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Housewife or Hell

September 4, 2010

If the wife isn’t a “homemaker” and the husband isn’t the sole breadwinner then you’re both probably going to hell. At least, so says Mark Driscoll and his wife. In case you’re not familiar with Driscoll, don’t be deceived by the “cool clothes”, the high end graphics, or the expensive stage pieces. He’s really no different than the fire and brimstone Calvanist preachers of his father’s day. Same ‘ole fundamentalism, new packaging.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Josh permalink
    September 4, 2010 12:16 pm

    He’s a nearly-40-year-old who dresses like that and he’s talking about other people being like children? Maybe stop dressing like a college kid and then come talk to me.

    I like how he says “You say it’s cultural? It’s not cultural, it’s in the Bible.” like that means we should follow it word-for-word, but then later he says he’s not a legalist.

  2. September 4, 2010 12:41 pm

    “Maybe stop dressing like a college kid and then come talk to me.” Perfect. I LOVE it!

    He’s just a bully who can’t see the forest for the trees. If you don’t agree with him it’s because your’re ignorant, an idiot, or a heretic.

  3. Brother K permalink
    September 4, 2010 9:40 pm


    In this economy, where being a “99er” is the very distinct reality for a number of men and women, are they saying from their pulpit that: only the man should go out & get work? Even if the wife has an employable skill set? Are the Driscolls really trying to suggest that ONLY mothers can rear children? That dads are rhino-skinned troglodytes incapable of feeding/dressing/cleaning/nurturing their children? Or that all families where the mother works need to be shamed with the “You need to re-think your priorities and give up your spendthrift ways…” brickbat? And are they really trying to shield themselves from legitimate criticism with a “Don’t blame us! It’s Biblical!” pass? Sheesh!

    How about this: Driscoll (and wife) should stop lumping guilt on those who might be trying with all of their might to secure a job without success (and upon the women who might be the sole breadwinner of their family). Everyone in the house fed/dressed/sheltered/boo-boos kissed through the wages of legitimate work? Then indeed, thank Our Father in Heaven for His generous daily bread, regardless of who in the family was out earning it.

  4. Wes permalink*
    September 4, 2010 9:46 pm

    I’m sure if I made as much money in the ministry as Mark Driscoll, I could afford to think things like this too.

  5. Justin Underwood permalink
    September 5, 2010 12:21 am

    It’s just not in the scriptures to dress like a tool, it’s just not there. I’ve read the whole book. You have to go to the culture, sanctify it, and pull it out. This would be a church discipline issue unless it was under extreme circumstances… I’m not a legalist.

  6. Brian permalink
    September 5, 2010 7:49 am

    I guess in his mind taking care of the home isn’t “providing for the family,” which flies in the face of how important her work is. They sat there and contradicted themselves. What about the cases where the wife has more earning potential (eh-hummm, Zack)? Is it better for the family to live with less financial means just to have a woman at home? I’d say that’s just stupid to do otherwise.

  7. September 5, 2010 1:23 pm

    First, everyone knows that youth pastors make exponentially more than doctors.

    Second, I plan on winning the lottery, therefore making more money than my wife, and thus saving my soul from eternal damnation.

  8. Josh permalink
    September 5, 2010 5:55 pm

    But Zack, gambling is wrong. So you have to ask yourself which one is more wrong, gambling or letting your wife make more than you?

  9. September 5, 2010 6:12 pm

    Fortunately God has predestined us all to either heaven or hell, so I don’t have to choose because what I do doesn’t matter since God has already decided my eternal destiny. Bam!

  10. September 7, 2010 12:05 pm

    For a couple who is obviously committed to Biblical mandates on gender roles, she sure is talking a lot in church…

    1 Corinthians 14:33-35

    Obviously I don’t really think that, but why does Mark get to pick and choose which apply today?

  11. September 11, 2010 12:21 pm

    More foolishness. It’s amazing how much foolishness two bored youth ministers can post in a few months.

    Calvinist Fundamentalist.

    Do you want an award for most original stereotype?

    Are you sure you’re talking about Driscoll? Do you even know anything about him? The man is attacked constantly by fundamentalists for being liberal on engaging with culture and sitting with sinners. Apparently you don’t get that.

    I love this excerpt of a comment from David.

    “Is it better for the family to live with less financial means just to have a woman at home?”


    I have a question, do the six of you live in America? Do you understand that there is an incredible cultural shift in America? Men have lost manhood. Women are being the leaders of households. And guess what? The children are suffering. Look up the statistics for yourself, I don’t have time. This is what happens what the culture gives up a very important basic assumption it once believed (carried over from Christianity).

    Now the church deals with the fallout, you two as youth ministers should at least understand the kids worst off are those with broken homes, broken parents, and broken marriages. Couple this with the “both parents working” syndrome and you have a recipe for disaster inside the church and outside the church.

    The Christian man who is not providing (not being a mother/wife, being a father/husband) is in the wrong. Now, there both extreme (cancer) and moderate (husband and wife are non-believers and wife goes to work while husband takes care of the kids) situations. Mark made it evident they are not legalists.

    I would take this to mean that as long as you have a plan and are working towards that plan to change your household from one that mirrors culture and is based on cultural (or utilitarian) reasoning to one that mirrors Christ’s relationship to the Church and is based on biblical (or Christ-centered) reasoning, then surely there would be abundant grace. To take that to mean that Mark is saying you have to choose between starving and being biblical or “going to Hell” and being successful, please.

    Your stereotypes don’t fit my family or the multiple families I’ve met that believe what he’s saying is just plain biblical because that’s what they’re trying to do.

    The children aren’t freaks, the wives aren’t whispering to me to help them escape, and the husbands aren’t “rhino-skinned troglodytes incapable of feeding/dressing/cleaning/nurturing their children”. All in all, the stereotype falls so flat it’s embarrassing to read these comments as I wonder if any of you have even met a “new reformer” or his family. You’d be writing your apology blog post on your napkin as you watch them engage as a family.

    It must be weird to have someone who’s not a yes-man comment on your blog because that appears to be your only congregation except for me.

  12. Wes permalink*
    September 11, 2010 1:16 pm


    Like I said in the other post you commented on- voices that disagree are welcome as valuable contributors to the conversations we are trying to have.

    Calvinist Fundamentalist… ignoring your “Grace and wit” once again, this is hardly a stereotype. Mark Driscoll is clearly Calvinistic in his teaching, and broke away from the postmodern movement because his fundamentalist tendencies didn’t find a home there.

    I am aware that Driscoll is often attacked, but I would definitely NOT say that it is fore engaging in culture. The only time he engages with culture is to ridicule and vilify it from his state at Mars Hill. He has the right to do so, just like we have the right to disagree.

    I would like to address one part in particular on your comment.

    “The children aren’t freaks, the wives aren’t whispering to me to help them escape, and the husbands aren’t “rhino-skinned troglodytes incapable of feeding/dressing/cleaning/nurturing their children”. ”

    I think you misunderstand the point of the post. It wasn’t to suggest that the more “traditional” family doesnt work, or that they produce freaks. It’s to suggest that when people like Driscoll and yourself say that anything OTHER than the traditional “Man Work, Woman Clean” family is unChristian and doomed to fail- that you are incorrect. We firmly believe that the traditional family roles can and do produce good environments- but if a woman works, the good environment isn’t out the window.

  13. September 11, 2010 2:48 pm

    I guess I missed that passage in the Bible where it says that women should be stay at home moms. Last time I read Paul he didn’t say anything at all about husbands being the “bread winner” and wives being “homemakers.” In fact if you read a little more of Paul instead of just the cherry picked passages used by insecure guys like Driscoll use you would see that Paul wasn’t even a fan of marriage at all.

    The same Paul that said wives submit to your husbands, also said in Christ we are a new creation and there is no male and female.

    You’re reading Paul through your own cultural lens. We all do it, and it’s not always a bad thing. But we need to be able to recognize when we do that if our testimony is to have any integrity. We can’t simply take a verse that doesn’t explicitly name our cause and hold it up saying it clearly says ___________ when in reality we are just interpreting that way.

    Simply put the concept of the woman as “stay at home mom” isn’t biblical. If it were then all the women that followed Jesus (including the ones who were first at the empty tomb while the men were cowering in fear) and all the women Paul thanks himself for their active role in ministry would be living in sin.

    You may want it to be, you may believe in your heart of hearts that it is, and your favorite preachers may claim that it is, but no matter how many times you read “wives submit to your husbands” the letters will never magically rearrange themselves to say “wives stay at home with the kids.”

  14. September 15, 2010 6:03 pm

    That’s what frustrates me about Driscoll. He’s got all the right aesthetics to attract a hipster Christian like myself (I love Mars Hill’s worship bands), but as soon as he opens his mouth it’s good old fashion fire and brimstone stuff. Plus, he’s way too hung up on gender roles and doctrine.

    Or maybe that’s the plan. “Oh, you like rock music and coffee? Come on in. Now that you’re here, REPENT!!!!!!”

  15. Ethan Perkins permalink
    September 21, 2010 12:41 pm

    If you don’t agree with the bible then you probably don’t agree with him.

    But he said it best when he said “Oh, well that’s cultural…no it’s the Bible”

    Men need to quite being babies and lead, and you guys that don’t get behind that just being pansies

    also, if you are offended by the gospel then you are hearing the right gospel. I am sure you all would like to go to a church where they held your hand and told you that you were a good little boy but that isn’t the gospel.

    The gospel isn’t about attracting hipsters, neither is Mars Hill

    • Brother K permalink
      September 21, 2010 3:08 pm

      Being offend by Marc Driscoll (or the Mrs. Driscoll unit’s parsing of the scripture for ‘legitimacy’) is not the same as being offended by the Gospel. Let us please not draw any corollaries between the two.

      No one here laughing at the Driscolls (or more maturely pointing out their Biblical myopia used to strike a counter-cultural pose) has even. once. said anything about having difficulty with masculine leadership of their families, but rather the Driscolls’ sole application of same being man-at-work + woman-in-home Ward & June Cleaver style to be shallow at the very least.

    • Wes permalink*
      September 21, 2010 5:11 pm

      The whole “it’s not cultural, it’s in the bible” argument only works if the bible was written in a cultural vacuum.

      It wasn’t.

  16. September 21, 2010 1:46 pm

    Small penis syndrome isn’t a excuse to re-narrate the biblical narrative to justify your apparent need to subjugate women in order to prove your “manhood.”

    Driscoll can cry “it’s the Bible” all it he wants, but that doesn’t make it true. It just makes him either 1)ignorant or 2)a liar.

    The fact remains that this “men need to quite being babies” mentality is absurdly non-biblical. If you took the time to actually read and study the bible (and not just a few ripped out, manipulated verses) instead of just taking Driscoll’s word for it, then you might see that.

    The gospel found in the Bible (not the one at Mars Hill) tells about a Jesus who despite the scorn of everyone around him thought so highly of women that the included them in is inner circle. He didn’t parade through Jerusalem on a chariot beating down everyone in his path, he was “pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities….[and] by his WOUNDS we are healed.”

    If Jesus was the “tough guy” Driscoll pretends that he was then why do we seem him allowing himself to be spit upon, beaten, mocked, stripped and nailed to a cross?? Driscoll’s Jesus would have kicked ass and taken names. And why, when according to Driscoll Jesus was supposedly beating his chest in conquest (or punching himself in the face to prove his manhood), does Paul say that though being in the form God he instead took on the form of a slave, i.e. not Tarzan.

    Long story short, this “tough guy Jesus” Driscoll wants everybody to believe is simply NOT the Jesus of the Bible. Look all you want through the gospels. It’s not there.

    You and Driscoll can keep your chest scratching, beer chugging, ass kicking Jesus. I’ll stick with the Jesus of the gospel, the one who humbled, not exalted himself.


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