We’re baaaaaack! EE & Kristen Howerton “So Totally Relidge!”

Kristen Howerton and I had such a great time discussing politics that we decided to team up again and discuss another topic we care deeply about: religion! Our plan is to do a weekly recap about religious topics we’ve read on the Internet. Our first episode? Last week’s brouhaha surrounding Mark Driscoll’s disrespectful tweet about President Obama. Also, we’d love your feedback. If you’ve read something you’d like us to discuss, please share.

  • KatR

    Random thoughts:

    1) Why is Driscoll never, ever, (EVER) called upon to be gracious in his speech on the internet?

    2) I think that tweet about the President was less about the President, and more of a warning shot to his church members. “I decide who is saved and who is not. Check yourselves”.

    3) The “Driscoll is not my pastor” post on Deeper Story was unintentionally funny because it was someone going on the internet to tell everyone else to shut up on the internet.

    4) Why not take the “You shouldn’t speak out against abusive pastors because God will take care of it” argument and apply it elsewhere. Christians, stop planting churches and going on mission trips! God has it under control! DO YOU NOT BELIEVE IN THE AWESOME POWER OF THE LORD, AMEN????

  • http://twitter.com/byzcathwife priest’s wife

    I enjoyed this! (if you ever want to talk about SEX and religion…take a look at my micro-blog this week….)

  • Kelly

    As far as I know Mark Driscoll is an honorable man And never have I heard that he does not like women and thinks that they should be 2nd class citizens in his church. Nor have I heard him say anywhere that he should be the one to decide who is saved and who isn’t. You are doing to him that which you’re complaining about him doing to somebody else.

    He simply made a statement that there is a preponderance of evidence to support. Although he probably should not have said it.

    You said we should call out Christians who are behaving badly but I have not seen where you have called out our Christian President on his abominable views on Infanticide and abortion, his administration’s war on Christianity and subversion of Scripture. Is it because you are liberal feminists or are you really Concerned with Christians behaving badly?

    • Alissa

      1. If you believe Mark Driscoll to be an honorable man then it is obvious you don’t know much about him. Please educate yourself before defending him. Kristen and Elizabeth simply have a firm grasp on his history and brand of Christianity and it’s failings.

      2. I would be interested in hearing your ‘preponderance of evidence’ supporting the claim that our President is not a Christian and does not believe the Bible. I’m choosing to hope that you do not believe “Christian” and “Democrat” to be mutually exclusive terms. (Because in that case I definitely am NOT interested in hearing your “evidence.”)

      3. Using “Liberal Feminist” as a derogatory term is both malicious and rude. It also really lowers any respect/credibility you might garner from others as it makes me pretty sure that you get a lot of your news from FOX News, and therefore have no idea what’s going on in the real world.

      • Kelly

        I listen to Driscolls sermons almost every week. Have you listened to any? He preaches the gospel which may be why he is so popular. He may have made mistakes but he is human. I think some of the things he says on twitter are likely an attempt to garner attention. If he can bring people in that would never have been exposed otherwise with a few outrageous remarks then show them the cross and save souls, why not? Anything short of sin to reach people.

        I know a lot of Christians that are democrats I just don’t understand why.

        Didn’t mean to be rude or malicious, I think they called themselves feminists and I just assumed they are liberal what is the correct term? Progressive?

        Yes I watch Fox News as well as CNN and others. Guess that makes me a right wing loon.

        • Alissa

          Elizabeth is actually conservative. These two had a great series called “right mom, left mom” where they talked about politics from their different viewpoints.

          Additionally, I’m not really sure how you can reconcile the Gospel to a lot of the things Driscoll does and teaches. I’m going to limit myself to 5 examples:

          1. Portraying Esther as full of sexual sin and Godlessness.

          2. Defininig Vashti’s refusal to dance for her husband’s drunken friends as sinful refusal to submit to her husband.

          3. Saying that Ted Haggard had an affair with another man because his wife had let herself go.

          4. Bullying and mocking “effeminate anatomically male” men.

          5. Saying that stay-at-home-dad’s are living in sin, is worse than an unbeliever, and should be subject to church-discipline.

          Any thoughts?

          • Josh Spencer

            You know Alissa, I had a fairly reasonable, cogent response typed up, but then I deleted it. You see, I watch fox news occasionally, and you’ve made it clear how you feel about people like me. You’re on one side, I’m on another; so what’s the point?

          • Alissa

            You know Josh, this is not my blog… I am just a commenter and you are free to ignore my comment or disagree with it. I’m not sure what a comment to say you’re not commenting means. Passive aggression maybe?

            Additionally, even if I did say “If you ever watch Fox News then don’t comment!” (which I didn’t) Who the heck am I? Why care what I think? I think a reasonable response would be most welcome.

            In this instance in particular I was asking for more information because the above poster said “Is it because you are liberal feminists or are you really Concerned with Christians behaving badly?” As if being a liberal and a feminist negates your ability to be concerned with Christians behaving badly. The only logical explanation I could come up with was that the above commenter was buying into the Fox News scare tactics of feminist liberals destroying all that we hold dear. And if someone is that far gone I don’t see any value in arguing my point.

          • Kelly

            Not sure where you get your information from but…

            1. He said The book of Esther is Godless because God is not mentioned at all in it. He said it was one of his favorite books to preach.

            2 He called Vashti courageous and heroic. Said she did the right thing and called her husband a pig.

            3 He said.”A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband … is NOT responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.” for which he later apologized. wives should make themselves sexually available and not let themselves go and husbands should do the same.

            4. Not sure what an effeminate anatomically male is. Is that a eunuch? It would be wrong to make fun of them.

            5. He simply recited scripture 1Timothy 5:8 Said men should work to provide for their family and women should stay home to raise their children. Nothing wrong with that.

            Quite a bit different than how you portrayed him.

          • Kelly

            I think you all may be seeing phantom misogyny everywhere you look especially in manly men because you are feminists. Many women still prefer stand up, manly men that can take care of us over the chickified version. Just sayin

          • Alissa

            There are several terms that I don’t fully understand in your comment. What do you mean by ‘feminist’? Because if you mean someone who believes that women should be able to vote, own property, make as much money as a man does for the same work, and be able to ride the bus home without clutching the mace in her purse, then YES I am a feminist. But I’ve never met a woman who wasn’t a feminist by that definition either.

            I also have no idea what a ‘stand up, manly man’ is vs. a ‘chickified version’. I’m going to go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that sports, beer, and clothing have nothing to do with your definition. By ‘chickified’ do mean sensitive? Tender? Loving? Quiet?

          • Alissa

            I actually get my information from Mark, himself…

            1. “She grows up in a very lukewarm religious home as an orphan raised by
            her cousin. Beautiful, she allows men to tend to her needs and make her decisions. Her behavior is sinful and she spends around a year in the spa getting dolled up to lose her virginity with the pagan king like hundreds of other women.” Uh, yeah… because Esther was REAL EXCITED to be taken from her family and forced into a harem against her will.

            2. It was actually Grace who criticizes Vashti in the book, not Mark. I realized my mistake when I went back to look it up. Since it is in their new book, we can safely assume that Mark didn’t disagree with it.

            3. You’re correct that he later apologized under pressure and that she’s ‘not helping him either’ Here’s the direct quote: “It is not
            uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her
            husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.” Haggard’s wife has NOTHING to do with the choices he made and even bringing her up in the context and suggesting that she made it harder for him to remain faithful is ridiculous and misogynistic. I’m not totally sure what he means by a wife ‘letting herself go’ but it is insulting to me that it is even a part of the conversation.

            4. Driscoll is known for looking down upon ‘chickified’ men (aka men who are not macho men who like fighting and football and beer and do not dress a certain way). So by calling them effeminate ANATOMICALLY MALE he was saying they weren’t ‘real men.’ (See also: commenter Kelly below.) He asked for stories on his Facebook page about “the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you’ve ever personally witnessed” and then made fun of and attempted to delegitimize these men.

            5. First of all, 1 Timothy 5:8 is talking specifically about children taking care of their widowed mothers (since in that time a widow would have next to no way to take care of herself). So rather than looking at historical context Driscoll uses a verse completely out of context to try to make this totally backwards statement seem Biblically founded. I (being a stay at home mom) don’t think there’s anything at all wrong with a mother staying home and the father going to work to provide financially for the family. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with the inverse.

            So I’m not sure how I portrayed him wrongly (other than the false attribution of the Vashti criticism). I am sure that none of the above points to Christ.

    • Verity3

      You’re right; Driscoll has probably never uttered the phrase “Women should be 2nd class citizens in the church.” He probably instead emphasizes their “equal value.”
      In all seriousness, I believe Mark Driscoll serves a purpose in God’s Kingdom because the double-minded need to hear the Gospel too. That is all.

      • Verity3

        …but I’m open to actual dialogue. Hoo boy.

  • apocalipstick

    Mark Driscoll basically appears to be Al Bundy with a Bible.

  • Angel

    I think you both nailed it, particularly about the ‘shrill’ vs. ‘manly’ dichotomy. I agree with Kristin, especially, that I need to speak up when a public pastor is not speaking for me and does not reflect my beliefs. And ditto what you said, Elizabeth, about the outside world not seeing us as our particular shade of Christianity. I’m E. Orthodox, but I have yet to have one of my non-Christian friends make that distinction- they’ve just said “You’re a Christian, right? What do you think about what ‘xyz’ said?”

  • http://twitter.com/CatherineDenton Catherine Denton

    Can I be friends with ya’ll? I’m not above bribing. *holds out cups of coffee* Seriously, this post spoke deeply to me. I love that you speak up. I’m one of the quiet ones but I’m finding my voice and in the meantime, I’m grateful for the “shrill” ones! :)

  • Handsfull

    I got about 10mins into the video and it cut out! Can’t get to hear the rest of it… which is annoying, I was enjoying it. Not sure if it’s my computer or something with the video…

  • Amanda

    Totally nothing to do with the topic BUT…Elizabeth I am LOVING your earrings, girl!

  • gimpi

    Speaking as an “outsider”, I have to say people who take Mr. Driscoll’s tack are very off-putting. I am pretty much unchurched, in the “spiritual but not religious” camp. As someone not a part of your faith, but interested in your beliefs, I am much more likely to listen to Kristen or Elizabeth than Mr. Driscoll. I think this kind of snotty, “got ya” commentary drives people like me away, people who otherwise might be open to your message. I believe that is called “damaging your witness,” correct?
    I am interested and curious about what people believe and why, but aggressively uninterested in Mr. Driscoll’s politics. I see one commenter below said something to the effect that she acknowledges the existence of Christian democrats, but doesn’t understand why they exist. Really? Since when did party affiliation become a religious issue? Does Mr Driscoll feel he has the right to tell his congregation how to vote? And they put up with that? OK, whatever.
    I also don’t get this idea that some Christians (mostly on the far right) seem to have, that they and they alone can define what constitutes “true” Christianity. What’s up with that? When did supporting an aggressive military policy or opposing gun control become Christian doctrine? I know I’m an outsider, but this need to drive everything into opposing camps, and then defend the barricades against the opposition is really destructive. Is that really where Christians want to take their religion? Just a thought.

    • J

      Driscoll could be a great man of God if he would refrain from saying the stupid things. I have been blessed by his ministry though.

      Party affiliation is not a religious issue but In my opinion the democrat party platform does not square so well with Christianity Not that the Republican party is the bees knees but it is the only real alternative when one party is so seemingly anti-Christian. I think many Christian Democrats are just not aware of their party’s political position regarding religion or they are party hard liners that are more concerned with politics than religion.
      I don’t know Christians that are supporting an aggressive military policy unless you mean supporting funding to have the most powerful military on earth for the protection of it’s citizens. Then I would be one.

      Opposing gun control is not a Christian thing it just makes good sense.

      In the end the only thing that matters is Christ and what He has done on the cross for us. I hope you find him soon. Do not let what anyone is quibbling about stop you from pursuing a personal relationship with Him. I think He may have been pulling on your heart for some time and you being here is not coincidence. No matter what you have done it is not too big for Jesus to forgive. Just ask him in to your heart.

      • gimpi

        Thank you for your reply. If you get the chance to follow up, here are some questions:

        What specific policies do you find in the Republican party that make it “the only real alternative” for Christians? What specific policies in the Democratic party do you find so off-putting?

        Why do you find regulations regarding firearms ownership not sensible? (I have been a firearms instructor, and shot on a women’s pistol team, but in light of the power of modern firearms, I don’t mind seeing some restrictions on ownership and use. Neither does my husband, who has also been a trainer.)

        Most importantly, does it matter to you that Mr. Driscoll is really pushing people away? Perhaps he doesn’t intend to, but the effect of being slammed, attacked and shot down is real, and it won’t go away with a “I hope you find Christ” parting note, any more than if I said something to Mr. Driscoll like “I’m sure you’re really a nice person, under all that rudeness, ignorance and tacky behavior,” would make him interested in listening to me. If I knew Mr Driscoll, and thought he really wanted to engage people, I might let him know that perhaps more grace and less snark would be effective.

        In conclusion, I thank you for your respectful response. It makes me much more interested in your beliefs than snark. It’s so important to remember that others have beliefs too, We are all deserving of respect and all sensitive to put-downs.
        If, as you say, “…no matter what you have done it is not too big for Jesus to forgive,” then perhaps some Christians could see your way clear to being a bit more forgiving to their fellow-believers with different political ideas. Not everything has to break down to ‘left or right’ politics. And we can’t learn from each other, if all we do is shout at each other.