Topic: Moscow Diversity Cleansing
This is a public statement, made on behalf of the session of Christ Church:
On June 5, 2006, a disgruntled former member of our church took it upon himself to post an announcement on his web site about a former NSA student, Steven Sitler, who has been convicted of child molestation. This posting was done in the context of scurrilous speculation about our church and, given the history of that web site, was par for the course. Because of this posting, and how it has been picked up with glee at other irresponsible web sites, we have a pastoral need to comment on certain things which (for the sake of the victims and their families) we would have preferred not to discuss. But the salient facts which are now necessary to state are these:
1. The pastor and elders of Christ Church deeply regret that the enemies of our church have decided that additional pain to the families of the victims is worth the petty political points they think they can score with this.
2. When this criminal behavior was first discovered, the family of one of the victims came immediately to Douglas Wilson, who encouraged them in their responsibility to turn Steven Sitler into the civil authorities, which they were already intending to do, and immediately did. Our church immediately recognized the limits of ecclesiastical jurisdiction and the lawful jurisdiction of the civil authorities in this, and turned it over to them. This entire process has been a textbook case of scriptural cooperation between church and legal authorities, with us providing spiritual counsel to those involved.
3. Information about the additional crimes came out in the course of pastoral counsel that was provided to Steven Sitler by us, and he was told to confess everything that he had done to the authorities, which he did. The goal throughout this process was to offer the grace of God in Christ to Steven without sacrificing what the Bible requires with regard to civil justice being done.
4. One slanderous claim on this attack web site was that the elders of our church withheld information from the parents of our church, information which they clearly needed to know. To quote that site: "This post is similar, except that it brings heavy tidings to the Palouse, providing information that the Kirk elders neglected to tell you" (emphasis ours). The problem for our enemies here is that we did inform the households of our congregation about the situation on at least several documented occasions last year. There is a detailed discussion of the issue (including Steven's identity) in my minister's report to the parish heads of households meeting on November 8, 2005. The minutes of the church-wide heads of households meeting for both Christ Church and Trinity Reformed (Dec. 13, 2005) also show that the situation was again discussed, with Steven Sitler again discussed by name. In addition, although Steven was not a member of Christ Church, his hometown church informed their congregation of what he had done, in the context of suspending him from the Lord's Supper.
5. While Steven Sitler was engaged in his horrific behavior, he did not think of what his behavior would do to his victims because it was "all about him." The pathetic individuals who are gleefully circulating this information now have the same problem. They pursue their own desires, and somebody else pays.
6. While this circumstance is particularly awful, there is always sin in the church: sins of predation, sins of parental neglect, sins of attitude, and sins in between all these. We are not called to live in a sinless environment; we are called to respond to the inevitable sin the way the Bible tells us to. We are called to minister to those maimed or hurt by it, to those crippled by inflicting it, and not to circle over any of them like vultures.
7. Steven is in the Latah County jail, where he belongs, and Douglas Wilson visits him there. The adversaries of our church who are behaving this way are in a different kind of prison, the kind that doesn't have visiting hours.
This is the situation I anticipated a few weeks ago on this blog, and now here we are. When I said in the comments section of that post that any sex scandal would have to manufactured in the same way the so-called gambling scandal was, this obviously did not mean that there was no sin involved in it. It means that our accusers want these to be examples of pastoral scandal when they are actually examples of individuals sinning and pastors and elders then dealing with them accordingly. It takes a special kind of mind to take a situation where elders deal with sin in the way God requires and somehow turn it into an outrage.
In my earlier post, I said this:
As a pastor for almost thirty years, I have seen quite a number of people destroy their lives, marriages or both through sexual disobedience. Sometimes there is church discipline. Sometimes the cops need to be involved, along with the prosecutor. Sometimes lawyers help a couple divide up what they both threw away. Sometimes there are children who were abused, kids whose wounds won't really bleed until they've grown. And so we can expect (at some point) the accusation that pastoring people who have wounded themselves this way is somehow a subsidy. But Jesus said that He came for the sick ones, not for the healthy. That is simply the grace and goodness of God.
As we contemplate the true destructiveness of sin, and we are sickened by what people can do, we always have to remember the undeserved grace of God. This grace has come to all of us, and it can therefore reach the most defiled. This includes people like Steven Sitler, but it also includes those people who take sick pleasure in scoring points with a human tragedy like this. For all concerned, please pray that God would mete out grace and justice according to His Word.Posted by Douglas Wilson - 6/6/2006 6:14:29 PM | Print this post
Almost every family in our congregation has been touched by this very prevalent form of sin, in this society. Thank God for the reality of grace that heals and transforms, even the offenders.
We grieve with you and your church and pray for you. As my husband reminded me recently -- the grace of God never denies the existence or the heinousness of evil: it rather overcomes it.
kamelda - 6/6/2006 8:45:23 PM | Report Comment
Reformed take their kids from public schools to protect them into the arms of a perverted youth pastor..happens often these days.
Not saying this was what happened but just an example I have seen elsewhere.
ragged edge - 6/6/2006 10:31:05 PM | Report Comment
Mr. Ragged, a little sharpening upon yourself is needed. The -reformed- have no private market on the behaviour you mention, nor do christians of any description. So why the slight against the -relevant- grouping here? What is YOUR agenda in saying this? How does this contribute to healing? Mr. Wilson made the plain statement that sin abounds everywhere. Thus the inference that the -reformed-somehow have a corner on this commodity is misplaced. What DOES seem to separate at least SOME reformed folk is the biblically accurate means employed in dealing with that sin when it does rear its ugly head and slither out from underneath the rocks into the light. The news has been replete of late with much talk of some who have failed miserably in this. It is not meet to examine over closely what OTHERS have done in similar situations in the context of what Christ Church in Moscow Idaho have done. If the account herewith given is accurate, I can find no fault in the handling of this ugly situation by the leadership of these churches, so why even mention what has happened elsewhere? Again, what is YOUR agenda in even mentioning this?
lewsta - 6/7/2006 12:48:54 AM | Report Comment
You are right "reformed" don't have the official perverted youth pastors.
My agenda? I guess it is protect your kids at all cost.
If that doesn't help the healing it might warn some to watch out.
Is that bad?
ragged edge - 6/7/2006 6:22:42 AM | Report Comment
I have to admit that this accusation of my agenda has me a little peeved.
I do apologize for bringing the larger issue to light when I can now see ( excuse my dense previous thoughts) that this post is more about self involved issues and not child protection.
I will have to read a little closer as the cost of larger issues may "seem" a little high for you at this particular time.
ragged edge - 6/7/2006 9:39:04 AM | Report Comment
That was put interestingly, Mr. Edge...Your sentense structure reminds me of someone else, particularly your use of passive-aggressive language.
Anyone who cannot read this post plainly and see that it is the right actions of a church trying to protect itself and the victims, needs to have his/her head examined.
Dave Houf - 6/7/2006 10:27:39 AM | Report Comment
It seems like refuting publicly circulated accusations of institutional misbehavior is not more self-involved than talking about "child protection," it's simply more logical. What "child protection" goal could be accomplished in a post about a situation that is essentially over and done with, about which people in a position to protect children -- or minister to those who were not sufficiently protected before -- have already been informed? There could be no further "child protection" purpose served by any blog post on this topic; there can, however, be "setting the record straight" purposes served, which is what it seems to me this is about. If that's "self-involved," than I guess anyone who offers a defense of his own actions under severe accusation is "self-involved," and in future should just take lying down anything that is said about him.
It's only on the presumption that there is no setting straight to be done that this can be characterized as purely "self-involved." I see no reason for that presumption. That this presumption appears so deeply embedded in the ragged one's post is what makes people think of "agendas."
Jane Dunsworth - 6/7/2006 12:59:44 PM | Report Comment
"While Steven Sitler was engaged in his horrific behavior, he did not think of what his behavior would do to his victims because it was 'all about him'." I couldn't agree more. Sitler's behavior was "horrific." That being the case, why Pastor Wilson would you intervene on Sitler's behalf and plead to Judge John Stegner for a "limited" sentence:
"I would urge that the civil penalties applied would be measured and limited. I have a good hope that Steven has genuinely repented, and that he will continue to deal with this to become a productive and contributing member of society." I hope you don't resent me for saying this but that kind of language smacks of the sort of softheaded humanist "man is essentially good, let's give him the benefit of the doubt" nonsense that's the antithesis of the Calvinist theology that you claim to believe in.
Stan - 6/7/2006 1:33:44 PM | Report Comment
Biblical justice calls for the death penalty for rapists and sexual predators. Whether or not Sitler has genuinely repented is irrelevant. If Sitler were to have molested any of my children he might have very well gotten the death penalty already, and I don't think I'm the only father who is thinking that right now. The judge was prepared to impose a life sentence. Then you asked the judge to go easy on Sitler. The judge then imposes a measly one year sentence. Is that justice? Are the victim families pleased by your intervention on the pedophile's behalf?
I'd like to be able to assume that you had good reasons. But as an outside observer I can tell you that it just doesn't look right for a pastor to appear to show more regard for a pedophile than he does for the victims. Please do address this issue because out of everything I've read so far this is the issue that troubles me the most, and it's likely to be an issue that is bothering a lot of other people too.
Stan - 6/7/2006 1:33:58 PM | Report Comment
Stan, your question is a good one. We are not living in a situation where biblical law is being applied. If we were, I certainly would not have a problem with the death penalty being one of the options on the table. I have explained to some involved in this that biblical Christians in our legal system are having to play chess on a backgammon board.That said, the reasoning of the judge was this. If Steven had gone to the penitentiary in Boise, he would have received no treatment, and would have been eligible for parole in 5 years. With the sentence he received, he is getting treatment twice a week, and his case will be reviewed at the end of this year. Under what scenario was reoffending more likely? My letter to the judge showed that I wanted real consequences, with teeth, and so the phrase "measured and limited" needs to taken in the context of what the available options actually were. In addition to that letter, I also reviewed a hard letter to the judge written by the father of some of the victims, and encouraged him in sending that letter. And this illustrates the problem that Michael Metzler has created -- there is no way to explain all this without telling the whole story, and telling the whole story would run the families through the grinder again.
Douglas Wilson - 6/7/2006 2:28:13 PM | Report Comment
Pastor Wilson, I just noticed that your friend Dale Courtney made the following statement in obvious disgust of an August 3, 2005 NPR segment: "Uh, how about a 1-strike law. Death doesn't seem too extreme for a Level-3 sex offender." Just so you know I happen to be in complete agreement with Dale. Where do you stand on issue of just civil penalties for sexual predators, Pastor Wilson?
Stan - 6/7/2006 2:29:52 PM | Report Comment
Stan, I'm not a member of Christ church, and I don't live in Moscow or even Idaho. So, my brief comment on this is to say that I think the role of a pastor in dealing with such a horrible case is three fold: 1. Protect the flock with which God has entrusted him. 2. Offer comfort and counsel to the victims. 3. Offer counsel, meet with and seek the repentence of the criminal.
Most of us who fit the category of "out of church, out of state" have a narrow and dim view of what goes on in Moscow, so it doesn't make much sense for us to criticize Doug Wilson or the elders at Christ church when we don't know the whole story. More importantly, we don't have a *right* to know. It's none of our business. But, due to the unwise use of the internet by some, elders and pastors will continue to have to put out public fires that never should have been public. Those who suffer the most will be the victims, as fresh wounds get salted anew.
Dave Houf - 6/7/2006 2:39:19 PM | Report Comment
"Under what scenario was reoffending more likely?" I guess that depends on what you mean by "treatment." If we're talking about conventional state-sponsored Freudian-based "treatment" then I think you know as well as anyone that the recidivism rates of the "treated" only demonstrate that pedophiles are statistically almost incurable, even in many cases where they are voluntarily castrated. Sitler's "treatment" is of little concern to me as a father. What I care about is that if the state won't execute him he should at least be kept off the streets as long as possible. A five year sentence would still not have been justice, but it's a far cry more just than the one year slap on the wrist he's getting, and that from your answer you appear to be endorsing.
Stan - 6/7/2006 2:48:00 PM | Report Comment
Whoever Mr. Ragged Edge is, he makes a good point that such an issue ought not be used as a foothold for squabbling about broader ecclesiastical issues. It is wrong for Michael to announce Mr. Sitler's crimes for the sole purpose of maligning Christ Church, but it is just as wrong for Christ Church to point the finger back at Michael, using the harm caused to these children as a further reason to disparage Michael, even if he deserves it. The families, and the community, will be better served by a gracious response ignoring Michael's error.
That which is human in us, and hopefully that which is Christian, moves us to show unity during a grievous circumstance. Even the politicians do this, as in the temporary bipartisan unity post-9/11. That either side would advance its cause through an ad hominem appeal to the tragedy is odious.
Sin of this sort is not denominationally unique, and I trust that Christ Church is acting rightly in the interests of the families and moreover of Steven Sitler. But let's not either side use this as a soapbox, but rather pray for God's grace to all parties involved.
Davis Wilson - 6/7/2006 3:03:55 PM | Report Comment
I get what you're saying, but the root of the exchanges between Rev. Wilson and Mr. Metzler points to something patently unfair. Someone accuses me of failing in my obligation to do "A". I then reply and say no, I didn't fail to do "A". My accuser replies with, "Oh yeah, well I tihnk you did fail here, so prove to me you didn't fail. That's plain nuts. You accuse me of neglecting to do "A", you prove my negligence, you don't force me to prove my innocence. Asking someone to prove their accusations isn't disparaging, it is the only Biblical way I know of to handle an accuser.
Dave Houf - 6/7/2006 3:20:23 PM | Report Comment
To be carefully clear here, I should emphasize my deference to Christ Church's guidance of the circumstance. I don't doubt the elders are capable of pastoring the wronged persons appropriately, and I would hardly be in a place to advise or correct their counseling methods. I didn't want to seem disrespectful while pointing to the issue that I think most important.
Davis Wilson - 6/7/2006 3:21:09 PM | Report Comment
The Bible doesn't require a response to an accuser--Christ often didn't respond to what people accused Him of, and when He did respond, it was often cryptic, so His hearers would not understand. I know too well the temptation to always and immediately respond (as I am now), and insist on my vindication. But one of the best lessons I have learned from my father is that there is no crime in being misunderstood, for it is something we will face most of our lives. Let men misunderstand you, let them persecute you. God will vindicate, God will avenge. Sometimes silence is the best answer, here both for the church and for the families wronged.
Davis Wilson - 6/7/2006 3:27:11 PM | Report Comment
I agree with much of your well-written comment here. I think where we probably disagree is the application of said comments to a case such as the one before us. There is a time when it becomes necessary to defend one's actions because failure to do so would create nasty problems for a church or family. For instance, if someone accuses you of committing adultery, and does so publicly, and is persistent about it, you will probably need to respond in order to vindicate yourself, not to mention the honor of your family. It appears then that there are cases in which defending oneself is the right thing to do and is required. The tough part is determining which.
Depending on the court, there can be a crime in being misunderstood (FV proponents are learning that). but that is not what I was talking about. Making a serious accusation without evidence supplied to support it is not the same as "misunderstanding".
Dave Houf - 6/7/2006 3:44:00 PM | Report Comment
Mr. Wilson, it is my understanding that Sitler pled guilty to ONE count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor. Is this correct? You see, the newspaper has reported �Wilson said he is aware of numerous other potential victims, all children and some of them part of the Christ Church community.� Did the newspaper libel you, or did you say that you were aware of other potential victims? If they libeled you, what will be your response?
The reason I ask is because I am unable to understand how you could advocate for a man pleading guilty to ONE count of a heinous crime, when you yourself admitted to being aware of numerous other counts. How could you do this? How was this "pastoral" to the other people involved?
If the authorities were to pass a law making use of the word "nigger" a hate crime, and if a member of your congregation were accused of such a hate crime because he was accused of calling a Negro a nigger, and if this member entered a guilty plea to ONE count of racial hatred (or whatever they might call it), and you had firsthand knowledge that the man used the word "nigger" on several occasions, what would you do? Turn him in? Or plead for limited and measured sanctions?
Scorebored - 6/7/2006 3:49:24 PM | Report Comment
Biblical justice was not on the table in Sitler's case, therefore no sentence meted out would be a just one. A crime committed against him (locking him up like an animal for years) is not an acceptable substitute just because it's meaner. The best that can be done is to minister to him, as Pastor Wilson is doing. I think he made a good call.
John Simmons - 6/7/2006 3:50:00 PM | Report Comment
A crime committed against him (locking him up like an animal for years) is not an acceptable substitute just because it's meaner." Since "locking him up like an animal for years" is a "crime" shouldn't Pastor Wilson have pled with the judge to just send Sitler off to his state "treatment" with no incarceration at all? That's the logical conclusion of your assertion John, and it's a perfect example of the softheaded humanism I was talking about. John, I sure hope you aren't a member of the Kirk because if that's what Kirkers are being taught then things are much worse than I thought.
Stan - 6/7/2006 4:29:47 PM | Report Comment
Scorebored, no, the paper didn't wrong me, but what they said does require a correction. The other situations that I knew of were not potential victims, but were actual victims, and the number of actual offenses was taken into account by the court in Idaho in Steven's sentencing.
Douglas Wilson - 6/7/2006 4:45:46 PM | Report Comment
Stan, my "softheaded humanist" approach to incarceration came from reading Recons. Substituting incarceration for what the Law requires is humanism.
John Simmons - 6/7/2006 4:57:50 PM | Report Comment
Stan, I am just playing cards with the hand that I am dealt. Steven will be a registered sex offender for life, which is good. He is in jail now, which is good. My earlier post was just explaining what the judge had before him, and was not endorsing any course of action in particular. My letter to the judge was not a request for leniency, but rather for measured justice. I have no faith in secular therapy per se, but I am grateful that I get to visit Steven regularly with the gospel. I don't believe that any kind of sinner is beyond repentance. And, with regard to your post about Dale, I am also on the record supporting the death penalty for certain kinds of sexual crimes against children. Nothing that has happened in this situation would make me want to change my mind on that.
Douglas Wilson - 6/7/2006 5:05:09 PM | Report Comment
Pastor Wilson, I'm glad to hear that you have no confidence in the efficacy of secular therapy. On that we're in agreement (at least it now sounds like you're in agreement). Why then you're earlier comments which apparently endorsed a one year sentence with secular therapy over a five year stint in the state pen without secular therapy? Why even ask the question, "Under what scenario was reoffending more likely?" when we both know that there is statistically virtually no difference in sexual predators reoffending whether they get secular therapy or not?
I'm glad to hear that you're taking the initiative to visit Sitler regularly with the gospel. It seems to me that you would have had many more such opportunities to do so had you not intervened and asked the judge for "measured justice" as you call it -- four more years worth of regular gospel visitations. Now there's some "therapy" I could have endorsed. And let's not forget that state pens almost always have full-time gospel chaplains too. As it is you've just likely reduced dramatically your gospel-based therapy for Sitler by four years.
Stan - 6/7/2006 5:27:15 PM | Report Comment
I didn't intend to get into this discussion, but Doug's comment touched on something I've thought about off and on for some time. Please permit me to first offer my condolences to the affected families and thanks to the elders of CC for their service in this difficult situation.
Doug says that it is good for Steven to be a registered sex offender for life. If Steven has in face committed crimes worthy of death, then I might be willing to grant this point. But if there are sexual offenses (even against children) that do not deserve death (and it seems reasonable that this might be the case), then should we register those offenders for life? It seems that this militates against biblical principles of restoration and forgiveness. If someone has been appropriately punished for a crime, shouldn't it be over and done with? Is it right to put a flashing neon sign over his head for the rest of his life?
Just to reiterate, this is only in the case where offenses not deserving death have been committed, assuming they exist. And of course, this is only relevant to the case in point if Steven has not committed any offenses deserving death.
Steve Lindemann - 6/7/2006 6:13:50 PM | Report Comment
"And this illustrates the problem that Michael Metzler has created -- there is no way to explain all this without telling the whole story, and telling the whole story would run the families through the grinder again." Pastor Wilson, it's hard for me to see how Metzler has "created" this problem, since the Sitler problem is in no way of his making. I would agree that the whole story needs to be told in order to understand it, as well as to clear your own name. I fail to see how your telling the whole story would "run the families through the grinder again" anymore than just telling a little bit of the story, as you have already done. No wants or expects you to disclose names of victims. But giving only the Readers Digest version could just confirm in the minds of many that there has been a cover up, as Metzler seems to intimate. For that reason I would ask you to now provide the level of disclosure that you probably should have a long time ago.
Stan - 6/7/2006 8:38:13 PM | Report Comment
You people that want to drag this all out and rehash it in public to serve your own agenda are PERVERTS. At least Steven Sitler is sorry for what he did, you people have a seared conscience. Even if nobody mentions the victim's names, it would put them through hell. But you don't give a crap about them just about attacking Rev. Wilson. If somebody hurt my kid, I'd want to kill them too. But I have another perspective too. Nobody hurt my kid, but somebody hurt ME. It was a long time ago before Sitler was even born but I know what its like to be hurt the way he hurt kids. But right now I would rather be in a room with him than with you idiots that want to use this story for your own agendas. You want to use the victims all over again. You are disgusting. You need to SHUT THE HELL UP AND GO AWAY.
name withheld - 6/7/2006 10:31:38 PM | Report Comment
Steve, I believe you're right on. I know a young man who in a sinful moment was inappropriate (necking) with a teenager in his youth group and is now a registered sex offender for life. The state will not allow him to go to Church, he can't leave the county, he can't be around children...permanently unless Caesar decides otherwise.
John Simmons - 6/7/2006 10:56:18 PM | Report Comment
I am rather amazed at the sort of response this is garnering. It reminds me of activist celebrities like Alec Baldwin that think they have all the answers despite being far removed from the situations in question.
It's disgusting fascinations with knowing more and more details like this that just shows how ingrained and seemingly acceptable gossip has become and how easily those divisive and disgruntled people around here still manage to find an audience. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. Perhaps those of you who are without sin can cast the first stone.
And if you're think about posting a response accusing me of trying to exonerate Steven for what he has done you have totally missed my point and you need to read it again. Give it a break fellas. Give us all a break.
David Hoos - 6/8/2006 12:32:47 AM | Report Comment
All Michael did was post a message about Sitler and what he did, and it included the comment that ChristChurch had neglected to tell people.
Doug Wilson responded with sarcasm and said that the post was "to use an old-fashioned word - wrong". And then he proceeded to mock Michael's intellect and research ability.
From Michael's viewpoint, it must have seemed true because Michael was part of ChristChurch and hadn't heard about it.
But Wilson couldn't just say, "Sorry you never heard that Michael - we thought we told everybody".
But Wilson maligned Michael because he assumed Michael's motives, did not try at all to help the situation with any information, and so now Wilson and Michael are in a giant ego contest.
And then it comes out that there was an 8month gap between the discovery and telling the Church, which gives more fuel for the fire.
And so it has spread to Vision2020 where Wilson now lumps the most outrageous comments in with Michael and calls them all "pathetic".
It's the right word, but the application seems skewed to me.
steve codling - 6/8/2006 8:06:01 PM | Report Comment
There are better times to discuss all of these things. Justice is not, anyway, going to be rendered because somebody here settles the theory of what should have happened, or ought to happen next. And it only adds to injustice, to use this situation at this time in this way. Those who are concerned about justice, please remember that. Surely Pastor Wilson can be approached privately.
I have loved people on both sides of this evil. It is wounding to hear about these things, and to see the response (perhaps we are all in a giant ego contest....) I can't imagine how much moreso for those involved.
People are in pain. They are in need of justice, and mercy, and in need of help to move on. Can we please, all of us in Christ, simply unite to pray for these families, Pastor Wilson, and Steven? We are not compromising the gospel to do so. We are doing our small part to minister grace to those only grace can heal.
I have been praying esp. for these families and will continue. I am sure many others on this blog and elsewhere are doing so as well; they are being kept before God. May they know His comfort, and the extended love of the extended church.
kamelda - 6/8/2006 9:35:31 PM | Report Comment
Props to kamelda for being sane.
StevenWedgeworth - 6/9/2006 1:34:13 AM | Report Comment
kamelda your point is well taken about the "giant ego contest." Which is exactly why I'm having trouble over your assertion, "Surely Pastor Wilson can be approached privately." I'm not one to just get one side of the story, which is why in addition to reading Doug's blog I've also read others, including Metzler's. I think it's tragic that Metzler, as a member of Christ Church, ultimately came to a point in his frustrations with not having access to his pastor that he believed he had no other option but to take his grievances public. I'm not saying that's the right thing to do. I'm just saying that had Pastor Wilson conducted himself pastorally with Metzler it probably never would have happened. Now that it has happened Pastor Wilson is only vindicating Metzler's actions. For example, calling Metzler the emotional equivalent of a "sucking chest wound" on V2020 may qualify as "serrated edge" but it doesn't qualify as pastoral.
Stan - 6/9/2006 9:40:36 AM | Report Comment
Stan, I believe that you have just made a public judgement on a minister of God. You have just implied that Pastor Wilson is guilty of failing to conduct himself pastorally. Is there any circumstance you could foresee in which a pastor conducts himself pastorally and a member still could believe that he "had no other optnion but to take his grievances public"? I don't know what your intent was in this last post, but candidly, it reads like you are trying to show your "objectivity" because you say you look at more than one side of the story, but then you quickly say that "had Pastor Wilson conducted himself pastorally with Metzler it probably never would have happened." How did you reach this conclusion? Even if you've read everything posted online everywhere about this, you-we-still don't have the whole story. You cannot possibly judge Rev Wilson's pastoral conduct based on reading MM and others.
Dave Houf - 6/9/2006 11:21:15 AM | Report Comment
"You cannot possibly judge Rev Wilson's pastoral conduct based on reading MM and others." Very true. My objectivity and my judgement is, at least in part, based on reading what Doug Wilson wrote: "Michael, you are the emotional equivalent of a sucking chest wound." Dave you're also right that "you-we-still don't have the whole story." I'm sceptical we ever will have the whole story, or anything remotely resembling it. But my comments didn't necessitate my first having the whole story, just the use of some common sense. Public ad hominem attacks against Michael Metzler hardly qualify as pastoral conduct. Yes, I realize that Doug Wilson has already justified himself: "And that was why I decided that Michael needed to get popped a couple times, in public, to slow down or
possibly stop his disgraceful public behavior." I hope it doesn't sound trite to say it, but two wrongs don't make a right. If Pastor Wilson were the least concerned about taking the high road, about being pastoral, this wouldn't be the way to go about it.
Stan - 6/9/2006 3:53:55 PM | Report Comment
Do you have any sort of scriptural argument that Pastor Wilson was wrong in how he handled this, or are you just saying that he's wrong because that's not the way most Evangelical Christian would handle things. When you attempt to assume the moral highground without scripture, you are on shaky footing. Did Elijah make "public ad hominem attacks" against Ahab? If so, is he also guilty of being one of the wrongs that don't make a right?
If you have a scriptural point of view, then by all means make your attacks. If you are just trying to use John McCain-like "moral superiority" to make your case, then you need to repent and apologize to Pastor Wilson.
Mike Duchemin - 6/12/2006 2:47:55 PM | Report Comment
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