Hammering Some Cold Iron

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One of the developing memes in my recent controversies is that I like to wax eloquent when writing about sovereign and efficacious grace, but that I do this because I am all about grace for the repentant abuser. Big time grace for the victim, not so much.

Abigail, on her way to confront . . .
Abigail, on her way to confront . . .

This is a charge that is wildly, uproariously, jaw-droppingly and staggeringly false, as in, not true, but I still want to take a moment to respond to it. I don’t know how big lies can get the traction they do, but they still can, and that is why people tell them. Unfortunately, it works on some people. And for some folks, trying to get across what I actually believe about this is like hammering cold iron. But sometimes it is worth trying anyway.

So here is a short gallery of statements I have made in the past about the need for the church to take up the cause of the victim, and on our responsibility to teach our daughters not to be played for victims. Here we go, and links to the full posts are in the titles. Keep in mind that this list of quotations could be a lot longer.

Never Make the Victim Carry It

“I admire his insistence that the practical price of the dislocations in the church be borne by those who caused the dislocations in the first place — the offenders. When there have been grievous offenses, the church must not help the culprit gang up on the one who was wronged, in order to heal the wound lightly. Demands for superficial reconciliation would fall into that category. And third, I agree with him that molestation of children is common in the church, and that putting another coat of whitewash on the sepulcher doesn’t deal with the stench.

. . . Nabal
. . . Nabal

Bless the Separation

“When a wife separates from her husband because she is unsafe, the church should not lean on her to go back apart from the problem being actively addressed through pastoral counsel, and to her satisfaction. If she separates too quickly, and is not following the apostle’s advice perfectly, let her. If Paul would let her, then so should we.”

Abusing the Vulnerable, Round Two

“But on the other hand, if we make the mistake that many other Christians make — that of confounding forgiveness and trust — we will throw open the doors of the church blindly “because Jesus,” and will unwittingly create a climate that favors the creepers, and which excludes and punishes the vulnerable. Churches that do this are really good at blaming the vulnerable whenever something goes wrong — because the vulnerable are the only ones who will put up with that crap. Churches that specialize in superficial reconciliation do this in numerous ways — demanding that the spouse who was sinned against pay all the practical consequences (“no divorce, sorry”), or, on the basis of one “sorry about that” email, requiring a molested niece to look at her uncle continuing to serve communion.”

Victim Blaming As Sin

“Scripture never finds fault with a woman who is a victim of some man’s sexual predations (Deut. 22:26).”

Deal With the Offender

“When it comes to such violent crimes against women, I am entirely in favor of a judicial response involving a tall tree and a short rope. But then I will be accused of being calloused because I support the death penalty. I might be wrong in one direction or another, but I cannot inhale and exhale at the same time. It is beyond my competence to be wrong in two opposite directions simultaneously. Men who abuse women violently in this way should be given a fair trial, and, if convicted, executed on the following Tuesday. This might be a little too hard line for Quaker tastes, but in no way is it an endorsement of the mistreatment of women. So, which is it? Am I in favor of violence against women, or in favor of violence against those who are violent against women? I can’t be both.”

Prepare Your Daughters

“But that kind of thing requires preparation. Fathers have a responsibility to bring up daughters who respect themselves. That is what true patriarchy is after — not craven women, easily manipulated. Perhaps one day I may tell you the story of what happened when Rachel was a teen, and somebody did something entirely inappropriate, and she mushed an ice cream cone in his face. That’s my girl.”

When Submission is Safe

“I need to develop this some more, I know, but teaching headship and submission in marriage is only safe if we are also teaching women their responsibility to be an Abigail if married to a Nabal.”

Hilarious

“I really am curious how we got to the point of me defending a woman’s right to challenge her husband’s authority, with feminists attacking me for saying so. But I don’t mind. I think it is kind of funny.”

No Human Authority Is Absolute

“No human authority in this sinful world is absolute, and there are times when a woman must play the role of Abigail in dealing with a blockhead husband. We have emphasized this many times in our ministry and there is no reason to rehearse it again here.”

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Monte Harmon
Monte Harmon
6 years ago

There you go calling me a blockhead again. I’m sure you mean me, after all you must hold this view of all men or you wouldn’t have said it about a man.

Ihaveaquestion
Ihaveaquestion
6 years ago

You know Pastor Wilson I guess I will just say it, I have gotten some rhetoric back not here though and a few other blogs when I have said this in the past but will try again. In just my experience, and what I have observed, and I could be wrong about this, but most sins can and will be forgotten or washed over, forgiven, well thats another post. The worst sin by far is for a human soul to actually need Christ, I mean to deep down need Him on every single level and in every single instance of… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  Ihaveaquestion

It’s not preached because it’s not a sin.

timothy
timothy
6 years ago

Well then, this just proves you are guilty. Why don’t you just make this all easier on everybody and just apologize? Look, being nice is hard , especially for men. Studies show that men in suspenders inordinately sport more testosterone than most and lack empathy ; EMPATHY I tell you! Besides, you are not really kind if you have to show how kind you are. Those examples lack context and we know that in a patriarchal society, the entire context is what is skewed, not the details. CONTEXT is EVERYTHING like God. I am just enraged that you have the… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  timothy

If he has to point out where he’s said these things, that means he doesn’t really mean them.

#logicfail

Bryan Hangartner
Bryan Hangartner
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

If people can’t read, you can’t make them by repeating yourself.

BP
BP
6 years ago
Reply to  timothy

For a most realistic context, visit Moscow, Idaho and meet all the wonderful Christ Church/ Trinity Church families and their very opinionated women :)

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  BP

i know some of them. they *are* wonderful people and they deserve better leadership. the women will quickly find out exactly how much their “outspokenness* is valued the exact moment they express an opinion at variance w the leadership. kind of the same principle as homeschool kids who are raised to”think for themselves” but when they actually do, all hell breaks loosr.

Evan
Evan
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

Your back must be really sore.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

Yeah, that’s really sad when it happens. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen it, though. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but it’s not the kind of culture that goes in my circles.

OTOH, I’ve seen it not-happen more times than I can count, with husbands, wives, homeschooled kids, etc.

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago

I counted the words “I” “me” and “my” at least 47 times in this blog. Clearly the whole thing is ALL ABOUT DOUG! Such a narcissist…so defensive…so uncaring about the REAL victims!

Gary
Gary
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

You forgot, “so tone deaf”, and “we just want an apology”.

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  Gary

your ugly is showing.

Aquila Aquilonis
Aquila Aquilonis
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

https://twitter.com/johnhsather/status/655017635869007872

John Sather makes your point for you.

Evan
Evan
6 years ago

Nobody can grind an axe like the Sathers. Yeesh.

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago

The issue here is not what you’ve written, or even less your critics’ reading comprehension skills. It’s what you’ve actually done.

Bryan Hangartner
Bryan Hangartner
6 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Don’t you know – conspiracy theories are just truth without facts!!

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

we have both what you have told us, and what natalie has told us, there is the sitler situation, with many available court records. this is plenty of information.

Evan
Evan
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

…..for an armchair quarterback.

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  Evan

the proper people dont seem to be doing their jobs.

holmegm
holmegm
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

You mean the secular authorities, who actually released Sitler and were the only one who could have possibly kept him from fathering children by keeping him incarcerated?

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  holmegm

those too. and a large part of their decision to do this was the glowing recommendations given bu wilson and co.

RandMan
RandMan
6 years ago
Reply to  holmegm

Nope, the pastoral authority one who unwisely thought six counseling sessions, a homework reading assignment, and marriage to a lonely young parishioner in order to have a baby that he might be sexually stimulated by was a prudent approach to treating a convicted multiple child rapist.

That one.

Evan
Evan
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

“the proper people don’t seem to be doing their jobs.”…says the armchair quarterback.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

To the casual reader, the court records that Here refers to are on an obvious attack blog that has only made a small portion of the actual unsealed documents available. In fact, most of the documents are sealed, but the ones that are open that support Sitler being married are not available to the general public online because it doesn’t fit the narrative that the State of Idaho, Wilson, Christ Church and others acted responsibly. No, Here is not on target, but rather is making decisions on gossip and a small portion of the unsealed court documents. For those who… Read more »

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

and i should believe this bc….

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

This is another silly response from Here, who has now demonstrated that he is there. You see, Here isn’t in Moscow. Here doesn’t know the individuals involved. Here doesn’t worship at Christ Church. Instead Here relies on obviously incorrect information posted elsewhere. The Bible calls for Christians to have discernment and to judge correctly after the facts are in. That isn’t happening Here and with others who are relying on partial and slanted information to form their ungodly opinions. Here doesn’t have a Biblical position. Here only can say “I should believe this bc. . .” Really. He believes positions… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

So you must know this ‘considerably more’ ? Do tell ,so we internet mob can shut up about it. While we wait, to the casual reader: The unsealed documents are plenty. But even if they weren’t. What Sitler brazenly did to a two year old with its parents a room away is all we need to know. That there is a trail of other children he molested over multiple states is all we need to know. That the other families were encouraged not to press charges is all we need to know. That his baby stimulates him sexually is all… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I do see the two as very different which is why I would call one a pedophile and the other a sexual predator. Paradoxically, I have more moral disapproval of the predator because I don’t see him as mentally disordered. Wanting sexual contact with a toddler is so bizarre that it puts someone into an area of moral insanity. Wanting contact with a young teen is apparently very common and very wicked, but I don’t think it is necessarily psychotic. Depraved yes, but lunatic–not necessarily.

Laura
Laura
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Great points.

RandMan
RandMan
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

As always jellybean thoughtful. And I for the most part agree about the paradox there. I share your view. I agree that counterintuitively, Sitler is more pitiable. I believe his condition is not a moral one but a mental one- a brain wiring problem and that he is to be pitied. More akin to schizophrenia or dementia. A broken human in the mechanical sense. Not operating out necessarily out of evil selfish intent, but compulsion. I am something of a genetic determinist, so the same could be said about Wight, but I find his behavior to be more calculated and… Read more »

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Doug…did you ever consider that the wild speculators might also be individuals, with bad personal experiences of their own regarding clergy mishandling of sexual abuse, which is widespread…and very little recourse to the “proper” “biblical” “local” channels that are presumed to actually exist but too often dont or have failed. In that regard, i will acknowledge your role as a symbolic one. I happen to believe Natalie bc your entire online and print presence,*taken as a whole* gives weight to her story. Its a story being repeated far too many times in far too many churches of every denomination.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

Here, you are just typing without wisdom or understanding. You don’t live here. You don’t know the players in the game. You don’t have a scorecard and we all know that you need a scorecard to be in the game. You want to Hop On Pop, and are unwilling to acknowledge that scripture was followed, that the ministers and elders involved used proper resources, that they weren’t working in the dark but used multiple resources, that the Idaho agencies made good investigations and decisions, that the judge made a good judgement by Idaho law and that you don’t have access… Read more »

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

oh i have a scorecard. and i dont need to explain anything to you in order to give an opinion on a situation that has been made quite public much to the dismay of Christ church.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

Here, your answer here shows that you are foolish and do not have wisdom to divide that what is right and wrong. All you have is an opinion and scripture tells us that gossip is wrong. Scripture tells us that one accuser is not good enough and that there must be two or more witnesses. You aren’t here and it is obvious that all you want is a fight.

jsm
jsm
6 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

For those of us who could be considered fans but are concerned with the situation, the issue is the difference in your account of how you treated the victim and the victim’s account of how she was treated. It appears Natalie has other witnesses that agree with her account. Also Pastor Leithart seems to believe he failed the victim. Your actions according to the victim in this case do not appear to reflect your writing. I don’t think anyone believes a sexual predator cannot be offered the gospel. The issue is when trust has been violated at that level the… Read more »

bethyada
6 years ago
Reply to  jsm

jsm, without commenting on the best option in this case (which I am uncertain about), I have a question:

Is it more important that justice is done, or that the victim feels like justice is done?

jsm
jsm
6 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Obviously it is more important justice be done. Typically our system refuses to exercise justice. Since this is the case it would seem wise to push for the harshest penalty possible.

bethyada
6 years ago
Reply to  jsm

Obviously it is more important justice be done.

While I agree with you, I am not certain that it is all that obvious.

Since this is the case it would seem wise to push for the harshest penalty possible.

I assume you mean the harshest fair punishment (ie. talion precludes punishment harsher than the crime a la amputation for theft). And I think that is the debate.

jsm
jsm
6 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

There are limited options available for that crime under our system. All are short of biblical justice.

bethyada
6 years ago
Reply to  jsm

Quite possibly. Natalie writes here. Doug says “But please note well: Things like her height, apparent maturity, and parental knowledge of the fact of a relationship are simply irrelevant to the morality of Jamin’s behavior. They are irrelevant to the criminality of his behavior. They are irrelevant to whether Jamin was selfishly manipulating a young girl, preying on her for his own selfish ends. They are irrelevant to whether it was statutory rape or not. But such things were not irrelevant to whether it was pedophilia.” And her response is that Doug should speak thus he should be spending time… Read more »

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

doug doesnt get to have an opinion about what constitutes pedophilia. he must adhere to the legal definition.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

Why is it impossible for the legal definition of pedophilia to be wrong?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

There is no “legal definition” of pedophilia. That is a medical term, and is a diagnosis, not a crime. I believe you are talking about the legal definition of statutory rape or indecent assault of a minor, which to my knowledge Doug never even discussed.

bethyada
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

Do you think that a man attracted to post-pubescent girls is a risk to pre-pubescent girls?

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

not necessarily….however i would at least question whether he might be, particularly when one known victim was barely a teen. A predator will lie, adapt, or experiment in order to get what he wants.

bethyada
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

Which is kind of the point. Paedophiles have a disordered attraction to pre-pubescent children. Something that does does naturally have any erotic connotation causes arousal, like a fetish. Pre-pubescent children can be threatened by people sexually attracted to them. They are not at risk for sexual misuse by men who do find them sexually attractive.

Post-pubescent females can be at risk by any male who is a player. But we can’t label a player a paedophile because they present a risk. Though we can punish them for inappropriate behaviour.

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

or rather the legal definition of child/minor.

bethyada
6 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Doug, I am not certain I am correct here so see what others say but, if I could be so bold… Abigail told David he was wrong to defend himself and that God would defend him. Abigail” Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the… Read more »

ZYX
ZYX
6 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

I think this is the first time you’ve mentioned abusive treatment of Gary’s family. Now that you’ve let the cat out of the bag, will you kindly specify what you mean by “abuse”? This could mean anything from wanting to move to CdA, to turning Orthodox, to taking Wight to court rather than letting the church handle things, to something divorce-related, to encouraging some sick “courtship” of a 14yo, to physical or sexual abuse. I doubt it’s the latter two, which I assume would have been reported to authorities, but some folks might assume the worst if you don’t clarify.… Read more »

herewegokids
herewegokids
6 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

No one here needs to speculate when you’ve bragged so openly about your actions yourself.

timothy
timothy
6 years ago
Reply to  herewegokids

???

ZYX
ZYX
6 years ago

Just a couple quick clarifications.
In your opinion:
Is it false that Steven Sitler is a child rapist?
Is it false that Jamin Wight is a sexual predator?

Tim Mullet
Tim Mullet
6 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

I wonder if a response delay is demonstrating how difficult it is to speak clearly about terms which many people assume are self-evident.

ZYX
ZYX
6 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Sorry for the delay. I’d say a sexual predator is someone whose sexual life generally resembles a wolf looking for the weak or vulnerable to satisfy its hunger. Wight seems to qualify, IMO. But since it’s a general category which people use in a wide variety of ways, I’ll agree with whatever you meant by it 10 years ago. I wonder if you’ve changed your opinion since then, and if you’d do anything differently now. For example do you accept Greenfield’s assertion that you sat on Wight’s “side” at the hearing and that that would make it appear to her… Read more »

Bryan Hangartner
Bryan Hangartner
6 years ago

You dare presume to reiterate your position? You are CLEARLY guilty of EVERYTHING charged against you!!!

Dave
Dave
6 years ago

Phred, Rand, Here, and others, what is your dog in this situation? Not once in the multitude of posts have I noticed that you all called for prayer for the Sitler family. Not once did anyone ask what started the issue this summer; rather instead, it was an immediate judgement call that Wilson is guilty. There was no concern that the judge adjudicated in accordance with Idaho laws. There was no concern that the Idaho considers Sitler compliant in his parole. There were a few verses of scripture thrown out to advocate not allowing individuals in similar situations but nothing… Read more »

Ellen
Ellen
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Thank you, Dave. That is exactly what I have been doing. I hope the Sitlers know that there are people all around the world who are praying for them and all those involved. God have mercy on us all.

RandMan
RandMan
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I don’t believe in god. And I don’t believe in sin per se. I am an apostate. So a prayer would be a self-serving waste of time. To your questions, believe it or not, it is possible to feel a deep pity for Sitler himself and his family, who I believe are in harm’s way, and also call a spade a spade here. I think the presence of the many recent dissenting voices on this blog, usually made up entirely of loyal Wilson supporters, is very much a sign of the real-world ramifications that these two sexual abuse cases suggest… Read more »

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Rand, you need to give your Remington Rand keyboard a rest. Now, we all know that you have made up you mind and do not have a specific Biblical or legal response and remedy to this situation. Just because your instance of abuse at another church didn’t work properly doesn’t mean that Christ Church didn’t follow Biblical principles and Idaho law in dealing with two different, very difficult situations. You are sold on anonymous comments, commentary and gossip and not on what happened. -The Latah County and Idaho law enforcement authorities did not find delays as you and your anonymous… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

You attribute much to me that I haven’t said and don’t think nor would. Most of what you are going on about up there, these Moscow tire-slashing anti NSA hooligans, I have never referenced and seem to be an obsession of yours- not mine.

This is about: How church leaders and authority structures deal with sexual abuse within the confines of a church environment. Taking care of the welfare of victims and their families, and creating an environment that keeps children safe for the future.

You personally would do well to read Natalie’s non-anonymous blog: http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.com/2015/09/when-doug-wrote-to-my-father.html

Dave
Dave
6 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Rand, abuse was dealt with in a scriptural manner and in the manner prescribed by Idaho law. You would do well to read the actual, unsealed court documents and documents made at the time rather than current gossip.

I posted facts not gossip or one sided documents. You are unable to accept the fact that these two cases were handled properly. It is obvious that all you want to do is to fight and that is a foolish stance to take.

RandMan
RandMan
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I have never once said that I think that the cases were handled improperly by the courts. I do to the best of my current knowledge. I do not under any definition accept that these cases were handled properly by Douglas Wilson. The victims and community were not served by the pastor and by extension the church. In Sitler’s case pedophilia and child rape are not merely sins to be counseled away 5 or 6 times and cleared with reading assignments or unethical, wildly irresponsible endorsements of marriage and child rearing. His (Sitler’s) baby admittedly sexually excited him. In Natalie’s… Read more »

ZYX
ZYX
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, Thanks for requesting prayer for the Sitler family. I’m a Christian, and pray for them often. I feel sorry for Steven, who’s in the news mainly because his pastor is controversial. I’ve been waiting for Douglas to respond to my questions, and have today added a new one. After this, I’ll attempt to limit all the keystrokes. My interest came from multiple sources. Years ago, I attended Evangelical Free Church of the Palouse for awhile, and appreciated Pastor Jim Wilson’s teaching. Around 1989, Mark Driscoll attended the same church. About 2003, I visited Christ Church with my daughters, liked… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
6 years ago

“I don’t know how big lies can get the traction they do, but they still can, and that is why people tell them.” Hey Doug, I know why big lies get the traction they do. Jesus told us why lies got game in John 8: “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you?… Read more »

ME
ME
6 years ago

“….on our responsibility to teach our daughters not to be played for victims…” Amen a thousand times over. The hard part for many people is that responsibility tends to be defined as blame which then gets translated down again into shame…. and then we’re off to the races shrieking about victim blaming. If instead we would perceive “responsibility” as “empowerment,” it changes the whole narrative. Sometimes girls and women do things that put us in risky situations, sometimes we get confused, sometimes we have our own sins going on, but recognizing that and accepting it isn’t shameful, it’s how we… Read more »

Melody
Melody
6 years ago

I noticed that

Melody
Melody
6 years ago

the girl in the photo shows only her eyes. All the rest of her is completely covered, yet those are some very seductive eyes. I noticed the same in another photo of a giro in Muslim headgear on this same site. Just an observation.

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  Melody

I have seen this myself. I often see Muslim girls wearing the hijab in conjunction with jeans that look as if they were painted on! Youth will be youth however hard their parents try to enforce the rules!