I have other things to write about, but it appears to me that the Lord doesn’t have other things for me to write about. I don’t mind because this is actually a subject that gives me full opportunity and scope to preach the gospel. But be forewarned, this opportunity is actually an opportunity to preach a scandalous gospel. But that is all right also, because that is actually the only kind of gospel there is.
This scandalous gospel has to be declared in a world that loves lies and distortion. A friend just shared with me something apropos from Swift that was in the Wall Street Journal today — “Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect.” The twittermob has been circulating numerous untruths, among them that Steven Sitler is a child rapist. He was actually convicted of one count of Lewd Conduct with a Minor under 16 years of age (Idaho Code 18-1508). He has also been accused of raping and/or molesting his son, which no knowledgeable person is even alleging. If the consensus of the mob gets its way, then some court will try to make Katie Sitler choose between her husband and her son. They don’t even know that this is what they are yelling for — that’s one of the lies. I could go on, but will refrain for the present. There is a time and a place for answering lies with truths, but there is also a time for answering lies with the Truth, the living Truth, the personal Truth.
Important clarification: When I say above that Steven was convicted of one count, I was not meaning that this was his only offense, and neither was I seeking to minimize the egregiousness of his behavior in those other instances. That is why I argued, just below this, that the father in Texas who killed the molester he walked in on was fully justified. I should have made my meaning more clear than I did, which I could have done by putting the Texas paragraph first, and linking it expressly to Steven’s offenses. My apologies to any friends who missed my meaning here, and who thought I was trying to trim and be cute on Steven’s behalf. Such a misreading would be my responsibility. I believe there was at least one scenario where Steven could have been killed on the spot, and no injustice done.
What we need is a prodigal gospel. So what we should do is confront and answer the lie, and then pivot to declare a gospel that overflows the banks of respectability, and then overwhelms and drowns all the sinners who like to live there. And when it drowns them, they come up out of the waters of baptism smelling different.
One of the twittertaunts thrown at me in different ways has been my apparent inconsistency in my love for Steven Sitler and my support of the death penalty for certain crimes. And by the way, I don’t just love Steven Sitler, I love his victims also. But there is in fact no inconsistency at all. In a hypothetical biblical republic, I would support the death penalty for child rape, but that republic is not yet upon us. However, quite apart from the penalties applied by the current justice system, you may remember what that father in Texas did a couple years ago. The Texas grand jury in that instance did the right thing, and there was no injustice done.
But justice is one thing, mercy is another, and because Christ came to live among us, and both died and rose here, those two divine attributes have to occupy the same screwed-up world together. That reality gives us complicated pastoral problems. To complain about them is to complain against His wisdom.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9–11).
This is where a classical education really helps. Anyone acquainted with the actual conditions of life in the first century Roman Empire knows that it was the photo negative of a sexually upright society. When Paul says “such were some of you,” he was not talking about the occasional odd case every ten years or so. Sexual perversions of all sorts were on tap, all the time, in that era. Immorality was ubiquitous, and many of the perversions he addresses were perversions that, if done on Moses’ watch, would have called for the death penalty. The same is true in our day. Not only would child rape have called for the death penalty, but so would homosexuality (Lev. 20:13), adultery (Lev. 20:10), and abortion (Ex. 21: 22-25). And apart from the law/word of God, in that ancient world, children were not off limits — far from it.
Now when the gospel of grace breaks into such a pagan world, filled with such sexual licentiousness, Paul does not tell the affected Corinthians (because they had previously done such things) that they should therefore go downtown to throw themselves off a bridge — even though Corinth was such a foul city the verb to corinthianize meant to fornicate. Hypothetically, had they been executed for such crimes in another place and time, there would have been no injustice. The law is given, in part, to teach us what we all deserved. The law teaches us what Christ delivers us from. “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32, ESV). The list that precedes this verse is pretty long, and includes a lot more sins than those committed by our current designated scapegoats — including our very guilty designated scapegoats. Just because you are a scapegoat doesn’t make you innocent. Complicity is the air we breathe.
Now we all understand this forgiveness pretty well — when it comes to some sins. Usually we understand it best if it involves sins that we were once guilty of, or have been tempted by. Other people, the ones with the terrible sins, can fend for themselves and devil take the hindmost. But as for ourselves, as for me and my house, there is forgiveness in Christ!
This relates directly to another central confusion of our unbelieving generation, which is the question of sin and identity. The Bible gives us two fundamental identities — Adam and Christ. We are either in Adam or in Christ. We may have lesser, subordinate identities, such as our families, our trade or vocation, affection for regional sports teams, and so on, but we may not let any of those subordinate identities, whether great ones or small ones, define us. To do so would be idolatry. If we are converted men and women, our foundational identity is in Christ. We are not permitted to allow any sin to become part of our name, part of our identity. After Jesus cast the demons out, Mary Magdalene did not go through the rest of her life as a recovering sex worker.
But because our therapeutic era does not know what to do with actual sin, they try to deal with it by making it part of the individual’s identity, and then suppressing it by main force. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic — you are simply an alcoholic who doesn’t drink any more. The whiskey is gone but the identity remains. They make you pour the whiskey down the sink, but then they make you keep the bottle, especially the label.
We do this with all kinds of things — thus we have recovering gamblers, recovering sex addicts, recovering substance abusers, and so on. But here comes a tricky one — recovering victim. We know how to do that one too.
Don’t mistake me, and don’t start yelling. There are true victims, just as the sins listed above are true sins. And what many people have had to go through is simply appalling. I could tell you story after story. When someone has been terribly wronged — the brunt of some father’s rage problems, or the recipient of some creepy uncle’s lusts, or the browbeating of an older brother’s morbid curiosities, it is important to address the wrong, bring about restitution and restoration whenever possible. Healthy pastoral counsel is essential, and it should be counsel that is grounded in the liberation that only Christ can provide. Christ offers His grace to both defilers and defiled.
But healing does not come about by teaching someone to become a victim for life. Healing comes when the person is enabled, by the grace of Christ, genuinely to heal. I know many Christians, members of my congregation, who have been grievously wronged in the past — but that is not their identity. The task is two-fold — to help them to heal, and help them to not have a perpetual process of healing become part of their identity. When someone has been wronged, it does not help them to wrong them in another way for the rest of their life by building them a therapeutic cage to live in. If anyone is in Christ, everything is new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV). That is what this verse is talking about. All things new. But outside of Christ, nothing is new. Outside of Christ, it all falls apart.
Ironically, I have seen some who have adopted a victim identity attack the “church ladies” for “not understanding” when I know for a fact that many of those women understand all too well. The fact that they are not working through the issues out loud on Facebook does not mean that they have no real wounds in their stories, or that they have not addressed them with grace. I commend such women, not because they are “stuffing it,” but rather because they worked through it, and do not want someone else’s perversion to become their identity. Such women are the kind of women who can truly provide help to real victims in the immediate aftermath of some wicked event.
The Scripture, by stark contrast to this generation’s therapies, tells us to put off and put on. Put off the old man — and all its lusts — and put on the new man, created in righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24). Put off the old man, who is a horny bastard anyway. Doing this is a battle, but the battle does not consist of knowing that this is the assigned task. Knowing where the battle is should be easy; fighting the battle is the hard part. This is what our sanctification consists of. We are not supposed to keep the old man bound and gagged in the basement; we are to reject him. Put him off. Stop dragging him around. That is not who we are.
So then, is pedophilia an identity? It is certainly a sin, a great evil. And a converted Christian, truly converted, can still experience such temptations. But despite the temptations, that is not his identity. He will be tempted to think that this is what he is, and the world — even a big part of the Christian world — will cluster around and tell him that “once a pedophile, always a pedophile.”
Supposing that to be the case for a moment, what could we possibly do? The world, for its part, is stuck. They have bought into the idea, elsewhere in other sexual affairs, that if an sexual impulse occurs to you, it is necessary that it be allowed to come out to play. No barriers may be thrown in the way of it. If you want to have sex with a man, with a woman, with two women, with a wig on, and so on, then this orgasmic imperative is assigned to you in some constitutional penumbra somewhere. So the basic axiom is that no sexual impulse can be denied. It is not possible to deny it — for that would mean that sexual self-control is a possibility.
But this places them in a real jam when it comes to those who have sexual desires for children, because the actual outworking of such an expression is still horrible to them (thank God for common grace), but they still hold it as axiomatic that no sexual urge can really be repressed. This is why there is such a rage against such sex offenders, a rage born of such internal contradictions. This is why the only reasonable thing is, it seems to them, to take them all down to the river and drown them.
What about Christians? A sexual offender is at large in society, believes in Christ, and comes to your church. His offenses were years before, and he has been clean for a long time. What do you do? You — of course — do what is necessary to ensure that all the parents of your little ones need not worry about the safety of their children at worship. But with all such protections in place, you welcome him to the Font and to the Table. He is as welcome there as anybody else. If he is not, then you have denied the gospel the same way Peter did at Antioch.
Now because he has been welcomed into your fellowship, as he ought to have been, he meets a Christian woman whom he would like to marry, and she would like to marry him. He manifestly does not have the gift of celibacy. Do you bless it? Do you okay it, but make him get married by the justice of the peace? Or do you forbid it?
If you forbid it, one reason might be because you think he should live as a celibate because he did things that would have resulted in his execution under Moses. But if we are to use equal weights and measures, there are other offenses like that in your church also. Must adulterers live in perpetual celibacy? Homosexuals? When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, He told her to go and sin no more. He didn’t say that she must never get married because she had done something that could warrant the death penalty, a penalty that had almost been applied to her, and the issue clearly might come up again. In fact, Jesus warned her against the possibility of a repeat offense — go and sin no more.
Must women who have had abortions be prohibited from marrying? I am going to say something here with a hard edge, but it is only so that I can declare a scandalous gospel. Please stay with me. Sexual molestation is terrible, but the murder of unborn children is worse. Should women who have had abortions be placed under the ban? Of course not — but that means something is wrong with the earlier “death penalty sins” logic.
Or you might forbid it because you think that the “identity” of pedophilia is something that simply cannot be surmounted. This collides with the gospel as outlined above, and it is also inconsistent with what we say about things like homosexual temptations. A homosexual who cannot desire a member of the opposite sex should not get married. But that is not true of all homosexuals. Some can and do marry, and those who can, and who have the opportunity, should. Do we want to say that pedophilia lies closer to the bone than does homosexuality? Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.
Or you just might prohibit marriage to a pedophile if he had been a serial offender. Okay, now we have to define that. And do this remembering that many adulterers are serial adulterers, and many homosexuals have had serial encounters. If the past is the indicator of the future, this applies to more than just pedophilia. A lot of things might happen again, and a lot of men have a lot of dark urges. They have serial dark urges.
But back to the pedophile. We can have a serial pedophile who started when he was fifteen, molested six cousins, and ended when he was eighteen. Is that identity fixed forever? He is a serial sinner, like everyone else in Adam, but is his sin tattooed on him in such a way that Christ cannot remove it?
Then there is another thing. If you forbid marriage to someone who is not gifted with celibacy, under pain of excommunication if he marries, then you have painted yourself into quite a medieval corner. You now have as a “mortal sin” the sin of marriage, which God did not prohibit, as opposed to the “venial” sins of porn and hookers, which He did prohibit. The church, trying to head off one possible sin, ought never to make other sins fairly certain.
So when I say that bringing repentant pedophiles into the church is a gospel issue, I do not mean that they get a magic forgiveness card at the door such that no one has to think about it ever again. That would be both naive and stupid. But I am saying that the gospel project is the divine project of making us all into true human beings again. When marriage can be a part of that, it should be a part of that. Sometimes it cannot be. But when it is, and it is good, it is very good.
The world says that there is no life outside of Adam. We say there is no life inside him. The world says that your sin defines you. The Lord Jesus says that He has a white stone with your name on it, which only the two of you know, and none of your sins are inscribed on it anywhere (Rev. 2:17). Turn it over and over, and be sure to look at the whole thing. There is no reference anywhere to Drunk, or Adulterer, or Molester, or Porn Addict, or any of that. Why has it been put away? It has been put away so that God might be glorified in the salvation of sinners. Really bad sinners.
How has it been put away? This happened, not because we found the one guilty person in our town and drove him out with stones. It is made possible because we were given the only righteous man who ever lived, and so we took the opportunity to betray and flog Him, spit in His face, drive nails in His hands and feet, drop the cross into the hole with a thud, and then run a spear into Him in order to make sure. That’s what we do with righteousness around here. And when we did that with our only hope of righteousness, what came out was blood and water . . . our only hope of righteousness. And because blood and water came out, it is possible for any of us to believe. It is possible for you — and every other wretch up and down your street, to believe in Jesus, come to Jesus, cry out to Jesus, and be turned into a real person by Jesus. No exceptions. Whoever is weary, He said, may come. He didn’t carve out exceptions for those people who were made weary by their sick perversions. He applies His blood to those too. What a Savior.
The following comes from the blog of the victim (which indeed she is)… “How no one knew is still a mystery to me. I remember falling asleep with tears almost every night for months on end, wanting nothing more than to be an average 14 year old, stopping myself from calling out to my mommy to make everything alright, the way it used to be. I often wondered if I’d sleep through the night. He oiled the door hinges so no one would hear him sneak into my bedroom, the one adjacent to his own, separated only by a shared… Read more »
But Doug just said above that he loves the victims, not just the perps. The letter with his signature certainly offers a springboard to explain how his actions (you know, withholding communion from a grieving father as well verbally kicking him in the gut while he’s lying on the ground ) exhibit love. It also begs a response to this question: Does NSA college still adopt the policy that out-of-area students board with local families? I actually know the answer is still yes, of course it does, because I just copied this from its website: “The College is a non-residential… Read more »
“I didn’t read anything about NSA suggesting these local Christian families thoroughly vet their prospective Christian tenants.” Why would NSA need to suggest to people unconnected with NSA that they should thoroughly vet their prospective tenants? Are people who opt to board students incapable of thinking of these things for themselves? Since when is an outside institution responsible to tell people how to take basic precautions for their own safety, in arrangements that don’t even involve that institution? Suggesting that something’s amiss because NSA didn’t tell private homeowners to be careful about who they boarded, in an arrangement outside NSA’s… Read more »
Then in all honesty, and in deference to human decency, the following must be attached to NSA’s housing policy: “Acceptance to NSA college or seminary is not an endorsement of the character or safety of any individual. NSA understands that most of its students board with families in our community. Therefore, we urge utmost caution before allowing a stranger residence in your home. Incidences of sexual predation upon children by our seminary students have occurred in the past. We therefore recommend a thorough background check of any prospective tenant. And we further caution that no unknown adult male individual be… Read more »
Do the University of Idaho or Harvard have this policy printed somewhere?
If not, why should NSA?
NSA has no seminary students; it is a four-year liberal arts college.
Distinct from NSA College, Greyfriar’s Hall is a “three-year ministerial training program” which includes “pastoral duties,” according to its website. It appears to function as a seminary, but is unaccredited. Doug’s take on Greyfriar’s Hall: “We are running it and using it as a practical replacement for seminary.” (http://www.canonwired.com/ask-doug/greyfriars-hall/) Distinct from Harvard, NSA sits in a rural community, with inseparable ties to a church with a generational following and which expects unswerving loyalty. It further boasts the Christian marketing link, which suggests, despite its falsity, the notion of increased safety. UI neither makes nor suggests any such claim of safety.… Read more »
So then you agree with me, that NSA is not a seminary and does not have seminary students (assuming you read the first four words of what you just quoted.) Moscow, ID, is not rural. “Parents sending their kids to Harvard or UI do so without any assumption of safety, except that conferred by dorm housing.” On what basis do parents sending their kids to NSA make an assumption of safety, that is in any way more warranted? Besides, this isn’t about the sending parents, it’s about the receiving host families, remember? Safety conferred by dorm housing at an Ivy… Read more »
Well, the websites for NSA and Greyfriars do point out that Moscow is in a rural area with a high concentration of universities nearby, and that housing is idifficult to come by.
They also stress that students at the college and the seminary are expected to hold themselves to behavioral standards higher than those of the secular world around them. It makes it clear that the community has a right to expect them to live their faith through their actions.
None of which is tantamount to suggesting that people don’t need to think twice about who they let into their homes. “We expect our students to behave” is not reasonably interpreted as “therefore don’t worry, be happy, there’s no chance of any person accepted at NSA doing anything really bad.” Not, that is, if you assume that the website is taking the perspective of reasonable adults addressing reasonable adults. Fantasies about the hive mind of Christ Church and other Christian residents of Moscow could lead to different assumptions, though.
Moscow is an incorporated city of 23Kish residents in a rural area. So the area is rural, but the city is not. It ain’t the Big Apple, but it ain’t Buford, neither.
I’ve been there and I grew up in the woods, so it seemed like a city to me.
But I’m going by the information given to prospective students.
Which I’m saying is correct. It is a small city — Moscow — in a rural area — the Palouse.
You make a good point. In fact, NSA is around the block from Greyfriar’s. Greyfriar’s is housed within Christ Church, which makes matters worse. http://www.greyfriarshall.com/contact/
“…with inseparable ties to a church….which expects unswerving loyalty.” That is total bunk.
Nope, it’s true. Christ Church expects its members to have unswerving loyalty…to Jesus. ;^)
You are 100% correct on who is to be the object of the member’s loyalty.
I repudiate what I wrote above (5 years ago) in the strongest possible terms. I have deep concerns about the issues contained in the post above, among many others. Unfortunately, this website does not allow deleting comments. Hopefully it will allow my repudiation to stand.
But… Don’t we know better than all those unenlightened sheep-herders and fishermen that wrote that stuff?
Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.
Sarah Anne, I tried to reply at that blog but could not. I will say it here. She says that Gary and Natalie both gave permission to print that letter. If she posted that in writing, with permission from Gary, Pat, and Natalie for me to answer questions about the letter, I would be happy to do so. Delighted in fact. Just be prepared — it will shut down the party, which you might not want.
kbotkin says there shouldn’t be a problem commenting on her blog. At least not one she’s aware of. Give it another shot.
We’re all ears. You can post on that blog no problem. Anyone can, they just have to have their first comment pass the spam filter (I tried it). So I call BS on your “I’ll reply but I just can’t right now.” Nicely played, though, on adding Pat in to the mix despite the fact that the letter wasn’t to her and doesn’t mention her. Do you also need written permission from your state representative and imaginary characters before you can address the situation?
If the interested parties gave permission to reprint the letter, then presumably they could aslo very easily extend permission to Doug to comment on all the particulars. If they claim to really want the truth made public, and are able to grant such permission to Doug regarding divulging the particulars, then they may do so. If they decide not to bother, then maybe that says something about what they really want, no?
Oh right. You’ll probably drag out all sorts of stuff from “counseling,” stuff you’re “sad” to have to discuss, but in the interests of “full disclosure,” you’ll have to talk about it. Let’s just be clear here. You protected a child abuser, Jamin Wight. You wrote that letter, you admit it, and the letter, on its face, is a threat to Gary, the father of Natalie. I’ll tell you why you did it–it’s because of your overarching dogma, which is not Jesus Christ and him crucified, but patriarchy. You had to protect Jamin Wight because he was a future patriarch… Read more »
So let’s see, when Wilson refuses to violate confidentiality, he gets lambasted as being less than forthcoming, but when he is willing to answer the accusations of the victims and their families **only on the condition of their release of confidentiality,** — now he’s supposedly being fast and loose with their privacy? The occasion and/or need for this information to be spilled publicly has arisen b/c of the accusations of the one who would be releasing privacy, and who approved the release of the letter posted in the comments already. If Wilson were being careless with anyone’s privacy, he’d have… Read more »
correction – “restraint” – my bad.
You’ll shut down the party? What’s wrong with you? Do you not have legal counsel advising you, should a civil case arise involving you and your church? There will be no need for plaintiffs’ witnesses as you are successfully hanging yourself with your own rope. And all of it archived by onlookers.
Doug, I have read this blog for years. I agree with about 95% of your writings. I even agreed with much of what you said in this post. However, the paragraph where you obfuscate Sitler’s actions by referring only what he was convicted of seems unwise. The bible doesn’t deal with varying degrees of sexual acts where forced intercourse is the only definition of rape. If a betrothed virgin who was unable to cry for help was caught in a situation being victimized like Sitler’s victim do you think because there was not forced intercourse the perp would escape capital… Read more »
What system did Wilson create that led to the teen girl’s victimization?
Christ Church’s in house seminary encourages members to open their homes to students. That is also encouraged at New Saint Andrews. I do not disagree with this principle but would feel an incredible weight of guilt had I been in Pastor Wilson shoes.
You realize that until relatively recently, this is the way that nearly all students at nearly all colleges in the world were housed? But now, it’s somehow Wilson’s fault if something bad happens in the context of such a boringly normal arrangement, because he thinks it’s a good idea?
It is not his fault. I did not say it was.. However Doug came down on the father. I do not know all the details but I could not do this knowing I instituted a system that encouraged this father to bring the predator into his home.
Pause for a moment… 1. You don’t know all the details. 2. Doug didn’t institute that system. It’s voluntary. 3. The system doesn’t encourage fathers to bring predators into their homes. 4. You may very well have done exactly the same thing had you been in exactly the same situation… John, there are just so many details that NONE of us know! Doug’s comments are undoubtedly only a tiny fraction of his side of the story. The courthouse documents are only the little bit actually on public record. The letters written are slices of moments in time. The comments written… Read more »
Malachi You are correct I do not know all the details. The system is advertised online I assume with Pastor Wilson’s blessing. I didn’t say the encourage fathers to bring predators into their homes. The voluntary system is encouraged by Doug website and in the case did facilitate a predator residing with a family who had a vulnerable girl. I may have done the same time but its hard to imagine. I commented because I am a member of a CREC . This is in house and there appears to be unwise decisions made by an elder. Pastor Bayly has… Read more »
Wow, I’ve been away from the comments for a while and it is very telling to see the response to Mr. McNeely, who asked some honest questions in what I think was a humble and mild way only to be set upon by Doug’s staunch defenders. Surely, as a member of a CREC church his questions should be treated with more respect than to tell him the truth is hidden from him…as it should be??? Which translates to a policy of “trust Doug and don’t ask any more questions”. The clear instruction of I John 4:1, on the other hand… Read more »
He didn’t institute any system. It’s not done by means of a system, it’s a whole bunch of private arrangements by pairs of private parties.
And whatever it is, he didn’t institute anything. It’s a means of housing students that has existed for 500 years or more. Why he’s supposed to feel any guilt for the fact that he thinks it’s a good idea for people to rent rooms in houses, and has said so, is really beyond me.
Jane, is it my imagination that its advertised on a website Pastor Wilson has control over the content? Is this not propagated through Christ Church with the blessing of the elders? My point is given these conditions had I participated in arranging these agreements even at this small of a level and this happened as a result of such an agreement I would feel guilty. The thought of disciplinary action for the father would not enter my mind. Nor would sitting on the side of the defense at the trial. As a theonomist my interaction with the judge would be… Read more »
Then your guilt would be misplaced. How is that hard to understand?
There is nothing sinful about boarding college students. Therefore you would be engaging in the sin of false guilt if you felt guilty about recommending the general practice of boarding college students.
As a theonomist you ought to realize that making up moral laws is not man’s job. “Boarding college students” is not analogous to “letting a known killer ox loose.” Boarding someone with a prior history of abuse is the analogy, which no one here has ever accused anyone of doing.
I did not say there was anything sinful about boarding or encouraging the practice of boarding college students. I was placing a dichotomy between how I would feel if I had been involved in the arrangement of the meeting between the family and the person who ended up being a predator and the content of the letter to the family from elders at Christ Church. How is it that hard to understand? Pastor Wilson says there is sufficient and I assume biblically sufficient reason for the content of that letter. I must take his word on it. There is nothing… Read more »
That’s a pretty long stretch between running an advertisement that people are free to respond to or ignore, for a very general practice of boarding college students, which we agree is not sinful, and taking upon oneself the responsibility for the advertisement being responded to be someone who wound up being taken advantage of by a predator. By that reasoning, newspaper publishers should walk around every day with a load of crushing guilt for all the abuse, violence, and larceny they have facilitated through their advertising. But scripture does not permit the imputation of guilt to those who have committed… Read more »
In your mind, does theonomy always require the harshest punishment possible, under secular humanist system, regardless of the desires of the victim?
Furthermore, in nearly all the OTHER colleges in the land, cohabitation is the norm–nay, the requirement. Or, I suppose you could shack up in any number of frat house dotting the periphery. Are you also willing to espouse suing the living daylights out of every college and university in our nation and a few thousand opportunistic landlords for the unequivocally BAD idea of decreeing that millions of hormonal idiots live together? Will you hold them all responsible for the countless amount of rape, sodomy, and unabashed fornication that transpires weekly on and off these campuses?
I will state this as plainly and clearly as possible. I do not disagree with this principle. I think there are many merits that are better than the world’s system. I said if I had instituted a system that encouraged families to board students and one of those students hurt a mans daughter I would feel horrible and coming down on the father and supporting the predator would be the last thing on my mind.
Got it, John. Consider us agreed, and please take no personal offense by my responses. We’re in the middle of an enormous firestorm–some have wisely stayed out of it–so it’s important that we don’t singe those with whom we share common ground.
Grace and peace to you as well, brother! My prayers are with you all through this.
College students have been boarding with local Moscow families for over 100 years. The arrangements are totally private. I don’t see why it would be the University of Idaho’s fault if one of their students harmed someone he boarded with. The blame game can only go so far.
John, the reason I referred to the Texas father was precisely in order to not gloss over the horror of what Steven had done. I don’t think that I did sit on Jamin’s side of the courtroom. People say that, but I don’t think it is accurate. I didn’t create the system that led to her victimization. That is false. And I have said elsewhere in the comments that I would be happy to explain why we said that to Gary Greenfield in that letter, but only if the relevant parties gave me to permission to do so. Natalie commented… Read more »
Thank you Doug for the response. Please forgive me for propagating error on your account. I assumed because the preferred boarding arrangements were advertised on the NSA website and I assume encouraged at Christ Church you had a hand in facilitating this system. I understand the merits of NSA encouraging students to board with Godly families. However in this situation it seems to have put a predator in a home with a vulnerable child. The Lord has blessed me with a large home and four children, three of whom are little girls. My wife and I desire to be a… Read more »
John, I’m sure you will want to know that the vivid memory that Natalie–Jamin’s victim–has of Doug sitting on her perpetrators side of the courtroom is corroborated by a second witness.
Doug, this is Natalie. I’m not sure why you were unable to reply on my blog post. I don’t screen the comments first so anyone should be able to post on there. Anyhow, I’ve spoken with both of my parents this morning concerning this particular comment of yours and I truly cannot imagine what information you could possibly have about my family that could ‘shut down the party’. Regardless, and to respect my mother’s wishes for privacy, you won’t be getting that permission anytime soon and I think you probably already know that. I’ll call your bluff on this one.… Read more »
Props to you for your bravery.
Though I’m not sure you accurately follow what Doug here offers, bravo for your fortitude and decorum.
My understanding is that Doug is saying that with permission to reveal “the truth” about the situation, the correspondence between he and my father, etc. he will successfully disprove my claims that he was covering his reputation and that of the church by deflecting blame and downplaying the situation. As though something he could reveal would make it clear that my father was actually to be blamed.
I’m not sure what you meant by “I’ll call your bluff on this one.” Calling his bluff would mean giving him permission, expecting him to not respond in spite of his statement that he would.
Great, wonderful addition to the discussion. We know what the hell she meant.
I mean that I don’t believe he has any information which would make people believe my father was to blame. I believe he already knows that my mother, a member at his church and in good standing with the leadership, does not wish to have publicity of any sort. Doing so without her permission would surely disrespect her and drive her away. His is an empty threat meant to intimidate, and I know that for a fact.
Then why not call his bluff? Give him permission to show that he doesn’t know anything and that would discredit him even more.
I can’t. I am respecting my mother’s wishes for privacy. She and my father went through a nasty divorce shortly after I came out about the abuse and she is not interested in having any of those details shared publicly. It is my assumption that the information Doug says he has could involve details of my parents difficulties (since I can’t imagine what else he could possibly be talking about) that she does not want shared.
Thank you for responding Natalie. Though Justin Vest is apparently omniscient, I am not, and desired to understand clearly what you intended.
Sorry about that, I thought you were merely arguing semantics. Forgive me.
Natalie, you are the definition of speaking truth to power. It makes me a little happier that people like you are in the community as well as the bad :)
Thank you, that is very kind of you.
Natalie, thanks for answering here. I tried to reply on Katie’s blog. At first Word Press required a password I didn’t have. This morning I signed in there with Facebook instead and left a comment. Last I checked, it had not been cleared. Since all along my refusal to speak about this has been in order to respect your family’s privacy, I am happy to continue to honor you all in this way. I can say that there is an answer, and that in my mind, it is a compelling one. But I care enough about you, and your mom,… Read more »
My understanding from her comment was actually that, familiar with your behavior, the family doesn’t trust you to be able to provide your story without dragging irrelevant details into this to score petty points.
Thanks for the well wishes. My parents have been very open and honest with me about the details of their discussions with you before, during, and after the abuse – I know the details (not to mention the fact that I remember them). I’ve discussed all of this with my parents multiple times over the last few days to make sure my memory served me well and that I wasn’t forgetting anything. Nothing about the way parents behaved was incriminating, nothing about their choices to allow Jamin to move into our home and board with our family implicates them in… Read more »
Natalie, what a remarkable, strong person you are, to stand in the face of blaming and shaming from Doug Wilson and others who are quick to leap to his side. There are no circumstances, NONE, where it would be appropriate to send a letter such as the one posted at Homeschoolers Anon., written by Wilson. Even if your dad had some problem he clearly does not have, it is mean-hearted of a person to even suggest such a thing while the victim has just disclosed. This is typical, in my experience of patriarchal leaders who feign a certain caring while… Read more »
Natalie, I have read the recent entry on your blog and your comments here to Doug Wilson. You are a brave woman who has shown much grace toward those who have hurt you. May your example help those who have also suffered from being sexually abused. I pray that you will continue strong in the face of adversity. God bless you!
Thank you so much for sharing here Natalie; it is good to hear your voice as witness. I was also glad to hear that some from Doug’s church have grown in grace enough to have “written letters of sincere apology to my family for the way the situation was handled, for trusting the wrong person, for defending the wrong person, for allowing themselves to be fooled by a dangerous criminal.” Doug’s claim that he can’t apologize because of pastoral confidentiality is ridiculous. Apologies don’t require disclosure, but they do require humility. His “sorry about” reflects very badly on him. Your… Read more »
“Do you stand by your decision to defend Jamin in writing to the magistrate judge and request leniency for him?”
It is telling that Doug Wilson will not answer this simple question, one that could be answered with a yes or a no.
Natalie, may God bless and strengthen you. Members of Christ Church, do not be deceived. A person incapable of admitted wrongdoing or poor judgement is not a leader worth following.
Dear Doug, this is Gary Greenfield and I’m going to reminisce a bit here. It’s been a long time since we’ve interacted with each other and it’s been a long time since we first met in 1976 when you were playing guitar in the Christian fellowship we both attended as young men still in college. You advanced quickly from guitarist to teacher after the older teacher/pastor ran off with a young lady in a our very small group and you ended up taking over as our teacher. From the first time I heard you teach, I knew you were going… Read more »
I had been adverse to organised religion since I was a little seven year old crying boy who was forced to go to confession to talk to a man I didn’t know who was hidden behind a screen in a dark little closet. Maybe my fears of being alone in a dark closet with a man I didn’t know stemmed from being sexually abused by my uncle when I was two years old. Maybe a lot of problems I encountered in my early years or even perhaps even later years were a result of sexual abuse that was kept a… Read more »
After the formation of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals, I began to quietly distance myself from the leadership of the CRE while at the same time seeking to raise my family in the church, develop friendships and to be involved in selective ministry that was not an official part of the church. As time went on, my fears that the CRE would become like all the other religious organisations came to fruition. It’s not that I expected perfection or a problem free environment but because it was what I thought was the Church of Jesus Christ and I expected that… Read more »
I can also say with all conviction of heart that my wife and I did the very best we knew how to raise up our children in the ways of the Lord. Were we perfect in doing so, of course not, but I can say with all confidence that we gave our hearts, minds and souls to taking care of our children, to giving them childhoods with rich and fun memories while making every effort to protect them from the pitfalls and dangers of this broken world. We even homeschooled our kids because we wanted to protect them from the… Read more »
Gary, you are welcome to tell this story here, and I appreciate the calm way you are approaching it. I am very sorry for the grief you have gone through. But please keep in mind that you are getting to the parts where I will not be able to explain our actions in response to what happened. I would be willing to do this if the affected members of the Greenfield family all agreed to let me answer questions about it. But since that is not in the cards right now, I will be remaining silent. But please know that… Read more »
I do wish you could respond in full. The truth needs to be dragged out at this point. Whatever it is, how incredibly sad that God’s people and old comrades-in-arms should reach this point. I grieve for this world and pray for all involved.
I’m sure many of you may be thinking, what really happened to cause the breakup of our marriage of thirty-two years? It’s been ten years now since Pat and I separated and eventually divorced. I’ve never talked about what happened between us in a public forum and I’m not quite sure how far to go with this but I do think its important to talk about for the sake of the greater good of perhaps helping others gain clarity and even perhaps comfort from knowing that perhaps their concerns and intuitions are indeed valid. Troubles began to escalate to an… Read more »
In the meantime, we were somewhere in the midst of dealing with the fallout of our daughter’s sexual abuse. ‘I’m not going to discuss the details of how that stress contributed to our breakup. Why? Because to do so would in no way be loving, kind, gentle or considerate of the wife of my youth from whom I am now estranged. Shortly after I came to the realisation that Christ Church was what I would consider to be merely a religious organizaton and not the true Church that Jesus Christ founded on the earth two thousand years ago, I met… Read more »
It was after my decision to leave Christ Church and attend the Eastern Orthodox Church that the #$%@ hit the fan big time. Again, I’m not going to go into the details other than to say things literally got crazy, insane and intolerable. Meeting with Doug and Peter which I did solely to pacify my wife to try to mend what was quickly falling apart was a last ditch effort out of desperation to try to win my wife back and fix the brokenness. Ultimately meeting with Doug and Peter did just the opposite in that they securely hammered the… Read more »
I am so sorry for what you have experienced. You sound like a wonderfully humble, Godly man. Natalie is blessed to have you as her father.
Gary, thank you for the courage to talk about your painful past. May you find comfort, peace, joy, and healing in the Orthodox Church. I, too, converted to the Orthodox faith and have discovered much mercy and compassion within the Church’s teachings. Christ be with you!
Plain words proclaiming a plain Gospel. It is, in fact, so clear and plainly expressed in Scripture that we figure we must complicate it, maybe to increase its value? But no one knows it’s value more than the contrite heart. And so many hearts fall short in that humility.
the gospel is not about telling people that no no no, forcing a kid to kiss your privates isn’t rape. That’s what DW leads with. DW is using the gospel to distract people from his terrible behavior.
By the way, as a kid I read about the “Intoleristas” in Moscow or something like that in Credenda/Agenda. Now I’ve joined their ranks. Oh, how the mighty have . . . something or other.
Or maybe it was just this blog. But I was a kid either way. Fun times. Fun times.
I posted this earlier but it got deleted. Probably because I used a word for Sitler’s gentials that starts with p and ends with s. Apparently saying the word is more offensive than obfuscating about a child kissing it. But it’s really nice to know that you don’t think forcing a kid to kiss that part of your body counts as “child rape.”
“…not because they are ‘stuffing it,’ but rather because they worked through it, and do not want someone else’s perversion to become their identity.” One book I read a couple of decades ago gave this striking metaphor for sexual abuse: it’s like the abuser vomits in a garbage bag and hands it to the victim and says, “Here. You carry this for the rest of your life.” Jesus says, “No, you don’t have to carry that.” But there’s a real temptation to cling to it like some perverse parody of a security blanket. It’s hard to stop believing such very… Read more »
Valerie, not going to argue with you about your own experience, but I have friends still wrestling with the continuing effects of abuse some 25+ years after it happened. The nightmares, for instance, may not go away, and that doesn’t mean they’re clinging to anything.
Glad you were able to let it go. But everyone is not you mentally or emotionally, nor do they have the support system that you have. For some, the images of their abuse will be a thorn in their flesh for the rest of their lives that they will not be able to get through. Because you got over it does not put you or the author of some book that you read in a position to judge others capability to do the same.
There is an Author of a Book (and of a world) who gets to say how I’m allowed and not allowed to respond to those who sin against me. I’m not allowed to be a slave to bitterness when He has freed me. I’m not allowed to wrap myself in self-pity when He commands me to rejoice always. I’m not allowed to center my identity around my wounds, but around His wounds. And I’m not judging anybody who does those things, but He will. I’m also not simplistically “letting it go,” I’m relying on His abundant grace not to let… Read more »
Beautiful. May we all respond with such grace!
That is the most perverse and damaging analogy to being a survivor of sexual assault I have ever seen. Telling a survivor to ‘get over it and let it go.’ (as you have just done) betrays not only a blinding ignorance to the effects of symptoms like PTSD, but callous disregard and contempt for survivors.
Okay, hold it tight and let it define you. Happy?
I suspect the response would be the same if that had been what was said.
How about ‘Determine what the best path for recovery and health is for yourself without listening to Christians who demand you drop the matter to make themselves feel more comfortable.’
There, that wasn’t hard.
Seems like holding on and letting go pretty much covers the possibilities.
Seems like you should educate yourself on different responses and recovery paths for sexual assault and PTSD.
Do those different responses and recovery paths you mention include the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit wrought in a heart of repentance, or are you actually limiting your own knowledge of acceptable choices to the very narrow scope of human wisdom enlightened by the dim bulb of modern psychology? Because as Christians, we have discovered that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is infinitely more powerful to save, to heal, and to redeem us horrible dead humans than ALL the “educated” humanistic psycho-analysis ever invented. It’s amazing how many millions of Christians can attest to the transformative work of God’s… Read more »
Ah yes, the pray away the PTSD/gay/depression/mental illness approach.
If prayer and spirituality is a part of YOUR personal recovery process, more power to you. Don’t suggest that actual science, therapy, and medicine is a poor replacement.
Unless you’re Valerie, and then your path is perverse, damaging, and blindingly ignorant.
@Irish, how are you upvoting that? You said that the path Valerie chose was perverse, damaging, and blindingly ignorant, but you said that people should determine what path is best for themselves. My last comment was sarcastic, intended to point out the inconsistency.
I thought it was serious. Because you were right. What she said was perverse, damaging, and blindingly ignorant. Not in that she chose to ‘let go of her bag of vomit’ herself, but that she believes her way is the right way for every survivor.
One of the best things I ever heard was, “victims don’t get well.”
Common sense would dictate that you would also be a good pastor to a potential spouse and suggest she not marry him or go to someone else to conduct the ceremony if she chose to do so.
You don’t have to forbid the marriage to recommend against it as a friend and pastor. Would you have recommended him to one of your daughters? Yeah….that’s what I thought.
Thank you Doug for drawing a clear line in the sand. You’ve expressed it somewhat more clearly and cogently than I’ve seen it here before: this is the Gospel. And if it’s not potentially for all, including even the despised Hitlers and Sitlers of this world, then it’s for none. 1Corinthians 6:9-11 is also one of my favorite passages to remind myself and others about the transforming power of the Gospel. “You were” becomes “you are”, in Christ alone. Peace.
Now that! Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The following comes from the blog of the victim (which indeed she is)… “How no one knew is still a mystery to me. I remember falling asleep with tears almost every night for months on end, wanting nothing more than to be an average 14 year old, stopping myself from calling out to my mommy to make everything alright, the way it used to be. I often wondered if I’d sleep through the night. He oiled the door hinges so no one would hear him sneak into my bedroom, the one adjacent to his own, separated only by a shared… Read more »
Perhaps you’d like to review this letter on Christ Church stationery and signed by Douglas Wilson. http://kbotkin.com/2015/09/10/the-letter-on-christ-church-stationary/ I’d also point out that it was (still is?) a practice of Christ Church to board New St. Andrews students with Christ Church families. I don’t know about your house, but the average American home isn’t set up with the kind of locks and segregation more akin to purdah, which is what you think the father should have done here. Douglas, you are disgusting to blame the father and the daughter for what happened to her. I absolutely stand by these words. –Deana… Read more »
I would agree that boarding single males in families with young children is very unwise and a bad policy. Wilson is guilty for allowing it, but so is the father.
Oh give me a break. As a follower of Wilson, do you think the father had much in the way of choice? If he’d said, “Oh, I can’t board a young man here, I have to protect my daughters” do you think that Douglas Wilson wouldn’t have used the threat of being excommunicated (which is what he threatened in the above letter I referenced) to get his way? Given the propensity of Christ Church members to have lots of kids, with the encouragement of Douglas Wilson, it would have been hard for Wilson to find any home to place his… Read more »
If what you say is true, that Wilson would have coerced the father if he had not opened his home to seminary students, then you are right. But believing that is to buy into the idea that Doug Wilson is running an authoritarian cult, which is hard for me to do based upon having read him for years and seeing the faithful presentation of orthodox Christianity and the gospel that he has consistently put forth. If someone understands the gospel, then he understands that leadership involves loving sacrifice, not authoritarian rule. And it is my view that Doug Wilson is… Read more »
Sorry, Wilson does not dictate who lives where. The NSA students are not “his.” You are laboring under towering ignorance and are being laughed at.
*shrug* You know, that letter Douglas Wilson sent to Gary makes it clear that Wilson is very much in charge and he can make your life VERY difficult if you fail to comply. That’s a marker of a cult. (And, kudos to Gary for standing by his daughter.)
You can laugh at me all you want. I really don’t care. I got labeled a “religious bigot” by Scientology back in the 1990s, but nearly two decades later, I look prescient. I suspect the same will be the case here.
Apparently the concept of church discipline is new to you. I lack sufficient information to know if the possibility of church discipline was appropriate in this case (as does everyone here) but it is an historic and biblical practice of the church and in no way is a marker for telling you whom you have to let live in your house. In order to suggest that Doug Wilson tells people whom they have to let live in their house you’d need something like….evidence that Doug Wilson tells people whom they have to let live in their house. Apparently you did… Read more »
You don’t really know the whole context of the letter, yet you have gone ahead and created a big story for it. Whatever happened to actual reality?
Wilson signed the letter on behalf of the elders. It says so right on there. It looks like it was a group effort, not the pronouncement of a solitary dictator. The elder’s authority only extend so far; they can’t make your “life” miserable if you disagree. In reality there is no cultish behavior in that community, and it’s reality that counts.
Nobody has presented any evidece that anyone has ever been threatened or would be threatened with discipline for not hosting students. So why would you insinuate it?
Yes, you’re not really putting DW on trial. DW is on trial, and we’re sitting in the courtroom, sadly on either of 2 sides (i really think courtrooms should start to be made with neutral “middle” seating). and you’re shouting out stuff that there’s no evidence for. I’m asking questions about the evidence but you’re not providing any
Mirele: Not meaning to further offend, but your argument(s) will be more effective without the use of hyperbole in this situation. Everything in this comment is hearsay.
I agree with you in principle (I would not want an unrelated male living in my house if I had daughters).
Still, If you keep up with the news you must be aware of the high number of women who rape adolescent boys. Taking in female boarders is no less risky.
Any boarders are risky, but female boarders are far less risky.
Since Wilson is not a dictator he can’t allow or disallow who boards with whom. The home owner has full control over who boards in his house. We are talking adults, here.
“There were interactions between my parents, myself, and my abuser over the course of the abuse, of course, but to go into the details of those would be dangerous.” Why would they be dangerous? “. Too many things went unsaid, and to unintentionally insinuatesomething would only be hurtful and destructive.” How would that happen if there was nothing problematic about anything the father did? “There need not be any more regrets on the part of those I love” So there are some legitimate regrets See I read Wilson’s letter, and I read NG’s blog both. The full picture isn’t given… Read more »
I’m not trying Douglas Wilson on the Internet. I’m just pointing out what the evidence shows and it’s pretty clear. What I want Douglas Wilson to do is 1) say he is sorry for supporting the pedophileS (yes, it’s happened more than once) and for minimizing what happened to the pedophileS’ victims. And 2) I want Douglas Wilson to repent and change his ways to where he is supportive of the victims of abuse. This isn’t a trial. The evidence is abundantly clear that when the rubber met the road, Douglas Wilson ALWAYS supported the pedophileS over their victims. ALWAYS.… Read more »
This ain’t a trial, yet you have found Mr. Wilson guilty. You are acting as judge.
This ain’t a trial, but the evidence is clear. You are acting as jury.
This ain’t a trial, but Mr. Wilson must now apologize and repent. You are acting as the executioner.
Please explain this glaring dichotomy.
You don’t think DW owes the father an apology for accusing a man of dereliction of fatherly duty when he didn’t? (assuming he didn’t)
Assuming he didn’t? I know nothing about the situation except what’s public record, and neither do 95% of anybody here. Taking the word of the side you prefer is not the same thing as knowing something. But it’s not merely not scandalous, it’s a commonplace to suggest that parents don’t always take their children’s reports of sexual abuse seriously and act upon them as quickly and appropriately as they should. If this were any other situation, it would be par for the course to talk about how parents don’t always respond properly in these situations (see, Duggar.) Mr. Greenfield may… Read more »
What “folly” might Natalie’s father felt guilty about? (Since we are playing the hypothetical game) If she was my daughter I’d have felt awful putting a pedophile in the bedroom next door separated by a bathroom. What information might Natalie not want dragged through the mud a decade later? The fact that the result of having a seminary student board with them cost Natalie her innocence, and her parents their marriage. Her mother still attends Wilson’s “church” and the mother is the one who doesn’t want this discussed and Wilson knows that.
Hypothetically of course
Sure. That’s one speculative answer. But it doesn’t seem to me to completely fit what has been said.
You could come up with a bunch of scenarios of private sins of the dad that end up with him looking pretty bad and not just as mere duped victim. And DW would have no right to talk about them openly.
We don’t just have doug saying “youre at fault somwhat”. We have a letter from doug saying “you’re at fault somewhat as you already confessed” Can you see the evidentiary difference of the two statements? We also have NG saying “I can’t get into what was said between my dad and my abuser because it would be dangerous to do so and might insinuate something” I’m trying not to take a side. I’m noting something that seems AT THE TIME to have been stipulated as true by both DW and GG. But GG may have recanted. But I don’t know… Read more »
Agree with all of that.
“I’m not trying Douglas Wilson on the Interner.”
Yes you are. The good thing is that you are in bad company with the group who investigates, tries and judges from afar with only a small bit of knowledge in the situation. I am sure that a little internet bird told you and the others everything that you needed to know to be sufficiently outraged.
18-1508. LEWD CONDUCT WITH MINOR CHILD UNDER SIXTEEN. Any person who shall commit any lewd or lascivious act or acts upon or with the body or any part or member thereof of a minor child under the age of sixteen (16) years, including but not limited to, genital-genital contact, oral-genital contact, anal-genital contact, oral-anal contact, manual-anal contact, or manual-genital contact, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or who shall involve such minor child in any act of bestiality or sado-masochism as defined in section 18-1507, Idaho Code, when any of such acts are done with the intent… Read more »
Pastor Wilson, I admire your presentation of the gospel, which is as lovely as anything I have ever read. And I weep for all those involved–the abusers, the abused, and for you. I stand with you, which therefore means that I also stand with the abusers and the abused, because you are standing with them as well. I am amazed by your courage, which is not the same thing as stubbornness or recalcitrance, though about six people here loudly proclaim it to be. I sit aghast at the vehemence and unfiltered hatred poured out on you, when those so self-consciously… Read more »
Malachi, your paragraph starting, “As any honest person should attest…” is right on the mark. On many things, I am not a Doug Wilson fan. I am not a Federal Visionist. I follow Kinship Theology rather than Reformed Theology. I am a- rather than post-millennial. I am a biblical egalitarian rather than a patriarchal complementarian. And my political views slant more to the libertarian. But on the current subject, I cannot find an ounce of wrong in what Doug has written. All the accusations in these comments are supported only by presupposition, conjecture, speculation, and a special dislike of some… Read more »
Is Kinship Theology just another name for “kinism”? Please elucidate.
It’s not kinism. It is not far from Reformed theology in what I would call vital doctrines, but it starts with the declaration and the emphasis on God’s purpose for creation as his desire to enjoy everlasting love relationship with his image bearers. That purpose is foundational motivating everything God does. It takes thought and doctrine to subtle differences that, I believe, satisfy certain disturbing elements of Reformed thought (as well as Lutheran thought for that matter). It is a covenant-based theology, but for example, rather than understanding a Covenant of Works to kick things off, that covenant would be… Read more »
Steal away for a sec — is there a group or sect or church that one might find on the landscape that devotes itself to this (for me, attractive) way of thinking? Where might we get more acquainted with this outlook?
Kinship Theology is mostly associated with a Bible study I’ve been doing for the past about 10 years. Although the concepts of Kinship Theology are not new (we find the ideas scattered even among the church fathers — esp. Cappadocians), pulling these concepts together in a more organized system is fairly recent. Go to truthwhys.com. On the sidebar there is a label of Kinship Theology. This holds the beginnings of a book for which only two chapters are currently on the website (about a chapter per month is being added). But if you peruse our Bible study Summaries–esp. John, Isaiah,… Read more »
Once again, you are white washing. Just because Sitler was convicted of only one count of Lewd Conduct doesn’t mean he’s only guilty of one count. Sitler himself has admitted that there are more victims in multiple states. Just because the gospel forgives doesn’t mean that it’s an automatic pass from earthly consequences such as NO MARRYING and certainly NOT HAVING CHILDREN. Sitler may very well go to Heaven. I am not called to EVER be judge of that. However, I do have respect for our civil authorities, and it is they themselves who opposed the marriage to begin with… Read more »
“I am calling for nothing more than what the law of the land called for many years ago.”
Pardon me if I missed an earlier comment. Are you referring to the death penalty or sterilization?
I am absolutely not referring to the death penalty OR for sterilization. I am calling for him to have not entered into the marriage that the DOC so adimately protested. Since that counsel from the law was not headed, I am calling for the counsel of Judge Stegner to not allow him to reside under the same roof with a child that he fathers be followed. Several years ago this is what law enforcement wanted for Steve Sitler (no marriage and no residing with children, even his own). I agree that this should have been followed, and should still be… Read more »
I made no such assumptions and was merely curious about this: “what the law of the land called for…”
I thought you were referring to a law.
I was referring to what the authorities wanted to see happen, and all the wisdom/counsel they gave that was ignored completely.
Okay. I don’t consider the authorities to be the law of the land, rather those commissioned to uphold the law. Hence my confusion.
Aren’t the authorities the ones who actually released him onto the public?
So you also think that any woman who has had a abortion should never marry?
I think that any woman that sexually molests a child should never marry as well. I think that “recidivism”, so to speak, from having an abortion is a totally different scenario. Many women who have abortions are pressured into doing so. Are child molesters pressured into touching children? Child molesters who have been incarcerated undergo many evaluations. Some reported to be high risk of re-offending. I would like to see a study done regarding women who have had abortions. How often are they pressured into doing so? Is the pressure coming from a man or a woman? Is the father… Read more »
There are some differences to be sure. (And I have no problem with men who are complicit in abortions bearing some of the guilt.) My point is that quite a lot of abortions are repeat abortions. Not a small number of women have a second (or a third). So any woman who has had an abortion is risking the life of her future babies. People are saying that even a repentant paedophile presents some risk; though not all re-offend. Yet the should-never-marry-ever group say that no risk, however small, is worth taking. That same logic says that no risk, however… Read more »
Doug, Since I cannot find an email address for you, I am going to use this medium to make an offer. If you believe that the post I wrote is filled with errors, I would be happy to post a response by you in outlining the specific errors in the TWW post. I will post it *as is* and will refrain from making any comments on the post itself, leaving that up to readers, etc.
Is God evil because Sitler sinned? After all, He has the authority and the power to stop him. It sounds like there are several commenters angry not just at Wilson but also at God.
Why do you not take your own advice and tend your wounds with grace instead of shouting it on social media? Ironic indeed. “Ironically, I have seen some who have adopted a victim identity attack the “church ladies” for “not understanding” when I know for a fact that many of those women understand all too well. The fact that they are not working through the issues out loud on Facebook does not mean that they have no real wounds in their stories, or that they have not addressed them with grace. I commend such women, not because they are “stuffing… Read more »
The Sitler situation has been in the Moscow newspaper. People need answers. If Wilson did not say anything about the situation, then you would scream to high heaven that he was hiding things. He is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
One can acknowledge a situation without writing blog after blog after blog trying to justify one’s actions.
I said that people are wanting and needing answers. More and more questions that needed answering kept coming to light. That is quite apparent if you have eyes to see.
Why does he need to answer to any of these people? If he is right and believes he did the right thing he doesn’t have to answer to anyone but God. The verse doesn’t say keep silent except when people are asking questions and needing answers. Doug didn’t tell the victim to keep silent until people needed answers.
In writing all of these long winded blogs about the situation he is allowing” someone else’s perversion to become” his own identity.
>>Why does he need to answer to any of these people? If he is right and
believes he did the right thing he doesn’t have to answer to anyone but
Doug is a representative of Christ and the message of the Gospel. So this is far more than him merely being “right”. How he handles this current situation will either adorn or detract from his responsibility to be a proper representative.
I think he has already shown he is not a proper representative with each new blog. He’s just making it worse. But, I guess this is exactly what he wants. Attention. And I regret giving it to him.
The biggest caveat about child molesters is that most aren’t caught and use churches as hunting grounds because Christians are too trusting. Clara Hinton was married to such a man. She didn’t know that he was doing this from the pulpit for about 30 years. http://www.findingahealingplace.com is her blog describing what they really look like. I am posting this so your readership will have a better idea how to spot the wolves who are just that: unrepentant wolves.
Thank you, Doug, for the moving and grand vision of the gospel you laid out here. Blessings to you, Brother.
I love you and the saints at Christ Church. I am praying for you all.
C’mon DOug–stop hiding behind the legalese of the isssue. He pled to those charges–and we can list all of his other offenses which would shut your party down indeed. Ok, so people used rape instead of using infant for self gratification….oh ok that makes him a great father. You should own this dOUG….APOLOGIZE TO ALLLLL victims in you church and you knwo there are many and move on… otherwise you just come off as bad as all these perps who find haven’s in hyper patriarchal churches and communes like yours. WITH YOUR FULL SUPPORT. OWN IT-REPENT-AND TRY AND MOVE FORWARD.
I highly suspect that Doug Wilson’s enemies would use any public apology as a weapon against him and Christ Church.
even if that’s true that’s not a reason to not apologize if you erred you know. Paul apologized for mistakes he made, and said he would suffer any consequences he was worthy of punishment for.
Shrill demands for apologies (which, if forthcoming, are used as evidence that the person should be destroyed) are a very common tactic in public flame wars. I really don’t expect Wilson to knuckle under to his accusers.
So you counsel wilson to not apologize even if he has sinned?
I am not his counselor or confidant. I can, however, make observations like this one: Doug Wilson continues to win in large part because he does not swallow his enemies’ rhetoric or acquiesce to their demands. So it really isn’t likely that he will suddenly adopt a different strategy.
If any of you were standing before a judge, having been accused of a crime, how would you like it if the judge only listened to the prosecution before passing sentence? If you would not like that, then do unto others what you would have others do unto you.
Thank you for using your gifts to teach the Word so clearly and consistently. This is extraordinarily helpful.
Anyone care to wager on when pedophilia will become an accepted good? Polygamy is obviously next in line to be ‘redeemed,’ but I can’t decide whether it will be bestiality or pedophilia after that.
Regardless, I’m sure that some day we’ll all be pilloried for ever having doubted the righteousness of adult-child-relations. #wrongage
Where I come from child molesters are taken to an unknown location to never been heard from again and if some good ones have to die, ‘The Lord’ will sort them.
PRAYER BREAK!!!!! Can all accusers and supporters on this blog send up a prayer for Doug and Natalie? They are speaking of meeting and talking, which could lead to peace and understanding. If all the accusers care so much about the specific victim / casualty of this problem and Doug and Natalie somehow reconcile as the Word directs, would that not be great for all directly involved, the casualties of this problem? If reconciliation happens, then we will all have to get back to our own, not so public problems, some of us have much of our own work to… Read more »
Lord God, give peace to Natalie’s heart and mind. May the Holy Spirit, who holds her soul, bathe her in the perfect truth, goodness, and beauty that comes only from you. May every attempt of Satan to defeat her in mind and heart fall failing to the floor. May she rise with the wings of eagles. May she never, never faint. Bring those who love you to surround her and love her as only those with knowledge and life abundance in you can. May she, as others have, be able to live free from the trauma of soul by trusting… Read more »
Amen but don’t stop praying everyone. Amen for more prayer. (and less blather)
It seems like there are two voices here, speaking different languages; some prioritize protecting the innocence of children, others prioritize “grace” and “the gospel.” It’s not that those who prioritize “grace” don’t care about the victims–they do. They just value “the gospel” more. “The gospel” is so important. And if a molestation or rape provides an opportunity for grace to be displayed, so be it. God is sovereign, and if God chooses for a baby to experience molestation that the gospel can be preached, who are we to consider it anything other than beautiful. It is ultimately God’s will. That’s… Read more »
Jael, what an astute observation about there being two voices speaking different languages. Those of us speaking the “grace/gospel” language would never state that molestation/rape = a beautiful thing because it gives grace an opportunity to be displayed. This is not our view of God’s sovereignty, although your argument is a logical and fair one, which even got Paul’s attention in Romans 6. Our emphasis on the gospel and grace is because we know that only a scandalous gospel (i.e., one which declares just as much compassion for the rapist as for the victim) can mend the deep evil in… Read more »
Thank you for helping to clarify your view of God’s sovereignty. Serial molesters can absolutely be forgiven, as can any other kind of sinner, habitual or otherwise. (However, we also know that “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” –1 John 3:6, but this is probably another conversation.) While I also believe in a scandalous gospel and agree that it is about all people, I also believe we must take care to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. Right now and… Read more »
Are you sure?
Maybe they are seeing a secular government who releases sexual offenders back into the public square? (I guess not, because none of the cauldrons of tar seem to have the judges’ or legislators’ names on them.)
I think the call for compassion for all (also a central tenet of Buddhism, FWIW) is powerful. I don’t think I denigrate Steven Sitler’s victims by feeling compassion for him, and sorrow for the dilemmas his condition have placed on his life. That said, I don’t see where that changes the responsibility of people around him to do everything within their power to comfort and heal the people he already has victimized and to prevent him for hurting others. Sitler is a human who merits divine compassion as well as divine justice. In the meantime, he should not be around… Read more »
Hmm. Do you know for sure that sensible elders and leaders didn’t try to discourage this? Do you know for sure that they didn’t warn her?
I know from Katie’s public posts about her romance that one elder brokered her introduction to Sitler and that Doug Wilson married them, knowing their plan was to have children, and is on record here saying that he would do it again. I do not know whether others disagreed.
Here’s how Katie put it:
june11eleven.com — The Meeting
I know of no Calvinist/Reformed believer who holds such a stoic/fatalistic view. The problem is not that those talking about God’s grace are doing so, but that those talking only about the victims and the evil powers in Moscow deny that Christ is the only scape-goat that can save us from our sins. Sitler’s offenses (breaking God’s laws) are likewise the offenses of all sons and daughters of Adam, and trying to scape-goat Sitler is an attempt at self-righteousness that God has already declared a lie. It is hypocritical that many persons who would be angry at Wilson for not… Read more »
“The problem is not that those talking about God’s grace are doing so, but that those talking only about the victims and the evil powers in Moscow deny that Christ is the only scape-goat that can save us from our sins.” I have not heard a single person claim this. Only that in addition to being forgiven by Christ, 1) Sitler should not have had access to harm children, 2) Sitler should not have continued access to harm children, and 3) we should consider how church leadership can prevent and actively combat these situations with humility, which it does not… Read more »
Only these three? There has been much worse, here and elsewhere. And the insistence that anyone with other/broader/additional concerns is abusive/despicable/evil/damnable, etc. Why only either/or and not both/and? Is God only interested in the victims? This is not the God of the Christian Bible who claims dominion over all, abusers and victims alike. Why no concern for God’s Holiness? Man’s universal sinfulness? Christ? Christ’s death for our sins? Our being clothed in Christ’s righteousness? The answers to these questions would expose their real objections to Wilson, and in some cases show why nothing short of denying the Gospel would satisfy… Read more »
I don’t think that is the way Jesus looked at it.
In what way(s), specifically?
Caring for the victim is the gospel.
I absolutely agree.
The worth of truth no tongue can tell; ‘Twill do to buy, but not to sell; A large estate that soul has got, Who buys the truth and sells it not. Truth, like a diamond, shines most fair, More rich than pearls and rubies are– More worth than gold and silver coin, O! may it always in us shine. ‘Tis truth that binds, and truth makes free, And sets the soul at liberty From sin and Satan’s heavy chain, And then within the heart doth reign. They have a freedom then indeed, That doth all freedom else exceed– Freedom from… Read more »
This is by far the most reasonable blog article on this subject that I have ever read.
It is strange to see such rampant inconsistency on this subject, particularly in Christian circles.
How can we, who have been forgiven so much, not find in ourselves a desperation to give hope of a new identity to those who sit in darkness and dwell in the shadow of death.
Those who have been forgiven much, love much.
There’s few more hopeful words in Scripture than the words, such were some of you…
Doug, thanks for these posts. They are very helpful insight into a difficult situation. Blessings.
Mr. Wilson, for the sake of the child – the real victim in this case – please listen to those who have been admonishing you for your dereliction of duty as a pastor. “Pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
“I have other things to write about, but it appears to me that the Lord doesn’t have other things for me to write about.”
You are on to something here, Mr. Wilson. However, it appears from your recent blogging that you still haven’t figured it out. Go on….continue writing and writing and writing. But until you listen to those whom the Lord is using to speak to you, your only posture can be that of self-defense. Lay down your defenses, and you actually might profit from the voice of wisdom.
Wow, another blogger out of the blue in the western sky. Nonna, do you know any of the players personally or have inside knowledge of this situation?
What wisdom are you imparting, Nonna?
What do you think Wilson had the power to do, that he didn’t do?
And are you as angry and in such hot pursuit of the civil authority that actually released the man?
Pedophilia is the new witchcraft for people who don’t believe in the devil. Suspects can be convicted on whimsical testimony and then must be burned. But pedophiles are real! Yes they are and so is the devil and he’s just as pleased with a pedophile burner as with a pedophile.
Many within that so-called witch-hunting mob over this last week had claimed that they had been similarly abused. Ironically, like the sinful response when the molested/raped becomes reluctantly/eventually complicit when sinfully NOT “crying out” (Dt 22:24,27) as they ought to have according to their better knowledge (of God’s law in their heart) to stop the fornication from continuing, this mob over the last week sinfully DOES “cry out” with presumption about someone else’s experiences when there isn’t a sufficient epistemic basis of internal warrant to condemn regarding another sin/crime instance (a condemnation which now implicitly includes “enabling” by others/pastors that… Read more »
Hi Antecho, I am having trouble understanding you. Are you suggesting that because the child has responded to grooming or to coercion, he or she is complicit in the sin? Do you believe that a woman who does not cry out during a rape, perhaps because she has a knife to her throat, has committed “a sinful response to the rapist’s initial sin”? Do you see rape as essentially fornication as opposed to a grievous physical assault? I’m also a little bit puzzled by your last statements. You say that the people disclosing sexual abuse here are part of an… Read more »
Hi Jill, Regarding your third question: Rape is fornication / sexual immorality via grievous forced physical assault; it’s not fallaciously an ‘Either-Or’ case of the options that you presented. Regarding your first question: If the raped have a sufficient knowledge of good and evil (Dt 1:39; Is 7:15,16; 8:4) to know that such rape is sin/evil and ought not to be concealed, then yes they shouldn’t in response compromisingly/complicitly conceal such sin/”evil” by “not crying out” (Dt 22:24,27), thereby helping/aiding the rape going unnoticed as it continues. That sort of concealment in response would sinfully be against God’s requirement (Dt… Read more »
If the raped have a sufficient knowledge of good and evil (Dt 1:39; Is 7:15,16; 8:4) to know that such rape is sin/evil and ought not to be concealed, then yes they shouldn’t in response compromisingly/complicitly conceal such sin/”evil” by “not crying out” (Dt 22:24,27), thereby helping/aiding the rape going unnoticed as it continues. That sort of concealment in response would sinfully be against God’s requirement (Dt 22:24,27). Regarding your second question: Yes, the raped ought to still obey God and “cry out” (Dt 22:24,27) even if his life would be in danger/harm (e.g. via knifepoint). You are over-reading this.… Read more »
If Scripture doesn’t mention being at knifepoint or in fear, then you shouldn’t arbitrarily presume/introduce that these are relevant conditions as exceptional methods of coercion/force to escape guilt of not crying out. That would be like making up a rule apart from Scripture that there’s no guilt to respond to persecution/pressure by consenting to blaspheme Christ if sharp objects or feelings of fear are involved during methods of coercion/force (Ac 26:11). The girl relunctantly/double-mindedly as a response does indeed exercise some sense of consent, the restrained consent to not “cry out” against the fornication/adultery, enabling the forced fornication/evil to continue… Read more »
The text presupposed crying out (as per the countryside). Tha she doesn’t cry out in the city implies this is consensual. She is executed as an adulteress (as is he). It is over-reading (over-interpreting) the text to extend it to saying that she should still yell out, even if he holds a knife to her neck. Case law doesn’t give every circumstance. What if they are in the city but the city has been abandoned because of a famine. Logic would dictate this is similar to being in the countryside.
I agree, because the text says “no one would save her” (Dt 22:27) after being in the vincinity to hear her cry out. So your empty city exception is not arbitrary, but based on Scripture. However, now you are introducing exceptions of sharp objects or fear as exceptions for not “crying out” which are not based on Scripture. Thus, the fact that Scripture gives a principle/circumstance to make an exception for guilt of not crying out (city vs field), doesn’t imply that now you have the moral freedom to introduce on your own authority additional exceptions/circumstances. Hand-waving something as over-interpreted… Read more »
The woman is also obligated by the sixth commandment to preserve her own life. Weighing that against denying Christ, preserving her life is less important. Weighing that against being raped, preserving her life may be more important.
So if someone demands that a woman must not resist her own involvement in extra covenantal sex to save herself from being murdered, then the woman to be murdered is (or even could be) guilty of her own murder if she refuses? I think we’re going to need some Scriptural warrant for that; if we can’t find such then that is also arbitrarily presumptuous as it would involve subtracting/excepting the seventh commandment as a obligatory/necessary means to keep the sixth commandment — contrary to Dt 4:2. So. first of all what did God reveal in Scripture that teaches you to… Read more »
I was thinking of the WLC on the sixth commandment. I don;t know if it’s a strong enough case, but it’s worth considering: Q. 135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment? A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any; by just defence thereof against violence, patient bearing of the hand of God, quietness of mind,… Read more »
You’re right, she seems to have protected her brother (even wanting to have an incestuous marriage with him). David didn’t punish, and another son went unjustly vigilante. Tamar being guilty of rape of herself wouldn’t make sense in the primary sense. But like Amnon, she would bear guilt for her rape only in some different sense as indirect/secondary means, that is in the sense of complicitly enabling/aiding the rape, by only partially doing what she ought to do to prevent Amnon’s fornication. She did do something, she did decide not to cry out so as to attempt to stop the… Read more »
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
Also, I deliberately said “may,” because I would never fault a woman who resisted to the point of death.
I know; that’s why I also put “could” in parenthesis.
“May” also implies “may not” so it really doesn’t stand for much; so I dealt with your speculation/conjecture in it’s strongest/most-meaningful light.
Well, that’s good. And, the moral obligation of “crying out” goes for men too, in this increasing Sodomite culture; no scapegoating daughters or concubines, either.
Where is the command to cry out? It is assumed because that is what people do; ie. she did not cry out implies this is consensual. I don’t read it as a command at all. The Jews made the same mistake in assuming that a man divorces is wife because… therefore he has a legitimate reason to divorce. But Jesus said that it was because their hearts were hard. The command acknowledged divorce but was there to prevent a woman returning to her husband, not to teach that he was allowed to divorce (note that they are wrong because they… Read more »
If she doesn’t cry out in the city than she deserves death for not crying out.
Therefore she ought to cry out in the city, she has a moral obligation to do this.
Therefore, the command, although not an express command, is implied since she is condemned for not doing so as a moral obligation.
We are also implicitly commanded/ morally obligated to believe in the Trinity.
If people were to be put to death (or condemned) for not divorcing, then divorce would be a relevant analogy.
If she doesn’t cry out in the city than she deserves death for not crying out. because the not crying out implies that it was consensual.
I can see we will not get much further. Though I suggest you look at the divorce passage I mentioned (Deu 24:1-4)
Yes, but it doesn’t only imply full consent. It also implies doing all that is in your power to prevent such sin from continuing by attempting to let others know the urgency of the current situation “she cried out, but there was none to save her” per Dt 22:24. It’s arbitrary to artificially limit the implication to mere intent, especially when the text expressly mentions some other purpose explicitly (while full consent vs. partial /restrained resistance/consent is implicit, but nonetheless a real purpose).
For the record, I WAS actually abused when I was eight or nine years old by a teenage boy in my neighborhood. I know the name of the abuser, but the statute of limitations has passed. I don’t even know if he’s still alive. What I do know is that I was so upset about what he’d done to me that I tried to destroy the engine on his Volkswagen. My uncle had a similar vehicle and I knew the engine was in the back. The abuser’s mother found one day with the engine compartment open and me trying to… Read more »
Very sorry to hear about such sin/evil/wickedness, Mirele.
Statute of limitations for pressing charges is bogus, and it’s arbitrary that some crimes have them while others don’t. Just more bad/sinful fruit of our society walking away from God’s revelation (on crime & punishment) in Scripture (which doesn’t support time limits for appealing to a judge for justice; only limits I can think of now are for non-criminal debts, which some 7-year bankruptcy laws still seem to reflect).
This is disgusting talk. It’s the kind of talk that makes victims of pedophiles not want to come forward, if they’re going to be essentially compared to spawn of the devil.
That gospel, that gospel… Amen.
Because many of these comments are emotionally charged and based on supposition and conjecture, some of us might be served well to examine the actual facts. Transcripts from court hearings, arrest records, and the latest statement by the prosecutor can be found here: http://sitler.moscowid.net/category/court-records/ It is important to note that even Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson is not in favor of extending Sitler’s punishment beyond what had been previously been determined by the court. He recognizes the difficulty for everyone involved in the case, and simply wants to ensure that the child is protected and not at risk. There is… Read more »
“…most voices offering criticism simply want to keep this child safe.”
Jael, this is true, but I think in addition what would be appreciated is that Doug Wilson own up to his irresponsibility in this matter – namely, that he officiated at the wedding of Steven Sitler and Katie, knowing that a child would very likely be born out of this union. And, that such a child would be in harm’s way from his own father! Hence, where the matter stands today because there is an actual child whose safety is at risk.
I agree completely with regard to accountability for Doug Wilson. I’m here referring to those who believe there is a “pedophilia witch hunt,” or that anyone is calling for evil, harm, or excessive restrictions for Steven Sitler. I don’t see anyone calling for that, in the public sphere or in the legal system. I think the response to Sitler has been very measured and appropriate.
What am I missing here?
The civil magistrate released this man. Is anyone braying for their heads?
Did I somehow miss the massive SJW campaign to execute child abusers?
Was Wilson supposed to lock him in the church basement? Would you all be supporting that if he did? What power do you think Wilson has that he did not exercise?
What exactly does making Wilson the scapegoat for sins that he did not commit accomplish?
I think the objective is to shut him up.
You can listen to the audio of exactly what the courts are trying to do here: http://sitler.moscowid.net/2015/09/01/steven-sitler-hearing-review-of-terms-of-probation/ And if I am correct, the judge approving Sitler’s marriage recommended that if children resulted from Sitker’s marriage, he would be unable to live with them. Doug Wilson knew this but proceeded to conduct the marriage ceremony. This means that either a) Wilson intended for them to live apart once they had a child, which would be a violation of the Biblical principles he preaches, or b) Wilson intended to disregard the recommendation of the courts, planning to defy civil authority. Or perhaps… Read more »
wait, is it a recommendation or an order?
If it’s not an order, why not? If it’s only a “recommendation”, then how is departing from it “defying civil authority”?
Bottom line, the civil authority is the only entity that could have stopped Sitler from fathering a child being in authority over a child. And it didn’t do it. Yet you turn your bile on Wilson.
That’s a good question. I reviewed the original documents in order to ascertain the specific nature of the judge’s recommendation/order. In a letter dated May 27, 2011, the Idaho Department of Correction states that it “does not support Mr. Sitler’s upcoming marriage.” It later states that, “If Mr. Stitler was to get married and have children as he has stated are his intentions, the Idaho Department of Correction will face the future decision to have to separate Mr. Sitler’s family, as we cannot allow him to be unsupervised with children.” You can read the letter in its entirety here: http://sitler.moscowid.net/2011/05/27/idaho-department-of-correction-re-steven-sitler-2/… Read more »
Thank you for that. I still am not getting the blame of Mr. Wilson that is going on then (perhaps not from you? if not my apologies). Perhaps I am just being dense (entirely possible). So the legal system released Sitler, apparently with much hemming and hawing (thank you for reproducing much of that hemming and hawing here), yet, they still did it. It’s not clear to me which, but – the legal system either did promise that they would separate Sitler from any future children (which would make the marriage foolish perhaps but not a danger to children), or… Read more »
Jael gives the dilemma (which is irrelevant to the present circumstances) that consists of specified options that: (1) Wilson intended the marriage to be a violation of Biblical principles or (2) to defy civil authority. However, let’s get some facts straight using the ~50 minute court audio that Jael herself referenced in her above comment: 1) According to the court audio (http://sitler.moscowid.net/2015/09/01/steven-sitler-hearing-review-of-terms-of-probation/) the judge at 40:53 – 41:55 does not necessarily prohibit Mr. Sitler from living with his child so long as there is line of sight observance of a trained chaperone while Mr. Sitler interacts with his child. 2)… Read more »
“And by the way, I don’t just love Steven Sitler, I love his victims also.” Relegating only the second direct mention of Steven Sitler’s victims in five veeery long posts to an incidental, an en passant, probably wasn’t a good idea, Doug. But after reading all of the five posts defending yourself, I would have to agree that your love for them does in fact seem incidental to me. It is certainly not the main issue that you have chosen to address. And I concur with the scriptures that say that a man speaks out of the abundance of his… Read more »
There are some really weird statements in this post. Here is one: “This is why there is such a rage against such sex offenders, a rage born of such internal contradictions. This is why the only reasonable thing is, it seems to them, to take them all down to the river and drown them.” It was the statement of Christ himself that it were better for offenders of little ones that they have a millstone placed about their neck and be drowned. It would of course be blasphemous to assert that the placement of this curse stemmed from Jesus’ “internal… Read more »
“… you welcome him to the Font and to the Table. He is as welcome there as anybody else. If he is not, then you have denied the gospel the same way Peter did at Antioch.” So when Emmanuel Orthodox Presbyterian denied Steven Sitler the Table as a result of his grievous and persistent sin they were denying the gospel? Why did the elders of Christ Church differ from the expressed judgment of the session of Emmanuel Orthodox: that Steven’s abuse of children indicated he might not even be a believer? Did your two sessions agree together at some point… Read more »
Another weird statement in this post: “A lot of things might happen again, and a lot of men have a lot of dark urges. They have serial dark urges.” This is a very creepy way to align “alot of men” with sexual impurity and immorality (the context of your remarks is a discussion of pedophilia, adultery, and homosexuality). Far too broad a brush. Are you trying to frighten us all of these “alot” of men with “serial dark urges”? Or just say that we are all like Steven Sitler? Because we’re not. Most men don’t molest children, or feel any… Read more »
Pastor Wilson. there will be no shame in you repenting and admitting your wrongdoing. You may receive God’s Love and be washed anew of any sins of pride and the suggestion in the correction above that murder is acceptable in the Eyes of the Lord. For how can a pastor entrusted with leading the flock in the righteousness of the Word suggest that murder is acceptable to Him. The murder of one who should be ministered to as you ministered to Steven Sitler? I found this FB post from former TRC worshiper Peter Roise to be thought provoking. Can you… Read more »
I am also deeply disturbed by Doug’s suggestion of murderous, vigilante justice in this post.
“I believe there was at least one scenario where Steven could have been killed on the spot, and no injustice done.”
If the consensus of the mob gets its way, then some court will try to make Katie Sitler choose between her husband and her son. They don’t even know that this is what they are yelling for — that’s one of the lies. Well, I don’t know whether I’m part of any mob, but I know perfectly well that this is what I’m yelling for. For Katie to choose between Sitler and her son. Otherwise, I can’t see how she can have a normal life, or how her baby can be safe from him. Run, Katie, run! And if you… Read more »
Yes, this was the exact choice emphasized by the Latah County Prosecutor, the Idaho Department of Corrections, the Judge, and even Sitler’s own attorney at the hearing to approve his marriage: if the couple were to have children, Katie would have to live separately from Sitler in the interest of the child. They stated this obviously and clearly, that Katie would have to make this choice in the future. I’m not sure whether Wilson is being intentionally obtuse on this point, has a penchant for the dramatic, or was genuinely unaware of the court’s recommendation. Whatever the case, yes, this… Read more »
Agreed. The kirk specifically seems to have isolated itself from the objective ability to evaluate this situation from a perspective of child safety. The power of a strong-willed leader like Douglas Wilson is not to be under estimated here. Who can stand up in the immediate congregation against him if his attitude here is any indication of the blow back? I am gobsmacked with his writing five blogs re-framing himself and his views as the victim. Not behavior which seem to show much christian humility. At least on this forum there is no direct community disapproval- the kind that have… Read more »
Doug – i am a member of the CREC church in Alberta – and reading this again at the urging of my daughter, who says you are advocating for *grace*. But i feel that marriage ought not to be commended to people who have the mental disorder of pedophilia (with or without co-morbid disorders, which complicate matters even further) (see http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/pessimism-about-pedophilia). I am not arguing that pedophilia is beyond the reach of God’s grace, just that we as believers should protect the offender as well as any past or potential victims, by placing hedges around them. Marriage opens a wide… Read more »
Excellent post, mamazee, thank you. I certainly hope you can help those young women at your church test these matters against Scripture to see whether they be of God, instead of just parroting what Doug and Toby say. Keep speaking! Many are listening.
Yes, a well-stated, respectful post, and a reasoned plea… I would only ask you to reconsider your pondering aloud whether abortion is worse than sexual molestation. True, the victim of sexual abuse must deal with the sequelae for the rest of their lives, but the victim of abortion is DEAD. I’m not sure it gets worse than that. Also, Doug’s larger point in this post is this: what if your church were presented with a 25-yr-old repentant prostitute who had spent six years handing out sex for money, and during that time aborted four children. She would guilty of seriously… Read more »
“Why isn’t her pastor vilified for stupidity, arrogance, and managing a cult because she will obviously later fall into an extra-marital affair?”
Or, perhaps, more to the point, why isn’t her pastor vilified for stupidity, arrogance, and managing a cult because she will obviously later arrange for the killing of more of her children?
How can ANYONE know the semi-former-maybe-not-so-ex-prostitute will either have an affair or an abortion, much less “obviously” so?
Perhaps we have a category problem, where being a child abuser is a different kind, not just degree, of a problem than being a prostitute? Is “only” being a prostitute a more manageable/tractable cross to bear then being a pedophile? Does the “working girl” have a smaller hill to climb to reach the Cross than a Sitler faces?
Just wondering; just asking – – have neither data, studies, nor counseling experience to say either way.
Ah, I think you’re missing something.
I don’t think that Malachi or I are suggesting that it’s really “obviously” the case that the woman will have an affair/abort more children.
We’re saying that following the arguments here presented, we should think that. It’s the suggestion that the hill is higher for a pedophile than for others, that’s specifically being challenged, not affirmed.
OK, I see that alternate take now.
On “height of hill” differences, I guess it depends on where you’re standing. Seen through Jesus’ eyes, from the right side of the Throne, I’m thinking all hills down here are the same height. Neither “motes” nor “beams” make an eye difference to Him.
Seen from down here, through human eyes, the hill typically appears to be higher up and/or farther away. Yesterday’s Denison e-blast ended on an apt note; ” . . . when we understand God’s ways, faith is easy. When we do not, faith is essential.”
My comment above attempts to explain the category difference which I believe to be leading in large measure to the difference in treatment of the types of individuals in question.
I reject the categorical difference. However, because many people believe there to be a categorical difference, they demand the issues be treated in different ways.
See my answer just now to Jane; I think we’re on the same page.
Yes. Good insight.
TWO gold stars in the same week. Teacher’s pet, here I come!
Jane, if Andrea Yates were released on parole while still of child-bearing years, would a prudent pastor think she was a safe candidate for remarriage and motherhood? And, assuming he did, would it be vilification of that pastor for the rest of us to wonder: what was he thinking?
Because she suffers from mental illness, correct?
There is no hope for the mentally ill.
I would never say there is no hope. But there are unacceptable risks, and I think that encouraging Andrea to have another crack at motherhood would be one of them.
Christians are in a rock and a hard place on this one. We do not want to reject secular categories of diagnosis, because that would make us ignorant, backwards, and science-deniers. So we accept the secular labels that we are offered somewhat tentatively. Yet, when it comes to real life situations, we have to chose whether or not we will operate exclusively on the basis of biblical categories or attempt some sort of harmonization. However, the harmonization functions less as a harmonization, and more as a replacement of categories. In the example of Andrea Yates, how would the Bible describe… Read more »
We actually have some areas of agreement here. I do think we are much too quick to medicalize ordinary human emotions, sins, and temptations. I think it is possible to be sexually immoral without having a diagnosable mental disorder, to be a thief without having a compulsive and unmanageable need to steal, and to be a glutton without having an entrenched eating disorder. I think that sinful behavior often leads to psychological distress. I agree that a psychiatrist is not typically useful in helping a person deal with sin. But I can’t go as far as you in determining that… Read more »
Jillybean, I might be asserting far less than you think. In terms of this statement: “But I can’t go as far as you in determining that there is no real mental illness; there is only sin.” I believe that there are brain disorders. Alzheimer’s would be a clear example of organic illness. In terms of mental illness, it is difficult to know what we mean when we use this term. If we want to understand the term in light of DSM categories, then we understand mental illness to be a broad term which describes various problems of thoughts, behaviors, and… Read more »
One reason for the double standard is because in common parlance pedophilia is considered mental illness, however adultery and abortion are not.
You can’t repent of a mental illness. Just as a cancer patient can’t repent of cancer, so also a pedophile cannot repent of pedophilia. He can repent of the abusive acts, but not the illness which caused the acts.
The above is not my opinion, just an explanation of the logic.
Glad it’s not your opinion! Wish others could see the IL-logic in this arbitrary stance!
Praise that Savior!
Dear Doug Wilson, you wrote this to man who was terribly injured by learning his daughter was the victim of a young man connected to your ministry and supported by it. These are your words: “The elders were very distressed over the way Jamin took advantage of your daughter, but we also have to say that we were just as distressed at your extremely poor judgment as a father and protector. We understand that you have confessed your sin and folly in this, but we remain very concerned about the possibility that this whole legal process could proceed in a… Read more »
I have always been a fan of yours Doug, but this is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. First it was Bill Gothard, then Mark Driscoll, then it was Doug Phillips, then it was the Duggars, and now we are in the same boat. Wouldn’t it be best just to admit mistakes were made and are being made? Is it so hard to say “we need to change some things?” The sooner we repent the sooner we will be able to breathe…. I’m not going to blame any one person….. but it seems to me assumptions were made and… Read more »
Are there any religious conservatives who aren’t child molesting perverts? They sure do run to defend each other at every available opportunity.
You accused those who use the pejorative “child rapist” with spreading lies, above. Since then, you have acknowledged in a clarification above that there was at least one child sexual assault that, had a parent come upon it, he could have justly shot and killed the perpetrator. So it would have been okay for a parent to kill in the moment? But now it’s evil deceit to use the pejorative “child rapist”? That deserves a public dressing-down, on what seems to be a technicality? You have very little to say with reference to compassion for the wounded victims, or a… Read more »