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Don't blame Ted: It's his wife's fault!

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William Crawley | 12:12 UK time, Monday, 6 November 2006

Just when you think a story can't get any more bizarre . . . step forward Pastor Mark Driscoll, the president of Resurgence.com (a teaching ministry of Mars Hill Church, which Driscoll also founded). In an attempt to draw encouraging practical lessons from the Ted Haggard affair, Pastor Driscoll suggests that pastors' wives often "let themselves go", reducing their sexual availability to their husbands and leaving them open to temptation. No, I'm not making this up. He writes:

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.

Read it all here.


  • 1.
  • At 01:44 PM on 06 Nov 2006,
  • molly dee wrote:

It's her fault??? Give me a break!

Using that same logic, one could justify any number of affairs in any congregation or in society at large, if one only took a look at couples. How many married folk--male and female--are in the same physical shape they were in when they married? (and lots of couples weren't in very good shape then.) But it really has little to do with that. Taking responsibility for one's actions is a sign of maturity. Blaming others doesn't get a person very far down the path to forgiveness, healing, restoration, or wholeness.

I agree with Molly Dee with one exception. When a couple marries, it should be for life regardless of beauty, age, or defects.

  • 3.
  • At 03:05 PM on 06 Nov 2006,
  • Jan Green wrote:

Humanism, anyone? These evangelicals make me dispare!

  • 4.
  • At 04:19 PM on 06 Nov 2006,
  • Cndadai Tirumalai wrote:

I believe some interpret the Song of Songs literally, and others mystically and spiritually. Not an easy part of the canon.

Is there something wrong with what Driscoll says here?

  • 6.
  • At 06:14 PM on 06 Nov 2006,
  • ishmael ismaili wrote:

Is John Wright serious or having us on? What's wrong with what Driscoll says? It's patriarchal boloney!

I think most commentators are missing the point here - This case just justifies the argument that a profession of belief in a god does not neccassarily mean one will be open and truthfull about ones personal habits!
check out our website - www.nireland.humanists.net - and then events - It might be interesting to readers of this blog!

  • 8.
  • At 12:29 AM on 07 Nov 2006,
  • ishmael ismaili wrote:

Alan, of course your right that believing in god does not make a person honest. This pastor's supporters would say he's a sinner and his sin proves the need for a saviour. Whatever you make of that, there are many other lessons to be learned from this case ...

Ishmael- Feel free to expand on that. I don't think Driscoll once said he blames the wife or thinks it's her fault. He was making an observation on the nuances of relationships, one which many relationship counsellors would agree with. I don't see what's patriarchal about it.

  • 10.
  • At 11:16 PM on 07 Nov 2006,
  • ANNE GREER wrote:

I am lost for words and not sure if im more amazed by this guy Driscoll's patriarchal nonsense or John Wright's incapacity to recognise patriarchal nonsense when he sees it! Take it from a woman, John, I've read Driscoll's blog and it's an outrageous assault on the integrity of women. It's also deeply unintelligent analysis of the Haggard madness.

  • 11.
  • At 07:14 AM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • pb wrote:

William you are not saying that Driscoll is excusing Pastor Ted on these grounds, I note. Neither would I.

In Genesis the term God uses to describe the partner he created for Adam was "helpmeet", KJV.
In hebrew this is derived from a word which means to encircle and protect.
In the New Testament Paul warns couples not to withhold sexual relations from each other in case they make each other vulnerable to temptation. He also says each spouse does not belong to themselves but each other.

I honestly can't see anyone on this blog being overly impressed in a sexual sense if their spouse physically let themselves go. What about you William?

  • 12.
  • At 01:34 PM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • Jen Erik wrote:

Very 1950s. Like a Rock Hudson/Doris Day film, where the man has to be 'trapped into' marriage, and the woman's job is to wear a flounced gingham apron & keep her cushions plumped.
Do you think 'the team' Driscoll's taking one for is the Male Team, or just the Pastor's Team?

  • 13.
  • At 02:08 PM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • pb wrote:

Just had a glance at this blog from Driscoll.

Sadly I have to conclude that the headline above, "Don't blame Ted: it was his wife's fault" is a not too subtle twisting of the truth/knife that bears no relation to what Driscoll actually said.

But it certainly colours the views of all the above contributors before they had a chance to cool down and read it and results in a lot of angry comments, above.

This headline is an example of the worst kind of sensational tabloidism; "never let the truth get in he way of a good headline".

Not impressed this time William!

Anne Greer- I don't need to "take it from a woman", I am as perfectly capable of reading Driscoll's blog entry as you, and don't think he was blaming the wife in any sense at all. There is nothing patriarchal about his comment! If you believe that a marriage necessarily includes a two-way expression of sexual love, then you accept that both partners must make themselves available to each other for the relationship to work. Driscoll is describing what can happen when one partner stops doing that. Do you folks understand the term patriarchal and its meaning? Just what are you finding offensive about this?

  • 15.
  • At 10:24 PM on 09 Nov 2006,
  • pb wrote:

I note again, Driscoll said:

"A wife who lets herself go.... is not responsible for her husband's sin..."

I guess that wouldnt just have had the same ring in a headline, William, would it?

I cant help but feel that you have little understanding of this because you are not married???


  • 16.
  • At 09:29 AM on 03 Mar 2007,
  • Neil Davies wrote:

'No I'm not making this up. He writes...' (Crawley)

William, a very unbalanced view of an extremely searching and honest article by Driscoll. I think your sensation seeking headline and therefore massive distortion of what Driscoll said is quite disgraceful. Report the article as it is not try to get a headline, fire people up and mislead people. Get to the heart of what Driscoll said in this article not what brings you glory by getting people to read your article.

  • 17.
  • At 01:39 PM on 15 Jun 2007,
  • Josh wrote:


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