Saturday, August 2, 2008

Leading the Charge

A few weeks ago we received a suggestion/request to juxtapose copies of Wilson’s quotation advocating the death penalty for pedophiles from his book Fidelity next to his letter to Judge John Stegner pleading him to limit the sentence for serial pedophile Steven Sitler. And since this is a fully documented anonymous attack blog, we produced the full documentation (“Open-line Tuesday”) to prove the point that when Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, affirms one of his convictions in writing, you better sniff once and think twice before you actually believe it, let alone before you think that he actually believes it. Because he doesn’t.

Sure, he writes with conviction and authority. Sure, he leaves the impression that he holds his principles dearly. Sure, he writes as though he really believes he’s articulating non-negotiable biblical truths, handed straight from God to Moses to him (though to be fair, most of the time you could delete Moses). But it’s all an act. He doesn’t believe a word of it. It’s all for show. He understands that deep down inside most people need to hang on to absolutes, and so he panders to the crowd. He makes a stance, puffs his chest, and blows. And he looks good doing it too. But it’s all for looks — it’s all for show — it’s all act. Wilson is a hypocrite from head to toe. Look at the images appended below. Try to reconcile his hard-line theonomic position in Fidelity with his letter to Judge John Stegner on behalf of serial pedophile Steven Sitler. Try to account for him advocating the death penalty for pedophiles on the one hand and urging Judge Stegner to limit Sitler’s sentence on the other.

Before you look, however, take a few minutes to listen to the following YouTube. It’s a public conversation between Wilson and one of his former professors at UI, Dr. Nick Gier, where Wilson confidently invokes the death penalty as an answer to Dr. Gier’s objections regarding the way Southern Christians treated their slaves in the antebellum South. Dr. Gier introduces the subject at the 3:27-minute mark, and at the 4:04-minute mark Wilson starts his act:

Let me put it this way, let me put it this way, I’m speaking as a pastor: If — if I had been a pastor in the antebellum South and I had been confronted with a member of my church who raped or abused any of his slaves, I would have led the charge in excommunicating such a one for professing the name of Christ while behaving that way, and if he had been abusing his slaves the way you described, I would not have any problem with urging the Civil Magistrate to execute such a person. No one. . . .

Wilson blew these words on January 31, 2007, or roughly eighteen months after he blew his letter to Judge Stegner on August 19, 2005. And in the recording, once you get past his supposition that owning slaves was not morally wrong, you have to notice his use of the word “urging”: “I would not have any problem with urging the Civil Magistrate to execute such a person.” You have to notice this because in his letter to Judge Stegner, Wilson wrote, “At the same time, I would urge that the civil penalties applied would be measured and limited.” Of course, the conditions upon which Wilson predicated his “urge” with Dr. Gier were the raping and whipping of slaves. In other words, he would “urge” the death penalty in cases of raping and whipping, but if Sitler teaches us anything he wouldn’t “urge” the death penalty in cases of rape alone. There has to be whipping.

And you can’t miss his apologetic to Dr. Gier after Nick raised the objection that the antebellum Presbyterians failed to defend the slaves. At the 4:51-minute mark, Wilson quipped (boasted?), “You know what, you know why it never happened? — because I wasn’t there.” But he was there when Sitler raped his victims and he was there when Jamin Wight committed his sins, and in both cases Wilson ditched his strongly held biblical convictions to insure the safe and seamless reintroduction of both predator-criminals into the flock. He led the charge alright, and he led it with all his heart.

And the moral of this story is that it doesn’t matter if Wilson writes it or says it — he doesn’t mean a word of it. It’s all an act.

Here is page 85 from the book Fidelity, by Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, and page 2 of his letter to Judge Stegner:

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

Ouch, that's gotta hurt! He that liveth by the serrated edge may perish by it.

I've noticed at MABLOG that there have been seemingly defensive citations from Spurgeon. Here's the most recent:

"Brethren, because I cannot think, I hide behind a doctrine which God has thought out for me; and because I cannot invent a hypothesis, I rest my soul on a self-evident fact; and because I cannot even be consistent with myself, I get behind the plain teaching of the text, and there I abide" (Charles Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry, p. 219).

The question, of course, is "which of these, 'death for pedophiles' or 'mercy for pedophiles', is the plain teaching?

Thanks for your 'blog.


Mark T. said...

Hi Sam,

He’s been running the Spurgeon thread for some time. I’ve always inferred that it’s an implication. He’s trying to imply that he shares these things in common with the Prince of Preachers: “See, Spurgeon faced it too!” But Spurgeon was a kind man who loved God.

And, yes, the obvious contradiction poses a problem.

Thanks so much for the lead!