Friday, July 17, 2009

Man Up

Mark Driscoll yells at men and some Christians wring their hands about it. I say "Keep it up."

According to this Time article, traffic tripled to (no, I won't hyperlink it) -- a website that helps men and women commit affairs -- the Monday after Father's Day.

What the heck?

The whiners in the article talk about things being tough in marriage.
Welcome to real life.

I know there's lots of great guys out there faithfully loving their wives and kids and not taking out press releases about it, but there's still an awful lot of idiots. In the church.

I don't expect lost people to be great at marital monogamy, and while all people are sinners, and sinners sin, I am totally freaked out about self-professing Christians who both cheat and then half-*ss their repentance.

Remember recently "fallen" pastor Gary Lamb? Homeboy's Twitter feed ever since has been riddled with how irritating and inconvenient his life is now, at one point even saying he'd "kill" a rude driver who obviously didn't know the week Gary'd been having. Poor baby.
He acts like a victim and of course he receives tons of Twitter sympathy.

In a blog post, Lamb refers to other pastors who are cheating on their wives, saying he knows "what they're going through."
Apparently having sex with a woman who's not your spouse is something that happens to you, not something you do.

Man up, dudes. You cheated on your wife. Sorry life's been tough lately, but quit yer whining. You earned the difficulty.

Repentance flows from and yields brokenness. If you're angry, irritable, and throwing pity parties, you're not repentant.

Disgraced South Carolina Governor Mark Sandford says he wants to reconcile with his wife but still maintains he is in love with his mistress, his once-in-a-lifetime soulmate. His wife must be totally stoked about that reconciliation now.
Throw. Up.

And grow up.

Somebody reading this post right now looked at Internet p()rn earlier. Stats are in favor of that statement.

If you need help, get it.

If you don't need treatment, then stop it.

Here, let Driscoll yell at you a bit:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
-- 2 Corinthians 7:10

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
-- Revelation 3:19


Josh R said...

Yah, I know a lot of folks who think Driscoll went overboard in that clip.

I tend to think that the only people whom he offended deserved to be offended.. (That is probably all of us)

gavin richardson said...

"Apparently having sex with a woman who's not your spouse is something that happens to you, not something you do."

i think that's great! i frame it by saying those who cheat say many "yes's" in the road to finding themselves to whatever demise they fall to. there are many times to say "no" and walk away or reconcile.. but to ultimately get caught, then play spin games is just adolescent & disrespectful.

gonna stop before i get into full rant..

The Navy Christian said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I'm so grateful I happened by your blog.

I don't think he went overboard at all. I wish more pastors would do this. Having come back from a great sin myself, and knowing what it means to tell my wife "I was wrong", I can't thank Mark, and Jared for sharing it, enough.

Ken Stoll said...

I do hear a little of the "I'm a good Christian and you can be too but you aren't if you're not like me and haven't whipped the sins I have (and have been following Jesus as long as I have been) then you're a bad Christian" tone here--which I despise a ton. If we stand in grace, we stand on thin ice. If we don't stand in grace, the ice will surely break--and grace doesn't afford us the privelage of boasting in any thing other than the Cross. Often my comments are short and impersonal here on your blog but this post and Driscoll's subject matter I can speak of personally, so I figure I should. I'm not going to defend wife abusers, sex offenders, dead beat dads, porn addicts, or adulterers--I agree with the content of what you have said and most of what MD says in the clip.

Men who do these things need to repent. Amen. But what about the man who has already done such terrible things? Can he rejoin the club, or is he banished to the outer courts with the other spiritual lepers who haven't behaved as our brothers who have held high the banner of moral character and manliness? And what about the man who hasn't sinned so grossly, but manages to pray very little with his wife due to his own laziness or indifference? Is yelling at him (because this clip is borderline condemnation I think) going to shame him into obedience? I find it ironic that MD is almost given a free pass to be wrong by us who "side" with him if you--it was MD who just a couple years ago fell on the other side of this knife and just about defended Ted Haggard's despicable behavior by suggesting in a short flippant comment that it may have been Haggards wife who pushed him to such depths--sure, there is some responsibility to be taken in marriage by both parties so I sort of understood at the time why MD would be so bold to say something so crass and insensitive to many (and I'd say rightly so by those who took it as such--even if what MD said was correct).

Acting as if anyone should just stay away from the communion table because he (or she) is not living up to "the standard" is a bit hypocritical really, for we all approach as sinners in need of grace---it's one thing if someone is living in an unbroken life of sin (how we like to remind each other that Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to "sin no more" but I side with the commentaries which state that what Jesus was implying was "leave your life of sin"). It's altogether different if one has stumbled but is repentant (sorting out who truly is and who isn't can be a dicey and delicate task). I'm all for going to your brother and making things right as we admonished to do by Paul, but if you ask me, MD is setting up a standard here that even he can't live up to... and if he can, it will surely take the grace of God to accomplish it. I committed the horrific act of adultery (and no, I was no longer serving as a youth pastor when I was so selfish) some years back (11 to be precise) and have since repented so I think I have something to say that MD can't. MD, as should we, should be angry over sin and evil of every sort. He should call it what it is. But I am confident that MD is surely capable of being proud of his own merits when speaking of his "manhood". I was sure as MD seems (if not moreso) and preached with the same anger too about the same issues back in the day I was preaching and traveling (although I never had one 1000th of the stage Mark has--and thank God). The danger I see though is pride, and I have heard enough of MD's messages to say he will admit he is not immune. Its one thing to call out our "brothers", its altogether another thing to do it with smugness, contempt, and condemnation.

"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." ~Galatians 6:1-3

Somehow I missed this in the clip.

Jared said...

But what about the man who has already done such terrible things? Can he rejoin the club, or is he banished to the outer courts

"The club" is for the repentant, so of course he's welcome.

I always default to "Is this in Scripture?" And man, Paul does a lot of yelling at fools. The letter to Galatians and some parts of the Corinthian letters come to mind.

MD is setting up a standard here that even he can't live up to.

It looks like rebuke of sinning brothers to me, which Scripture says to do.

Its one thing to call out our "brothers", its altogether another thing to do it with smugness, contempt, and condemnation.

I guess I just don't see this in the clip or the message it comes on the tail end of.
Driscoll has done his fair share of repenting for stupid stuff, and maybe he ahs more to do, I don't know.
I just think that when it comes to men in gross habitual sin, shaking them works best. I know it did for me.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness

Yeah. But sometimes you gotta wake the person up to his transgression first. I think this verse assumes the person caught is repentant.

it was MD who just a couple years ago fell on the other side of this knife and just about defended Ted Haggard's despicable behavior by suggesting in a short flippant comment that it may have been Haggards wife

I remember that post. I blogged on it.
To say the remark about wives was flippant or that he "just about defended" Haggard are, I think, gross mischaracterizations. The wife point was one in a list of points.
The majority of it was about setting personal boundaries like having male assistants, having TV's taken from rooms, etc.

Sorry to disagree with some of what you say here, Ken. I do agree that hypocrisy and smugness help nobody. I'm with you on the spirit of your post. I guess I just don't see those things in this bit from Driscoll.

Ken Stoll said... need to be sorry, I may misunderstand you and you me. Yes, we are the company of the repentant, but we must not forget that even our own repentance is afforded by grace Jared.

I still think MD was over the top and needs to look in the mirror at himself a little more often and start yelling a little less in my not so humble opinion. I love your blog and I surely wasn't picking a fight (I am confident about I am talking about--tell me I'm wrong). I will beg to differ having had preached from a similar spot with the same concerns and learned I was much too unmerciful with my "sinning" brothers--and still am too unmerciful.

No disrespect, but its one thing to call out fools, but I am talking about brothers. While we can certainly act foolish and even play the fool at times and for seasons we'd rather forget I think its imperative to differentiate. Paul doesn't classify himself and some select believers as non-fools and another group of believers as fools. I think scripture is pretty clear that the fool isn't a believer. So, while Paul may have yelled at believers, his yelling at fools was a separate issue. If MD is calling out non-believers in his congregation I'd be suprised, if it is believers so be it--I just say be careful not to be proud in doing it.

"Yeah. But sometimes you gotta wake the person up to his transgression first. I think this verse assumes the person caught is repentant."

I'd say we always need to be awakened to our transgression first, there can be no repentance without acknowledgement of sin. But we can scream at the top of our lungs but I have learned that a couple words or one simple prayer can often do more than any of that.

Driscoll just tends to have an air about him (and I have my own), its an air that says, "I'm above falling into being a wimp or anything that doesn't entail being a 'MAN'." Maybe I'm alone in thinking this but his frequent chest beating has me wondering if he's dealing with some feelings of insecurity (like the rest of us do).

Driscoll will have plenty of repenting to do as will you and I if his journey here continues--to assume we have turned a corner, found the repentance silver bullet, or grown up is presumption we can't afford. I understand being shaken and I know all too well about discipline, but my points are that grace ought to define Driscoll's preaching more (and to argue the point seems silly to me as well could use more grace and less works--legalism and the like).

If I remember right C.J. Mahaney (be he right or wrong) publicly called out Driscoll for his comments about Haggards wife. Our desired result in dealing with or addressing sin should be restoration (but often we preachers of grace fall into the same trap Jonah fell into by wishing for the destruction of the very ones God is sending us to). You mention Paul, and I was going to mention him in my lengthy comment earlier. The vast majority of Paul's fits and outrage was in response to the freedom stealing Judaizers and the religious proselytes if I am not mistaken.

I don't hear the kind pleading here from MD that I hear from Paul in his letters as he admonished his readers to live holy lives. In other words, MD is no doubt preaching a hell, fire and brimstone repentance but is forgetting that it (genuine repentance) is wrought by the kindness of a patient God who leads us to a place of repentance. I'd also add that having a slice of understanding in terms of the grace we stand in ourselves must proceed any preaching of God's judgment (MD says something to the effect of "God could kill one of you right here")--let me humbly submit we've all done things as Christians which God could have justifiably killed us on the spot for, lest we preachers forget.

It's a fine line we walk in preaching the grace of God and calling out sin--to do one without the other is senseless and useless. But to forget grace when calling out sin is worser still.

Ken Stoll said...

I blogged earlier this evening about the post and shared a working definition of repentance and also another scripture since you mention a few yourself in your post.

The Navy Christian said...

I don't mean to get in between two guys having a discussion, especially when I'm the youngest of your comment-leavers, but I need to share some things.

First, I sat in a church for years while listening to preachers talking quietly and all the while I was living a second life. We can never know if Driscoll's message would have hit me the right way back then, but I'm all for it.

I am a sailor, so my context is different than yours, but sometimes, I have had to tell these guys to grow some guts, stop acting like they can do anything they want to do, and learn what it means to be a man.

In some ways, I don't care if Driscoll has a certain attitude or not, or if he's wrong in some detail or another. We can't always be perfect right? But I'm going to suggest to the guys I'm mentoring to listen to this because they need it. Even if they don't think they do, even if they don't want to.

If he was wrong, and if this was the wrong way to do it, then Mars Hill will lose some guys. But if they go...suspicion is on them, no?

I fully accept that maybe I shouldn't be talking, because my context is different than either of your contexts, but I just thought I'd add my two cents and you can do with it what you want. Thanks!

Martin Jack said...

I have to wonder why MD didn't offer the gospel at the end of the sermon to the dead-beat Dads, after he had put them under the condemnation of the law. Overall though, why I sympathise with what Mark is saying, I have trouble with preaches usurping the role of the Holy Spirit.

Earlier MD put men in two camps (the chauvinists and the cowards). I wonder where these gross caricatures and generalizations are in Scripture.

Sometimes I think Driscoll's hunter-gatherer vision of Christian masculinity has more to do with his Irish background than the Bible.

Ken Stoll said...

Dan, I won't speak for Jared but I am certain he'd echo my sentiment that you have as much of a voice here as does he (although he does reserve the right to moderate his blog)--or Mark Driscoll for that matter.

I hear and relate with you and agree that much can be taken from this clip (and the entire message I am sure). I am not a MD detractor or a heresy hunter (MD preaches the gospel for the most part and hasn't gotten into any heresy as far as I know). I am in no way suggesting folks leave Mars Hill over this at all, I have seen and heard enough Driscoll the last 4 years to know this isn't absolutely out of the ordinary for him. The great preachers have been taken the wrong way, have dealt with pride, and have even preached things they later renounced (not suggesting MD needs to renounce this teaching because he speaks a good deal of truth in my opinion).

I just would warn against becoming puffed up and taking credit for our own growth in holiness or Christ-likeness--or as MD likes to put it--our manliness. MD may very well be the most humble man alive--being humble doesn't equate to being wimpy, docile, weak, or timid mind you. But even those of us who have a measure of humility have some pride about that. Mark has stated he has dealt with pride in his writings and also from the pulpit--and who doesn't? I would agree with you Dan that if someone left over this there might be a problem, but then again, only God knows the heart. Our job isn't to so much to judge our brothers intentions as it is to mind our own business with God--then we might have less of the "second lives" you mention and more of the lives God intends we ourselves have.

"That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. ~1 Corinthians 11:30-32, ESV

Jared said...

FYI: I won't be approving any more comments about Driscoll. They are off topic, for one thing. He's not the point of the post.

Everyone who has commented so far has been well within bounds for my unstated comment policy, so no worries on having crossed a line. I just feel that in addition to the MD critiques being off the post topic, they have already been well stated and any more would just be piling on.
I'm not interested in hosting a "take shots at Mark" post.

Hope y'all understand.

Ken Stoll said...

...makes sense and I understand Jared, was making another case really--just happened to be that a certain someone was a good target. Can we have a "take shots at Jared" post in the near future? Kidding. I do enjoy the blog you host and am both challenged and encouraged regularly here. I still need to order a copy of that soon to be best seller of yours but being unemployed here in Michigan of late makes it tough--do you have any used copies for sale yet?... I didn't think so.

Bottom line for me in much of this simple: May God help us all stay out of a sinful lifestyle of any sort.

KDubYa said...

Great words everyone... This life is definitely a balance between living in Rom 7 and living in Rom 4-8.
Even in blogosphere, Jared's recent blog "Who You Are When No One's Looking is Who You Are" and this one kind of hold the line at one end and then the sermon "Real Freedom" is at the other. Like the lyrics to the song by Addison Road, we live life like a trampoline, its up or down no in between.

In this lifetime anyway, but we must keep our gaze on the future glory Paul mentions in Rom 8...
23. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
24. Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don't need to hope for it.
25. But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.