Hello Blog

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Working is a motherfucker.  It had been so long since I had a real job, I forgot just how time consuming it can be.  It’s weird, after being a stay-at-home-mom for so many years, to be back out in the working world.  The excitement of going to work every day and meeting new people and getting a paycheck has not worn off yet.  Maybe it never will; who knows? Sadly though, it keeps me from writing and I do miss that.  I woke up this morning at 4, with words spinning in my head, so I grabbed my laptop and started in.  It felt good–familiar.  Next stop, my good old Blinder’s Off Blog.  Hello friend.

So here I am and I’m really going to try and post more.  There’s so much I want to write about, but Christianity, church, religion–well, they never stop providing fodder for me.

There’s been a lot in the news about Mark Driscoll, the pastor of some Mars Hill in Seattle.  I do believe I “prophesied” this in one of my posts, but he’s going down in a blaze of glory.  It’s been difficult, because it brings up a bunch of painful memories for me, as it does with so many others as well.  What happened to Mars Hill is so reminiscent of what happened at my old church, although on a much smaller scale.  The narcissism of the leader, the toady elders, the shaming and silencing of the church members, is practically identical and that is what is especially painful to me, even to this day.

I think that I need to write about it.  I know, I’ve said that before, but now with so much being said about all the silencing that takes place within the church and the damage it causes, I feel now may be the time.

I do also have some more songs I want to post, so hopefully I can do that soon as well.  For now, google Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll and his alleged demise, but if you have experienced this type of situation personally, I recommend a big glass of wine first… or vodka. Stay tuned.

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I Thought I Was Okay

woman-is-whore-500x500I thought I had moved on, that the things that go on inside the Christian church had just become laughable to me, but I was wrong.  It wasn’t until I started researching Mark Driscoll, that I realized just how dangerous the Church is and how it is the perfect “sanctuary,” for destructive and evil men.  At first I though Mark Driscoll was just a ridiculous boob and really didn’t carry much weight in the Christian community.  Again, I was wrong.

As I researched this man and his deeds, it became too much for me.  I had had a pastor like him and all the hurt and character assassination that pastor Arturo Azurdia was and is responsible for came back to me in a torrent.  The similarities between the two men are stunning.  As I read stories written by some of the people left in Driscoll’s wake, I could not believe how they paralleled the stories of those left in the wake of Art Azurdia and Christ Community Church.  I was one of them.  No matter what these men and others like them do, they continue to stand.  Why?  Because they use fear of sin and fear of causing “division” and of “gossiping,” to control their flock.  They make you feel special to be brought into their inner circle and if you are there you had better shut the f**k up and go with the flow, or as Driscoll is quoted as saying, “You either get on the bus, or you’ll get run over by the bus.”  If you cannot be a yes man, you will be cast out in a way you never thought was possible and your so-called friends, in an effort to remain in that inner circle, will be the first ones to toss you overboard.

So, I’m scraping Pastor Driscoll off and moving on to better things.  Of course, if you want to know more, check out his newest book on marriage.  Go to amazon and read the reviews and the comments on the reviews–extremely enlightening. I just can’t write about him anymore, although there is plenty to say. Reading about him and his church and the poor, pathetic people who still blindly follow him, makes me feel sad, and angry, and helpless to stop people like him.  But, set you down this, as Shakespeare would say, someday that man is going to fall.  Something big is going to happen to Driscoll and unfortunately, it will probably be his loyal followers that will be the casualties, not him.  That’s the way it goes for “spirit filled” men of god. That’s the way it goes in the church of god.

 

Blow Job Evangelism

misogyny_hard_to_spellSo, as I mentioned yesterday, there is a lot of interesting stuff about this Mark Driscoll character.  Some of it I can’t even delve into yet, because it has brought up a lot of unattended wounds that I suffered at one particular church, involving one particular narcissistic pastor.  I haven’t written much about it here before, but I think it’s just about time and will in the near future.   The parallels are amazing.

Let’s leave that for now and talk about an aspect of Driscoll that I find quite disturbing:  His demeaning view of women–his misogyny, if you will.   There are so many quotes I could use from his sermons and books, but I really think this one is a doozie and a perfect illustration of what I am talking about.  This particular quote comes from a sermon Driscoll gave in Scotland.  He is telling a story of how a woman in his congregation brought her husband to Christ, after receiving  “counsel” from Driscoll.  So, without any further ado, here is his quote:

She [the wife] says, “I’ve never performed oral sex on my husband. I’ve refused to.” I said, “You need to go home and tell your husband that you’ve met Jesus and you’ve been studying the Bible, and that you’re convicted of a terrible sin in your life. And then you need to drop his trousers, and you need to serve your husband. And when he asks why, say, ‘Because I’m a repentant woman. God has changed my heart and I’m supposed to be a biblical wife.’” She says, “Really?” I said, “Yeah. First Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness.” [Laughter from audience] How many men would agree, that is a deed of kindness. He doesn’t want tracts. Those won’t do anything. What we’re talking about here could really help.

Alrighty then.  Now, I’m not even going to go into why this woman was even discussing oral sex with Driscoll… I’m assuming he had questioned her about it, and that in and of its self is creepy all on its own, but I just want to focus on his misogyny, which becomes apparent when he tells her that by denying her husband blowjobs, she is committing a “terrible sin your life.”  Wow, just wow.  Not that I have a problem with blowjobs, I think they’re great, but  not wanting to perform one is a “terrible sin?” Really?  Next, he says, “You need to drop his trousers and serve him.”  Oh, serve him?  What does that make her, a sex slave, perhaps? That’s just demeaning.  Finally he says she needs to tell her husband,” God has changed my heart and I’m supposed to be a biblical wife.”  Well, ladies, we all know what that means, yes, full submission—our bodies are not our own.  They belong to our men; of course they do.

Putting aside the asinine idea of blow jobs bringing a man to Christ, Driscoll’s less than stellar view of women is simply appalling. It’s just incredible to me that this man has a female following at all.  Mars Hill is huge and has a huge budget.  It’s weird enough that people, especially women, attend his church and sign a “membership covenant,” (more on that later…shudder) but they give tons and tons of money to this man and his church.  Crazy.  I can fully understand why men would want to attend, especially with the whole “blowjob evangelism” thing that is promoted, but women?  Women sit and listen to this misogynistic ass?  Geez…us preserve us.

Well…He says He’s a Christian…

LINCOLN BIBLE-AP PHOTO-OBAMA OATHMark Driscoll is the pastor of Mars Hill, a mega church in Seattle. One Newsweek blogger, David Sessions, writes that Driscoll is “a testosterone-oozing Calvinist bruiser who shouts at his congregation, swears from the pulpit, and sometimes seems to think that if you’re not cut out for the locker room, you’re not cut out for heaven. If you’re a woman, you’d better make sure you keep your husband fed and serviced.”   I thought that sounded a bit harsh, so of course, I did my own research.  Come to find out, this particular blogger was way too kind.  I was shocked at what Driscoll is quoted as saying and writing.  Even as an ex-Evangelical, who has dealt with more than a few narcissistic pastors.  I want to spend some time on Driscoll in upcoming posts, but for now I want to touch upon one of his recent tweets and one of my pet peeves about the Christian community and more specifically Christian pastors.

Here’s the tweet: “Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know.”  

There it is.  Pastor Driscoll knows the hearts and minds of men and has deemed Obama a non-believer.   Well, he did say, “likely does not know,” psh! When I read that tweet, I got so angry and I’m learning that if I have a visceral response to something, a tender, and not yet healed area in me has been jabbed at.  I figured it out pretty quickly.  It reminded me of how important it was to look and act like a “Christian,” in the Christian community:  Show no cracks, have no struggles, unless they were acceptable struggles, follow the rules, and most importantly, you and your kids better “look” Christian.  Driscoll’s whole attitude brought to mind how Christians constantly judge other Christians and, as a Christian, you are always on your guard, because you certainly don’t want to be judged and your authenticity questioned—but it is; it always is.

The associate pastor at my old Church, Parkway Community Church, was always saying, “Well, they say they’re a Christian,” which always suggested that their salvation was in question for myriad of reasons.  These reasons, of course, were confidential and so you wouldn’t find out just what they were until your small group offered them up as vicious pieces of gossip—oops!  I mean prayer requests.

Christians who would say that this does not take place in their church on a regular basis, is lying to themselves, or…they are the one who is most guilty of doing it.  To be fair though, some churches are worse than others.  I have found it more prevalent in Calvinistic churches.  Calvinists are just meaner than your average run-of–the-mill Evangelical, and I say that having been one—an Evangelical and a Calvinist.  Looking back, I can see how the more Calvinistic I became, the meaner I became—seriously mean and judgmental.  I saw it happen in others too.  I wonder why that is?

As far as Driscoll’s tweet on Inauguration Day goes, I hope he is right about Obama.  I would feel better knowing that our President doesn’t live his life according to a book of myths and seek help from an imaginary friend, but as awesome as Mark Driscoll thinks he is, in the Christian world, he can’t know a man’s heart.  No one can.  He’s in my cross hairs now and I will have more to reveal about him very soon.   I mean, I’ll have some prayer requests to share…