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Why Do People Go To Mark Driscoll's Church?


debrand
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Most of you know that I'm an atheist so I am not going to discuss Driscoll's theological stance in this sermon. I am just highlighting some things that he said that sounded off to me. However, I'm not qualified-nor do I want to be- to discuss whether his views line up with the bible or not.

marshill.com/media/esther/jesus-is-a-better-savior#transcript

You will never get good counsel from young men. A lot of young guys are like, “Well, I disagree with that.†Of course you would, you’re always wrong. That’s my point. The Bible has nothing good to say about young men. Nothing. I’ve read the whole book. Some of you say, “Oh, it says they’re strong.†So are terrorists and pit bulls, you know? It’s not necessarily a compliment

I try not to make my criticism toward fundies personal or too mean. However, this statement is stupid. It's just dumb. Some young people can be very wise. Mark Driscoll is comparing all young men to terrorists and pitbulls. And no, he isn't making a generalized statement. He says You will NEVER get good counsel from young men. I am not certain how parents of older teenagers can sit in his congregation. What about John, Stephen or Timothy in the New Testament? David was a young man when he fought Goliath.

Let me ask you this too: How many of you dads read this story with me and freak out? These girls are probably teenagers. I’ve got a teenager daughter. I mean, this is where my head goes to scrambled eggs. Right? Like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! What if this was my—would I let her go?†I talked to Ashley about this. I was like, “Uh, honey, what do you think about this?†She’s like, “Dad, I’m not even going to Tolo.†Praise God, I know, let alone to go marry some pervert who thinks he’s God and the sun speaks through him while he sits on a throne drunk.

I can understand being freaked out that Esther and the other young women were probably very young. When I read Esther, I've often wondered what it must have been like to be forced from your home whether you wanted to go or not. However, Mark seems to miss the fact that the young women were forced. His daughter would not have been given a choice and he coudn't do anything to prevent her being taken. I'm also not certain that Xerxes was drunk or a pervert. He was probably normal for his time period which is why I am glad that I live in the modern age.

I’m reading this thinking, “Man, can’t God show up and just kill people? He does it earlier in the same Book. He’s—†You know? How about one of those Egyptian plagues? That flood was nice. Can we get a revisitation of the surfing opportunity? Is there not a way that we can get the road tar to come down from heaven that hit Sodom and Gomorrah? Isn’t there another bucket up there that we can just sort of pour down on Persia?

What? He wanted god to kill babies and pregnant wome like he did in the flood? Do people like Mark never stop to think that god killed innocent people in the bible? Does he not think about the pregnant women or mothers trying desperately to save their kids while the water rose?

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Again, like, you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer, you single guys, right? And you don’t understand women. You don’t understand. You don’t even have a woman. You don’t understand women. Now, and you single guys, you’re like a dog chasing a fire truck. Like, if you get one, you don’t know what to do with it. That’s how you are with women. You don’t understand.

Why would you attend a church where you are insulted or lumped into one group?

Here’s the big idea: all of these gals are being paraded in. Where are their dads? What are they saying? What are they doing? And I just keep thinking this: “Somebody needs to die!†And then I realize I slept with a teenage girl, and I should die, and Jesus died, and, “Ahhh!†Back to the gospel
.

Does Mark not realize that the fathers had no choice in allowing their daughters to go? Really, the entire family would have probably been slaughtered if the dad tried to stop his daughter from being taken.

Mordecai’s sin here is he doesn’t say or do anything. Men, we are supposed to speak. Men, we are supposed to act, especially when it involves women, especially young women, especially our young women. Some of you guys are dads like that. You’re like, “Well, she’s an adult now. She gets to make her own decisions. She’s dating a total loser, and he doesn’t believe in God, and I think they’re sleeping together, and now they’re gonna move in together. And I’m really stressed out, and I text, and I call, and I check in on her, and I’m worried.†Have you said anything? “Well, no. I don’t want to create a scene.†Have you done anything? “No, I haven’t done—†Dump him! Gentlemen, dump him.

It’s far more emotionally easy for me to dump a man, amen, than my daughter. Right? My daughter’s not dating, praise be to God, but if she was dating a loser and she’s like, “Oh Dad, you know, he sends me flowers and I feel bad.†Not me! I’d be like, “You are dumped! Bye!†No crying, no tears. Don’t send me flowers, don’t text me. I’m not in the mood. I can dump any guy quickly, easily, between sips of something. I mean, it’s not a big deal. Right? So, dads, just feel free to dump boyfriends. Right? No, no, no, no. And tell your friends no. Right

The father is going to dump the girl's boyfriend? What is that supposed to acomplish?

So, Mordecai is part of the disobedient people of God. We might go so far as to say he is part of the rebellious people of God. He didn’t want to walk toward God, he didn’t want to walk with God, he didn’t want to worship God. So, he and his family, they stayed in the pagan country, culture of Persia, and they were compromised and worldly.

How many of you, that’s your background? He wasn’t an atheist, but he didn’t likely tell people that he worshiped the God of the Bible, and he told Esther, “Don’t tell anybody that we worship the God of the Bible.†Their faith is very private, it’s not public. So, they’re disobeying the Old Testament, eating the food that they’re not supposed to, they’re engaged in the holidays they’re not supposed to, they’re living where they’re not supposed to, they’re doing what they’re not supposed to, and if you ask them privately, “Do you belong to the God of the Bible?†“Yeah, we do, but don’t tell anybody because we’re compromised. We’re lukewarm.â€

Those of you who are Jewish can respond better but Mark is wrong. Mordecei did not tell Esther to hide her faith because it was private. He told her to hide her faith so that she would be safe. Also, we have no idea if Mordecei was keeping Kosher or not. All we know is that he was an uncle who was concerned enough for his niece to try and see her everyday. He wanted to keep her safe. I always thought that he must have felt pretty helpless at this point.

But here’s what he does: he let’s her go to the Persian Bachelorette auditions. Now, is he worried about her? Yes or no? Yeah, because it says, “Everyday he checks on her.†So you get the idea Mordecai is like, “Oh, I hope she’s okay . . . I hope she’s okay.†He’s looking through the gate. “Oh, I wonder what’s going on.†But he doesn’t say anything and he doesn’t do anything

Again, what? Where is he reading this in the story? Her uncle could not stop Esther from being taken. Is Mark so ignorant that he doesn't understand that the Persian kind was all powerful in his kingdom?

Why do intelligent, educated people attend this man's church? It is obvious that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

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I try not to make my criticism toward fundies personal or too mean. However, this statement is stupid. It's just dumb. Some young people can be very wise. Mark Driscoll is comparing all young men to terrorists and pitbulls. And no, he isn't making a generalized statement. He says You will NEVER get good counsel from young men. I am not certain how parents of older teenagers can sit in his congregation. What about John, Stephen or Timothy in the New Testament? David was a young man when he fought Goliath.

Yeah:

1Timothy 4:12 - Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

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Wow, he really is stupid.

The reason why they stayed in Persia, was because THEY HAD TO! They were taken captive as slaves, not because they thought that the weather was better there or something.

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Do all fundie preachers sound alike? This sounds just like the kind of crap I used to hear in my old church. In fact I've been reading this in that preacher's voice.

Looking back, none of his sermons ever made a bit of sense either, just like this one. The preacher just enjoyed being a bully & belittling & insulting people from the pulpit.

Have any of you ever seen the Andy Griffith movie "A Face in the Crowd"? I watched it the other day, & I think fundie preachers (at least in the south) must watch it & model themselves after Lonesome Rhodes, because they all sure sound & act like him.

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Has he actually read the book of Esther? Even after she was forced to marry the guy he could have her killed for any little thing. She had no rights.

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Has he actually read the book of Esther? Even after she was forced to marry the guy he could have her killed for any little thing. She had no rights.

It didn't apply to him, so he ignored that bit.

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Somebody can correct me on this, but most people agree that Jesus was 31 around the time of his death...

I've always heard 33 but it's about the same.

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From what I understand about Mark Driscoll, he seems to be an equal-opportunity offender. I've heard him trash just about every type of person on the planet.

Except for himself, of course.

I've heard a couple of his sermons. He usually delivers these obnoxious statements in a somewhat humorous way. Which is why so many people put up with him being insulting during their church service. Because I guess if he has them laughing then it's okay for him to be a jerk right to their faces.

I've known a lot of people in life who get away with being rude and judgmental because they made it sound funny. He seems to use the same tactic. Maybe i'm wrong, because I don't know much about him.

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http://rachelheldevans.com/blog?tag=esther

Rachel Evans is doing an interesting series about Esther on her blog, in concert with Mark Drivel Driscoll.

I'm glad that someone else found the Esther sermon disturbing also

To compare forced concubinage to an audition for “The Bachelor,†and to ascribe sexual culpability to a girl who in a patriarchal culture had no ownership over her own body and no control over her own marriage, is as bizarre as it is disturbing. It’s just as ridiculous as turning Esther into a Disney princess, only Driscoll—being older than 10—has no excuse to project this strange reading onto the text. Esther is not a flawless character (few biblical characters are), but to question her basic morality like this without any support from the text or from traditional interpretations of it seems from my perspective to reveal a troubling agenda.
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Has he actually read the book of Esther? Even after she was forced to marry the guy he could have her killed for any little thing. She had no rights.

I really don't think that Mark comprehends that her uncle couldn't just free her or that Esther couldn't free herself

I was talking to Ashley about this. I was like, “Argh!†Because this freaks—as a dad, freaks me out. Some nasty pervert takes my daughter for a year at the spa to compete against four hundred women with one night in bed. Okay. I asked Ashley, my sweet daughter. I said, “What would you do?†She said, “I would say no. I would run away. I would move to another country. I would throw a fit. I would be so disobedient, basically, in the palace, they would send me home.†“Yes, okay. What do you think I would do?†She said, “You would fight.†“Yes. I would.†“First you’d try to smuggle me out of the country, or you’d hide me, or you’d declare war, or you’d storm the castle. Anything.†Right?

Ashley is fourteen, the same age as my daughter. I think that it is very difficult for young girls to grasp how few choices that ancient women had.

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From what I understand about Mark Driscoll, he seems to be an equal-opportunity offender. I've heard him trash just about every type of person on the planet.

Except for himself, of course.

I've heard a couple of his sermons. He usually delivers these obnoxious statements in a somewhat humorous way. Which is why so many people put up with him being insulting during their church service. Because I guess if he has them laughing then it's okay for him to be a jerk right to their faces.

I've known a lot of people in life who get away with being rude and judgmental because they made it sound funny. He seems to use the same tactic. Maybe i'm wrong, because I don't know much about him.

Yup. Kind of "insult comic" in the pulpit only he's not actually funny and he doesn't know his material. The guy's a charismatic asshole who's probably beat down his wife so much she doesn't know which way is up, and men are attracted to the tough-guy persona he puts on. I dated a guy once who said something disparaging to me and when I called him on it he said, "what, would you rather I lie to you?" There's a big difference between speaking the truth in love and being a complete asshole. MD's just an insecure, ill-educated, asshole who's not speaking truth at all in most circumstances. He twists the truth at every turn. Clearly he doesn't study the historical context of what he's speaking on, whether it's on Esther or sex or any other topic he comes up with.

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I really don't think that Mark comprehends that her uncle couldn't just free her or that Esther couldn't free herself

Ashley is fourteen, the same age as my daughter. I think that it is very difficult for young girls to grasp how few choices that ancient women had.

Agree with that.

It's not even just the ancient world, really. There are plenty of patriarchal areas of the world today (crossing many religious traditions) where women are essentially unable to stop things like a forced marriage from happening.

As for Ashley's assertion that "I would be so disobedient, basically, in the palace, they would send me home", it's really simple: she'd probably be executed. If her family tried to save her, probably a similar fate. The naivete is staggering.

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He seems to just sound like a blow-hard who goes off on some topic that comes into his mind. It doesn't seem that he actually researches and prepares a message for his sermons.

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He seems to just sound like a blow-hard who goes off on some topic that comes into his mind. It doesn't seem that he actually researches and prepares a message for his sermons.

Nope, fundies of that ilk tend to pick a passage or two (or just pull a few from memory) and rant for at least 25-30 minutes...45 minutes is ideal. They never seemed to get it when people would tell them that the mind could only absorb as long as the behind could endure. :roll:

I always (even at my fundiest) hated when preachers asked for amens, or put them in the middle of sentences for no reason, as demonstrated here:

It’s far more emotionally easy for me to dump a man, amen, than my daughter.
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I just Googled him. Who's a tubby boy? Mark's a tubby boy! Which would be cool if he wasn't ranting about women needing to stay attractive for their men. Is this only a one way street? I'd be pretty rotten if I was a good Christian lady who went to the gym seven days a week and watched what I ate, all the while my husband was porking up like a Christmas hog and expecting me to still find him attractive.

Gross.

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I really don't think that Mark comprehends that her uncle couldn't just free her or that Esther couldn't free herself

Ashley is fourteen, the same age as my daughter. I think that it is very difficult for young girls to grasp how few choices that ancient women had.

Well, it doesn't help that Driscoll didn't tell the story right.

I've known the story of Esther for so long, I can't remember when I first heard it, but I assume it was some Purim when I was old enough -- 6, 7?

Whenever it was, it was made clear to me how trapped she and Mordecai were.

I don't remember ever thinking "well, why didn't she just rebel or run away? Why didn't he come save her?" I knew they'd be killed.

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I just Googled him. Who's a tubby boy? Mark's a tubby boy! Which would be cool if he wasn't ranting about women needing to stay attractive for their men. Is this only a one way street? I'd be pretty rotten if I was a good Christian lady who went to the gym seven days a week and watched what I ate, all the while my husband was porking up like a Christmas hog and expecting me to still find him attractive.

Gross.

Well said.

I despise this idea that women are just an accessory to men; the prettier or thinner the wife, the better the toy, the more jealous his peers (something that most FJers agree with, I am sure; but, I just can't pass up the opportunity to say it again.)

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He seems to just sound like a blow-hard who goes off on some topic that comes into his mind. It doesn't seem that he actually researches and prepares a message for his sermons.

Rather like the pissing preacher. Just a larger following.

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Well said.

I despise this idea that women are just an accessory to men; the prettier or thinner the wife, the better the toy, the more jealous his peers (something that most FJers agree with, I am sure; but, I just can't pass up the opportunity to say it again.)

It just irritates me that Godman thinks he deserves a hot wife. You're a pastor, not a bloody investment banker. Not that I'm saying any man 'deserves' an attractive women; just that if you're going to base a relationship on the female partner's looks, then you better have the income to maintain those looks and keep her in the bling needed to make up for having married a pig.

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You know, the way he approaches the story of Esther, vis a vis the way I've always understood it (which meshes with thoughtful's description- it never even occurred to me that Esther was in a position where she could be all, "Seriously, Xerxes, I'm really flattered, but I'm not that into you," and just leave the palace) is, to me, a very profound illustration of Christian privilege. I don't presume to speak for the entirety of world Jewry, but I think it's reasonable to say that given the cultural and religious background the average Jew (even a secular one) is bringing to the table, the idea of Esther just turning Xerxes down, or of Mordechai busting through a palace wall like the Kool-Aid Man and carrying her out of there isn't even on the radar. Of course she couldn't just refuse to participate in this thing- her entire family (and possibly her entire community) would have likely been killed. Of course Mordechai couldn't just roll in and "rescue" her- his family (and potentially his entire community) would have been in line for revenge killings, as well.

Contrast that with Driscoll's almost laughably naive interpretation of the story, in which it's unthinkable that Esther and her family weren't in a position of power sufficient for them to take control of their own destinies and flatly refuse to have any part in what was going on. Driscoll literally cannot conceive of such a thing, because in all likelihood, he has never in his life been in a situation where he wasn't operating from a position of privilege, be it as a man, as a white person or as a Christian (or all of the above). It's very telling, I think. It also illustrates what a shitty preacher he is that he's completely unable (or unwilling) to stop for a second and empathize with what the Jews in Persia were going through or try to understand just how precarious their situation was or, failing that, do just a modicum of historical research and see what was actually happening in Persia during that time period. I mean, what the heck kind of pastor doesn't read up a little bit on whatever topic he's going to be discussing? It strikes me as very bizarre.

I'm also somewhat confused as to why he's talking about Esther in the first place, when the book of Esther is not canonical to Protestant Christianity. The Catholics include it in their Bible, I believe, but not the Protestants. I can't imagine that Driscoll would be going out of his way to emulate the Catholics of all people (God forbid!), so what's going on? The whole sermon, based on what I've read here, just seems really strange.

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