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.
I met a pastor and he said that I am so very right: My wife truly needs to serve me day and night. She needs to be sweet and she needs to be kind. And she has to be my sunshine.
Regardless of my conduct, my sins and my shame. I am entitled to give her the blame. I rightfully posess power over her. I am her husband, her lover. Whenever I want her to please me, she must. I resent it when she calls my desires dirty lust.
How dare she argue with me? For who is she? Don't argue! Don't upset me! Just serve me! She cries, "You don't love me!" I want her. That's love. What else could it be?
But she resents my love, and I am confused. I blow a fuse.
No. I am not an angry man. I don't want to do her any harm. But I can't handle that she doesn't want to submit, and that's SHIT! She's sinful not to meet my every wish. She brings it all on herself: unhappiness and anquish.
She deserves to be rebuked and put in her place. But if she behaves - she will find grace. She has to obey me and love me and serve me. I am going to let her be as long as she is nice to me.
That's my crede. That's what I believe. I'm so much like Jesus, don't you see?
Thank you Saina for leaving this gem even though I found it a bit late.
Saina also left a message to men who have drunk deeply of deceptive doctrine that puffs them up. Go see what is said: Saina's comment
At least this is what a commentor on Throckmorton's claims.
Someone commenting under the name "Win" has brought up the issue of the ESV and it's false rise to success. He/She claims that it "is a far graver issue than the geographically isolated Driscoll situation." While I disagree with the thinking that the Driscoll situation is 'geographically isolated', I agree that the ESV situation is graver.
The Holidays are always very busy, energy zapping, and disorienting at my house.
But this year they hit even harder than usual.
I haven't forgotten about my critique of the Song of Songs study guide. I'm still not done shining the light of truth on it in order to expose it for what it is, a worthless piece of tripe.
The problem is that with such a convoluted and misleading piece, it takes a bit more time that what I have to expose the layers of fraud and deceit involved in making it.
I hope to get back to this soon. But alas, I'm still recovering from the Holidays.
So here's to hoping that I can wrap this critique up sometime in the near future.
As I mentioned in the intro to this series, I am aware of Driscoll's tactic of front loading his messages with innocuous info to give his audience a false sense of security. He uses many words, with references and word studies at the beginning and middle of his messages to fool people into thinking that what he throws in here and there and then asserts at the end is also well researched, documented, supported and should be accepted. I saw him do this in the Peasant Princess series. I see this in the "Study Guide" as well. (Note: cn0te1 never did get back to me on where this study guide came from, even though he claimed that he copied and pasted it for my benefit, to educate me. He just thought throwing all those words with no footnotes, references, or sources should somehow be enough to shut me up.)
I started off counting paragraphs to keep track, but there are so many I've changed it to sections with paragraphs numbered in those sections.
The question is, does Song of Songs 6:13 refer to the Beloved doing a strip tease or some other sort of provocative dance?
Driscoll and cn0te1 claim that is does.
Here is the verse in question:
Songs 6:13 Come back, come back, O Shulammite;
Come back, come back, that we may gaze at you!"
Why should you gaze at the Shulammite,
As at the dance of the two companies?
Part one of the study guide goes into the Beloved's name used in the verse. That the name used, "Shulammite" is about where she comes from rather than her personal name. And the study guide asserts that she is Abishag, mentioned in I and II Kings. There is no proof or disproof of this. Some traditions believe this. Others don't. Then part one goes on more about names. It gets pretty long and confusing. But for the most part, seemingly harmless.
Part two gets into the dance of the Manahaaim which I touched on in my comment to cn0te1. The first two and a half paragraphs of part two go into the meaning of this word. But about three fourths of the way down in the third paragraph, an assertion is made. The author asserts that "the daughters of Jerusalem wish to see the Shulamite dance."
This assertion cannot be derived by reading the text, nor is there any supporting documentation that is so prevalent in the everything that led up to this assertion. It is just stated as fact, as though the text says so, itself. But it doesn't. All the text does is question why people are staring at her like at some angelic dance.
Don't get me wrong. She may very well have been dancing. That is neither provable nor un-provable. The word 'dance' is mentioned in the verse. But it is not certain that anyone was dancing, going to dance, or being requested to dance. There is simply mentioned "the dance of the two companies" which refers back to Genesis 32:2. And that dance had to do with angels. Not sex.
Paragraph 4 of part 2 gets into German words and Indian mythology, which I suppose the author found interesting. But one has to wonder why it is brought up here since it has absolutely no bearing on the verse in question. It seems to appear because the author likes to fancy himself intelligent or well-read. Or perhaps it is thrown in to further confuse people so that their defenses are down and they accept what comes next.
Paragraph 5 makes unsupported assertions concerning the verses that follow Song 6:13 in Songs Chapter 7. The word 'undeniably' is used in this assertion to try to give it credibility. Again. The verse may or may not be about dancing. And if it is about dancing, it still isn't proven that this dance is in anyway meant to be provocative.
Much is said to try to prove that there is dancing, which may or may not have been going on. And much is asserted as to what people meant or intended or implied by their words. The problem is that these things can be found in neither the plain reading of the text nor in any supporting work or documentation.
So here are a lot of words that seem to be legit (again, none of this is footnoted and given sources but enough is given a person could conceivably look them up themselves) ... anyway, there seems to be a lot of legit discourse on names and angels. But toward the end of several blocks of info there are little bits of unsupportable sex leaven sprinkled in. These little suggestions in the study are part of a sales tactic. The tactic is to plant little sex seeds in order to build up to the final flight of fantasy promoted by Driscoll (or whoever the author is) at the end of the whole spiel.
I will resume with the study guide critique on Monday.
But here is a good post from WTH concerning Driscoll's relationship with his wife, Grace. WTH pulls several things together to point out what most of us have already known. Putting it mildly, their relationship is not healthy.
First off, before anyone wants to accuse me of thinking that I presume to be the bedroom police, let me clarify. I do not feel it is my job to tell people what is and is not acceptable in their own bedrooms. If people do strip teases or oral sex as part of their married sex lives, that is their business, not mine. My little critique of the study guide linked by cn0te1 has nothing to do with whether a sex act is right or wrong. My critique has to do with whether or not strip teases or provocative dancing is mentioned and maybe even encouraged in the Song of Songs.
Secondly, while I was debating this topic with cn0te1, he/she seemed to assume a great deal about me without even knowing me. He/She seemed to think that the reason I didn't like Driscoll's teachings was because I thought Driscoll was misogynous. He/She assumed that I hated Driscoll and that that hatred was blinding me to Driscoll's brilliance in explaining the Songs. He/She assumed that I didn't know what I was talking about and that Driscoll did know what he was talking about.
Another thing cn0te1 assumed was that he/she has the right to comment on my sex life and, in essence, be the bedroom police towards me. He/she tried to bring up what was going on in my bedroom and what should be going on that he/she assumed wasn't. He/She was convinced I had certain issues since he/she had determined that I wasn't obeying the sex laws that he/she and Driscoll believed the Songs had set up for all married couples.
Driscoll, and those like cn0te1, also consider themselves judge and jury. They believe that they are the ones who get to accuse others of being insecure, prudish or some such rot if people point out that God might not be all that interested in that much variety in the bedroom.
And where the heck do they get such a notion that wild sex pleases God?
From a legalistic view of the Songs. That's right folks. legalism.
You see, instead of seeing the Song of Songs for what it is, a love poem in the Bible, something beautiful and descriptive, they see it as some sort of divine remedy, something prescriptive to a healthy sex life in marriage. They truly believe that the Song of Songs (their take on it) is the healthy-sex trouble-shooting section of the Bible. Their personally subjective, black and white thinking has pounded this beautiful piece of poetry down into the little mold of a modern day 'how-to' guide for sex. To them, this book is about sex, sex, and nothing but sex. And anyone who suggests that there might be a bit more to it than that is labeled as religious, insecure, unenlightened, uneducated, and a whole host of other ad hominem attack words.
cn0te1 has made a whole host of assumptions concerning me, labeling me stubborn and religious, thinking that because I don't use the Songs the way Driscoll teaches, then I must be a Puritan prude who blushes at the mention of the very word 'sex'. Talking to him/her became frustrating because of the wall of accusations and assumptions on his/her part. He/She engaged in twists, turns, circular logic, and name calling rather than face the truth that Driscoll's doctrine on sex is bogus. It became so frustrating that I had to bring his comment over here and dissect it here rather than in the comments at Throckmorton's.
Driscoll has been exposed for the shyster that he is so I no longer feel the need to call attention to that. But his bad doctrine is still floating around, damaging people and their perceptions of God and the Bible. Therefore, when I come across someone who stubbornly holds onto Driscoll's wrong teaching, I don't back down.
Now for a link to an old post from Virginia Knowles at Watch the Shepherd. My Thoughts on the Sexualization of the Church (and other problems)
The sex police (Mark Driscoll and all) have forced sex into the face of the church for quite long enough. We've had enough of their demands. And we are no longer going to let them use the Bible to promote their twisted doctrine that invades the bedroom and defiles the marriage bed.*
*Again, what people do in the privacy of their bedroom is their business. What is being discussed here is what Driscoll and Company says God is pleased with and in some cases commands.
And just who exactly wrote this Song of Songs study guide (here after referred to SoS SG)? Mark Driscoll? Someone else approved by Mark Driscoll?
I'm trying to get an answer from the random person who copied and pasted it in a comment at Warren Throckmorton's blog. That anonymous person, cn0te1, copied it into the comment section to try to get me to shut up. His/her exact words were, "Please read educate yourself then be quiet." A comma would have helped for clarity. But I'm not here to critique his/her grammar, just his/her foolishness in embracing Driscoll's teachings on the Songs. This post will not contain critique, just his/her comment and perhaps some dividing and labeling for clarity. The critiques will appear in subsequent comments (here after referred to the SoS SGC).
Note: okay, just a little critique right here right now because this cut and paste job is really, really long. Do not feel obligated to read every word of it in order to follow along with my critique unless you want to and/or feel up to the challenge. One reason I suspect that this, so called "Study Guide" is written by Driscoll is because of the style. He goes on about stuff that is mostly innocuous to lull his audience into a false sense of security then throws in a bit of completely unsupportable conjecture. Then at the end, he throws in unsupportable flights of fantasy and expects his hack job to be taken seriously. He expects people to treat it as a piece of enlighten inspiration. The problem is there are people like me who don't trust him since he's a liar, a plagiarist, a cheat, and all around shyster (and yes, I know the German origin for that last word and mean it with all of my heart because that is what he has done to the Songs).
Anyway, here is the comment as it appeared over there, including the belittling, silencing tactic at the beginning from cn0te1 who has had quite enough of me at this point cause I won't stop pointing out that his/her idol is a fraud.
Also I have divided this long piece into 4 parts in order to better dissect this ugly dragon.
(7:1) Encouraged by Shulamith's unassuming answer, the daughters of Jerusalem now give utterance to an entreaty which their astonishment at her beauty suggests to them. 7:1 Come back, come back, O Shulamith!
Come back, come back, that we may look upon thee!
She is now (Song 6:10 ff.) on the way from the garden to the palace. The fourfold "come back" entreats her earnestly, yea, with tears, to return thither with them once more, and for this purpose, that they might find delight in looking up her; for b| chaazaah signifies to sink oneself into a thing, looking at it, to delight (feast) one's eyes in looking on a thing.
Here for the first time Shulamith is addressed by name. But hashuw' cannot be a pure proper name, for the art. is vocat., as e.g., yrw' habat , "O daughter of Jerusalem!" Pure proper names like shlmh are so determ. in themselves that they exclude the article; only such as are at the sametime also nouns, like yar|deen and l|baanown , are susceptible of the article, particularly also of the vocat., Ps 114:5; but cf.
Zech 11:1 with Isa 10:34. Thus hashuw' will be not so much a proper name as a name of descent, as generally nouns in î (with a few exceptions, viz., of ordinal number, haraariy , y|maaniy , etc.) are all gentilicia. The LXX render hshw' by hee Sounami'tis, and this is indeed but another form for hashuwnamiyt, i.e., she who is from Sunem. Thus also was designated the exceedingly beautiful Abishag, 1 Kings 1:3, Elisha's excellent and pious hostess, 2 Kings 4:8 ff.
Sunem was in the tribe of Issachar (Josh 19:18), near to Little Hermon, from which it was separated by a valley, to the south-east of Carmel. This lower Galilean Sunem, which lies south from Nain, south-east from Nazareth, south-west from Tabor, is also called Shulem. Eusebius in his Onomasticon says regarding it: Doubee'm (l. Doulee'm) klee'rou Issa'char kai' nu'n esti' koo'mee Soulee'm k.t.l., i.e., as Jerome translates it: Sunem in tribue Issachar. et usque hodie vicus ostenditur nomine Sulem in quinto miliario montis Thabor contra australum plagam. This placeif found at the present day under the name of Suwlam (Sôlam), at the west end of Jebel ed-Duhi (Little Hermon), not far from the great plain (Jisre'el, now Zer'în), which forms a convenient way of communication between Jordan and the sea-coast, but is yet so hidden in the mountainrange that the Talmud is silent concerning this Sulem, as it is concerning Nazareth. Here was the home of the Shulamitess of the Song. The ancients interpret the name by eireemeu'ousa, or by eskuleume'nee (vid., Lagarde's Onomastica), the former after Aquila and the Quinta, the latter after Symm. The Targum has the interpretation: h' `m b'mwnth hshleemh (vid., Rashi). But the form of the name (the Syr. writes shiyluwmiytaa') is opposed to these allegorical interpretations. Rather it is to be assumed that the poet purposely used, not hshwb', but hshwl', to assimilate her name to that of Solomon; and that it has the parallel meaning of one devoted to Solomon, and thus, as it were, of a passively-applied sh|lowmiyt = Dalo'mee, is the more probable, as the daughters of Jerusalem would scarcely venture thus to address her who was raised to the rank of a princess unless this name accorded with that of Solomon.
Not conscious of the greatness of her beauty, Shulamith asks- 1ba What do you see in Shulamith?
She is not aware that anything particular is to be seen in her; but the daughters of Jerusalem are of a different opinion, and answer this childlike, modest, but so much the more touching question- 1bb As the dance of Mahanaim!
They would thus see in her something like the dance of Manahaaïm. If this be here the name of the Levitical town (now Mahneh) in the tribe ofGad, north of Jabbok, where Ishbosheth resided for two years, and where David was hospitably entertained on his flight from Absalom (Luthr.: "the dance to Mahanaaïm"), then we must suppose in this trans-Jordanic town such a popular festival as was kept in Shiloh, Judg 21:19, and we may compare Abel-meholah = meadow of dancing, the name of Elisha's birth-place (cf. also Herod. i. 16: "To dance the dance of the Arcadian town of Tegea").
But the Song delights in retrospective references to Genesis (cf. Gen 4:11b, 7:11). At 32:3, however, by Mahanaaïm (Note: Böttcher explains Mahanaaïm as a plur.; but the plur. of mchnh is machanowt and machaniym; the plur. termination ajim is limited to mayim and shaamayim .) is meant the double encampment of angels who protected Jacob's two companies (32:8). The town of Mahanaaïm derives its name from this vision of Jacob's. The word, as the name of a town, is always without the article; and here, where it has the article, it is to be understood appellatively. The old translators, in rendering by "the dances of the camps" (Syr., Jerome, choros castrorum, Venet. thi'ason stratope'doon), by which it remains uncertain whether a war-dance or a parade is meant, overlook the dual, and by exchanging mchnayim with machanowt, they obtain a figure which in this connection is incongruous and obscure. But, in truth, the figure is an angelic one. The daughters of Jerusalem wish to see Shulamith dance, and they designate that as an angelic sight. Mahanaaïm became in the post-bibl. dialect a name directly for angels. The dance of angels is only a step beyond the responsive song of the seraphim, Isa 6.
Engelkoere angel-choir and "heavenly host" are associated in the old German poetry. (Note: Vid., Walther von der Vogelweide, 173. 28. The Indian mythology goes farther, and transfers not only the original of the dance, but also of the drama, to heaven; vid., Götting. Anziegen, 1874, p. 106.)
The following description is undeniably that (let one only read how Hitzig in vain seeks to resist this interpretation) of one dancing. In this, according to biblical representation and ancient custom, there is nothing repulsive.
The women of the ransomed people, with Miriam at their head, danced, as did also the women who celebrated David's victory over Goliath (Ex. 15:20; 1 Sam. 18:66). David himself danced (2 Sam 6) before the ark of the covenant. Joy and dancing are, according to Old Testament conception, inseparable (Eccl 3:4); and joy not only as the happy feeling of youthful life, but also spiritual holy joy (Ps 87:7). The dance which the ladies of the court here desire to see, falls under the point of view of a play of rival individual artistes reciprocally acting for the sake of amusement. The play also is capable of moral nobility, if it is enacted within the limits of propriety, at the right time, in the right manner, and if the natural joyfulness, penetrated by intelligence, is consecrated by a spiritual aim.
Thus Shulamith, when she dances, does not then become a Gaditanian (Martial, xiv. 203) or an Alma (the name given in Anterior Asia to thosewomen who go about making it their business to dance mimic and partly lascivious dances); nor does she become a Bajadere (Isa 23:15 f.), (Note: Alma is the Arab. 'ualmah (one skilled, viz., in dancing and jonglerie), and Bajadere is the Portug. softening of baladera, a dancer, from balare (ballare), mediaev. Lat., and then Romanic: to move in a circle, to dance.) as also Miriam, Ex 15:20, Jephthah's daughter, Judg 11:34, the "daughters of Shiloh," Judg 21:21, and the woman of Jerusalem,1 Sam 18:6, did not dishonour themselves by dancing; the dancing of virgins is even a feature of the times after the restoration, Jer 31:13. But that Shulamith actually danced in compliance with the earnest entreaty of thedaughters of Jerusalem, is seen from the following description of her attractions, which begins with her feet and the vibration of her thighs.
After throwing aside her upper garments, so that she had only the light clothing of a shepherdess or vinedresser, Shulamith danced to and fro before the daughters of Jerusalem, and displayed all her attractions before them. Her feet, previously (Song 5:3) naked, or as yet only shod withsandals, she sets forth with the deportment of a prince's daughter. 2a How beautiful are thy steps in the shoes, O prince's daughter!
""Another view is that the word "return" is for "turn round;" that is, "Let us see thee dance, that we may admire the beauty of thy form and movements." This would explain the appropriateness of the bride's reply in the latter haft of the verse. Moreover, the fourfold appeal is scarcely suitable if the bride was only slightly indicating her intention to leave. She would surely not leave hastily, seeing that Solomon is present. The request is not that she may remain, but that they may look upon her. It would be quite fitting in the mouth of lady companions. The whole is doubtless a poetic artifice, as before in the case of the dream, for the purpose of introducing the lovely description of her personal attractions. Plainly she is described as dancing or as if dancing. Delitzsch, however, thinks that the dance is only referred to by the ladies as a comparison; but in that case he certainly leaves unexplained the peculiarity of the description in Song of Solomon 7:1-5, which most naturally is a description of a dancing figure.Verse 13b. - Why will ye look upon the Shulamite as upon the dance of Mahanaim? The Shulamite, in her perfect modesty and humility, not knowing how beautiful she really is, asks why it is that they wish still to gaze upon her, like those that gaze at the dance of Mahanaim, or why they wish her to dance. But at the same moment, with the complaisance of perfect amiability, begins to move - always a pleasure to a lovely maiden - thus filling them with admiration. Mahanaim came in later times to mean "angels," or the "heavenly host" (see Genesis 32:3), but here it is generally thought to be the name of a dance, perhaps one in which the inhabitants of Mahanaim excelled, or one in which angels or hosts were thought to engage. The old translators, the Syriac, Jerome, and the Venetian, render, "the dances of the camps" (choros castrarum, θίωσον στρατοπέδων), possibly a war dance or parade. The word, however, is in the dual. Delitzsch thinks the meaning is a dance as of angels, "only a step beyond the responsive song of the seraphim" (Isaiah 6.). Of course, there can be no objection to the association of angels with the bride, but there is no necessity for it. The word would be, no doubt, familiarly known in the age of Solomon. The sacred dances wore often referred to in Scripture. and there would be nothing degrading to the dignity of the bride in dancing before the ladies and her own husband. "After throwing aside her upper garment, so that she had only the light clothing of a shepherdess or vine dresser, Shulamith danced to and fro before the daughters of Jerusalem, and displayed all her attractions before them.""...Therefore performing a provocative dance!
I can't wait to get into critiquing it. But I have to wait until I have more time on my hands.
I have no idea what he has said since I have not heard this yet. I'm so busy with personal life that my blog seems to have become my 'Pinterest' today, pinning this little blip from Piper concerning whether or not he regrets partnering with Driscoll. I'm pinning it so I can find it later. Piper may redeem himself. Or not. I have know clue. I'll find out as I listen to it.
I don't have much time for blogging these days. But things haven't slowed down in popular Christian culture news. Especially at Mars Hill.
For those who want to keep on top of it, I suggest reading WTH's blog. He is in the know, both as a former MH member and as someone who is still in contact with people who go there. He is keeping track of all the inconsistencies and spin.
But on a more personal note, here is a thoughtful comment over at Warren Throckmorton's blog by a former member and leader on both the good and the bad of belonging to Mars Hill.