Pastor Mark, who seems to get his understanding of gender from a James Belushi sitcom rather than the bible set in its correct context, speaks about Esther in a way that you may well struggle to recognise if you have ever read the seventeenth book of the Old Testament.
According to Mark; Esther is one of ‘only two books of the Bible in which the human hero is in fact a heroine’. We better not mention Mary the mother of Jesus or Mary Magdalene in case we are mistaken in thinking that their actions of complying with the will of God in bringing about the incarnation or being the first witness to the resurrection were in any way significant.
According to Mark; ‘Today, her story would be, a beautiful young woman living in a major city allows men to cater to her needs, undergoes lots of beauty treatment to look her best, and lands a really rich guy whom she meets on The Bachelor and wows with an amazing night in bed.’
Really? You have read the book of Esther and that is what it made you think!
In light of this episode and the many others that have emerged from the lips and keyboard of Pastor Driscoll I feel the need to issue a warning about his influence on your sons.
My wife, Beverley (we have four daughters together), is writing one in a similar vein aimed at the danger caused to having such nonsense influence your daughters. (Here)
1) According to Mark; he couldn’t worship a guy he could beat up. He presents this notion to convince us that Jesus wasn’t some ‘hippie, diaper,halo Christ’.
Such playground argumentation leaves little room for the broad sense of what it is to be a man. Being male is not represented by either one personality type nor a set of culturally loaded activity markers aimed at ensuring ‘real’ men like hunting, fighting, and motorbike riding.
If you want your sons to be truly who they are meant to be, and not try to conform to someone else’s stereotype then keep them away from Mar Driscoll.
2) According to Mark; women who are caught up in a male dominated system are to be blamed and not emancipated. He presumes that Esther had the same type of choices that someone in a twenty-first century, western democracy might have.
Whenever people in general, and women in particular, are abused there is a tendency within the prevailing system to blame the victims. Mark is guilty of this here.
If you want your sons to value and respect women then keep them away from Mark Driscoll.
These two factors alone lead me to believe that Mark Driscoll’s teaching is dangerous for our sons (and daughters).
The first suggests the broad, and completely mistaken, strokes with which he paints Jesus. There is no sense of context, nuance, or depth to what he does. He takes his own limited view of maleness and projects this upon Jesus to conclude that he must be made in Mark’s own image.
The second suggest that we can view the exploitation of women in a conditional way. His focus on Esther as being complicit in the circumstances of her inclusion in a male dominated system suggests that context means nothing. He reads the story and feels no horror about the shameful way that women are treated but projects his twenty-first century context onto her to condemn her behaviour. (it saddens me that some key leaders fail to call Mark out on such behaviour - I guess we all have a constituency)
So again I advise you to keep your sons away from Mark Driscoll’s teaching.
And if you don’t; then keep your sons away from my daughters.