Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Love Affair With Doctrine

As he put it in his book Confessions of a Reformission Rev, Driscoll was very unhappy with his marriage and particularly the state of his sex life at that point in his life. He thought he'd go through Song of Songs and see if it could improve his marriage. He went into the book with an agenda that colored his approach. Now, it seems, Driscoll can't disengage from his love affair with Song of Songs as the canonized sex manual that fixed what he wasn't happy with in his marriage. Driscoll's hermeneutic of erotica toward Song on songs is such a treasure to him he can't see that what is has done to his view of a biblical book is transform that book's message within the canon. Instead of "It's all about Jesus!" it must now be "It CAN'T BE about Jesus."
--WTH, from the last paragraph in his guest post here, on Monday 10/10/11

As Christians, we put our trust in a lot of things besides Jesus.
I'm guilty just like everyone else. WTH's observation on Driscoll here can actually be seen all over. We are a fallen people in need of saving. Our marriages need saved, our relationships, certain aspects of our culture, etc.

But the problem is, if something works for you, or helps you, you can raise that solution above where it belongs.

I can see this concern that WTH has toward Driscoll and apply it to myself.
Song of Songs has been such a tremendous blessing to me, spiritually and in my perception of the Love of God for me, that I could fall into the trap of elevating my take on the Songs above everything else even to the point of asserting that my take is the only take on the Songs. And anyone else who disagrees with me is wrong or even evil.

I try not to do this.
In my dealings with my disgust over Mark Driscoll's position, I've still tried to continue to make room for other positions. If counselors have had success using the Songs in marriage counselling, then far be it for me to pronounce judgement on them for not looking at the Songs as I do.

Also, I can now see why it is so important for Driscoll to teach the Songs the way he does. He feels it saved or enhanced his marriage and he wants others to benefit from it. I cannot fault the man for feeling this way.

But at the same time, I am very glad that my husband doesn't have the 'revelation' of the Songs that Driscoll has. Whereas Driscoll intent may have been noble, he has trampled over boundaries of decency in his zeal. He has rushed into the book, looking for and finding erotic sex under every rock and tree and pretty much every verse of the book, including those that have nothing to do with sex. Thus, he has turned the entire book into erotica leaving no room for anyone who may have benefited from a more allegorical or typological reading of the Songs. People like me.

So, whereas I don't want to rob those who have benefited from the marriage counseling use of the Songs, Mark Driscoll tries to declare my take on it as a lie and steals away from the church whatever benefit that my take has to offer.

God forgive him, he knows not what he does.


Don said...

I had an insight. SoS sex should be implemented ONLY in an egal marriage context. If SoS sex is implemented in a male hierarchy marriage context, it would be abusive, since the husband's "final decision" (or what ever it is called) trumps the wife's will. It would also also directly contradicts 1 Cor 7.

Don said...

Forgive me for not seeing this before this. I am so used to wearing my egal hat that I can see things ONLY thru egal eyes, that is, where loving mutuality applies.

Outside of loving mutuality, such as Driscoll's gender hierarchy, his teaching promotes sexual abuse.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Now I don't know that Driscoll or Mars Hillians would agree with this but I would say that a lot of the supposedly complementarian teaching they have has a far more egalitarian practice than they may want to admit. Women are told they need to learn how to submit within marriage but Driscoll has explained cases from the pulpit in which a husband came to him in the hopes that he'd approve a veto on the wife's veto on a financiald ecision. Driscoll told the husband that God had appointed the wife to work around the husband's being stupid about financial matters and that he should listen to his wife! That's just one case I remember Driscoll mentioning. He has also said that any husband who has to consistently use the hsuband-headship-veto power is being a bad husband because there shouldn't be that many points of conflict in a marriage that a husband should even have to pull rank. I'm not even getting into the courtship fad of 2003-2007 when Driscoll talked about how the woman has all the veto power until marriage and can say "no" with or without cause. I'm also not touching (yet) how the "dad gets the veto" in courtship was practically ignored in cases when the dad was not a MH member and his daughter, a MH member, chose to marry a guy anyway against the objections of her dad. What I'm trying to say here is that despite the complementarian rhetoric there are a lot of marriages in MH that have a foundation that is more egalitarian than they may realize. When Driscoll says that both partners in a marriage have to be comfortable with whatever X or Y is being done in the marriage this suggests that Driscoll and other complementarians still need to be distinguished from old school patriarchal advocates.