Aren’t We the Ones Who Should Be for Fighting for Them?

(Update: Driscoll responds to it all. Though there is no apology, he does admit it was “flippant” and thanks his critics for their wisdom.)

(Update 2: I’ve now read over this twice and I am still struck by the lack of apology here. No only that but as someone else pointed out, you should just apologize, not plug a new book you have coming out. When my son hits my other son, we make him actually say, “I’m sorry for hitting you.” We want to instill that habit of acknowledging the wrong and the hurt. This may be the crappiest apology ever.)

(Update 3: A friend pointed me to this list. 4, 6 and 7 are notable.)

A few days ago, Mark Driscoll posted the following to his facebook page:

Listen. I am politically and theologically more conservative than you. I’ve got more albums by the Clash and Springsteen than you and I’m a decent athlete. I’m married with three kids. And I do not recall ever being called effeminate. This is not “personal”. (Update: The reason I point these things out is so you will understand that this is not personal. Although just like Jared Wilson, I am not handy around the house. Also, my favorite novelist is Jane Austen, my favorite album of the year is Adele’s 21 and I do not own a gun…yet. But in Jr High I was more than a few times called ‘faggot’ with meaning. I’m not overly masculine. It’s a damned if you and damned if you don’t issue. If you say you are effeminate, you are taking it personally. If you say you are not, then you still get criticized for pointing out you are not.)

But when Mark Driscoll asked others on facebook to join in his ridicule of “effeminate anatomically male” men who lead worship in churches I was amazed.

How is this possible? How is it possible a pastor can do such a thing and none of his peers publicly call him to account for his actions but instead defend him?

What group of people would a pastor like Driscoll have to make fun of before we in the conservative theological tribe said, “enough”?

What have we become when this is acceptable to anyone within the church? This kind of behavior should be the most abhorrent of all among pastors. The thematic ethic of how we deal with others throughout the New Testament is love for one another. We are told they will know we are followers of Jesus because we love one another. This is not some conservative/liberal issue. This is simple kindness.

We have now gotten to the point where a pastor has to sleep with someone, steal something or kill someone to be publicly called to account. As long as his doctrine accords with our own we set up the pastoral version of what the police call the “blue wall.” We protect our own.

Is this what the celebrity pastor cult of personality has wrought? An untouchability when it comes to inciting young men the world over to attack effeminate men. 


Aren’t we the ones who should be for fighting for them? 

11 thoughts on “Aren’t We the Ones Who Should Be for Fighting for Them?

  1. kristen July 12, 2011 / 2:56 am

    Yes, well said. If one looks at this incident (and doesn't even bother to try to draw conclusions about patterns of behavior) I don't know how it can be excused on any level. It's sinful and it's encouraging other people to sin as well. Since I don't have a personal relationship with Mark Driscoll, it's a good opportunity to reflect on how I also behave this way, judging, inciting gossip, tearing down the body of Christ, and repent. And pray that Jesus would abide with his Church and help us to love one another.

  2. Johnny! July 12, 2011 / 3:43 pm

    So, what story do you have about the most homoerotic UFC fight you've personally witnessed?Effeminate worship leaders are a problem, but that ain't no solution.

  3. David Bedsole July 12, 2011 / 4:19 pm

    "Effeminate" is morally neutral. The Bible records, without judgment, the fact that Jacob was a "quiet man, dwelling in tents." Biblical masculinity, of course, has to do with sacrificial covenant-keeping: in marriage, in the church, in work, for the family.Show me that, and I'll show you a man. Lisp, hair gel, whatever. It matters not.Thanks for a thoughtful post, Matt.DB

  4. Matt Svoboda July 14, 2011 / 1:57 am

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Matt Svoboda July 14, 2011 / 2:34 pm

    Matt,I was really just trying to have fun with the whole thing… I apologize if I came off like a jerk. I was being a "punk," but it was more for sarcastic humor and not me trying to be jerk. I apologize.

  6. BrianD August 7, 2011 / 2:47 am

    Matt, yeah, we should stand up for the weak and defenseless…and dare I say it, the queer-looking.Jesus calls us to follow HIM, to make Him our example, not one of His disciples who has said things and held ideas that I personally find to be not only stupid, but stumbling and even unChristlike and obscure the good that God has done through his ministry.

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