Ugh, ugh, fucking ugh. I just left an encyclopedia-length comment on the blog you linked to.
I've never heard Driscoll before but whoa, dude, he reminds me of Sam Kinison, that comedian that yelled all of the time. Gag. I'm gagging. (from the other steph)
Very disturbing. I know anger has its place but this was something else. What really struck me was that he didn't define what he meant by a man abusing his wife - I suspect in his world that means not insisting she is subservient to her husband.
OK - my previous comment may not be fair as I don't know the guy and this is the first time I've seen or heard him in action. What I will say is that if you insist on going back to the Old Testament when women were property or edit out the bits of the New Testament that clearly speak of men and women as equal (a dangerous thing to do in those days) you are going to end up with some men using this as an excuse to abuse their woman - be she wife or girlfriend.
That video is tough to see, huh? Or it was for me. I was reading the comments after that blog post and my heart really broke when one woman said that she imagined little Mark trembling as his dad yelled, she said it is very likely that's what happened to him growing up. :( A friend of mine who used to go to that church said her reaction to this video was just "yeah, that's typical." She said she was used to him yelling like that in his sermons.
Yes it was hard going and, if he was subject to abuse as a child, I do feel sorry for him. However he should not have entered any position of authority in a church until he had sorted the issues out. Unfortunately churches often put the wrong people in power because they are the ones who push themselves forward.
I see too many churches that are about stroking the ego of the pastor. The pastor sets it up that way and many people are willing to follow suit and protect the pastor, not call him out, etc. It's a recipe for DISASTER.On the other hand, if a pastor can say "I suck and I need people to hold me accountable" that can be a recipe for wonderfulness.
I just posted this as a response on the other site:"The only thing more interesting than Driscoll are the people who get so angry at him. At some point we have to ask ourselves are we really just that excited about Justice and Love.....or is there something else that motivates our fear, anger, and hatred (i'm sure this isn't all of you) for this man. He is just a man."I find the anti-driscoll seattle culture as fascinating as I find the gay hating southern baptist culture. As far as motives and methods they seem pretty similar.
Ben,the fact that you said this after reading the comment thread at the other site is extremely, EXTREMELY offensive and disturbing to me.
i did not read the comment thread on the other site. it looked like it would have taken me an hour. does that make my comment less "offensive" or "disturbing"?
I have to say one more thing - Ben, it seems to me you have read the other comment thread without absorbing anything people said about their abuse histories and how they were once under the sway of someone like Driscoll and have since been to hell and back in order to escape from under it. I feel like you have no desire to go within that part of yourself to let yourself feel compassion for the people who have been on such a journey and what it takes to face what you are told in the name of God and to realize that someone you had loved and/or revered so much could be capable of abusing you in such a way. As far as I know you haven't done any reading on spiritual abuse or been to counseling/therapy to deal with your own history, whatever it may be (we all have something) and this is why I can understand you would think that the fact that people would react to the Driscoll phenomenon like we have is so bizarre.So it's very hurtful to me that you would write us off as such and say "he is just a man." Did you not absorb anything from the other thread where we spoke at length about what it means to love someone well when they have the characteristics of an abuser. You suggest here that we have lost sight of justice and love. This is what hurts me deeply in my heart, I can physically feel it.
Okay Ben, since you said you didn't read the thread at the other site then please do that and then we can talk. I see you've already gotten a response at the other site so that is good, I hope you will read the thread and respond in kind. Please be compassionate. Thanks.
Stephanie - Do you not feel comfortable with people approaching the issue from a different angle or in challenging different ideas? If not, that is fine. I can refrain from posting about these issues. I assumed that you were a huge proponent of being honest and engaging in dialogue. I did not mean to offend or cause anyone pain. I also did not feel that I "wrote anyone off" by stating (the obvious to me) fact that he is "just a man." Do you disagree? Is he more? I agree that when we give power to celebrities and people of influence we can forget their own limitations but Mark is fallen and broken. He will die will be held accountable for his actions just like Hiter, Obama, Perez, you and I. I did NOT suggest that anyone has "lost sight of justice and love." I merely proposed a potential alternative for those that point the finger at others. I assume you would agree with me if we were talking about a pastor who is constantly pointing his finger at gays or Obama? Is this not a possibility for anyone who dislikes or has had negative experiences with Mark?I may or may not read the very extensive posts on the other blog. I do not argue or dispute their claims or there pain. It is just that in my own history I have learned that focusing on any external object only goes so far. In any type of therapy or counseling I assume that there is some sort of emphasis on not being able to change or fix the people around you. As right as I may be about the people around me causing me pain it seems like most of the solution lies in how I respond. But as you mentioned I am a pretty inexperienced at getting help and fairly intimidated by the whole deal. But I'm trying and am glad for the patience of those around me. much love. bnc
Ben wrote: I find the anti-driscoll seattle culture as fascinating as I find the gay hating southern baptist culture. As far as motives and methods they seem pretty similar.Could you elaborate, Ben? What methods and motives do they share?
I really think that since you and I know each other in person, Ben, that we should talk about this in person. The rest of us on here in these forums have only 'met' online and as you know you can't tell inflection and tone in email and it's always better to talk in person if you can.So, about that coffee date I've been asking you for for awhile now... :)
Helen - This may give you a very brief snippet of where I am coming from. regardless of anyone's belief or view of Tim Keller I think he does a great job describing the dangers of being "religious."Here are the 5 stages he describes (my thoughts are in paranthesis)1. Superiority (believing that you are better or less sinful than someone else)2. Separation (because you are better you do not associate with this person spiritually or emotionally - sometimes this caries over to physically or geographically)3. Caricature (we begin to exaggerate the person and instead of see them as a person identify them by isolated traits....for the sake of this discussion they are negative traits but with heroes they are often positive)4. Passive Oppression (because we no longer identify with this person we no longer have compassion for their state)5. Active Oppression (at this point verbally and emotionally attacking this person will make ourselves feel better because we have gradually disassociated ourselves and this validates our reasons for doing so.Like I alluded to earlier, I think it is fairly easy to see the classic example of a southern baptist pastor gay bashing. You can go through each step and see it clearly. These people would not acknowledge that this is what is happening. It is a little more tricky to see this when there is a more overt or culturally accepted bad guy. Keep in mind, this does not make the bad guy NOT bad. So as far as motive or methods, the irony is that religious people distance themselves and judge non-religious people, which is a very religious thing to do, and non-religious people turn around and do the same thing to religious people...which is equally religious. So, my question was and is: Are any of the driscoll opposition falling prone to Keller's 5 stages of "religion"? If so, watch out because in the words of Nietzche: "Be careful when you fight a dragon, lest you become a dragon."Keller's explanation is here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9fmKSwuoDE&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fbencrawfordlife.com%2F&feature=player_embeddedwatch from 8:10 – 9:38. He explains is far better than I did. Steph - anytime, anyplace. you guys want to come over for our bbq tomorrow from 1-4? salmon-o-rama and bacon burgers. we're gone all next week.
We've had plans for 6 months to go to our friend's birthday/bbq tomorrow in Eastlake, otherwise we would prolly come to yours, let me know when else works for you.
Ben, I hear you re: fighting a dragon/becoming a dragon. There's a certain sense there. I hear you in saying that Driscoll is just a man. *and* isn't it also true that there are "normally" evil people and "Extremely" evil people? Dan Allender talks about this in his brilliant "Bold Love". For instance, one shows love for an active pedophile by doing one's best, first, to see that they stop acting out/protecting their current and future victims. Does this mean those who take such steps are in danger of themselves becoming pedophiles. Hardly. I hear what you're saying about, as Marcus V said, recognizing that when we have a strong reaction to something, there are two things going on--the exterior stimulus, coming from without, and the internal response, coming from within. Yes of *course* if we feel furious when we see Mark abusing people, it totally behooves us to look at what within us is causing that reaction. *and*, along with that, it's still totally legitimate to speak out against the abuse. This is sort of the same reason we as a society have police officers, an army, prisons, etc. etc. There is *real* evil, which needs to be stood up against. All police officers are not Javerts. And all of us who speak out against the abuse at Mars Hill can't be painted with one simple brush. I don't see any crossover at all between the methods and motives of those who "bash gays" and those of us who are speaking out against Mars Hill. In fact, holding up freedom4captives blog as an example, I can very certainly say I've never seen anyone "bashing" gays with anything like that much honesty, wisdom, courage, and transparency. Do you have any examples of someone "bashing gays" with such high levels of these virtues?Maybe you were just talking about yourself--have you found that when *you* stand up angrily to abuse, you've realized afterwards that you're own methods/motives somehow match up with those of gay bashers?
I don't really have a distinction between "normally" evil people and "extremely" evil people? Where would such a distinction come from and who would be qualified to make it. It seems like a lot of people historically have tried to take on that role and often times it wasn't applauded very highly. I do know that I don't feel like I would be very good at it. I do agree that speaking out against abuse has a very important place. You asked:"Do you have any examples of someone "bashing gays" with such high levels of these virtues?"Well that would depend on who you ask. If you ask them I'm sure they would claim it to be very virtuous. In my experience, most of the kinds of people who have this attitude see it as exuding "honesty, wisdom, courage, and transparency." That's what's kind of scary. That's why I think it is a valid question to ask what makes a Driscoll hater, who would claim the same thing, (not saying any of you are) any different than a gay hater? Where is the difference and and what point does it stop being a difference?
Ben,in the book "Bold Love" by Dan Allender he talks at length about the distinction between 'normal' sinners, fools and evil people. My counselor has been using it with me. Also, "People of the Lie: Hope for Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck is the most incredible book & my favorite (like I've said on my blog and fb profiles) and I'd love it if you read them so that we can talk more about this. If you read them you can understand the biblical distinctions and also who might be qualified to make them. You can read more about Allender and Peck to discern if they would be qualified. The hardest part is that I feel like there is little common ground between you and me when it comes to this subject and it makes it difficult to talk about since we're not on the same page since you haven't read the same things and been in counseling and talked a lot with people who have left Mars Hill. I was at a baby shower on Sunday for a woman who had left Mars Hill Church in the past year and several other people were also there who had left MHC as well. The stories they told me about MHC and circumstances under which they left and they way they were treated were straight out of a movie. Textbook cult behavior. I don't know if you know any such stories from people who were in the inner circle of MHC. These are the things that make me feel we don't have a lot of common ground. So I hope we can talk more about all this.
Ben, I kind of hear you about being afraid about making judgment calls about who is extremely evil and who is not. I'm reminded of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's decision to try to assassinate Hitler. That's a tough call--it really is, I'm not being sarcastic or something. I used to think Bonhoeffer was just wrong, period. Now I'm not so sure. I have a friend who's a Washington State Patrolman, and I've talked with him a bit about this. He has had to work through some of this stuff because, of course, he carries a deadly weapon, and has to being willing to use it to kill if the need arises. Pretty scary. I wouldn't want to or be able to cope with that. Still, bottom line, I'm convinced the system that Mark heads up is an evil system, that's doing more harm than good by a very measurable amount. Yes, to some extent this is ... the "fault" of a lot of adults who *also* make the system go and enable Mark. I've been in such a system, and I left it ... poorly. But I was younger, less wise, less secure, than I am now, and I left in the only way I could at that time. I wish some wiser, more mature adults than myself had effectively spoken up against the abuses in that system years before I left it. It could have saved me some heartache and perhaps saved me from a lot of the mean, awful, selfish things *I* did as a member of that system (following the leader, as it were).
Ben:As to your "5 steps" I see huge problems. Yes, I am certain that "Driscoll haters" can be prone to any of the 5 on any given day, just as we all are prone to selfishness and judgmentalism.But as to where the original intent came from, I think a closer look would reveal something entirely different. I don't think I am better or less sinful than Driscoll. I'd like to think I am, or it's easy to think I am but I'm not, and I know it. I think a Non-christian who knows me might say "You are not an abuser like Driscoll!" but my statement is a theological one. My sin affords me NO superior position over others. The greatest leader is a servant. Does Driscoll sound like a servant? Is he broken over his own sin? Does he struggle and have doubts? I am pleading for Driscoll to stop his abuse not because I am better but because I recognize something in him that I don't like in myself, which is the tendency to close myself off to vulnerability and accountability. To Lord myself over others. To essentially put myself on the throne.Stephanie has a hair-trigger response to abuse, because she has been victim to it. In my opinion, whether or not her timing or volume levels are to the liking of whomever is in the room when she encounters it, or even appropriate, I don't doubt that it came from a very pure place--her child-heart. Like the children who ran to Jesus past complaining adults, and Jesus reminded the adults that it is with a child-like posture that you enter into truth.
I think you also have to bear in mind that Driscoll is at the head of an enormous church and has an enormous following worldwide.If he was just a small guy in a church comprised of his own family that pickets the funerals of gay people, you could just write him off as 'a man', point fingers and call him names. Obnoxious - certainly, dangerous - probably not.But Driscoll has a church of 7,500 attendees, 100,000 downloads of sermons a week, etc etc etc. This means that he moves beyond being a highly obnoxious personality and into being high dangerous.
I just read the the following test for true Biblical worship in Ancient Future Worship by Robert E Webber and my mind went back to the clip of Mark Driscoll in action."Does the service connect creation with God's involvement in the history of Isreal, with his incarnation, death, ressurection, ascension, eternal intercession, and coming again to establish his rule over all creation?"Ranting about peoples sex lives does not fit in that picture of true worship.Ben, I may be along way away in the UK but I can feel Stephy's pain whenever the subject of Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll appears in her blog. I pray for her, it's all I can do from this distance, and I also pray for Mark Driscoll who is loved as much by God as any of the rest of us.
Look I only pressed "Publish Your Comment" once - why does it do this to me...
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