Wednesday, March 19, 2014

All of my life decisions have been wrong.

Although I shouldn't give any time to prooftexting dirtbags, I was shocked at an Internet rabbit trail discovery this week and just had to share/vent.  So, :  A friend posted this note about the Mars Hill megachurch's pastor promising to make changes in his life.  This time, he has to make changes because his publisher might have bought a ton of copies of his latest book in order to manipulate bestseller lists.  I say that to distinguish from an earlier plagiarism scandal.  Needless to say, this beefy pastor is a real peach.  Anyway, in trying to find out more about this dishonest dude, I found myself watching this treatise on Stay-at-Home Dads:

Here, we find Father Frat and his lady wife telling us that a stay-at-home dad is "worse than an unbeliever".  Mrs. D. tells us that it's "hard to respect a man who won't provide for his family".  (As I typed that I couldn't help but think of this: "All the pain inside amplified by the fact/That I can't get by with my 9 to 5/And I can't provide the right type of life for my family", but that was written by a brilliant person.)  Then we get a nice dose of "Men can't raise children.  Silly.  Ha ha!"  But then it gets really specious.  On the face of it, what she says next might not be that ridiculous.  But wrapped in a spiritual church leader patina, it's flat out dangerous.  "As women, we're built to be home with our kids."  What I hate is that she makes this blanket declaration in the midst of talking about scripture, which makes it sound like she's saying Biblical.  Of course, she doesn't point to a verse that says "And God made the woman specially to stay at home while the man earned an honest wage for an honest day's pay."  One reason she doesn't is that THERE ISN'T ONE!

I can't really go through every point without boring you and making myself unduly angry, but Father Frat's bombshell at 4:00 is that if a man in his congregation stayed at home with kids while his wife worked, unless there were "extreme, extenuating circumstances", it would be a matter for church discipline.  Note to self: don't become a member of a church led by batshit crazy people.  They base their whole argument on I Timothy 5:8, a verse for which I checked a few translations.  I'm not a Biblical scholar at all, but In two mainstream translations (the New International Version and the New Revised Standard Version), the pronouns are all gender neutral.  The New American Standard, I uses male   possessive words in a way that feels very generic, but the subject of the sentence is "anyone".  It's not "a man" or "he".  It's "anyone who does not provide for his family...".  The NIV, which is used most commonly renders it this way: "Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."  While this is grammatically incorrect, it's emphatically gender-neutral, which makes it a poor verse on which to base a far-reaching gender-based argument.

That's the problem with this clip.  Mark Driscoll and his wife wrap a personal interpretation of a verse of scripture in a whole mess of unsubstantiated opinion.  The other thing Father Frat repeatedly says is that "statistics show" kids need mom barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen raising them.  It's only credible to cite statistics if one also cites their source.  They treat the Bible as though it were written at the dawn of the streetcar era when suburban work/life divides became possible.  Or possibly in the 1950s when good roads and a postwar urban housing crisis kicked suburban development up ten notches.  Then they say that it's our perverted culture that leads men to make these horrible decisions that harm their families.  it's all very genderist.

It's hard enough to make a counter-cultural choice that we in our family feel is the best thing for everyone - mom, dad and kids.  It's harder still when celebrity pastors pump out BS like this.  Several people have called Newt Gingrich "a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like".  I fear that Mark Driscoll can hoodwink thousands of people by being a stupid person's idea of what a holy man sounds like.


Paige said...

Two things. First, Mark Driscoll and his wife doesn't know anything about me. They haven't seen my law school transcript or my performance reviews from my five years in private practice as a lawyer. I would be interested to know if they would want to read those, and then look me in the face and tell me that God did NOT make me to be a lawyer. You cannot tell someone what his or her vocation is based on only one fact - the XX versus XY gene.

Second, this video is now marked as "private." I can't pull it up anywhere on the internet. I don't see it posted on Mark Driscoll's website. If they're rethinking their unbiblical position, they should have the courage to tell us so. If they're not rethinking their position, they should have the courage to leave their video up so that people can see and respond.

Lauren Jackson said...

Yes, I can't watch the video (but don't really want to anyway), but your summary of the points stuns me, and make me very sorry for the Seattle location of Mars Hill.
This reminds me of a spot on the Colbert Report that Mike and I saw last night: