Sunday, November 18, 2007

“Destroy thou them, O God”

Early this morning Douglas Wilson posted a comment on Green Baggins to leave the false impression that he has not prayed imprecatory prayers against evangelical Christians. And please note my words carefully — he left a false impression — which means that he did not deny praying imprecatory prayers against evangelical Christians, he only implied it, writing,

Jeff, I am really confused about your references to imprecations against fellow evangelical Christians. What are you referring to?

Notice that Wilson pretended no knowledge of the event but he did not deny knowledge of the event. This is critical to understanding his deceptive rhetoric. Around here it’s known as “Dougspeak.” He implies one thing when he means another. Pretty clever, eh?

But if you think about it, how could a pastor forget that he conducted DAILY imprecatory prayer meetings, FOR TWO MONTHS, against three former members of his congregation and their families? I suppose that in Wilson’s case it’s understandable when you consider all of the scandals that have marked his ministry since the summer of 2003.

Anyway, I helped jar Pastor Wilson’s memory this morning by posting a link to P&R News, which covered the story in a two-paragraph vignette. Now I want to republish an essay that has received wide circulation on the Palouse because of its unique application. And as with many public critics of Wilson, it was written anonymously, presumably because the author wanted to protect himself from retaliation:

Douglas Wilson has adopted a policy of affirming the consequent, which is the logical fallacy holding that the proposition “if A then B” necessitates the proposition “if B then A,” even though “if B then A” is plainly false. For example, Scripture teaches that, as a rule, righteous people will suffer persecution for their righteousness; but Scripture does not teach that everyone who experiences opposition is living righteously, which is the position advanced by Wilson when he points to all of the Kirk’s internal and external grief, saying, “We must be doing something right.” And while it may be true that Christ Church and its affiliated ministries may be doing something right, it is certainly true that they are doing many things wrong — very wrong — such as prayer.

Perhaps you could reflect upon the Kirk’s imprecatory-prayer policy and its possible relation to Steven Sitler’s serial predation of Kirk children. From June 2003 through July 2003, Christ Church conducted imprecatory-prayer meetings — daily — asking God to visit judgment upon their “enemies.” Steven Sitler arrived in Moscow to attend New Saint Andrews College in August 2003. And if you believe that God answers prayer, then this fact deserves serious contemplation, especially in light of Douglas Wilson’s thoughts on rape, in his book Fidelity:

Violent rape is a judgment of God upon a people. . . This does not justify the perpetrators; it is simply the recognition that when disaster befalls a city, sexual disaster for the women is part of this. This does not mean that a woman who is raped should assume any personal responsibility for it; she is innocent. . . Violent rape is God’s judgment on a culture, and individual women who are part of that culture are included in the judgment. But this does not mean that they as individuals “deserved” it. . . . We see the same judgment at work in disintegrating cultures: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11). Here the rape is not being perpetrated by foreign soldiers, but is the result of citizens turning on one another. Every culture is a gathering of sinners, and so rape is always a possibility. But when God’s hand of judgment is heavy upon a people, women are in far greater danger of sexual assault than at other times. (Douglas Wilson, Fidelity: What It Means To Be a One-Woman Man [Moscow: Canon Press, 1999] 82, 83)

If this serial pedophilia had taken place in the local government school system, Wilson would have wagged his finger at the disintegrating culture, and if a person against whom the Kirk utters their imprecatory prayers had suffered a similar hard providence, Wilson would fill the web with gloats and jeers. But now we see that God has visited the unspeakable upon Christ Church, and He did it at the exact time when they labored in prayer beseeching harm upon their neighbors. This should not go unnoticed.

Douglas Wilson’s enemy theology cultivates selfishness, implants acrimony, fosters revenge, and breeds hate. It is a culture of death. It is a culture under “God’s hand of judgment.” And the Kirk’s enemy theology reached its zenith in the summer of 2003, when they asked for pain, calamity, torment, and affliction upon others; and God Almighty answered their imprecations with one of their own citizens. God sent them Steven Sitler to rape helpless and innocent children.

But the point is not Sitler’s abuse. These dear loved ones who suffered at Sitler’s hands are not merely victims of child molestation; they are victims of profound spiritual abuse. They are victims of Doug Wilson’s enemy theology. And if the Kirk wants relief, or even mercy, then they should seek it at the very place where they scorned it — on their knees, in prayer.

Thank you.