There have been some really awesome comments on my previous post; "When John MacArthur Gets It Right!" - which I'm so grateful for. I think we all appreciated my non-Christian friend's input and frankness! All Christian husbands need to never, ever forget that sexual intimacy means that wives should be enjoying it too! But I carried the conversation on at home with my mum and dad when I met them for coffee yesterday. It's something I really love and appreciate about Mum and Dad - they are willing to listen to whatever's on my heart. The benefit of discussing this Driscoll/Song of Solomon thing is that I've come to appreciate how important Christian married couples long for some Biblical teaching and input on their intimate lives.
But I think Sheila makes a vital point too - we don't need schoolboy toilet (or bathroom) humour or language to get that point across. And while I am sure Mark Driscoll is an incredibly unique person - his behaviour doesn't necessarily have to be prescriptive to try and emulate the kind of success God is giving him at the moment. My heart still is for Christian women - sisters in Christ. And so I was thrilled driving back from Bristol to be reminded of something Rob Rufus said in a prayer at "Glory and Grace" when I was there in 2007.
Here's what he said - and it's absolutely on-topic. One might have thought he knew of the debate!
"The Bible in Song of Solomon and many other places talks about us being the Bride and being loved and ravished by heavenly romance with a Bridegroom that is so in love with us! Your love is better than wine. Come away with Me, My beloved!
Forgive us for taking the culture of the world as men - Lord! So afraid of intimacy. So afraid of closeness. So afraid of emotion. We thank You for the example of David - Lord. A real man, a masculine man, a warrior, a mighty warrior! A man who killed many people in battle, a great warrior in the army of Israel! A king! Yet a sensative, tender poet. A romantic. A lover! A tender-hearted man!
Oh give us men like that in the world today! Warriors who will stand up and fight yet know tenderness and intimacy! Jesus the Son of God who stood against the most evil force on the planet - religious demons behind Pharisees - and He stood against them alone and would not buckle under their intimidation or pressure. What a man! Yet He could stand before Lazarus's tomb and weep and shed tears and say "Let the little children come to Me for such is the Kingdom of heaven".
Jesus who could look at a woman caught in adultery and say "Woman where are your accusers? Neither do I accuse you". Such tenderness in this Man! Jesus of Nazareth! Fully God and fully Man! Weeping with compassion! Showing such kindness! But even on the Cross and dying for our sins, He looks down at John and said; "John behold your mother" - pointing at Mary. Thinking about His MOTHER! While He is on the Cross He is still wanting to make sure His earthly mother is looked after by His disciple John - the man He loved!
What kind of Man is this?! So full of masculinity and male authority yet so tender and intimate. He let John the apostle put his head on His chest at the Last Supper and was not embarressed by the contact of a physical man touching His chest in public - so innocent and pure. What happened to the church? This Bridegroom does not need our love but He desires it with a passion!".
I think that last point for me answers one of Driscoll's most distressing comments where he mocks those who see certain allegories in the Song of Solomon and says;
"Well the allegorical interpretation, it's not between a husband and a wife, Song of Solomon, love and romance and intimacy; what it is, it's about us and Jesus." Really? I hope not. [Laughter from crowd] If I get to heaven and this goes down, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I mean it's gonna be a bad day. Right? I mean seriously. You dudes know what I'm talking about. You're like, "No, I'm not doing that. You know I'm not doing that. I love Him [Jesus] but not like that." [Laughter from crowd]"
Whether it was meant as a joke or not (and an extremely bad one if it was) - the fact remains that Jesus Christ the Man had absolutely no problem in loving one of His disciples and welcoming His disciple's love and longing for closeness in absolute innocence and purity. I must confess one of the thoughts that has most often gone through my head when I first lay eyes on the Risen and Exalted Lord Jesus Christ for the first time is a longing that I will be able to run into His arms and do the same thing. Let's recover that innocence and purity. As Rob Rufus said;
"What's happened to the Church?".