The first time I came across the name Mark Driscoll was on a rabid feminist blog. It was the sorry Ted Haggard affair. Driscoll’s thoughts of the situation sent the internet into conniptions. Mark’s basic take was that wives of ministers are purposefully letting themselves go and controlling their husbands with sex because the husbands are trapped into fidelity >>>
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Therefore a man caught in the act of adultery was most likely pushed there because his wife wasn’t “helping him out any.” Driscoll’s words from 2006 are significant in 2012 because of the Driscoll’s new book Real Marriage. Just reading the introduction and chapter available online shows us that this idea that women are intentionally using their appearance and sex as ways to punish and control men is something that is a part of Driscoll’s psyche.
Just the bit of the book that I read is painful. Grace Driscoll is humble and shows remorse and repentance for things in her past. Mark by contrast uses the majority of his words to tell us about all the good he did while overcoming the obstacles of a non-Christian family and an environment of debauchery and excess at every turn. Grace reveals painful details about herself and then speaks of the need for true repentance. Mark seems to be bragging that a lessor man would have done way worse while touting all the good things he did.
It’s interesting to note that when talking about the marriage the anecdotes Mark chooses to share are all about what Grace did wrong. Mark uses the words “we” and “our” but doesn’t give us any example of anything he did wrong. Grace’s words are about her mistakes. Mark’s words are what she did wrong and his reactions. You get the feeling that Mark is setting himself up as a victim because surely if she had not done these bad things he wouldn’t have been forced to react the way that he did. It’s not just that Grace did things wrong, but Mark’s reactions show us that he believed her bad acts to be intentional against him. Not only were the acts themselves intentionally done against him, but the issues she had because of her guilt manifested in dysfunctional ways for Grace, those issues were actually all about punishing and controlling Mark.
Misogyny is defined as the dislike or hatred of women. Does Mark Driscoll hate women? That may be too strong of a word. But we see from his words and now he’s revealing some of his thoughts within his marriage that he truly believes that women are doing things in very intentional ways in order to control men. They let themselves go and withhold sex because they know men are well and truly hooked. What we see time and again is that Mark sees men as victims of women who are doing things like cutting their hair, and withholding sex all in order to punish and control men.
Another clue to Driscoll’s misogyny is found in his now infamous Song of Solomon sermon. Piecing together his thoughts from that sermon and thoughts in the new book we see Mark has an attitude that sex is really all about pleasure. In his sermon he speaks of his wife in disrespectful terms. He brags about publicly ogling her. Mark seems to think this is part of the culture and it’s prudish not to speak specifically about the things he likes about his wife. One gets the feeling that Mark wouldn’t mind standing around with other men bragging about his wife’s physical attributes while they all “check her out” as this is exactly what’s he’s doing when he’s talking about her from the pulpit no less.
The other clue we get from Mark is he really seems to be teaching that sex is something that is done to a woman. Sex is about pleasure first and foremost. Thus it’s punishment when it’s withheld, the same as no dessert is punishment to an unruly child. Not only is withholding sex punishment, but Mark tries to make the argument that if women are not performing certain acts that they are sinning. He proclaims that Jesus himself commands women to do certain things for the man.
Now I understand that at this point Driscoll defenders will try to proclaim that Driscoll has repented and apologized. First, when Driscoll apologizes the apologies are more the “I should have worded things differently” apology. Not a true repentance for his wrong attitudes and beliefs. Secondly, he keeps apologizing for the same bad things over and over again. True repentance means you change. Is it unfair, then, if some conclude that Mark Driscoll doesn’t change? He continues to say and do the same things for which he was supposed to have repented.
I’m reminded of the words from the great philosopher Grumpy the dwarf:
Grumpy: “ Womiin have wicked wiles!”
Other dwarf: “What are dem?”
Grumpy: “I don’t know! But I’m agin ‘em!”
Mark Driscoll’s words and thoughts leave us with the idea that women have secret a conspiracy going and everything they say and do from cutting their hair to withholding sex is all about controlling and/or punishing men. Womiin and their wicked wiles indeed.
- A link regarding Haggard
- A link to John MacArthur’s rebuttal of Driscoll’s SOS sermon
- A link to Real Marriage Intro and Chapter One
*Mary England is a Southern Baptist christian living in the midwest with her husband and three teenagers. She and her family are long-time members of a Southern Baptist church and have served their church and Lord in many roles throughout the years. Mary is a frequent commenter on SBC Tomorrow and is well respected for her keen insight into aggressive Calvinism as well as other vital issues facing the Southern Baptist Convention