Rose Madrid-Swetman

— Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey —

April 12, 2008

Speaking of Oppression

Category: All Posts,Leadership,women – Rose – 9:30 am

Over at Kingdom Grace there is a conversation about Mark Driscoll’s Doctrine versus the Shack. I have not read the Shack. Nor do I need to in order to comment on the absurdity of Mark Driscoll’s rant. What kind of an environment are you cultivating when (you have the “largest church in the most unchurched city in the United States”) and you are telling people what they can and cannot read? Here are a few of the comments from Kingdom Grace’s blog:

    Speaking for myself, I see him as a christian brother, but I am also aware that we view faith and doctrine very differently. My criticism for Mark isn’t based on the difference in doctrine. It is based on the fact that he repeatedly calls those he disagrees with heretics.

    I do believe Mark is wrong about the trinity. The Reformed camp has latched on to a hierarchical view of the trinity as a foundation for hierarchy in marriage and church authority. In my opinion the mutuality of the trinity is to be our model for relationship.

    This is an area where dialog and discussion isn’t likely to produce agreement. Ideally there would be tolerance for differences of beliefs on secondary issues. Many people have not experienced this kind of tolerance or respect from those in the more fundamental side of the Reformed church world.

I agree with Grace. I consider him a chrisitan brother, I disagree with his theology. It is not a theology of the Kingdom. He continually presents his positions as “the” christian world view. His view of God and doctrines is what fuels the church being on the wrong side of justice issues throughout history (see my last post). Bad theology is an evil taskmaster. The sexism that continually pervades his presentation of Scripture is an injustice to women.

    I’ve observed Mark’s tactics often enough to recognize the pattern.

    1. Describe the problem in technical theological terms to give intellectual weight to your position. (pride)

    2. Declare the opposing view sin in order to scare people from considering its validity. (fear)

    3. Label those who follow the other belief heretics. (shame)

    4. Thus appointing yourself as the authority and guardian of truth. (control)

Grace nails it. This is a pattern of abuse. When you have oppression you have an abuse of power. When will those that listen to this week after week either get up and walk out or overthrow the oppressive regime? When will they wake up to the story of the Kingdom? When will we by the power of the Spirit live into our Story….”In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew or non-Jew, slave and free, male and female.”


  1. Rose,
    I’m reading The Shack now after reading that our pastor is reading it as well. He’s blown away by it, so that’s why I picked it up. It’s not on the same level as the Bible, so people don’t have to worry about that. Just as Brian McClaren’s “An New Kind of Christian” rattled some cages a few years ago, I would imagine this one will too. I don’t know that I agree with it all, but the word pictures are enough to make me think. The author uses great imagery for what dependence might look like.

    I appreciate, as usual, your simple and clear points about the “level playing field” in the Kingdom of God. Brings me to tears sometimes. Letting go of control has to be scary for those who have gained so much with it. I know it is for me . . .

    Comment by Zema — April 12, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  2. was pleased to see one of my favorite bloggers, grace, giving a shout out your way.

    so hey, see you tomorrow night. i’m looking forward to my little jaunt up north to the emerald city. not sure what kind of adventure i’ve gotten myself into, but it should be a total hoot…….!

    Comment by Pam Hogeweide — April 13, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  3. […] Rose Madrid-Swetman’s Speaking of Oppression: 1. Describe the problem in technical theological terms to give intellectual […]

    Pingback by Cycle of Abuse : Under the Grace — April 13, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

  4. Rose, I can only hope and PRAY that your voice of freedom will ring loudly through cyberspace and beyond. It’s time for us to wake up and declare the Kingdom freedom that Jesus gave us on the cross. He didn’t come to support oppression but to bring abundant life. Big, free life. I’m so thankful. Thankful for what Jesus did, is doing and what He inspires you to do. Peace, Amy (pastoring as a free woman)

    Comment by amy powell — April 14, 2008 @ 6:11 am

  5. Rose

    You totally rock. It was really nice to see you the other evening. thank you for being one of the real Christians.

    For some reason your blog won’t let me highlight and paste text in so I can quote you. Oh well. =)

    I found the Shack unbearable. Guess that makes me a big *loser*, since it seems to be the latest fad. Oh well. =)

    You asked “when will those that listen to this week after week get up and walk out or …”

    I think the answer is …. they won’t. Not en masse. Not unless some big thing happens that’s different from what has happened before. People mostly don’t change en masse, and the mostly don’t change quickly. God seems to be able to work with that (if she exists).

    But you know about the sociology prof at SPU who was wondering why so many of her relatively really smart students go to Mars Hill–I guess wondering a similar question to you–I think her name is Jennifer? She got a grant and she’s doing a word analysis on 12 of Mark’s sermons, and I’m just dying to see the paper she’s finally going to write out of the project.

    Comment by benjamin ady — April 19, 2008 @ 12:30 am

  6. I just don’t know what to say…I’ve been discovering this for years [encouraged by my husband in it]…am only just learning how to verbalise it…
    this website and sudies etc has been so helpful

    how I wish you were in the U.K. as I can’t think of anything similar here at the moment…certainly not the UK Vineyards I know, including one we were part of – as wonderful as many were in it.

    Comment by marion (U.K.) — June 20, 2008 @ 9:28 am

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