September 20, 2017

Riffs: 4:30:07: Daily Sex With Pastor Mark

UPDATE: TSK goes through the rumor mill and separates fact from fiction from bullxxxt. (If I was in Seattle I could say that.)

I listened to Mark Driscoll’s “Banned Video” presentation, wrote two posts, scraped both, and then tried to figure out what’s bothering me.

I finally think I have it. If you haven’t watched it, here it is.

First, the obligatory paragraph: I love Mark. He preaches the gospel. He’s straight on about Jesus. I love his books. I love his approach to church planting. I share his burden for guys. I like the comic edge. I’ve defended him in these pages and will continue to do so.

Now the secondary obligatory paragraph: I disagree with Mark on several points, and I doubt I’d be a member of MH if I were in Seattle. What’s he doing is important and incredible, but as a post-evangelical I’m not entirely on the same road he is. But if I criticize him, it’s as a brother and one who respects, loves, supports and prays for him. I’d like his elders to tame him, but I’m sure it’s hard.

What’s bothers me in that presentation?

It feels like discipleship is almost completely (and increasingly) identified with a particular style of maleness, and that is a problem.

I’m very supportive of saying how Christianity calls us to real and robust maleness, but Jesus didn’t call men to maleness. I preach many of these things to my young men, and call them to be real men, strong men, sexual men, as they follow Jesus. Jesus calls men to discipleship. To be like him, maleness included. There are aspects of discipleship that are more important than having sex and showing chest hair. From washing feet to sacrificing your own agenda as a guy to taking up your cross and dying, we need to be focused on Jesus as our model in everything, and not be diverted down the road of super-sizing the sexual, gender emphasized part of life.

I have to admit that when I heard Driscoll say that young men want to know how to have sex with their wives once a day, I was stunned. I know Driscoll walks the edge, but this was the kind of juvenile distortion I don’t expect to hear. I’ve had plenty of young males ask me about sex in marriage, and I’m not bashful or less than straighforward, but this isn’t a good answer, and it’s presenting the wrong description of a Christ follower.

Clearly, someone needs to stop and say “Wait a minute. What are we saying about the Christian life? That it promotes healthy, happy sex? Amen! But that it defines that terms in the mindset of a twenty-something male who thinks daily sex is a “need” that he deserves to have met by his “Biblically submissive” wife? Time out!!”

Yes. Time out. Time out to think about the fact that when you ask me what it means to follow Jesus, my first couple of answers will be insightful. And if I start talking about the culture war, global warming or having daily sex with my wife, I’m not thinking of discipleship, I’m thinking agenda. If you think good evangelicals are immune from this, go splash some cold water in your face. You’re wrong.

Listen, a lot of young preachers I enjoy talk a lot about sex and gender issues. Good for them. When I preach on sex and gender my students listen, ask questions and want more. I have a grasp on how this works. But I cannot present the Christian life primarily as a way to great maleness. Given too large a place, that’s close to just another prosperity gospel.

If you follow Jesus, you may have lots of sex or no sex. You may give up sex because you have to care for a sick or ailing spouse. You have to put your sexual agenda at the bottom of a list of things like crying babies, the stress of daily life, emotional realities and physical facts. If a man tells me his wife provides him daily sex, I’m happy for him. He’s way above average. But I have some questions about periods. Crying babies. Housework. Illness. Non-sexual affection. And I have some questions about demands being made for the sake of some idea of sanctified maleness.

If a guy shows up to talk to me about his marriage and says his wife is depriving him of daily sex, I’m going to bluntly tell him he needs to rethink what marriage means in more realistic terms.

Jesus was the perfect sexual male, and he never had sex. He called us to take up our cross, lose our lives and find his life. He called us to fight, but also to serve, love, wash feet, go after lost sheep, be tender, weep, pray and just hang in there.

Jesus isn’t about anyone’s- ANYONE’S- idolatry of maleness. When feminists do it, we call them out for running the whole Christian faith through the grid of feminism. The same critique applies to evangelical maleness. Christ Jesus judges it all, and takes us to something that fulfills, but exceeds.

I love pastor Mark. I really pray for him. But the statement about daily sex is too far, and in the wrong direction. Let’s hear more about discipleship, not so much about gender. This is starting to feel out of balance. Let’s stop telling God what he has to do for guys and talking boastfully about what he will do for guys. Let’s talk about what Jesus has done for everyone, and the example of sacrificial, serving, humble, strong, amazing love that he gives to all of us.

When I think about what a statement like this can do to a struggling ministry marriage, particularly where everyone is overworked and feeling neglected and pushed about by commitments, etc…..it makes me sad. Not a wise sentence. But I am afraid it’s part of a not-so-wise turn of emphasis that needs to be recalibrated to make Jesus, not maleness, look great.

Get on the phone with Dr. Piper a bit more, brother. Seriously. You’re a gift to the church, but this isn’t the way to describe following Jesus in most marriages.

Comments

  1. Michael, excellent post. I too praise God for Mark and the church’s work in Seattle. However, I was unsettled by the macho, soldier metaphor. It seems to be pushed a bit too far. I know many great church planters who would not be served well with such a description. Thanks

  2. I have no problem with the metaphor. It’s biblical. No critique there. I am concerned with the emphasis on male sexuality as compared to an explanation of everything a loving man is called to do in a marriage.

  3. I watched the video clip and had a few reactions:

    1. Interesting the “walk and talk” style of teaching videos. For Francis Chan it was the million mile walk with a surfboard. Mark chooses a military cemetary

    2. I get a “Jim Rome” type of vibe from Mark’s overall tone. Christian smack.

    3. His point of assessment of potential church planters is very well taken. It takes a unique breed.

    4. Jesus rocking with the Spice Girls? Don’t know if this image has ever crossed anyone’s mind! 🙂

    Bottom line, much of the content is good stuff to chew on, but has an edge that a lot of people going to hang up on. Hey, I’m totally of the thinking that we need to seek ways to get men connected with the real Jesus, and involved in the servant leadership of the church, but I get the sense that if a guy isn’t a smack-talking Jim Rome clone, Mark Driscoll wonders if he is a real man…

  4. i am with you on many points you lift up michael. the one thing that i was put off by this presentation was little to no humility. maybe humility is the extreme of his hippie dress wearing Jesus that he can’t seem to get over.

  5. As I expected, I really appreciate this post. I’ve mentioned here and there some of my concerns with MH, which I think you’ve covered well in posts past… but the focus on being a “manly man” in that church is certainly among the reasons that my newly-Seattleite husband and I will probably not be attending MH.

  6. i just watched driscoll’s video this morning. I’m not certain i fully agree with all you’ve said here, but you have some good points. i will think further on this.

    i particularly like that you have given a loving critique “as a brother and one who respects, loves, supports and prays” for mark. the tone of your writing was respectful throughout. well done.

  7. Driscoll got much more flap about this video concerning his conviction that church planters have to be male (implied, not female) than his arguably hyperbole of daily sex in marriage. Yes, ironic how he’d use shocking hyperbole on the one hand, and then use a very literal interpretation of Scripture too.

  8. This post is right on. I was first attracted to Mark’s authenticity and cultural savvy as a church planter in Seattle. This kind of thing makes me think that he’s turning himself into a gimmick, and exactly the kind of caricature that people want him to be (so that they can dismiss cultural engagement as immature or worldly).

  9. Michael,
    Good stuff.
    Todd

  10. “..I’m not thinking of discipleship, I’m thinking agenda.”

    Very, very well said.

    And as to the metaphor: It seems that the type of soldier some folks have in mind is the guns blazing, Stallone / Schwarzenegger type, whereas one should think more like the Aragorn / Theoden type, to use cinematic examples.

    Also, when thinking about marriage as a picture of Christ and the Church, husbands should think more about sacrifice than what they can get. Much, much more.

  11. While I agree that he is doing some good stuff, I have had a problem with the Acts 29 network statement for several reasons, but the main one is the misunderstanding of what egalitarianism is and the description of Jesus’ love being solely masculine, as if love can be masculine or feminine. (If it can, it discludes such examples as God in Isaiah and Jesus repeating in the gospels being the mother hen gathering the chicks.)

  12. Good post. Agree with you on pretty much everything. The daily sex statement was just stupid and probably not thought through. Mark has a tendency to say too much, which at different times can be funny, annoying and disturbing. He should think a bit more before he speaks.

    As many others, I was also bothered by the sexist language of the video. Have women no role in church planting? Judging from the video, Mark seems to think so. I don’t agree.

  13. I get where Mark is going with this. I agree that we do have a lack of male leadership in most American churches (if not worldwide) and our vision of gentle Jesus meek and mild is perhaps a bit too ubiquitous. Any serious reading of the Revelation will show that Jesus is the all-powerful Lord of history and will conquer over his enemies on the last day with surety and finality. Jesus was the ultimate man.

    But I have to ask…

    What is “manly” (in the hairy chest thumping, beer pounding, sense that Mark seems to advocate) about a lamb to the slaughter? Yes, Jesus was not a “hippee in a dress” singing sentimental love songs to God, but I feel like Mark paints him as an a#$ kicking kind of guy who would love to jump in the ring to contend for the UFC title belt. I love Mark’s teaching, but when he talks about this issue, it doesn’t sit with me very well. Maybe, it’s not what he says in terms of the idea, but the words he chooses to describe it. I’m not sure. I get where he is going, but would phrase it much differently. Maybe it’s just simply overstatement to make a point and to raise awareness. As with most issues, this is also a function of Mark’s personality and that needs to be taken into account as well.

    Maybe I’m just a wuss.

  14. Iam NotBitter IamPissed says:

    Frankly, I think a lot of the fur flying over his comments is just plain jealousy; a lot of people are mad because Driscoll is getting action every day, and they aren’t.

    Most married women in the contemporary evangelical church have bought just enough of the Oprah agenda of pop psychology and feminism to find the ammo they need to resist gaining an honest, human, biblical perspective on their husbands’ sexuality, desires and needs. Sex for these Christian women is all about control. “Mutual submission” is just code for “She doesn’t have to put out;” and anyone who talks about headship or submission in the context of marital intimacy is labasted as a misogynist (or worse, as a closet bondage freak.) We tolerate this crap go on, and then march out for the hand-wringing ceremony over dirty pictures on the Internet. John had words for where that will take us – cf. Revelation 2:18f.

    I’m nearly 50, and to my mind, se once a day is by no means excessive. If that’s offensive to Christians, perhaps we take Paul’s better-to-marry-than-burn argument to its logical conclusion, and admit that for some of us, the best situation would be to allow men to be in committed parallel *polygamous* marriages, rather than giving our defacto endorsement to the serial polygamy that our no-fault divorce culture has given us.

  15. housechurchman says:

    Mark said that these young guys want to know how to have sex with their wives at least once a day. He didn’t say that was what Jesus or Christianity promised. I think that this is a valid concern of most young men, Christian or not. Mark then went on to say that they needed to be taught how to care for their families and kids which while not explicitly stated includes self-denial.

    Mark often lets the pendulum swing too far the opposite direction when trying to show Jesus as a man’s man rather than a “gay hippie,” but I’m not sure that he has in this particular case. I think you just tuned into that one phrase a little too much and missed the bigger point that Mark was making: The young men aren’t in the church. We must go get them. They have issues that will need to be dealt with. It takes a particular type of person to do this. These are the people who need to be planting churches.

  16. Michael

    I just watched the video for the first time (finally–it’s been a life time of waiting as far as the blog world is concerned!) but as far as Mark’s comments about sex every day, I believe it should not be taken as what Mark actually recommends or thinks we should strive for in marriage. It was a slanted way to talk about guys wanting to have more sex than is realistic I’m guessing. Being involved with A29 may help me (or hinder me) to see this particular angle. I know Mark is for healthy, biblical sex, but that example was an exaggeration to share the kinds of things that are on a young planter’s mind.

    Thanks!

  17. Michael,

    Great post brother. I too enjoy Driscoll’s teaching and personally enjoy his style. I have my say on my website about this story on my site.

    I don’t have any issue with the style or location of the video. However like you, the one thing that bothered me was his reference to sex. That was the thing which made me cringe a little.

    As a Chronic Fatigue sufferer, my libido has packed its bag and gone sailing away. Driscoll’s view on this would say that I’m not a “real” man and that’s my only point of contention.

    Love the balance in your post

  18. Let me set the record straight about this once and for all. I was a volunteer at the conference and worked with Scott from Acts 29 all week on the logistics of handling the video out. We also had 1800 Acts 29 brochures that did not arrive in time to be put in the bags at the beginning of the conference. As the conference was winding down we made a decision to hand the videos and brochures out via tables and volunteers at the 3 main doors and not each door to the sanctuary. We just did not have the people to do this nor was it feasible due to exit strategy. In no way, and I know first hand as I was in on the conversation, was their EVER any discussion by anyone associated with the conference that I know of NOT to hand out the video due to Bill Hybels remarks. What was quoted above IS THE QUOTE he said. You will be able to see for yourself when the main session videos are available on the conference website.
    These rumors about the video being pulled from being given out are just NOT true. I know first hand what happened and now the record should be straight.

  19. I thought that Driscoll’s video fell surprisingly flat. I am a big fan, and watch ever second of video I can get my hands on.

    To be fair, I don’t think Driscoll was saying that Christian men should have sex daily (Not that there is anything wrong with that). He was saying that the depraved young men in his community are looking for somebody to tell them how to run their lives, and this was part of their criteria for a life coach.

    If men treat there wives the way Driscoll encourages them, they are far more likely to have a good sex life.

  20. Just wanted to clarify that he said “at least” once a day. Talk about setting someone up for disappointment…

  21. Bakbakkar says:

    sled dog – making the connection to Jim Rome makes you huge comment of the day. I can’t believe I didn’t see that.

    My response to Driscoll is the same as Rome: I enjoy the rapid fire, sarcastic schtick for awhile, but too much feeds my arrogance.

  22. FYI…

    http://www.indefenseofthefaith.org/?p=85

    http://www.indefenseofthefaith.org/?p=86

    I think the one person already posted about what Driscoll said in his post, but everyone should look at the comments section of these two entries to see what people who attended heard Hybels say.

    It’s all very interesting.

    Overall thought, I liked the video. I didn’t take Driscoll’s comments as ‘over the top’. I think he was just making a statement about helping young men… Since most young men think that way before they are married. There isn’t any guy I’ve met, and entered into a discussion about sex with, that hasn’t thought about daily sex with their wife they hope to marry (given, of course, that they know about “the period” stuff).

  23. I’m sorry to say this, but I’m 50, and I’m afraid some things are being overlooked here.

    There’s a lot more than the “period” stuff. Children. weariness. Emotions. Stress. Non-sexual affection. Busyness. Many things. Real life is more complex than this younger male perspective. Sex isn’t servicing a man. It’s about two people.

  24. A couple of months ago I read a blogger’s interview with a woman involved with Driscoll’s church in Seattle. I had a sense of deja vu when I read of the woman’s submissive, and man’s controlling, sorry that should have been leadership, roles in the home and church. I dismissed my feelings and decided to have a wait and see attitude.

    You may be expressing here what I felt at that time. It does look like more of a case of agenda rather than discipleship. And from my experience, spiritual discernment deteriorates slowly but surely when agenda is promoted by, albeit, sincere well meaning individuals. Sincerity is not = to spirituality or holiness.

    M

  25. Micheal, I posted about this at a blog in Wales.

    I’ve chased this down since yesterday, some thing else important is being ignored in the chatter.

    The military imagery, the use of the gun for the cover art.

    1) There were 1000 people in the auditorium, that comes from more than one source. That’s verifiable,

    2) The people responsible for distribution of Driscolls stuff (Acts 29 people) commented here about intent and logistics. That is verifiable.

    3) Reading posts from people that were there and who heard what Rev. Hybels said, their accounts are pretty consistent. The audio will be available in a few weeks. That is verifiable.

    4) “The Good Soldier” was not banned. That is verifiable.

    I have a huge problem with the military/gun thing going on.
    I have a problem with Mr. Driscoll’s jumping to conclusions regarding the intent of what was actually said without attempts to clarify.

    But please. Is everyone so desensitized to the military and guns that the imagery is moot?

    Firing off a post saying his work was banned is disengenous, it’s been picked up as gospel truth. Acts 29 personnel are watching that train leave the station. Driscoll has people; this has not been corrected because…

    Do ethics matter?

    It’s bad enough to watch the military imagery, disconcerting to get slapped with an image of a gun as cover art. There is a lot wrong with this picture.

    What does this look and sound like to the church ‘outside’ the US?

  26. I have made no comment on the claim that the video was “banned.” I first read this story at Andrew Jones’ site and he was there. Driscoll’s story at his own blog is his claim, not mine, that’s why the phrase “banned” is in quotes.

  27. Kingdom Heir says:

    There is a great deal of risk for me in making this post. And I hope it will be allowed to remain here.

    Most men know something about what I am about to say, but I wonder how many would admit it. As a man with a pretty normal sexual desire, it ain’t easy to love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.

    In the area of sexual desire, I have struggled for many years with the desire for daily sex. It manifested itself in (almost) daily masturbation. (I say almost because there were occasions where I genuinely wanted to be free of the sexual prison I was in and stopped for perhaps a few days.) It is not possible for my wife to give sex daily. And our times of intimacy mean more to her than my the frequency of my desire.

    The place where I was is a dark place to be for over 3 decades. I rationalized things in my mind in so many ways knowing in the back of my mind there was something more to my inability to live in freedom.

    Then one day I heard Dennis Rainey (Family Life Today) say something on the radio that really hit me. He said that in his own marriage, he had to voluntarily limit the frequency he had sex with his wife. I think he actually said he had to “scale back” his desire. It was a conscious decision he made. This is one of the most well respected and well educated leaders in Christian family ministry and he is saying that he willfully gave up his desire for daily sex.

    I doubt he did that for himself. I’m sure he would have rather had daily sex. No, he did it out of his love of Christ and his command to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.

    In my own life, the daily desire has not ended, but the daily acting out has. Like the alcoholic or as with any addiction, it is a daily, moment to moment struggle. It is my battle, if you will. Ironically, my maleness is in saving my affections for my wife and not in acting on my desires alone or looking for ways to have sex with her daily. My desire to love Christ and love my wife the way she wants to be loved has won out and given me more freedom.

    My encouragement for anyone in a place of struggle is to perservere. Don’t beat yourself up. One of the enemies strongest weapons is to convince you of your inability to win victory when times of weakness occur. It is way easier to give in than to persevere. Do not give up! It has taken me more than 3 decade to be at the place where I am now. (I hope you find victory sooner than that.) Focus on Christ and confess to Him your struggles. If you can find a friend to support you, do that.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story. It is healing for me persoanlly and I hope it brings hope for others.

  28. Michael,

    You said, “There’s a lot more than the “period” stuff. Children. weariness. Emotions. Stress. Non-sexual affection. Busyness. Many things. Real life is more complex than this younger male perspective. Sex isn’t servicing a man. It’s about two people.”

    I agree completely. What I was simply trying to do was offer the ‘limited’ perspective of many young men who actually hope to have daily sex. In other words, the only thing they tend to think about is the physical restrictions a woman may have for not having sex, but that everything else is peripheral.

    Thanks for your post and all your comments. I just don’t think that Driscoll’s comments tainted the whole video to where someone would actually hate it. I don’t think they were intended to give young men an unnecessary perspective either.

  29. chrisstiles says:

    Let me preface what I am about to say by saying that I’ve watched a lot of his preaching and with caveats find it to be very useful, biblical, edifying etc. The Vintage Jesus series in particular was well worth watching – despite the occasional crass remark. That said, two thoughts.

    Firstly, I get the idea from listening to various things he has said on marriage (and he does refer to marriage quite often in his sermons) that he believes part of the way in which lust is combated is to fill your mind with images of licit sex. Which on one level is true – but at the extremes verges towards some kind of sympathetic magic.

    Secondly, there’s a certain type of personality that revels in saying things that are borderline, and then claiming that they are being stifled by the ‘forces of political correctness’ or whatever (‘bloggers and theological neatniks’). The truth is never the truth unless they are also being reviled – and I do think that this is a factor here.

  30. That was such a troubling video. IMO Driscoll shows complete capitulation of the Gospel in this.

    Between a bizarre sex-based health-and-wealth and a macho Jesus that coincides with the current US militarism and imperialism in the world at large, there is the even worse issue of looking at church planters as start-up company CEO’s. That’s exactly what he’s describing, a start-up CEO.

    I thought we were trying to get passed the CEO, cult of personality model of pastor. Now, were just going to pass it off to the planters? Sorry, I’m not buying it.

    Nice critique, Michael.

  31. jeddalynn says:

    I was married nearly three years ago. I was 19 and my husband was 23. We are very happy with our relationship and feel we are doing well. I love being married for a lot of reasons. As I anticipated, when we got engaged, we were bombarded with a plethora of literature and advice on marriage and sex (granted, from well meaning people.) There seems to be a stereotype outside as well as inside the greater Christian community that Christians (especially if you were raised in a Christian home) are messed up about sex/don’t know how to have sex/approach sex due to our prudish Christian upbringings.

    As a young married person, I’m getting a bit tired of peoples good intentions. As I said, my husband and I are very happy. But the impression I get (from other Christians, no less) is that I must have an unhappy sex life because thats the way Christian marriage is, unless you get some sort of pastoral counseling. Going through the Christian literature about sex given by friends and seeing things like Driscoll’s comments gives me a mentality of…”I’m supposed to being having sex every day? I thought my marriage was nice the way it was. Is there something wrong with me? Do I have a poor libido and don’t even know it? Is my husband secretly discontent because we’re not doing it every night? Is he just putting on a happy face so as not to worry me while inside, his maleness is doing all it can to prevent itself from turning into a sex-maniac?” Then I get the urge to down some slim-fast and buy uncomfortable lingerie.

    Contrary to popular belief, some people, yes even those of us raised in the Church, are really o.k. in that area. I don’t need another person telling me I can go to this-that-or the other marriage enrichment group or read another book. I commend people who know they are have a difficulty and seek counseling. Goodness knows, that can be an extraordinarily difficult thing to do and if I ever need it, I hope I can have the courage and humility to seek it out. But lets not make sweeping assumptions. And for heaven’s sake, the day my husband has to sit at Driscoll’s feet hoping that he’ll catch a drop of his golden, at-least-once-a-day manliness in order to have a happy sex life is the day I’ll eat my hat.

  32. I don’t know about anything else, but nobody should make a video in a cemetery. Really, that is so unnecessary.

  33. The gun art did surprise me. When I followed a link to Driscoll’s post the picture had me expecting something other than church planting. In fact – the gun that was chosen for the picture and the manner it was being held immediately made me think of gang warfare instead of soldiers. I would love to see Hybel’s response since Driscoll’s blog did not paint him in a positive light.

  34. Huge Comment of the day! Yeah!!!

    Does that mean I’m entered in the annual smack-off?

  35. Andrew Jones latest post includes a link and quote from a conference volunteer who said that they did hand out the video – there was no decision made reversing that plan.

    What happened was, the handing out strategy they used missed a lot of people because of where they exited. So a lot of people didn’t get videos.

    That’s what the volunteer said, anyway.

  36. The sex statement was misogynistic. Any other read is naive.

  37. rev mommy says:

    The video was misogynistic. The “gun” motif then discussions on sex? Come on! The ego apparent with this guy never lets up.

  38. My beef is not the whole sexual thing. It’s the idea of what it means to be masculine, aside from the sex thing.

  39. The problem I have with Driscoll is that saying things that are misogynistic or borderline misogynistic or otherwise questionable where women are concerned is something of a repeated theme with him. Every single time he says something suspect, the defenders come out to say that he was misunderstood, or taken out of context, or that he was engaging in hyperbole and his critics just don’t appreciate what he’s trying to do, etc. Those excuses work once, twice, maybe even three times. But eventually, a pattern starts to develop. And with Driscoll, it became a pattern a while back.

    It pains me to say so, because outside of this issue I agree with a great majority of what he has to say, but I’m left with little to conclude but that Driscoll sees women primarily as dispensers of sexual satisfaction for their husbands (or as temptresses who sway unmarried men from fully realizing their biblical call to masculinity). Driscoll’s attitude often seems to be: “Hey, young men! You like objectifying women? Cool. Just pick one woman, get that piece of paper from the state, and get your union blessed by the church–then objectify away.”

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then maybe the critics aren’t taking the duck out of context or misunderstanding what the duck is trying to say. Maybe it really is just a duck.

  40. I’m sure some of you have now read a comment at centuri0n’s blog by a Mr. Moorcraft that snidely insinuates that behind this post are sexual problems with my wife and our marriage.

    ***crickets***

    I long ago stopped expecting much in the way of respectful human kindness from certain members of the reformed community. When they feel someone is wrong on a doctrinal matter, there is nothing you can say, no rumor you can start, no snide comment about a personal life, that is beyond their pale of acceptability. And this comment is a perfect example. The fact that the comment wasn’t edited by the blog owner is a further example of what passes for “respectful Christian blogging.” When you are dealing with an enemy, show no mercy.

    That my son, my daughter, my wife and my friends have to read this sort of insinuation is indicative of what version of Jesus these people follow.

    As I frequently say, they have their reward in the applause of the like-minded.

  41. On the daily sex issue, I’m surprised no one has mentioned the clear teaching of 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. Paul effectively affirms that a husband does have the right to sex on demand – but says exactly the same about his wife, for there is no room at all for complementarianism in this chapter. If a couple can’t cope with daily sex, they should limit themselves by agreement, not by one party refusing the other.

  42. You’re going to have to help me see how any amount of sex on demand is approved by that passage.

  43. I wonder what sort of video would be produced on the topic of celebacy? Or monasticism. Some of us Christian folk may never marry. Some of us may engage in sexual activtiy outside of marriage, and others may never experience that.

    I personally think that our culture has idolised sex, and that many Christians have fallen into the trap.

    Best advice I ever got from a married Christian when I was a teenage was this “We were too tired to have sex on our wedding night, so we just went to sleep”. Brilliant. It totally took the edge off the whole topic.

  44. How fun and neat it is to divide the world into stereotypes. Makes all that thinking nonsense go away.

  45. P.S.

    “But I cannot present the Christian life primarily as a way to great maleness.”

    Thanks for saying that. It soothes my soul.

    And for the reocord I think he was trying to list the common concerns that men-recruits need to understand before going out into the field and bribing men to become Soldier-Christians.

    My problem: Where is this idea that the humble servant and the fight-the-good-fight soldier are anything but the same person coming from? These aren’t roles divided based on gender in scripture.

    Do we need to jazz up the buff and tough side in order to appeal to a younger male market? Kinda scary. Where’s the love? Where’s Christ? Where’s the leading of the Holy Spirit? Could it be that church planter expectations are more important than the church planter’s gender?

    I don’t go for prosperity models. Being a christian has not made me rich, given me a stable family, or taught me how to be a man (I’m a woman). I’m okay with that.

  46. Kingdom Heir says:

    As far as taking 1 Cor 7 out of context, I wonder how many wives would like to interpret that passage to mean an unending “honey do” list.

  47. Michael,

    I have not read through the comments, but just wanted to encourage you on a well-written and thought out article. thanks.

  48. You’ve got to be freaking kidding me!!

    So, get past the period issue… My husband actually has a physical job that sometimes makes him tired!! And he volunteers as a Scout Leader which takes him on camping trips on a regular basis! And sometimes I go out of town! And sometimes I’m tired.

    Not to get too personal, but I could probably count on both hands the number of times in our 18 years that I have said “Not tonight”. So, I don’t think I could be called a prude. But “Sex On Demand”? GOD! You men are freaks! Talk about control issues! And just to add a little controversy to this issue, sex without consent is called RAPE!

    Michael, thanks for allowing this discussion here and I’m sorry that you have been disrespected by your stance on this issue! I am in complete agreement with your comment that sex is not about servicing a man.

    Here is a quote made by a commenter (http://justiceandcompassion.com/) over at Helen’s blog (http://conversationattheedge.com/2007/05/01/video-women-in-christianity/#comment-42761)

    “We found that Americans fall into three groups. About a third have sex with a partner at least twice a week, a third have sex with a partner a few times a month, and the rest have sex with a partner a few times a year or have no sexual partners at all. (p 113)”

    and

    “only 8% of men and 7% of women have sex with a partner 4 or more times per week (p116)” From “Sex in America”

    So, would MD be saying that REAL Christians are sexual deviants??

    My departure would be this; I can understand agreeing to disagree on issues such as baptism, communion, which version of the Bible we use. But I agree with what several other bloggers have said. This is not a theological issue, but a justice issue. Would we support MD if he said, “I’m taking one for the team, but I support slavery and can show that it is supported biblically.” This kind of thing DID happen in our history. I believe this is a case of history repeating itself.

  49. “On demand” – right there is your problem.

    Marriage is not a social contract, either between equals or between master and servant/slave. It is a living relationship which ought to serve as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church.

    Also, we are biological beings whose emotions and general “state of mind” are largely affected (but not necessarily controlled) by biochemical processes. We are not machines that can function on demand, especially in the field of sexuality.

    A “sex on demand” mindset betrays a modernistic / enlightment philosophy, which is all to common in conservative / fundametalistic Christian circles.

  50. >“only 8% of men and 7% of women have sex with a partner 4 or more times per week (p116)” From “Sex in America”

    Well now I know why Calvinist churches see evangelism as having babies.