Too Little Too Late

Mark Driscoll responds, still with the implication that somehow the marriage failed and that’s what causes a partner to stray. Sorry, but I’m not buying it. Partners in excellent marriages stray, whether anyone wants to believe that or not, and for a variety of reasons, not all of them sexual. Blaming one or the other partner for sexual reasons really unnecessarily narrows the marriage relationship down to one single thing: Sex. For the fundamentalist, the only purpose of marriage is sex. Instead of burning with uncontrolled passion, Paul said that you should marry, thereby making marriage the only answer to lust. Driscoll writes:

The words of 1 Corinthians 7:1–5 are pertinent, “Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Driscoll still manages to blame the female partner though and he continues:

For those who are Bible-believing Christians, we must continually ponder Paul’s commands. He is saying that there are some ways in which not being married has benefits—especially for those working in dangerous contexts where persecution and death are probable. But because not everyone will remain sexually chaste, it is also good for some people to marry so that such desires have a natural and holy outlet. Within marriage, we must also accept that our body is no longer solely our own but is given to our spouse as a gift. Practically, this means that both husbands and wives should tend to themselves out of love for God and their spouse. This also means that in a Christian marriage, there should be a satisfying sexual relationship that does not cause one person to be embittered so that an opportunity is opened up for sexual temptation and sin.

Did you catch that? If you read Driscoll’s response very carefully, he is saying the same thing he said the first time. While trying to lay the blame on both partners for lack of intimacy (as if that was the cause of Haggard’s bisexuality), he is still subtley blaming Haggard’s wife for causing her husband to “be embittered.” She just isn’t providing that intimacy that Haggard required and he HAD to look elsewhere. There is no mention that perhaps Haggard was not providing his wife with the intimacy she craved and she did not look elsewhere. This is an excellent example of Christian doublespeak which is common with patriarchal mega-pastors. This has the appearance of clarification and quasi-apology (though I don’t think it is an apology) and only serves to quell the debate surrounding him without changing his personal attitude toward the topic. I’ve seen it often and it’s pretty tiresome. It also reveals the homophobia rampant in this type of hyper-masculinized Christian mega-kingdom. In their own minds, fundamentalist patriarchs cannot be wrong, only severly misunderstood by those who aren’t as annointed as they are by God.

Mark, your megalomania is showing. You would do well to read CAREFULLY Rose Madrid-Swetman’s letter to you with a little more humility.