Thursday, November 09, 2006

In defense of Mark Driscoll

In defense of Mark Driscoll

I can’t believe I am coming to the defense of Mark Driscoll… He is not a bad guy by far, yet he often says things that sort of grate against me sometimes… but here is the funny thing. Mark is taking a lot of heat over something he wrote concerning Ted Haggard.

The quote is this:

“Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.”

Now on the surface I can sure see what the critics are reacting to. Yet, I do not think Mark is placing full blame on the wife if her husband sins. How do I come to that from that quote? I don’t… I get it from the quote before this one.

“The only way to stay away from sin is to stay close to Jesus. Colossians says that we are prone to making a lot of rules but that if we don’t deal with the issues in our heart, we are fooling ourselves; holiness cannot be obtained by the sheer force of white-knuckled will power. More than anyone, a Christian leader needs time with Jesus in repentance, for their own soul and not just to make them a better leader or teacher. Death comes to every Christian leader who goes to Jesus and Scripture for purely functional and not relational purposes.”

When someone thinks they have made it… and judge their ministries success by numbers and isolate themselves… even from their wives… then the first quote about the wife being a contributing factor is very true. When a man sees himself as self sufficient, or that if he admits that there is something wrong… (Which is why we are told to confess our sins to one another in the book of James). I have seen this over and over… and praise God I have not fallen into the trap of the enemy.

I agree with the main point that the critics missed entirely in their reaction to the quote about the wives… that we often have a distorted view of holiness… as we become more worried about appearances than dealing with the sin issue. Mark said it very well…

“The only way to stay away from sin is to stay close to Jesus.”

That is truth… John states in 1 John 3: 6 - 10. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

If we are “in Christ” sin is dealt with and we no longer will sin… sin is unbelief… so to be in Christ is to be immersed not only in belief, but in the very Person of Jesus. In Christ Jesus there is no sin… when you become a new believer, you are placed into he Body of Christ… Who was and is without sin.

A believer is immersed (baptized) by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ… so as He is we are also… He is without sin, and if we being “in Christ” then also we are without sin “in Him”. If this is not true, then we are “immersed” (baptized) in Christ’s Body, and sin is not taken away... then Jesus who is sinless then would have sin in him because of us. (1 Corinthians 12:13) (Baptism in this passage is not about water, but about the washing of the Holy Spirit and being literally placed into the Body of Christ.)

We must be close to Jesus… so that we do not fall into temptation…

Mark is not blaming the wife, but the phony religious system that man has developed that we let replace a relationship with Jesus.

So stay close to Jesus…

You can read the whole article here.

Bless you Mark.
And blessings to all,

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Steve said...

Mark has taken a lot of heat for this. I think it stirs something deep, something deeper than the actual comment.

The advice of staying close to Jesus is right on target. Thanks!

iggy said...

Sadly Mark has taken heat from all sides...

I do not dislike Mark; in fact I bet if I spent time with him i would really like him... I have had issue with some of his comments about the church not being "manly"... as I see that the issue is not about being manly but about be real men in Christ... I see Marks version of manliness alienates many me who are more artistically inclined... it also misses the real issue of being like Christ Jesus...

Yet, when i read Marks words here, I thought "right on!" I have seen so many leaders taken down by sexual sin... and mostly out of bitterness about being isolated... from the body the serve to their wives and families... I am not talking about Jimmy Swaggart... but about your "average Joe" pastor. I attended a church were the pastor and wife did a marriage seminar... and began fighting over their sex life in front of us... we thought it was a joke until later he had an affair and she left him over his anger issues... they both felt they could not lose the facade of a perfect marriage and deal with their issues... then it was too late.

We are all weak people... that is why Jesus died for us... that is why we need the Holy Spirit to empower us... that is why we need to live by the power of the Resurrected Christ... because if we do not... we lie to ourselves and then in the end fail...

I want to fully acknowledge i am a failure outright before it goes so far as to lose all... especially my family. I want to acknowledge now I am morally bankrupt before i end up in an affair and then have to deal publicly with the shame... to my family, myself and my God.

That is why I call Christians to be real... to express themselves even if it is a bit crude and ugly... to let that all out so that God can fill that void... That is why I pray for others in bondage... and preach grace and mercy... because I too can fall as i am just a weak human... that is why I call out to stay close to Jesus... because only He can keep us not only form the evil around us, but the evil within us also.


Steve said...

Wow, well said.

diana said...

Thanks for being real. It's a blessing to read your blog tonight. And thank you for the full quote from Mark Driscoll!