As I walked the streets of my small midwest town praying for the people and the churches of the town, the words came to me, "Make bitter waters sweet." Those words made no sense at the time. Surely if those words actually came from God they weren't about me. I, the pastor's wife, had a life that other women in my church envied. Shortly after that, my life fell apart and the bitterness that lurked beneath the surface came to the top. But God did not leave me there. Just as He can make crooked paths straight, raise valleys, and lower mountains, so also could He make bitter waters sweet. This blog contains bits and pieces and large chunks of my ongoing journey from bitter waters to sweet.
They even add the word 'Dangerous' which I didn't include in my title.
Am I smiling over here?
You bet I am.
I am sick to death of entitled, little men in their holier-than-thou towers using God and the Bible as bashing tools to amass power and authority unto themselves.
It is long past time that they be called out by bigger and more far-reaching publications.
Some men go way out of their way and break their own rules for Bible interpretation if they can find what they are looking for to demonize women. As self-appointed judges and juries in situations they don't understand, they will find someone in antiquity that will agree with their low view a certain Bible women.
The longer name for this post would be "Marital Coercion or Marital Consent?"
Often times I will use a title that is inflammatory or outrageous to make a point. This time I used one that understates. Or at least isn't inflammatory or outrageous.
The phrase "Marital Rape" really gets people's blood pumping. When the phrase it brought up it can completely shut down conversations. Not because it isn't an issue. But rather because it isn't understood. So today I'm not going to talk about "Marital Rape". Instead, we are going to talk about "Marital Coercion" which is not just some thing that is done in secret. It is something that is blatantly taught, out in the open, as an acceptable practice.
First we will look at part of a dictionary definition of 'coercion'
Coercion - Theintimidation of a victim to compeltheindividual to do someactagainsthis or herwill by theuse of psychologicalpressure,physicalforce, or threats.
Now we are going to look at an old, well-documented quote from Mark Driscoll from his sermon "Sex: A Study of the Good Bits of the Song of Solomon". Okay, not a direct quote. But basically Driscoll told women in a Scottish church that Jesus commands them to orally service their husbands sexually.
Here is a link to the sermon in its entirety. Wish I could tell you at what point he utters this command from Jesus Himself so you don't have to wade through the entire stupid thing. But I don't know where it is and I don't expect you to take my word for it if you are new here.
The reason I bring this up is to point out that there are men who are not afraid to use psychological pressure, or even spiritual pressure to coerce women to comply to sexual demands. There are men, preachers and Bible teachers, who are not afraid to twist scripture in order to give men the tools they need in order to trample a woman's boundaries and rip away their voice in marriage when it comes to sex.
Fortunately, Driscoll has been called out for that wretched sermon and the things he said in it.
However, there is a CBA best seller that also promotes marital coercion. This book takes away the wife's voice and ability to give consent. Then on top of this, it gives husbands tools to guilt and manipulate a woman into having sex, not unlike Driscoll's more inflammatory methods.
This book, published by Thomas Nelson, teaches husbands how to compel their wives to have sex using psychological and spiritual pressure, threatening them that if they don't comply they are not following God's commands for marriage.
This book is none other than "Love & Respect" by Emerson Eggcriches.
And here is a more in depth look at how Emerson builds his case for 'biblical' marital coercion.
The aberrant doctrines fueling the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood have finally taken their toll on the thinkers in this movement. They have boarded the crazy train and are trying to outdo one another with testosterone tweets.
Julie Anne over at Spiritual Sounding Board is following this:
And in looking back at the Mars Hill Madness and Peasant Princess Pandemic I'm going to link another post concerning the fallout from that lecherous loser's legacy.
This was actually written a year and a half ago but I missed it due to personal busyness. Again it is about Driscoll's sex-saturated teachings on The Songs and the damage it did to a couple and their marriage.
Also, as a side note, due to the the few hits I've gotten on the Songs I'm going to link a few old posts I wrote back in the day that counteract a bit of Driscoll's devastating doctine.
It's Not about You (In which we talk about how The Songs is not just about the husband's raging needs for sex and the wife's obligation to make sure he gets unlimited amounts of it.)
First and Last Overview, SoS (In which we talk about the progressive nature of the healing of the Beloved from the beginning of the book to the end. I imply here, but do not state outright, that the Songs are chronological in nature. This is something Driscoll denies out of hand without supporting. He has to deny it. Some of the Best Bits that he over-sexualizes and make all about his favorite sex acts... some of the Best Bits occur before the marriage chapter. But the poem is very progressive as you will see in these first and last verses we discuss here.)
Another "Suggestive" Premarital SoS Verse (In which we talk about why the Beloved is referring to her her own breasts and needs and how Driscoll has taken that verse away from her and made it all about the husband and his needs.)
And finally: Manipulating Scripture for Personal Benefit (In which we talk about another verse that Driscoll takes away from the Beloved and gives to the Lover in order to put the husband's needs front and center. In the process, he ends up burying the wife's needs in the back yard so men don't have to think about that messy little detail.) Edit, added as an after thought: The Bedroom Police (In which we talk about how Mark and Co. attack and accuse people who disagree claiming they are being prudes, sexually constipated, and overly restrictive in the bedroom. This accusation is a distraction and ploy to get people's eyes off the true, self-appointed bedroom police, Mark Driscoll and all those accusing people of sin for not having enough 'god-ordained' sex.) Another Edit, links added 3/6/16 Introducing Wanatchee the Hatchet This is an intro to a series of guest posts by Wanatchee the Hatchet (WTH). In these guest posts WTH deconstructs Driscoll claim that the Songs can never, under any circumstances, ever be viewed as allegorical. WTH is uniquely qualified to answer Driscoll's claims as he was once a member of Driscoll's church and a respected part of the ministry. The series has four parts that examine various aspects of Driscoll's assumptions and explains how and why Driscoll is wrong in his claim against any and all allegorical view of The Songs. Here is a link to the series in total: WTH on Driscoll's SOS
There is more written here, taking another view of The Songs other than Driscoll's over-saturated-with-sex version. You can get to many of them from the links above. But if there is a need, I can make a page that contains more links.
I need to be able to find this article again.
It demonstrates the masculinist bias against women in translating the ESV version of the Bible.
It demonstrates how the translators of the ESV straight up twisted scripture in order to make it say what they wanted it to say rather than let it speak for itself into the lives of men and women.
It demonstrates the blatant agenda of men who want to make women a footnote or afterthought to God rather than a co-heir and strong help.
During the hey days of Mars Hill, before the fall, before the accusations of plagiarism, before and during the whirlwind promotion of his Real Marriage book, I knew that his teachings were having negative impacts on women.
You could not honestly analyze his teachings and come away thinking, "This is healthy for women, men, and marriages,"
But I couldn't find women claiming or admitting that the teachings were hurting them.
Now, years later, we see them coming forward. Here is one:
In her comments about the negative aspects of Mars Hill, this is what she said:
"The Song of Solomon and Real Marriage series nearly ruined our marriage. During SoS we were told that because we weren't having enough sex (according to the guidelines presented by Mark) and our sex life wasn't passionate and exciting enough (according to guidelines), we were in sin and not upholding biblical teachings on giving of our bodies to each other."
She said much more if you'd like to read it. Just follow the link above.
"The teaching being black and white with no gray area left our marriage with what felt like no grace. When I disagreed with Driscoll's interpretation of scripture my husband would say things like 'are you even a Christian? You just don't agree because you don't want to follow that part of the Bible.'"
Mars Hill was bad for women. And it gave ammunition to men to control and manipulate their wives.