Monday, June 11, 2012

Seattle Slavery Pushing

Okay, before I get into the meat of this I want to apologize to Nick Bulbeck and all others for any trouble they have on commenting on my blog. I could switch over to Wordpress, but unfortunately I'm a creature of habit and convenience due to the hectic nature of my off-line life.
I also apologize to Nick if the title above is too inflammatory and takes his observations a bit too far. In debating Driscollites (those who defend Driscoll) I have learned that they like inflammatory. That's why they like Driscoll. And in fact, they cannot even hear you if you do not speak as boldly and blatantly as their Idol. If you speak in a more gracious tone, they just think you are a ________ (insert degrading term in reference to the feminine that means you are not masculine enough for them to take seriously)

Anyone who has visited here very often knows that I have issues with a certain famous preacher in Seattle. Yes, I know that none of us are perfect and that none of us have full comprehension of all Truth. But the combination of perversion, popularity, and hypocrisy from Washington holds a special place of "WTH???!!!" [What The Heck, not Wenatchee the Hatchet ;) ] in my world. The Seattle Spin, that song and dance that confuses us and keeps us in a perpetual state of "WTH?!", is better understood, dissected and debunked from different perspectives.

Speaking of WTH (Wenatchee the Hatchet, this time) and different perspectives, I had a wonderful guess series by him concerning Driscoll and his teaching on the Song of Solomon back in October. WTH comes at Driscoll's SoS series from a unique perspective and clarity that I appreciate. Anyone who missed it will find the first installment here:
WTH on Driscoll's SoS, Intro and part 1

Well, through WTH I have become acquainted with Nick Bulbeck who has been quoted here twice and is about to be quoted a third time. Nick also comes at the Driscoll Spin Machine from a different perspective, one that I'm learning to appreciate more and more. Here is his most recent comment under "A Surprise Comment Made My Day":

"The frustration we share at the neo-calvinists, or whatever one cares to label them, may stem from something that runs very deep in us. Consider the truth that has become labelled as "Penal Substitutionary Atonement", or "PSA". Behind the academic label are some astounding implications: God almighty emptied himself, became as nothing, and faced death at the hands of his enemies in order to make them his sons and daughters. There's an old English hymn, My Song is Love Unknown, that puts it thus:
"... a murderer they save,
The Prince of Life they slay;
Yet, cheerful, He to suffering goes,
That He His foes from thence might free

"If my understanding of this jaw-dropping truth moves me to worship; if it opens my mouth, but leaves me silent because I can't escape the realisation that I cannot possibly describe what I've just seen... then and only then have I truly understood it.

"But... if my adherence to "PSA" moves me to self-righteousness and pride, and I use it as an empty shibboleth to prove I'm more doctrinally sound than the next person, then I've understood nothing, but am deceived and blind. My "good doctrine" is, to paraphrase Proverbs 11:22, just a gold ring in a pig's snout.

"Proverbs 19:10 talks about a slave ruling over princes. The Seattle-based preacher under discussion here teaches legalism, rules, and justification by doctrine; that's slavery, but he has managed to get himself into a position of very high influence and authority. If he were just an immature high-school jock sounding off in the corner of a church somewhere because he'd only just become a believer and didn't know any better, that would be one thing. But it isn't so. He is judging and lecturing wiser believers - men and women - from whom he should be humbly learning. A slave ruling over princes; and it is not fitting."

I love Nick's the reference to Proverbs 19:10 in particular. That along with meditations in Galatians is a good defense against the slavery that Mark Driscoll pushes. Nick's input and perspective helps me to understand better, why I'm so distraught over what Driscoll teaches. Driscoll waves a carrot of "freedom" in front of young men, giving them permission to drink, cuss, get tattoos, and have limitless, pornographic sex with their wives, then clamps down on them with his real agenda motivated by his own need for popularity and worldly success.
Thanks, Nick, for sharing your thoughts. I feel I have a better grip on what is going on when we compare notes like this.


Nick Bulbeck said...

Hi, Mara, and sorry for the long gap between comments! My only excuse is that I generally mull over my blog comments for ages in the never-ending search for les mots justes, as they say in France (though I'm an Englishman living in Scotland), so I have to have enough time to post properly.

I have, however, kept tabs on your very interesting output in between times. (Not sure whether that phrase means anything in America but I promise you it isn't rude in the UK!) Since you've been kind enough to pick up on my comments, I thought I should at least introduce myself a bit, by way of one or two issues on which we seem to share some common ground.

Women in the church: In Galatians 3, Paul observes that once we have clothed ourselves with Christ, there is neither male nor female. We may choose other statements of Paul with which to explain this away, but it is apparent to me that the Holy Spirit is richly fulfilling this biblical promise in our day in a way that, perhaps, no previous age has seen. Bearing in mind that He is the same Spirit who both brought us the bible and searches the deep things of the ultimate Authority behind it. This stance may be controversial in evangelical circles - never mind; I'm not an evangelical - but, to me, it's nonsensical to speak of scripture as being the ultimate authority when the Author of scripture is alive among us. It is for Him, and not the Pope, nor Augustine, nor Calvin, nor anyone else, to bring scripture to life in us. I note that Jesus did not say, I did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to interpret them.

On reflection, I may have strayed a little off-topic in that paragraph... back at the ranch, when I see a woman gifted and anointed for leadership, and producing fruit in the shape of believers who submit to Jesus as Lord and who are increasingly showing love, joy, peace, patience etc, then obviously the Holy Spirit has raised them up to lead. And if my theology won't let Him, then my theology needs re-educating as to which One of us is God. It's not rocket science! The early Jewish church could do this when the Spirit fell on uncircumcised gentiles; why can't we?

Abusive leadership: Yup, got the T-shirt, and the battle-scars. The thing is, though, that Jesus also has battle-scars. Does that mean he is "hurt" and needs to seek "healing"? I don't think it does. There's a lot of material out there for people who want healing from spiritual abuse, and I don't doubt there's a place for it. As such, I honour those who produce it. There's rather less for the Joseph's out there whose gifts and character have been forged in slavery and prison, so to speak, and who are itching to put into practice what they've learned. I should probably start working on that book!

Mark Driscoll: Well, actually, not him in particular. I mean any one of numerous "teachers" who are nothing of the sort, but are gifted leaders and politicians who cultivate a reputation for being "biblical" merely by banging a drum for a selected handful of conservative doctrines. There are thousands of local pastors out there who think everyone but their own tribe needs to get "back to scripture", and who are just Mark Driscoll writ small. Historically, of course, there's the Papacy, which is Mark Driscoll writ large.

Anyway... sorry, Mara, I keep forgetting this is your blog!

Mara Reid said...

That's all right Nick.
Comment as long as you want.

You are right. We connect on these three things.

Especially concerning the "numerous 'teachers who are nothing of the sort, but are gifted leaders and politicians who cultivate a reputation for being biblical merely by banging a drum for a selected handful of conservative doctrines."

Real, Spirit called Bible teachers do not make the grievous teaching errors that politicians like Driscoll make. They just don't. It gets so tiresome hearing people laud Driscoll and those like him as great teachers. They aren't even mediocre teachers.