Two days ago Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, published the Council Agenda Supplementary Materials for the CREC 2017 CREC Triennial Council. He did this to fulfil a responsibility as the Presiding Minister of the CREC. In the packet he included a “Letter from the Presiding Minister,” which takes one parting shot at the CREC Review Committee and the Presiding Ministers’ Report on the Sitler and Wight Sex Abuse Cases (PMR). The final paragraph of this letter states:
And last, since we last met, the committee made up of the presiding ministers of the CREC delivered to us the report that the session of Christ Church had requested of them. We do thank the committee for the labor they expended on our behalf. Upon receiving the report, we posted it on our web site the following day, and also had it posted on the CREC web page. A few weeks after that, we held a congregational meeting where we detailed our reactions to the report. Because we did not want it to turn into an Internet thing, we did not hand out any materials. But in summary, we particularly noted that Part 1 and the Appendices were just the sort of report we had requested, and we outlined a number of the adjustments and corrections that we had made or were making in line with the report. At the same time, for various reasons, we believe that Part 2 was out of line, and we explained why we believed that to our congregation. That said, we are glad that this chapter is over, and we will be much more careful in the future. (Council Agenda Supplementary Materials, October 16, 2017, page 11)
Note the words “we believe that Part 2 was out of line.” Of course, “Part 2” of the report is titled “The Use of Social Media” and is the section that triggered Doug Wilson to rail on the Presiding Ministers of the CREC:
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)
Control the Conversation
Never forget the context of the PMR: Douglas Wilson charged the Presiding Ministers to review his handling of two sexual abuse cases — Jamin Wight and Steven Sitler. The PMs wrote enough to gloss Jamin Wight’s crimes but they completely ignored the current events surrounding Steven Sitler. Namely, the Presiding Ministers did not write one word about the serial pedophile living in the same home as his 2½-year-old son. More specifically, no one who relies on the PMR for their information would know that Steven Sitler admitted he entertains “deviant sexual fantasies regarding the infant” and he “engaged in physical contact with his child that has resulted in sexual stimulation” (Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson @24:23). No one who relies on the PMR for their information would know that the State now forces that little boy to live in the same home as his pedophiliac father with the approval of Douglas Wilson and the Kirk elders. Doug Wilson and the CREC Presiding Ministers do not want anyone talking about this fact, because it is indefensible.
Therefore, Doug Wilson is happy to push buttons about “small-breasted biddies” and “lumberjack dykes” — just so long as he does not have to explain why he supports Steven Sitler living in the same home as the child he wants to molest. That’s what he’s is doing here. He’s Doug wagging. Doug Wilson is controlling the conversation. He would much rather have a food fight at the Triennial Council about his ungodly rhetoric than about that helpless child in his cure.
Check the Announcements
According to the original CREC announcements about the Review Committee, Doug Wilson gave the Presiding Ministers full latitude to consider everything, which includes his use of social media:
In keeping with the CREC Constitution and our regular church order, the session of Christ Church, Moscow, ID, has invited the presiding ministers of each presbytery to inquire into the pastoral care and counseling ministry of Christ Church, with particular regard to their handling of sexual abuse cases, not excluding the two cases that have been the subject of some recent controversy. In short, are their practices in this area operating within a biblical framework and consistent with the law? . . . This invitation means that under the direction of their chair, the committee is invited to ask any questions of members of the Christ Church session and pastoral staff, and they can have complete access to their minutes, records, files, etc. . . Moreover, they have requested that the presiding ministers satisfy themselves as to the health and soundness of their pastoral care in such circumstances, and to provide them with their counsel and advice where they see any deficiencies. (Inquiry into the Pastoral Ministry of Christ Church (Moscow, Idaho), October 3, 2015)
“are their practices in this area operating within a biblical framework”? . . . “ask any questions” . . . “complete access” . . . “satisfy themselves as to the health and soundness of their pastoral care” . . . “provide them with their counsel and advice where they see any deficiencies.” These words are all inclusive — everything is up for grabs. And the second CREC announcement actually invokes “social media”:
On September 14, 2015, the immediate past Presiding Minister of the CREC Council (2008–2014), Rev. Jack Phelps, sent a letter to the Session of Christ Church, Moscow, suggesting that a review of the church’s handling of these two cases and of the recent public discussion of them on social media would be in order. (CREC Review Committee Mission Statement, November 7, 2015)
The words “the recent public discussion of them on social media” includes Doug Wilson’s contribution to this discussion, which means social media fell within the specific scope of the Presiding Ministers’ mission. So when he complains that the Presiding Ministers were “out of line,” he’s really saying, “Hey, look over there!”
The Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches exists to protect Douglas Wilson at any cost — including the safety of that little Sitler boy. This is why the PMR never mentions this unfathomable evil. The Presiding Ministers could not defend it, so they ignored it. And they really want their readers to ignore it as well.