Salon has an article on Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church (Hat tip to the The Reclusive Leftist). I was so sad after reading this article. In short they’ve taken the post-WW2 culture, and they are trying to make it biblical.
Following Driscoll’s biblical reading of prescribed gender roles, women quit their jobs and try to have as many babies as possible. And these are no mere women who fear independence, who are looking to live by the simple tenets of fundamentalist credo, enforced by a commanding husband: many of the women of Mars Hill reluctantly abandon successful lives lived on their own terms to serve their husbands and their Lord.
So if Deborah went to Mars Hill, she would have had to resign from being a prophet and judge, and who would have led Israelite troops to victory over Sisera? I guess Isreal would not have had that 40 years of peace under her rule. I guess Phoebe would not have been a deacon in the church at Cenchreae (Romans 16:1). The word that describes Phoebe as a “deacon” is the same word Paul uses when speaking of Timothy and Titus in their pastoral duties. At Mars Hill Phoebe would not have been allowed to pastor the church at Cenchreae, and she sure wouldn’t have been allowed to take Paul’s letter to Rome. Priscilla would not have been a tentmaker and copastor with her husband. Junia would not have been an apostle (Romans 16:7).
The online screening process that is used in Driscoll’s Acts 29 church planting application “begins with a lengthy doctrinal assertion that every word of the Bible is literal truth; the application plucks out the examples of creationism and male headship of home and church to clarify this doctrine.”
I have dealt with biblical literalism in Truth vs. Fact. In Does It Really Mean Helpmate? I looked at the creation account and showed that the Hebrew phrase ezer cenedgo means a help or power equal to, and that there is nothing submissive about the term. Woman was created equal with man to be partners with him in life, marriage, and ministry.
In other conversations I have pointed out that I am from rural Oklahoma. On the farm or ranch everyone worked. There was no man’s work and woman’s work–husband, wife, children, and who ever else lived there worked to bring in the crop and cows. If they didn’t they starved. The division of the family between separate jobs and home is a fairly new phenomenon within human history. I also come from a poor, working class family–my mom worked; she had to. I have always looked at the stay-at-home mother as a middle class luxury. In many places around the world both men and women work hard to keep their families from starving. Not everyone has the luxury of one person staying home. In fact, few people do. That’s why I call this the post-WW2 mentality–society has to be at a certain economic level within an industrialized or technological society to afford the luxury of the stay at home mom.
The bottom line is it’s not biblical. As my Career Woman of the Bible series shows God called women to be prophets, judges, and other leaders to obey him and lead his people. Women have the right to work: in Genesis 1:26 care and dominion of creation is given to both man and woman before the command to procreate in verse 28. Women are called to work in the world, work in ministry, and be ordained as pastors and ministers, because God has called us as the full witness of the Bible affirms.
Things like this used to make mad. Now I grieve. I grieve over the bondage that this lie puts on both men and women, and it is not God’s will.