7 Thoughts On Becoming a Better Hater

My resolution for the new year to become a better hater. But I suppose this requires at least some explanation before itemizing the ways I propose for improving on our hatreds.

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Prov. 8:13).

The fear of the Lord is to hate what is evil. We should be able to immediately see that there is no virtue or vice to be found in a transitive verb. By themselves as verbs, love is not good and hatred is not bad. Everything rides on the direct object. If you love your mom, that is great, but if you love child porn — same verb and everything — you are being wicked. In order to honor God, the right verb has to be lined up with the right direct object. Genuine love lines up with certain things, and so does true-hearted hate.

In the passage quoted, the direct object for hate must be evil, pride, arrogance, an evil way, and perverted speech. If you look around at the landscape that lies before us in this freshly minted 2014, there are many objects that rightly qualify as direct objects of our hatred — if we are to be disciples of Jesus in 2014. We live in what military men call a target-rich environment.

So here is how I propose growing in our ability to hate properly. These are the areas I think we should all focus on.

1. Learn to love properly. We should want to give ourselves to the love of God and the love of our neighbor. We should want to rejoice in the Lord, in the public worship of God, in the ordinances He has given to us, and in hunger for His Word. We should be eager for evangelism and mercy work. We must love our husbands, wives, children and grandchildren. The more we are given over to these things, the more difficult it will be for the bad guys to level the charge that our hatreds are somehow “phobias,” or some other sign of a broken mind. We don’t hate because we love hating. We hate because we love what we are defending.

2. Learn to hate hypocrisy. When we hate the sins of others more than we hate sin in ourselves, we are a couple of miles down that deadly road already. When we judge others by their actions and words, and judge ourselves by our motives, we are already in the grip of this evil thing. When we judge others by a different standard than the one we desire to have applied to ourselves, we are living in high disregard of the Lord’s teaching. Judgment begins with the household of God, and this is why there will never be a restoration of the republic without a reformation in the church.

3. Learn to hate jargon, buzzwords, cant, and Kant. Words detached from the objects they are supposed to represent — which is what happens with a denial of the correspondence view of truth — is the first step in getting our duties with regard to true hatred completely muddled. So learn to love objective truth, and hate all subjectivism. Learn to mean what you say, and say what you mean. Target every form of verbal pretension and postmodern word games. What is needed here is precision. So put a scope on your rifle. Sight it in. Go out for target practice in an abandoned garden patch. Get a bead on the pumpkins of postmodernism. Use hollow points. The results will be gratifying.

4. Learn to hate every form of egalitarianism, feminism, metrosexuality and associated swisheries, pomosexuality, and androgyny. In the image of God He created them, male and female (Gen. 1:27). And every true Christian has since that time said, vive la différence. On a practical level, the single biggest theological issue of our generation is what God allows as a turn on, how we get to the point of orgasm, and whether or not that experience is a gift that must function under authority. You cannot be wrong on this without being wrong everywhere else.

5. Learn to hate every attempt to turn the Scriptures against itself. No verse trumps any other verse. No word from God is at war with any other word from God. The very first thing that “red letter Christians” do in their insistence to go “by the words of Jesus only” is reject the words of Jesus about the rest of Scripture. All you need to grow in this hatred rightly is a special edition of the Bible, which you can get at any Christian bookstore, with the words of the Holy Spirit in black. Tota et sola Scriptura. All of Scripture and only Scripture — that is the ultimate and infallible rule of faith and practice. Those who seek to divvy up the Word are hostile to the Word, and so we must return that hostility with warmth.

6. Learn to hate every form of coercion that is not mandated by the Almighty God Himself. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Love liberty, and love it in every lawful form. Hate every suggestion that would — apart from an explicit requirement from the Creator — bind, restrict, limit, constrain, constrict, curb, inhibit, stifle, bridle, disallow, immure, compel, or deprive the lawful liberty of another. This is not done for the sake of an abstract idol called “individualism.” It is nothing more complicated than love of neighbor. In this, our statist and despotic age, it is not possible to love your neighbor without also hating five-year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains. And hatred of coercion also includes every form of unjust warfare — hatred of ungodly compulsion is not limited in any way to domestic politics.

7. Learn to hate the suggestion, made by some ostensibly on our side, that we “take no prisoners.” The strategy outlined by the Lord Jesus, and which is obligatory for us as Christians, is that we disciple the nations, baptizing them and teaching them obedience. This means that we first find them undiscipled, unbaptized, and disobedient. The whole point is to persuade them, not to nuke them. As we undertake the endeavor of hating well, in our midst we will soon enough discover more than a few who do not know what spirit they are of (Luke 9:55).

The Lord Jesus famously admonished the church at Ephesus, telling them they had fallen from their first love. We must never let that happen to us. But we too often forget that when He came to praise them in what they had retained, He commended them for their hatred. “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Rev. 2:6).

So the new year is now before us. We must learn to become better haters in it. It is long past time for new year’s resolutions to contain hatred for something other than calories.

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79 thoughts on “7 Thoughts On Becoming a Better Hater

  1. Great post.  Matthew N. Petersen is going to need smelling salts after this one.
    I wonder what happens when the accusers can’t use their traditional false guilt to manipulate Christians anymore?  What happens when Christians know their Scripture better than their accusers?  The guilt wagon is falling behind.  In the meantime, let’s be sure we are highly accountable and not found to be actually guilty (in the ways that Scripture defines sin).
    Anno Domini in gloria, 2014!

  2. I’d selfishly like to get you locked up in some ivory tower where you’d spin this kind of stuff full time.  But if I may ask on point 5 — Since Jesus IS the Word, could we better say that we must not reject what He says about the rest of Scripture, because, in fact, those too ARE indeed HIS words?  Yes, Moses spake as moved by the Spirit, but was it not Jesus’ words that the Spirit always moves and delivers?  Therefore “the Words of Jesus in red” is at best a mistake — His words being in red and black.

  3. Nah, I’m not upset by this post. I’m just curious whether the hatred of coercion extends to rhetorical coercion, and to coercing the government to accept your side, even after your side has failed by every conceivable measure. Does it include the coercion inherent in lies about whether the Government is coming to take our guns away, the coercion inherent in poisoning the well against your opponents because “they” are “liberal”, and the coercion inherent in throwing a tantrum in the House, and shutting down the government unless you get your way–even though you’ve lost in several elections, and in the Supreme Court?

  4. As I read Matthew N. Petersen, I can’t see what he has against poisoning the well, or coercion.  He seems to be very good at it.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to know the audience here enough to find the right well to poison.  Matthew appears to want to fight partisan politics of last year.  To which I say, if he likes his partisan politics, he can keep his partisan politics.

  5. Given that the year is only one day old, it would be very difficult to be concerned about the partisan politics of this year. However, my point is to oppose partisan politics (you can see that I’ve also had some words for how liberal sources like the Huffington Post use partisan politics), be they politics of 2013, or 2014.

  6. “the single biggest theological issue of our generation is what God allows as a turn on”
    Wow.  That statement of priorities has got to be one of the most pervasive and destructive theological errors in the evangelical church.   It’s hard to understand how anyone could read the scriptures and conclude that that is at the top of God’s priority list for our generation.

  7. I must have missed the HuffPo reference.  I’m just going by what I see here.  Matthew seems to think that partisan politics and poisoning the well is okay so long as he is the one trying to make a point.  It just looks like a double-standard to me.

  8. The point of the “red letter Christians” is not that we should only read the words in red.  The point is that you should be doubly-embarrassed if you ignore the words of Christ when they’ve been highlighted in bright red for you.

  9. I pointed to specific issues, not to generalizations of what Pr. Wilson, or conservatives always do. Pr. Wilson has been very clear that statements like “You always…” in a marriage are very damaging, as are imputations of motives “you do that because…”. Pr. Wilson has engaged in both of those here. As an example of the first: “liberals don’t care what you do, so long as it is mandatory.” As an example of the second: “They want control of the food supply, and they want it to further their statist ends.” Moreover, someone’s failure sometimes does not preclude listening to them other times, and I hope I have not done that here. But again, that is Pr. Wilson’s strategy against his opponents: Liberals often fail regarding how the treat conservatives, and how they use the state to achieve their ends. But that should not preclude listening to them when they are not attacking conservatives, nor considering whether the *ends* they propose are not in fact good ends. And so we should be more than willing to listen to both sides in, for instance, the food debate, and encourage our parishoners to do the same, rather than coming down very hard on one side, seemingly (and the accent is on how it seems, not on what is actually going on behind the appearance) without listening to the other side. And we should recognize that other people can, and will, reach other conclusions than we do. A failure on all three issues really is a “big E” failure.

  10. Particularly, if “liberals want coercion” is an analytic statement, then “on this issue, Polian is a liberal” is *not* analytic, and so the ad himinem attack is completely unwarranted, and using it as a justification for not listening to his other points is not justified. (Furthermore, it isn’t an analytic statement, since there are many contested points in there. Would, for instance, you say that Bucer was for coercion when he said the magistrate should pay for healthcare?)

  11. That statement of priorities has got to be one of the most pervasive and destructive theological errors in the evangelical church.

    Michael Straight. I am genuinely curious about your statement. Could you please provide some  examples where directly addressing  “orgasm” and “turn on” are pervasively addressed ? I have no idea what you are talking about.

  12. Timothy, I just mean that the evangelical obsession with sex is way out of proportion with how much attention it gets from Jesus, the Apostles, Moses, the prophets, or even the Christian tradition as a whole (even granting that this skewing of priorities seems to have been a struggle for the Church for much of our history).

  13. Matthew Petersen, you’re obviously still irritated by the “coercion” argument that Doug put forth (which I think Doug is right).  And you obviously don’t care for the term “liberal”.  Nevertheless, if you can get beyond your dislike of these terms and address the arguments head on, I think we can have a serious debate.  It sounds like you don’t have much respect for the conservatives in the GOP, and that’s fine.  I’m not too thrilled with the Democrats who want to regulate everything, and who passed a monumental health care bill with no bipartisan support, yet passed the bill as a “rough draft” which can be changed at the President’s whim.  And I’m not too thrilled with the Democrats who create and then demagogue phony issues like a “war on women” and who champion the cause of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.  And I’m not too thrilled with the Democrats who insist that opposition to gay marriage is bigoted and “homophobic” (which is a made up word).  And I’m not too thrilled with the Democrats who continue to peddle in race baiting and race hustling as if it were still the 60’s.  The Democratic Party seems to want to create more and more government control and dependence; can you really dispute that?  Are you comfortable with this administration’s record with regard to the IRS, NSA, Fast and Furious, not to mention Obama’s imaginary “red line” with Syria, the whole Benghazi fiasco, and the unraveling of our foreign policy in the the Middle East?  Are you comfortable with all of the President’s deceptions regarding his signature health care bill?  You may not like that some conservatives didn’t want to fund Obamacare, which caused the temporary shutdown of the government.  But at what point do we say “enough already” with the spending?  Like I said, the Democrats passed a monumental health care bill – and apparently as a rough draft, since Obama appears to have the power to change it on any given day.  Should the GOP just sit back and let this President keep spending away, lest the GOP be deemed as “haters of poor people”?  I don’t think we need this bloated government to become even more bloated and attempt to regulate what food we should and shouldn’t eat.  I also don’t want them telling me what light bulbs I should use.  Enough already.  Okay, your turn. 

  14. I think another important point missing here is that if you want to more faithfully “hate’ what you think is wrong, honesty demands that remember that you don’t speak for the entire Church and that you acknowledge when there are thoughtful, faithful Christians who disagree with you.  Claiming to have the only “Christian” opinion on feminism or libertarian politics is an clear and obvious falsehood.

  15. Dan, can you see that it has nothing to do with what term Pastor Wilson is using, but the way in which he uses it that is at issue? You completely miss Matthew Peterson’s point. It doesn’t matter what he calls them. The problem is that he’s created a group to blame, consistently makes “they always” types of claims about them, and makes up imagined motives for such actions that he can’t possibly know apply to the “group”, whoever this group is.

  16. Jonathan,

    I know you addressed Dan directly, but could you please clarify what group Pastor Wilson created to blame?


    Do you mean this statement?


    4. Learn to hate every form of egalitarianism, feminism, metrosexuality and associated swisheries, pomosexuality, and androgyny. I

  17. Michael.

    Regarding : “Timothy, I just mean that the evangelical obsession with sex is way out of proportion with how much attention it gets from Jesus,”
    Can I assume that you admit that sex is quite the obsession with the fallen culture? Is it not also a difficult area for the new Christian who is young in the faith?
    Regarding Pastor Wilson’s insight on “how we get there matters” this is a profoundly scriptural theme. For example, the hatred God has in the old testament, and Jesus in the new, for people who are outwardly religious, but inwardly craven. I think it is a very useful evangelical insight that could give a struggling believer something to base his self discipline on when he is tempted by a twerk.
    If you concede my points, then given how it is in Pastor Wilson’s job description to minister, would he not be remiss in his duties if he–as you suggest he do–not address this? I can come to no other conclusion. I am curious how you could. Or have you just not thought it through?


  18. Michael,
    Regarding your statement:  “Claiming to have the only “Christian” opinion on feminism or libertarian politics is an clear and obvious falsehood.” .  I don’t think Pastor Wilson denies that there are differing opinions. It is precisely because they exist–and are mistaken opinions–that he addresses them.  Your claim of “clear and obvious falsehood” is incorrect.

  19. Jonathan, I think it does have something to do with what term that Doug uses, based on my review of Matthew’s comments.  However, I also understand the point being made regarding “always” type remarks (which I agree we should be careful of).  For example, Matthew stated in one of his comments, “I pointed to specific issues, not to generalizations of what Pr. Wilson, or conservatives always do.”  Did you notice the “always” reference there?  Thus, Matthew is guilty of the same thing he’s accusing Pastor Wilson of.  Why can’t we all toughen up a bit and not focus so much on the terms, and instead focus on the argument at hand (unless the terms being used are outright inflammatory). 

  20. Matt, I just had the cleverest idea ever.  You should start your own blog and then if we wanted to read your word mileage we could head over and do so.  But it’s just not gentlemanly to attach yourself as a human barnacle to the Wilsons.  It’s as though you’ve made yourself at home in an open wound.  Far better it would be for you to present your ideas on your own turf in a positive fashion than insisting on playing this eternal round of gutterball.  It fouls the air.  Eyes tear.  Besides, it’s no good dragging around on the coattails of someone else.  Let go, run free.  ;)

  21. Dan, you misread Matthew’s comment. He’s saying, “I [did not point] to ‘generalizations of what conservatives always do.'” He’s not saying that “conservatives always do” anything. He’s saying that he is NOT accusing them of “always doing” anything at all. Instead, he’s just commenting on what Pastor Wilson is doing right now.

  22. Timothy – in that statement from Pastor Wilson, he is list ideologies he thinks should be opposed. I might disagree with a couple of them in how he chooses to define them and how he chooses to oppose them, but I have no qualms with Pastor Wilson opposing certain ideologies. What I have an issue with is when he makes blanket statements about all the people who believe in certain ideologies, or when he attributes blanket motivations to all of them that do not at all automatically fall from their beliefs, or when he attributes such analogies to people who don’t even hold them, but who just happen to agree with any much more specific and debatable policy or theological point that he happen to disagree with. I’d rather he debated the point instead of the person, rather than saying, “anyone who believes X much be a Y and therefore is only doing this because their hearts scream Z!!!”

  23. Jonathan,
    I see your point, but I cannot agree with you. We have generalizations for a reason. When I generalize with ‘Skinheads are not pleasant people’ I should not be burdened with having to qualify that ala “Skinheads are not pleasant people, except for Susan and Mildred and Wilbur and …” because Susan  took offense at it. The generalization sticks for perfectly valid reasons–they are a useful tool.


    Michael Straight said
    “the single biggest theological issue of our generation is what God allows as a turn on” Wow.  That statement of priorities has got to be one of the most pervasive and destructive theological errors in the evangelical church.   It’s hard to understand how anyone could read the scriptures and conclude that that is at the top of God’s priority list for our generation.

    I believe you have misread this statement. It is not that one  “read the scriptures and conclude that that is at the top of God’s priority list for our generation”, It is that this generation has decided that “what God allows as a turn-on” is the place at which they will direct their primary attacks on the Church. This makes it the biggest theological issue today.

  25. Timothy, your example of “skinheads are not pleasant people” is a quite useful extreme example, because I absolutely believe that it still illustrates the point. First, what do you gain at all by a blanket and unexplained statement? If the point is obvious, then your listener already knows it, and so you’re just wasting words. And if the point is not obvious, then of course your listener will benefit from an explanation. Even if your authority will convince some listeners without an explanation, I don’t think that’s a very good reason not to give one. Second, what is the good of the generalization? Pastor Wilson himself believes that many overt racists within a certain culture could still be wonderful people in their homes and live wonderful Christian lives. “Racists are not pleasant people” is hardly very far away from “skinheads are not pleasant people”, but it misses that many racists actually might be quite good and pleasant in many ways, but be blind and need the light of Christ on this one issue. Now, I think that Pastor Wilson’s categories are far broader and more arbitrarily defined than “racists” or “skinheads”, and thus are even more problematic. But even at this end of the slope, I don’t think that making negative generalizations about groups of people is a good idea unless the group of people in question actually define themselves by that concept.

  26. And your example left out the part where blanket motivations are attributed to the whole group, which is even more difficult to justify.

  27. Arwen, I passionately disagree with your reasoning. The biggest theological issue should never, ever be based on whatever those attacking the church want to focus on. The biggest theological issue should be based on what God wants us to focus on. I think it is likely that that will have nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks of those who want to destroy the church. The Body of Christ is strengthened and grows by love and service for others and love and obedience to God, not by good counterarguments to the haters. The biggest theological issue for any generation should be based on whatever those of us who desire to be obedient to Christ need to grow in need to love others and to love God, not what those who are being willfully disobedient don’t want to hear.

  28. (Assuming, of course, that the attacks are coming from those who are being willfully disobedient and trying to attack/destroy the church. If the arguments are coming from within, by those who legitimately desire to follow Christ and see his Kingdom grow but who are lost in an area, then it is certainly a valid reason to focus on that issue, but the manner in which the discussion will proceed would probably look quite different.)

  29. Jonothan
    I don’t find your reasoning convincing. I find Pastor Wilson’s scriptural teaching convincing. I also prefer his direct approach to the goop that is most of Christian engagement. As Christians, we are told we are going to be hated as Christ was hated. Could you not let us enjoy it a bit?

  30. Let’s see, Matthew in his first comment uses the phrase “your side” (twice), “your opponents”, “get your way”, and “you’ve lost” but then goes on in subsequent comments to bemoan the fact the post Pastor Wilson acknowledges that there are sides and writes of them in generalities. 
    Please come clean Pastor Wilson.  Do you pay Matthew and his alter ego Jonathan to provide comic relief in the comments section?

  31. Arwen, I think that (1) it’s a mistake to let the world set the agenda for the church, and (2) Mammon is a much greater threat to the Church’s faithfulness to the gospel than these issues about sexuality.

  32. Timothy, when Wilson says “every true Christian has since that time said, vive la différence” he sounds like he’s claiming every true Christian agrees that we must hate all forms of feminism and egalitarianism.  That’s not true unless you are drawing a ridiculously tiny circle of who counts as a “true Christian.”

  33. Michael,

    “he sounds like he’s claiming every true Christian agrees that we must hate all forms of feminism and egalitarianism”

    That’s a fair point. How would you have Pastor Wilson amend his sentences (reprinted below)?

    Learn to hate every form of egalitarianism, feminism, metrosexuality and associated swisheries, pomosexuality, and androgyny. In the image of God He created them, male and female (Gen. 1:27). And every true Christian has since that time said, vive la différence.

    You single out feminism and egalitarianism. Would the sentence be correct without those two terms?  What about the tender sensibilities of sundry metrosexualists, swishes, pomosexuals*, and androgynists?

    *What on God’s good earth “is” a pomosexual? Post Modern sex?

  34. Incredibly creepy article that insists on its own egocentric form of Christianity.

    3. Learn to hate points of view that are different than your own, because your perspective should be everybody’s perspective. Go shoot things in your backyard: it’ll almost be like shooting those swishy postmodern deconstructionists!
    4. Learn to hate LGBT people–wait, CHECK!
    5. Learn to ignore the really abhorrent passages in the Bible: marry more fifteen year-olds, and opine about the Book of Philemon’s prescriptions for race relations, just like Phil Robertson does.
    6. Learn to become a good Republican, because you must not be coerced.
    7. Learn to never compromise, because it worked great in the 2008, 2010, and 2012 elections–where Evangelicals failed to win anything bigger than half of one third of government, and only then because of gerrymandering everything.

    2014 Douglas Wilson sounds a lot like 2013 Douglas Wilson.

  35. St. Lee: I use “your side” etc. in two ways: 1) Sides in a debate. That’s a fine usage. People take different sides in an argument–so long as the other side is just that, an other side, not those demons on the other side, or some such. 2) Not because I believe in abstract “sides”, decontextualized from a given debate, and throwing our what amounts to racist slurs against the other side, but because I’m accusing Pr. Wilson of doing just that. If I say “Jimmy Swaggart is guilty of adultery” you cannot accuse me of adultery because I mention it. Likewise here. You cannot (coherently) accuse me of taking sides in a quasi racist way, and scapegoating the “Others”, simply because I accuse Pr. Wilson of it.

  36. Matthew Petersen and Jonathan, you both seem to be unreasonably caught up in semantics for Pete’s sake.  Are we really going to debate who uses more generalizations than the other guy?  Let’s just assume that no one (not even you two) are going to be purely objective, as well as never make generalizations.  Can we get beyond that now?  It’s really a waste of everyone’s time.  Just debate the issue at hand, please.  If someone writes something that is outright inflammatory, then by all means, call them on it.  Otherwise, let’s all toughen up a bit.

  37. Richard, you make a good point.  This is the issue I’ve had with postmillennialism.  I am amillennialist because that’s what I see in Scripture.  I don’t reject postmillenialism for its effects, but I know it can lead to un-Christian ones.  If we really believe the outcome for the world is postmillennial, it empties the cross and Christianity of its ironic subversive power. 

  38. Dan: The issue at hand is Pr. Wilson’s scapegoating his opponents. As my comment on the previous thread shows, his comments are tantamount to antisemitism, and, as I have argued on both threads, his comments are tantamount to Judiazing, and have much in common with the self-righteousness Jesus denounced in the Pharisees. That’s a far greater issue than the question of food. But I agree this is fruitless. Proverbs 15:5 says as much.


    That said, you seem to think it’s an argument about who is more evil–as if I’m interested in  measuring my manhood against his “no, you’re worse than me”. But I don’t mean at all to “measure” my evil against his. Pr. Wilson is behaving vilely.  (Though, it is not in all his life that he does so, and generally he is a decent person.) So far you have not even demonstrated a comprehension of my charge against Pr. Wilson, and before you can say that I am also guilty, you will have to get that straight. However, I may be guilty too. If you can show me where I am wrong, I will apologize.

  39. Matthew, you said “You cannot (coherently) accuse me of taking sides in a quasi racist way, and scapegoating the “Others”, simply because I accuse Pr. Wilson of it. ”
    No, I guess you are right if by the term “quasi racist” you mean that “gay is the new black.”  However if the term quasi racist  were to mean that “Bible believing Christian is the new black”, then I think that case could be made.
                                                                                                                                                                             Other than that ….ha ha ha ha, good job

  40. Matthew Petersen, I never stated nor implied that you were arguing about who was more evil.  I said you were getting caught up in semantics and the use of generalizations.  You seemed irritated by the “coercion” argument that Pastor Wilson put forth, plus his use of the term “liberal”.  However, neither of these terms is even close to getting as personal as you just did, by stating that Pastor Wilson is behaving “vilely”.  Really?  Vilely connotes something quite sinister and evil.  Thus, I don’t quite comprehend your take on this.  Yes, Pastor Wilson can come across as direct, but vile?  I think you need to be more careful before tossing around such charges.  By the way, I was trying to challenge you to a debate, per my comment at 8:09 PM last night.  I acknowledged your unhappiness with the GOP, and I offered several critiques of the Democrat philosophy under the present administration.  Moreover, I generally agree with Pastor Wilson that the modern liberal/Left ideology is (and has been) to attempt to “coerce” the culture through both policy and political correctness.  You may not agree with me, and that’s okay.  That’s why we debate issues like this.  You won’t be harmed by disagreeing with me, and I won’t be harmed by disagreeing with you.  Sound reasonable?   
    if someone doesn’t want to accomplish their policy ends through coercion, then he isn’t a liberal.

  41. Dan: Thanks. I think, if you read the rest of my comment, you can see why I said Pr. Wilson was behaving vilely. Indeed, I have repeatedly compared his actions to antisemitism, to the Crucifixion of Jesus, and to the Judiaziers in Galatia. After that litany, “vile” shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. :P It was your comment that “Are we really going to debate who uses more generalizations than the other guy?” that I was responding to when I said “you seem to think it’s an argument about who is more evil.” (That’s just for clarity.)


    Regarding your post from 8:19 yesterday: I agree that liberals often use coercion  and that it is wrong there. And I agree that many of President Obama’s policies are despicable. I’ve written several papers, for instance, on how his educational policy is against peace, and particularly destructive. I’m not saying “Doug, you’ve taken the wrong side”. Rather, the problem is that Pr. Wilson has used failures of some liberals (are the anarchists similarly failing?) to castigate all the people who may be called liberal, and to use that as an excuse to refuse to listen to “them” on anything. This, as I have said, repeatedly, is a gospel issue. He is offering sacrifices other than the One Sacrifice of Christ. (I said this explicitly on a different thread, it should not come as a shock here.)

  42. My reason for mentioning conservative failures was not to attack conservatives, but to exhort Pr. Wilson, and readers of the blog, to be even-handed. If you say you’re against coercion  in all its forms, but the only forms you know of are from the left, something’s not right. (The same is true in the other direction, but I doubt anyone here has that problem.)

  43. Regarding your comments about liberals coercing through PC. Sure, that sometimes happens. (Perhaps often, though I’m at a liberal university, and I haven’t been railroaded by it.) But that isn’t what it is to be liberal, that’s a sin that many liberals have fallen into. And it isn’t the very definition of liberal (unless you want to play humpty-dumpty and define “liberal” in a way it isn’t used). Indeed, if, as Augustine suggests, the libido dominandi is the root of sin, saying that liberals want to use conercion is merely a claim that liberals are sinners. Really? No way! But that we are all sinners does not excuse one from the command to be quick to listen, nor from the golden rule.


    However, my charges still stand, and have not been addressed.

  44. Matthew, thanks for your replies.  Personally, I can’t be the judge of whether Pastor Wilson is “quick enough” to listen to liberals or not, since oftentimes it depends on the particular issue being addressed, as well as the person addressing it.  For example, I have very little tolerance to listen to, say, Al Sharpton.  Whereas I can listen to, say, Rachel Maddow, even though I hardly ever agree with her.  Thus, I don’t believe Pastor Wilson can be characterized as always “refusing” to listen to the other side.  Sure, there may be instances when it appears that way, depending on the nature of the topic.  But from following this blog for some time now, I often see Pastor Wilson fostering spirited debate and even engaging opposing points of view (as his time, and probably patience, allows).  I’m sure it’s not easy to maintain a blog (especially a blog that delves into so many matters of importance), and be able to please everybody.  Also, Pastor Wilson is so prolific that it’s hard to even keep up with him.  There’s just no way that he can please everyone, let alone worry with each new post that he may offend someone by occasionally employing generalizations, or not providing enough context in his arguments.  As I’ve stated before, I think it’s better if we avoid the temptation to judge each other’s motives, and instead just focus on the argument at hand.  So if Pastor Wilson puts forth an argument that we don’t agree with, then it’s fair game (and Pastor Wilson knows it).  Also, there’s no need to turn issues into personal character attacks, since this also avoids the argument at hand.  Overall, I think it’s more prudent to stick to the specific topic (whatever it may be) and debate it on its merits.  If Pastor Wilson, or any of us, puts forth an unfair argument, then we can debate it and express why we believe it to be unfair.  And of course, if any of us writes something that is outright inflammatory, then that can be called out too.  Anyway, these are my thoughts on the nature of debating in general.   

  45. Keep in mind, the blog isn’t the pulpit. What Doug Wilson says here, he does not say in his role as pastor. Matt’s saying that Doug preaches the sacrifice of liberals instead of Christ: but Doug’s not preaching at all. It’s a basic category mistake. He’s not in the pulpit, man. Stop accusing him of heresy when he’s not claiming (and actively denies) that the blog is a pulpit.

  46. Dan,
    Do a word search for the word ‘argument’ in the entire thread. Notice the distinction in the different ways you and Mathew use the term? .


    Matthew, if you go through that exercise, I pray you can see that you are not interested in engaging in constructive argument, but rather in arguing. Your approach can best be defined as “snarling”. Frankly, you sound faintly demonic.

  47. Matt, all liberal policy proposals require increased government expenditures. These are paid for by means of taxation. If you don’t pay your taxes, men with guns come and take you away. That is what I mean by coercion. The coercive nature of taxation is not removed simply because the liberal politician wants to express it by saying “we want to ask the richest among us . . .”

    And as far as even-handedness goes, I could provide you with a very long list of foibles, follies and evils on the right that I have consistently attacked. When I was investigated by the Idaho Attorney General’s office, it was because of a comment I had made about the Republican presidential ticket.

  48. Carson: Fine. He’s participating in pagan sacrifices, and encouraging the readers of his blog to do so also. And, let’s not be daft. He uses this blog as an extension of his pastoral ministry.

  49. Pr. Wilson: Even if I grant that all taxation is tantamount to coercion–something that, so far as I can tell overturns the traditional Christian understanding of taxation–that only says that some liberals often fail on one particular issue. But, others definitely do not (at least in this way), for instance, anarchists are liberals, but aren’t exactly arguing for more state control. And there are very strong liberal critiques of neoLiberalism. Indeed, since to be dominated by the libido dominandi is to be in favor of coercion  to say that liberals are in favor of coercion is simply to say they sin. Yeah, sure, liberals sin. So what.


    Second, just because their proposed means include what seems to you to be coercion (though to them it does not) does not give you warrant to ignore their ends. Nor does it give you warrant to claim that all they are really concerned with is the means. And it definitely does not give you warrant to participate in alternative sacrifices, seeking to supplement the one Sacrifice of Christ with the sacrifices offered by Beck and Limbaugh.


    Additionally, many actual liberals, as opposed to the liberals that get elected, are not at all neoLiberal, and are very much against the heavy handed policies of the neoLiberals that get elected. You don’t have to look very hard to find liberal critiques of Race to the Top, for instance. (This is my area of expertise, so I know a bit about it.) Nor of the government funded (coercive) farm subsidies that your posts have been supporting. (Or at least, supporting the system supported by those subsidies, and in the eyes of very many, offering rationalizations of an evil coercive system.) Indeed, so far as I can tell, when liberals are in favor of different sorts of farm subsidies, their goal (even if misguided) is to oppose current government coercion, and corporate coercion–coercion of the land, coercion of the consumer, coercion of the future, and coercion of the third world. But you use “you always” style statements, and imputation of motives to ignore all of these points, and instead offer support for paper thin (see Jonathan’s lengthy series of posts on the thread below) stumps for, what appears to many, as extremely unjust and coercive practices.


    Your refusal to listen is a HUGE issue, particularly given the imputation of motives and blanket statements of the form “they always…”. It is not acceptable for a minister of the Word to be participating in pagan sacrifices, acting like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, and vehemently judging others on the very area you are failing. But your recent proclamation that Proverbs 18:17 is your life verse, gives your absolute refusal to listen to the other side an added dimension.


    Past faithfulness, and faithfulness in other areas (I have acknowledged both) is not an excuse for faithfulness here. You say we must hate coercion in all its forms. Yet in the previous post, you were participating in coercion, by actively participating in scapegoating liberals. And you keep repeating paper thin arguments for a practice that many consider extremely coercive, yet refusing to listen to why they may be coercive. When Robin and I argued that you didn’t have a principled objection to the arguments about farming, you agreed, and pointed to the facts of the matter. But you then stump up one side, and refuse to listen to the other, appealing to ideological reasons (actually, participating in scapegoating) to do so.


    So there are bad ways to accomplish the ends of finding a new, less coercive, more just alternative to factory farming. So. Abusus non tollit usus. Stop scapegoating “liberals”, to avoid the issue.


    Also, just to be clear, I’m playing around with formatting options for paragraphs. This isn’t a long quote. But i think paragraphs will show up better this way.

  50. [/i]Well, it looks like adding italics to blockquote doesn’t remove them.


    [/i]One more comment: Farm subsidies account for about 0.5% of the federal budget. Essentially, it’s like someone making $50,000/year spending $282/year on something. Somewhat significant, but not a budget breaker. And a few dollars either way really won’t make any difference. Would it make that much difference if it were $300/year?


    [/i]I can’t find any numbers for, say, Polian’s plan for a Strategic Grain Reserve, but my guess would be it would be roughly comparable to the current spending on farm subsidies: A nearly insignificant portion of the federal budget that would be off set by savings in subsidies. Perhaps I’m wrong, but the very failure of your posts to even be willing to grapple with that question reveals a shocking indifference to the truth, and so is more evidence of your participation in pagan sacrifices. Do you need to check if these plans cost money? Nope, they’re liberal, and that’s good enough for accusations. The ninth commandment be damned.

  51. Wow.  Look at all the words.  Perhaps Matthew N. Petersen won’t need smelling salts, but perhaps an aspirin or muscle relaxer?
    Petersen is well on his way to convincing me that Wilson displays almost as many unChristlike attributes as Christ Himself.  Under very dim light, these each have a familiar plausibility.  Jesus did hang around with those drunks and tax collectors, as I recall.  And He was always calling the Pharisees those mean names.  Very hateful.  Sweeping generalizations about the scribes too.  How unfortunate.  All those fire and brimstone threats.  Fear and scare tactics?  He could have been much more sensitive and inclusive in His approach.  Carrots, not sticks, right?  Petersen could have a field day with all this.
    But what if brood of vipers is something than can actually be diagnosed and named?  What if a call to repentance is actually the call of the hour?  Matthew seems to think that he has judged Wilson sufficiently to call publicly for his repentance, but I wonder if Matthew can allow others (including Doug) to reach such principled conclusions and generalization about progressive statists?  I’m sensing another double-standard around that particular question.
    I discern that Matthew N. Petersen doesn’t really have a problem with Wilson’s methods (since he employs them himself), but that he simply disagrees with Wilson’s arguments and conclusions in the end.  He favors Petersen’s conclusions over Wilson’s.  Fine.  But after all the words, I overwhelmingly favor Wilson’s arguments and conclusions about liberal statists over those of Petersen.  Accusing Wilson of violating the ninth commandment makes about as much sense as accusing Jesus of being insensitive to the Pharisees.  It smacks of a poor loser, a poor sport, and a temper tantrum,  just like Jonathan’s comment that that this blog is a waste of time.  I regard this behavior as sour grapes.  Public pity party.
    Perhaps Petersen can tamp my post in his temper tamper and get a few more hundred lines of accusation out of it.  My expectation is that Wilson keeps on posting away and influencing more people than Petersen in the process.  Petersen’s goal if guilting Wilson into silence seems to be backfiring.  He may even be serving as a useful foil.  Sometimes the right kind of opposition is worth its weight.

  52. Matthew N. Petersen wrote:

    I think, if you read the rest of my comment, you can see why I said Pr. Wilson was behaving vilely. Indeed, I have repeatedly compared his actions to antisemitism, to the Crucifixion of Jesus, and to the Judiaziers in Galatia. After that litany, “vile” shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. :P


    Rather, the problem is that Pr. Wilson has used failures of some liberals (are the anarchists similarly failing?) to castigate all the people who may be called liberal, and to use that as an excuse to refuse to listen to “them” on anything. This, as I have said, repeatedly, is a gospel issue. He is offering sacrifices other than the One Sacrifice of Christ. (I said this explicitly on a different thread, it should not come as a shock here.)

    We know Petersen’s agenda by now.  The accusations don’t come as a shock, but as flitting birds, and sparrows that do not alight.  Let’s try this on for size:

    the problem is that Jesus has used failures of some Pharisees (are the Scribes similarly failing?) to castigate all the people who may be called Pharisee, and to use that as an excuse to refuse to listen to “them” on anything. This, as I have said, repeatedly, is a gospel issue.

    Notice how plausibly this could hang around Jesus’ neck.  Well, except that the accusation just won’t alight, because Jesus touched them right in their stony little hearts.  Jesus didn’t need to have more dialog with the Pharisees.  At some point there is simply a call for repentance (or the random accusation of antisemitism, as Petersen seems to be proud of tossing out into the mix).  But I think Wilson exhibits far more patience and ability to interact with his opposition than Petersen (by a country mile).  Perhaps it could have something to do with Wilson not calling Petersen a vile, antisemitic crucifier of Christ, but that’s just a guess.  We don’t even need to turn up the contrast to see the difference.

  53. I think being gay today is increasingly a subject for discussion.  It’s the new ‘in thing’.  It has actually become popular to be gay, something that was very unpopular a few decades ago.  Being gay now is like being a hippie in the ’70’s.  In fact, homosexuals are understood to be the vanguard of the culture.  They serve as a metaphor for the ‘free’ person and the culture as it frees itself from its past.  That is why homosexuality receives so much support from non-homosexuals.  They are a metaphor for the rest of the culture.

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