Doug Wilson, Christ Church, CREC, Greyfriars Hall, Association of Classical & Christian Schools, Canon Press, New Saint Andrews, Steven Sitler, Jamin Wight
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. ~G.K. Chesterton
Last night, I returned home after a 1-1/2 day trip to Moscow, Idaho, home of Pastor Douglas Wilson and Christ Church. Coincidentally, today members of Christ Church celebrated the church’s 40th anniversary, so today is the perfect day to introduce a series of posts related to Doug Wilson and Christ Church. I will be writing articles and others will be contributed.
During my trip, I spent most of the time talking with people connected in some way or another with Doug Wilson or Christ Church. These people were either former members, acquaintances, interested parties, business people, all affected by Doug Wilson in some way, shape, or form, some negatively, and some positively.
I spoke with one person within the church and one person outside of the church asking about the recent social media coverage of two sex abuse cases involving pedophiles under Doug Wilson’s watch and how that has affected the community. Both said that people in the community are indeed talking about the scandals, and they also realize it has reached far beyond the community of Moscow with just under 25,000 people. The news of Doug Wilson defending pedophiles, Jamin Wight and Steven Sitler, have not gone unnoticed. People are upset, and rightly so.
Before I begin discussing various issues, it’s important to have some background. On Wilson’s blog, Blog and Mablog, he tells us a little bit about himself and his theological and political beliefs:
I want to advance what you might call a Chestertonian Calvinism, and to bring that attitude to bear on education, sex and culture, theology, politics, book reviews, postmodernism, expository studies, along with other random tidbits that come into my head. My perspective is usually not hard to discern. In theology I am an evangelical, postmill, Calvinist, Reformed, and Presbyterian, pretty much in that order. In politics, I am slightly to the right of Jeb Stuart. In my cultural sympathies, if we were comparing the blight of postmodernism to a vast but shallow goo pond, I would observe that I have spent many years on these stilts and have barely gotten any of it on me.
Now let’s take a look at the mission statement for Christ Church:
Our mission at Christ Church is summed up by the phrase “all of Christ for all of life.” Under the grace of God, this means that our desire is to make Moscow a Christian town through faithful and robust covenant renewal worship on the Lord’s Day, through proclamation of the gospel to unbelievers, while training additional evangelists who will continue proclaiming that gospel, through teaching men and women how to live together in harmonious Christian marriage, through establishing a family-friendly culture of Christian education in which well-loved and well-disciplined children will learn to stay the course, through outreach that brings people to church, accommodating them where they are while seeking to bring them into maturity in a structured way, through genuine cultural engagement that provides Christian leadership in the arts, in business, in education, in politics, and in literature, and through a regular series of church plants on the Palouse as we have gifted, trained and ordained men, willing congregants, adequate resources, and available facilities. And we seek to do all of this in gladness and simplicity of heart, as we pursue love for God and love for our neighbor.
Tuck away the key points from the mission statement. I think you will be able to connect some dots as I and others share more of the goings on around Moscow, Idaho. The pedophile scandals have been horrific, but there are other issues that have been going on for years that are not making the local news, yet they are damaging lives, spiritually, emotionally, financially, etc.
photo credit: Zorionak! via photopin (license);
Note: I’ve had several people contact me privately and send information. I greatly appreciate it. If you have a personal story to share about Doug Wilson, Logos, New Saint Andrews, Greyfriars Hall, Association of Classical & Christian Schools, Center for Biblical Counseling, Canon Press, Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (whew, I think I got most of them), please contact me at email@example.com.
113 thoughts on “Doug Wilson Series: Introduction, Christ Church Celebrates 40 years and Background”
For Deb 2:
More resources for you about child sexual abuse.
Some other helpful resources dealing with child sexual abuse and prevention in the church:
*Pastor Jimmy Hinton’s organization (the guy who did the in the video in the post below)
*Pastor Les Ferguson’s blog about his painful journey of having his disabled son sexually abused by a church member and that church member murdering Les’ wife and disabled son. All of the things that Les has learned about abusers and his tough journey of healing (and struggles with faith).
*Pastor Jimmy Hinton’s mom Clara Hinton’s blog called Finding a Healing Place.
[Thanks to Brenda R. who posts on this blog who told me about Clara Hinton’s blog after I found the story of son Jimmy Hinton.]
For: Deb 2
A video for you to watch by Pastor Jimmy Hinton about child sexual abuse in the church, training and prevention. It’s a tough subject and about 2.5 hours. I found it helpful to me to watch it for 20-minutes at a time and take a break.
Information on child sexual abuse at churches from the largest insurer of churches in the United States, Church Mutual:
Click to access SafetyTipsSenSubject.pdf
There is an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the conservative evangelical church. It is the No. 1 reason that churches are sued every single year according to the insurance companies and the attorneys. The liabilities are so great that some insurance companies are already pulling out of the church insurance coverage markets entirely and no longer covering churches.
An interview between CorrectionsOne/Tier Talk (a professional organization for the corrections industry) and Dr. Anna Salter, an expert about sex offenders which also covers pedophiles. This interview is broken in to 5-parts.
A favorable ruling for child sexual abuse victims in Idaho from the Idaho Supreme Court in August 2015 permitting victims to sue organizations that got them set up to be sexually abused.
Attorney Richard Hammer at Church Law & Tax does a yearly list, after studying thousands of lawsuits every year against churches, and each and every year for years on end the Sexual Abuse of Minors it the No. 1 reason that churches get sued.
Here is Mr. Hammer’s 2014 list of the 5 top reasons churches got sued:
“1. Sexual abuse of minors (11.7 percent of cases). Sadly, for several years the sexual molestation of minors has been the number one reason that churches went to court. Victims in these cases generally allege that a church is responsible for their injuries on the basis of negligent selection, retention, or supervision of the perpetrator. Churches have lost many of these cases due to their failure to implement appropriate safeguards in the selection and supervision of employees and volunteers who work with minors.
Incidents of sexual misconduct involving minor victims can be devastating to the victim, the victim’s family, the offender, church leadership, and the church itself.
Because this issue remains the number one reason churches go to court, and because of the significant harm that can be done to children, their families, and church leaders, churches need to take an aggressive position on this matter. Churches must implement policies and procedures that demonstrate proper screening and training of staff and volunteers, proper processes for reporting actual and suspected cases of abuse, and specific attention to the types of arrangements and settings that the church will permit.” – Richard Hammer, attorney Church Law & Tax
I could not possibly care less about Doug Wilson’s debate with Christopher Hitchens, as Hitchens was never a public speaker that I took seriously.
As for Doug Wilson, it is my unwavering opinion that not only is he a buffoon, he is a dangerous heretic who coddles sex offenders in his church, ostracizing and silencing their victims and tearing apart people’s lives. Doug Wilson’s theology is utter tripe and bollocks. He is not a Christian, and he does not represent Christ at all in any way. Doug Wilson is a narcissistic scumbag, and the world will be better off when he finally dies of cholesterol poisoning or Type 2 diabetes or cirrhosis or whatever other illness an obviously gluttonous, alcoholic nitwit may eventually die from. Good riddance. He can’t die soon enough as far as I’m concerned.
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Here’s a window into Doug’s thinking on Twitter. Very twisted.
Honestly, I don’t enjoy being so uncharitable, but I view it as my bounden duty to wish death by early natural causes upon anyone who does as much damage to sex abuse victims as Doug Wilson has. Forgiveness is self-evidently useless in these cases.
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Darlene, I watched that conversation unfold as it occurred. How Doug is able to make statements like that and still convince himself he is in some way representative of Christ is bewildering to me. There are zero examples in the Bible of Christ vigorously defending child molesters to their victims, so I have no idea what the $^ck Doug’s clinical malfunction might be. It’s absolutely sickening to behold, whatever it is.
Dash, I don’t blame you a bit for being furious. I believe that we are MEANT to be furious with anyone who abuses those who are helpless. AND those who defend them!
Deb 2 said: “People have made Doug Wilson out to be a tyrant, and yet he willingly and happily debates an atheist. They became friends after this event and continued to correspond.
From the little I know of this Sitler nightmare, I do NOT agree with how it was handled. But I say this from a large lack of knowledge. I know Julie Ann is doing her best to research and get information out here, but I’m concerned with how Doug Wilson’s theology is sometimes presented. He has been reduced to a bumbling idiot by commenters here. Bumbling idiots do not debate Christopher Hitchens and come out looking as good as he did.”
My take: One debate doth not a sound theologian make.
I used to believe wholeheartedly in Mr. Wilson’s theology, even though it hurt to do so. I gave up a lot, and I struggled, but I kept on because I was told it was “godly.” However, the fruit is rotten. Don’t say that we got rotten fruit because “we did it wrong.” We read all of Wilson’s books. We tried our best to live as he claimed scripture commanded us to live, if we were truly regenerate.
Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light, but we never found it to be so.
My children have turned away from this legalistic religion, and to my sorrow one claims to be an agnostic, and the other an atheist. (Well, the latter actually doesn’t care whether God exists or not. He is irrelevant.) I know they were baptized into the Covenant as infants (as the Philippian jailer, I think, went and was baptized and was saved, him and his whole family), so shouldn’t they be walking with God? Or perhaps, because they were brought up in the way they should go, when they’re old they’ll return to (and not depart from) it.
You, if you cling to Wilson’s theology, might try to offer me cold comfort by saying that they probably aren’t among the Elect anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. (In fact, you might not even be shocked at the words of one pastor, who seemed quite buddy-buddy with Wilson in his visits to our church, and expressed the sage and wholesome and compassionate thought that unbelievers might as well go ahead and die ASAP to get the whole thing over with.)
Now I expect you to marginalize what I’ve written here by calling me “bitter.”
I’m not bitter. I’m just sad and sick at heart.
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