It’s no headline-grabber when Mark Driscoll does something to annoy me. It’s another thing entirely when he rankles his Baptist brethren.
Many conservative radio stations run a program produced by Driscoll and Mars Hill, his church. But according to a recent BarthsNotes post, a 2007 sermon he offered in Edinburgh which then was broadcast on his program, crossed a line by using the Bible to argue that women should be performing oral sex on their husbands. This, from the article:
During the sermon, which was entitled “Sex, a Study of the Good Bits from Song of Solomon,” Driscoll interpreted Song of Solomon 2:3 as referring to oral sex and then said, “Men, I am glad to report to you that oral sex is biblical…The wife performing oral sex on the husband is biblical. God’s men said, Amen. Ladies, your husbands appreciate oral sex. They do. So, serve them, love them well. It’s biblical. Right here. We have a verse. ‘The fruit of her husband is sweet to her taste and she delights to be beneath him.”
But in true Driscoll fashion, he doesn’t stop there. Here’s another excerpt from Driscoll on the program:
She [the wife] says, “I’ve never performed oral sex on my husband. I’ve refused to.” I said, “You need to go home and tell your husband that you’ve met Jesus and you’ve been studying the Bible, and that you’re convicted of a terrible sin in your life. And then you need to drop his trousers, and you need to serve your husband. And when he asks why, say, ‘Because I’m a repentant woman. God has changed my heart and I’m supposed to be a biblical wife.’” She says, “Really?” I said, “Yeah. First Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness.” [Laughter from audience] How many men would agree, that is a deed of kindness. He doesn’t want tracts. Those won’t do anything. What we’re talking about here could really help.
Most interesting to me is that this kind of teaching seems to fly in the face of what is often called “complementarianism.” In short, it’s a more politically correct way to promote misogyny while giving yourself the loophole that a “separate but equal” division of roles can, on the one hand, keep a woman out of the pulpit or other positions of power, while also saying out of the other side of one’s mouth that we’re all really on the same level.
The thing is, there’s nothing in his teaching about reciprocating said oral favors. Apparently either he hasn’t found the Biblical basis for such an act or perhaps (more likely) he hasn’t worked nearly as hard on that bit. So despite the vague rhetoric about men and women being equals, he uses the Bible to promote sexual subjugation.
Now personally, I don’t believe in a hell in terms of eternal conscious torment. But if hell turns out to be something of our own design, Pastor Driscoll may be setting himself up for a less-than-pleasant afterlife. Here’s hoping I’m right on my take of God’s judgment, for Mark’s sake.