I Don’t Think So, Scooter

I had thought to bring this in for a landing in the previous post, but it turns out a few more thoughts need to be set out for consideration. These are not offered to that unique personality type that will not be satisfied by anything, but rather to any honest souls who have been puzzled by the commotion. These souls are not part of any lynch mob, but they do have questions that occurred to them after the mob marched past their house, chanting free information.

Court Documents
If court documents are carefully and judiciously read — which isn’t happening here either — they can give a person a good indication of why the court decided the way it did. They don’t give any indication to speak of about the counsel  provided to Steven, the books I had him read, the cautions and counsel I gave to him and to Katie before their marriage, the reasons I had for writing a letter to the judge before sentencing, etc.

In short, the court documents are a record of merely a fraction of what is currently the topic of dispute. And so when Boz Tchividjian is barely introduced to the subject, and then pops off with this, “Wilson’s unwillingness to acknowledge his ignorance about child offenders makes Christ Church an unsafe place,” one doesn’t know where one should look exactly. Boz doesn’t have an earthly about what I know or don’t know, counseled or did not counsel, said or did not say, and this means that he wants to protect your church from such offenders using his amazing gifts of clairvoyance.

So let me play Nebuchadnezzar to Boz the Chaldean when the king required them to tell him what his dream was. What don’t I know? What books haven’t I read? On the basis of my ignorance, determined from afar, what books did I have Steven read? What was the outline of my counsel to Steven? What did I say to him? What did I say the root problem was? Well, Boz doesn’t know, does he?

On the basis of my amazing powers of clairvoyance, I have determined that Boz has a ministry that can help safeguard your outfit from sexual offenders, he saw that a ruckus on this general topic had developed out in Idaho, and decided to run a Labor Day special in order to gin up some donors. Do you see how easy it is to wrong somebody when you don’t know what you are talking about? Maybe clairvoyance is over-rated.

Pastoral Confidentiality
In the pastoral counseling I provide, which I have been doing for four decades now, I never promise absolute confidentiality. The reason I don’t is that I always need to reserve the right to call the cops. If a situation comes up, like the present one, where I discover that someone in a vulnerable position is being abused, the first priority is the protection of that vulnerable person, and not the position, situation, or reputation of the abuser. So I do not ever make that promise.

But I do promise pastoral discretion. That means that if someone tells me something about their sins in the course of pastoral counseling, or I discover something about their sins in the course of that counseling, I don’t take it outside except on a strict need-to-know basis. A need-to-know basis would be defined by things like the righteous requirements of criminal law, or the necessity of protecting another victim from a gross injustice. But defending myself against the irrational demands of an irrational mob does not reach that threshold.

Relationship meltdowns can be very messy, and sin can leave a big smoking crater, and the same thing is true when a family blows apart. If I were in the middle of one such situation, and one participant in it comes out years later to “tell the story,” I am not in a position to set the record straight if the cost of defending myself is to volunteer information about other people involved in the meltdown. A shepherd doesn’t use the sheep to shield himself from wolves. It is supposed to go the other way. And if you are not a hireling, it does go the other way.

In this, I am not being coy or evasive. I am refusing. I do not have the right to renege on my commitment to discretion with the information I have simply because some people on Twitter got themselves a warp-spasm going. They demand answers. They want answers. Well, how does it feel to want?

Also, in what I wrote above, I am not giving hints about any particulars. But I do say that in both the Steven Sitler situation and the Jamin Wight situation, the principle outlined above is extremely relevant. So you want me to write a tell-all account of those episodes? Let me think about it, no.

Conducting the Wedding
The wedding between Steven and Katie was a lawful wedding. There were no biblical grounds to prohibit it. When there are grounds to refuse, a minister should refuse. I would refuse to do a wedding if one of the parties was unlawfully divorced, for example. There was no basis for such a refusal in this instance. There were going to be challenges, certainly, but the wedding itself was not unlawful, not unscriptural. That being the case, I performed the wedding because I am their minister.

Now when a couple “with challenges” come together in marriage, they need the blessing of the church all the more. They need additional support, guidance and so on. That is something I gave to them, and would be happy to give to them again. Would I do that wedding again? Yes, I would. Would I bless them again? Yes, I would — and had I known how vile people were going to be to them, I would have given them an extra blessing. There are a lot of people out there who don’t care how many people they have to injure or trample if only it gives them a chance to score points on me.

Do I think that marriage is an “automatic” cure for the temptations of pedophilia? Of course not. Marriage is not an automatic cure for anything. But the apostle Paul does teach that marriage, approached rightly, is given by God as one of His assigned helps against immorality (1 Cor. 7:2).

Take another example. Would I perform a wedding for a couple when I had been counseling the man for years about an ongoing problem with porn? Yes, I would. Would I do it lightly? No, I wouldn’t. Would I think that marriage would automatically “fix it?” No, I wouldn’t. Would I think that marriage, approached rightly and with wisdom, could be a great help to him in his temptation? Yes, I would. Would I think that his bride should know what we had been dealing with? Yes, I would.

But if you want to know the specifics of my counsel to them, if you want to know all the tawdry details, if you want his browser history, and if you want to know how I measured the seriousness of his problem with the porn, then you will have to ask Boz the Clairvoyant.

Special note to those who have challenges reading what I write: I am illustrating a principle here, not equating porn use with pedophilia.

Cult Leader
I trust that some have noticed the odd juxtaposition between accusations that I am a cult leader whose word has absolute sway in our community, over against the vituperation leveled against me for not requiring a vasectomy for Steven before his wedding. I am also responsible for Jamin Wight still running around loose. Gee, I don’t know how that happened. The locks on the Christ Church jail must be all broke.

Just a mild suggestion: Don’t rail against me for having power that I don’t actually have, and then turn around and abuse me for not using those powers.

I am a pastor, not a despot. I give counsel and advice to my parishioners, most of which is none of other people’s business, and I cooperate as needed with all the relevant authorities.

Seriously? What do you think my Twitter feed would look like if I did order a parishioner to get a vasectomy? If I did have a jail, run by good kirker deacons? A good half dozen of my enemies would have to be hospitalized simply for treatment of their adrenaline high.

Why Some, Not Others
This is a serious situation, and the fact that I have been interacting with the challenges posed is a good indication that I do take this seriously. But I don’t take everybody in the fray seriously. One particular avatar is demanding answers now, and wants to know why I am ignoring his/her/its most perspicuous questions. Given the fact that the questions are Hindenburg-scale bloviations and the avatar in question has 16 Twitter followers, let me think about it. I don’t think so, Scooter.

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Matthew Hoover
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Matthew Hoover

My family appreciates you greatly Pastor Wilson and we are praying for you and yours. Love, Matt Hoover

Mike
Guest

Doug, I think where the proverbial “wheels fall off the cart” is when you kind of exceeded your scope of practice, i.e., counseling a child molester when you maybe should have deferred to a more qualified counselor. It is true, I don’t know what you know or know what you said but this man had a *history* of pedophilia and with that in mind, what did you *think* would happen if/when the husband and wife had a male child? I’m not trashing you, I just think what you did wasn’t wise. Sure, there was no Scriptural reason why they couldn’t… Read more »

Tim Mullet
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Tim Mullet

#ThingsGodNeverSaid My divine power has granted to christians all things that pertain to life and godliness… unless you’re a pedophile, then you’re on your own… nothing to say about that one… go ask a psychologist what to do… My words are not relevant to that subject… the last thing you should do is talk to a pastor who would try to counsel you with just My words… because we have learned a lot in the past 150 years… I mean… what did the church do for the past two millennia before the advent of the social sciences? Did they actually… Read more »

Mike
Guest

OK

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I noticed you capitalized both the o and the k there. Way to go the extra mile.

David Zuniga
Member
David Zuniga

It’s more properly ‘millennia’ than ‘milleniums’; ‘stadia’, not ‘stadiums’; ‘data’ rather than ‘datums’.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Thank you for the catch.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

No matter how much a pastor might appropriately defer to a more specialized counselor, at the end of the day, he’s the pastor, and the counselor isn’t. The pastor still has to make the pastor decisions.

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

Another factor in all this, and one that I’ve run into (though admittedly not in a situation of this complexity) is that often, parishioners aren’t open to, can’t afford, or aren’t able to see a professional counselor. I can think of a number of times where I have recommended someone more specialized, but have had the person or people simply continue coming to me despite my limitations (which I make clear). I understand, of course, that it is possible for a pastor to do more harm than good, and one must be careful, but I’ve also generally considered that the… Read more »

Laurette
Guest
Laurette

There were trained professionals involved. They counseled for the man to not wed. For some insane reason, young lady’s parents, daughter longing to be wed, Doug, and the elder that arranged them meeting, all thought they were above the counsel of the ones whos life’s work is involved with these cases everyday and no doubt have a greater understanding than any of these people.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

The judge said that it would be best for Sitler and society if he married, and he gave Sitler permission. Why don’t you get going on a crusade against the judge? You will need an blog, twitter, and Facebook sites dedicated to proclaiming to the world the abject moral and intellectual and professional failings of Judge Stegner. /s Ack, there is an epidemic of judges who are leaving train wrecks behind them!

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

Hi Laurette.

I wasn’t weighing in on the merits of the case, but was merely commenting on a dynamic I’ve noticed. As I said, that dynamic wasn’t present here.

As to the wisdom of the marriage, I’m leaving the scales in the hands of those closest to the situation, though I can certainly understand why so many are so bothered by it.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I have no way of verifying any of these claims. But assuming that the situation happened just as Laurette claims, notice the alien worldview at work here. The experts are counseling the young man to not marry on the basis of what authority?Their own wisdom? What is the presupposition that governs that counsel? I imagine it is the same principle that governs alcoholics anonymous, “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.”

As Christians we have no authority to add to God’s words, nor take away from God’s words.

Psychology and the Bible do not mix.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Jane, You said, “No matter how much a pastor might appropriately defer to a more specialized counselor” I am sure you know this, but one responsibility that the Pastor has been given is the responsibility to shepherd his flock. Shepherding the flock involves helping your flock to make biblical decisions on moral issues. Can you list any situations where a pastor would be unqualified to help his flock make God honoring decisions and where it would be appropriate for him to refer his sheep to another counselor for outside help? The use of appropriate in your comment assumes that there… Read more »

valerieab
Member

No, Jane’s saying just the opposite. Regarding pastoral issues, pastoral counsel is what’s needed. Regarding, for instance, mental health issues, more specialized help may be needed.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Valerie,

I respectfully reject your distinction. The distinction you are making is the distinction I am criticizing.

“Mental health problems” is another way of saying problems of thinking and behavior.

Does the Bible address problems of thinking and behavior?

Would there be any reason to think that the Scriptures would be inadequate to address problems of thinking and behavior?

Tim

valerieab
Member

See Jane’s answers above.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Yes, there is some reason. I don’t think the scriptures give any specialized guidance about, say, schizophrenia. (That’s not the mental illness involved here, but it establishes the principle that disestablishes your principle.)

That doesn’t mean that the scriptures don’t give plenty of useful guidance about practically every difficult situation. But there are reasons to seek other helps. E.g. one sees a doctor for cancer and consults the scriptures and one’s pastor, not or.

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

I read her as saying that at most this is a “both/and” as opposed to an “either/or”.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Moor and Valerie have me right.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Justify the need for the both/and :)

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Not “need for” both/and — at best, willingness to allow for both/and.

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

For my part, I’m not implying that there are things psychiatry or counseling can fix that the Gospel can’t, merely that they can work together.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Moor,

I think she is clearly saying that the situation inherently involves pastoral responsibilities, but there is also a need to “appropriately defer” to specialized counselors. I am critiquing the need for the latter. What is the justification for it?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

It is possible that, although the wisdom of scripture is the answer to every situation, someone other than the pastor might have more experience with the particular issues the person has. A given pastor might actually be unqualified (due to lack of experience) to address a certain issue “with the Bible;” it does not follow that the Bible itself is unqualified to address the issues. Being ordained a pastor does not invest a man with all biblical wisdom — that has to be learned and won. But Moor has me correct — my intention was more that “at most” a… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

“In the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I agree with every word of this reply. Yet, you affirmed below Valerie’s distinction between pastoral issues and mental health issues.

Let us be clear, there are many who are angry with Doug for having the audacity to counsel someone with “mental health issues,” because he is not a mental health specialist. It seems as if you are attempting to defend Doug by saying a Pastor obviously has to have some pastoral interaction with someone in this situation. But do you maintain the distinction Valerie is attempting to maintain?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

If you mean, do I believe there is such a thing as mental illness, yes.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Is pedophilia mental illness?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Yes, pedophilia is a mental illness that leads to sins of thought.

Actually molesting children is a sin of action.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

If pedophilia is a mental illness, and you maintain the distinction Valerie is making:

“Regarding pastoral issues, pastoral counsel is what’s needed. Regarding, for instance, mental health issues, more specialized help may be needed.”

Would a Pastor be wrong to counsel someone with pedophilia?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

I think the phrase “both/and” has been used multiple times here, so, no.

If you mean exclusively, I can’t speak to every situation. I would say at the very least, not considering whether more specialized help is needed, would be foolish.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Thank you for the clarification then. I would disagree with the statement, “not considering whether more specialized help is needed, would be foolish” if by more specialized help you mean consulting secular psychologists, but that is a minor point so long as a person is not demanding Pastors to get secular help in dealing with sin problems. Related to this, I do encourage you to read the psychological literature about sexual abuse. One thing you will notice is that in that literature, you will see all the basic elements of the outrage against Doug. The people who are outraged have… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Let me just say that I don’t share your assumption that a counselor trained in the mental health issues surrounding pedophilia is necessarily a secular person who shares the assumptions of those outraged by Doug. I realize it is usually that way; my position assumes that it doesn’t have to be. Therefore, I believe many of your objections to what I’ve said are moot.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I would genuinely be interested in hearing you answer the bottom questions if you are able. I think you are theologically close to me in many ways, but wonder if you have really thought this issue through. If so, I would love to hear the thought process.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

No disrespect or slight intended, but I really don’t wish to keep going around with you on this. I have thought many things through in the course of my life, and I’m not accountable to you for the conclusions I’ve come to or how I’ve come to them. I hope we can in future continue to profit from reading one another’s comments or interacting as the occasion arises, but I think we’ve covered this line of discussion sufficiently.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Tim, do you believe that schizophrenia exists?

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

When you use the word schizophrenia, what do you mean by it? I don’t know how to respond to the question unless you state your understanding of the term. I have to respond this way because there is unfortunately a lot of ignorance about how DSM labels work.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Come now. I mean what the medical community and educated laymen mean.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

If you like, take just one symptom, hearing voices that aren’t there, which is reduced or completely abated by taking antipsychotic medication.

It is a mental illness, and it exists. If you won’t acknowledge that, then there may be no point in discussing this further.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

The only way to have the discussion is to discuss definitions and presuppositions. I promise to not get huffy with you, if you promise the same. Deal? I understand that there is a category of thoughts, behaviors, and experiences that can be usefully labeled as schizophrenia. The DSM categorizes specific thoughts, behaviors, and experiences under specific labels. If you are asking me if these thoughts, behaviors, and experiences exist, then I would answer yes, they obviously they do. I have no reason to doubt the shared abnormal experience of a variety of diverse people. I might be wrong, but it… Read more »

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

“By way of an analogy, to say a child has trouble sitting still because of his A.D.D., is like saying that he is nervous because he fidgets.”

No, it’s not like saying that. Mental illness is pervasive, persistent, and beyond the range of normal behavior.

I’m familiar with all the Szasz style arguments, and they don’t hold water.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Who is denying that people behave in ways beyond the range of normal experience?

What is the cause of their behavior?

So far neither you, nor the DSM has given me an explanation of cause to interact with.

You are simply stating a tautology.

When I point out that it is a tautology, you say, “that argument holds no water,” without giving an explanation why.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Was the existence of tuberculosis a tautology before its etiology was nailed down? No, it wasn’t.

If we didn’t know what caused the common cold, would it not exist?

A helpful book for you might be Against Depression, by Peter Kramer.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

No one is denying the existence of strange behavior. A tautology is a needless repetition of an idea. In terms of pathology: Etiology is the study of the cause of a disease. In terms of tuberculosis, a tautology would be: A person who has coughs, night sweats, weight loss, and fevers, has coughing, night sweats, and fever disorder. If you asked that person what caused the night sweats, coughs, and fever, and they responded by saying, it is the coughing, night sweats, and fever disorder that caused it, then you would scratch your head. The above statement confuses a list… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

In terms of schizophrenia: I imagine what you are saying is: we don’the know what causes it (the hallucinations, the voices, etc.), but it MUST have a biological/pathological cause. One day we will find out what that is, but in the meantime, do not attempt to provide pastoral counseling for it you ignorant ape. Or something to that effect. Basically, you wouldn’t try to fix cancer with the Bible, so don’t dare address this issue with the Bible, because one day we will learn that people who tried to do so we’re stupid because we have finally determined nailed down… Read more »

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Well, no, we were discussing which experts should be involved.

Schizophrenia (usually) responds markedly to (expert managed) medication, much more so than to any other intervention. A situation involving schizophrenia should therefore involve a pastor (perhaps) and, not or, a psychiatrist.

So we have established the principle that we cannot dismiss the need for experts beyond pastors, when it comes to mental illness. (All mental illnesses? Perhaps, perhaps not, but you initially appeared to be announcing a general objection. )

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Who has established that principle and how have we established it? Because we have learned that some strange behaviors and experiences can be managed by chemicals is no more remarkable than saying that alcohol influences behavior. Sit on a tack and take pain medication and you will feel better, but it would be better to remove the tack. Take a major tranquilizer and experience less hallucinations and hear less voices… not shocking. We have different presuppositions. I call tranquilizers tranquilizers. You call them medication. The presupposition that drives modern psychology is the belief that man is a naked ape. His… Read more »

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Antipsychotic medications are not tranquilizers. Psychiatrists are not psychologists (though both have their uses).

Jesus healed the physically sick, yet we appropriately use doctors today AND pray.

I pray for the success of a building project, yet builders are still employed.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Antipsychotics are not labeled as major tranquilizers? Antipsychotics (also known as neuroleptics or major tranquilizers) inkel R, Clark MA, Cubeddu LX (2009). Pharmacology (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 151.ISBN 9780781771559. “Antipsychotics are classified as major tranquilizers.” http://www.psychguides.com/guides/about-antipsychotic-drugs/ “Alternative titles: major tranquilizer; neuroleptic. Antipsychotic drug, any agent used in the treatment of psychosis, a form of mental illness.” http://www.britannica.com/topic/antipsychotic-drug I am pro-doctor. I think most people understand that psychiatry is not hard science… With legitimate medical problems you do not see new theories of causation coming out at the rate you see in psychiatry. For those who think… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I believe a new Christian is better able to counsel mental illness with his Bible than an expert psychologist/psychiatrist.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Do you accept any evidence suggesting that schizophrenia is a brain disorder, that nearly 50% of patients exhibit changes in brain structure on MRIs, and that there are reductions in brain volume in the frontal lobes? I am puzzled why you would presumably welcome the participation of a neurosurgeon in treating hallucinations caused by a brain tumor, but not that of a psychopharmacologist or psychiatrist in treating hallucinations caused by structural abnormalities or dopamine/serotonin deficiencies.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

See the reply to holmegm: The chemical imbalance theory has been fairly well disproved at an academic level. Psychologists are jumping ship on that one. I would get off that bandwagon as fast as possible if I were you. In terms of the structural abnormalities, you’re dealing with a chicken/egg type of discussion there. It is difficult to know what to make of the research at that point. We are embodied souls. Our bodies influence our souls and and souls influence our bodies. Psalm 31:9-10 9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Believing in the Gospel does not mean you have to disregard scientific progress in understand disease.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I completely agree.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Great, then I look forward to your general explanation of why you think that the science of the brain is exempt form consideration as a medical science worth respecting? It is not a bit of a broad brush to say that a new christian and a bible might be a better tool to deal with mental illness if we can agree that the brain is an organ with a function? Might there be a spectrum of disorder and therefore a range of manageability due to our understanding of their nature and therefore more or less easily treatable? For example in… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

What do you understand mental illness to be? Here is a quote from the DSM-5 website on the frequently asked questions page: “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the handbook used by health care professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders.” The DSM-5 is meant to give criteria which helps diagnose a mental disorder. Here are the criteria for diagnosing A.D.H.D: *****DIAGNOSIS BEGINNING***** As with all DSM-5 diagnoses, it is essential to first rule out other conditions that may be the true cause… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Even accepting your analysis there, therefore new christian and bible does not follow logically to me though it might emotionally.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Consider the above case: If you were a new Christian and reading the Bible, how might you attempt to help someone who: 1) Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes. 2) Has difficulty sustaining attention. 3) Does not appear to listen. 4) Struggles to follow through on instructions. 5) Has difficulty with organization. 6) Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort. 7) Loses things. 8) Is easily distracted. 9) Is forgetful in daily activities. Even a new Christian should be able to know that being a Christian involves a commitment to be Christlike. Being Christlike… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

I don’t want you to ‘believe’ anything. I would urge you to consider something however… that just because we do not know at this time what causes the manifestation or symptoms of mental illness, it does not follow that the illness itself does not exist and is not worthy of scientific study and treatment attempt. If you have ever experienced or had experience with, depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, sociopathy you would not be so cavalier to write it off as ‘strange behavior.’ I would point you to a time before the understanding of the germ theory of disease when… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

No one is writing off the categorizations of thoughts/behaviors/emotions/experiences as strange behaviors. I am critiquing the idea that just because something is abnormal, that makes it a medical issue. I counsel the types of people you mention on a regular basis. There is no hope in the lables. In fact, those lables are oppressive and the excuses people give to not handle the basic issues of life. When a person tries to encourage faithfuless in ANY area, they will invariably hear a label put forward, as an reason why a person cannot obey God. In our arrogance we refuse to… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

There is hope in not being afraid of the the true nature of things. If we label to move forward and what we find reliable and testable differs from our current label we are obligated to change it. That is is beauty of scientific method. I think it is folly to dismiss the research and say that therefore all attempts at understanding said phenomena are fruitless. Biblical hope of lasting change does not mean one prays, sits on one’s hands and dismisses the hard work of the material world. We still live in it and have a responsibility to ourselves… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

If you can’t see the difference between DSM diagnosis criteria and the criteria used to diagnose organic illness, I do not know what to tell you.

If you think my doctrine of sanctification does not include hard work in the material world, but simply praying the depression away, you must have a fairly stunted view of sanctification. Is this how you pursue biblical change? Either medicate or pray?

You can have the last word.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

i do not wish to have the last word here, and have been enjoying your responses. Are we not having civil discussion prior to your last post? No need to resort to ad him attacks. I won’t either. I did not say that your doctrine does not support that work- I do not really know what your doctrine is and therefore cannot accurately speak to it. I am however referring to the idea you put forth that merely a new christian and a bible was sufficient to dispose of the studied knowledge of an expert psychologist and or psychiatrist (the… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I can see how that response might be viewed as less than civil. It was not my intent to judge your motives, but sincerely ask, is your view of sanctification either medicate or pray? When I suggest that DSM diagnoses criteria is less than scientific, you immediately seem to assume that I am denying the value of science, or the fact that we are embodied souls, or that I am telling people to pray their problems away. This makes me wonder what your view of sanctification is. It is a sincere question, not an ad hominem attack. With that clarification,… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I would never tell someone to pray away the polio. Having an organic illness is a non-moral issue. Agreed? A person can suffer through cancer in a God honoring way and a God dishonoring way. Agreed? There is nothing morally wrong with being sick. The Bible would instruct us on how to suffer from organic illness in a way that glorifies God. Agreed? The issue with mental illness is that mental illness experts are seeking to provide an explanation for human thoughts and behaviors, just as the Bible gives us an explanation for human thoughts and behaviors. These explanations are… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

You create a false dilemma here early on: mental illness experts vs. The Bible. There is no evidence to indicate they are mutually exclusive. The argument falls apart from there.

Rethink.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Are you aware of Freud’s intentions to reject religious categories and provide an exclusively naturalistic explanation for human behavior? Would it be a false dilemma to say a person has to pick a Freudian explanation or a religious explanation considering his intent? The false dilemma analogy falls apart when you consider the diagnostic criteria. It is not medical in any way. Please interact with any example and tell me what is medical about it. What about pedophilia? What about gambling disorder? Also, you should listen to Mohler on the briefing today. He speaks of the therapeutic replacing the moral. I… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

The false dilemma is actually created when you identify modern psychological practice with Freudianism.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Modern psychology is obviously a group of contradictory/competing explanations for human behavior, not to be collapsed into one theory/explanation. The Freud example is just one example of how a dilemma might be an actual dilemma, where a choice must be made, and not a false dilemma. Gambling Disorder is another example. Consider the diagnostic criteria: Persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as indicated by the individual exhibiting four (or more) of the following in a 12-month period: 1) Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement.… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Here is a helpful quote which explains why a rational person might distance themselves from much of what is called “mental illness,” and the diagnostic criteria given by the DSM. “The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever.” It is not hard to recognize some distinctions between modern… Read more »

Nonna
Guest
Nonna

Holmegm: I don’t think you’ll make any strides in this conversation. Those who cling only to nouthetic counseling have no interest in what the “medical community and educated laymen” have to say. A new Christian with a Bible has more understanding in their minds.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Well, a new Christian with a Bible does have more spiritual understanding :)

Disorders of the brain and nervous system do exist, and require special expertise, however.

I agree with you that this conversation is likely not going to get anywhere.

David Zuniga
Member
David Zuniga

What’s all this “his flock” stuff flying around? If one is a Christian, (s)he is a sheep within CHRIST’S flock. We are one body, one Church. I’m pretty sure Doug Wilson would be the last to claim the local saints as “his flock”. Speaking of the Shepherd and His flock, it appears Doug is adhering to our High King and Shepherd’s instructions recorded by Matthew at 18:15-18 as to ostracization*, treating the court’s dealing with this grievous sin as the equivalent of the verse 17 stage and giving the same benefit of the doubt (with benefit of multiple counselors) as… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

David, In terms of ownership: All local churches belong to God (1 Peter 5:2). In terms of the responsibility to shepherd: God entrusts specific bodies of individuals to specific men (1 Peter 5:3). These men will give an account for the souls of said individuals (Hebrews 13:17). As a result, saying a Pastor is responsible to shepherd his flock is no more remarkable than saying a father is responsible to lead his child. The child is not his in terms of absolute ownership, but a stewardship entrusted to the individual. Or, is your objection more better expressed in the following… Read more »

Mike
Guest

Even when it involves an obvious breaking of civil law? Would you be satisfied with Mr. Wilson’s explanation if it was your daughter? You see, Calvinism is big on civil authority….if Calvin can burn Servatus at the stake, surely a pastor can turn a sexual criminal over to the civil judicial system?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

I don’t think you understood me at all. Nothing I can think of as a “pastor decision” could possibly involve breaking civil law. And who’s saying a criminal shouldn’t be turned over to the civil authority?

I’m only saying that a non-pastoral counselor of any type can’t ultimately decide whether a person should receive the sacraments, remain a member of the church, who should officiate at a wedding, etc. Nor can anyone else. Only a pastor can decide those things.

Is that a strange position somehow, that denies protection to women and children?

A. James
Member

“Lastly, who’s idea was it to fix up this girl/woman with a convicted child molester anyway?” As far as I can piece together from this, that and the other out there, a Christ Church elder per timeline at http://sitler.moscowid.net/ http://sitler.moscowid.net/2010/08/15/the-meeting-katies-rendition/ “I went in to Mr. Iverson and suggested that if Mr. Right was here, for Mr. Iverson to please find him for me. I believe Mr. Iverson was, if I read the situation correctly, fairly enthusiastic about the idea. The long and short of this was that nothing came out of it…and things seemed like they were about to settle… Read more »

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

This is another instance of using someone to get in a swing at Wilson. People are constantly dragging Mrs Sitler into this, using her for their own nefarious purposes. This is exactly what some people did to the victim’s family many years ago. Mrs Sitler must be a very strong woman to be able to bear what you and others have been deliberately inflicting upon her.

A. James
Member

Excuse me? Who are you to know what every single person’s purposes are and that they are nefarious? Mike asked a question, and, since I have been mostly quietly reading here and considering any information available, I had happened upon what seems to be the consistent answer. Excuse me again. A swing at Wilson? I think I’ve made 4ish comments in all of these hundreds of comments on these few posts. I have made every effort possible to not sound judgmental of any one of any “side” as it is all so new to me. None of them have been… Read more »

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Wilson is not part of this “patriarchal movement” thing and neither is Christ Church. That is another scurrilous accusation that I am seeing a lot of in the comments. You seem to have bought into that, although you have NO earthly idea what you are talking about. I have had it up to HERE with people dragging out Mrs Sitler’s old blog that is no longer on the internet and tossing it around willy-nilly because it personally pleases them to do so. Who cares about her feelings, she’s part of the package don’t you know, so everyone in the world… Read more »

A. James
Member

Good grief, indeed. I have been in Fundamentalism all of my life, actively involved in homeschooling, member of both Indy Fundy and Presbyterian churches…so I have PLENTY of earthly idea what I am talking about. There is patriarchy and there is patriarchy…and regardless of the variety of marriage/parenting books on my shelves (including Wilson’s) that I can tell the difference between the general concept and the stringent concept (adding layers and layers of expectations to basic patriarchy)…a quick internet search (and scanning through this blog) will see his name landing in the more stringent patriarchy on the spectrum. Complementarianism along… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

You’ve read Wilson’s books, and you think women in his church typically let their fathers choose their husbands for them, and that they’re on the extreme end of Patriarchy?

You might want to read them again.

Mike
Guest

I read that, good reference. So, Mr. Iverson….what an idiot (And I say that with charity). On the other hand, NOW it appears the girl-now-wife is covering and is by default, an accomplice? Maybe the child should be put up for adoption with another Christian family in another church not linked to this one?

Eric Rasmusen
Guest

” a more qualified counselor”. How absurd. I’d take the counsel of an experienced and intelligent pastor any day over the counsel of someone who just has a doctorate in psychology. Credentialism is a curse. I say that as someone with a BA from Yale and a PhD from MIT— so if you believe in credentials, believe me when I say credentials don’t matter, wisdom does.

Sarah Anne
Guest
Sarah Anne

Eric, experienced pastors screw up when it comes to sexual abuse and its victims time and time again. It’s a freaking epidemic.

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

2 things come to mind, neither of which are intended as dismissals of your statement, but both of which aim to give it context. First, pastors screwing up is epidemic in the same sense that humans screwing up is epidemic. Pastors will be judged more harshly, and their mistakes are amplified, but is there more you would do than what God has done or is doing? Pastors are necessary but insufficient, what’s new? Second, I’m mindful of the many airplanes that take off and land safely every day. The only one that will make the news is the one that… Read more »

carole
Guest
carole

But the psychologists are doing a great job, thus the low recidivism rate?

Eric Rasmusen
Guest

Yes, they do. But (a) Are psychologists any better? and (b) many or maybe all of those pastors are trying to cover up scandal. Since Steven was not even a member of the church, and the church leadership immediately told the family to go to the police, case (b) doesn’t seem to apply. The failings of pastors aren’t due to inexpertise, as far as I’ve seen: they’re due to cowardice or protection of friends and allies. Pastor Wilson here clearly went out on a limb to try to minister to someone he could have simply ejected with blame put on… Read more »

Nonna
Guest
Nonna

Agreed, Sarah Anne. Had it not been for The Village Church’s inept handling of a fraudulent marriage being exposed in the blogosphere, the Jordan Root/Karen Hinkley case could very well have resulted in even more devastation. Churches have proven time and again that they don’t know how to handle cases of sexual abuse, addressing such matters with their nouthetic counseling. Their hubris with regard to the field of psychiatry is to their own detriment. More and more these kinds of cases will be exposed to the public, all because of the refusal to grant any veracity to professional counseling in… Read more »

brian
Guest
brian

Amen brother and to save money I am going to bet my next cardiovascular examination from my pastor who has a PhD as well.

Eric Rasmusen
Guest

If you think counselling is as scientific as medicine, you’ll need your head checked too.

brian
Guest
brian

Wow Eric great to talk to you, no its not and I do know the difference but to think that a professional counselor who has professional training in dealing with, for example, a person with a cognitive or emotional disability that may exhibit behavioral issues is better off with someone trained in that area. So having “wisdom” may be good for some issues, others require a more specific skill set to deal with. I am also not the one who said Credentialism is a curse, that can be taken to an extreme which was my point. Maybe I should not… Read more »

Mike
Guest

Apparently not Eric, he re-offended….with his own son. Counseling in this case, is a formality now, he should be in prison.

Eric Rasmusen
Guest

The discussion was about who to go to for counsel, not whether counsel ever works. Note, too, that nobody has said he re-offended. The prosecutor says he failed a polygraph test as to whether he felt sexually aroused by his baby. That’s why he hasn’t even been arrested.

Peter Hyatt
Guest

The polygraph, using his own language, can show sexual arousal over children, including his own, and if he acts upon it. This is why a pedophile who wants to bring no harm to anyone ever, voluntarily submits to both the polygraph and to the boundaries set, never leaving him alone or with access to a child. He will pose a risk to children his entire life, and drugs that kill the sex drive do not stop the pedophile who, even without sexual arousal, will continue to seek to “harm the innocence” that so powerfully drew him in the first place.… Read more »

antexw
Member

Irrelevant, since what a polygraph “can show” does not imply what it does show.

The fact that some circumstance is possible does not imply it actually did happen.

Contrary to the Aquila Report’s Mike Sloan and Beth Hart’s 9/11 irresponsible example / hit piece, try to think & write more reliably — especially when making this case for another’s [who, like his child, as the father has also been made in God’s image] (recent/additional) guilt.

Peter Hyatt
Guest

Antecho, the use of the polygraph may be irrelevant to you, but not to someone who is protecting children. To them, the polygraph is an essential tool. That which is used to protect the president of the United States by a federal government that doesn’t spare expenses on itself, is used for a good reason: its reliability. As to the rest of you post to me: Eric didn’t “correct” me; he replied to someone else. As to “irresponsibly misinforming/misleading”, I don’t know what you are referring to. I wrote in general how a polygraph is used. As to Aquila Report,… Read more »

antexw
Member

Sorry, I misread the thread; fixed my comment.

I didn’t say the USE of the polygraph is irrelevant.
The appealing to the possibility (i.e “can”) of something as a basis for what actually is the case is irrelevant.

You brought up to Eric the polygraph’s possibility to “show” re-offense occurring after Eric’s counter to Mike’s specific claim that Sitler had actually reoffended (and then you added the similar notion that re-offending would likely occur so that “he” should be barred access from children for the rest of his life).

Peter Hyatt
Guest

I have not found any evidence of any “cure” of pedophilia. Faith tells me it can be forgiven, but if he offended on his own son, the “counseling” is best done in prison. A pedophile does not discriminate relations. If he offended on one infant, he will on another, whether it is his own or not. Then, the infant is thus given a life sentence of pan and suffering, as will be all those who care for the infant. It is an assault against the Image of God, against one who us utterly defenseless. If one is truly repented and… Read more »

Tom©
Guest
Tom©

He is deferring to a more qualified counselor. That’s the whole point.

Mike
Guest

No, that’s too abstract and not in touch with reality – if this extra “counselor” was effective, the pedophile wouldn’t have offended…with his own son, none-the-less.

Peter Hyatt
Guest

Mike, I am curious as to your advice about deferring to a “more qualified counselor.” Do you know this pastor’s knowledge, experience, and study, regarding the topic of pedophilia, to make this public suggestion? I cannot imagine a more trying time for a church and its leadership in dealing with the wake of destruction of sexual abuse; protecting the vulnerable, demanding repentance, adhering to Scripture, battling their own feelings of rage and disgust, and then having those on the outside, with no knowledge of the case, freely and publicly criticize. It seems that this only adds to their heartache while… Read more »

Mike
Guest

“labor to mend hearts”…this man is a serial pedophile who lies like a rug. Also, the “vulnerable” or the victim wasn’t protected…as a matter of fact, the victims FATHER was blamed for not protecting the victim *enough*. I have knowledge through court documents, so, based on this information it would appear Mr. Wilson should have deferred to the justice system.

Peter Hyatt
Guest

Mike, my point is that I don’t know his understanding of pedophilia, and there is much I don’t understand about this case, due to their private dealings, that it is difficult to discern. I don’t know, for example, if the victims see the offender, which can have terrible consequences. I know that if administered using the person’s own wording, the polygraph is highly reliable. If this man experienced sexual trauma in early childhood, (pre speech, in particular) he would be saddled with a sexual arousal over children for the rest of his life, and children would need protection against him… Read more »

Peter Hyatt
Guest

ps; by “mending of hearts”, I mean not only the victims’ hearts, but that every person that loves the victims, now, and twenty years from now, will share in the suffering. The labor is a life time burden. Adult victims of childhood sexual abuse not only suffer for the rest of their lives, but so do every single person that loves the victim. If I understand correctly, the victims of the perpetrator’s crimes are still in the church. This is what I referred to. Also, as to professionals who labor in the field, they all work from the same research… Read more »

Tyrone Taylor
Guest
Tyrone Taylor

Doug – I am glad that you made this post. There is definite benefit in explaining the simple function and principles of the pastoral ministry, as you did here, to those of us who lack knowledge of how things like this are handled by the church. My initial thought was that I would not marry a child abuser if I was the pastor under any circumstances. But I have no experience in a pastoral ministry and there were many things that I didn’t consider, for example, how you may have counseled them and whether they followed that counsel. It is… Read more »

Nathan Smith
Member

I dont know much about this situation, just what I’ve read on here recently. It sounds like a sad situation, illustrates the darkness of the curse like few other situations can. It high-lights darkness. My prayers are with you and your church. I know the Lord is working it out for good, because the Bible says that’s what he does. But its sure hard to see sometimes.

pduggie
Guest
pduggie

Is church discipline a matter of public record? Can we know if person X was suspended?

In a presbytery, there would at least be oversight of such suspensions by the general church. One could appeal the suspension.

valerieab
Member

I believe it’s been stated elsewhere that Steven was suspended by his home church. (Pardon the passive voice…I can’t remember who said it.)

pduggie
Guest
pduggie

Right. That’s one area I’m unclear on, which is, if he was suspened by an OPC church, how did the kirk show respect for the suspension.

I got into this whole thing because I was impressed with the claim of some in the CR movement to be all about ecumenical respect for church discipline across denominational boundaries, *difficult though that is* Its very important to me.

But my question is more about a victim for whom there is a claim of suspension, where the other party was not suspended due to immediate display of repentance.

valerieab
Member

I presume that the suspension was resolved before Steven was admitted to the table at Christ Church.

I don’t know about anybody else’s suspension related to this case, but as a general principle, I’d think a session would have to deal with each suspended person’s sin individually. To take the question into the abstract, if Euodia started the fight with Syntyche, and was the worse sinner, but they were both suspended, and Euodia repented first, it wouldn’t be appropriate for the church to hold her hostage to Syntyche’s lack of repentance, would it?

Eric Rasmusen
Guest

From this post, it seems the kirk does show respect for suspensions:
https://dougwils.com/books/some-kind-of-zen-presbyterianism.html

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

Apart from whatever should or should not have happened, can we all agree pastors would be spared some of the problems of being a magistrate (supervising security, for example, in a worship setting), if the magistrate and the legislatures of our country were actually doing their jobs?

Thomas Achord
Guest
Thomas Achord

“There are a lot of people out there who don’t care how many people they have to injure or trample if only it gives them a chance to score points on me.”

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

People like that trashed the victim’s family on the internet early on in this situation years ago just to get in some whacks on Wilson.

pduggie
Guest
pduggie

“On the basis of my amazing powers of clairvoyance, I have determined that Boz has a ministry that can help safeguard your outfit from sexual offenders, he saw that a ruckus on this general topic had developed out in Idaho, and decided to run a Labor Day special in order to gin up some donors. Do you see how easy it is to wrong somebody when you don’t know what you are talking about? Maybe clairvoyance is over-rated.”

That’s cute, but like the goofball pictures of SS on the various sites, it doesn’t enhance your point

Jason Terpsma
Member

I read this blog fairly regularly. I honestly don’t agree with all of what I read, either. I guess what I’m saying is I’m one of those honest souls you mentioned who are confused by the commotion, and while I don’t know how representative I am, I thought I’d weigh in. I read the court documents and a few of the other websites describing what happened. While I don’t want to minimize the offense (either the historical one or the more recent alleged one), I am a bit puzzled as to what Rev. Wilson did wrong here. (While understanding that… Read more »

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

“I understand child abuse is a more heinous sin than regular porn use as it involves an innocent victim.”

..and there would be the place honest folks are getting stuck.

(And where I wish the magistrate would do his job..)

Dave
Guest
Dave

Maybe you should call the Judge.

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

At the risk of all manner of screaming yelling and aspersions cast on my Christian character.

I will say this. Were I in charge of such things Mr. Sitler would have been given 10 days to make peace with his Maker. Since we dont do that and we let him live,we need to not be mad at the pastor that has accepted the burden of walking with him.

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

No aspersion on your character. I wish there were a way to have this discussion without the “For-Doug-Against-Doug” blade always being dropped. On one front, I think Doug has done a service in that the story invites congregations to consider what they might do, because it really is a burden for the fellowship, and not just the pastor. We have a very, very, very small house fellowship, more in the category of a “where are two or three are gathered” kind of thing. I just don’t think I’m smart enough to know whether a convicted sex offender would be a… Read more »

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

Registering concern is healthy I think. Insofar as this gives the saints an opportunity to discuss how biblical discipline and charity are administered I think this is also good.

Having said that, I will also say, I have a very low tolerance for Monday morning generals who have never been in a firefight.
Doug Wilson or no Doug Wilson.

carole
Guest
carole

James, I too am at a very small church and would be worried about my own Christian character in terms of charity and grace around a sinner in this category, but what is the answer? Surely we believe a church. a pastor should do their very best to share the gospel. I would rather it not be mine but nothing but the gospel will do. The psychologist’s failure rate itself proves they are at a loss. We are commanded to show grace to even the worst sinners: All, are welcomed, even me. Either we honestly do need the death penalty… Read more »

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

Carole, a pastor friend of mine was approached by a stranger who showed up at fellowship and, after the service, let him know he was a registered sex offender. My pastor friend told him that due to the number of very small children in his fellowship, he didn’t feel it would be proper for him to be in attendance but that he would minister to him personally, by visiting him, studying with him, praying with him. Child sexual abuse has to be, I think, considered in light of the extraordinarily asymmetric nature of the crime. A repentant adulteress might tempt… Read more »

carole
Guest
carole

I completely agree and of course much of that vigilance should be from the parents. Just because your children are at church, does not mean you leave your responsibility at the door. This is the public school mind set…. I do believe in this case, that the elders did have defenses in place. What concerns me with keeping sex offenders out is that one of the blessings of a church family, for some who have never known healthy or loving or Christian relationships, is that they get to see Godly fellowship for the first time. How will the wretched learn… Read more »

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

re: “..it would affect my attendance…I am sad to say..” I guess what I’m saying to you, and to Doug’s supporters, is that there’s nothing un-biblical about that. The church isn’t supposed to be the half-way house for a broken criminal justice system. Certain “sins,” are in fact, “crimes,” and God’s way of protecting the fellowship is establish swift and just punishments, that include execution. In 1 Cor 5, when Paul advocates “the destruction of his flesh,” for a guy who slept with his step mom, do we think a guy who molested a two year old is less serious?… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

So how do we simultaneously say the guy is not beyond the reach of mercy, yet permanently excommunicate him by denying him the communion of the saints and the right use of the sacraments, for the rest of his life without recourse?

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

Wherever two or three are gathered? One of my pastor friend’s solution was to meet with such people privately, offer prayer, communion if appropriate.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Wherever two or three are gathered is a statement about the authority of church leaders to make rulings in Jesus’ name when they are gathered together, not about fellowship. Read it in context.

“Private communion” is an oxymoron.

I honestly don’t see what the threat is in letting a man come sit in a room in a public place and ensure that he does not visit other areas of the building unattended.

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

So a pastor offering communion to a shut-in, (imagine, say, one who had a communicable disease), is part of that “oxymoron?” If a collective fellowship wants to risk having a serial sex offender in the pews, so be it. I’m not sure anyone who objects, however, to the risk is really denying the faith as Peter did at Antioch. This all is beginning to sound like faith healers who deny the believing status of anyone who uses a doctor.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

When you can come up with a case of a communicable disease spread by casual contact, whose infectious period lasts an entire lifetime, that will be a good analogy. A true shut-in can’t get to church, but that’s not the same as denying them something. I’m not saying that your suggestion is tantamount to denying the faith, but it isn’t a good solution. It excludes a person from nearly all the means of grace while saying that person is one of God’s own. I just don’t get what the risk of having a serial offender in the pews is. If… Read more »

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

A true shut in believer would understand the limitations of his/her condition and not demand the fellowship be offered on demand, according to his conditions. In the case of my pastor friend, who reviewed the offenses in question, (not the Wilson/Steven case) and found the details so disturbing he, himself, had trouble putting them out of his mind, I think it’s entirely understandable why he, as a pastor, might want to shield his flock. We’re talking, lest we forget, about people who have been willing to penetrate children, even babies. Violent rapists, child rapists, and murderers are a different category… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

So you’re back to the posittion that no violent criminal should ever be allowed to attend church. It’s a consistent position, if an idiosyncratic one without biblical support, in precept or example.

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

Actually violent/sexual child offenders, or pathological serial killers. I think this goes into the “common sense” category, no?

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

I mean I’ve heard of “seeker friendly,” but “sociopath friendly?”

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

You might think that. And then you’d read the New Testament and how they dealt with murderers and the like in the church. Common sense isn’t always the guide. Remembering, BTW, that the misuse of children wasn’t even highly frowned upon in the Roman Empire. They probably had their share of that sort right there among the “such were some of you” crowd. Common sense isn’t always the last word. And, yeah, sinner friendly. Not merely the formerly violent and abusive, but even idolaters were among the repentant full members of the church. And idolatry is a much more heinous… Read more »

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

Actually, I read the New Testament every day, so before you declare a monopoly on its interpretation, where in this list: “thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners” do you find “violent child rapists?” There’s a reason why Paul observes certain crimes that don’t “exist even among the Gentiles,” and there’s also a reason why, for most of the church age, this wasn’t a church discipline issue. It was an issue for the executioner.

carole
Guest
carole

We have such a high view of Christ’s powers certainly. I think Tim put it very well and you are saying, what I heard him say, that the magistrate does not use the death penalty as they should, and we are left with this very, very difficult problem. Maybe there isn’t an answer for all churches. I think this teaching pastor, these elders, and this church, did what they believed was best and they certainly know what is best for their church, whereas I don’t. Secondly, I am ashamed to say it would effect my attendance. I think that is… Read more »

Eric Rasmusen
Guest

Nicely phrased, Nord357.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Use caution with that approach! You don’t want to inadvertently create an incentive to leave no witness behind. That’s why the effort about 20 years ago to make rape by itself a capital crime faded out.

Is a puzzlement; any sentence shorter than life will result in the perp being on the street again.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Interesting point. You run the risk of creating the incentive for every molestation episode to turn into one of those horrible shallow grave stories.

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

I understand the rationale. I must point out however, that rape has a long history of being a capital crime. It is rather novel that it is not now so.
The specter of death as a deterrent has been undervalued.
Not to mention the lack of justice in being required to feed and clothe, for the rest of his life, the man who raped your daughter.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Having to wait 17 years to get the needle is not much of a deterrent. But somebody like Derrick Todd Lee may not be deterrable.

Anyway my real point is that a conscientious legislator has MANY factors to weigh before casting a vote.

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

Very true, and a strong argument for a representative republic.
More reason and less emotion in the legislating process is generally a good thing IMHO. Caveat, reason that is informed by scripture.

Good morning Kelly!

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Mornin’ urself!

Hmmm. Dare I poke the anthill with a stick?

In a pluralistic place, even if it’s just flavors of Christians, there will be both different scriptures and different takes. The Catholics have books we don’t. At this mornings’ study (I answered you from an iPhone in the parking lot waiting for the guy with the key to arrive), a Luther quote about James came up. He called it an “Epistle of Straw.”

Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Next up, the “Bash Doug Hour,” followed by the “Defend Doug Hour.”

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

This could get fun. Call the work of a man martyred for his testimony an epistle of straw. was not one of the high points of his career . Leaving off the issues of James being arguably the brother of The Lord. Luther’s problems aside (he had a few) ..pauses and checks the horizon for mushroom clouds. Different takes on scripture are part of why we are admonished not to forsake gathering together. There is also the first and greatest commandment. “worship the Lord your God will all your heart, mind, soul, and, strength. I must believe he put mind… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Time to stop screwing around and execute the 1%. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24173408

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Barny, a “status” crime? Really? And with a death sentence, no less? Just for fitting some profile? Before, you know, actually committing an actual crime?

Surely you’re not seriously advocating such a policy?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I expect he meant the chronically convicted. What happens if at some future point we can accurately diagnose pedophiles before they commit crimes? I worry about stuff like that.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Various states have had “habitual offender” (“three-strikes”) laws for decades. While I was in law school the USSC held that a third felony could be as little an offense as shoplifting goods over $100. Made the guy a lifer w/o parole. Texas, if memory serves.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Amazing forensic evidence from bite mark identification to hair analysis has been debunked recently. It appear that juries have been systematically conned for several years with the help of CSI type television shows. The technology is in place to identify some of the more extreme genetic predisposition to violence but whether genetics, functional MRI or some other technology we should be very wary at this point.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

In the linked study one violent offense was only enough to put you in the top 4%. The top 1% obtained that status by being “persistent violent offenders”.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Hmmmm – – “profiling?” Except that my life experience has been that those who object to “profiling” (a/k/a “driving while black”) are mainly trying to divert attention from differential crime stats. So I do think – – as in a “Terry stop” (a 1968 USSC case) – – a police dept could easily justify paying special attention to such individuals, provided they had a lawful means of acquiring such profile data. Screening after an initial conviction seems to easily meet that test. BTW, about 5 years (?) back, a case out of AK resulted in the USSC holding that person… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Barnabas and Kelly, that was a Swedish study using a relatively homogenous population. Do you think our persistently violently criminal class is really as low as one percent of the population?

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

I would guess that we couldn’t squeeze that much benefit from 1% in the USA but it would be a start. I’d like to see a country where poor people don’t have to live under constant threat of violent crime and permanent removal of recidivist violent offenders would go a long way. Also I think you’d get a deterrent effect we don’t see under our current nearly non-existent capital punishment system. Scott Alexander’s blog has some good discussion on how our supposedly more humane legal system results in greater cruelty in the long run (such as replacing corporal punishment like… Read more »

Benjamin Bowman
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

Doug just doesn’t wear enough flair…

Grant Kruger
Guest
Grant Kruger

How many pieces would be enough? ;)

Bryan H.
Guest
Bryan H.

The accusers of Doug Wilson give every indication of being ignorant dillweeds whose mental decrepitude is well past the point of requiring institutionalization.

Refugee
Guest
Refugee

Very erudite of you.

Grant Kruger
Guest
Grant Kruger

Is this Reaver? Sounds like Reaver…

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

And lo, when at last we come to that place
where stories told, and death doth cease
we gather round to hear from thee
a tale of battles fought

We share our horrors in a round
From Lion’s dens to Normandy
We drink to days unkind

My moment arrives to reveal my terrors
To relive, the battles fought
Then I look them in the eye and say

I got into a lot of internet fights.

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

And, behold,
I saw him whose theology
is said to bite back
so that with red tooth and claw
he might masticate the heresies
of a cotton-stuffed
religion

But Praise the Maker
he had erred
or so it seemed to me

And with the glow of my screen
to guide
The tempest of my unfettered disdain
was marvelously cloaked, as it were,
in the shining guise of civil politic
so enshrined

With a final and barbaric “yawp”
I smote him
there on the ruined field

With deft strokes
I pressed “post” and cried
“You are judged wanting!”
“I would have done better!”
“I know what I cannot know!”

Now to my kennel I will go.

rungeeric
Member
rungeeric

It seems to me that in our sexual haze, we confuse sexual desire with ontology, leading to the conclusion that somebody *is* this way and can never change. But child molesters can repent, and so can homosexuals, and adulterers, and everybody else engaged in sexual sin. This proclamation of free grace is ultimately what’s under attack, and since the people can’t get at God directly, they go after one of His ministers.

Brian
Guest
Brian

What *can* happen and what is *likely* to happen are two different things. Repentance by no stretch means that one is cured. In fact, true repentance recognizes one’s own sin and and is deeply sorrowful over it. In the same way that those who are tempted by pornography(but repentant!) might install an internet filter help them with their struggle, Sitler, bring Truly Repentant, should have never placed himself in a situation where he may be tempted to harm others – especially little children.

rungeeric
Member
rungeeric

I don’t think you’re in a position to evaluate what is likely to happen, since you don’t know the future. Nor do I think you’re in a position to say what Sitler should or shouldn’t have done, unless you were right there in the thick of things and had been charged by God with watching for his soul and the souls of your parishioners. All this betrays a leaning toward “pedophile” as ontological status, as I said above, which means once a person is marked out as “being” something, they can never escape that status.

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

Even if we hold out Christian hope for someone changing, would the perpetrators of certain gross crimes (murder, rape, kidnapping, torture, child molestation) necessarily warrant, on the temporal plane, fellowship? Did Christ go to any great lengths to loose the nails of the good thief? Was there some great repatriation campaign taking place on behalf of the dude who slept with his step mother in 1 Cor 5? Under some new criminal justice administration, in some “tolerant” age to come, were murderers sent out from the jails, would it be the church’s mission to revise their security systems to attempt… Read more »

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

I’ll give it a go…

Yes.
No.
Yes.
What?

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

So 1 Cor 5 disfellowship for offenses that, under any sort of reasonable justice system, would also result in execution means that, say, a serial killer, now fully claiming to be regenerate, should be returned to fellowship no matter how reasonably afraid the sheep might be?

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

And not to put too fine a point on it, but how did the stepmother-bedder regain fellowship after the “destruction of his flesh?”

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

I like the rapid-fire responses! If the “killed 5 people” guy/gal is somehow out of jail, and is genuinely repentant, and his/her life shows the fruit of the Spirit and so on, I’m actually inclined to think there wouldn’t be any nervousness. If, on the other hand, Jesus hasn’t really changed him or her, I think the nervousness would lead to wise boundaries. Now, about the serial killer guy/gal, is he or she out of prison in this scenario? Or does the fact we’re having to talk about serial killers trying to find a church indicate that perhaps we’ve gone… Read more »

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

I think a LOT of the problem Doug is facing flows from the fact that pastors shouldn’t have to deal with this crap. If someone is getting off on sexual contact with babies, they should be either executed or in jail for life. It’s not a pastoral issue. It’s a criminal justice issue.

But if you live in a society that is losing touch with biblical criminal punishment, I keep thinking that there are certain crimes so heinous, that a penitent believer wouldn’t even ask for fellowship, let alone force a pastor to attempt to divine his regeneration.

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

In other words, “I killed 5 people, but Jesus really changed my life, so what are you nervous about?”

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

‘Cuz I’m thinking that would make for some really challenging potlucks.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Yeah, the Christians in Acts 9:29 WERE really nervous, but Barnabas set them straight.

As for the stepmother guy, he didn’t commit a capital offense in his civil society, so the literal destruction of his flesh was never in view. Flesh there is clearly being used in the same metaphorical sense that Paul uses it, elsewhere. It’s actually the perfect example of how to do church discipline in a society that doesn’t exact severe penalties for such offenses.

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

I’ve had “destruction of his flesh” explained as everything from “look, bro, we love ya, and here’s the problem” to historical interpreters who believed the church had the power to pray a literal destruction of the flesh upon him. Was he ever accepted back into fellowship? (Serious question)

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Whether he was or not, I don’t know. But in 2 Corinthians 2, Paul told them to.

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

The brother who causes sorrow? I’m not being argumentative, but I’m not sure how someone gets repatriated after the “destruction of his flesh.”

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

I believe he sails the high seas on the Black Pearl…

adad0
Member

Yo Ho me hearties, Yo Ho!

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

As I suggested before, it might be worth keeping in mind that for Paul, the expression destroying the flesh rarely, if ever, means physical death. It would actually be the exception, not staying with the rule, if that’s what he was talking about here. Check out his use of “flesh” throughout his writings to see whether it’s actually more, or less, likely that he’s talking about the guy literally physically dying.

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

Regarding Acts 9, again not being argumentative, but just hoping to understand. Paul, bearing letters of authority, engaged in persecution of the church, holding cloaks and so forth, and generally being part of the pitchfork & torch mob, gets clobbered by God, is given a divine message, has independent witnesses bearing witness to his blinding and subsequent restoration of his sight, including the vision of Ananias — is all of that comparable to today’s garden variety murderer or child molester, with respect to restoration of fellowship, and the general ease of divining regeneration? I keep returning to how ill equipped… Read more »

John Minter
Guest
John Minter

I’d like to reply to your questions on this thread. First, with regard to the man disciplined for sexual sin in 1 Cor., I draw your attention to Paul’s instructions in 2 Cor 2:5-11. There comes a time when discipline has produced the desired result and it is time to restore a repentant sinner. Failing to do this can produce far more harm than good. I would note that Pastor Wilson has described in great detail how they protect the sheep while they work toward this day. The chaperones protect the flock and their continued care for Stephen shows they… Read more »

adad0
Member

Just a question Lady Dunsworth, are you by chance one of those alleged “step stool”, “silent”, “invisible”, not able to “teach” women under Wilson’s alleged thumb? Seems like you are, so of course I stand enlightened. ; – )

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

It would be hard for me to be under Wilson’s thumb since I live 2000 miles from him, have never seen him in person, and belong to a different denomination. But I like his books (those which I’ve read, of which there are several) and his blog.

adad0
Member

Lady Dunsworth, sounds like you are under Wilson’s thumb every bit as much at 2000 miles away, as the women who know him are, at 2″ away, which is to say, not at all! Not to mention, like the women of Christ Church, you are not “step stool”, not “silent”, not “invisible and more than able to teach something now and again! Thanks for the clarification, and your comments.

carole
Guest
carole

There are some murderers who are currently not put in jail. Murder by mothers is not even a crime in many instances. And that particular murder too, has a very high recidivism rate. My faith is: the only thing that will help them is Jesus. So, if we don’t give these perpetrators the gospel, then what? And if we don’t believe that the gospel can change even them, then why would I believe it could change a sinner like me?

rungeeric
Member
rungeeric

First off, do you hold out Christian hope of someone changing? Secondly, yes, repentant perpetrators of all stripes are eligible for temporal fellowship-Christ came for the scumbags and not the righteous. Are you better than Steven? Would you be willing to live in heaven next to Jeffrey Dahmer for all eternity if he came to Christ just before his death? Third-Christ’s forgiveness is a different issue than whether someone should be held accountable by the civil magistrate, which Sitler was, and with Wilson’s approval. Fourth-long term unrepentant sinners get kicked out of the church, as per 1 Cor 5 and… Read more »

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

All Christians hold out hope for someone changing. To do otherwise, is to deny that regeneration can occur, but there is a vast difference between someone paying the just price for their crime on earth, (as the good thief did, without protest), and the problems associated with a fellowship now assuming the burdens of a failed magistrate. Let us say Jeffrey Dahmer has some jail cell conversion, experiences regeneration and Heaven — broad, perfect, powerful, and sinless as it is — can welcome him as a citizen. But in a just society the civil magistrate would still have the obligation… Read more »

rungeeric
Member
rungeeric

If anybody has ever laid a significant amount of emphasis on the notion that a pastor cannot see into somebody’s heart, it is Doug Wilson. Maybe you’re not that familiar with his teaching? It appears that you can read hearts, however, when you characterize Doug’s attitude as “not to worry, I got this one.” Allow me to ask: did you talk to Doug personally or ask him any questions about his views on the Sitler case to make sure you were correct in your presentation of his attitude? Regarding your “arena of disfellowship” category, help me to understand: I’m assuming… Read more »

James Riley
Guest
James Riley

By the way, when I say the 1 Co 6 list is instructive, I mean that “homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers” is an order of magnitude less troublesome than “murderers, child rapists, torturers, cannibals.”

The former thief, drunkard, reviler, swindler poses less threat to a congregation than the guy formerly disposed (by his assertion) to child molestation.

And I’ve never found people being “tatted up” as any sure fire indication of their moral failings.

drewnchick
Member

Doug, may God’s grace abound, in your life, in your family’s, and in the local church where God has placed you. I cannot imagine the stress, late and/or sleepless nights, and soul-agonizing that you and many others must have endured to reach the point to where you could reach a decision. I am flabbergasted by the hubris of those who 1) think they know what happened, and 2) think you should have thought/done differently because, well, they sure would have. Your response here was unfortunately necessary, but very well stated as a sharpened rebuke swathed in layers of cushion. God… Read more »

ryan c
Guest
ryan c

Boz has a history of jumping to conclusions. He did it with the Sovereign Grace Ministries scandal also.

wyclif
Guest
wyclif

Boz also has a parachurch ministry to pump up. I remember someone saying that you never let a good crisis go to waste.

Matthew Schraud
Member

It amazes me how many people think they are for some reason entitled to an explanation. This is an obviously publicized issue which means that law enforcement knows what’s going on, and they have actually been involved all along. People are accusing Pastor Wilson of wrong that isn’t even in his court. Law enforcement issues justice, pastors preach the gospel. Doug Wilson for county sheriff anyone? It would seem he bears the responsibilities already. Apparently people would also like Pastor Wilson to create a new branch of law enforcement called “The Moscow Department of Castration.”

Michael Hutton
Guest
Michael Hutton

Pastor Doug, I pray God gives you strength and grace through this time. Often the right decision brings criticism from three different sides for nine different reasons. But I note one thing by way of encouragement. It is a couple of years since I have actually read comments on the blog and I notice that the trolls are different. So while opponents seem indefatigable it may be that you can’t hold that much hot air for so long without floating away or burn incandescent with self-righteousness for an extended period without burning out. Or maybe some come to maturity or… Read more »

Douglas Michael Singer
Guest
Douglas Michael Singer

Pr. Wilson – your words are right on target as usual, but I am beginning to be nervous that a) the past few posts have put lots of pearls before swine and b) the current scandal is a diversion from the pressing mission to bring PP down — in one sense I see that it isn’t a diversion, but wondering how you’re taking your own advice to seize that opportunity — we’re all still looking for leaders in that battle

John Trocke
Guest
John Trocke

I cannot even begin to fathom the millions of words and countless hours of back and forth that this topic has produced. What a waste of man hours. No one EVER changes their mind. It’s all just hot air on both sides. The truth is this story of a child molester in Idaho (Idaho!) has no real bearing on any of our lives except for the community directly involved. While I think it is obvious that Pastor Wilson has done nothing wrong, I don’t see why he even feels the need to address the issue publicly – It’s just chum… Read more »

drewnchick
Member

And let’s not forget Facebook, Pinterest, and other “social media” sites that have ruined our women and kids. I wholeheartedly agree that people need to UNPLUG!

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

But you just typed that on an electrically powered, internet connected…never mind

drewnchick
Member

I know…the irony of my post is not lost on me. Weird, huh…how one is forced to use the medium that folks should use less in order to make the point that folks should use it less.

Jerrod Arnold
Guest
Jerrod Arnold

I figured you saw the irony. I just wanted to point it out.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

The Amish Ordnung is very interesting. I’ve always though that their rejection of certain technologies and not others was arbitrary and comical but they reportedly have evaluated each technology with regards to its spiritual effects on the congregation. You could definitely take issue with certain details like automobiles but this seems wise on the whole. I think pastors have dropped the ball not preaching against television and designer babies and sexbots are right around the corner.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Were women and children in great shape prior to 2004? That’s not how I remember it.

drewnchick
Member

Not really interested in their shapes, great or otherwise. Definitely interested in–AND concerned about–the millions of women and kids who spend so many of their waking hours glued to smart phones and tablets whiling away their lives in a “social” world that removes them completely from the real world around them.

I’m not the only one who laments the rapid fracturing of true socializing by the facade of electronic socializing.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

I was using the word “shape” generally, not literally. But I really don’t think that the invention of social media could have ruined a people who were doing just great ~10 years ago. People contented with their social relationships don’t just abandon them because someone sticks a shiny object in front of them. I agree that the effect hasn’t been entirely healthy. But it seems simplistic, even dangerously so, to blame the “ruination” of people on something that hasn’t been around all that long, particularly when those people were obviously not in the best state before it ever existed. Perhaps… Read more »

drewnchick
Member

Good point, Jane. I would be the first one to say “guns don’t kill people…” so I should also be among the first to say “Facebook isn’t the problem, people are.” Now, having said that, I do so wish a really big EMP would render the Internet inoperable for a couple of decades. You know, just to make everyone reorient for a while. It’s among my wildest of fancies. I would very much enjoy NOT seeing every child, from 4 to 34 with their heads permanently rocked forward as they stare at their little glowing rectangles. And I would very… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

You can feel good about the internet as a communications platform and still want to get rid of Facebook — it’s working hard to become a media channel just like TV or radio, existing only to sell ads.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

I’ve seen a startlingly rapid decline in orthodoxy amongst Christians and I think Facebook is playing a significant role in the process.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

IMO Facebook is playing a role in your perception of the situation. It’s brought things out in the open that were festering all along.

As I said, I think Facebook has had serious negative effects on people. (I think it has genuine positives, as well.) But I really doubt it’s doing more than revealing what was there all along.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Facebook could be biasing me by increasing my exposure to a particular group of Christians but more and more I interact with Christians in other venues and think I detect changes in thinking that may be attributed to social media. I think it would be tough to overestimate the effects of media on our thinking and lifestyles. This is one study I recall reading about http://www.iadb.org/res/files/WP-633updated.pdf A decent documentation of declining American orthodoxy can be found in Ross Douthat’s Bad Religion. Likely things like movement to non-denominational churches and a general emphasis on experience over doctrine has left people more… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Tonight I anchor each point with exactly one bit of foreign social science.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

And if I could control my addiction to cat videos, I might actually get some housework done.

carole
Guest
carole

I needed that! :)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Why do you think Facebook plays a role? As a Catholic, I see a decline in orthodoxy (including in myself) but I have tended to attribute that to (1) there is no longer a rigorous theological education and (2) we have encouraged people to take a cafeteria approach to core beliefs.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

No disagreement at all.

Nonna
Guest
Nonna

“…the millions of women and kids who spend so many of their waking hours glued to smart phones and tablets…..”

Which planet do you live on? You conveniently omitted males in your analysis. Watch out, Malachi, your misogyny is showing! ;-) LoL!

John
Member

Pastor Wilson, thanks! I am fairly new to your blog and was one of those souls mentioned in your first paragraph. Thank you for taking the time to clarify the facts. God bless you and your family.

Jeremy Downey
Guest
Jeremy Downey

I would think any of the Levitical commandments about walls around rooftops or whatnot could be pretty easily transposed in principle to the situation in question. Not to mention the one about not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk—the principle of not allowing a symbol of life and security (marriage, fatherhood) to become an agent of death (fear, distrust, potential predation) seems pertinent. Though it seems like there’s some sort of pastoral Regulative Principal going on here that seems even goofier to me than the liturgical one.

Laurette
Guest
Laurette

For some reason, that I am at sickened amazement of, is the lack of ability to separate the issues. Doug, great that you gave him the gospel : bad and dull minded that you gave him (or even gave your blessing or any encouragement to marry in any way) a young woman of your congregation. Good that you attempted to minister and counsel him: bad that you do not understand the limits of your own counsel and that there are things that you are not wise in, i.e. pedophilia. To officiate a wedding is to make it official. Why on… Read more »

Oregon Girl
Guest
Oregon Girl

Thank you for your very well worded reply. I agree 100%!

timothy
Guest
timothy

I do follow Christ. The Holy Spirit led me here. God blesses me with Pastor Wilson’s ministry.
I do not live in Idaho, nor do I attend his church.

Pastor Wilson is a thinker who is comfortable in the world of ideas and he is tolerant of the give-and-take in spirited debate. This is a profound gift in Christendom and the antithesis of “cultish”

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

Let’s see…

lack of ability to separate issues? yep.
discernment needed? check.

typed her screed anyway? uh-huh.

antexw
Member

Interesting … follow Christ by autonomously prohibiting marriages for those who have sinned too much/severely, despite Christ’s condemnation of such prohibition through apostolic teaching (1 Tim 4:3). Don’t follow Doug as he lives/teaches consistently according to Christ’s teaching in Scripture, instead “hypocritically” follow Christ according to “liars” (1 Tim 4:2) such as Laurette and Oregon Girl by disobeying Him/Scripture in favor of this demonic/autonomous arbitrary “forbidden marriage” doctrine of theirs. (1 Tim 4:1,3). With this new approach to following the Lord Jesus, are there any foods that you or Legion would like to instruct us to make sure such sinners… Read more »

Linda Stanton French
Guest
Linda Stanton French

Perfect. Again, I’m not going to read any of the comments. They’re irrelevant.

Susan Brungot Nye Ferrell
Guest
Susan Brungot Nye Ferrell

I appreciate that this page of comments has been much more reasoned and interesting than yesterdays. Whatever one thinks of the choice of the magistrate to release on probation this young man, and thus put him in the corporate body of Christ Church, where the Elders, including Doug, must deal with that reality. That presence, which Doug’s letter to the judge, and ongoing supervision may or may not have helped happen, is what IS. Only God and the Judge, can know what influence anything else had on the decisions rendered. The judge has the greatest moral responsibility in this case… Read more »

adad0
Member

James 4: 11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. Winston Churchill. (duh) Well, God and Winston Churchill said all the good things aready. The… Read more »

Michael kloss
Guest
Michael kloss

This is a pretty big promotion Doug, congratulations. Keep me on the run. Go. Fight. Win.

A. James
Member

I take it this is one Twitter thread of “outrageous accusations” and “lynch mobs” being referred to…? https://twitter.com/BozT/status/640668792553652224

Bayly (never heard of him til this week) on pastoral care of sexual predators: http://baylyblog.com/blog/2015/09/pastoral-care-men-and-women-who-are-sexual-predators-against-children

John
Member

Yes it does appear that Pastor Bayly does not agree with how this was handled.

valerieab
Member

And managed to do so without flinging any poo. May his tribe increase.

Bugs
Guest
Bugs

This is no longer fun. I came here to try to sharpen my intellectual irons, and learn about things outside of my current scope from people I likely wouldn’t cross paths with in real life, speaking specifically of theologians and lawyers, among others here. Lately it is about taking the Proprietor to task for trying to help someone be something more than the pariah (or dead man) that his choices deserve. I know better than to weigh in on all the variables on how this could go – it is complex – and I am no mental health professional, lawyer… Read more »

An observer
Guest
An observer

I am not a great debator, I have no grand thoughts, I have not a philosophy degree, I am no biblical scholar, and I have no huge words to impress. I am simply an observer with some thoughts to share. I will go ahead and acknowledge I have not read EVERYTHING ever written by Doug Wilson so no need to drag out quote after quote to prove me wrong here as I have seen done time and time again. I’m not here to play the semantics game – just to offer an observation. I have been reading through some posts… Read more »

Aly k
Guest
Aly k

I think the key piece of information here showing that Wilson does not understand pedophilia and is not qualified to offer counsel to a pedophile for his perverted desires and sinful acts is that Wilson’s actions and words appear to support a pedophile and his wife purposefully bringing a child into the world who will almost be guarenteed to become a victim of some sorts of his father’s perverted tendencies. Pedophilia is not simply sexual immorality that may be thwarted thru marriage like pornography or fornication. It is in a whole other ballpark and encompasses much more than just sexual… Read more »

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

What worldview does this comment represent? What is the source of authority?

Who gets to determine the definition of pedophilia?

“Pedophilia is not simply sexual immorality that may be thwarted thru marriage like pornography or fornication.”
What biblical passage teaches you this?

“It is in a whole other ballpark and encompasses much more than just sexual sin.”
Says who? In what way? How is it different?

“Supporting a pedophile in marriage and purposeful fatherhood as a possible means to thwart his perverted sins is simply wrong and will create additional victims.”
Says who? Does genuine repentance matter?

Teresa Rincon
Guest
Teresa Rincon

Common sense defines Pedophilia. It is a sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children. It’s not like regular sexual temptation because most people aren’t pedophiles.

Adam Puma Borsay
Guest
Adam Puma Borsay

Sadly, it seems that these posts seem to be missing the mark, but with enough words to make it appear to be a bullseye. The question is not whether or not we welcome a repentant sinner into the church, but how do we protect them from sin and others from that sin as well. This isn’t about being called a lowlife because one is associating with lowlifes, but about not putting up appropriate boundaries to protect someone from their serial predatory sin. While all of Wilson’s other points are good, they do not address the basic reality that Christ Church… Read more »

Nonna
Guest
Nonna

Mr. Wilson, you are not a victim in this affair. But there is a victim – do you know who it is? With all of your verbosity, it seems you do not know, or just don’t care. Boz and all the other perceived enemies at your doorstep don’t need to be clairvoyant. There’s quite enough information out there in which to arrive at a knowledgeable assessment of the facts. You just don’t appreciate the way folks are interpreting those facts. Furthermore, those perceived enemies are only doing what you do here at Blog and Mablog on a regular basis. You… Read more »

Justin Vest
Guest
Justin Vest

“Mr. Wilson, we intend to assign blame to you for the actions of a pedophile in your church, to whom, had we been the pastor, we would have [insert terrible, unworkable, or impossible alternative]. You are not cooperating in our condemnation of you, and we remain highly annoyed. Your refusal to accept blame equals the assumption of victim-status. You are in the public eye, and it would be more seemly for you to accept our attacks as truth, thereby accomplishing [nebulous, undefined outcome]. You may know a vast deal more about the entire affair given that you have an actual… Read more »

Nonna
Guest
Nonna

“I demand that you answer.”

Justin, I have no expectations that Mr. Wilson will answer. It would be nice, but I’ve read enough on this blog to expect otherwise. It would be nice to hear in just one of his blog posts, about the real victim in this whole affair. And make no mistake about it, there is a real victim. And I’ll give you a hint: The one of whom Jesus says: “….for their angels behold the face of God.”

Justin Vest
Guest
Justin Vest

So if Mr. Wilson were to jump in here and say “yes, of course the abused are the only victims here”, that would satisfy you? Because if that’s what you’re saying, I quite agree.

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

Actually I have noticed that he answers pretty regularly, if one has a legitimate question. That is as opposed to DW you are a fill in the blank …and you have made a huge mess of … and you need to… and why dont you just admit…

mamazee
Guest
mamazee

I would love to read that and it would set my mind far more at ease, as a wife and mother who is a member of a CREC church…

guester
Guest
guester

It would set my mind at ease too, mamazee, but sadly I have waited in vain for Doug to do so much as simply request prayer on behalf of Steven Sitler and Jamin Wight’s victims, much less acknowledge that theirs is the real pain here. And yet there are five looooong blog posts defending himself, talking about his enemies, justifying the controversy, mentioning how it will only lead to blessings for him and his wife, and pitching his book.

Daniel Comings
Guest
Daniel Comings

“It would be nice to hear in just one of his blog posts, about the real victim in this whole affair.” Apparently the point of this article was missed. It’s become clear that the author of this blog as well as a good many others at CC are very much involved with all those affected by this “affair”, including any victims. The fact of the matter is that it remains their business. From my perspective, the only reason it’s mentioned on this blog at all is because people outside of Moscow, Idaho, it’s judicial system and CC are determined to… Read more »

Justin Vest
Guest
Justin Vest

Hey Mr. Wilson, I’m just some nobody from out East, and I came across your blog a while back. I pop in from time-to-time, recently to find you mired in muck, but I just wanted to let you know that I like how you’ve handled this. It’s a blessing to be attacked by these people, or so it seems to me. As the years go on, they will never be happy with nor tolerate anyone that tries to adhere to a biblical worldview. The appeasement they require doesn’t stop until you’ve completely rejected the essentials of Christian faith, so you… Read more »

Grant Kruger
Guest
Grant Kruger

I, too, pop in here, maybe a bit more regularly and I’m from considerably further east than you probably are ;)

You have made some good points here.

David Trounce
Guest

Damned by the damned either way. The issue that brought this to the blog was the relationship between Doug and the repentant offender. If Doug says nothing he is labelled a reckless coward whose silence proves guilt. If he speaks to set the record straight he is a liar. If, in addressing one issue (say, the issue under public scrutiny), he fails to give a full orbed take on another ( say, a victim) he is branded careless. Here is a thought, unless you can demonstrate that Doug has a history of lying, why not take him at his word?… Read more »

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

The guy has way too much game for that.

Former Literalist
Guest
Former Literalist

Doug, have you seen the latest? Your story isn’t holding up, and your own words are now biting you back. Remember writing that letter to G.G. requiring that he go easy on Jamin OR ELSE?http://kbotkin.com/2015/09/10/the-letter-on-christ-church-stationary/

pduggie
Guest
pduggie

Wow. There is always some nagging area of unresolved speculation that each new revelation brings me. I guess its because everyone is an adversarial advocate for their views of the truth of the matter. One unresolved question i NOW have, that I didn’t have before Doug’s letter was published, was what was GG apologizing and repenting for in terms of extremely poor judgement that seemed to be the basis for Wilson expressing concern about GG continuing to do so? There are also some strange tendentious disconnects between what the letter says and Botkin’s journalistic editorializing. Like DW advises writing things… Read more »

Robert Zeurunkl
Guest
Robert Zeurunkl

I imagine that Doug Wilson, being no idiot, must have thought before writing this post, “Man, the comments are gonna go real nasty, real fast”. And yet he wrote it anyway. Tough choice, there. Kudos.

blueskiesmom
Guest
blueskiesmom

Doug, I think if you walked on water, these same people would have you defrocked for abusing the ecosystem. Those who know you, know you are theologically sound, and that you are one of many good shepherds in the Church who understand that all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness. I wonder how these critics handle the sin in their own lives. Do they condemn themselves to hopeless damnation with no hope of correction? Could it be an unfamiliarity with repentance that leads them to believe it is… Read more »

Teresa Rincon
Guest
Teresa Rincon

Why do women have to dress modestly if Christian men have victory over the flesh?

Nonna
Guest
Nonna

The adage, “The chickens have come home to roost” aptly applies in this situation. Many sensible voices have spoken out on this issue, and you , Mr. Wilson, still continue to ignore them, believing yourself to be a victim of persecution. But you are not the victim. There is a victim in this situation, and you still fail to acknowledge who that is. I suggest, if you haven’t already, to read the article at Vintage73.com, which addresses your negligence and dereliction of duty as one who is called pastor, regarding this matter. I urge you to listen to those who… Read more »

melliots
Guest
melliots

Doug, I appreciate your steadfastness, graciousness, and your wisdom. With all the vitriol and unfounded claims by people who couldn’t be further from the issues, it’s comforting to read such an apt response.

Thank you!

Marc

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

I have always been nervous about the Sitler issue. Assuming that you are not being fooled and Sitler truly is repentant, well and good. The big thing is, most successful serial molestors are extremely good psychologists. How do you know he isn’t playing you? They do that often.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Agreed, It is a feature of the illness that stealth=requirement for access. This would include false penitence.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Douglas, I have carefully read all of your blogs of recent and some of the other christian blogs on this subject of sexual abuse within Christ Church (and other churches.) I think that the generous helping of soft-shoe that you allow yourself is one thing raises a lot of eyebrows around here- and I am speaking of the christian eyebrows, not just the alleged ‘haters’, who by all accounts are ‘gonna hate’. And it is not that you do not come across as sincere. It is that you come across as unable to see personal error and are courageous in… Read more »

Nonna
Guest
Nonna

RandMan: Yours are very wise words. You have touched upon many significant points and have done so in a reasonable manner.