"And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed."
Genesis 2:25 (NASB)
Update: 4/2/14: I was listening to Neil Diamond's song are the end of this post. For some reason, it struck me that Diamond shows far more humility on the subject of faith than Brother Mark…
Three years ago yesterday (February 5, 2009) Mark Driscoll came to our area to address college students about being “naked and unashamed”. As you can see from the advertisement, it was sponsored by Cornerstone and was held in the Great Hall (located in the Student Union) on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Please be sure to notice the line of fine print on the poster, which reads – "WHAT YOUR PASTOR WAS AFRAID TO TELL YOU ABOUT LOVE AND SEX".
Now let's back up. . . Several weeks before his arrival, my older daughter (who was 19 at the time) informed me that Driscoll was coming to speak at Cornerstone – her Campus Crusade for Christ group. She was excited, as was I. I didn't know much about Mark Driscoll, but Christian leaders whom I revered spoke highly of him, and I trusted their opinions. The topic of his talk had not yet been announced. I had planned to drive over to Chapel Hill that evening, take my daughter out for dinner, and then attend this wonderful event with her and her friends. One of my favorite pastimes is hearing inspirational Christian speakers. I even wrote a Facebook comment expressing my enthusiasm about the opportunity to hear Mark Driscoll in person.
About a week before the event my daughter called to tell me the topic of Mark Driscoll's talk — "naked and unashamed" — and to say that due to the graphic nature of the discussion I might feel uncomfortable attending. My heart sank, and I reluctantly agreed not to go.
Mark sent out this Tweet on February 3, 2009, announcing his appearance at the event, which stated: "I'll be speaking at Naked & Unashamed at UNC, Chapel Hill, NC on Thursday".
When Driscoll spoke in Chapel Hill, The Wartburg Watch was just a dream (or a vision), but definitely NOT pornovision! I just realized in the last day or so that we began blogging around 40 days after Driscoll's "naked and unashamed" talk. A good Biblical number, indeed!
After John MacArthur published his "Rape of Solomon's Song" series on the internet, I decided to address Mark Driscoll's appearance at my daughter's college. I apologize for the graphic nature of my post; however, it is necessary in order to convey what occurred and why I am so disturbed. Here is my motherly lament, which was posted on April 23, 2009 — about a month after we began blogging.
What follows is an excerpt from that post:
"Needless-to-say, I did not go to hear Mark Driscoll speak. I expected my daughter to call after Mark’s visit and share with me all the inspiring things he said. The phone call never came. Finally, I called my daughter a week later and offered to take her to lunch, which I did. After we got settled at our table, I said, “So tell me about Mark’s talk. What did he share with the students?” She vaguely said Mark gave a lot of statistics and information, although she couldn’t remember anything specific.
Once Mark’s message was uploaded onto the college ministry website, I listened to it and understood why nothing he said was that memorable. He hammered them with statistics about sexual involvement, yada, yada, yada. They’ve heard it all before!
What she shared with me next absolutely STUNNED me, although I tried not to display my utter shock. My precious daughter said something to the effect, ”Students were encouraged to ask questions at the end, and one of the questions was ‘Is it O.K. for a married couple to engage in oral and anal sex?’” My initial thought was — if this was the kind of question students felt comfortable asking Mark Driscoll, what in the world did he say to these Christian singles?
Then my daughter asked a question that I’m convinced she heard from Mark himself that evening because she has never said anything remotely close to it before. “If Mark doesn’t tell us about these things, who will?” I immediately said, “Is that what Mark Driscoll claims? That is absolutely not true! You can discuss any sexual topic with me.” She and I have had quite a few “sex talks” before, and that’s probably why she felt comfortable sharing such an intimate question with me. I then went on to explain to her in a very matter-of-fact way why anal sex can have serious health consequences. Prior to this graphic discussion, I had heard a medical expert explain that the vaginal lining is twice as thick as the lining of the rectum, and that’s why anal sex can be dangerous. Remember the E. coli? I shared this information with her and explained that anal sex is just not natural. If God had intended for a married couple to engage in this kind of sex, He would have designed the female body accordingly.
We concluded our lunch, and I dropped her off for her next class. On the way home I phoned my husband to tell him what our daughter learned from Mark Driscoll’s “sex talk”. Dads, how do you feel about this? Is it O.K. for a married man who claims to be a godly “shepherd” to entertain questions like that in a forum with both male and female singles? Has Mark Driscoll crossed the line? I wonder how many of the hundreds of college students who attended this event with my daughter have kept silent about Mark’s sex advice. Unfortunately, most parents are probably clueless about Mark’s “visit”. Finally, I wonder how many college groups Mark Driscoll has visited where the same scene has played out. That was THE TIPPING POINT!
When I arrived home, I immediately checked the campus ministry website to hear Mark’s words for myself. Just how was THAT sexual question asked? I should have known . . .
It took several weeks for Mark’s NAKED AND UNASHAMED message to be uploaded onto the college ministry website. The internet is such a wonderful tool! At long last I could finally hear what Mark Driscoll spoke in my daughter ‘s presence. At the beginning of recording, the campus ministry leader explained that students could ask their questions in the Mars Hill fashion. In other words, they would “text” their questions anonymously, and Mark would answer them.
There was nothing particularly impressive about what Mark Driscoll said during his talk, but what I found peculiar was how he immediately launched into answering the students’ questions at the conclusion of his message. There was absolutely no pause! Mark finished the last sentence of his presentation and in rapid fire read the first question in what sounded like a nervous tone. It seemed totally scripted to me. As you might imagine, the first question was, “Is it O.K. for a married couple to engage in oral and anal sex?” If you visited the link we provided to the Mars Hill website in the previous post, you already know how Mark Driscoll responded.
Here’s my theory. NO ONE texted Mark that question. That’s why he asked it first. It was part of the Brother Mark's Traveling Sex Show."
Did Mark Driscoll travel all the way across country just to address a college group? Actually, he was here in North Carolina to speak at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's 20/20 Collegiate Conference. It really caught my attention because he was joined by none other than C.J. Mahaney. That 20/20 conference was just three years ago…
And there is more to the story…
When we posted my mother's lament about Mark Driscoll, The Wartburg Watch was a very obscure blog. Hardly anyone was reading it because, as stated before, we had only been posting for a month. Weeks later I was walking out of a Moms in Touch prayer meeting with one of my dear friends. She knew about our blog and had been reading some of our posts. I was stunned when she asked me something along these lines: "Did you know that the guy you've been writing about — I think his name is Mark something — is coming to (name of the church) to do a conference?" She had heard the advertisement on the local Christian radio station. I hadn't heard about it, and I looked into it as soon as I got home. Sure enough, Mark Driscoll was coming back to our area in early June (2009) to do a Song of Solomon conference. Both the church website and Driscoll's website confirmed it. I was shocked!
Unbeknownst to me at the time, a member of the church hosting Driscoll's upcoming conference had been reading our blog and made copies of my post — Driscoll's Sex Tips and the Tipping Point — which she passed out to members of her Sunday School class. She was obviously NOT a Driscoll fanatic, and some church members got very upset with her.
It appears that the blog post was shared with the pastors because in very short order the conference was "postponed" (according to both websites – Driscoll's and the church's). To my knowledge, it has never been rescheduled. Funny thing, Mark Driscoll still came to our area around the same time that the SOS conference was to be held to speak at another conference called "Advance the Church". Timmy Brister described it on his blog as follows:
"Some of you have asked for specific examples of what the greatest common denominator (the Gospel) can work to bring Southern Baptists and non-Southern Baptists together for the church and the Great Commission. Well, I would look no further than the Advance 09 Conference to be held in Durham, NC on June 4-6, 2009 at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
Sponsored by Resurgence, Desiring God, Acts 29, and Re:Lit (Crossway), this conference has perhaps the best line-up of any conference this year, including John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Ed Stetzer, Matt Chandler, Danny Akin, Bryan Chapell, J.D. Greear, Eric Mason, and Tyler Jones (five Southern Baptists and four non-Southern Baptists)."
From my vantage point, Driscoll's antics have certainly escalated since 2009. Now that the Driscolls are going around the country peddling their wares (Real Marriage), I find it necessary to speak out once again. Driscoll reminds me of the indulgence preachers that enraged Martin Luther. They traveled about Europe conning people into buying worthless pieces of paper. I believe Driscoll is doing something very similar as he attempts to sell sex and salvation in a little red book, at least that's how I see it. I guess you could call Driscoll a 21st century "indulgence" preacher.
I am deeply disturbed by how Mark Driscoll is trying to influence my daughters' generation with his not so secret agenda, which appears to be:
We love SEX (any form as long as it's between a married couple), BEER, INDIE ROCK, TATTOOS, BODY PIERCINGS, and DOCTRINE (Neo-Calvinist, of course) — probably IN THAT ORDER. As we learned from the tragic testimonies published here last week, Mars Hill appears to play for keeps. Based on what these escapees have shared, Driscoll's church reminds me of the Eagles' Hotel California — "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave" — unless you are a fired elder whom Driscoll wanted to punch in the nose!
My daughter graduated from UNC last May and was involved with Campus Crusade (now "CRU") for all four years of college. She will tell you that Cornerstone (as it is called at Carolina) was a wonderful organization, and I have been grateful for this ministry. Yes, Eagle, I know that experiences in this college ministry vary from campus to campus.
Here is my concern. When my daughter took on a leadership position in CRU, she was required to read Mark Driscoll's Radical Reformission before attending a leadership retreat at the start of the school year. Now that my younger daughter is involved in CRU, I would like to know how closely aligned it is with Mark Driscoll.
To end on a positive note, here is one of my favorite singers, Neil Diamond, performing the tune that inspired the title of this post. This video was recorded in 1970, the same year Driscoll was born. Diamond, who was around 29 years old, shares the background for the song. I'm sure he didn't have anyone like 'sexpert' Mark Driscoll in mind when he wrote his lyrics about "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show". Enjoy!
Lydia's Corner: Isaiah 39:1-41:16 Ephesians 1:1-23 Psalm 66:1-20 Proverbs 23:25-28