Dress and Driscoll

It is often said that pastors fail to speak, or fail to speak enough, on women’s issues such as immodest clothing. This is true, but the reasons offered for why pastors don’t speak on it are, generally not true:

  • The pastors don’t want to interrupt the flow from the purse to the collection plate.

This is repeated by men who don’t go to church, and don’t want to go to church. As such they don’t know who gives, and who doesn’t. A little clear-thinking and honest questioning should lead one to consider these questions: “Who is it that takes church imperatives seriously? Is it women? If it is, then why do we notice so much activity from women that is against the imperatives; such as immodest clothing?” No. It is men–particularly married men–who contribute the bulk of the offering.[1]

  • The pastors don’t want to upset the women because then women will drag their families out of church.

This is also mostly wrong. The truth is that husbands whose wives get upset will drag the family out of church. Sometimes he simply didn’t care to be there anyways; perhaps he was just appeasing the wife, or he somewhat thinks he should attend, but would really rather relax at home. His wife’s offense is enough reason to justify it. But for most husbands, a sermon offensive to modern women’s sensibilities will cause the men to leave the church because they are eager to be offended on behalf of their women; especially their wives. It is a chance to play (what they believe is) the role of “The Man”.

This is counter-intuitive to a lot of the talk in the Men’s Sphere, but it is the absolute truth and it critical to understand. If we’re going to make any headway in leading the correction of problems in each of our own little families and social circles, then this must be recognized. Dalrock’s posts on Mark Driscoll make this plain.

It must be understood that Driscoll railroaded thousands of men for years, and was rewarded for doing so; particularly by the men under him. “Hurts so good!”, as commenter Darwinian Arminian hilariously quipped. While the pile of broken men toppled upon his head as he fell, the real reason for his sacking was his effect on women, and how men responded to that.

If you read the letters and essays of former pastors and parishioners who’d felt his whip, they all reference the breaking point in their support of him as the point at which Driscoll made a wife cry. Journalists who committed themselves to cataloguing Driscoll’s crimes and errors made much of Driscoll being a misogynist even though he slung spittle at men a hundredfold of what went towards women. Yet it was misogyny that ended his career at Mars Hill.[2]

So, why don’t pastors address women’s issues head-on and in a sustained fashion, as they do men?

  • Because women don’t want to hear it.

While men who go to church want to hear how they can be better; women want to be told they are better. There are some proclivities of the female sex involved here, but they are grossly exacerbated by our Feminist, Oprah-fied culture. Any time a pastor spends correcting women will be accompanied by a sense of wasted efforts.

  • Because it is a primary responsibility of a husband and father, and a secondary responsibility of older women.

Any consternation a pastor experiences about whether or not he is passing the buck on women can be ameliorated by the fact that it’s someone else’s job, too. He can tell himself that others are filling in the gaps.[3] This is not so for men. In the church, the only authority over men are pastors and bishops. Some efforts spent on women will be wasted or redundant, but all effort directed at men is profitable; from their perspective.

  • Women routinely (almost automatically!) lie when confronted with unpleasantness about themselves; even the good ones.

There are few things more frustrating to the earnest man than dealing with a flat-out liar whom he is trying to help. A pastor who (for example) says men must be more active gets at least an amen from everyone, even if the follow-up is poor. A pastor who (also for example) says women must be more meek and gentle, gets many understanding nods that he must be talking about someone else, and pensive glares to let him know that her situation is different, you see.

If you add to that the fact that men are ready and waiting to be offended on behalf of their women, then we begin to understand that it takes either a sociopathic, or a supernatural, effort to give a sermon about women dressing immodestly.

[1] Single men give just as faithfully, but they–due to their younger average age and lacking a family-driven impetus to earn more and attend church in the first place–give much less . And, I’m speaking of Protestant churches. Just a glance at the offerings will reveal that American Roman Catholics don’t give as much in comparison to American Protestants. Satirized here as: “If a Catholic couple has $50, they go out to dinner; $20, they go see a movie; $10, they get fast food. But if they have $1, they go to church.”

[2] A dispassionate observer must conclude that in scale of hatred he was a misandrist first, a misanthrope second, and a misogynist last of all…yet it was charges of misogyny they preferred as weapons to attack him, and against which he apologized and defended. No need to defend much against that which no one considers much

[3] This is wrong-headed of him, but today I’m talking about incentives; not what is the exact correct thing to do. 

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36 thoughts on “Dress and Driscoll

  1. This is I think one of the key takeaways from Mars Hill. Driscoll was famous for his “How Dare You” tirade, which was merely the grand finale of his “Marriage and Men” sermon, a sermon where the abuse of the men started in the opening prayer and carried on all the way into the closing prayer. To my knowledge, membership only grew after this, and as you say, it was a church sought out by men.

    This fits right into Empath’s circle rubbing stories as well as the contempt modern Christianity has for husbands and fathers. When secular media goes after husbands and fathers it is a big yuk fest about the dumb men. Christian media however is much darker in its contempt for husbands and fathers. This is a sickness we could correct, but first we have to name it and bring it to the light.

  2. Thank you for addressing the fallacy that women aren’t properly admonished because of money. I have never believed that to be the case.

  3. The Hot Dog gets to the meat of the matter once again. Or to the matter of the meat as the case may be. Good lessons in taking your meat cum grano salis.

  4. So, why don’t pastors address women’s issues head-on and in a sustained fashion, as they do men?

    Because women don’t want to hear it.

    There are few things more frustrating to the earnest man than dealing with a flat-out liar whom he is trying to help.

    There is another piece to it, and this is that calling out men (even when not appropriate) feels heroic. Calling out women feels mean. So the choice is do something easy which feels heroic, or do something extremely difficult which feels the opposite. The feel good easy choice is the obvious one, all day long.

    Part of what we need to shine a light on is there is nothing heroic about abusing husbands and fathers, and there is nothing loving about enabling bad behavior in women.

  5. @Dalrock says:
    February 5, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    “There is another piece to it, and this is that calling out men (even when not appropriate) feels heroic. Calling out women feels mean.”

    Beating up on a girl isn’t manly. Beating up on another man is.

  6. You are on a scoring streak with this latest series of posts Cane. All of them are sharp and to the point, yet pull in so much of the general madness around us.

  7. The point of the bible isn’t the law and any pastor who thinks it is should be kicked out. We have a guy in church who thanks the Lord every week because he was able to stay sober. We shouldn’t have to worry about being called out, we should be encouraged to confess our sins to one another and encourage each other to draw near to God because Christ is our only hope.

  8. @Dalrock

    This fits right into Empath’s circle rubbing stories

    Empath’s concept of “The Lift” is redoubtable.

    as well as the contempt modern Christianity has for husbands and fathers. […] calling out men (even when not appropriate) feels heroic. Calling out women feels mean. So the choice is do something easy which feels heroic, or do something extremely difficult which feels the opposite. The feel good easy choice is the obvious one, all day long.

    I thought you might say that, and you’re exactly right. Having grown up in the modern era of deconstructionism, it’s the fate of the unthinking conservative to conserve contempt and rebellion. It’s tradition now.

    @CR, Elspeth and DG

    Thanks. I’m going to try to keep up the momentum. Ideas get log-jammed and pile up if I don’t write, and that makes me unhappy; gives me headaches even. Knowing that, I still have often made the choice not to write. “For I do not understand my own actions…wretched man that I am…”

    @Jenny

    We shouldn’t have to worry about being called out, we should be encouraged to confess our sins to one another and encourage each other to draw near to God because Christ is our only hope.

    We shouldn’t have to worry about it, but if a leader sees the need he should do so. The truth about our sin nature is that if we don’t have our sins called out then we begin to make them acceptable to ourselves; we explain them away as reasonable instead of crucifying them in our flesh. However; it doesn’t have to be done contemptuously. For example, it would not have been good for Driscoll to verbally smack around the women as he did the men. That would not make his approach acceptable. But here is Paul

    10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

    As it happens, just today I read the short book of Titus to our family. When I announced it, my oldest remarked. “Oh man. We’re in for a beating.” She already knew what Paul had in store for us cretins. (Check out the etymology of that word.)

  9. Ideas get log-jammed and pile up if I don’t write, and that makes me unhappy; gives me headaches even

    Guess its not just me then. I wish I could write more, but I don’t often have the time, and when I do, I’m not necessarily in the right state of mind for writing.

  10. Jenny,
    The point of the Bible is to eventually see the face of God, The Father, by being so overwhelmed with the love of Christ that the Holy Spirit dwells within your breast so that you are able to find the strength to ascend mount Calvary and find the Lord through the path of The Son.

    The purpose of a priest is to point the way, and do WHATEVER IT TAKES to gather stray sheep. That often means telling you that you have lost the path.

    If you’re afraid of being called out for being wrong, you haven’t understood enough scripture. You should be afraid of -being- wrong. You should stop fearing men, and develop a holy fear of the Lord.

    You can’t confess to sins if you think evil is good.

    You can’t draw near to God if you think the path you’re on is leading you up Calvary, yet actually is leading downwards.

    It is a loving hand that disciplines the soul.

  11. @Cane
    perhaps your role in the kingdom is much different than mine. I seem to grow closer to gentleness as I discover God.

    @Chad
    Yes! You’ve grown much stronger since I’ve know you, it is encouraging to see your love for Christ.

  12. @Jenny

    Yes, I am a man, husband, and father. You are a woman, wife, and mother. Your growth as a godly woman is going to be different than mine; not even in a way that is different-yet-symmetrical, but just different. Though we are of a kind.

    Your gentleness will be like leaves to a person in need of shade, but how will the leaves maintain shade if there is not a branch to hold them up? While a branch can block only a little heat, it must have the strength to uphold those who have strove for righteousness even to the point of making themselves unattractive to others (say by covering their bodies, or not shaving their legs) lest they fall into sin, or tempt others.

  13. Pingback: Yay. Men and women are different. | Dark Brightness

  14. The other problem is that it usually doesn’t take that much to tempt women into disobedience. When it is the pastor doing it – an authority the wife can use against the husband, or even if it just stirs up an unnecessary storm in the home, it is something Men won’t want to continue and take practical action. And, yes, it is the husband/father/older woman’s responsibility. This is actually harder. It is easier to send someone off to school and let someone else do it, but a wife that respects her husband can only grow in that respect from honest correction. And it is much harder when the wife isn’t the guard of the home sanctuary from a young age, but a career woman where she had men as peers and subordinates and even her bosses were not the same as a headship as it was just business. They will find it hard to become content, but that is where grace comes in.

  15. I echo Elspeth about debunking the money thing. You nailed it. The money plate haters use the money plate as an excuse for all sorts of things. Not surprised if some guy didn’t try and use “the money plate” to get off a speeding ticket.

    I’m going to sort of disagree with a couple of things. I buttress my argument not quite scientifically or statistically, but the a very weighty anecdotal basis.

    You saying that the men take the women out of church as a reaction to the women being offended is multifaceted in reality. You referred to the dude who goes to church to appease his wife. Sure, he’ll grab hold of her indignant about a sermon and exploit it as synergistic to his goal of not attending anywhere, ever. At least its will buy him a few free Sundays.

    But the rest. Not so much. It may be just phraseology, but a man taking his wife out of church due to her being offended is in effect the wife taking the family from that church. Do not make the mistake, Cane, of using your family as the way to run the hypothetical.

    How does the man know the wife is offended? Well,the first time or two….he only knows after she tells him. He “MUST” react with vicariously indignant urgency. After all this man (this modern churched suburban man) is a Lift Chaser too, even with his wife. In fact he will get tangential lifts from her friends and other women he knows by sharing the experience at dinners and neighborhood gatherings.

    After many years married, he will know her raw nerves well enough to do the SUPER lift chase. That’s when, before she even says anything….HE initiates the topic showing her how sensitive he is to the poor wounded-by-mean-preacher dear.

    Why preachers don’t admonish women…The best way to find out is ask them directly. I have asked a great many. In person or o email or phone. If you let its dynamic seep into your mind thoroughly, the one answer that has all moving parts, some of which would apply to all the answers preachers would give, was the man who told me….in person….”Because my wife is in the audience”. He was a man who you’d immediately sense that you could/should respect. he had a 400 strong rural church in TX, and he was involved in the prison ministry with my group. A Marlboro man type. He said more than that short sentence but he did say that literally. he said it with some inflection and expression on his face that suggested it was something foul he was spitting at me.

    Another told me, over coffee, that he felt men should not teach women other than their wives ….on women things. You allude to same Cane. I disagree….a lot.

    That leads to what we have now. There are tons of scripture lessons FOR women. The preacher can skip those, or do what they do now and squirm and weasel word and pretzel logic and create a smorgasbord for the women to each hear what they uniquely want, and never hear anything unequivocal. Its irrelevant that a particular woman (and you are spot on) thinks, “wow, there are some bad wenches around, how could a a man handle that”

    (never had The Lift called redoubtable…..cool)

  16. @Empath

    Do not make the mistake, Cane, of using your family as the way to run the hypothetical.

    My template was the combined proclamations from the letters and posts of the former pastors and parishioners of Mars Hill. No doubt many of them went through what you describe here

    How does the man know the wife is offended? Well,the first time or two….he only knows after she tells him. He “MUST” react with vicariously indignant urgency. After all this man (this modern churched suburban man) is a Lift Chaser too, even with his wife. In fact he will get tangential lifts from her friends and other women he knows by sharing the experience at dinners and neighborhood gatherings.

    After many years married, he will know her raw nerves well enough to do the SUPER lift chase. That’s when, before she even says anything….HE initiates the topic showing her how sensitive he is to the poor wounded-by-mean-preacher dear.

    but regardless it is one of many variations on the constant theme of husbands prioritizing wives’ desires over what is good and right.

    It may be just phraseology, but a man taking his wife out of church due to her being offended is in effect the wife taking the family from that church.

    That is the effect, but we must work with the reality. A wife who uses emotional terrorism to manipulate her husband is still just a terrorist. She doesn’t become the leader even if the husband capitulates to her demands. She doesn’t even want to become the leader. She just wants the leader to do her bidding. There is a difference.

    If you let its dynamic seep into your mind thoroughly, the one answer that has all moving parts, some of which would apply to all the answers preachers would give, was the man who told me….in person….”Because my wife is in the audience”.

    Now that is one that should be in the list. In my defense I didn’t mean for the points to be taken as exhaustive.

    As for the rural church preachers…no, I don’t hold them in much esteem. As I said in my post: They churn out sassy spangled-ass women; who, as you said: Can’t face their own wives. They don’t even really think they should.

  17. @Empath

    Why preachers don’t admonish women…The best way to find out is ask them directly. I have asked a great many. In person or o email or phone. If you let its dynamic seep into your mind thoroughly, the one answer that has all moving parts, some of which would apply to all the answers preachers would give, was the man who told me….in person….”Because my wife is in the audience”.

    There is a corollary but unspoken admission here, which I think it critical. He knows what the Bible says, and he isn’t unclear on the meaning. He admits this tacitly. What he is telling you is, he doesn’t believe it is good. If he believed remaining silent was harming his wife, he never would have admitted he remained silent out of fear of offending her. This is unspoken, but he makes the implicit assumption that you also don’t believe it is good.

  18. Here’s an honest question for the group that bounces around my head every time I hear/read a discussion on this subject.

    I begin with the following assumptions:

    1) We expect the church to welcome the unsaved and lead them to salvation.
    2) We can’t expect the unregenerate to behave as though they were born again.

    How does a pastor preach a message on modesty – and how does a church enforce modesty among the regenerate – while simultaneously welcoming the unregenerate, who we reasonably expect to dress and behave immodestly?

  19. “the real reason for his sacking was his effect on women, and how men responded to that.”

    I have not heard why he was stepping down, and the farewell statement was vague.

  20. @Oscar

    How does a pastor preach a message on modesty – and how does a church enforce modesty among the regenerate – while simultaneously welcoming the unregenerate, who we reasonably expect to dress and behave immodestly?

    Strictly speaking, church is not for the unregenerate. It’s a meeting of the body; of which the unregenerate are not a part. Different denominations handle this different ways. Some have inclusive services so that the curious can watch. Others have a point during the service where non-members leave. A few don’t allow non-members to their services at all. Depending then, each will have to find a way. The important point is that it can’t be up to the individual to decide this.

    @JT

    Welcome.

    Mark Driscoll avoided discipline by leaving the church, and then the church dissolved so it is unlikely there will ever be an official declaration of wrongs. What Driscoll was supposed to do–according to the bylaws that he (and those he appointed) dictated–was to submit himself to the church leaders for discipline and correction. Instead he “skipped bail”, as it were. Even now he calls himself “Pastor Mark” at his website. So while he was supposed to stay with the church and quit pastoring, instead he quit church and continued to pastor…such as it is. Calling oneself a pastor in the absence of a flock is like a deposed dictator insisting on the address of “Generalissimo”.

    However; there are several websites that chronicle the charges against him, and a couple that are devoted to recantations and complaints of former Mars Hill pastors and congregants. They all contain a confession of feeling something wasn’t right at Mars Hill, but they went along with it until a wife cried in response to something Driscoll said, did, or had someone else do.

    I didn’t emphasize this in my post, but I believe ground zero of the fall of Mark Driscoll was his marriage book. Any man who exposes his wife’s faults publicly is going to be distasteful. It doesn’t matter whether she co-authored it or not; he was the book, the family, Mars Hill Church…everything. It was all about him, as he had made it to be. Couple that with the fact that American pastors live under a dark shadow of suspicion as it concerns money, and the exposure of the scheme to spend church money to make the book appear to be a bestseller…

    You didn’t ask about this, but concerning whether or not he did wrong in revealing his wife’s story: I am still uncertain. Like everyone else, my instinct is revulsion, but on the other hand she had a role in creating the Mark Driscoll monster. Not because she didn’t live the feminist dream and tell her husband he was wrong; rather because all those years he knew something was wrong, and yet she never told him that she married him under false circumstances.

    It’s a popular misconception that women know when their men cheat, but men don’t know when their women do. Driscoll had to be a keen observer of human nature to pull off the stunt that was Mars Hill Church. I don’t believe he had a dream of her other sexual liasion out of the blue. He knew something was wrong, but never dealt with it. She never brought it up.

    Point is: He thought he was marrying his virgin, but she wasn’t. Their marriage was a lie. For that, I pity him.

  21. @Cane

    Mark Driscoll avoided discipline by leaving the church, and then the church dissolved so it is unlikely there will ever be an official declaration of wrongs. What Driscoll was supposed to do–according to the bylaws that he (and those he appointed) dictated–was to submit himself to the church leaders for discipline and correction. Instead he “skipped bail”, as it were. Even now he calls himself “Pastor Mark” at his website. So while he was supposed to stay with the church and quit pastoring, instead he quit church and continued to pastor…such as it is. Calling oneself a pastor in the absence of a flock is like a deposed dictator insisting on the address of “Generalissimo”.

    Well put. This is the post I decided not to do; Driscoll’s problem with authority. The great irony is that Driscoll was all about authority, and how the bad men in his congregation were lording their authority over the wives while failing to submit to Driscoll. In doing this of course it was Driscoll lording his own authority over the men while refusing to submit to the authority he himself created.

    Driscoll’s projection was monumental. In his famous Marriage and Men sermon (famous for the “How Dare You!” tirade) Driscoll listed the eight types of worthless men he sees in his congregation. Number four was:

    Number four, I’m the Boss Bob. This guy is just bossy. He thinks wherever he is that he’s the king of the whole thing. He’s always telling everybody what to do. He stands back at a distance like a drill sergeant and just barks out orders to his wife and barks out orders to his children. He has a hard time keeping a job because he always is bossing around his employer and his employees and no one can stand him. He thinks that being a man means being bossy and overbearing. And these guys are the worst when they show up to church. They want to be in authority, not under authority. These are the guys who show up and immediately say, “I want to lead, put me in charge of something.” You’re in charge of shutting up, that can be your specialty. These are the guys when you rebuke them, they just leave the church and they take their wife and children with them and their wife and children suffer ’cause this is the guy who loves to be in authority, refuses to be under authority, likes to tell everyone what to do and he himself can’t be told anything. I’ve got a list of these guys. You can see it in their wife’s face. She’s miserable. You can see it in their children, they despise their father and he’s oblivious because he’s an imbecile. And they go from church to church to church and eventually it’s like “Well, we can’t find a good church” meaning “I can’t find a pastor dumb enough to take my orders.”

    That’s how chauvinism works itself out. And you, men, when you read the Bible and you read words like “head of the household,” if you think it means something like this, you’re an idiot. You’re abusive, you’re dangerous and you’re a fool. Some men say, “Well, I’m not like that.” You may be worse in a different way. Those are the cowards. You’re just like your father, Adam.

    One of Driscoll’s many (sort of) apologies was a claim that he made the mistake of trying to submit to his elders:

    …but I knew as a big personality and pretty intense so I wanted to be under authority, but I made a mistake of, how do I say this carefully; trying to be under the authority of my elders, but the truth is all my elders were new and young and green, and they would want to help, but they really didn’t know what they were talking about.

    For the full quote see here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/09/24/eldersauthority/

    Point is: He thought he was marrying his virgin, but she wasn’t. Their marriage was a lie. For that, I pity him.

    Given how long they were an item before they married, this strikes me as unlikely. In Women and Marriage Driscoll says “Grace and I have been together 21 years, married for 16”. If he thought she was a virgin for the 5 years he played the role of celibate boyfriend I can see where this would add fuel to the fire though. However, I suspect it is another case where he was really yelling at himself when he famously screamed:

    Some of you guys, it’s just- it’s so frustrating. Some of you guys have been coming here for years. You still got your hands all over your girlfriend.

  22. @Cane

    If I understand correctly, he thought he was marrying a woman who had only had sex with him.

    Got it. Hymen issue aside, something still doesn’t add up if that were the case. Maybe I’m misreading it, but from what I understand there were two separate men Grace is said to have had sex with aside from Driscoll prior to marrying. In Inside Mars Hill’s massive meltdown they state that per his marriage book she had sex with a prior boyfriend, which the article characterizes as “assault”:

    In the book, co-written by Grace Driscoll, she is frank and forthcoming about the abusive relationship she was in prior to meeting Mark in high school. This previous boyfriend was possessive, controlled her schedule, stalked her, and sexually assaulted her.

    Another story from the same book describes her sinning sexually with a man after she started dating Driscoll (quote from the book itself):

    One night, as we approached the birth of our first child, Ashley, and the launch of our church, I had a dream in which I saw some things that shook me to my core. I saw in painful detail Grace sinning sexually during a senior trip she took after high school when we had just started dating.

    Had I known about this sin, I would not have married her.

    I haven’t read the book, but these sound to me like separate incidents. Perhaps they were separate incidents with the same man, and she lied about both.

    Incidentally as you have noted we know way too much about Grace’s sexual history as well as their sexual dysfunction. My sense is that Driscoll wanted to be the expert on sex and marriage way too much.

  23. …but I knew as a big personality and pretty intense so I wanted to be under authority, but I made a mistake of, how do I say this carefully; trying to be under the authority of my elders, but the truth is all my elders were new and young and green, and they would want to help, but they really didn’t know what they were talking about.

    This says it all. Ladies, you heard the man: You only need to submit to authority when you think he knows what he’s talking about.

  24. @Dalrock,

    There is another piece to it, and this is that calling out men (even when not appropriate) feels heroic. Calling out women feels mean.

    Back when I had pastoral responsibilities I actually called out women on dress a couple of times. One in particular took some rather blatant near-see-through-dress-stupidity-coupled-with-high-heels-on-a-sixteen-year-old for me to hit the roof. I called the young gal on it and told her she needed to change. Her mother was furious. Her dad thanked me after (a sadly pudgy but nice man). It took a while for me to get there because of something that hasn’t yet been mentioned.

    I didn’t want drama.

    I knew the girls mom and her (bless her heart I was wrong about her she was upset but knew better than to challenge me directly and for that I feel bad to this day) would likely go orbital and make a public scene. I had known from previous experience that such scenes can drag on and suck up an enormous amount of your personal time. Men as a general rule do not create scenes. They may fight you, but if they fight you it will be over in at most a week. You may never talk again but active hostility generally stops rather quickly. Women can go on…forever.

    There are legitimate reasons for not wanting to deal with that. This is one of many reasons why St. Paul advises few to seek the office.

    Another quick story to illustrate the difference. I have a terrible back. One day early on in my marriage I was having problems and my then young wife was rubbing it harmlessly while in church. I was not speaking at the time and in the general seating. At ten o’clock at night I get a call from a female parishioner complaining, I do not lie, that my wife doing this was inspiring immorality. I then get two subsequent calls from two elders (I was a Witness so a sort of presbyterian organization) who she had also called. Evidently even more had been called that evening. No man would attempt to start a lynching at ten o’clock on a weeknight. Women will. Fortunately the Witnesses are a fairly patriarchal bunch so after it being ascertained that I was 1.) in pain and 2.) not involved in an attempted make out session, she was called back and told to find a hobby.

    So I pity quite a few preachers. Counseling women tends to be extra plus not fun.

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  26. @Dalrock

    My fault in omission. The pastor that said he held back due to his wife’s attendance actually did say a lot more, i just didn’t mention it here. He absolutely was not pleased by what he said. His inflection was bitter irritation that yes, while he does know the truth and does know the biblical references and they are good, he had been worn down over three decades or more of either his wife being offended or her passing on FYI’s like about how Mrs. so and so said she was floored that he deign suggest a woman need accommodate the carnal wishes of husbands at on demand (disclaimer for illness and common evangelical fem blowback). He used that example, it was worded differently. The complaining woman accused him of commanding women to “open her legs” when requested.

    It was tragic as I remember it. I was at peak red pill ingestion, mid 2000’s and this man was from the no mans land between Dallas and Houston where Buckys is the jerky gourmet, Farmer/preacher, like a piece of dense hard wood he was not easy to whittle. But she had carved into some parts of him over time.

    Your point holds regardless how and why he get there, and it holds exactly for too many others

  27. Cane Caldo says:
    February 10, 2015 at 2:16 am

    @Oscar

    How does a pastor preach a message on modesty – and how does a church enforce modesty among the regenerate – while simultaneously welcoming the unregenerate, who we reasonably expect to dress and behave immodestly?

    Strictly speaking, church is not for the unregenerate. It’s a meeting of the body; of which the unregenerate are not a part. Different denominations handle this different ways. Some have inclusive services so that the curious can watch. Others have a point during the service where non-members leave. A few don’t allow non-members to their services at all. Depending then, each will have to find a way. The important point is that it can’t be up to the individual to decide this.

    So Christ came to save the sinners, and his Church turns them away. Interesting.

  28. @Joe

    So Christ came to save the sinners, and his Church turns them away. Interesting.

    Your sarcasm suggests you think it is the sinner’s job to somehow appear in a church; that it is the job of a pastor and a building to somehow convert people. Well, you are not alone as many Christians are under the same delusion, but a pastor’s job is to shepherd a flock (those who are already member’s of Christ’s Body), and church gatherings aren’t for saving sinners. They are for the Church to gather, as its title suggests.

    Faith in the Gospel saves, and it is to be preached in the streets. It is the Christian’s honor and responsibility to bring the Good News into the world as Christ did.

  29. Cane Caldo says:
    February 11, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Yep! I can’t remember how many high quality production Saturday night “seeker sensitive” services I participated in that produced a total of ZERO conversions. Lesson learned. We need to witness where we are, not wait until they come to church. The church is for believers.

  30. That is a good reminder on Church’s. There is an old story about a French Catholic priest in the post-Napoleonic era (an anti-religious era most American’s are woefully ignorant of much like they are unaware that Mexico outlawed most religious activity through I believe the early 90’s).

    He belonged to a town that had succumbed to the government instance on secularization. The bishop was keen on outreach programs and the previous priest had tried to implement them. Then came the new Father. He flat out ignored the outliers. He worked with the parish’s regular attenders. The local bar was next door and had a habit of being loud during services so he went over and knocked a guy out and had no more problems there.

    Despite the fact that he didn’t work on what is now known as outreach and only concentrated on the regular attenders…the Church grew. It was a small town so it didn’t grow by leaps and bounds but as I heard it told the social pressure of the regulars feeling good and well cared for caused social pressure on those that felt left out.

    As Cane pointed out the pastors job is to guard the flock. It is what they are ordered to do. The fastest way to not grow a church is not listen to God’s orders.

  31. Great posts.

    Once in a position of authority I corrected a women who had done something inappropriate. The next day I got a call and she had polled all the men and women involved and they all felt she was acting fine and that I was out of line. It was a very awkward situation and being young and unsure of myself I basically recanted. I was unsure what to do because when I had corrected men in the past I had never encountered anything like this.

    So – I will add my support to drama being a cause. With hurt pride a woman can turn outwards and take a private matter public and then instead of relying on the authority I am relying on my popularity to support my counsel. And shame on all those guys for supporting her against me – haha! It was a difficult learning experience and in the same situation I am not sure what the best approach would be – maybe teach the general principle to all and then if problems persisted point it out. But now I am needing to strategize about how to get the men on my side before I rebuke the woman who was out of line. Blah.

    Finding out your wife lied to you about her pre-marriage exploits can be soul destroying. I can understand Driscoll’s rage and depression.

  32. @ Kevin – I’m curious what your position of authority was over this woman you corrected. I am not sure how I would react if someone other than my husband or dad corrected me. I hope I’d be gracious about it if it were a legitimate correction.

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