Tomorrow, a group of protesters will gather at Mars Hill Church to speak out against Mark Driscoll. He has spent the last few weeks trying to stem the tide of outrage without backing down from his convictions, though he has been publicly castigated by an incredible range of Christians, non-Christians, and anti-Christians. Many families in his church, apparently, have decided not to attend tomorrow so they can keep their children safe. What on earth could have caused all this hoopla, you ask?
This short paragraph on Driscoll’s blog, occasioned by the now-infamous Ted Haggard scandal, quickly became the shot heard ’round the blog-world:
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 (emphasis added).
What’s so controversial about that, I may never understand. Apparently, some folks thought he was saying that Gayle Haggard (Ted’s wife) was fat, ugly, and prudish, so the protest, for them, is just a big “So’s your mama!”
Others seemed to think Driscoll was unfairly burdening wives, when Scripture clearly says that husbands are to give of themselves just as generously as wives are. True enough, but Driscoll’s blog was aimed at pastors (I.e., men), and the sins they face in particular, not at men and women indiscriminately.
But despite the unfairness of the criticism Driscoll received, he continued to act in a gracious manner by posting two clarifying articles, remaining humble, seeking to learn and grow, and even meeting with his most vocal opponents!
If you want to learn how to be Christlike when faced with a frustrating, unfair situation, do yourself a HUGE favor, and read Driscoll’s two most recent articles: “Count it all Joy” and “Thank You, Critics.”
And remember tomorrow to be in prayer for Mark Driscoll and the church he leads.