Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church has made a couple of controversial statements recently. This post linked to a sermon that he delivered on Ephesians 5:22-23. In the sermon, Driscoll criticizes wives who nag, and he also appears to express a problem with Greek word studies, as he talks about the word "submit" in Ephesian 5:22 ("Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord"). Driscoll says:
"'What does that mean in the Greek, Pastor Mark?' You can always tell
a rebellious evangelical. They do word studies. They try to go to
the Greek and figure out if it perhaps means something else. I’ll
just read, OK."
The title of the blog post is "Mark Driscoll
doesn’t want you to study the Bible". But that's not entirely true.
Driscoll later in the sermon encourages people to go home and study
their Bibles. But Driscoll then goes on to speak against people looking
for biblical scholars who would tell them what they want to hear, so
they can avoid obeying God's command.
I listened to Driscoll's
sermon. I don't have much of a problem with him criticizing nagging.
As Driscoll said, he criticizes husbands, too. In most relationships,
people have to work on issues for the relationship to go well, and it
can be irritating to men when their wives are continually nagging them.
That doesn't mean that all wives nag. It just means that nagging may
be something to work on in a relationship. But I'm just saying this
based on my own understanding of what Driscoll said.
Driscoll's comments about rebellious evangelicals who do word studies, I
do find that to be anti-intellectual. Or, if you don't care for
intellectuals and see them as snobs, let me say that I find Driscoll's
comment to be anti-learning. How's that? I am leery when pastors
juxtapose an emphasis on authority with a discouragement of learning.
That turns me off from organized religion.
As far as the sermon as
a whole went, it had some good stuff. Driscoll talked about love and
commitment within marriage. He said that people should love their
spouse rather than wanting to get married for companionship or sex. And
he said that complementarianism does not assume that women lack minds
of their own, for he affirmed that his wife has disagreed with him
through the years, and that he wants for his daughters to grow up to
become confident women.
The thing is, what sounds all right to me
may not sound all right to a number of other people. I was one time in a
Bible study group, and the leader was a complementarian. The leader
said continually that the husband should love and serve his wife. That
sounded good to me! Why have equality, when the husband is taking into
consideration his wife's feelings and needs and is loving and serving
her? But that didn't sound quite right to an atheist friend of mine.
My atheist friend said that sounded like a benevolent dictatorship!
may sound all right to me, a man. But suppose I were a woman? I know
there are a number of women who are complementarians, so I'm not sure
what my stance would be if I were a woman. I can picture myself leaning
towards the egalitarian position. I'm all for being cooperative with
people and open to their ideas and opinions, and even to serving them.
But saying that the man has authority over me and that what he says goes
(remember, this is if I were a woman, which I'm not)? I'd have problems with that.