…in case you were wondering.

I Want Comments, Because I’m Speechless
November 5, 2006, 3:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I found this article today from a self-proclaimed “secular jew” commenting on Colorado Springs, (ex) Pastor Ted Haggard’s little predicament, and a few comments from another well known pastor.

Colorado Springs’ New Life Church just announced that it has fired Pastor Ted Haggard for his “sexually immoral conduct.” The much publicized meth and gay hooker scandal has elicited a little bit of soul searching and a lot hemming and hawing from Haggard’s fellow Evangelical leaders, but perhaps the most ridiculous response came yesterday from Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle’s Mars Hills mega-church-wannabe.

Writing in his personal blog, Driscoll offers his fellow pastors “some practical suggestions” on how to avoid the type of temptation that consumed Pastor Haggard. And near the top of his list?
“Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.”
Uh-huh. Leave it to a fundamentalist Evangelical preacher to have such a profound understanding of human sexuality. Or as the inimitable sex columnist Dan Savage so aptly put it:

“I’m sure Ted Haggard is saying something along these lines to his wife right now: ‘Oh, honey… I wouldn’t have been having those meth-fueled ass-banging sessions with that gay hooker if you hadn’t have let yourself go like that!’ “
Of course, using Pastor Driscoll’s line of reasoning one would suppose about two-thirds of married, middle-aged Americans — men and women alike — to be meth-addicted homosexuals. Hmm. I haven’t looked at the statistics recently, but that figure strikes me as just a tad high… at least, outside of Colorado Springs.

But scroll further down Pastor Driscoll’s list and you’ll find some more useful suggestions on how to avoid temptation. Like a pastor should never travel alone, or freely give out his cell phone number, or hang out at places where he might come in contact with “lonely people”… you know… like at his own church. Pastor Driscoll also advises against keeping “a secondary email account from which to build a secret identity.” Personally, it never occurred to me to create a secret identity, but I suppose the prospect must have some appeal to joyless, rigidly moral, puritanical hypocrites like Pastor Driscoll and his colleagues.

But mostly what I’ve learned from Pastor Driscoll’s sage advice is that becoming a pastor is a great way to meet women. (And men, I guess.) Apparently, the ladies think pastors are hot:

“I have, however, seen some very overt opportunities for sin. On one occasion I actually had a young woman put a note into my shirt pocket while I was serving communion with my wife, asking me to have dinner, a massage, and sex with her. On another occasion a young woman emailed me a photo of herself topless and wanted to know if I liked her body. Thankfully, that email was intercepted by an assistant and never got to me.”
Pastor Driscoll has been “blessed with a trustworthy heterosexual male assistant,” and I’m sure he was equally thankful to intercept that scandalous email. Praise the Lord.

Wow. Mega-church preachers are like rock stars — there’s sexual temptation lying behind every pew. With office perks like that, even a secular Jew like myself might consider becoming an Evangelical preacher, except, unlike Pastor Driscoll, I’m not into all that kinky stuff:

“How can we proclaim that we are new creations in Christ if we continually return to lap up the vomit of our old way of life?”

If I ever find myself alone in a room with Pastor Driscoll, remind me to stay off the meth.


15 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I guess I’ll comment. I think Goldstein is taking extremely cheap shots at Rev. Driscoll. I read Driscoll’s post, and it really wasn’t so outrageous as it was made out to be. Driscoll’s points all rang pretty true, actually.

Comment by Jordan

i thought that the “meth fueled ass-banging sessions” was a bit explicit… really funny, but explicit none the less.

Comment by jimmy pop

Here’s my thoughts. I’m not sure why Driscoll felt the need to throw his advise into such a controversial situation. I wonder if it has something to do with gaining publicity for himself, or if he genuinely thinks that he is helping. Which ever it is, I think 90% of what he said was sound advise. (not traveling alone, having someone scan emails ect.)

The part I don’t understand, and I think the author of this article didn’t understand as well, is why would a wife “letting herself go” ever matter? Why would that be nearing the top of his list? Why is that on the list?

Cheap shots? Absolutely! Out of context? Most likely! Another “controversial thing said by Mark Driscoll that has gotten hundreds of people paying attention to him? Yes, again.

Comment by Brody Harper

It seems as if the pastor is suffering from the Adam syndrome, “That woman you gave me.” Since he likes to quote Scriptures, here is one especially for him: Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thou fountains be blessed: and rejoice with the WIFE of thy youth. LET HER BE AS THE LOVING HIN AND PLEASANT ROE; LET HER BREAST SATISY THEE AT ALL TIMES; AND BE THOU RAVISHED ALWAYS WITH HER LOVE,” Proverbs 6: 15, 18, 19. When God sent Samuel to annnoint a King from Jessie’s house, God reminded Samuel to not look at the outward appearance, but to look at the heart. Also, the pastor’s wife is the mother of five children, and she takes care of the children and him and the congregation, so when does she have time to be lazy, and he should look at her heart, especially since she now has to look at him because of the mess he has created for her and her children and her family. The pastor who feels that its the wife’s fault should stay in the word, and he will have less time to condemn someone else’s wife.

Comment by Anonymous

Can “anonymous” identify herself/himself, please? No fair hiding behind the curtain…

Comment by Jordan

Also, Brody, I guess I’m unaware of Rev. Driscoll’s penchant for publicity-seeking. Haven’t paid any attention to him since I visited his church back in circa 1999. Do you think he is only commenting on this situation to get people to notice him?

Comment by Jordan

Another one for “anonymous”: Do you think women have any obligation to look their best for their husbands, considering men’s (God-given) visually-stimulated sex drive?

Comment by Jordan


“At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this.”

This statement alone, tells me he knows exactly what he is doing. I don’t think that Driscoll condones what Haggard did, and I don’t think that he even really cares. The part that bothers me is using such a widely publicized event, and using it for your publicity. That bothers me.

Driscoll is a smart guy. He knows that if he can throw his name into this, even a little, that only helps his church grow. Especially in a “blog”, the things that gather the most attention are fights. Driscoll can say something a little questionable, and several people can pick it apart and take it out of context, and his ministry benefits.

That’s the problem I have with the whole thing. I don’t agree with “blaming” things on your wife. But I don’t think Driscoll does either. I just think he wanted to get a rise out of anyone reading it. That’s good business, but bad church.

Comment by Brody Harper

My curtain is here for a reason. You asked “Do you think women have any obligation to look their best for their husbands?” – I believe there is a obligation to love and honor one another. I have never heard wedding vows that consisted of “I will Love, Honor, Cherish, and Look Beautiful for you, until death parts us”. Does Christ only LOVE and REMAIN FAITHFUL to us because we look really good? He can see the inmost parts of me, and yet me still loves me, not because I consistently “look” good, but because he has made a commitment to do so. Also, how many times is the church identified and compared to as a marriage with Christ? How tragic would it be if Christ decided to “find someone else” if, heaven forbid, THE CHURCH started to “let herself go.”

Comment by Anonymous

Okay, “anonymous,” I’ll debate with my identity in the open and you can hide. That puts us on even footing, I guess.

I just think that if you can’t say something and sign your name to it, maybe you shouldn’t say it. You must have very good reasons, though.

I’m not saying that I should be able divorce my future wife if she stops trying to look good. When I get married, it will be for keeps.

However, implicit in “love, honor and cherish” is wanting to please the other. How does a husband please his wife? By listening to her, respecting her, romancing her, etc.

How does a wife please her husband?

Many women complain that their husbands stop pursuing them after the wedding, that they stop being romantic. It’s a legitimate complaint.

Many men complain that their wives stop taking care of themselves after the wedding, that they stop trying to look attractive for their husbands. Is that also a legitimate complaint?

I feel that we men get demonized for our visually-oriented sex drive. “The male gaze” is the source of many evils in the world, apparently.

It’s not our fault that we are like this. It is our fault if we let it rule us, of course.

I, too, am thankful that Christ still loves me even when I don’t look good. When I get married, I’m not going to stop loving or being committed to my wife if she gains 20 pounds and goes frumpy.

I do know that my wife will have a harder time loving me if I stop listening to her and romancing her. She will feel that I don’t love her anymore if I act like that.

Men shouldn’t be able to say, “It shouldn’t matter if I ignore you and don’t respect you anymore — I’m still entitled to your undying love!”

I think women shouldn’t get be able to get away with saying, “It shouldn’t matter if I stop trying to look good for him — he still has to love me!”

The operative word is “trying.” Your intentions are the most important part, of course.

Comment by Jordan

I agree with 100% of what you have said. I also agree that all of those points can be perfectly associated with a “happy, healthy marriage”.

What I don’t agree with is Driscoll associating things that can help benefit a marriage, to what happened with the Haggard family. There is no correlation between the two, and saying a pastors wife that “lets herself go” “is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either” is absurd.

If Driscoll felt the need to hold a marriage conference at his church, this point would be useful information. Making a comment in light of one of the biggest pastoral controversies of all time, that can and will be “mis-interpreted” is not useful information.

Marriage conference, yes. Nationwide scandalous media attention, no.

Comment by Anonymous


Okay, I’ll agree that Rev. Driscoll’s sense of tact is a little off. Blogging is conducive to snappy one-liners and inflammatory opinions, not careful, reasoned, loving expressions of truth.

And maybe Driscoll should have refrained from expressing this particular truth in this highly charged situation — though I do think he wrote the truth, just maybe not in a spirit of love. And there could be a correlation between Driscoll’s points and the Haggard debacle.


We don’t know the inner life of the Haggard marriage, so we don’t know if Mrs. Haggard is at all an accessory to her husband’s sin.

So we probably shouldn’t comment on it in a public arena, and we definitely shouldn’t imply that she shares blame when we don’t know. I’m with you.

We need to pray for Rev. Driscoll to learn tact.

And we need to pray for the Haggards. They are in the depths right now, and need the support of the Body of Christ.

Comment by Jordan

Brody, I guess my last comment is a reply to you, too. I see your point, it does seem that Driscoll is being a little opportunistic with his comments. It’s a bummer. We don’t need to be shooting our wounded or capitalizing on their pain.

Comment by Jordan

Driscoll helps lots of church planters through the Acts 29 network. Lots of pastors read his blog. I don’t think this is just some anybody putting some racy commentary out on a hot topic in hopes of more web traffic — Driscoll is giving practical advice to help pastors *not* fail like this.

Comment by Nick


I don’t think Driscoll cares about web traffic. I think he likes media. Thats all. I think he likes the fact that we are talking about him right now. That benefits him and his church. I understand what he was doing. I just think it was the wrong forum to do it in.

Comment by Brody Harper

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: