By Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers
Question: Okay Tina, I thought of you when I saw this on the daily show (am I going to think of you now every time I see something about sex?) and I thought you might get a kick out of it. The other 2 are media things from Mark Driscoll's sermon series on the Song of Solomon. I heard most of the series, and I was curious to hear your feedback on some of the theological ideas. I found some of it very interesting, but I was hoping for your take. Is it just more "don't?" In your studies have you come to different ideas from the scriptures? I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have the time. Thanks Tina! -Gabe
Tina: Yep – same message … simply put, “DON’T!!”. No context – no way to understand desire – no context to examine if love or exploitation was involved – just “You are a sinner if ….”. We know from research this message does not significantly delay the sexual behavior of youth. All it does is help people go underground, and feel ashamed. The way Jesus loved people who had sexual histories of pain – in fact, the way he loved all people regardless of their background - is missing from Mark Driscoll’s message. From Mark's video, you would think that Christ walked up to the woman at the well or the women brought for stoning and focused on her as a sinner. Period. But that is not what Christ did, is it? He did not chastise her or condemn her. He was not condescending. In fact he did quite the opposite. Mark’s version of a religious leader – is exactly the kind of religious leader and religious leadership Christ stood up against. Focus on sin, focus on sinner, publicly condemn and shame … no grace, no love, no humility, no act of service. From his perspective it is the sin that defines us … not the Christ who loves us and calls us into a life of love, grace, honor and humility. People who desire to live a life in love will desire to change any non-honoring behavior once they begin to glimpse how much they are loved and valued by the God of the universe. This is the calling of a pastor - of all of us. To allow ourselves to believe in God's deep love for us ... and to pass that love on to others. We stand together as both radically loved and radically imperfect. Micromanagement of behaviors is not the job of a pastor - anymore than humiliating someone publicly. If anything, it gives people the wrong impression of Christ, Christianity and Christians. Bottom line ... Mark Driscoll's type of teaching HURTS ... and we are called to be healers. Will the real Jesus preacher please stand up!
Here are 2 short videos. Close your eyes, listen and feel what your gut is experiencing. Which video calls you into love and grace? Which helps you see the magnitude of God’s love for you? Which pulls your heart into gratefulness? Which makes you want to live a more honoring life? And which leaves you feeling self-righteous or condemned or as one of my students said, “I wanted to run and hide.”
Nothing you can do will ever separate you from the love of God ... He is in the small whisper of your heart ... you can always find him there ...
The Christian Purity Movement and the Christian Fundamental Movement told people their hearts and thoughts were not to be trusted - in essence, only their pastor was. These churches were led by charismatic dogmatic male pastors who tolerated no challenge to their authority. Their authority was God's authority. In time, earnest followers, filled with doubt and shame, came to question every red flag violently waving within, sure that it was only a signal of their sin and depravity. In their despair they would turn to their pastor for "guidance", only to become more dependent on their pastor and less in tune with God.
Mat 18:6 But who shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
This post was first published at Musings by Candlelight www.blog.tinaschermersellers.com