesn't have to be up front; she's usually the one who is most capable and qualified.  

And for you single men as well I would say be very, very careful because if you're on staff at Mars Hill  (everything I say sounds terrible, this will just be added to the pile) there are certain women who will tell you, "I want to marry a pastor." Really? You should want to marry a Christian who loves Jesus, loves you, loves your kids should God give them to you. I've lectured enough Bible colleges and seminaries, the young women who come up and say, "I want to marry a pastor"  my immediate default question is, "Are you a gossip? Are you a busybody? Are you a drama queen?" "No. No, I feel called to serve the Lord."  Well, you can serve the Lord without being called to be a pastor's wife in fact, take it from me, it's easier to be a woman and serve the Lord than being married to a pastor.   You single  guys, you gotta be careful, man. There are some women, they want to marry the pastor so they can be the center of power, authority; they can be the first lady; everybody knows them, everybody wants to be their friend, everybody wants to tell them everything; and they can be the center of all the drama. Run for your life. Run for your life. Run for your life. It's Satanic.

See?  I need you women to really search your own heart. Are you Satanic? Is this still part of your flesh, this sick desire in you to know everybody's business? I'm not saying you don't have friends but how much are you on the internet? How much time do you spend emailing? How much time do you spend crying and freaking out and knowing everybody's business and on the phone and having to meet with people because, "Did you know so-and-so did such-and-such and so-and-so is feeling this way and did you--?" Are you the center of LOTS of activity? Why? It's Satanic. It's Satanic. I think I've made my point. 

Yep, the point was thoroughly made, and while Grace Driscoll is welcome to insist for the record she's never seen anything her husband's done as indicating misogyny of any kind there's the old saying that love is blind, isn't there?

In light of how some have voiced complaints about the pastoral, er, counseling approach of some leaders from the days of old ... a person could ask whether or not certain guys in eldership at Mars Hill probing about the sex lives of other pastors to the point of declaring that a whole ton of guys in ministry aren't satisfied with their sex lives might qualify as a case of being a busybody.

Because, once again, robots.txt are in effect for some Resurgence content ...
Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors' wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity [emphasis added], which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin, but she may not be helping him either.

So ... in light of his 2008 complaint his 2006 axiom seems a bit weird.  If it was an example of satanic gossip and busybodying that women in the church knew of impotent husbands and talked about it what was the deal with Driscoll in 2006 at Resurgence publicly announcing that "most pastors I know ..." were unhappy with their sex lives?  Driscoll said that satanic gossipy busybodies had to know everything about everyone in 2008 ... and yet how did Mark Driscoll himself end up exempt from being guilty of this?  And what was the deal with saying women decided that thanks to marriage their husbands were locked into fidelity so the wife could let herself go? 

No, he did not discuss Gayle Haggard.  He merely used the Haggard scandal from ten years back as a pretext to jump on his soap box about his pet topics.  One of those topics, it turned out, was sounding off on how many pastors he knew that did not have satisfying sex lives with their wives.  But then, in the context of Mark Driscoll's fusillade in 2008 against women who were satanic gossips, why on earth was it Mark Driscoll's business, in his own estimation, to ask "most pastors" he knew whether they were getting as much sex as they wanted from their wives?  If Mark Driscoll found it was not uncommon to meet pastors' wives "who really let themselves go" all that could indicate is they did not meet Mark Driscoll's standards of beauty.

Yet didn't Driscoll spend a decade or so saying stuff like "Guys, you're wife is your standard of beauty!  If she's skinny you're into skinny and if she's not skinny you're into not skinny."  Driscoll couldn't be bothered to live out his own advice with respect to that advice and the length of his wife's hair, of course, but then as we've noted here over the years Mark Driscoll has a rather career-spanning pattern of binding others to precepts and axioms he doesn't necessarily see fit to follow himself. 

So maybe Grace Driscoll really thinks her husband's never been a misogynist.  Maybe she agreed with him every single time Mark Driscoll decided that someone who wanted to be friends with her was really just a satanic gossipy busybody.  But then if we take Mark Driscoll's 2006 claim at face value, when he said "most pastors I know ... " this seems to strongly imply he made a point of asking most pastors he knew how happy they were with their sex lives.  The irony of such a man complaining that he'd hear women in the church talking about impotent husbands might be difficult to overstate.


Anonymous said...

I found this part of Driscoll's tirade against women interesting: "You put the wrong women in charge of women's ministry, the drama queen, the gossip mama.... she becomes the pseudo-elder quasi-matriarch; she's got the dirt on everybody..." That's an interesting definition of an elder, someone whose "got the dirt on everyone." Seems to fit well with Driscoll's knowledge of many other pastor's sex lives, though. Does he believe getting "the dirt on everyone" is a major part of an elder's responsibility? Is it true that he's used that gathered dirt against others? Might that explain some of the culture of fear and the continuing silence of other MH pastors?

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

now that the full sprawl of the 2008 marathon is available again for reference, highlight elements of the teaching that could be construed as politically significant within the leadership culture will be a topic down the road. We could benefit from an alternative to the Team Pyro "pornovision" objections to propose that there could have been a whole lot of cold reading or warm reading going on. In a setting where the top dog claimed he could "read the mail" and invoked having super-powers that's the kind of invocation that could have quelled a bit of potential dissent.

It sure does seem at times as if Mark Driscoll himself embodied some of those traits he found most satanic in women.