“What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.” – GK Chesterton link
There are times that my head spins. The evangelical complex may seem huge but it is both small and tribal. Everyone is connected to everyone else.
Who is Doug Wilson?
Along with CJ Mahaney, Doug Wilson is a *darling* of The Gospel Coalition. Also, he, like Mahaney, has faced intense criticism for how he has handled sex abuse situations. Wilson rules from his enclave in Moscow. Idaho and, like Sovereign Grace Ministries, is so controversial that his activities like SGM/SGC, have spawned its own watch blog called The Truth About Moscow which is worth the read.
The list of his controversies is extensive and it would take too long to list them in this post. So, here is a link to the posts that we have written about him in our 9 years of blogging. They run the gamut of seemingly implying that slaves were treated well prior to the Civil War to pushing a conspiracy that HIV is not related to AIDS.
In order to understand his recent critique of Boz Tchividjian, one must understand that Wilson has some *different* ideas about pedophiles and marriage. He presided over the marriage of a convicted serial pedophile to a very young woman in his church. We wrote about in The Real Doug Wilson Encouraged & Presided Over the Marriage of Serial Pedophile
Sadly, this couple had a child and the pedophile daddy admitted that he had a sexual attraction to his baby boy which we wrote about here.
This incident was not the only sex abuse situation for which Wilson received widespread criticism. I believe that Wilson has done much to earn the disapproval of fair minded people. He seemingly cannot comprehend why the entire Christian world does not agree with his leadership in these matters.
Wilson went after Tchividjian while trying to butter up Denhollander.
The decision by Wilson to preside over the pedophile marriage caused widespread expressions of dismay which irritated Wilson. TWW, along with Boz Tchividjian and others, called out Wilson’s actions in this matter. I believe it was the criticism that Wilson received which caused him to go after Tchividjian in Rachel Denhollander’s Accomplishment (and Mistake).
Wilson rightly congratulated Denhollander for her role in the Larry Nasser conviction but indulged in a bit of self pity while doing so.
For those who falsely assume that in matters of sexual justice, I have been assigned a role of protecting predators, a role I continue to refuse, with decreasing politeness,
However, he talked down to Denhollander because she views Boz Tchividjian as a respected and independent investigator. Poor thing. She doesn’t understand how brilliant Wilson is. She must not know the whole story and Wilson is going to school her. Sadly, he has met his match. She didn’t put up with the baloney from SGM and I doubt she will find solidarity with Wilson.
He implied that Tchividjian’s critique of Wilson’s actions negates his ability to be a truly independent investigator for anything within the church. Wilson does not seem to recognize that some actions are concerning on a universal level. Does saying that one is shocked and dismayed by the school shooting in Florida negate that person’s ability to render a fair judgement in a trial involving a shooting? If so, there would be few people alive who could sit on such a jury.
He called Tchvidjian an ambulance chaser because he had something to say about Wilson’s actions in the marriage of that pedophile.
A few years back here at Christ Church we spent some time in the limelight over a couple of sex abuse cases, and during that period Boz was every inch an ambulance chaser. In Rachael’s efforts to bring Larry Nassar to justice, she was falsely accused of being an ambulance chaser. It is unfortunate in the extreme that she has made the (serious) mistake of identifying with a genuine ambulance chaser.
He then insulted Tchividjian. Shame on Tchividjian! Not shame on himself for his own actions.
Boz behaved in a foolish, shameful, and very partisan fashion.
Now of course, the Internet is Dodge City in the Wild West and Boz can be a gunslinger if he wants to be. All well and good, free country and all that. I am simply maintaining that he is temperamentally unsuited to the office of sheriff.
Wilson even complimented Denhollander, claiming she noted some valid issues with SGM/SGC which I find rather amusing since I believe that Wilson appeared to downplay the SGM debacle in previous years.
In her critique of the SGC review, she says a couple of noteworthy things. “The firm used poor methodology. They chose not to speak with key witnesses.” And in another place, “He did not even speak with these key witnesses.” Exactly so.
Wilson claims that Boz *disgraced* himself when he critiqued Wilson’s actions. I adamently disagree with Wilson. Tchividjian spoke truth, hard truth, and Wilson wouldn’t listen. Wilson is his own worst enemy.
And incidentally, she mentioned that Boz offered to recuse himself personally from the SGC investigation, were the task assigned to them. But this is no good. When Boz was disgracing himself in our controversy, the organization GRACE as an organization backed him up fully, despite our private appeals. They are not qualified for such a task either.
Doug Wilson, instead, commends himself and recommends MinistrySafe…Why?
Wilson is so smart that he protected his kids from pedophiles by not allowing the kids to go sleepovers. Yet, he felt comfortable presiding over a wedding of a young woman to a convicted serial pedophile. This pedophile also attended his church and would one day become sexually attracted to his own baby boy. So, no sleepovers for the Wilson kids but a convicted serial pedophile getting married in his church is a different story.
Nancy and I were suspicious in all these areas before being suspicious in these ways was cool. We took a dim view of sleepovers and lock-ins, we monitored our kids whereabouts very closely, and I followed the Mike Pence rule for decades before I had ever heard of Mike Pence.
Wilson liked MinistrySafe which spoke to his wee group of churches.
If you look at Sovereign Grace’s statement on all this, you will notice that they have engaged one of these organizations, an outfit called MinistrySafe. A representative of MinistrySafe, Kimberlee Norris, gave a very capable presentation to the Council of the CREC just this last fall. She understands very well how sexual predators get away with their abuses in a church environment.
Do you remember MinistrySafe?
This is the organization which has been asked to review *just* the child safety practices of Highpoint. This has been quite confusing to some of us because we have reason to believe that MinistrySafe is also looking at the Andy Savage situation as well. Oddly, the church said the investigation would be complete by March 1 and there has been dead silence on the matter. Was this due to Larry Cotton;s resignation while claiming that Jules Woodson did experience sex abuse and this should have been reported to the authorities?
MinistrySafe, also based in Fort Worth, was retained separately to assist Highpoint in evaluating in its practices regarding children. Spokeswoman Kimberlee Norris said previously the firm’s mission at Highpoint is to assess and enhance existing child protection protocols.
It is our understanding that MinistrySafe markets themselves to church leadership which we believe makes them beholden to the leaders for their business. So much for independence. I would be interested in finding out how much money MinistrySafe makes on consulting in these matters.
If Doug Wilson feels that MinistrySafe is a great *independent* organization, I would guess that Wilson and *the Kirk* were not challenged in any way. Perhaps Norris gave a nice talk about *preventing child sex abuse* and did not address the rather concerning episodes within Wilson’s own ministry. Of course he would like that and feel quite Kindly towards MiniostrySafe.
I do not think that Wilson is qualified to assess that Norris gave a *very capable presentation* given his history with dealing with sex abuse in his own congregation.
TWW looks forward to MinistrySafe’s report on Highpoint Church.
Doug Wilson seems to blow off questionable situations and makes me wonder what he has overlooked in his own ministry.
This next statement caused me to sit up and take notice. Is Wilson actually downplaying sex abuse? In my former church, the pastors decided to ignore reports of nude games which were being encouraged by a seminary student volunteer. The pastors idiotically called it “locker room” humor. Their pathetic lack of insight resulted in over 13 young teen boys being horrifically molested by the perp who is now serving 13 years in prison.
I have news for Wilson. I don’t know what he means by *grab ass* but that sounds like abuse to me and if someone played it with my kid, they would be reported to the authorities after a bunch of people finished holding back my husband from beating the &%#@ out of the perp.
We also live in a time when it is possible for a well-respected minister with a fine reputation to be forced to step down from his ministry because twenty-five years earlier some junior high kids were playing grabass at a church-sponsored youth camp. And the cabin counselor, barely out of high school himself, dealt with it by means of a brusque and inadequately-trained “knock that off or I’ll tell Smitty.
Doug Wilson also accuses Tchividjian of not respecting evidentiary standards.
This is just plain nonsense. Perhaps I can forgive Wilson who does not have the professional and educational experience of Tchvidjian. Tchividjian is not only a respected law professor but once served as an Assistant State Attorney for Florida’s 7th Judicial Circuit. My guess is that Tchividjian knows quite a bit about rules of evidence-far more than Wilson.
we now live in a time when anyone who wants a careful investigation that is bound by oath to due process and the rules of evidence is himself accused of being a defender of the dark deeds. Boz has actively engaged in furthering that particular form of injustice. He is not a qualified doctor for this disease; he is a carrier of it.
Wilson is just plain put out that decent people do not understand how smart he is. Bless their hearts!
Doug Wilson portrays himself as the godly one who swims against the tide of public opinion to do what is right even if even fellow Christians disagree with him.
Wilson is the one, according to his own counsel, who has a backbone while the rest of us are a bunch of wusses. Read this next statement carefully. He is referring to himself and his decisions, decisions that I find disturbing. In Wilson speak, that means I am weak willed and he is the strong one since he always does the right and proper thing.
And what is the right thing? That really does depend on the circumstances. Sometimes it means calling the cops, even when the people you must report are dear to you. Sometimes it means standing up to online lynch mobs. Sometimes it means insistence on due process and withholding judgment until you know all the facts. Sometimes it means taking a pounding because a sexual predator has professed repentance and wants to attend your church. But in all cases it means that you need to have a backbone that was not carved out of an overripe banana.
I believe that Wilson is flat-out wrong and he is nothing if not self-serving. He proclaims his virtue while attacking a man who exhibits common sense and wisdom- something I see sorely lacking in Wilson’s leadership. My perspective goes well beyond his incomprehensible choices in dealing with sex offenders. Read all our posts and Google his name.You’ll see what I mean.
In the meantime, watch the Highpoint situation carefully. I am not sure I know exactly what MinistrySafe is doing there but I think it is more than just reviewing child safety procedures.