OK, I wasn’t planning on writing on the whole Haggard imbroglio again. (Famous last words, eh?) Then, via Andrew Sullivan, I came across this little post by a blogging evangelical pastor from Seattle named Mark Driscoll:
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.
This is his second (of many) bullet point in a list of thoughts and advice for pastors. Clearly Driscoll views it as an important point
How low can you go? Whatever I think of Haggard and his sanctimonious hypocrisy, there is no doubt that his methamphetamine-fueled dalliance with a gay prostitute has devastated his wife and family. Betrayal will do that. And now here we have this “man of God” in essence blaming Haggard’s wife for either letting herself go, not putting out enough, or both. And, of course, what makes the point above even more clueless is that Haggard didn’t go to an old-fashioned female prostitute.
Want more of Driscoll’s “wisdom”? Here you go:
Churches should consider returning to heterosexual male assistants who are like Timothy and Titus to serve alongside pastors. Too often the pastor’s assistant is a woman who, if not sexually involved, becomes too emotionally involved with the pastor as a sort of emotional and practical second wife. I have been blessed with a trustworthy heterosexual male assistant who can travel with me, meet with me, etc., without the fear of any temptations or even false allegations since we have beautiful wives and eight children between us.
Yeah, that would have worked real well for Haggard, wouldn’t it?
ADDENDUM: Driscoll has backtracked some:
Contrary to some who misrepresented my prior blog, Gayle [Haggard’s wife] is in no way responsible for the sin of her husband and by all accounts seems to have been a lovely and devoted wife.
Uh, yeah. Sure. Anything Mark says. That must be why he made the quote about pastors’ wives “letting themselves go” in the context of giving advice to young male Christian pastors in the wake of the Ted Haggard scandal and even prefaced it with, “At the risk of being even more widely despised than I already am, I will lean over the plate ant take one for the team on this.”
Sure, Mark. I believe you. Did the backlash against your nastiness get a little too hot for you?
By the way, here are some examples of the sorts of things Driscoll has been saying for a while now.