Pastor Dad: Children, Obey Me or Else…

Jason Micheli —  June 9, 2013 — 2 Comments

mainI’ve been reading Mark Driscoll’s new ebook, Pastor Dad: Biblical Insights on Fatherhood. It seemed a fitting thing to read this time of the year. We’re a week away from Father’s Home Depot Marketing Blitz Day.

Thus has it always been so. Here’s the skinny on the origins of Father’s Day:

Americans resisted the Father’s Day holiday during the first few decades, perceiving it as just an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother’s Day, and newspapers frequently featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes. But the trade groups did not give up: they kept promoting it and even incorporated the jokes into their adverts, and they eventually succeeded

I read that on Wikipedia so it must be true, or at the very least-as the stats bear out- it was written by men and is more accurate than the Encyclopedia Briwhatchimacallit.

Frankly, I don’t care that much about the crass materialism of Father’s Day since it means I will, in all likelihood, receive something from Williams Sonoma my wife would’ve otherwise forbid me from purchasing.

What does p&** me off is how these fake holidays got put on Sundays so that now God’s People are saddled with the expectations created by non-Christian holidays and must, in at least some tacit way, participate in the cultural lie that we all live in the United States of Pleasantville, do not have emotionally complicated families and that what God most wants from us is stable family units that will create a stable civic order.

But I digress.

mark-driscollBut the digression is not my fault. Chapter 4 of Driscoll’s book, Cultivating Kids, reads like he’s finger-pointing and shouting down someone (a liberal Christian woman or effete man, no doubt) on the other side of the room. It’s exhausting. I should’ve saved this book for Lent ’14.

In chapter 4, Driscoll cites as the Christian father’s sole duty as cultivating obedience in their children. Obeying your father is second only to obeying your Father in Driscoll’s assessment of the canon. So important is our children’s obedience that scripture- the Book of Leviticus- stipulates:

“If a child verbally curses or physically attacks a parent, they shall be put to death. Their blood is on their own head.”

We all know Leviticus has some doozies in it that make you wonder why the ancient Israelites needed such peculiar rules- I mean, were there a lot of people misusing their foreskin?

We all know the skinny on Leviticus, yet Driscoll actually cites this stipulation about infanticide with nostalgic fondness.

Who needs a timeout mat when you’ve got ritual killing waiting to play as a trump card?

Cultivating godly obedience in your children means a Christian father must make sure the Lord is glorified in all aspects of the child’s upbringing, Driscoll writes. Okay, I’ll not quibble with him there.

He goes on.

A godly father discern what’s best for his children, home-schooling or Christian schooling.


Nope, not on the list provided by Rabbi Driscoll.

Because, as Mark Driscoll says in an assertion that makes Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann seem nuanced:

‘…public education was birthed by atheists such as John Dewey and Horace Mann.’

Didn’t you know?

And, says Driscoll:

if it wasn’t for Calvinists no one in America would likely be able to read right now.

I promised when starting this book that I would be charitable, open to receiving some insight from my enemy.

Yes, well chapter 4 is all goose-eggs and turds.

Therefore, in the spirit of what Mark Driscoll seems incapable of expressing I will spend the rest of this day, which is a gift from God, with my boys, who are both gifts themselves.

Sabbath rest and then we’ll throw something in the smoker.

And if that doesn’t sound like a good idea to my boys, I guess I could always just stone them.


Jason Micheli


2 responses to Pastor Dad: Children, Obey Me or Else…

  1. Bob Oelschlager June 9, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Well, I kind of like Father’s Day and here is why. In 1980 Joani and her great friend Kathy Wicks both got pregnant. Megan Wicks was born in early 1981, but Joani’s turned out to be ectopic and she underwent emergency surgery at Mount Vernon Hospital.

    In 1982 Joani and Kathy again found themselves pregnant. Connie Wicks was born in early 1983 and Joani again had an ectopic; and another emergency surgery in late 1982.

    Connie Wicks was baptized in the Westminster MD UMC where Kathy’s husband Mike grew up on Father’s Day Sunday 1983. Joani and I were godparents. At Sunday dinner at Mike’s parents’ house following the service, I got a Father’s Day card in recognition of my role as godfather. May even have been Hallmark; but it literally brought tears to my eyes.

    When Connie was confirmed, we bought her a leather-bound baby blue Bible (KJV) with her name embossed on the front in gold lettering. Which she hates to this day as the worst present she has ever received.


    Bob Oelschlager

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