An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Sometimes I wonder if Seattle can truly suffer a conservative, albeit hip, numerically successful church in its midst. The sight of “cool” young people and 20-somethings going to services and hearing what is billed to be theologically and morally conservative theology must drive some people CRAZY! And in BALLARD of all places…OH THE HUMANITY! What’s next Freemont? Capitol Hill?
As this article shows, Driscoll seems to be taking a lot of heat about he and his church’s take on “women’s issues.” And boy does this article take some choice selections of Driscoll quotes…but at least he is given some opportunity to explain. In one shortened version of the AP story his explanation was left out, making it all the easier to believe that “People Against Fundamentalism” (Not to be confused with “Animals and all manner of plant life Against Fundamentalism”) are right and the Pastor is a “fundamentalist and a misogynist.” (How frightening to be labeled a fundie!)
Don’t get me wrong, Driscoll and I are at odds on numerous issues, but if the “PAF” group are going to protest outside his church because they will not allow female pastors, well I reckon we can expect them to show up at your local Orthodox and Catholic church. Protest? What nonsense. One might just as well protest at Boy Scout meetings for not allowing girls in.
It sounds absurd – somewhat for the moment, but I do believe the time is coming when we will see such protests and they will stand out in front of our parishes and churches mistakenly fueled with all the self-righteous indignation of civil rights activists in the 60’s. Those of us, the hold outs, who will not ordain women and who will not bless gay marriages (amongst other issues), will become more and more ostracized and in time the climate will be ripe for us to publicly shamed in just this way. So to that degree I stand in unity with Driscoll.
Of course, I think Suzanne Gordon and Mark Driscoll are dead wrong in thinking one of them is marketing God and the other isn’t. Driscoll says of his attendees: “They're tired of all the slick marketing and pitches.” Well, actually they are tired of the slick marketing and pitches that have failed to appeal to them and if Gordon thinks her brand of liberal revisionism isn’t simply a marketing scheme, well, I have sad news.
Jesus didn’t market himself…quite the opposite. How nice it would be to have a theology that excuses or even denies the existance of my sins? And how nice would it be to have a way of Christian life and worship that caters to my every and infallible whim? But this is not what I see in the way our Lord approaches us. How many examples do we see of people walking away from our Lord because His call was simply too much to heed? Help me to apply that in my own life this Lent...tis not a time to feel good about myself "just as I am" but to focus on His Holy Image as an example of "just as I can become."
This is actually somewhat old news. The PAF folks and Mark all sat down before the scheduled protest (a few months ago) and heard each other out. Essentially, Mark apologized, realizing that his ministry was much larger and more important than his fabled quick shooting mouth, and has since chastened his public comments in what appears to be a desire to woo more and offend less...