Driscoll and Madrid-Swetman and Cain and Abel

Most readers here will know that I'm not egalitarian. I believe firmly that God created man and woman - and that He created them with different roles. That does not mean that men and women are not equal - but they are different.

Mark Driscoll is taking a beating on certain blogs for his blog post that was triggered by Ted Haggard's situation, but spoke to men in leadership in general.

In particular, another pastor in Seattle, Rose Madrid-Swetman, has written an "open letter" to Driscoll. Now (this is important) Madrid-Swetman has an agenda. She says so, on February 4, 2005:

Here is my agenda that I won't give up...

I want to see space created in the church for women to lead...

In September, two months before Driscoll wrote his post, Madrid-Swetman wrote:

There is a very big, inflential church in our city that holds a complementarian view. The complementarian view in our humble opinion is oppressive to women. It seems the more influence this church gets the more we are hearing questions as to "why" do they teach oppression of women?

So we know from Madrid-Swetman's writing that

  1. she has an agenda that she won't give up
  2. she was convinced before Driscoll wrote his post that "this church" holds a position that is oppresive to women.

Given those two things, it is my opinion that her "open letter" is a shot across the bow at Driscoll's theology concerning gender roles, not simply a response to his tone and to that particular post. This is a woman with an agenda (go back to the beginning of her blog).

But what about Mark Driscoll? I like Mark Driscoll and his general theology (I disagree with his - and his church's stand on divorce) and I especially like his stand on gender roles.

The only thing that I can see that would be offensive in general is the remark about it not being uncommon to see a pastor's wife who has "let herself go". Beyond that, it is the gender role theology that is offensive to those who embrace the opposite view. A woman who resents being taught that she is partly responsible for the purity of her husband - and that she is responsible for filling his sexual needs and desires - will find offense in the entire paragraph or two that addresses sexuality between a husband and wife.

What I do find fault with is Driscoll's appearing to emphasize the physical side of attractiveness. I seem to remember (and somebody can probably find it for me) where Driscoll said in one of his podcasts something to the effect that he wanted his wife to get rid of some of her clothes and revamp her wardrobe because she "looked too much like a mom". They have how many kids?!?! If you want to preach having a lot of kids, you need to be prepared for women who look like moms.

But as far as gender roles in home and church...I have NO beef with Driscoll.

Cain and Abel?

I was challenged to ponder this - and I don't know yet if I'm headed in the same direction as my challenger...but this is the direction that I went:

You all remember Cain and Abel.  Before this point in the Bible, God does not tell us how He wants sacrifices to be carried out, but Cain and Abel sacrificed to God.  We don't know whether or not God had told Adam and Eve, or Cain and Abel, what sort of sacrifice He wanted.  We are not even told until after this story that "men began to call upon the name of the Lord."
We do not know whether or not Cain knew that his sacrifice of the field would not be acceptable.  But it was not acceptable, while Abel's sacrifice of meat and fat was acceptable.

What we do know is how Cain reacted.

I'm not sure that I have the words to articulate this, so this truly is a "type while I think" sort of post...

We have no indication that Cain believed did not think his sacrifice would be acceptable.  The Bible does not tell us that Cain was acting in defiance of God when he sacrificed from the field.  It is very possible that Cain truly believed that he was doing the right thing.  Abel was a keeper of the flock and sacrificed from the flock; Cain was a keeper of the field and sacrificed from the field.  Both men sacrificed from the work of their own labor.

Let's assume that Cain held the conviction that sacrificing from the fruit of his own labor was God's will.  It is the same with those who embrace the egalitarian gender role (or lack thereof) theology.  For most, I have no reason to believe that they are insincere in their belief - they truly believe that there are no gender roles.

But Cain was wrong. What reaction did Cain have to God's rejection of his sacrifice?  He killed his brother.

Remember - as far as we know, Abel had nothing against his brother - it was the sacrifice Abel did not reject Cain or his sacrifice, it was God who rejected Cain.

The connection that I am making is that (even believing that he was doing the right thing), Cain was wrong.  And (being wrong) he lashed out.

Cain lashed out, but not at God.

Most Christians in this century don't kill those they lash out toward, but certainly "character assassination" is not unheard of.

Misogyny, abusive, oppressive are just a few of the labels that Driscoll has "earned" for his strong (and I believe Biblical) stand on gender roles.  Feminists (Christian and unbelievers alike) lash out at him.

That Driscoll and Mars Hill have come to their beliefs through sincere study of the Word seems to make no difference...

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2 thoughts on “Driscoll and Madrid-Swetman and Cain and Abel

  1. You said:

    Misogyny, abusive, oppressive are just a few of the labels that Driscoll has “earned” for his strong (and I believe Biblical) stand on gender roles. Feminists (Christian and unbelievers alike) lash out at him.

    Mark Driscoll has earned these labels because they fit. I am not a Feminist. I believe in traditional marriage and I have six children. I find Driscoll's methods and language bombastic and unchristian. With Mark it is often HOW he chooses to say the things he does. Change the methodology and a lot of this goes away. I can accept a person's difference of opinion if it is done with respect. Driscoll shows NO respect for those he opposes. HE is still in ninth grade in the locker room.

  2. Main Entry: 2disrespect
    Function: noun
    : lack of respect

    Main Entry: mi·sog·y·ny
    Pronunciation: m&-'sä-j&-nE
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Greek misogynia, from misein to hate + gynE woman -- more at QUEEN
    : a hatred of women

    Let us not forget that Christ told us that to hate is the equivelent of murder. That is what those who call Driscoll "misogynist" are accusing him of.

    I don't disagree that his methods could and should change.

    But an accusation of hatred is very strong and one should carefully consider whether or not an accusation of hatred is true.

    I've been falsely accused of hatred. It's not fun.

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