Home > around the web, Church, Mark Driscoll, quick thought > friday is a bad day to ask a question, but…

friday is a bad day to ask a question, but…

Just a quick post, because I want to ask a quick question before it gets too late in the day and this post never gets read.

A couple weeks ago Beth was “trapped” in the house with no internet.  She wanted the internet so badly that she decided to wait it out by reading every single word on every single page that I had open in Firefox on my laptop.

monkposterAt the time, I was doing a little research on people’s thoughts about the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

In particular, I left a post by a SBC blogger calling himself the Internet Monk, who had some great thoughts about the SBC Annual Meeting (‘My Thoughts on Today’s Southern Baptist Convention Meeting‘) that generated a great deal of buzz among internet savvy SBCers.

Southern Baptists have never been known for holding back their opinions, so “internet buzz” equates to some seriously long comment threads on “buzz-worthy” posts.

As Beth was laying siege to the high speed internet service, waiting for it to throw in the towel and start working again, she read through I-Monk’s post and every single one of the 100+ comments that accompanied it.

She came across something that was really fascinating and really concerning, which leads us to the real point of my post.

Here are a couple observation points made by I-Monk:

5. The motions brought from the floor did reveal what an utter waste of time the culture war has been for Southern Baptists. With a $40 million dollar missions’ shortfall, some SBCers still want to boycott Pepsi and harp about Mark Driscoll. [. . .]

6. The patient teaching of the Gospel and church-centered theology by the Founders Ministries and 9Marks has paid off in more fruit than can be put in a basket. Hundreds and hundreds of young people, hungry to hear how to build a Gospel centered, God honoring, missionary focused church. It is astonishing. It may not be revival, but it is a solid outcome that will make a huge difference for a small number of churches.

The mention of Mark Driscoll’s name stirred up some seriously spirited debate among the commenters on the blog, including an intriguing series of comments by a impassioned woman named Lydia who expressed very strong concerns with the influence of Mark Driscoll over young Southern Baptist future-leaders.

Here are some of the things she had to say (condensed from a long series of comments):

These folks (IX Marks and Founders Ministry) promote a heavy top down structure of authoritarianism in the Body as does Driscoll, (Albert) Mohler’s men like (Russel) Moore, (Bruce) Ware, (Denny) Burke and others.

[. . .] It is an ‘anointed’ few running everything. They are very man centered in their view of their ‘roles’ as pastors and elders in the Body. [. . .]

They still want power and control over others in the Body. [. . .] they see themselves as the earthly priests over others.

And the result of their taking over the SBC will be even MORE horrific for the women of the SBC . . . Have you seen how Driscoll preaches about the roles of women? ‘They are more easily deceived”. ‘They are gossips and cannot be trusted’ and MUCH WORSE. He sees them as an object of man’s pleasure.

My goodness, did you not hear his ’sex’ sermons? And these young men in the SBC REVERE this man. Perhaps you have to be a gal to be concerned.

. . . . .

(Responding to a comment that Driscoll is not the “model for SBC reformers”)

But he is for the young seminarians and pastors! I live and breath [Southern Baptist Theological Seminary] as I live here know what of I speak.

And since Driscoll spends so much time on the ‘roles’ topic, you cannot separate it from ‘how’ he does missions and plants churches. We are Christians first..women second.

I am very nervous about this ‘brand’ of young pastor. They are angry, vitriolic and lack humility and respect.

. . . . .

I do want to caution folks that the up and coming wing of the SBC is quite patriarchal. I know because I am surrounded by these young magistrates.

Having read Lydia’s cautionary words and the (not-so-very) short background story leading into her comments, here’s the question(s) that I really want to hear back from you on:

Are Lydia’s fears well-founded? Do her warnings resonate with you?

When you listen to Mark Driscoll, Albert Mohler, Russ Moore, Bruce Ware, and Denny Burke, do you fear a future of patriarchal domination of women marked by  anger, vitriol, and the absence of humility and respect?

Or, do you think Lydia has missed the mark on her reading of these men (young and old)?

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  1. July 24, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Though we don’t know Lydia, it can likely be assumed that a high emphasis on male leadership in her eyes means male domination and belittling women.

    The Driscoll’s, Mohler’s etc. seem to be harping on men so much because when there is no vision the people perish and men are charged to be visionaries (elders) and lead their families and churches. The error that these men make is not harping as strongly on women embracing and fulfilling their roles of helpmate to the leadership they are charged to lovingly respect and follow.

    There is an undercurrent of silent feminism I believe in the church, where certain woman have used their strength to subtly lead their husbands toward their desires instead of submitting their desires to the Lord and the husband they have been charged to follow. It seems women want to respect men when they are respectable instead of respecting them to make them respectable. Just as a man is sacrifically love his wife until she is lovely and pure instead of waiting for when she is already that way to love her. It seems using the verse of men being sacrificial to their wives as Christ was to the church has been bended to where some view Christ as dying for their own benefit and best life instead of Christ dying to redeem and transform the church, so the husband must seek to redeem and transform his wife through following Christ and leading his wife toward the Lord.

    Hopefully men who listen to these godly leaders of the current church in America will not bend their message to their advantage and abuse their leadership of women, but seeing the sinful depravity we walk in, we must expect some of them to do so and to remind them of the cross and Christ’s work in the gospel.

    I welcome the call to godly masculinity, I need to hear it often.

  2. Tyler
    July 24, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Good questions, Lee. I first must say that I’ve learned more about what it means to love and honor my wife from those men Lydia views as “patriarchal” than I have from any egalitarian who would have me split workdays with my wife in the name of equality and bread-winning. Also, the sins that Lydia points out about the young SBC’s seem to be her own in her many comments on the topic. That said, I believe we (young, male SBCers like myself) need to take a reality check on men like Driscoll, knowing that they are influential with good teaching, but not beyond sin and rebuke. (Such was the case with me – almost blindly heeding every word Driscoll said.) Lastly, Lydia’s quotes seem to be taken out of context, and I would challenge her to look at the ministries of the wives of those men and see how much impact they’ve had for the Kingdom. That’s just my two cents.

  3. July 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Erin Woods (via Facebook):

    Interesting. I have never felt threatened by the way any of those men do ministry or teach scripture. Granted, I have not heard some of them. But I have listened to the teachings of Mark Driscoll and Albert Mohler. And unlike Lydia, I have not once thought, “How dare he!” Quite the contrary. I usually find myself thinking or even declaring, “Amen” and “Thank You!” These are men that uphold marriage and the uniqueness of men and women. They do not teach that women are less than men. They teach that women have a specific important purpose just as men do. Praise the Lord! I was created with purpose…and that purpose isn’t to be a man. And praise the Lord that they feel responsible for their congregations. They should. Yes, individuals are responsible for their own response to truth, but pastors are there to give direction to churches and the indiviuals in their churches.

  4. July 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Audrey Lauren (via Facebook)

    I second what Erin said. I consider myself to be a fairly strong individual, but I rarely find myself to feel threatened or put down by these teachin
    myself to be a fairly strong individual, but I rarely find myself to feel threatened or put down by these teachings. While masculine and feminine roles are different in the church, in the home, and elsewhere, they are still equally vital. I love learning more about what my role in the body of Christ is and how I an best equip it. And I love having strong leaders to look to for guidance and interpretation, and who are responsible with helping me to stay on track in my walk with the Lord. It’s encouraging and edifying, not degrading in any way.

  5. Brandon
    July 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I have to disagree with Lydia. There is always a chance that she has witnessed what she’s speaking of first-hand. Maybe she is around a small group of hot-headed, women-belittling, pastor wanna-be’s who have given her a bad taste.

    But exceptions to the rule exist in every group. You can’t observe a small group of bad apples and then make the conclusion that everyone else is the same way.

    I’m encouraged by what I see, both in my church, at SBTS, and through Acts29/9Marks circles abroad. Sure I run into theology snobs. Sure I run into hot-heads who don’t treat their wives well (which, by the way, we can ALL be accused of at times). But the vast majority of guys I meet in these circles are learning to be humble, wife-honoring, church-loving, patient, God-centered dudes.

    I would mention also the influence of CJ Mahaney in conjunction with these guys’ ministries. That guy has more respectful, honoring, romantic love for his wife than anyone I’ve ever known.

    Lastly, I’ll speak for myself (and my wife will attest to this). As I’ve listened to guys like Mohler, Mahaney, Dever, Driscoll, Piper, Ware — (seriously, Dr. Ware is the MAN!), etc…I’ve become a better husband. I’m still terrible at it in my eyes, but I’ve grown. I’m more patient with my wife. I pray for her more. I respect her more. I speak about her more positively in public. I want to serve her more. Ultimately, these guys keep pointing me to a sovereign, holy, sinner-redeeming God who gives me the ultimate picture of marriage: Christ and the Church. If that’s what they’re preaching, how can we become anything but humble (REALLY humbled), Bible-loving, women-honoring, sinner-loving men?

    I just don’t buy it. I think she’s mistaken.

  6. Brandon
    July 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Wow. That was a long comment. Sorry bud.

  7. thepruetts
    July 24, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Lydia just needs to read some Debi Pearl.

  8. nancilea
    July 24, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Driscoll is the only one I have listened to, but I have never felt threatened by his views on women.

  9. July 27, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I am a woman and have listened to Driscoll, Mohler and Ware on the roles of women in the church. I never felt they were teaching an oppressive patriarchialism, more like a liberating and gospel-centered view of gender roles. Anyone who has listened to Driscoll much at all would have to hear the obvious tender love and respect he has for his wife, Grace. Women seem to get upset with him because he is willing to rebuke obvious sin patterns existent among feminist American women. He also rebukes the men for their sin patterns as well. In fact, it seems like some women give a hearty “amen” when anyone slams a man for something he is doing wrong, but yell “sexism!” when that same pastor lovingly rebukes the women in his flock.

    And I wouldn’t call 9 Marks’ view of eldership in the church “authoritarian”, I would call it a biblical view of church polity.

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