This Ramshackle Heart

In the recent spate of controversies, one of the things I have mentioned trying to do, and which has caused some consternation and disbelief in some quarters, is that which Jesus says to do when we are slandered. He says to rejoice and be exceeding glad (Matt. 5:12). His followers, the Lord says, should receive the abuse, then go around the corner to do a little jig. It is an honor to be dishonored, it is a grace to be disgraced.Bless Curse

So this is odd, but there is an easy and obvious retort that can be made to the occasional Christian who tries it. You are pretending to be so spiritual in this, but sometimes people are disgraced because they are disgraceful, not because they are prophets. Sometimes people are dishonored because they are skuzzbucket vermin, not because they are, as the current phrase goes, Jesus-followers.

And this is actually a reasonable point, which is why the mortification must go deeper than that.

When the flesh is hit, the flesh always wants to hit back. But Jesus teaches us, in the midst of everything else that has to be done, that this basic and fundamental ego-response must be constantly mortified. When someone simply must be answered, answer them, but the sense of necessity must not arise out of the fact that your own personal sense of dignified entitlement was stung. We must always act, never react. We must be faithful, which cannot be simply equated with being retaliatory.

So if all an attacked person did was “rejoice,” for so the prophets were treated before him, there does remain a good possibility that he is simply being delusional. He may have appropriated the God-stamp, and he stamps absolutely all his activities with it. This could be, or so it would seem, the ultimate Jesus-juke.

And so this is why the mortification must go deeper. When Jesus says we are to rejoice when we are cursed, this does seem outrageous. But He is not done. He also says, as plain as it can ever be, that we are to return a blessing to the one who curses. It is not just that the other person curses and we take it in order to translate it as a personal blessing — it is that we must return an actual blessing to the attacker, asking God to keep it as an actual blessing, with no translation into anything else.

This does not mean that there is no role for imprecatory psalms, which we are required both to pray and to sing, but any such prayers must be located within this larger context of mercy and grace. They must be grounded in a full understanding of God’s redemptive intentions for the whole world, and a sincere desire for absolutely everyone to be included in that redemption.

So here it is, in black and white:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).

“Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you” (Luke 6:28).

“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not” (Romans 12:14).

“Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1 Pet. 3:9).

And so, with all that said, this is my prayer for all of my adversaries this morning, Lord’s Day, October 4, 2015. There are all sorts of ways for me to screw this up, but despite all that, my genuine desire is that God may pour out His blessings on their heads.

Our Father and God, Father of Jesus Christ, I pray to You in the name of Jesus Christ, looking both to Father and Son for the grace and peace of Your gracious Spirit. Receive this prayer as seeking its answer in the perfections of Jesus Christ. I ask that You receive this prayer, and answer it, because it is offered up in Jesus’ name. Bless my enemies for His sake, I pray. Bless every last one of them, for Jesus’ sake.

Father, I pray first for the victims of every form of ungodly abuse. There are many in our generation who have grown up with angry, distant, or cruel fathers, and who have suffered terribly at their hands. When they react to the first words of the Lord’s Prayer, when the words “Our Father” stick in their throats, I know You understand the anguish they feel, and the depth of their grief. They must have a father, because of how You created the world, and they cannot have a father because of what sin has done to the world and to them. And then Father, when they hear me going on about godly fatherhood, they hear everything I am trying to say in the context of their own histories, and what they attribute to me is understandable. Please bless them regardless, and cover them with Your kindness.

And many times, Father, such children grow up into a different kind of vulnerability, where they become susceptible to others who would use and manipulate them for the sake of their own lusts or projects. Bless them, Father, by delivering them from anyone who would use them. I pray that they would receive the great blessing of being simply loved, and not treated as a means to an end.

You are the God of all healing, and so I pray that You would visit them with the grace of complete healing and deliverance. I pray that You would entirely heal the wounds they have received, however they have received them. I would also ask for many other kindnesses to be bestowed on them, but this would be the central kindness. This would be the thing that would enable them to enjoy anything else. Father, pour out Your Spirit in abundance, and I ask that You would bless them in this way today.

Father, there are others who are just given over to scurrilous and anonymous abuse, and I don’t know where it comes from, where it originated or why. So I pray that You would simply bless these anonymous individuals — You know their names and You know their stories completely — and I pray that it would be true blessing. I pray that whatever You do for them would be a blessing all the way down, down to the soles of their feet. If they do not know You, I pray that You would draw them to Yourself. If they do know You, I pray that You would bless them by bringing them into a closer walk with You. Bless any angry atheists by converting them to You, and bless any unhappy Christians by having Your Spirit untie every knot within them.

I also ask You to bless those who are opposed to me for various other reasons — ecclesiastical politics, doctrinal differences, disagreement with my approach to cultural engagement, and so on — and who see in this present controversy and distress an opportunity to spike my guns. While I would plead with You to not let them near my guns, for the rest of it, I would ask that You pour out on them an abundance of grace — on their churches, on their marriages, on their businesses, on their ministries. I pray that their sleep would be sweet, their marriages graced, their tables rich, their bank accounts full, and their grand-kids cute. I know, Father, how much You have given to me, and I pray that You would give them at least twice as much.

You have taught us, called us, summoned us, to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, to rejoice when we are mistreated by them, and to return good for evil. We are not to return evil for evil, but rather to overcome evil with good. I accept this gladly and rejoice in it. I know and understand that this is based on Your holy character and example — we are to treat them as You have treated us. You give rain and sunlight to the righteous and unrighteous both — and so we see this is Your standard of holiness for us, and we gladly submit to it.

I therefore seek the grace to continue to love our enemies, asking You to bless them. Not only would we be saved from their treachery and lies, but we ask that You would save them from their treachery and lies. And for those who are not guilty of such treachery because they do not understand the false position in which they have been placed, or how they are being used, I ask that they would be delivered from that.

But I would not be like the disciples who, caught up in a mistaken zeal, did not know “what spirit they were of.” I ask that nothing would come from me, whether imprecation or blessing, that is self-serving. I ask that if an answer to this prayer would be hindered by knowledge that I was the one who prayed it, I ask that they would go to their graves with these blessings in hand, and without knowing that it had anything to do with me. I would ask nothing from You in this that Your Word does not specifically summon us to ask, and right now I am asking for nothing but blessing. This is Your Word, Your summons, Your call. You are a God who keeps covenant to a thousand generations, and I am simply asking You to keep Your covenant word.

Those who pray to You in order to be seen by men are those who already have their reward, and so I ask that You would receive this as a public prayer of necessity, and not a prideful one.

And last, Father, I know the ramshackle condition of my own heart, and I know that if my adversaries knew about me what You know about me, they could have a real field day. So I do not ask for these things because I am holy, but rather because Jesus is. For the sake of Christ, I want to be content in the same way the apostle was content. “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV).

I ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, who taught us all to do things we are none of us very inclined to do, and amen.

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valerieab
Member

And amen.

RandMan
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RandMan

Fantastic. The DW version of the high road: a prayer for your (our- in this together right?) enemies and adversaries. Those whose hearts are hardened. Those who would ‘spike your guns’. Those treacherous liars.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Jesus commands us to pray for out enemies, to bless those who curse us.

The Jesus road is the high road.

Paul Sanduleac
Guest

Pastor Wilson, thank you so much for being faithful and showing all of us what practical faithfulness to the Gospel looks like.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Yes! And the myriad techniques we can use to double down against Slander, Gossip and Bitterness. Hint: a thinly veiled accusational prayer is timely for many a Sunday double down.

Keith LaMothe
Guest
Keith LaMothe

RandMan,

Assume for a moment that you’re right and that Doug needs to publicly apologize for a bunch of stuff.

Is your conduct helping him do that, or hindering him from doing that?

Sincerely,
Keith

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Brother, if you think Douglas cares one bit what I think then you are more the dreamer. It would never occur to me that I am anything other than immediately dismissed. I suspect that his prideful insistence on post after post that he is some persecuted xtian who tells the hard truth about the gospel that no one else has the balls to tell provides much more of the narcissistic story. Wilson strongarming the dials of other believer’s faith to aid his defense through today’s accusatory and defensive ‘prayer’ is pretty off-putting. I am heartened that more and more of… Read more »

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

It’s pretty clear that Wilson is being slandered for being an outspoken Christian.

Unless I missed some parallel vilification campaign against the state; you know, the only ones with the authority and power to actually prevent Sitler from mating (by not turning him loose). But who didn’t do it? Who did turn Sitler loose?

What was the difference again? Oh yeah, that Wilson didn’t actually have the power to keep Sitler out of society, and that Wilson is an outspoken Christian with a lot of people who already didn’t like things that he was saying.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Truth

guester
Guest
guester

I Peter 4:17
“For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

I Corinthians 5:12-13
“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges.”

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

If Wilson is being slandered for being an outspoken christian than Donald Trump is being slandered for being an outspoken intellectual conservative. Ridiculous. People are discussing facts in the cases he took part in. Court records, Letters, blogs, and testimonies of victims. His actions and words. Maybe his outspoken version christianity does have something to do with his blame/shame of victims and their families, his arrogance, his attempts to keep the abuse ‘in house’ and not go to the authorities in the Wight case, his deep involvement in the marriage and subsequent child of Sitler, his persecution complex, his shameful… Read more »

guester
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guester

“Popular thinking has the pastor in church conflict as a target and victim of forces he or she cannot control. Over the course of time, we independently noted a large percentage of church conflicts where the pastor was the instigator and the issues centered on the pastor and his or her behaviors that included grandiosity, paranoia, rage, arrogance, lack of empathy, the inability to forgive, and his or her demands for appreciation, adulation, and compensation. The behaviors were self-destructive and nonsensical. In these cases, the pastor was indeed his own worst enemy. ” FREQUENCY OF NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER IN PASTORS:… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

Here is a retelling of the well-known story of King David being confronted by the prophet Nathan, but using Doug’s logic in this post. Nathan to David: “Thou art the man” David cogitates: “Slander! Nathan is attacking me! But I will acknowledge that there is at least the possibility that I did actually do something wrong, and I’m getting this treatment because I actually messed up, and God is trying to tell me so.” David cogitates further: “No, that can’t be it. God must be telling me to mortify my flesh by being kind to Nathan, who is clearly my… Read more »

James
Guest
James

Amen!

herewegokids
Guest
herewegokids

one thousand likes.

SRG
Guest
SRG

Rand Man & Guester,
There’s something in your spirit that’s just not right.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Says who? You know neither of us and we do not know each other.

I though christians weren’t supposed to judge? I mean that’s half the responses I get around here. The other half are judgements. Laughable.

timothy
Guest
timothy

I though christians weren’t supposed to judge?

We are to discern. Judgment is for God who will condemn you to hell or claim you for heaven. On that matter, every man is in the same boat. On matters of character we are to discern.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

I don’t have the same problem that you do timothy. I will leave you to struggle with that. Judge away and call it discernment if you must. That is between you and your god.

SRG
Guest
SRG

Rand Man,
See Acts 8:23 and Matt. 12:36-37. Matthew is very sobering for me, impossible actually, except for God working through the Holy Spirit in a person committed to buying oil.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

The problem you are having is that Wilson actually is obeying God here, in praying for those who persecute him.

Meanwhile, I’m missing the verse that told you to use your infallible hypocrisy detector.

guester
Guest
guester

Matthew 6:5-6
“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you”

bethyada
Member

guester, your passage is true, but in the context that men were praying for other men to take notice and not for God to take notice. Jesus prayed in public, in fact he prayed in order than men may hear him (see the account of Lazarus), and we have many other public prayers mentioned in the Bible. If Doug had a habit of only praying loud prayers on the street corner your rebuke may carry weight, but as it is likely that most of his prayers are in the inner room, your rebuke is misdirected. Doug even said this: Those… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

“In the context that men were praying for other men to take notice and not for God to take notice.”

I believe that is *exactly* what Doug was doing, and many others here do too. We will continue to differ on this point, bethyada.

bethyada
Member

guester, he included a disclaimer that effectively said I do not want glory from men for this. We do not need to give him any. But public prayers are legitimate. It is impossible to know how you think Doug could write a public prayer.

Can I make a suggestion that maybe it is possible that you have set your heart against Doug in such a way that it is impossible for him to say anything that you happen to disagree with without you ascribing to him the worst of motives.

guester
Guest
guester

As I said above, we will continue to differ on this point, bethyada.

Tyrone Taylor
Guest
Tyrone Taylor

The prayer is instructional. Your exact same criticism could be leveled against Jesus giving the Lord’s prayer. It is also valid as a public prayer, as seen in the old testament. Does Matthew 6 also apply to Hezekiah prayer for deliverance? Your application of Matthew 6 to Wilson’s prayer is logically flawed.

guester
Guest
guester

Jesus was not being a hypocrite, so clearly Matthew 6 does not apply to him. Read again:
When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you”

Tyrone Taylor
Guest
Tyrone Taylor

The issue is whether the text applies, not how many times it should be read. Mathew 6 is a general principle that all should adhere to. Yes I agree with you in that. But your application would mean that no public prayer is valid. Yet many many times in the Bible there is public prayer, and it is not condemned by God. So you can see, your logic is bad and your application of the verse is faulty. I notice you answered the Lord’s prayer question with “well Jesus is perfect so it doesn’t apply” and the Hezekiah prayer went… Read more »

Carson Spratt
Member

RandMan and Guester: “How dare this man ask God to bless us, when he’s clearly a sinner! God doesn’t listen to the prayers of sinners.”

And that is why people need the Gospel.

Thanks, Pastor Wilson. You’ve been faithful in preaching the Gospel, and you’ve been richly blessed because Christ has worked in you. May your prayers be answered.

James
Guest
James

Carson, I doubt guester is rankled by the prayers of sinners so much as the use of public prayer to imply that your “enemies” criticize you out of malice, foolishness or selfishness. Just because Doug calls his critics “our enemies” doesn’t mean they are God’s enemies no matter how much Doug implies it. Furthermore, all believers who are familiar with their gospels should be uncomfortable with the contrast between Doug’s example here and Matthew 6. I am blessed by any prayers Doug, or anyone else, says on my behalf but my blessing is not strengthened by the increased publicity of… Read more »

adad0
Member

Though if you bless those who curse you, it’s proper and nice to actually say the blessing aloud to the people cursing. Since some of the folks cursing are anonymous Internet people, not using their real names, as opposed to Wilson, who does, a post is an apropriate way to pass on a blessing. I realized that I am anonymous, but I am not cursing anyone. Finally James, you yourself could always mail of email your comments to CC, if you don’t think a public forum is appropriate for others. Bless you!

James
Guest
James

I have no qualms with public discourse so your comment about emailing seems a little off topic. Doug blessing his perceived enemies is no more effective when done publicly and, as in Matthew 6, seems to be done to “be seen by others”. Doug’s display of piety rings hollow in contrast to biblical guidance on prayer. However, I am open to hearing why you believe Matthew 6 does not apply here if you would care to elaborate.

adad0
Member

I am suggesting Matt 6 applies to you as well, not to mention that Wilson cannot address anonymous critics privately. I am drilling down your topic, the short version of which is private vs. public blessing and prayers. You have a means to go the private route with Wilson. Wilson does not with regard to some of his critics. In that sense, I am saying your initial comment is a little off.

guester
Guest
guester

The “private route” of Matthew 18 is for personal conflicts between brethren. Wilson sets himself up as a leader of the church speaking publicly (and on the internet). He is subject to evaluation in those same quarters.

adad0
Member

And thus Wilson’s response in those (public) quarters. Hence, some Wilson critics who want it both ways, private when they say so and public when they say so are not super consistent.
Finally, Matt 18:15+ shows a progressive route from private to public:
1. individual discussion
2. two or three discussion
3. Church discussion
4. Beyond church discussion.
Anything further to discuss? ; – )

James
Guest
James

I’m can’t decide if you are being deliberately obtuse or not. First, Doug can address his critics as publicly as he likes. I wouldn’t always advise it but I have no biblical argument against it. Second, my point is specific to the public display of prayer Doug uses here. Do you or do you not think Matt 6 applies here? Do you think Doug should have addressed his critics in public prayer or prayed for them privately while using other forms of public discourse to engage them. Third, where (as your logic implies) have I used public prayer to address… Read more »

adad0
Member

Matthew 6“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven……….14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. James thanks for the sincere question, here is my honest answer. When we practice righteousness properly, it is always seen by God and sometimes seen by people. This is true for pastors in particular. Matt.… Read more »

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

Dear diary, I pray for all the mean people. blah blah blah. I didn’t come here for this mushy stuff. I was told there would be theology that would bite back! (just kidding, good post.)

Stephen Larson
Guest
Stephen Larson

Hello Pastor Wilson, Thank you very much for your ministry. Although we have some disagreements, I view them as insignificant in light of the faith we have in common. I’m not sure whether this is the best forum to get a hold of you, but I would be honored if, when you had the time, you might consider being interviewed for my own blog. I would simply be looking to write down some questions, send them to you, and you could answer them whenever convenient. Thank you for your time, and God bless your ministry.

duellsquimby
Member

And amen.

RandMan, Guester. How can I pray for you? Don’t respond here. Send to cixpence at gmail.com

guester
Guest
guester

Why thank you, Duells, but as I am well covered by a family of extraordinary commitment to–and power in–prayer (my mother prays several hours a day for issues across the globe, as well as for me) I would ask that you devote whatever time you might have spent on me to praying specifically for the victims of Jamin Wight and Steven Sitler. Even in Doug’s prayer in this post, he cannot bring himself to give them specific mention. Please also pray for any victims of theirs who remain unknown, as is common with child molesters. Here is my prayer: May… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Please please no. For my part, not believing in a god is different from denying the will of one.

And if the self/agenda serving kind of false prayer as above is the kind forthcoming, double no thank you helping.

Also I have read the studies on the efficacy of intercessory prayer. So I don’t want you to spin your wheels on my account.

Finally, if you must pray, please follow gusters wonderful truly open hearted example, and pray for the true victims, not for the self-appointed one.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

The “true victims” are not victims of Wilson. No amount of invective directed at the wrong person can un-abuse them.

And Wilson is truly a victim of pointless slander and nonsense. Nobody is defending sexual abuse, but you are defending (and engaging in) other forms of abuse. That’s a fact, however uncomfortable it makes you.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

The facts are perfectly available to you in many places at this point. I myself have linked to them many times as have many others. The victims here did not need someone like Wilson inserting himself and his unvetted ideas about both treatment and procedure into the situation. His support of the abusers over the abused is well documented. They needed an advocate, someone who would protect them first and completely. Not someone who would actively place a young woman and a baby into the hands of a convicted multiple child molester as in the case of Sitler. Or someone… Read more »

Bryan Hangartner
Guest
Bryan Hangartner

Assuming Natalie Greenfield is not lying to others and herself in a misled attempt to emotionally cope with her family’s bizarre idiocy in a situation from 9-10 years ago . . . The Greenfield family was destroyed by this incident, and their stories have changed over the past decade. DW’s has not. I have seen a number of families in my own church implode in past years, and one consistency among those tragic instances was a desire to blame someone, preferably the church leadership, for the consequences of their own sin, instead of taking personal responsibility. To read one side… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Yes the Greenfield family was torn apart by this as are all families where sexual abuse takes place. Try again Bryan.

Bryan Hangartner
Guest
Bryan Hangartner

Since that’s not any sort of counter-argument to my last point, I’ll “try again”: To read one side of the story and assume the most emotionally-driven opinion must be right is wrong and unjust.

Don’t tell me you’ve never seen blame-shifting for personal sin/stupidity to church leadership before? It’s not that uncommon.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

You are the one making the assumption that is what critics here are doing. Facts are in play. Wight was convicted. No one credible is arguing with Natalie’s story.

You?

Bryan Hangartner
Guest
Bryan Hangartner

Of course Natalie was abused. There is just no evidence that that was somehow all DW’s fault.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

No one ever said it was.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Yes they did.

Multiple commenters on multiple occasions. And those antagonistic toward Wilson never denied the accusations of the extremists. Per the anti-Wilson logic, that means they are also claiming it is all Wilson’s fault.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Well I have never seen a poster claim Natalie’s sexual abuse was Wilsons fault. That would be ridiculous. Maybe you could point to that for us.

You are the one implying ‘personal sin stupidity’ is behind Nayalie and her families suffering. That just makes you out to be the awful ones here.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

There have been rants about Wilson, Christ Church, the CREC, the so-called “CREC view of gender”, patriarchy, complementarianism, Biblical doctrine, and Christianity in general, all saying that one or more are the reason Natalie was abused. There were commenters blaming it on the fact that NSA and Greyfriars don’t have dorms and expect their students to lodge with private parties, and others claiming that Christ Church requires it’s families to house students and is therefore to blame. You are right that it is ridiculous. It is these absurdities that lead some of us to watch and listen closely, and reject… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I should have read Harmon’s reply before posting my own. He already covered what I wrote.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Did anybody blame the confederate flag?

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Doesn’t all evil come from it? Or at least those who fly it? It must be nice to have so many targets to shift the blame to.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

I was responding to to the response post above yours. I made a mistake there. Please disregard that particular point.

Katecho
Member

RandMan is correct that it would be ridiculous to blame Wilson for the abuse itself, but he needs to open his eyes. There have been several folks, including Huskey and Botkin, who assign blame to Wilson for simply having a college that doesn’t provide student housing. They also falsely accuse Wilson of somehow insisting that homes be opened up to student boarders. They bizarrely try to lay all of this on Wilson, as if student housing is the cure for statutory rape. It’s irrational.

Olivia Green
Guest
Olivia Green

Could you point to where any person ACTUALLY says this makes the abuse Wilson’s fault? Some quote? You’re the one slandering here. The boarding situation was brought up in all the stuff I’ve read because DW is all about wording his statements like the Greenfields invited Jamin in like it was some special thing nobody did, and in fact boarders were very common, even encouraged. That doesn’t make the abuse DW’s fault. It just means when he talks about Jamin living there he’s being disingenuous.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

The accusations were many, direct, and often false by definition. I interacted directly with a number of them. Can you provide a link to the Wilson comment saying that the Greenfield/Jamin boarding situation was unique? That would be strange since the majority of students board (or at least did in years past) with local families. I would estimate that 80% or more of the words generated in the last month related to the sexual crimes being discussed are due to the accusations that Wilson either caused the abuse or denies that it is abuse (and criminal). His clear declarations say… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

I think the comments on the thread where this went down were deleted, but I had an extended exchange with two different people who were arguing just that: that Christ Church culture strong-armed people into taking in boarders, and that any college that “allowed” its adult students to board with local families was complicit in abuse if it didn’t include a strongly-worded disclaimer in its materials about who you should let live in your home. The first was simply false; the second a ridiculous instance of blame-shifting.

Katecho
Member

Olivia Green wrote: Could you point to where any person ACTUALLY says this makes the abuse Wilson’s fault? Some quote? You’re the one slandering here. Slander? I bit hasty I think. Anyway, here’s a quote from one such direct accusation, found in the comment section of Rod Dreher’s “Reluctant Response” post: Sarah says: October 1, 2015 at 5:54 pm This article makes it seem as though it was a bizarre or neglectful set of circumstances that led Natalie’s family into taking in a boarder. In fact, the unaccredited college that Wilson runs asks church families to house boarders. The website… Read more »

connie
Guest
connie

The blame goes to the rapist. To blame Natalie and her parents for the actions of a predator rapist is sick.

Katecho
Member

Predator is not a legal classification, but it is the sort of rhetoric that a prosecutor might use to imply that Wight was a sexual attacker of random unknown women. However, that case had all the marks of statutory rape, including a covert relationship. It was still criminal, but Wight was apparently obsessed with Natalie in particular, and not in random sexual attacks against strangers.

guester
Guest
guester

A single act of sexual abuse is predation in most people’s eyes, katecho. There don’t have to be multiples. Please try to think of your own daughter, or perhaps a niece or sister, at age 14 being fisted by a 24 year old who has oiled the hinges of the doors so that he can sneak into her bedroom without being caught. Would you still argue that it was not sexual predation if it was someone you knew and loved?

Katecho
Member

guester invites me to think of my own daughter as if that should lead me to objectivity on the matter. guester invites me to align my vision with “most people’s eyes”, as if that is the proper measure. With his feeble grasp of the principles of justice, I just hope guester is never selected to be on any jury. My point in all this is not to say that Natalie wasn’t manipulated, or that Wight wasn’t criminally guilty of statutory rape. My point has to do with Wilson’s interest in justice, and his informed attempt to properly categorize the crime… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

“guester invites me to think of my own daughter as if that should lead me to objectivity on the matter”

Actually, katecho, I was hoping that it would lead you to feel the compassion of Jesus on the matter, that it might remind you of the God who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. I am sorry that it did not have that effect.

Katecho
Member

Empathy and compassion come naturally on behalf of those who are taken advantage of. What does not come naturally is a sense of appropriate justice, patience, and objectivity toward one who is actually guilty of a serious sexual crime. Notice that Wilson’s care for due process was in no way an attempt to excuse the crime that actually occurred. It’s not a case of simply reversing the partiality.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

“It’s not a case of simply reversing the partiality.”

This, exactly. But this is exactly what is not being, and will not be, heard.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Why it won’t is the interesting phenomena. What are these accusers protecting here? I hate to consider base motives, I don’t know how to think that way.

Thoughts?

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

Allow me to offer a few suggestions: 1) Right now it is trendy to speak for the victim. There is a valid perception that the church has not done enough to protect children from rape, molestation, and sexual sin. As a result, it has become imperative that the church think through these issues in a more comprehensive way. As a result, part of this phenomenon can be explained as an over-correction. Whereas before the church erred on the side of trying to protect the reputation of the accused, it is now being demanded that the church err on the side… Read more »

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Yes. The modern church denies the biblical views of man and sin and ends up with moralism (MTD for some). Moralists specialize in scape-goating to avoid the total and horrific defiance towards God that all men and women are born with. And they won’t accept that Christ’s death, and only that, is sufficient to atone for any sin. Paul made it quite clear, the gospel is truly scandalous.

timothy
Guest
timothy

The modern church denies the biblical views of man and sin and ends up with moralism (MTD for some

Is it because the Holy Spirit has been quiet? Because of that silence men have filled the gaps where God used to be?

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Men don’t need gaps or silences to find opportunity to sin. We are born liars and will manufacturer whatever fantasy is needed to justify rebelling against God and justifying ourselves.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

I do think that this discussion of pedophilia is one of the easier examples of how an attempt at harmonizing the Bible and secular diagnostic categories ends up doing violence to an otherwise good anthropology/soteriology. If an individual is not seeking to interact with the category “pedophile,” and is simply attempting to explain the thoughts and behaviors of a man who engages in sexual immorality with children with biblical categories, then he would have a difficult time declaring that a Pastor had sinned for marrying a man who formerly committed sexual immorality with children. There were plenty of sexually immoral… Read more »

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Mix in a measure or two of your #4 and #5 above and the result is a complete denial of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

guester
Guest
guester

“Empathy and compassion come naturally on behalf of those who are taken advantage of.”

Strangely then katecho, I have seen you express no empathy or compassion for the multiple victims of Steven Sitler and their families, toward Natalie Greenfield and her family, toward Randman, who was abused in church, or toward Connie, who was raped.

Apparently it doesn’t come so naturally for you.

Colosssians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

guester
Guest
guester

So grievous to me as a Christian is the continued refusal of many here—including Doug Wilson–to simply align themselves with the words of Jesus.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Why so much argument over the exact nature of how the little ones were caused to stumble?

connie
Guest
connie

Wow. Just wow. What a perverted disgusting viewpoint….so because he knew his prey he was not a predator?

She. Was. FOURTEEN.

I cannot fathom this mindset.

guester
Guest
guester

I’m trying hard to be patient, connie. So thanks for being more forthright than I was….it is indeed a perverted and disgusting viewpoint, which has nothing of the mind of Christ in it. You are right to say so.

Katecho
Member

connie probably also can’t fathom the idea that a fourteen year old woman could actually be given in marriage in Jesus’ day, with the full blessing of the church. Fortunately, we are not captive to what connie can fathom. The criminal matter is the manipulation, even though our legal system is primarily concerned only with age (as if 20 year olds aren’t subject to the same manipulations). Manipulation is certainly a greater concern in the first years of exposure to hormones, especially if 14 year olds are left to themselves, but just because someone is 14 does not mean perversion… Read more »

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

I didn’t realize that marriage while so young was still legal in so many states. At the same time I know of men who are carrying a “pedophile” label for life for peer relationships separated by as little as a year. What an absurd culture we have become.

Katecho
Member

I overlooked California and Colorado in my list.

guester
Guest
guester

Katecho, did you miss the part where Connie said she had been a victim of rape in her past? Come at me all you want to. Bring it on. But Leave. Connie. Alone.

Katecho
Member

guester wrote: Katecho, did you miss the part where Connie said she had been a victim of rape in her past? Come at me all you want to. Bring it on. But Leave. Connie. Alone. Notice, once again, the sacred protected status that guester imparts to connie merely because she had been a victim of rape in her past. This is apparently all that guester needs to know about her to declare her to be above criticism. This is the epitome of partiality and prejudice. Guester gives connie a free pass to declare other people’s views to be perverted and… Read more »

connie
Guest
connie

Back then people owned slaves and women were chattel too. Be careful, your nostagia is showing.

And apparently fourteen year old girls in Moscow are all at risk for abuse…..

If this is what DH condones, and I pray it is not, he is a cult leader. If he does not condone this, now would be a perfect time to say so.

timothy
Guest
timothy

each presently

“back then” is today.

guester
Guest
guester

” just because someone is 14 does not mean perversion or manipulation must be involved in the courtship.”

Pointing out again that the sexual abuse of Natalie Greenfield by Jamin Wight was not in any way a “courtship”. Jamin Wight was 24. It was rape.

guester
Guest
guester

“The criminal matter is the manipulation”

No, actually the criminal matter is the physical sexual assault. The law is quite clear on this point, even if you are not, katecho. I would certainly urge you not to practice law.

Katecho
Member

Guester may blow a gasket trying so hard to miss the point, while pointing an accusing finger. In response to connie’s swooning about the age of 14, I clearly acknowledged that Wight’s actions were criminal, and not merely because sexual activity was involved with a minor. Minors can marry legally, even at the age of 14. There are 14 year olds who are sexually active by choice, in or outside of marriage, and have no intention of prosecuting anyone for sexual assault. So what feature was the primary distinguishing criminal matter in Wight’s case? It was the element of manipulation… Read more »

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

Processing this requires too much thought and more than two categories. It’s so much easier to point at someone less righteous. (I think more than a gasket is in jeopardy.)

guester
Guest
guester

“including a covert relationship”

By what perverted definition do you call Wight’s abuse of Natalie a “relationship”, katecho?

Katecho
Member

Notice that I never said that it wasn’t a manipulative relationship. In this case Jamin had made his romantic interest in Natalie known to her parents, and I understand that she held his hand in public. A simple predator doesn’t announce his devotion to his victim’s primary protectors. Natalie’s parents apparently set some rudimentary limits on the relationship, and such an arrangement would not have had any context if there had been no relationship present. RandMan, guester and connie might want to consider the possibility that criminal statutory rape can occur between young people who actually are in a full-blown… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

“a mere sexual predator”

Did you actually just write those words? Q.E. D. We’re done here.

Katecho
Member

In other words, “a sexual predator simpliciter”.
However, I’m delighted to learn that guester is done here. I would have uttered the phrase much sooner if I had known it would have that affect.

guester
Guest
guester

Oh, I’m far from finished, katecho. But the fact that you can even form the phrase “mere sexual predator” proves exactly how far from the mind of Christ you are. Nothing else needed, but I see that you’ve gone on to dig your hole much wider and deeper.

And still, the unqualified judgment of Jesus rings out:

“”It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble”

And you continue to deny it.

guester
Guest
guester

Your qualification of “manipulative” does not matter. It was not a relationship, any more than sexual activity between priests and altar boys in the Catholic church constituted a relationship. It was abuse, and rape.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Get out of your head and desire to play lawyer here and think about the girl and what she went through. It doesn’t take much. Wight was a specialist who groomed and abused a child. That is an age that is attractive to certain types of sexual predators for obvious reasons. Kids at that age are desiring independence and want to feel more grown up. They also are terribly awkward and can be shamed effectively, the key element Sexual abusers don’t abuse just anyone. They find the RIGHT target. It is an instinct. And a vicious one. You don’t know… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

Katecho, I would urge you to take a step back and recognize that in your zeal to find a way to justify Doug Wilson you are veering dangerously close to justifying rape and child abuse. I sincerely hope that is not your intent, but you should be far more careful about what you say. Jesus’ curse against those who offend the little ones is terrifying. You should fear to side against him in this matter.

guester
Guest
guester

Don’t tell me you’ve never seen blame-shifting for personal sin/stupidity from church leadership to the people in the pews before? It’s not that uncommon.

Laurette
Guest
Laurette

Bryan, The abuse was 100 percent the perpetrator’s fault. A young lamb was DEMONICALLY assaulted. Emotionally, physically, sexually manipulated and dominated-lured tricked, used, torn and wounded by an enemy of her soul. What this lamb needed was a shepherd to bring healing and nuture and comfort after being ravaged and gnarled and torn from the deadly attack of the WOLF. You talk as though she deserved it and because of her or her family’s actions, they are to blame. Even if a child gets close to a rushing, rocky, river’s edge, and gets pushed by a bully on the bank,… Read more »

Laurette
Guest
Laurette

Perhaps Wilson should chose one. Shepard or lawyer. He is failing at both.

guester
Guest
guester

“I have seen a number of families in my own church implode in past years, and one consistency among those tragic instances was a desire to blame someone, preferably the church leadership, for the consequences of their own sin, instead of taking personal responsibility.”

What sin did Natalie commit that you feel she should take personal responsibility for, Bryan?

Bryan Hangartner
Guest
Bryan Hangartner

If you’ve read DW’s statements from 9 years ago you would know about Mr. and Mrs. Greenfield’s folly that contributed to Natalie’s abuse. I don’t know whether she personally sinned a decade ago, but her sin now is one of blame-shifting for her parent’s foolishness and constructing false accusations against DW. Why should DW take the blame for her parents’ foolishness?

guester
Guest
guester

Doug’s accusations against the Greenfields are countered by two eye-witness testimonies, those of Natalie and her father. In keeping with the Scriptural emphasis on witnesses, I believe them rather than Doug’s second-hand account of what went in a household in which he was not present.

You obviously have chosen to believe Doug rather than the witnesses, but that is a tenuous Scriptural position.

Bryan Hangartner
Guest
Bryan Hangartner

Well, I have my own army of witnesses (more than two, so take that!), friends and extended family members who were in Moscow at the time of the Greenfield supernova, who back up DW’s side of the story. Plus there is the fact that the Greenfield’s stories have changed in the past decade, whereas DW’s has been the same. Why would I believe Natalie’s or her father’s UPDATED accounts of what happened or how it is all supposed to be DW’s fault when it conflicts with the testimony of many individuals I know personally and that I have found to… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

Sorry Bryan, but your friends and extended family members don’t count as witnesses to what happened in the Greenfield house unless they were, in fact, in the Greenfield house. Just being “in Moscow” doesn’t make them witnesses.

guester
Guest
guester

“Deuteronomy 19:15
“One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

Matthew 18:16
But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

2 Corinthians 13:1
“Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

connie
Guest
connie

I believe Natalie, but even if she was Liar McLiarpants, only a predator touches a 14 year old.
Stop accusing her of lying. Stop defending a rapist.

duellsquimby
Member

And therein lies the motivation of you and the others. If we will not participate in your mob fueled internet stoning then we’re obviously defending rapists and pedophiles. Doesn’t matter what happened or what the facts are, we’re all caught up in your net.

connie
Guest
connie

My motivation is defending hurting people. I myself was raped years ago and never told till years later…..as I have said before, I defend DW wanting to minister to pedophiles and predators but it cannot be at the expense of victims. If he is not discerning enough to protect himself being played by offenders he needs to get up to speed quickly before this sort of thing happens again. I am part of no mob but I do want to help shine a light where one needs to be shone. Your namecalling means nothing to me. If all you can… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

I am so sorry to hear of your hurt, Connie. It makes me especially appreciate your courage in speaking out in this space, which is by no means safe in its attitude towards victims of abuse.

duellsquimby
Member

I feel terrible that you were raped. Why then do you go on a crusade against Doug? You’re taking all the hate and throwing it on him.

guester
Guest
guester

I don’t see hate in Connie in any way, Duells. That is your assumption about her.

connie
Guest
connie

Oh, and one other thought (I was doing the dishes and it came to me) If it was utter foolishness for Natalie’s parents to take in a boarder and if that makes them complicit in what happened-then how is that different than the other case under discussion in which it is perfectly fine for Mr Sitler to be in the same house with a child he most probably is sexually attracted to, and considering that he has previously offended with a child and that was proven? At least in the former case, no one knew the boarder was a predator…..DW,… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Or you could say that if the church allowed vulnerable young seminarians to lodge in houses with nubile teenaged girls, they were also complicit in what happened.

guester
Guest
guester

I’ve been hoping someone would point out this inconsistency, Connie, thanks.

Doug’s defenders simultaneously claim that it was sinful neglect for Natalie’s parents to have in their home a man who was not known to them to be a sexual offender (and was even enrolled as a student at Doug’s school), but that it is entirely appropriate for the Sitler baby to be intentionally kept in the home of a man who is known to have molested many small children.

guester
Guest
guester

No all people here defending Doug have also defended rapists and pedophiles. But some certainly have.

timothy
Guest
timothy

See the legal marriage of 14 year old’s in the several states. Obviously predators all, right?

Or….they know something you do not.

guester
Guest
guester

holmegm, in setting up your definition of “other forms of abuse” you may not actually *defend* sexual abuse, but you certainly minimize it. Because, if forcing children into oral sex falls into the same category as, you know, someone being criticized on the internet (poor, poor Doug), why should Christians stand up against it? It’s just one of many forms of abuse, after all. Your false equivalency here is poorly reasoned and inappropriate. Maybe you should read Natalie’s account of being fisted by Jamin Wight, or the letter from the parents of just one of Steven Sitler’s victims about their… Read more »

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Blaming and slandering C does not magically become OK because of hideous crimes committed by a B against A.

If you think that it does, then you simply reveal the defects in your own thinking

guester
Guest
guester

holmegm, please use exact quotes from my comment thread where I am blaming and slandering. Doug Wilson is being called to account, by many besides myself, for his words and actions as recorded in primary source documents and verified by witnesses. This is entirely appropriate, and deeply Scriptural. I will not lay down my privilege as a Berean believer just because you wish me to. James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” I John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but… Read more »

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Hey, what about your fans? Can we have a blessing too? You know we need it.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Forget it Rob, He’s a Calvinist.

(:

don sands
Guest
don sands

Incredible hard truth. I fail all the time. Bless those who get under your fingernails, and love them. I find the best way for me to love others, who may mock me, is to know I am a mocker. We sang this hymn in church today, and to be honest, I could not sing a few of the verses, for being overwhelmed in my spirit, and tears filling my eyes:-tears of rejoicing and sorrow.
Thank you brother Doug for this wonderful post, and marvelous prayer. I wish the whole Church would pray this prayer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV2zMZ-nZ7k

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Thank you for including the song. I had never heard it before.

bethyada
Member

You never heard How Deep the Father’s Love? Where you been at?

But then I guess he is British. Perhaps you don’t hear enough foreign hymns in the US.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Oh, I just fell out of the loop with new music groups. I could easily spend time on you tube hunting for good new music, I just don’t.

bethyada
Member

I don’t go looking for music either. We sing this in church.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

And also in mine, but not that particular song!

clarinetlaj
Guest
clarinetlaj

this was truly humble and beautiful. thank you for this.

Eric Eisinger
Guest
Eric Eisinger

There are many who take issue with your recent and not so recent actions – godly and respected people in our own denomination – and your response is to call them slanderers and to control the debate by way of public prayer. It is one thing to debate the issues. But offering a public prayer to God that is designed to recast your opponents and make you look good is shameful. Maybe its time to deal with reality instead of trying to control it.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

He isn’t calling anyone a slanderer unless they are. When has he claimed that just because someone disagrees with him they are slandering him?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Implied in every post. You know Doug would never say anything directly that he couldn’t walk back from. The Bill Clinton of the theo-set.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

That was slanderous.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Hilarious of you! Gossipy and bitter?

Bryan Hangartner
Guest
Bryan Hangartner

I wouldn’t have given my daughter to Sitler, but that doesn’t mean I believe DW committed a grave crime in officiating his wedding. So I disagree on a pragmatic standpoint, and I haven’t been called a slanderer yet (though that may be imminent).

guester
Guest
guester

Thanks for that acknowledgement about your own daughter, Bryan.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

Folks see what they want to see, whether it’s there or not.

guester
Guest
guester

“At this point, I know the stories of close to a hundred people who have left the CREC because they experienced abuse within the church, or saw abuse within the church and were rebuked repeatedly for trying to speak up about it. Most of them are not willing to talk about their experiences yet, especially after witnessing how Natalie has been treated for talking. But that is beginning to change.”

http://kbotkin.com/

adad0
Member

Sounds like a Prayer Break to me.
Who knew we had so many “gods” down here who knew other prople’s hearts? ;-)

guester
Guest
guester

They’re probably just catching up on the latest by Rod Dreher and Katie Botkin, ADad. There are many people talking about the problems with Doug Wilson and ChristChurch now, in a variety of venues.

adad0
Member

Yes, sounds like the many are going to a remote, commentator Rod D., to have his hearsay “testimony” validate feelings. Katie B. does seem to have direct experience with CC, “Without Christianity, men can be, and are, amazing human beings. And, of course, many men within the CREC are as well. I know some — I know some really, really wonderful men and women who attend CREC churches. But the nice people don’t change the fact that I know not-so-nice people who attend or attended CREC churches.” Still, The real God does know people’s hearts and expects all of us… Read more »

guester
Guest
guester

I Peter 2:20

“For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience?”

Everything that makes us uncomfortable isn’t persecution, Adad.

adad0
Member

Gusti, you think Wilson is wrong and have said so. By the Word, people can show others what they think are wrongs. You are not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin. Even if you say Wilson is in sin, that does not make him guilty. Finally, Wilson is doling out blessings, why are you, “us” uncomfortable? “And so, with all that said, this is my prayer for all of my adversaries this morning, Lord’s Day, October 4, 2015. There are all sorts of ways for me to screw this up, but despite all that, my genuine… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

Ahh, now that was just a lovely prayer and I feel much blessed by it, although you have yet to say anything that offends me. I especially liked, “when the words “Our Father” stick in their throats.., ” because I grieve for those who have not had an earthly father’s love and provision. It creates a real fracture with our heavenly Father because we have no understanding of what that relationship is like. Sometimes the best I can manage is, “Lord, please show these people the same mercy and redemption you have shown me.” I tend to empathize a great… Read more »

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

What is desperately needed in this conversation is someone, with the gift if discernment, who is not in either camp. Again, I suggest Boz Tchjividian

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

What is needed is for the rumor mongerers and the gossip millers to stop. You are all being played the fools by a small clique in Moscow who live to cause trouble. They are always trying to get something going, but usually it goes nowhere. All they have to do is concoct a way to get the local daily to pick up on a supposed problem, something they caused, and voila. I imagine they are laughing themselves silly for being able to get thousands of people who have no idea what’s going on to do their bidding by self-righteously charging… Read more »

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Why are you afraid of a spotlight being shined on the issue by a nonpartisan party? If it needs to stop, it should stop, if it needs more attention to protect victims that needs to be determined. If there is nothing to hide why not be transparent ?

AMA
Guest
AMA

Again, Boz is NOT a nonpartisan.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

The fact that you view a christian grandson of billy graham who teaches law at Liberty U as a partisan rebel is beyond funny to this progressive atheist.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Then get someone who is. Who is a respected authority.

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

I never claimed that there should be no investigation, as I am not opposed to that at all. I don’t care that they do. I emphasized what started this latest go round, which nobody is interested in hearing even exists. You folks who are not from Moscow see only the screeching on the internet and think that it is there on its own merit, but no, it was started behind the scenes by the same ones who have started all the ruckuses since the early 2000s. It’s the same old same old. This has been happening every now and then… Read more »

AMA
Guest
AMA

I’m surprised you have the name Boz Tchjividian and “not in either camp” in the same comment.

Boz is one of the leaders of the mob. There’s no way he’s unbiased.

guester
Guest
guester

The fact that a highly respected Christian with excellent credentials in dealing with sexual abuse in religious context is viewed here as a “leader of the mob” says volumes about your own marginalization, isolation, and rejection of wise counsel in these weighty matters.

AMA
Guest
AMA

I used to respect Boz until he became positively apoplectic about a situation he knows little about. I no longer have any respect for him after seeing his interactions on Facebook and Twitter with those who disagree with him. Go see for yourself.

guester
Guest
guester

I have read Boz’s twitter accounts, as I have Doug Wilson’s. Doug imagines himself as turning over tables in the temple, but it is Boz who is following Jesus’ example in taking action to rid the church of abusive practices.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

I have. He is doing the good work. In fact, I only know him at all from twitter. You should go read his couple of treatises on sexual abuse in the church. They default to measured, thoughtful and caring for the victims. A triune grouping in short supply here.

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

That us not the way he presents,

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Why such fear about getting a knowledgeable respected authority.

accelerator
Guest
accelerator

Let’s see… Right now on the internet there is a story about a sadly abused girl, her seemingly decent father, and you and your church. So you as a seasoned pastor resort to essay mode to ‘pray’ for people with lousy fathers who set them up for sexual abuse?! No matter what the facts are, or what you intend, unless I am missing something this entry is jarringly tone deaf.

herewegokids
Guest
connie
Guest
connie

Serious question to Doug-what was your purpose in posting this prayer? It’s a nice prayer. A biblical prayer. But what was the motive for posting it publically? You don’t have to answer that here-in fact it might be better if you don’t. But you yourself need the answer to that question, and the sooner the better.

Cody Libolt
Guest

Good form.

timothy
Guest
timothy

heh. Pastor, I see why you jig. God Bless.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

From this morning’s Denison e-blast –

“Jerry Bridges was right: ‘Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace, and your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace’.”

Liam781
Guest
Liam781

Please try for significantly less frequent use of the first person singular. May God bless you.

Darius
Guest
Darius

Pastor Wilson, I thought you might appreciate this from Joseph Hall, a former bishop of Exeter and Norwich, if you’re still reading these comments at all: Upon the Sight of a Harlot Carted “With what noise and tumult, and zeal of solemn justice, is this sin punished! The streets are not more full of beholders than clamours. Every one strives to express his detestation of the fact by some token of revenge: one casts mire, another water, another rotten eggs, upon the miserable offender. Neither, indeed, is she worthy of less: but, in the mean time, no man looks home… Read more »

Darius
Guest
Darius

I should say that I don’t mean to imply anyone is the harlot here, but that we are all needing to be reminded that we love to throw rotten eggs.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

“Thanks to the CREC presiding ministers for taking on a thankless task,” Wilson resignedly sighs on Twitter.

How soon must we suffer Wilson’s newest side-step when he holds up the CREC ‘investigative’ committee of ‘impartial’ coworkers and findings chaired by Wilson friend and co-author Randy Booth as some kind of unbiased clearance? That will be a fun MABLOG post. I have a fresh roll of Tums.

Certainly not first with this observation. But it is worth making as we are inevitable due for some kind of solemn blog about it.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Obviously I know nothing more than the rest of us who are reading these posts and wondering what happened. I think that many people read the opposing comments here and decide to remain silent, not wanting to add to the controversy. What troubles me is that the reaction to these situations is similar to the dissension that split Catholic parishes in two in the midst of the priest molestation scandals. I am not implying a similarity of facts; only of how situations were handled and received. The initial reaction from the Catholic hierarchy was to protect the church by denial… Read more »

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

It’s good to see some non-partisan comments on the subject.

Jane
Member

And I believe that ground is being maintained, by those who do it in the spirit of questioning or disagreeing with the decisions made, without making it a reason to carry pitchforks. The problem isn’t that Doug’s claiming that everyone who questions him is a mob, it’s that there is a mob, who can be recognized by their behavior, who in turn claim that it’s their questioning, not their mobness, that Doug is aiming at. There is very little out there of, “Pastors have to make hard decisions. This was, given all the circumstances, a hard decision. Doug et al… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I agree with a lot of this. I would derive no satisfaction from a rebuke of Pastor Wilson; nor would an apology from him have much to do with me. Just as the Catholic church spent a couple of painful decades examining what went wrong, what incorrect assumptions caused the tumors to metastasize, and what official responses ended up being heartless to victims and enabling to perpetrators, I believe that all churches must be open to this kind of self-examination. I am troubled only by an apparent conviction that the handling of the situation was beyond reproach, and that anyone… Read more »

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

I’ve seen very few commenters saying that all was beyond reproach, but there are a number who refuse to be bullied into joining a lynching based on unbiblical arguments, and in some cases an outright hatred of God and His law. Unbelief and foolishness are always ready to accuse, slow or unwilling to acknowledge their own sins, and disinterested in God’s Lordship over all men and His desire for sinning believers to be restored rather than demonized and scape-goated. How convenient it is when someone sins in a visible and horrific way and gives those who hate God an opportunity… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

“and that anyone who questions this is aiding the Lord’s enemies.”

I am troubled by that, too. And honestly, I do not see that here. I see
shoes being offered to those who act as the Lord’s enemies, and some of
those enemies insisting that everyone who has doubts about the handling
of these situations, put them on. I don’t see Doug being the one telling
everybody to put the shoes on, though.

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

“their questioning and not their mobness”… Made me smile :)

katie
Guest
katie

In the Roman Catholic scenario didn’t the church insist the abusers not be turned over to law enforcement? In the Moscow scenario, the exact opposite occurred – the church insisted the abuse be reported at once.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I believe that is true for the Sitler situation; I don’t know about the other one. Yes, there were many hierarchies that did not turn priests over for criminal prosecution (although some did). This was complicated by the fact that once a guilty priest confessed to a superior, that superior had no right under canon law to violate the secrecy of the confessional. The priest who heard the perpetrator’s confession could withhold absolution but could not call law enforcement. So the information had to reach the superior in some other way. From my understanding, the worst part of the institutional… Read more »

Katecho
Member

The narrative that jillybean describes is very deeply impressed on our current culture, which is what makes all the scurrilous charges so plausible to so many eager ears. Wilson must apologize to complete the narrative. The latest Stonewall teaser reveals the cultural power of this play. It’s very effective. Few have the courage or patience for impartiality, and find it much easier to just go ahead and sacrifice a scapegoat for the crowd. It is possible to seek justice for victims of sexual abuse without all of the scapegoating and partiality. That’s the message we don’t want to hear. We… Read more »

Lisa Reese
Guest
Lisa Reese

And amen.

connie
Guest
connie

http://revolfaith.com/2015/09/12/ministering-to-pedophiles/

Required reading for anyone who wants to attempt the task.

Evan
Guest
Evan

I stopped reading at this sentence:

“One thing pastors should know is that true repentance is extremely rare for pedophiles. ”

Did magic 8 ball tell her that?

connie
Guest
connie

The conservative Presbyterian pastor who shared this with me said it was his experience as well. Read the whole article before you dismiss it.

Evan
Guest
Evan

You’re “conservative” Presbyterian pastor needs to get to know his Westminster standards better. Ask him where repentance originates from. *wink*

connie
Guest
connie

And he would probably want to know where your gift of discernment is. If he is wrong no children are harmed. If you are wrong innocent children are harmed grieviously and the church held liable.

Evan
Guest
Evan

I assume your Presbyterian pastor friend(?) holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith. If that is the case, I find it hard to believe that he doesn’t find this statement from the article problematic: “One thing pastors should know is that true repentance is extremely rare for pedophiles.” Particularly in light of WCF chapters 10-15. My apologies if I didnt make that clear in my earlier comment. This is what I was getting at when I asked you to finish this sentence: “True repentance is impossible for everyone unless…”. If he doesn’t hold to the WCF (rare, but possible I… Read more »

connie
Guest
connie

He does. But he also knows people lie, and that one must pert near have a reprobate mind to molest children to start with. If someone is truly repentant they will be more than willing to prove it by STAYING AWAY FROM KIDS.
I have sat in enough counseling sessions as a witness to know that there is …..a lot of evil out there that you would never expect in a million years.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Hmm, this really has nothing to do with my questions/comments to you or your pastor friend. How about this question, “What separates the person who truly repents from the person who doesn’t?”

connie
Guest
connie

That’s God’s concern. Mine is that children are safe.

Evan
Guest
Evan

“That’s God’s concern.”

Yes, that’s kind of the point. Again, which is why I have trouble with this statement:

“One thing pastors should know is that true repentance is extremely rare for pedophile.”

Does God just not elect that many pedophiles? Why not?

connie
Guest
connie

If you want to risk your children around a pedophile, repentant or not, that is your responsibility but you do not have the right to risk the safety of other people’s children nor does a pastor. Ministry to a pedophile must be done openly and AWAY from children. To think otherwise is foolishness, and God commanded us to be wise.

Evan
Guest
Evan

“If you want to risk your children around a pedophile, repentant or not, that is your responsibility but you do not have the right to risk the safety of other people’s children nor does a pastor. Ministry to a pedophile must be done openly and AWAY from children. To think otherwise is foolishness, and God commanded us to be wise.”

Looks like you only want to have a conversation with yourself. I’ll leave you to it.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Connie, the children at Christ Church are safe. Sitler’s child is safe. Idaho may be flyover country, but it is not without proper safeguards. So relax.

I am amazed at how many people who do not live in Moscow or worship at Christ Church are now crusading without knowing where they are going.

This whole situation was caused by one individual who hates Wilson and thought there might be some fire to kindle with Sitler’s situation.

The children are safe.

Tim Mullet
Guest
Tim Mullet

What a terrible article. There is only one Bible verse used in this article telling Pastors how to minister, and that verse is taken horribly out of context. Shameful.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

If the modern church understood repentance better it would recognize that it isn’t just pedophiles that are skilled at deception. They may very well be more skilled at it, but it is rather like arguing about whether the gymnast should get a 9.8 or a 9.6. Some (pastors, parents, etc.) need to be able to tell the difference in skill, the rest are just using the difference to justify scape-goating. (See Paul, et. al. on sin and law.)

connie
Guest
connie

Not sure what you are implying but there are some sins so dangerous that the consequences have to be severe. Little ones must be protected. Not to mention that the number one reason churches get sued is for lack of protection from predators in their midst. Either take this seriously or face very tragic consequences. God does not winkk at foolishness and naivety.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

But if someone suggests execution what would you say? Why do I suspect that most who want an absolute quarantine would be opposed to capital punishment? After all, executing someone is “cruel”, but locking them in a cage (or out of the city) like an animal is “humane.” Either the abuser is human and therefore made in God’s image and must be treated according to God’s law, or they (and we) are animals and can be treated as such. What does God’s law say here? More specifically, you say they must face very tragic consequences. Are you suggesting a theocracy… Read more »

connie
Guest
connie

The article I shared in the link above shared what I meant. Not what you surmised.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

I see that I inadvertently switched “severe” and “tragic” when writing my prior comment. My apologies for any confusion that caused. Would you consider my questions once again please? I did not see answers in the article you had linked earlier. I also found the article less that persuasive in that it quotes a single verse that does not even relate to the current situations, sexual abuse, or crime and victimization in general. The author did not attempt to show how any of the points she made would be derived from biblical principles. (I agree with most of them by… Read more »

connie
Guest
connie

Thinking Biblically means doing as Proverbs says…a wise man foresees danger and avoids it. And also displaying FRUIT in keeping with repentance. God has a lot to say about wisdom and common sense.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

I see.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Connie complete this sentence: “True repentance is impossible for everyone unless….”