Disclaimer: I agree with Mark Driscoll and probably KevinDeYoung on the vast majority (like 99%) of what they teach, and I applaud them for being conservative in their theology. This post is attacking them from the right – I don’t think that they are conservative ENOUGH. I disagree with all the people who attack pastors from the left. However, I do think that it is OK to attack them and expose them on the right. Mark Driscoll and Kevin DeYoung are liberal on some issues, because they are uninformed about men and marriage, and influenced by feminism. They need to be held to account. And I will do that now.
At Dalrock blog, I found an interesting assessment of a column by the famous feminist man-blamer Mark Driscoll. (H/T Fred, straightright)
Excerpt: (links removed)
Several readers have asked that I share my perspective on Pastor Mark Driscoll’s recentWashington Post piece “Why men need marriage”. Driscoll opens his contribution to the man up and marry career gal sluts genre with an anecdote about a middle aged career woman who never married:
She was smart, funny, interesting, successful, attractive, kind, in her 40s, and still single.
A man of biblical wisdom would recognize that this woman had squandered her youth chasing a feminist dream of career and/or fornication. Were he a wise man, a story starting this way would be a cautionary tale to young Christian women not to make the same mistakes this woman did. However Pastor Driscoll is steeped in the foolishness of our feminist culture and not biblical wisdom. He finds no fault worth mentioning in this woman’s own choices, and instead looks for a man to blame for her terribly mismanaged life:
After my wife Grace and I spent some time with the woman from our church, we could not fathom why no one had married her.
She has been of marriageable age for over twenty years, yet she never married. Pastor Driscoll seems to think this is because men have failed her. It is far more likely that she followed the feminist advice to delay marriage until at least her 30s, while in all likelihood riding the carousel. As a result she may well have lost the ability to experience love and attraction for a normal man. Note that amongst the marriageable attributes he mentioned about this woman he left two out; he didn’t say she was a virgin, and he overlooked entirely the fact that she is almost certainly no longer able to bear children. In fact, notice that all of the attributes he lists are what one would normally advise a woman to look for in a husband (smart, funny, interesting, successful, attractive, kind). He seems to have gone out of his way to cleanse his mind of traditional views of the sexes in marriage. Why else would he refer to a woman using only terms which would apply to a man?
More: (links removed)
But Driscoll is apparently entirely unaware of the trends of the last 40 years. Instead he coins a new euphemism for the carousel (fools parade) and ladles out a healthy serving of the Apex Fallacy.
Eventually, some get tired of the fools parade and settle for some guy who is more likely to act like a baby than help raise a baby. These guys make the worst husbands: gambling away the money, out late with the boys a lot, unfaithful, can’t seem to fit a full-time job in around his hobbies, and eventually trading in their 40-year-old wife for two 20-year-old girlfriends.
He sees women thinking with their genitals and seeking out men with dark triad traits and instead of holding them accountable for the devastation they cause their children he blames men in general. Then he trots out the canard that men are driving the divorce epidemic by divorcing older wives when the data proves that divorce rates plummet as wives age.
He ignores the epidemic of women kicking fathers out of their children’s lives committing frivolous divorce and divorce theft and doesn’t warn men to be extremely careful when choosing a wife. Like any other form of addict, he will do or say anything to get his next fix.
Men are like trucks: they drive straighter with a weighted load. Young men are supposed to load themselves up first by being responsible for themselves and not expecting their mom to fill up their sippy cup with beer and push them in a stroller to the unemployment line. Young men who take responsibility for themselves are then ready to marry and take responsibility for the life and joy of their wife.
But what about young women? Do these pastors think that women have “load themselves up” with anything that men might expect them to know? Should they have strong informed views favoring chastity, opposing divorce, and really really opposing fatherlessness? Of course not – because Mark Driscoll is afraid to tell women that there are things that they ought to be doing in order to be prepared for marriage. I have a whole list of things that women should be encouraged by pastors to load themselves up with, but none of those are on Mark Driscoll’s list.
Pastors don’t ask the right questions of women. They somehow have gotten the idea that Christianity only imposes obligations on men. It is so bad that Mark Driscoll actually blames the non-Christian men that “Christian” women choose have relationships with when they act like non-Christians! Pastors shouldn’t tell women that it’s not their fault if they choose bad men – it makes them think that they are victims and that they are not responsible for their own decisions. That will not protect woman from making more bad decisions in the future. We don’t want women to get the idea that they don’t need to have informed views on these issues so that they will make better decisions.
Here’s Mark Driscoll explaining how men are to blame for single motherhood:
Part of it is the unintended consequences of divorce. Forty percent of kids go to bed at night without a father. Not to be disparaging toward single moms, but if you’re a single mom and you’re working 60 hours a week, and you’ve got a boy, and he’s home all by himself with no parents and no dad, he’s just going to be hanging out with his buddies, feeding himself pizza rolls.
The number one consumer of online pornography is 12- to 17-year-old boys. What that means is he’s home eating junk food, drinking Monster energy drinks, downloading porn, masturbating and screwing around with his friends. That really doesn’t prepare you for responsible adulthood. That’s a really sad picture, especially if you’re a single gal hoping to get married someday. You’re like: “Seriously, that’s the candidate pool? You’ve got to be kidding me.” That’s why 41 percent of births right now are to unmarried women. A lot of women have decided: “I’m never going to find a guy who is actually dependable and responsible to have a life with. So I’ll just get a career and have a baby and just intentionally be a single mother because there are no guys worth spending life with.”
Single motherhood is no problem for Mark Driscoll – which implies premarital sex. It’s all totally OK – for women. Because he thinks that men are to blame for the decisions that women freely make. But I think that the men that Driscoll is complaining about are produced by the conditions that he refuses to condemn – like premarital sex, which is a risk factor for divorce, and single motherhood. So, he is basically supporting fatherlessness, and then complaining about the results of the fatherlessness that he supported. In his rush to avoid condemning women, he creates the very situations that result in men who do not do well in school, do not work and do not marry. All because he doesn’t think that the Bible’s moral teachings apply to women – but only to men.
What men expect from women when we pursue them is that they will be passionate about identifying the causes of social phenomena like the decline of men , and then demonstrate to us what actions they have taken in order to defeat those trends. We expect women to talk about no-fault divorce, shared parenting, cohabitation, hook-ups, binge drinking, day care, single motherhood, gay marriage, school choice – to show men that they have some familiarity with the issues that they would face as mothers and wives. But when pastors respond to the real problems facing men with “man up” and women believe them and accept the view that they are not responsible for solving these problems, then we all lose. Women today are complaining that the sons of single mothers and divorced mothers from yesterday will not man up. But where did these single mothers and divorced mothers come from? Surely pastors who refused to confront women about the morality of premarital sex (which reduces the stability of the marriage, leading to divorce) and single motherhood by choice deserve some of the blame?
Men are getting 40% of the undergraduate degrees in many universities. Is it incumbent on pastors to read books like Christina Hoff Sommers’ “The War Against Boys” and find out the root causes of this effect? Is it incumbent on pastors to read books like Stephen Baskerville’s “Taken Into Custody” and find out another root cause of the marriage strike – no-fault divorce? Or should pastors just remain ignorant and lazy, and refuse to confront women with the causes of the decline of men? It seems to me that pastors like Kevin DeYoung and Mark Driscoll just dismiss these problems with the slogan “man up”, because they are just not intelligent enough to be able to read books by Christian scholars that explain the causes for the decline of men. It’s much easier to write blog posts bashing men, with no citations, and get accolades from the feminists in their churches, who are only too willing to blame men for problems that they themselves have caused by embracing anti-marriage, anti-family ideologies.
Pastors think that Bible doesn’t apply to women
Here’s my view:
- Bellow “How Dare You!” to men who have premarital sex and have babies out of wedlock and get divorced.
- Bellow “How Dare You!” to women who have premarital sex and have babies out of wedlock and get divorced.
Here’s Driscoll’s view:
- Bellow “How Dare You!” to men who have premarital sex and have babies out of wedlock and get divorced.
- Tell women that it’s not their fault if they fornicate and have babies out of wedlock and divorce because they are not happy, and then bellow at men to “Man Up” and marry women who think that the Bible doesn’t apply to them.
Many women who claim to be Christians are very sympathetic with the government handing out goodies to women who don’t care what the Bible says.
It seems to me that what pastors like Driscoll are saying is this:
- Women should not be told not to have babies out of wedlock
- Women should not be told not to have premarital sex, which often leads to divorce (marital instability)
- The poverty that results should be fixed by government redistribution of wealth
Where does government money come from for all of the social programs to deal with broken homes (112 millon per year)? It comes from men who work. We have to pay higher taxes to subsidize women who get into situations that are very expensive for working men to pay for. This in turn reduces out ability to afford to get married and have children.
And Mark Driscoll comes along and bellows at us “How Dare You Complain About High Taxes For Sin Subsidies! Man Up and Marry Those Sinners! Pay for their social programs!”
Here’s what one devout Calvinist Christian woman just wrote to me:
I know there are some men who start out being really nice and sweet and they get the woman crazy about them and then slowly, little bit by little bit they persuade her that if she “really loves them” she’ll sleep with them and they’re “going to marry” her and they “love her” and all that rot. And one night she gives in because she’s weak. But she doesn’t really want to. But she’s bad at resisting the man and he’s manipulative.
And he lied. He didn’t mean it. She did mean it. She believed him when he whispered sweet nothings in her ear.
Yeah, she’s not too bright to fall for the liar. Yeah, she should be vigilant. Yeah, she should think logically instead of emotionally.
But often she’s younger than he is and she falls for his good acting. It’s Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.
Between her and the liar, I’m with Driscoll.
See? The Bible doesn’t apply to women. It only applies to men. That’s what pastors have been telling women and this is what creates an entire generation of fatherless children, who the pastors then bellow at to “man up”. If the pastors had been man enough to challenge women with the Bible in the first place, we wouldn’t be in this mess. They caused this by refusing to believe what the Bible says.
Making men better without nagging
I sometimes wonder if pastors think that men are just there to serve women, and not to serve God. Pastors seem to have no idea where men are really needed in this society – to counter anti-Christian ideologies – and how to get them there. Pastors are supposed to inspire and encourage Christian men to become effective and influential in the areas where we need them to be, and to inspire women to select those men who are having an influence over non-Christian men who are just good looking and fun. But they fail miserably at these tasks. The don’t seem to be able to look at an effect (declining men) and trace it back to causes, and then address those causes.
Here are a few things that pastors could talk about in the church:
- how should schools change to help men to learn better?
- what sort of education policies will help parents educate their boys?
- what sort of books should boys be reading?
- what should parents be doing to make their
- what should a single man be doing to please God – not women?
- what economic policies encourage job creation?
- how does socialism (social programs) minimize the roles that men play in a family?
- how do we make church more interesting for men?
- how has feminism changed law and government to be more hostile to men?
- how has feminism changed the workplace to be less accessible to men?
- how can we convince women to stop getting drunk and hooking up?
- how can we get men to be able to understand the truth of Christianity?
- how can we get women to affirm men in their traditional roles?
- how can we point men towards careers in science, engineering, math and technology?
- how does the culture undermine strong Christian men?
- what are some areas where Christians are needed to be influential today?
- who are some of Christian men who are effective and influential?
- what academic disciplines should men focus on in order to have an influence?
- what laws and policies are hostile to the Christian life plan?
- how can we get men to speak intelligently about Christianity and how it relates to other areas of knowledge?
But questions like this never occur to most pastors. They often can’t even talk about things like apologetics and politics for fear of being “divisive”. Instead of complaining about men, pastors need to start thinking about how to solve the problem. That will involve deliberate study and taking action to address the root causes of the decline of men, providing men with a positive vision instead of just nagging them, and holding women accountable for their own sinful actions, like premarital sex (a risk factor for divorce) and single motherhood, which both cause their children to be raised without fathers.