“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 26:12
On March 10, 2005, Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, discovered that the unthinkable took place on his watch in his church: A student from New Saint Andrews College had serially molested multiple children from at least one Kirk family for the previous 18 months.
Now let me place this historical fact in another context for you. Six years before Sitler’s discovery, Doug Wilson wrote this:
Violent rape is a judgment of God upon a people. . . This does not justify the perpetrators; it is simply the recognition that when disaster befalls a city, sexual disaster for the women is part of this. . . Violent rape is God’s judgment on a culture, and individual women who are part of that culture are included in the judgment. . . . We see the same judgment at work in disintegrating cultures: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11). Here the rape is not being perpetrated by foreign soldiers, but is the result of citizens turning on one another. . . But when God’s hand of judgment is heavy upon a people, women are in far greater danger of sexual assault than at other times. (Douglas Wilson, Fidelity: What It Means To Be a One-Woman Man [Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1999] 82, 83)
Accordingly, Mr. Wilson believes that “citizens turning on one another” and “violent rape” are “God’s judgment on a culture.” Further, he states, “when God’s hand of judgment is heavy upon a people, women are in far greater danger of sexual assault than at other times,” which presumably means that women as the “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7) are more vulnerable. Now if we apply Mr. Wilson’s standard and argue from the weak to the weaker, i.e. from “women” (weak) to “children” (weaker), then we may argue that “when God’s hand of judgment is heavy upon a people, children are in far greater danger of sexual assault than at other times.”
Given this principle, we may conclude that a Kirk pedophile turning on Kirk citizens and raping Kirk children for 18 months falls into the category of “violent rape” and “God’s judgment,” at least by Doug Wilson’s standard. And when you throw in Sitler’s West Virginia spree in summer 2003, the judgment appears much worse, at least as it concerns the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC). However you factor these events, I am confident that the Judge of all the Earth did right, at least by Mr. Wilson’s standard.
So Douglas Wilson learned of Sitler’s crimes on March 10, 2005, and since that day Mr. Wilson has never disclosed when Sitler began confessing the names of his victims; Mr. Wilson has never said how long it took Sitler to remember the names of victims he confessed; and Mr. Wilson has never revealed when or why he determined to conceal this information from the Kirk. But we do know this much: On March 10, 2005, Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, had good cause to examine his heart, his doctrine, and his manner of life, because by his written standard “God’s hand of judgment” had just fallen on the Kirk’s “disintegrating culture.” Further, we know that of all men, Mr. Wilson had urgent cause to exhaust himself searching for more possible victims and that this cause included searching within the local community. Indeed, if any man had occasion to grow up and act mature, Douglas Wilson was that man.
Unfortunately, this did not happen. And we know this because exactly 20 days after Mr. Wilson discovered that “God’s hand of judgment” had fallen on the Kirk — that is, less than three weeks after he learned that a serial pedophile ravaged Kirk children for 18 months — Doug Wilson resolved for time & eternity to show the world exactly where his pastoral priorities lie. The mighty culture warrior found time to play an April Fools’ Day joke against his neighbors in the city of Moscow:
Topic: Current Events
Now that the papers are all signed, and my attorney says that there is nothing that can be done about it, I suppose this would be a good time to announce that through the generous help of a third party my wife and I have bought the Moscow Food Coop. For me to have been involved in the negotiations publicly would have been obviously counterproductive, but now that the deal is done, I think there is no longer any sense in being coy. At the same time, despite local politics, I want to assure all the regular Food Coop customers that there is absolutely no intention of selling the Coop’s new downtown location to Christ Church, or of diminishing in any way the quality of service that our customers have come to expect.
Posted by Douglas Wilson — 4/1/2005 1:16:54 PM
This was not a good-natured joke any more than the Topless & Proud prank. In 2003 Doug Wilson served notice that he planned to take over Moscow.1 He had coveted the Coop’s property for years and even had an architect draft a preliminary blueprint to erect a cathedral on the site. In 2004 he tried buying the land by proxy, because no one in town would do business with him personally, but the seller killed the deal when she discovered she was negotiating with a Wilson gopher. This was a front-page story in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, much to Wilson’s embarrassment — at least to the extent he feels embarrassment — so his April Fool’s Day joke was really a therapeutic measure to vent his spleen as well as serve notice that he had not modified his plan for a hostile takeover.
Regardless, the fool had no idea how many more undiscovered victims remained in his church, just as he still has no idea how many unnamed victims remain, but 20 days after he learned a child rapist laid waste the lambs of the flock, Doug Wilson found time to yank some locals’ chains, hoping for a good laugh at their expense. In case your math is off, that’s less than one day per confessed victim.
Do you think the victims’ parents laughed? Do you think these two brokenhearted souls laughed?
But maybe I expect too much. Perhaps April Fools’ gags help Mr. Wilson reflect on his true calling in life or maybe they give meaning to his wretched existence. I don’t know and I don’t care. Of this much, however, I am certain. When God delivers the final blow to the Kirk’s rotten culture, Mr. Wilson will have no occasion for laughter, he will have no one to mock or belittle, and he will have nowhere to run. In fact, he should know by now that God will make him the punch line on that day, because Scripture says:
Because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. (Proverbs 1:25–31)
1 “In the 60s, my father wrote a small but enormously influential book called The Principles of War. In it, he applied the principles of physical warfare to what he called strategic evangelism. This idea of warfare is necessary in order to understand a central part of what is happening here, and by this I mean the concept of the decisive point. A decisive point is one which is simultaneously strategic and feasible. Strategic means that it would be a significant loss to the enemy if taken. Feasible means that it is possible to take. New York City is strategic but not feasible. Bovill is feasible but not strategic. But small towns with major universities (Moscow and Pullman, say) are both.” (“The State of the Church 2003”)