The CREC Presiding Ministers’ Memorial to Abuse

Ain’t No Millstone Big Enough

“Hypocrisy is always much bigger than the sin it pretends not to be committing.” Douglas Wilson

Again, Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, presided over the marriage of serial pedophile Steven Sitler to a graduate of New Saint Andrews College and prayed for the couple to have children (plural). Five years later the wife gave birth to a son for her pedophiliac husband. Soon thereafter Mr. Sitler began failing polygraph tests. Eventually he admitted that he had “engaged in physical contact with his child that has resulted in sexual stimulation” and that he entertained “deviant sexual fantasies regarding the infant.” The Idaho Division of Probation and Parole removed him from his home and prohibited him from having contact with his child (Mr. Sitler exercised his covenant headship from a motel). However, after two years, Mr. Sitler’s attorneys prevailed for their client. The judge authorized the pedophile to live under the same roof as his child, albeit with multiple unwieldy restrictions. More specifically, the judge compelled the little boy to live in the same home as the sexual predator whom even the judge does not trust. The Honorable Judge John Stegner made this statement, on the record,

“I can’t guarantee Steven’s son’s safety; I’m not sure anyone can guarantee Steven’s son’s safety.” (@1:02:05, August 17, 2016)1

Hand wringing aside, Judge Stegner forced that child into an unthinkable circumstance: He must live in the same house as a serial pedophile who fantasizes of molesting him. The python now enjoys free access to the bunny.

Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson

Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson.

The whole world conspired against the 2½-year old. The parents and the grandparents wanted the child molester to live with the child. The psychological experts (hired guns) retained by the Sitler’s supported the predator living within hands’ reach of the prey. The boy’s pastor agreed that the pedophile should live with his son and he “encouraged” his elders to do the same. Even the Presiding Ministers of the boy’s religious denomination, when charged to review this case, silently assented to his horrifying living arrangement. Only one man in authority advocated for that child — Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson. He made every relevant & logical argument against the pedophile living with the child (@23:38; you won’t be disappointed), but to no avail. The judge caved. And Douglas Wilson approved.

As noted, these evils took place as the Presiding Ministers of the CREC conducted their review of the Kirk. Doug Wilson specifically charged them “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.”2 Yet the CREC Review Committee did not mention the Sitler child’s living situation in their final report. They examined Doug Wilson’s “pastoral care” for almost two years but wrote not one word about Mr. Wilson’s approval of that little Sitler boy living with his sexual-predator father. It’s as though it never happened — like it’s not happening right now. Still . . . they had to write something. So the Presiding Ministers offered this:

We also urge the CREC Council to adopt an official statement or memorial expressing a denominational commitment to provide adequate and well-equipped pastoral care to victims of various forms of abuse; of course, the statement should show how the gospel applies to both victims and to their abusers. We believe MinistrySafe can provide helpful guidance in this area as well. (PMR 13)

Don’t miss the hypocrisy: These men had an affirmative pastoral obligation to intervene on behalf of the little boy and his mother. Legally, they couldn’t do anything. Pastorally, however, they could have acted like shepherds who actually care. Someone needs to tell Katie Sitler that she has lawful cause to divorce her husband and, whether she divorces or not, she has a moral obligation to protect her child from his father. No touching — even in “line of sight” — and no visits. Keep the creep far away. Further, the Presiding Ministers had the pastoral responsibility to warn the CREC as well as the church at large that Douglas Wilson’s absence of conscience (cannot distinguish right from wrong) poses a tremendous threat to those under his influence: DO NOT FOLLOW HIM.

Instead, these collars without necks urged “the CREC Council to adopt an official statement or memorial expressing a denominational commitment to provide adequate and well-equipped pastoral care to victims of various forms of abuse.” This is like seven firemen recommending that the fire department “adopt an official statement” expressing their commitment to protecting children from harmful blazes, as they watch a home burn to the ground with a child in it. What’s the point? What good is “an official statement or memorial expressing a denominational commitment” when a child in their care remains fully exposed to predation? What more could this “official statement” say than what the Lord Jesus declared? — “It is better for him if a millstone is hung around his neck and he is thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke 17:2).

CREC Presiding Ministers

The Presiding Ministers of the CREC from left to right, top to bottom: Alan Burrow, Tim Bushong, Garrett Craw, Todd Davis, Duane Garner, Rich Lusk, Jack Phelps, Douglas Wilson.

The Presiding Ministers give lip service where Scripture requires them to act. They want people to believe they really care about victims when in fact they care only for themselves. They peacock around in pretty robes and prissy collars but won’t lift one finger to defend a helpless child. I have never seen such cowardice in my life. These priests deserve Douglas Wilson as their Presiding Minister, because they live in peaceful harmony with his standard: “Hypocrisy is always much bigger than the sin it pretends not to be committing.”


1 When Judge Stegner used the word “safety,” he meant “protection from molestation” — “I’m not sure anyone can guarantee Steven’s son’s [protection from molestation].”
2 Inquiry into the Pastoral Ministry of Christ Church (Moscow, Idaho), October 3, 2015.