Doug Wilson, CREC, Christ Church, Moscow Idaho, Randy Booth, Steven Sitler, Jamin Wight, Sex Abuse, Pedophile
Christ Church has posted an announcement on their website.
Inquiry into the Pastoral Ministry of Christ Church (Moscow, Idaho)
October 3, 2015
The CREC began a process a couple of weeks ago aimed at addressing the legitimate questions and concerns regarding some of the past actions and practices of two cases of sexual abuse. We take these matters seriously and seek to address them fully. 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? Are they operating competently and in good faith?
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. Christ Church is asking this committee to issue a public report in the next few months. 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.
Pastor Douglas Wilson is the current Presiding Minister of the CREC Council, and he has recused himself in this matter. As the current Presiding Minister pro tempore of the CREC Council, I will assume the role of Presiding Minister of Council in these matters and will chair the committee of the seven presiding ministers of our presbyteries, which I have appointed to this review committee.
Acting Presiding Minister, CREC Council
The first question that should come to anyone’s mind about this inquiry is who is Randy Booth? What qualifications does he have to do such an inquiry? How much knowledge does he have of CREC and what are his connections with CREC? Will the Committee feel free to honestly answer the questions without repercussions? At what point, if ever, would they seek outside, independent help? The most obvious question is, is there a conflict of interest with Randy Booth performing this inquiry? Is he an independent and unbiased person who can accurately and justly assess the situation?
The answer to the last questions is a resounding NO!
Randy Booth’s bio from his church, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, website:
Pastor Booth has been an ordained minister for 27 years. He has been married to his wife Marinell for 37 years, and they have three grown and married children and eleven grandchildren. Pastor Booth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in history and psychology, and has completed graduate studies in philosophy and apologetics. He is the director of Covenant Media Foundation, and is the author of several published articles and books. Pastor Booth has been actively involved in the pro-life movement and has worked with both home schools and Christian day schools for more than twenty-five years.
Did you notice the part of the bio in which it mentions that Booth is the author of several articles and books? Well, blow me down, you’ll never guess with whom he authored a book: Douglas Wilson. Yup, Doug Wilson!
Conflict of Interest of Mammoth Proportions
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church is a CREC church. Randy Booth is an insider at CREC. He is no outside, independent investigator AT ALL. In fact, he has co-authored a book with Douglas Wilson entitled, A Justice Primer (An excerpt of the book can be found here.), published by Canon Press (Doug Wilson’s gig). Do you see a conflict of interest here?
These two men have teamed up to write a book on how to handle cases just like the pedophile cases in which Wilson has found himself embroiled for the last several years. In writing this book, Randy and Doug are intimately connected with the content, they believe and endorse their interpretations and conclusions. These two men believe this book provides the answer to the cases that Wilson finds himself in today.
I believe that Wilson most likely has handled the pedophile cases just as he prescribes in his book. He staunchly defends how he has handled the cases, and somehow, by some weird coincidence, or as CREC folks might say, “Providence,” Randy Booth is now the person to look over the handling of these cases?
Here is the summary about the book (bolded for emphasis):
If God is just, and the Bible is his word, how is it that everyone is in such a fog when it comes to actually administrating justice? As a culture, we cry for mercy when we’re hurt, and lustily pound the gavel when tables turn. Civil tyrants regularly trot out the thumbscrews and red-hot pokers, but just as many petty gunslingers take pleasure in targeting whoever “the big guy” happens to be. Is that justice?
Randy Booth and Douglas Wilson bring their considerable pastoral experience to the question of scriptural standards for justice, and their observations — that almost nobody has a firm grasp of what justice is or how it functions — are sobering. This is because maintaining a strict definition of justice is essential for any community, great or small. In this much-needed exposition, Booth and Wilson unpack God’s requirements for witnesses, victims, due process, and the accused and accuser, and take to task some of our favorite injustices in churches and abroad: anonymous assertions, rattling off charges, double standards, and the ubiquitous Trial by Internet.
Notice the “trial by internet.” We’ve seen similar remarks, “internet mob, etc” coming from Wilson regarding the Wight/Sitler cases. In fact, there’s a whole chapter on “Trial by Internet” in the nearly 300-page book.
The ideas represented in The Justice Primer have been mentioned throughout Wilson’s blog for quite some time. In July of 2014, Wilson wrote a blog article, Social Justice, in which we read about his idea of justice. In it he claims that the world does not understand sexual sin the way Christians do:
Our establishment no longer knows what sex itself is supposed to be, and so cannot know what sexual justice is supposed to be. We therefore ought not to rely on their “wisdom” about sexual justice as it relates to children. They don’t have any wisdom.
Let me clarify for you: Doug Wilson knows better than our civil courts how sexual crimes should be adjudicated.
The last thing in the world Christians should do is join in with any stampeding opinions about any of this from the secularists. They don’t know what sex is for, and they therefore don’t know what sexual justice is.
The article continues with other disturbing ideas, but ends with this announcement:
This post is going to be incorporated into a book on the principles of justice that I am working on with my friend, Randy Booth, hence the first person plural pronoun.
We see reference or promotion of the book here on September 7, 2015, The High Mountain Air of Public Calumny:
Those who believe themselves to be hep to my tricksy ways might have surmised that I orchestrated this entire recent flap about Steven Sitler because Randy Booth and I recently put out a book entitled A Justice Primer. But whether you are disposed to believe me or not, that was a total coincidence. In this book we address biblical principles for evaluating charges that are brought against someone, anyone. The book is, I believe, quite a necessary resource for good-hearted Christians everywhere — who regularly see defamatory information scrolling by in their Facebook feed. There is even a chapter entitled “Trial by Internet,” which concludes with this sage advice: “Never get into a braying contest with donkeys” (p. 160).
Even further back, in the article, Injustice and Empathy (May 2013), we see an example of Wilson-styled justice when it comes to defending a pastor who is being put on the hot seat about mishandled sex abuse cases in many of his churches. Wilson put his nose into the Sovereign Grace Ministries sex abuse scandal and responded to the open letter in support of Pastor C.J. Mahaney written by Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor in support. In this article, however, Doug Wilson speaks out of the other side of his mouth regarding civil authorities and ::::gasp:::: supports them. I guess when it comes to a pastor facing legal consequences, it’s okay for the civil authorities to be involved:
The issue is that we do not know what the just response is until after a fair and just trial. Just sentences do not fall out of the sky — they proceed from just trials. And in order to have a just trial, it must be managed and conducted by just men, men who hate bribes, men who have a backbone, men who know the law.
This clearly is a man who not only cannot make his mind up about whether the civil court system is fair and just or whether it is an evil entity against Christians. So, it is astounding to me that he could write A Justice Primer with his flip-flop diatribes. Wilson does not know what he’s talking about when it comes to our judicial system. We’ve seen him meddle with the judicial process in both Sitler and Wight case, and he thinks he is the authority on sex abuse cases in his church and how they should be appropriately handled. The current-day status of the two public sex abuse cases shows: the victim in the Wight case has publicly said Wilson and church leaders did not care for her appropriately; and in the Sitler case, it has been reported by Sitler that he was sexually stimulated when holding his infant son. These cases have NOT been handled well.
The bottom line is that Booth in no way, shape, or form will ever find fault with Wilson’s handling of these cases. As long as Wilson followed his own rules in their book (which I imagine will be the measuring tool Booth uses), Wilson will come out on top.
Douglas Wilson is a very weak man. It takes a man with honesty, integrity, and humility to hire an outside independent authority to do investigations. Wilson has failed his congregation and the Body of Christ by this ridiculous charade. This inquiry means nothing to an outsider. It will only appease the Koolaid drinkers on the inside.
Take note that with the exception of Bahnsen, the rest of those who endorsed this book also have connections with Christian Reconstructionism, which makes sense because Wilson has frequently mentioned and preferred Old Testament methods of responding to specific sins; ie, stoning, woman must cry out when raped to validate it, etc.
- David L. Bahnsen, blogger and founder of The Bahnsen Group (Interesting article: The Three Things I Still Believe)
- Gary DeMar, President, American Vision
- George Grant, pastor and author
- P. Andrew Sandlin, President, Center for Cultural Leadership
Related articles I found on a Google search related to Randy Booth:
- When in Doubt, Confess the Other Guy’s Sins, or Kicking the Habit – other church scandals related to Randy Booth
- The Federal Vision threat to Reformed Baptists
- Ministry Watchman has several references to Randy Booth, Wilson, RC Sproul, Jr., CREC. Folks, this is messy stuff!