“For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed. . . .” Titus 1:7
Sequence of Events
For the last month Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, has festered at the CREC Presiding Ministers’ Report on the Sitler & Wight Sex Abuse Cases, or PMR. The day before he published it, he telegraphed his displeasure with the Review Committee for their disloyalty:
One of the things that modern Christians have a hard time doing right is loyalty. We don’t know how loyalty is supposed to work. We don’t understand the spiritual requirement of personal allegiance to your church and its leadership, and in addition we have a very poor understanding of what disloyalty actually smells like. Not a few Christians think they are contending for the peace and purity of the church, just like it said in their membership vows, when they are actually stinking up the sanctuary. We think that if a letter begins it is with grief in my heart, the letter that follows cannot be disloyal. (Blog & Mablog, Church Membership and Disloyalty, August 14, 2017, emphasis original)
The next day Doug Wilson released the PMR for the general public to read. But he did not announce the report on Twitter or Mablog, and the Kirk does not link the report on their website (no menu buttons). He blocked search engines from seeing it and he made it very difficult for readers to navigate. These facts suggest that he uploaded the PMR against his will. He did the bare minimum.
Subsequently, we know that the CREC Review Committee wrote at least one thing that injured his narcissism (self-love), which likely accounts for his petulance. In particular, Mr. Wilson identified this genteel admonishment in the PMR as intolerable:
In that regard, let us point out a few specifics we believe are inconsistent with the high road. . . .
- Using unnecessarily provocative language, including derogatory or calloused language about women. Referring to certain women as “small breasted biddies” or “lumberjack dykes” is not likely to serve an edifying purpose in this context. We note that this language has caused a good deal of anguish among pastors and elders of CREC churches who would otherwise be supportive of Pastor Wilson’s ministry. Pastors should be careful not to give women reasons to avoid seeking help from the church. Instead, we should make it clear that the church is a place where all people are treated with honor and respect, and where victims can find grace. (PMR, page 18, emphasis original)
One month later (three days ago), Douglas Wilson answered the Presiding Ministers:
So if someone with a long enough face to be a dowager from Human Resources tells me that I am no longer permitted, as a cis-white-male, to make any observations or comparisons, metaphorical or otherwise, about any aspect of the female anatomy, guess what I am going to do? Guess what my next blog post is going to be about?
Go on, guess. (Blog & Mablog, A Tether Ball in a Tornado, September 18, 2017)
Then he reposted three quotes full of belittling & degrading descriptions of women from the Mablog archive, including a specific quotation that the Review Committee tagged as “not likely . . . edifying”:
Small-Breasted Biddies: A Reprise. . . .
“So feminism — smash the patriarchy feminism — wants us to be ruled by harridans, termagants, harpies and crones. That sets the tone, and the pestering is then made complete by small-breasted biddies who want to make sure nobody is using too much hot water in the shower, and that we are all getting plenty of fiber. . . . A fading beauty in Beverly Hills walks into an upscale bistro, her skin stretched out with botox, her breasts as fine a pair as DuPont could make them. . . . and the clueless women . . . who are themselves pushy broads, twinkies in tight tops, or waifs with manga eyes”. . . . (ibid., bold original)
Believe His Explanation
Readers should believe Douglas Wilson’s explanation for his behavior. He usually blame-shifts responsibility for his sins onto those he sins against; however in this case he owned responsibility with remarkable candor. Mr. Wilson stated that the only reason he doubled down on the despicable language toward women is because the Presiding Ministers of the CREC “no longer permitted” him “to make any observations or comparisons . . . about any aspect of the female anatomy.”1 Therefore, he concluded, “guess what I am going to do? . . . . Go on, guess.”
This is his explanation and we should believe him, for this is the sum total of the man Douglas Wilson. He despises all authority — legitimate & illegitimate. He despises all authority — including his own, which he arrogated (he’s self-ordained). He holds the CREC Presiding Ministers in contempt, and he holds his own teaching in contempt just to prove his contempt for the Presiding Ministers.
He Knows Better
Consider this from Doug Wilson’s book Future Men:
A two-year-old boy should be taught to respect his baby sister because she is a girl. A five-year-old boy should be required to say “yes, ma’am” to his mother simply because she is a woman. Young boys need to be taught to hold open doors for women. They should seat their mother at the dinner table. These are not arbitrary or random cultural practices which have no meaning. They are a constant daily reminder to males — whose lusts when unmortified always degrade women — that women must not be degraded, but rather honored. Manners are therefore a form of sexual discipleship; they are sexual discipline. . . . Boys must grow up to be the kind of men who will be honorable in bed with their wives. They cannot do this in particular if they are unfamiliar with honor generally. They cannot do this with one woman if they don’t know what it is to honor women generally. . . The cultural discipline of honoring women is very important. . . . Refusal to teach boys to honor girls and women will certainly result in grief, but grief too late. (Future Men [Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2001], 134, emphasis original)
Consider this from Mablog:
Jesus says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matt. 12:34). Is your speech a fresh water spring or a sewage pipe? When you speak, are you respectful of the presence of women? Does that kind of thing matter to you at all? Are you aware of the difference between not speaking like a gentleman all alone, which is bad enough, and when you are with others not speaking like a gentleman in such a way as to insult a lady? When you speak, is it for the edification of the hearer, or is it to get a laugh for your own glory? Do you speak for them or for you? . . . As we finish, consider the explicit teaching of the apostle Paul on the subject. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Eph. 4:29). (Blog & Mablog, Understanding Bad Words, April 1, 2011, emphasis original)
Douglas Wilson affirms that Scripture requires men to respect women — which is the point. He knows the Bible teaches it and he teaches it — yet he violates both Scripture and his oft-repeated instruction. Yes, this means he’s a hypocrite, but it means more. He’s not a hypocrite for the sake of it. His hypocrisy takes a back seat to his repulsion of authority, which drives him. He relishes defiance; he glories in it. Therefore he declared to the CREC and to the world:
So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to make any observations or comparisons . . . about any aspect of the female anatomy, guess what I am going to do? Guess what my next blog post is going to be about?
Go on, guess. (A Tether Ball in a Tornado)
Doug Wilson supplied the hermeneutic we need to interpret his behavior. He will do something precisely because someone said he can’t do it. This explains the filth, rebellion, and corruption in Moscow. It explains Doug Wilson. He consistently does the wrong thing not to be a hypocrite but to defy authority.
Prove the Rule
Prove the rule by changing the sin. Instead of demeaning women for their physical anatomy, change the subject to a serial pedophile facing life in prison:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [ask the judge to go easy on a serial pedophile] guess what I am going to do?”
Or change it to Steven Sitler’s marriage:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [preside over the marriage of a serial pedophile to a graduate of New Saint Andrews College] guess what I am going to do?”
Change it to Steven Sitler’s child:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [support a pedophile who wants 24-7 access to a child] guess what I am going to do?”
Change it to Natalie’s court-sealed diary:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [publish the court-sealed diary of a 14-year-old rape victim] guess what I am going to do?”
Change it to Jamin Wight:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [allow a confessed child molester in the ministry] guess what I am going to do?”
Change it to criminal fraud:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [commit criminal fraud] guess what I am going to do?”
Change it to perjury:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [lie under oath] guess what I am going to do?”
Change it to plagiarism:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [plagiarize] guess what I am going to do?”
Change it to racism:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [teach that the Son of God used racist slurs] guess what I am going to do?”
Change it to retaliation:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [retaliate] guess what I am going to do?”
Change it to his own ministry:
“So if someone . . . tells me that I am no longer permitted . . . to [violate my own teaching] guess what I am going to do?”
Scripture prohibited him in each of these — but he did it. Page through the archives of this website. The list is endless. He feels no restraint. He esteems his will, or autonomy, greater than any biblical precept he claims to believe. Therefore, the Presiding Minister of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches ridicules women just to defy the Presiding Ministers of the CREC. And they can’t do anything about it.
1 Doug Wilson misrepresented the CREC Review Committee. They did not “no longer permit” this. He never conferred such authority on them. They recommended that he drop the gratuitous language because it “caused a good deal of anguish among pastors and elders of CREC churches who would otherwise be supportive of Pastor Wilson’s ministry.” Specifically, they wrote, “A more prudent and temperate use of language would be helpful” (PMR 18). This is reasonable counsel. Nevertheless, to him “the commandment came and sin revived” (Rom. 7:9). It worked all manner of contempt in him, which he heaped on the Presiding Ministers.
2 Please note the context of this 2006 blog post entitled False, False, and False.