The cultural problem of Mark Driscolls effeminate worship leaders…

I’ve seen some consternation about a facebook status of Mark Driscoll about ‘effeminate worship leaders’. I’ve never been a fan of his gender ideas, and I mostly don’t even see where they come from, since his culture is not mine. I never got why he used the word ‘effeminate’ for example, but now I’ve got that piece of the puzzle straight, thanks to Diana on Jesus needs New PR: It’s supposed to be biblical, and comes from some English translations of 1 Cor 6:10.

Now there’s a reason I didn’t know this, even though I do know that verse very well in my own language: No dutch translation does use a word that means anything remote like ‘effeminate’ in this verse… (I would say ‘and rightly so, but I’m no Greek scholar so I don’t have much authority to say that.) You’ll need an English one for that. So only an English-speaking person, using certain bible translations, could ever have this discussion… For a dutch-speaking person this discussion could not even exist in this way. The dutch word ‘verwijfd’ is used to denote men who are looking and behaving too much like a woman, or gay, but there’s no connection at all with the bible…

So even his use of the word ‘effeminate’ as something biblical problematic is very culturally shaped and linguistically relative…

And the  word is degrading to women. There’s nothing negative about being female, and having ‘feminine’ traits. Those are very cultural anyway, what one culture sees as ‘masculine’ could be seen as ‘feminine’ or even ‘gay’ in another one. The most ‘manly’ men can have something very ‘female’ about them to me anyway. If anything could be called ‘effeminate’ to me, it would be a dandy… We have a Moroccan community here in Antwerp, and they find it very macho to walk around in a pink shirt, which Flemish people might consider gay… It’s just culture. And God doesn’t care more about the fashion of American conservative culture than he does about Moroccan shirts…

But in the end, as genesis says both man and woman both reflect the image of god in their own way, and so does the (according to some) ‘female’ side of men or ‘male’ side of women. Even Jesus compared himself to a mother hen.

There might be people that act and dress unnaturally for their gender, but I don’t see what gender confusion has to do with worship leaders. Everybody can see the gender of people leading worship as far as I know. And I don’t see why people would be scared of the loss of manliness. The only real danger for our masculinity that this world has are hormones in food or tap water, not behavior that’s culturally not seen as ‘male’. Such things are so relative… Your penis won’t fall off from wearing a pink shirt or drinking kriek beer. And in the end even a eunuch is still a man, and not a woman, no-one will deny that…

I guess that I wouldn’t be considered very ‘manly’ by those prophets of biblical manhood. When I read ‘men are from Mars, women from Venus’ I felt like coming from Jupiter, or better, Earth. I’m better in being friends with women than with men sometimes. I hate violent sports, don’t care about cars and noisy machines. I like art and flowers and whatever… but hey ‘I was born this way’*.  Men can differ from each other in their personalities much more than a man and a woman are different. which is good, God made diversity.

No 2 men are the same. No 2 relatonships are the same. Just let them be instead of making rules of what should be a ‘christian’ man (or a ‘christian’ marriage, No way in the world it would be a good idea to let my wife ‘submit’ to me…).

As for Mark Driscolls actual effeminate worship leaders, I have no idea what he’s talking about. Like I said I’m not part of his culture, and I have no idea what exactly he’s referencing.  If he would mean someone like me who’s just not at all macho his ideas are completely off. If he would mean something like artificially androgynous male worship leaders it’s more understandable he’s irritated somehow. I’ve never seensomething like  an androgynous worship leader., maybe it would irritate or at least distract me too… I don’t know.

But the whole use of the word ‘effeminate’ here is not needed at all. It’s degrading to one half of Gods image.



* Kriek = a fruit beer that we have here in Belgium, made from cherries, and which is stereotyped as a drink for girls. Most men consider it mere lemonade with a bit of alcohol in it.

* I am aware that this piece of Laday Gaga theology is a very slippery statement that could be very dangerous. Psychopaths could say the same…

Christianity should not at all be sexist…
‘Male christianity’ vs Mother Teresa

5 responses to “The cultural problem of Mark Driscolls effeminate worship leaders…

  1. I’m not so sure he was connecting the comment with the bible. I think he’s just a blokey-bloke and doesn’t really like seeing emo worship leaders who wear tight jeans and exfoliate.. it’s a cultural thing. He shouldn’t be asking for ‘stories’ like that, of course, but I think Diana’s post is quite off-base.

  2. I just read your post on “Male Christianity and Mother Teresa” and I think this little video of Pete Rollins bounces right off of what you are saying. It takes awhile for him to get to the point, but its well worth it.

  3. shoot, I’m in his culture and I don’t know what he is talking about! =P

  4. Pingback: Random Links I liked lately 1 | Brambonius' blog in english

  5. Pingback: Masculine christianity is a privilege of the English-speaking… | Brambonius' blog in english

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