So First, Stickergate Letters
To the Wilson Family,, All I can say is God bless you for your courage, in the face of injustice. The appalling behavior by your mayor and police department indicates the severity of the loss of our God-given rights as put forth by our Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution.
May the enemies of our freedoms suffer shame and defeat; and as you serve God, may you emerge in victory.
God Bless You All in Jesus Name!
P.S. Is there any way I can help (besides prayer)?
Mike, thanks. Yes, there is a legal defense fund, if you feel so inclined.
Just wanted to send a note of encouragement!!
I had just read about the latest fiasco that you’re enduring there in your home town of Moscow, Idaho on the Daily Wire, Good grief what has gotten into the water up there . . . smh
Keep the faith and we are another day closer to our Lords return!!
Don’t be chicken. Thank you for your family sticking up for their rights. You are in my prayers.
Richard, thanks very much.
RE: Sticklers Stamping Out Stickers Pastor Doug,
May I humbly submit to your son, by way of you as messenger, that he has been hiding behind his fancy authorial initials and cool-kid-nickname “Nate” for far too long, and God has finally revealed his appointed his hour. Let him at long last don his full namesake of Nathan, and go and cry out against the two female city lawyers, “YOU are the man!”
At the rate things are going I can’t see how doing so could make matters any worse, but I’d be delighted to see them somehow become even funnier, if that’s still in a neighboring parallel universe of possibility somewhere.
Patrick, thanks. He was actually named for the prophet Nathan, who delivered the rebuke, and for the king who received it—Nathan David.
Thank you for your efforts to fight for the gospel against the pieties and powers of this world. I agree that close scrutiny must be placed on every effort to regulate speech. However, outside of Moscow the primary controllers of what one can and can’t say or write are not in government but its journalistic sycophants and the commissars of human resource departments. From what I can see this is one of those “not whether, but which” issues. If there isn’t a central declaration of what one can and can’t say, it seems every other megaphone holder and gatekeeper will jostle and throw elbows to get ahead of whatever looks like it’s going to be trendy to promote or exclude from the public discourse. As the economists teach us, a monopoly reduces supply. Perhaps America’s formal free-speech policy has created a competitive market for the censorious and increased their numbers.
Ash, yes. But it has also increased demand for spaces where we may still speak freely.
While it’s pretty apparent that the City of Moscow has it out for you Christ Church folks in prosecuting your grandsons over the sticker issue (since this is the first time they’ve ever prosecuted over this law), a few questions beg to be asked:
Why place stickers on public property? Why not just stick them on your car bumper, your store window, your coffee mug, etc. Why take it to public property? Seems like it’s asking for trouble.
And second of all—why place stickers on public property late at night? The press release mentioned Nate was sleeping when he got the call—must’ve been pretty late. If I were a cop, I’d be suspicious over two teenage boys running around after dark, placing stickers on public property. It certainly seems akin to someone running around town spraying graffiti on the walls – I’m certain the cops wouldn’t treat a graffiti artist with a warm smile.
I’m on your side regarding this issue. I just thought it’d be good to have some answers regarding the “why” of placing stickers on public property late at night.
Caleb, just a few things in response. The stickers were going where stickers go. The light poles in our college town look like light poles in every college town. Secondly, they peel right off. Nothing was damaged, no vandalism. And third, during the day it would have been more likely that the cops would have been called after the first sticker or two, and the point was to make a statement, not to attempt to make a statement. But what they were doing was legal, and what the city has been doing ever since that first encounter has been illegal.
Just a quick clarification on the issue of selective prosecution. “the reason all of this looks like a selective prosecution is because it is one.” You are correct that the evidence is overwhelming that this is selective prosecution. What we still don’t know is that it is selective of Wilsons. While the following may be less likely, it may be selective of attending Christ Church or even because they dared to criticize our august power here in the city. Reading hearts is tricky, reading actions is much more straight forward.
Karl, that is a fair point, given what I have reported thus far. But I haven’t shared everything. This point is not a matter of reading hearts so much as it is reading material that subpoenas turned up.
Do you have any mechanism to share tips and advice for our church to follow in the footsteps of what you have done in Moscow, ID here in the Upstate of SC as far as going on the offense against culture instead of playing an eternal game of defense?
Kyle, the main “mechanism” would be the preaching of the Word on the Lord’s Day. We go on the offense through a proclamation of the crown rights of the Lord Jesus.
Are the stickers for sale? How much and where can I get some? Proud of you Wilson clan and Co.
James, yes. The stickers are for sale at Canon Press, and all the proceeds go to the guys’ legal defense.
First, let me say it’s clear your grandsons have been charged for political and unfair purposes, and it’s clearly an obvious case of discriminatory practices, spare the existence of exceptional details of which I’m not aware, which I’m quite certain isn’t the case as I trust you wouldn’t be hiding or defending such details. Nothing I say from here is intended to cast doubt on that fact.
It occurs to me that your grandchildren are in a situation very similar to that of Ace in your book Ride, Sally, Ride, at least in my eyes. I struggled with the moral implications, reading R.S.R., of what I saw to be Ace’s sinful act of theft and destruction of property, while still recognizing the biblical idea that the punishment must match the crime. I spent quite a lot of time working through hypotheticals and analogies in my head trying to work out the real-world implications of your fictional piece, wondering how you saw the situation, and asking if I was missing something and Ace would have been justified, or if the character of Ace was perhaps not supposed to be fully aware that he’d sinned. The closest analogy I could come to in my head was if someone went to a restaurant and stole their idol to which they were burning incense, which is not an uncommon sight in my area of the country, and destroyed it, but was accused of a hate crime carrying an unjust punishment, unfitting of the crime, unlike if they’d stolen and destroyed the owner’s more valuable car which would have been termed “joyriding” and not taken that seriously legally. They would have done wrong, but also have been wronged legally.
At one point in my life, I admit I put stickers on public property such as light poles in an attempt at self-expression. I wasn’t caught, but had my father caught wind of it, I expect the reaction would have been one to remember. I’m torn between the seemingly obvious reality that your grandchildren are being attacked unjustly with the feeling that the action itself wasn’t entirely correct.
Forgive me if it’s a breach of etiquette to ask a grandfather such a question about his grandchildren, and I wouldn’t blame you for disregarding the message and ignoring it. I intend to no offense, nor, as I have said I have done the same thing, do I judge them as less respectable or devoted young men of God for what happened, but you’ve been fairly open about the situation and this question has been bouncing in my head since reading your book. So, am I misreading both situations and neither were sinful? Set me straight and help me see it how you see it, it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve helped me see something from a different angle.
Jim, thanks for the question. I read the situations as being quite distinct and different. The placing of the stickers was primarily an exercise of free speech, one consistent with the law, and with the customs of our people. The thing that made it stand out was that the message was critical of our city officials, and not, say, Christ Church or NSA. Stickers attacking us have been commonplace downtown for months, and nobody at the city cared about that. As they should not have cared. A sticker that says “Get Out” with NSA’s logo is free expression. But the city doesn’t get to start caring about stickers when the message is critical of them. So that is one thing. In Ride, Sally, Ride, the action that Ace took was meant to be parallel to the action of Phinehas when he speared that immoral couple. More like a declaration of war than anything else.
A bunch of us MDivs here in Minneapolis at Bethlehem College & Seminary stand with you! We’ll be praying, singing, and fasting for blessings for the City Council. How do we get ahold of some of those stickers?
Live adventurously and stay salty!
(Beg pardon on the exclamation point…)
JH, thanks, and the salty exclamation point is pardoned. (!)
Has a legal defense fund been set up for Rory’s case? Even if your attorney takes the case pro bono, there are still expenses.
Thomas, yes. Here you go.
I DO plan to donate something if asked.
BUT . . . one thing about you and other post-mill writers is you often come off as arrogant smart-aleks. (e.g. colorful put-downs, jabs, etc. against your opponents) It is something I’ve noticed over the years. YES, it may just be me. I may just be thin-skinned and lacking testosterone, but it seems to me it is lacking the meek (strength under control) and kind spirit that I understand a Christian is supposed to have. (A Christian should also be zealous, hate evil, courageous, etc.) . . . anyway, not sure why I chose this article to make this comment . . . but I do really enjoy your insights, and you do seem to be the real deal . . . Biblical, Christ-centered, Christ is All, etc. . . . anyway, like I said, if asked . . . I DO intend to donate, and I will be sure to go back and watch Tucker from March 1 (if it hasn’t been deleted yet) . . . and will be sure to watch (at least zip through) the whole thing from now on, and see if he has any news of y’all . . . Best regards,
Robert, thanks. And sorry to be the source of so many conflicting emotions. You are right that there is a line between being merry warriors and being cantankerous snarks, and we really do want to stay on the right side of that line. If you pray for us that way, we really would appreciate it.
Dear Pastor Wilson,
I had to hold my husband’s hand a little tighter than usual while reading these posts about Nate and your grandsons. I know you have taught us to sympathize and not empathize, but as I read aloud Nate’s press release, by all appearances it sure seemed like my husband was actually in your shoes, feeling your feelings. We are obediently seeking the Lord as you encouraged us to, praying blessing on these tyrants. However, I know my husband is tempted to think more along the lines of Peter’s sword and someone’s ear (or worse) right now. Instead, we will tame our monkeys, as your Rachel calls them. Perhaps my husband feels this defensive for you because of how instrumental you’ve been in our walk with God this year. We discovered your ministry about a year ago, a natural progression after first meeting Rachel and Nate at the Canon booth at a 2019 homeschool convention in Texas. My kids have loved Nate’s books for years, and we later realized your name was on several of our homeschool materials. It was fun to finally make the connection that you all were related.
But it wasn’t until a year ago that we found Blog & Mablog and the Plodcast. I am compelled to finally write you and tell you: We have been so encouraged by your writing and ministry. Nancy, Rachel, Rebekah, all of you. Grace Agenda videos. Man Rampant. Seriously, with the confusion of the world and the discovery of where some life-long friends really stand on things, which is naively centrist or flat out left, we have found we were more alone among them than we could have imagined. This year has been a year of conviction like never before, and after every Sunday’s Truth, every Monday we turn to your blog to find your fearless, honest voice.
We already have reaped many blessings since learning from you (and yours) the steps we critically needed to take. Not realizing before how secularism had seeped into our lives, and that it was never, ever neutral, we’re now in worship service every Sunday. No more online crap, no masks. No more staying home because kid’s Sunday classes aren’t being offered. NO. Everyone in our family learns to worship in the service; they span ages 6-16 and they now are all participating in both the war and the blessing through worship. We began Sabbath dinners and I ordered a Psalter. We are choir people, so we love singing already, but we’ve never really sung the Psalms in this way!! It is a fun, new challenge. We love the Christ Kirk app and the Canon app, and prior to finding those, the Bible reading Challenge, “How to be free from Bitterness”, “Eve in Exile”, and “You Who?” were game changers for us.
It’s just insane what is happening in Moscow, and dare I say, I think they have picked a fight with the wrong folks. We are praying tonight for you and your family. The hunter’s snare is already broken, and your sons will soon go free.
“Blest be the Lord who made us not their prey;
As from the fowler’s net a bird may flee,
So from their broken snare did we go free.
Our only help is in God’s holy name;
He made the earth and all the heav’nly frame.”
Soli Deo Gloria,
Shelli, thank you for such an encouraging letter.
On to Other Matters
I’m a 22 year old guy who’s planning on joining the army reserves to do civil affairs, and going to Bible College to pursue being a youth pastor. I was watching a video of your talk at Indiana University and heard that you served in the Navy. What was it like keeping your faith and growing in your relationship with Jesus in the service? This is something I am wrestling with, knowing that I too will have to “stand on my own two feet” in regards to my faith. God bless, thank you Sir!
Max, the military has never been a bastion of righteousness, as everyone knows. But the military has been transformed in recent years, and they are now the enforcers of woke. I would do a lot more research before enlisting.
What are those of us who have served in the military and fought and killed for this country to think of the news coming out of Soviet Moscow? When I was fighting Islamic terrorists who would behead all of you simply because you’re from America, this is basically the opposite of what I thought I was fighting to preserve. Does that call into question the validity of our service and whatever worth or value it has left?
GRH, the world is a messy place, and I don’t think that subsequent disobedience of a nation nullifies or negates a Christian serviceman’s service. It would only have that effect if our service was somehow “sacred,” which it wasn’t.
How do you reconcile this;
“Then you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Whoever curses his God shall [d]bear his sin. And whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.”
with what you wrote,
“The foundational reason for insisting on free speech has to do with the Christian doctrine of the nature of man. Every restriction that is placed on men is a restriction that must be enforced by men. And the men who enforce are almost always a greater hazard to our liberties than the man in the street who wants to pop off about something. The men who enforce any restrictions on free speech have the same problem of sin that the general populace does, and in their case this sinfulness is combined with political power.”?
It seems to me God wasn’t concerned with our sinfulness being a barrier to punishing people for things they said. If cursing God was a crime, then it would be proper for the civil magistrate in our day to punish whose who curse Christ. This would include Mormons, JWs, and Muslims. Still it appears, Scripture is in direct opposition to our modern idea of free speech.
John, thanks. I need to write a good deal more about this, obviously, but here is the quick take. There is a difference between a theocracy that operates with God’s direct involvement, and a theocracy that has to operate on the basis of God’s written law alone. We may think it is “clear” that we must enforce the First Table of the law against the likes of Servetus, but we must also remember that Christendom has been guilty of enforcing the First Table against some of the godliest people in their realms. And on this topic, we should never forget that Christ was convicted on a First Table offense.
A Marriage Question
I didn’t steward the shepherding of my marriage well. There are a thousand reasons; but no excuses. I was a passive husband when I should have been braver and stronger in leading.
She left almost a decade and a half ago now. From an ecclesiastical standpoint, she was the offending and abandoning party. She comes from generational wealth and is still playing the long game litigiously. Death by a thousand cuts. Even after all these years, during the “pandemic,” half a year’s earning was spent just last year in defensive legal fees. Our State and family law is insane. Needless to say the children weary of the sustained attacks and conflict as well, as despite their aging, they somehow become her pawns.
I reside in a very liberal state. I’m here for my children alone. I have an active role in their life and living under that “tyranny” on most days is worth it for that reason alone. I am grateful to be engaged and active in their lives.
In light of my failure to lead in the past, also having two (minor) children and living in a state that I do not have long term goals to remain in (maybe another 4-5 years max) . . . oh, and the litigation lasting for well over a decade . . .
I had pretty much resigned to remaining single. There are some significant theological reasons too (like the arguments made by people like Andrew Cornes and Gordon Wenham). Not being excessively consumed by my sexual “passions,” my desire remained to embrace the singleness post-divorce as something that God had set me to (in part maybe even as a consequence for my prior failure). Either way, I legitimately do (did not?) believe in remarriage.
As it happens though, I am learning afresh that man was not created to be alone. I have a female friend who (despite my many shortcomings and the baggage mentioned above) has expressed a genuine interest in developing things into a more serious relationship with a goal of marriage.
To complicate matters, she is a single mother and has a child with mild-to-moderate special needs.
We have been able to maintain a friendship status well enough.
Is it best to leave it at that? It’s obviously simpler, no?
Can we be active contributors to the body of Christ—legitimately—coming from such a fractured past? Or is it just muddying the gospel waters and polluting the witness of the Bride of Christ?
Would it be betraying our children or prior marriages to pursue a relationship?
What adverse effects do second marriages have on children? In there any wisdom in waiting until they are gone and out of the house?
Most importantly, because of my (past?) theological convictions, is the coming and going of sorrow mean that I am sinning against God, my former spouse, or my friend’s ex, if we were to pursue a relationship that led to marriage?
How does God view messes like this?
Perplexed, I obviously don’t know all the variables or circumstances. On top of that, I don’t hold to the “permanence” view of marriage. But I can say that if you have a friend that has caused you to contemplate marriage, you need to resolve all these issues exegetically in your mind and heart first. And if it goes one way, marry her. If it goes the other, for your sake and hers, you need to back off.
Good Old Technology
First, thank you for being not only a sane but also a wise and stirring voice in insane times, times that encourage folly and cowardice.
I wanted to respond to your recent podcast, “High-Tech Agrarians”, and Malachi’s response to it published March 2nd. It interested me as someone who has been attracted to aspects of such thinking while, as an engineer, am required by my vocation to be proficient in various sorts of advanced technology. I agree with what you say about holding on to things loosely and avoiding a “gut reaction” against technological advance. However, I think there is another angle of this discussion which we must consider in order to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Are you familiar with Neil Postman’s work “Amusing Ourselves to Death”? In it, Postman discusses the deleterious effect of television on the thinking and reasoning of the Americans in his day. He argues that television as a visual medium discourages the abstract thinking communicated in writing, and the sequential, disjointed, ad-ridden programming best suited to it damages the ability to reason through a hierarchical argument. It’s a part of the more general area of “media ecology”, which studies the way the communication technology we use affects us.
Postman wrote nearly forty years ago—extrapolating his argument to today’s internet is frightening. While sin is certainly involved, it’s not the only reason we get lost in our cell phones—the glowing screen naturally attracts our eyes, and Big Tech benefits financially by presenting content in such a way as to draw and hold as much of our attention as possible. I don’t think this is a grand conspiracy, but simply the result of generations ignoring the consequences of both their ideas and their pell-mell technological advancement.
Somebody—I think it was Postman—said that in some ways the Amish are the wisest people among us: they’ve thought through the sort of society they want, and they allow only that technology that will further rather than hinder it. While I’m not Amish or a more general luddite (or try not to be anyway), I think that Christians, especially when it comes to raising our children, need to be willing to think along similar lines. Technology shapes us, and if we are to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds”, we must think seriously about how we allow it to affect us.
Matthew, thanks. Years ago I taught a class at NSA where I had the students read Postman’s Amusing and Johnson’s Everything Bad Is Good for You side by side. It helped maintain balance, I thought.
From reading your books and blog, I can’t find you interchangeably using “he and she” to reference to the generic “third person singular” individual. Do you think it matters whether we stop saying things like “let each one search his heart” and start saying “let each one search her heart” (or maybe even “let each one(s) search their own heart(s)”)? Is casually swapping “he” and “she” the easy way to the prose of perdition, among other things?
Jeremy, yes, I think it matters in these crazy times. I have occasionally done a he or she kind of thing, but that would be for the sake of clarity, not “wokeness.”
I know you’re busy with StickerGate, but in the letters from March 4, someone mentioned that you had helped their friend change their mind on abortion-tainted vaccines. I was wondering if you could clarify your current position on vaccines, both as a whole and regarding the abortion issue. This is what we’ll charitably call a touchy subject among Reformed women, and a fun way to question the salvation of those we disagree with. Without even considering the aborted tissue problem, I’ve seen people argue that vaccinating in and of itself is intrinsically evil, witchcraft, alchemy, as evil as abortion . . . and that not vaccinating is reckless endangerment, manslaughter—but at least both sides agree the other is guilty of child abuse. With evidence supporting each view, and condemnation flying every which way, what do Christians do?
AF, thanks. I am not an anti-vaxxer at all. I think vaccines have been a great blessing and gift. At the same time, the departure of the medical establishment from scriptural norms has been creating some new dilemmas, which I address here. And then the politicization of this last so-called pandemic with its rushed political football vaccine complicated everything further.
Climate Change Loophole
Re: tumultuous mercies. Dear Pastor Wilson:
I liked your analogy on Plodcast #181 where said the church, rather than a raft on the ocean, is like an island that is the tip of a mountain. So the (cultural) storm can come and have its way, but at the end of the day the island is going nowhere. However, I think you missed one thing: global warming. Soon the waters will rise and wash everything on the island away; even the foundations will be destroyed. So perhaps you ought to find a new analogy.
Bill, yes. But according to the alarmists, I don’t have time to find a new analogy.
I heard about you on a Caleb Moore’s podcast. I live in a small town in Central Illinois and have started homeschooling our children for a variety of reasons so I was wondering what homeschool material you would recommend.
Aaron, check out Logos Online for classes. And Canon Press for homeschooling materials.
I have read your stuff on and off for years but recently have become a bigger fan. I bought a years subscription because I wanted to hear the interview that you recently advertised on either your blog or your podcast. As soon as I got my subscription I started listening to Gary DeMar and then Greg Bahnsen and now I have forgotten the name of that interview and cannot find it. Please, help and old man…
Carlisle, from one old guy to another . . . I forget.
God Was Kind
In a youtube video uploaded by Canon Press titled Sexual by Design Q&A | Doug Wilson I observed in you, Mr. Wilson, an extraordinary performance in self control, and that self control glorifies God. I simply wish to say well done, brother. You’ve encouraged me and given a good example of Christ-like behavior. Thank you, and God bless.
Micah, thanks. God did bless that evening.
One Last Question
I recently listened to your interview with Dale Partridge. You said quite a few excellent things that I’ve continued to digest. I was really struck by how well you articulated thoughts and Scripture regarding the orientation of men and women. How men are mission-oriented and then relationally. How women are relationship-orientated, then the mission. The use of Louis L’Amour novels, or Homer’s Odyssey written by men for men was right on. “Then along comes some plucky farmer’s daughter who helps him get the cattle back or get the gold.” I chuckled at that, but took it serious at the same time. This was compared to how a woman’s novel written by a woman for women, like Safeway paperback romance novels “that you read and throw away” (That made me laugh again as well). And Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, wherein the relationship is the plot. These were both excellent examples that so succinctly summed up the differences in how God created us. Then, how neither are wrong or bad and how we’re not in competition with one another, but compliment one another. Like the hammer and the crescent wrench. So good.
One thing that continues to intrigue me and puzzle me is when you said, “He brings home the bacon and she glorifies it. She puts it in a pan and adds some eggs and serves it back to him. He gives her his seed and she turns it into a child and gives it back to him.” I’d never really thought of it that way and haven’t really thought of the word “glorify” apart from how we are to glorify God. Have you written a book, or a chapter in a book or a paragraph where you unpack this concept? I did a cursory search of the word “glorify” and all I got were references to how we are to glorify God. But the idea that God made Adam and gave him a job in the garden to tend the garden, which included and maybe prioritized providing for and protecting Eve, and how he failed at that, and how God made Eve to be a help meet, or to serve Adam so he could do his mission is so key to the marriage relationship. Our culture has elevated a woman’s role in marriage to not just an egalitarian role, but above that of the husband. Men are now supposed to not only provider for and protect their wives, but they are to make sure they worship her and keep that honey-do list as short as possible so she will always be happy and secure. All the while, men are supposed to be relationship oriented and strive to get in touch with their feminine side and be emotionally connected to her in a way that keeps her in a constant state of marital bliss. On the flip-side, women are not to be accountable for their actions; allowed to misbehave and get angry or throw tantrums; and can use being a woman, having a menstrual cycle or just being hungry or not having had their coffee yet as excuses to treat their husbands like a door mat. In summation, you hit the nail on the head several times and really spoke to key issues that are the cause of so much conflict. But you also encouraged me (and the three other men I’ve shared the interview with). Once last thought. I’ve heard it only twice (I’m 60 and have been a Christian my whole life), where the word for “desire” in Genesis 3:16-17, is the same desire in 4:7 concerning sin’s desire crouching at Cain’s door. That a woman will desire to control her husband and rule over him. Have you also written about this concept and how it impacts the marriage relationship?
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. I sincerely would like to know your thoughts on a woman glorifying the bacon, so to speak, and how the fall produced a desire in a woman to rule over her husband. This would sure explain a lot in terms of how society has turned the family upside down with its venomous attack on marriage and the orientation or role that God gave men and women in marriage.
Blessings to you and all your family,
Trace, you are right that this needs to be developed in more detail. The closest I have come is in my book For a Glory and a Covering, published by Canon.