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 Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches exists to protect Douglas Wilson at any cost — including the safety of that little Sitler boy. Continue reading
“When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart, whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.” —Proverbs 26:25–26 Continue reading
To reapply a comment that the apostle Paul made once, it is my responsibility in representing the CREC not to go beyond what is written. My idiosyncratic doctrinal views are in no way the responsibility of the CREC, except to the extent the CREC is in fellowship with the one who holds them.
Douglas Wilson, CREC Presiding Minister
- A godly satirist should be a member of a worshipping community of orthodox and faithful Christians, and he should live in such a way as to be accountable to others for his words and actions. He should not be the sole judge and arbiter of the words that come from his mouth and keyboard.
We have had publishing events like 50 Shades. We have had raunchy routines from comediennes like Sarah Silverman. We have had rap artists cutting up their bitches. We have had reality television set ups that would clog the filters of a sewage treatment plant for a major urban area. We have gone from the time when Rhett Butler saying “frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” was a national event, to the point now where it is a national event if the hostess of any given awards show doesn’t fall out of her dress. Our ruling elites, pretty much all of them, are gathered on Lot’s front porch, trying to find the doorknob while yelling incoherently about their incoherent lusts. Not only do they want to rape the angels, they are mortally offended that some sports guys said boobs on CNN.
“Those who know Pastor Wilson personally know that he cares deeply for people in his congregation and that his online persona is not a complete picture of the man he is as a pastor.”
CREC Presiding Ministers
Uh, in the middle of this controversy, the session of Christ Church invited the presiding ministers of the CREC — there are seven presbyteries in the CREC, I’m the presiding minister of the whole CREC, Randy Booth in Nacogdoches, Texas, is the pro tem presiding minister — um, our session invited the presiding ministers of the CREC to come in and conduct a review of our counseling of sexual abuse cases, etc., not excluding these two cases. So, um, a couple of weeks ago, ten days ago, we shipped to all the separate presiding ministers and to Randy a notebook, um, a Sitler notebook and a Greenfield–Wight notebook full of court documents, counseling records, etc., uh, they’ve got those, uh. Two of the committee members are going to be in town here in Moscow next week, to interview people involved, to interview the session, to conduct a thorough review. So we’re in the middle of that and I’ve recused — since I’m the presiding minister and pastor of Christ Church I’ve recused myself from that process. Randy Booth is the chairman of that committee. That review is going on as we speak and we hope to have a report, a report — recommendations — back from them by the end of the year. So one of the things you can say to friends is, ‘A review’s in process, and we will prayerfully consider whatever they have to say. And we have given them carte blanche to everything we have.’
Douglas Wilson (216)
And this is what you must do. Run an inventory on your vocabulary. Make a list of words that you use that fall into this general category. Having made the list, see what happens when you ask the following questions about them.
Is your use of such words a matter of self-conscious Christian discipleship? If not, then stop saying them. Who taught you this word? Who are you imitating in using it yourself? How confident are you that there are no strings attached to the word? How confident are you that you learned nothing else along with the word? Is your use of these words paired up with an ungodly attitude? Is it connected to Ezekiel’s prophetic use or to some hard-R sex comedy? 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? And are you like a poor stand-up comedian who tells dirty jokes because nervous laughter is better than no laughter? Do you use the existence of verbal Platonists as an excuse to be a libertine? 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).
When Paul says this, he is assuming that we will do the hard work of identifying what corrupt communication is. He knew that every language is different, and we could say every last word in our lexicon of filthy talk to the apostle and he, not knowing English, wouldn’t have anything to say about any of them. But he would nonetheless expect English-speaking Christians to think like grown-ups. He would expect them to teach their children not to say certain things, and the fact that these prohibited words cannot be found itemized in Scripture should not trouble us at all. It is not legalism to understand the principle and apply it in new territory. And so there are your marching orders on this topic — no corrupt communication.
“In this particular case, Pastor Wilson’s rhetoric has, unfortunately, been found offensive and inappropriate even by many in his own denomination (including other pastors and elders). Pastor Wilson’s blog posts regarding these cases have proved to be quite divisive even amongst those who consider him a friend and ally. A more prudent and temperate use of language would be helpful.”
Presiding Ministers’ Report
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.
“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.”