Letter: Response to 'Let's (not) talk about sex, baby'
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 17:08
Editor's note: The following is a letter to the editor in response to an opinion piece that appeared in the Jan. 23, 2012 edition of The DePaulia. You can write your own letter to the editor here.
I wanted to write in a response to Angelika Labno's article entitled "Let's (not) talk about sex, baby" from the January 23, 2012 edition of The DePaulia.
First of all, I would like to know if Angelika has personally read Mark Driscoll's book 'Real Marriage." I'll be up front and say that I haven't read the book yet. However, I am an avid listener of Driscoll sermons and am very familiar with his personal views and theology. I would have a hard time believing that, in view of the statements I've heard him make over and over again in his sermons, one who was more than casually familiar with Driscoll's teachings could make some of the statements that Labno makes in her article.
"...Driscoll supports the act of masturbation..."
It is not difficult to find Driscoll's views on this topic within his sermons. Although he does say that the Bible does not explicitly forbid masturbation, he is quick to point out that lust is forbidden in the Bible. He then will often pose the question of whether it is possible to masturbate without lusting (which, for any normal human being, it is impossible to masturbate without lusting). As a result, Driscoll does not in fact support masturbation.
However, I have heard him state that he is in favor of a spouse masturbating their spouse, falling under the 1 Corinthians 6:12 reference. In this sense (a VERY different sense than one person masturbating themselves), Driscoll does support masturbation. If that's what is meant by Labno when she makes this statement, her claim is very unclear and poorly stated because obviously Driscoll does not support personal masturbation.
In regard to the Denny Burk quote, "...one spouse will feel a whole range of taboos to be permissible if he can convince his spouse to participate. This seems to me like a recipe for marital disaster."
Once again, Driscoll makes it clear what his stance is on this issue within his sermons. Although I have heard him teach on sexual freedom within marriage, he is also quick to point out that there is an overarching truth that comes with this freedom. This truth is that a man is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her (Ephesians 5:25).
He teaches that marriage is a beautiful illustration of the Gospel, in which the man lovingly serves his wife and places her needs above his own and the woman lovingly submits and respects her husband. That is why true Biblical marriage always works; the man and the woman continually serve and love each other.
Driscoll is clear on this point in all of his teachings on this subject. So how could Mr. Burk make the statement that Driscoll would ever support a sexually-selfish husband forcing his way on his wife who may have a sensitive conscience on certain sexual acts? Once again, anyone who is more than casually familiar with Driscoll's teachings would never make such a statement.
I would also caution Labno as she makes it seem like Mark Driscoll is forcing married couples to do these various sexual acts by saying that the Bible says to do it. This is a fallacy. Driscoll makes the claim that such a freedom of sexual expression is permitted within Scripture. He does not, however, make the claim that this sexual expression is commanded. No where in any of his teachings does he make these sexual acts within marriage normative; no one is required to do them. However, he does say that as an "issue of conscience" (Romans 14) sexual freedom within marriage is permitted and couples may engage in this way if both of their consciences are clear about it (Romans 14:5b).