Friday, June 19, 2009

MacArthur: Dealing With Driscoll Is Way Past Time; Dealing With Public Teachers

**UPDATE*** CAUTION for Driscoll defenders or those ambivalent to his garbage:

Baptist Press reports:

[A picture shows] Speaking in Scotland, Mark Driscoll dramatizes how he counseled a (new Christian) woman to pull down her husband's trousers and perform oral sex on her unbelieving mate – because she was a "repentant woman" who is "supposed to be a biblical wife."

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BP)--One of America's largest Christian radio networks interrupted one of its programs in mid-show because it featured the controversial Seattle, Wash., pastor Mark Driscoll.The Bott Radio Network then cancelled another interview with Driscoll that had been scheduled. The Bott network provides conservative Bible teaching, news and information to a potential audience of more than 40 million people in 10 states.

Driscoll went on to tell an anecdote about a wife who he said won her husband to Christ by performing oral sex on him. Driscoll said he told her that giving him oral sex would be following the admonition of Scripture. A transcript of the sermon quotes Driscoll saying he told her, "1 Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness," referring to oral sex. Verses 1 and 2 of that chapter, however, tell wives it is their "pure and reverent" conduct that will win their unbelieving husbands.

End quote.

Eph 4:19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!--
Eph 4:21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,


The Truth

On how John MacArthur dealt with Driscoll, Piper, and Mahaney regarding Driscoll's course language, topics, and demands of the women in his gathering:

Quote (bold, mine):

In the sermon that prompted this series, Mark Driscoll (speaking specifically to wives in the congregation) made several comments that were far, far worse than the seamiest sex challenges. Furthermore, Driscoll's edicts to married women were not mere "challenges" but directives buttressed with the claim that "Jesus Christ commands you to do [this]." That material has been online and freely circulated for more than a year. But you’ll be hard pressed to find even a single Web forum where anyone has demanded that Driscoll explain why he feels free to say such things publicly.

I am pointing out something that should not be the least bit controversial: pastors are not free to talk like that. In response, a flood of angry young men, including several pastors and seminary students—not one of whom has ever attempted a private conversation with me about this topic—have felt free to post insults and public rebukes in a public forum, declaring emphatically (with no obvious awareness of the irony) that they don’t believe such things should be handled in public forums.

(To be clear: I’m not suggesting that anyone needs to contact me privately about public remarks I have made. Quite the contrary. But those who insist such disagreements should be handled privately reveal the hypocrisy of that claim when they use a public forum to berate and accuse a pastor whom they disagree with.)

When 1 Timothy 5:20 says, “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all,” it is talking about elders in particular. Those in public ministry must be rebuked publicly when their sin is repeated, and public, and confirmed by multiple witnesses.

Nevertheless, I have written Mark privately with my concerns. He rejected my counsel. As a matter of fact, he preached the sermon I have been quoting from seven weeks after receiving my private letter encouraging him to take seriously the standard of holiness Scripture holds pastors to. Here is a small selection from the six-page letter I sent him:

"[Y]ou can[not] make a biblical case for Christians to embrace worldly fads—especially when those fads are diametrically at odds with the wholesome speech, pure mind, and chaste behavior that God calls us to display. At its core, this is about ideology. No matter how culture changes, the truth never does. But the more the church accommodates the baser elements of the culture, the more she will inevitably compromise her message. We must not betray our words through our actions; we must be in the world but not of it. . . . . It's vital that you not send one message about the importance of sound doctrine and a totally different message about the importance of sound speech and irreproachable pure-mindedness. "

Mark Driscoll’s response to that admonition and the things he has said since have only magnified my concern.

Mark did indeed express regret a few years ago over the reputation his tongue has earned him. Yet no substantive change is observable. Just a few weeks ago, in an angry diatribe leveled at men in his congregation, Driscoll once again threw in a totally unnecessary expletive. A few weeks before that, he made a public mockery of Ecclesiastes 9:10 (something he has done repeatedly), by making a joke of it on national television. So here are two more inappropriate Driscoll videos being passed around by young people and college students for whom I bear some pastoral responsibility. In their immaturity, they typically think it’s wonderfully cool and transparent for a pastor to talk like that. And they feel free to curse and joke in a similar manner in more casual settings.

It is past time for the issue to be dealt with publicly.

Finally, it seriously overstates the involvement of John Piper and C. J. Mahaney to say they are “discipling” Mark Driscoll. In the first place, the idea that a grown man already in public ministry and constantly in the national spotlight needs space to be “mentored” before it’s fair to subject his public actions to biblical scrutiny seems to put the whole process backward. These problems have been talked about in both public and private contexts for at least three or four years. At some point the plea that this is a maturity issue and Mark Driscoll just needs time to mature wears thin. In the meantime, the media is having a field day writing stories that suggest trashy talk is one of the hallmarks of the “New Calvinism;” and countless students whom I love and am personally acquainted with are being led into similar carnal behavior by imitating Mark Driscoll’s speech and lifestyle. Enough is enough.

Yes, I did inform John Piper and C. J. Mahaney of my concerns about this material several weeks ago. I itemized all of these issues in much more thorough detail than I have written about them here, and I expressly told them I was preparing this series of articles for the blog.

To those asking why pastors Piper and Mahaney (and others in positions of key leadership) haven't publicly expressed similar concerns of their own, that is not a question for me. I hope you will write and ask them.

End quote.


Rick Frueh said...

I completely agree with your assessment of Driscoll. He should be shunned by all evangelicals who believe the New Testament.

However, I would like to ask you where you find the New Testament license to rebuke an ordained elder without male oversight? If the elders are the leadership over the local assemblies, how can anyone, much less a woman who probably is a completarian, usurp that authority and rebuke a teaching elder?

Isn't that compromise, even if you are correct? Should you not have confided in another ordained elder and allow him to approach Driscoll?

Denise said...


This isn't church and I'm in no authoritative position, so I'm in line with Scripture.

Secondly, Driscoll isn't a legitimate pastor.

Thirdly, he's a public figure.

Fourthly, Piper and Mahaney have done nothing but approve and offer Driscoll to the masses.

Rick, it seems your ecclessiology is off.

Denise said...

Some well known reformers are feminists:

A building doesn't make a church. But the church is local and visible with biblically qualified men as elders and deacons. No pastor has authority over another pastor in another church, Rick. Seriously, you need to reconsider your ecclessiology.

Doing research and showing a man to be a false teacher is legitimate...unless you think that the gift of discernment and wisdom is merely a male gift, like Keller? Or a woman can be given these gifts but she "must be silent" everywhere? Yet that command is within the ASSEMBLY (ecclesia) because its within the assembly where the authority is.

There is no authority online and it certainly is not church. Scripture shows what a church is, and this does not qualify. Besides, I don't deal with Driscoll directly. Why should I? I'm showing people his error and asking for accountability. Where have you been? Most men are pretty silent on Driscoll and especially Piper. Why?

But it seems Rick you think elders and pastors have authority outside their flock which is fallacious in thinking.

Denise said...

I see Rick that you link to Precepts.

Kay Arthur, who teaches and founded Precepts teaches men. Her husband is merely on the stationary. I did research on her as well:

Nina said...

The idea that a man is ordained by a church that allows filth to be spewed .. that somehow that ordination should somehow silence voices of reason , of whatever gender or of only those of women.. is frankly puzzling. But I suppose no more puzzling than those who consider all "venues" to be governed by silence if a woman speaks words in opposition to spewing, for certainly no one here would caution Denise to silence if she was defending the spew! Would the same "standard" apply if she had spoken against the ordained...Benny Hinn?