Perhaps you’ve heard of Mark Driscoll, the tough-talking young Calvinist in the Pacific Northwest, the one who preaches with his shirt untucked and likes to be called “Pastor Mark” and writes about the righteousness of blow jobs.
In a recent blog post, Driscoll announces that he will be preaching on the book of Esther next Sunday, and offers a little preview. It promises to be appalling. Esther was, one may surmise from Driscoll’s preface, a typical slut who God nonetheless used to accomplish His foreordained plan.
In part, this kind of nonsense is just baked into the Protestant cake. Pick up any Protestant derivation of the Old Testament, and you’ll find confirmation of Driscoll’s claim that Esther is “a godless book.” This is because these versions rely on Masoretic (Hebrew) texts, which greatly abbreviate Esther, unlike the text widely used by the early Church (and quoted by Christ Himself), the Septuagint. The latter has long, beautiful prayers by Mordecai and Esther, entreating God for guidance and salvation. The Hebrew texts do not.
Setting that aside, however, there is Driscoll’s unfounded assumption that Esther secured her position as the king’s wife by pleasing him sexually during a trial run in bed. These are the moments when Protestants abandon sola scriptura and just wing it for the glory of God. The King James Bible says simply:
“So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti” (2:16-17)
We don’t know if the king slept with each woman. We don’t know if he slept with every woman but Esther. We don’t know if they played Twister and did each other’s hair. We don’t know if they had sex that was really, really bad, but Esther was so charming that the king fell in love with her anyway.
The Bible tells us nothing about what happened that night, but Mark Driscoll is certain that it involved Esther’s panties. Perhaps that’s the only way Driscoll imagines a woman can win over a man.
It’s astounding how theologians who can decry icons and incense because they “aren’t Biblical” can crap out exegesis that imposes their 20th-century Americanized assumptions onto a 5th-century B.C. middle-eastern culture.
Wait! I come not to bury Pastor Mark, but to praise him. Because in the midst of his convoluted, self-congratulatory, deeply misguided missive, he admits to planting himself at the root of heresy, which is this:
“What’s the truth? We will see, as I’m still studying and praying.”
Want the truth? Want the Truth? Well it doesn’t come from the Church any more. It comes only from select churches nowadays, little centers of tax-exemption and self-appointed expertise.
You want the truth? Well you’ll have to wait until next Sunday, when the little pope of Mars Hill emerges from his study with it.