Any regime will work if the silence of the masses is kept. Those in authority rule. Those ruled submit silently. If only people would be quiet, you could do anything to them. Silence keeps the machine running smoothly.
This is the strategy of Mark Driscoll’s ministry at Mars Hill Church. It is doubly effective because the bible is used to reinforce it.
I am grateful that Driscoll is so clear on his intentions. And generous! He preached an 81 minute sermon on fatherhood and turned it into a book. You can download the pdf of Pastor Dad for free. Often misogynistic ideologies are cloaked in confusing and subtle language. Not so with Driscoll. He is very clear. Men rule. Women submit. Children obey. Then he provides the verses supporting it. After I read the book I felt like I had to pull myself back out of the Old Testament into the 21st century. It is so heavily male chauvinist that it sounded like another planet where women either do not exist or are effectively silenced like chattels.
There is one paragraph on page 14 that, in my opinion, tells it all:
“Since marrying grace in 1992, I have had the privilege of pastoring literally thousands and thousands of single young men. many of them have asked me, “What does your wife do?” I tell them that although she has a degree in public relations and had a good job at a large media company, she got off the corporate ladder to stay at home as a wife and mother. They often then ask curiously, “How did you get her to do that?” as if we arm-wrestled and I won, thereby permitting me to tell her what to do for the rest of her life. I explain to them that I did not “make” my wife do anything. Instead, I simply married a woman who agreed with me about the beauty of raising a family, because it was much easier than fighting.”
It was much easier than fighting. That’s the key. He didn’t verbally make her stay home. He didn’t have to convince her. Driscoll intentionally married a woman who wouldn’t bother fighting with him and would fulfill his expectations of what a woman, wife and mother ought to do.
There are people who are a part of my community who have been under the Driscoll regime and they would agree that silence is key to the success of the operation. Especially for women. I suggest there can only be two explanations for how this is happening:
- The women are not self-aware enough to realize they are being oppressed; or
- They do realize it but, like Grace Driscoll, realize it’s easier to be quiet and capitulate rather than fight for their rights.
Like I already said, this only works if the people keep quiet. So I’m sending out a signal to all of you under this kind of regime: it’s time to start talking.
I promise if you do it will topple soon.