Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Surprise Comment Made My Day

And rather than leave it and my response lost in the comment section, I thought I'd bring it forward.

In February, Wenatchee the Hatchet brought a quote to my attention and I made a post about it here:
"Driscoll uses the Bible as a Sock Puppet..."

Quite frankly, I'm surprised that Nick Bulbeck even found my little blog in the great cybernet wilderness. But I'm quite honored that he did. And he left a comment that I want to copy and paste in this post.

I could have just responded in the comment section but it was a long way back (in blog months) and both what he said and what I said would be lost and benefit no one. Plus, those who have interesting bits to add that we could have benefited from, well, we would have never known what they had to say.

Here is Nick's comment in full:

Mara - thankyou for your kind words, though the quote is not completely accurate - I wrote that Mark Driscoll isn't a teacher, but "is merely adept at using the Bible as a sock-puppet that always agrees with him".

May I clarify further? Namely, by saying that Driscoll is by no means unique in that respect. Ironically, many of the anonymous heresy spotters out there (who, perhaps, sit in their nan's basements blogging in their pyjamas, as the saying goes) do likewise. Not only that, but when I first properly discovered bible teaching 25 years ago, I was the same; I became a drooling and self-righteous fundamentalist, eager to "correct" the doctrine of my more gracious, patient and Christ-like christian friends.

As it happens, I'm only a couple of years older than Mark Driscoll and he and I both therefore discovered the bible at about the same time, though thousands of miles apart. And if I had been a strong personality with a clear leadership gift, then I too might have amassed a band of loyal followers and become a pastor before I ever learned to be a disciple.

Yes, I believe some of Driscoll's influence is unhealthy and must not go unchallenged. But I am not, in myself, better than he is; there, but for the grace of God, go I.

A couple of things first.
I totally agree that Driscoll is not unique in doing the sock puppet thing. He's just offended me more than most others for reasons I may or many not get into later.

I also greatly agree with the fact Nick pointed out that in order to be a good pastor, you must first learn to be a disciple. Driscoll skipped that stage to the hurt of himself and those he "pastors".

Another thing I would add is that if a person actually had the gifting of the office of a teacher, even with minimal training, that person would not make the blatant errors in teaching that Driscoll makes.

Now to the thing I really wanted to add. To me, this goes beyond even discovering proper Bible teaching, though that plays a prominent role in all of this. Because even the most 'proper' teaching of scriptures can go a muck. The best example I can give is the Pharisees in the day of Jesus. They knew the scriptures inside and out. But still, human error and tradition made them not recognize the Messiah when He came.

The point, even beyond proper Bible teaching is... Seeking God through prayer and the Scriptures. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Driscoll screws up major royale in thinking that God thinks the way that he does.

And as Nick pointed out about Bible teaching, Driscoll is "by no means unique in that respect". We all do it to a degree. We think that God thinks like us. The point, though, is to recognize this as one of our human failings. When we reach out to God and His Book we must keep this always before us. And along with this, we should reach out to each other and compare notes. There is no one person who totally gets all of Who God is and What He is all about.

Sometimes I use this illustration, but not often because it is borrowed from Eastern thought and therefore soundly rejected by many. But it is still the best picture I know.

It's the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant. Each of the blind men touched a different part of the elephant and came to different conclusions of what it was. This is how we are with God. And while I hold to the Christian view, I see this also happening within the Christian circles. Each person or group has some sort of revelation of Who God is. They have managed to touch some part of God, and rather than realizing that what they understand is only a small part of the whole, they build a temple on this one aspect of God and shun and criticize all others rather than compare notes.

One of the reasons that Driscoll has gotten on my bad side is this:
He has decided a certain aspect of God, or in particular, a certain interpretation of the Song of Solomon is the one and only way to view both God and the Songs. Instead of realizing that he has only touched on a small area of what the the Songs are about, he has criticized, insulted, and mocked everyone and everything that doesn't agree with his narrow view and has run head long into deep error by not being willing to consider that perhaps others also have an understanding that brings the picture of the Whole better into focus.

So yes, this is why the "Sock Puppet" quote struck such a chord with me. The way certain men put forth their puny opinion on Bible interpretation as God breathed, all encompassing fact and then holds people accountable to their narrow and misguided interpretations, well, this really gets my goat.

Nick or anyone else?

Monday, May 28, 2012

True Woman or Unladylike?

The True Womanhood Manifesto has been around for a while and I have always had trouble with it.
It bothers Pam Hogeweide as well. So she came up with another Manifesto. I like it much better.

Unladylike Manifesto

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mars, Venus, and Uranus

I'm not even going to tell you how I got onto this train of thought. The story is too long and complicated and drags in some places.

I am going to give a disclaimer:
I have never read "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" nor "Women May Be from Venus, But Men Are Really from Uranus." So I can't comment on whether either book is worth anything.

I'm also going to state something else. In the past I never really thought about the name of Mars Hill being anything but taken from the Bible concerning Paul arguing for the faith on Mars Hill as mentioned in the Book of Acts. But part of me is really beginning to think that the name "Mars Hill" might be far more loaded in the minds and hearts of the men who came up with the name. Part of me is starting to believe that Mark Driscoll might have read John Gray's "Men are from Mars..." and might have taken it to heart so that it has became part of the psyche that is Mars Hill. Perhaps it is more Mars/Men/Mark Hill that what I originally thought.

This, I cannot really say. But part of me really wonders if they named it Mars Hill because they really are concerned about raising the Masculine over the Feminine, making Mars Hill a great place for men (the right kind of men, Mars type men, Mark type men). They have made it a great place for Mars Men at the hurt and expense of the women. I already know that Mars Hill is a place that hurts and puts down women in order to raise up and (fake) heal the souls of men. But I've never considered the name to be a part of the abuse and oppression of women. Now I'm wondering.

And the thing that got me wondering about it again this morning is reading a blog post by the women who wrote "Women May Be from Venus, But Men Are Really from Uranus." In this post Katherine Black lays out the top ten defenses of John Gray that she receives. I post them only because they sound strangely close to the defenses the are given against feminism, egalitarianism, and arguments against male privilege in the church.

Again, I can neither endorse nor defend anything concern the books by John Gray and Katherine Black. But I can appreciate this post on men defending the words and writings of another men by attacking a woman.

John Gray Is Soundly Defended

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The New Jezebel

I wanted to make this post by Dr. Stephan R. Crosby available to those who haven't seen it yet:

The New Jezebel - "You're Just Wounded"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sophia's Blog

My friend, Sophia, is blogging about her recovery from being a member of Mars Hill.
I've added her blog to my list.
Today's post is on parenting and how she wants her child to not be needlessly burdened with sin.
She blogs about it here:
Rethinking Parenting

And here is a video I want to dedicate to Sophia and her children:
God's Ways are not Our Ways

Sunday, May 20, 2012

God Calls for Both Masculine and Feminine Leadership

Unfortunately, that should be a no-brainer. But it's not. There are men out there who are so enamored with their own masculinity and the masculinity of other men that there fall into deep deception and think more highly of themselves and their gender than they ought to. There are men who distrust and even hate the feminine so much that no amount of the feminine can exist in either God or the positions of authority. Though they work tirelessly to prove their bias and search the scriptures for proof texts that back them up, the truth of the matter is that you cannot read the Bible honestly and come to the conclusions that they have come to.

Here is my friend, Marg's, post on the matter:

Edited: Marg's site had been hacked so I have removed the link.
If and when I get the all clear from Marg, I'll put the link back in.

Edited further: I've got the all clear from Marg. Everything is cleaned up and ready to go. So again, here is her blog post:
Paul's Masculine and Feminine Leadership

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Promise Keepers, the Shepherding Movement, and Sowing to the Wind

For those who are unaware of the Shepherding Movement here is a brief definition of it:

The Shepherding Movement

The article that I linked to in my previous post connects Promise Keepers, a 1990s organization, to the Shepherding Movement of the 70s and early 80s.

These principles and structure, which are similar to the shepherding/discipleship model of the Word of God, would take years to implement and introduce a highly disciplined group. Most men drawn to Promise Keepers have probably never heard of shepherding/discipleship (which, in 1995, was still not widely known even within the evangelical community) and may be deeply offended if they experience the degree of manipulation and control (to which they may be "submitting" themselves and their families) that has occurred in many shepherding/disciple situations.

Taken from this link:
Christian Soldiers for Theocracy under the heading "Something Like Punching You Lights Out".

And a Promise Keeper spokes person used similar language back in the 90s that Mark Driscoll uses today.
"All of our success here is contingent upon men taking part in small groups when they return home," Promise Keepers spokesman Steve Chavis told Christianity Today. Less elegantly, Dave Wardell, the national coordinator for local leaders, explains, "I can go home and maybe still be the same guy after a conference. But if I have another guy calling up, holding me accountable, asking, `How are you treating your wife? Are you still cheating on your income taxes? Are you looking at your secretaries with lust?' it makes a difference. I don't think a woman would get in my face, go toe to toe with a guy, whereas a guy could tell me, `I don't like it. And if you don't listen to me, I'll punch your lights out.' Something like that."
(Also taken from article linked above also under the heading "Something Like Punching Your Lights Out".)

And here is Mark Driscoll using that similar language which he thinks it brilliant:

"I Break Their Nose."

Folks, the Shepherding Movement is not dead. It just changed it's name, existed in Promise Keepers and is now alive and well in many places, including Mars Hill.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Promise Keepers Hurt My Marriage

When my husband had the opportunity to go to Promise Keepers over fifteen years ago, I sent him with my blessing not knowing what they were filling his head with.

I am a woman that likes men. I like fellowshipping with them. I want them to be encouraged and strengthened and to grow in confidence in who they are. And that is what I thought Promise Keepers was. I was wrong.

My husband and I got along fairly well before Promise Keepers. But after he came back, issues we never had before began to crop up. When we got into disagreements, all of the sudden he started playing the "You aren't being submissive" card. For a long time I had no clue of the connection between his trip to Promise Keepers and this new tactic in arguments.
Now, many years later, I'm seeing that connection. I'm sorry I ever sent him to Promise Keepers. Instead of being a place of blessing they pretended to be, it was a den of thieves. They stole the heart of my loving man and turned him into a "I'm the one that wears the pants in this family" kind of guy.

So what did they teach my man back in the 90s that set him backwards in his walk with the Lord? Lots of bad things.

Here's what Tony Evens told him:
“The first thing you do is sit down with your wife and say something like this: `Honey, I've made a terrible mistake. I've given you my role. I gave up leading this family, and I forced you to take my place. Now I must reclaim this role.' Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here. I'm not suggesting that you ask for your role back. I'm urging you to take it back.” He went on to say, “If you simply ask for it back, your wife is likely to refuse...Unfortunately, there can be no compromise here.” 

I wouldn't be surprised if the great comp leaders of today all went to Promise Keepers meetings. Leaders like Driscoll, Piper, Wilson, Baucham, Grudem Challis, etc.
I'm sure they went to those meetings or read those books. Because they are saying the same things and hurting countless other marriages.

Thanks for nothing, Promise Keepers.

For more on what was wrong with Promise Keepers, search the web or follow these links:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mars Worship at Mars Hill and Elsewhere

I've mentioned Baal worship before which Lewis (at the Commandments of Men) calls the worship of the culture. Another has referred to this idolizing of manhood as the worship of Mars. And yet another has called this manning up/gladiator cancer, Jupiter worship, not unlike the Roman games at the Coliseum that where fought to honor Jupiter.

Well, I don't know which title is more accurate. All I know it that these men who claim to worship Christ have no idea who He is. They have built up an idol of what they want Him to be and part of that idol includes hyper masculinity.

For more information check out this:
Masculine Christianity - On Display in all its 'Glory'

Manhood worship, by whatever name you choose, is alive and well in the American church to day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Always Remember the Victim

Abuse comes. As Christians, we cannot prevent it. But our response as Christians, can make all the difference in the world.

John Piper's response to tragedy is, in itself, tragic. All he can point to is that God rules and we drool. I can't argue with this fact. But his message is of no use to anyone. He could take a lesson from Wade Burleson who wrote a compassionate, open letter on his blog to a little girl who was sexually exploited by a man in Christian leadership.

Here is a link to what this letter has meant to the family of the abused little girl:
Tom White, Abuse, VOM, and the Power of the Internet

John Piper, if you are listening, and I'm sure you aren't but I have to say this anyway, please learn a lesson from Wade Burleson. You should be able to learn from him. He's a man and he's even a Calvinist. Please take note of what to do in crisis because you have shown so far that you have no clue.