The dangers of keeping things in the church

I’m currently in The Hague, the international seat of justice for war crimes in former Yugoslavia — which were not held in former Yugoslavia in part due to the fact that “concepts of law and justice are very confusing for people living under the influences of propaganda.” Years ago, some were pushing for the pope to answer in The Hague for the widespread cover-up of sexual abuse in the church. Why would a pope answer for crimes of this nature in a secular court instead of a church court? Because anytime one high-ranking person dictates how a private court operates, and can more or less control the flow of information to a court or tribunal, as well as decide the punishments meted out, that court or tribunal is bound to be skewed. This should be obvious.

Peace The Hague

That’s why we have secular courts of law in the first place, with established rules and established laws. That’s why, in the United States, if a prosecutor for one district or county is on trial, it’s rescinded to another district in the interest of court neutrality. If you’re being fair, you don’t want a man being “prosecuted” by his cronies.

I’ve been hearing a whole lot about why people should not discuss sex abuse cases and domestic abuse cases within the CREC. I’ve heard things like — in defense of Steven Sitler being sexually stimulated by his infant son — “every man can be sexually stimulated by a kid sitting on his lap or being in the same room, so what’s the big deal?” though this obviously does not speak well for the men this CREC woman knows. I’ve heard things like “Natalie just needs to accept that God wanted her to be sexually abused and figure out the lesson she needs to learn from this,” which makes God out to be a psychopath — no loving father says, “hey, daughter of mine, I’ve scheduled for you to be raped by an upstanding young man; I want you to think hard about the lessons I’m teaching you in doing this.”

I’ve heard things like “if you’re not a CREC member, or a member of a similar church in good standing, then what you say doesn’t matter anyway,” because, clearly, the definition of reality = if the person talking about it is a CREC member. At this point, I know the stories of close to a hundred people who have left the CREC because they experienced abuse within the church, or saw abuse within the church and were rebuked repeatedly for trying to speak up about it. Most of them are not willing to talk about their experiences yet, especially after witnessing how Natalie has been treated for talking. But that is beginning to change.

Once these people leave, they start paying attention to why they didn’t catch on sooner. The gender theology of the CREC is very telling in these circumstances. If, without the correct application of Christian contrition, as Doug Wilson claims, men tend to be violent rapists at heart (or gay, which is obviously worse), and women tend to be seducers of men (or gay, which is obviously worse), then why be surprised if there are a variety of abuse cases in the church? Why be surprised if women are battered a little bit by their husbands? Why bother treating that any differently than a disagreement about who washes the dishes?

The problem with this gender theology: non-Christian men (or all the ones I know) are kind, generous, and protective of women and children. I grew up thinking that the non-Christian world was a pretty dangerous place, but once I got into it, started traveling the world on my own, started talking to people on my own, I realized I was wrong. Without Christ, men are not just rapist pedophiles out to beat women up — so the answer to being a rapist pedophile or a wife beater is probably not “more Bible verses as told by your pastor.” There’s a lot more to it than that. Without Christianity, men can be, and are, amazing human beings. And, of course, many men within the CREC are as well. I know some — I know some really, really wonderful men and women who attend CREC churches.

But the nice people don’t change the fact that I know not-so-nice people who attend or attended CREC churches. I’ll be honest: all of the most pushy guys I’ve known personally — the kind who wouldn’t take “no” seriously, the kind who wouldn’t take repeated rebuffs seriously — attended CREC churches at some point or another. I’ve said this before, but the theology of the CREC enables men to be secure in a certain measure of asshole-ness — just look at the way their Presiding Minister talks about non-Christian women, about how men “dream of being rapists” and how women dream of being raped. Add to this that the theology of the CREC enables men to put part of the blame of their actions on other people — those unsubmissive wives, those seductive women, their negligent parents (see, for example, all of Doug Wilson’s responses about the nature of Jamin Wight’s crimes). Lastly, the theology of the CREC allows these men, in many, many, many cases that I guarantee most of CREC has never even heard of, to keep their crimes in-house, behind closed doors. Often, in spite of all of the Bible verses quoted to them, these men reoffend — particularly where they’re sent home with the wives they’re physically abusing.

Several years ago, my ex-husband admitted, on a recording, that he had abused the internal church process to his benefit and my detriment. He is a lawyer normally prone to litigious behavior, and he went to the churches — churches neither of us even attended with any regularity — instead of the courts because he knew that within the churches, he could get away with more. Here is the transcript, where K is me, and S is my ex-husband (off-topic: when you start transcribing conversations, you really notice how few complete sentences people speak):

K: OK… well, like, would you admit… that you, that you knowingly and deliberately manipulated the process of, like, church discipline?

S: Well, here’s what I would admit: when I say I manipulated it, in terms of, I sinned in the process, I used the process sinfully, but I wasn’t — during the process, like I would confess it, I would get angry…

K: But, here’s thing: you were doing research [to give to the pastors by hacking email and so on]. You were looking for anything and everything; you were setting everything up.

S: Well, yeah, yeah, yeah… I want to discuss how I abused the church process.

K: But the thing is, I don’t know how that can be prevented, because you were so good at it — that even though I was commenting on that [the unfairness of what was going on] to them [the pastors of the various churches involved], they totally disregarded it.

S: … Here’s an example. Had there been somebody … who — you didn’t have a well-placed advocate in the church system.

K: Yeah, I know. If I did, the people that I did have, you tried to take down, you tried to separate me from the people who would be on my side.

S: Right. That’s the whole point of having, that’s what happens in the criminal world; the reason that there’s a victim’s advocate is because there are very clever people that, that engineer witness testimony. All the time.

K: The process, like the church discipline process, is not nearly that structured. Like… it doesn’t have due process —

S: Here’s the thing, ‘cause this is, this is how I did it… I was only able to be effective because what I did, one of the first things I did is to make sure that the process was, I had Evan [Wilson] meet with Doug [Wilson]. Evan’s more intellectual process, he’s there but he’s slower, he’s much more — so then he met with Doug, Doug’s fast, systematic, procedural, judicial part of it, so when they partnered, they were, collectively — and then Jim [Wilson] got involved; it had the unity of all of them…

K: If somebody like you can do that, can manipulate —

S: I tell you the truth, to do what I did, I would imagine, is strikingly rare. To, uh, from the inside.

K: Yeah. Do you know how horrible that makes me feel? That I’m the one in a million person that got totally screwed over by the system?

S: But you knew.

K: And nobody believed me.

S: You knew I was positioned to do that, that I was capable —

K: No, I didn’t. I didn’t know you were that much of a jerk. I didn’t know you would use God to, to stomp on me.

Now, let it be known, if the church discipline process could get its act together and actually stop abuse (as in, immediately encourage battered or frightened women to leave their husbands, even if from a distance the elders think the abuse is “not that bad” and “they’ve seen worse”; immediately demand that any physical discipline of children err on the side of grace and caution; and immediately demand that sexual abusers be taken to jail after a secular trial in which “repentant” perps plead guilty to all of their crimes), that would be great. I’ve contributed to trying to get the harsh spanking present in various CREC churches addressed within the church internally.

Let’s see how it works out. Because I know that at this point, I am not the “one in a million” person who got screwed — even harassed — by a nebulous CREC church discipline process weighted in favor of those in higher positions of authority — men, seminarians, deacons, elders, and those related to them. I’m one of dozens if not hundreds worldwide. And if the church process doesn’t change, there will be hundreds more.

It is not persecution to demand that the smallest and weakest be given an equal voice, be sheltered from abusive men and abusive processes. It is persecution, and worse, to silence the least of these. Jesus saved his harshest words for church leaders who abused their authority; Jesus spoke kindly to women the rest of society despised. Not the other way around, as Doug Wilson and some of his followers appear to believe.

Whose side are you on in this matter: Jesus or Doug Wilson? Whose side are you on, the girl being beaten by her pastor father, or her father, because he recites pieties on Sunday? Whose side are you on, the wife being hurt by her husband, or the husband, because he smiles at you and shakes your hand in front of the congregation? If you choose no side, you chose by default, and these atrocities will continue to go on.

If you see a man punching a kid in a park, do you say “well, we don’t know the whole story here, and maybe the kid deserved it”? I sincerely hope not. And I sincerely hope that you see how not doing anything in this situation is, in fact, doing something and sending a very strong message to the kid being punched.

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27 thoughts on “The dangers of keeping things in the church

  1. Here’s the sweet: The man punching the boy wants to do it and uses his Bible to support his brutality. He will not spare the rod because he loves Jesus. The fundagelical Wilson et al teach harm as love and the congregation knows the pattern of abuse offered. Why do child abusers choose to lead Boy Scouts? Why did Wilson manipulate the removal of elders/church leaders who saw his excess? For Jesus! We must harm our evil selves and take the rod of truth to our children. Wilson holds all the trump cards in this abusive structure. Natalie Greenfield’s mother still kneels at his blessed feet even as he whips her with his public statements. She arranged for Natalie to be given to Jamin! This is holy smoke and and Wilson is on fire for Christ.

  2. Katie,

    I’m hoping you will answer a few questions as I consider your post. How long did you live in Moscow? How long did you attend Christ Church? How long did you attend any CREC church? Do you currently consider yourself a Christian?

    I’m asking because your descriptions of Christ Church/TRC do not gel with the community I have now been a part of for the past fifteen years. There can be idiots here but I too have traveled the world and worked/lived in other countries and my experience is that there are idiots everywhere. I was in non reformed churches for the sum total of my early years (non denominational/baptist/four square…) and there were jerks/abuses/gnarly pastoral cases in all. The main diffence I see is that it they rarely dealt with it. Grace, grace while youth pastors took advantage of young girls, pastors fornicated with congregants, abuse was forgiven and forgotten but not… After two decades of that, I am so thankful for the way my church has dealt with and are currently dealing with with tough situations, actively protecting, actively providing care. I have good friends here in Moscow for whom this was the first place they found hope and healing from abuse. They have been greatly hurt to watch the place and pastor they have been so blessed by dragged through the mud. This is not to say it has all been done perfectly but I do believe that the picture you have painted is not an accurate representation of the full community.

    I’m sorry you married the man your did. I’m sorry he treated you like he did. However, I do not believe he is a poster child for a husband or this community at large. In the last 15 years of life here, I have met countless couples whose marriages reflect the Gospel beautifully and uniquely, and yes, imperfectly. Praying for healing where it is needed, repentance where it is needed, and the saving grace of the Gospel as all this continues to work out.

    1. Heather, as I’ve said, I know there are great people in the CREC. And, I agree, there are many bad people out of it. But good people, as I mentioned, don’t erase the bad apples, and when the bad apples are dealt with poorly in a closed environment that does not invite outside intervention, it tends to rot the whole barrel, as they say.

      I haven’t painted any picture of the CREC except where it deals with cases of abuse. This is where it is failing. It can be excellent in other ways and still be wildly failing in this one area. And, from the dozens and dozens of people I have talked to, it is, in fact, wildly failing in this area.

      If you want to argue against what the “critics” of Christ Church are protesting, it would help to get their positions correct. And answer that. Not say “oh, but there are so many good people here!” because of course there are… nobody would say otherwise.

      My ex-husband didn’t have to be a poster child for the CREC. He just had to know where he could go (Christ Church) and what he could say (I’m just so sorry) in order to manipulate the situation to his best advantage, and that is exactly what he did. And there are many others who have done the same.

      If you want Christ Church to be known in the community as a place that cares for the wounded, then start acting like it, and stop pretending like e.g. sending women home with their abusers is a good idea.

    2. Additionally, Heather, you should know that only a month or two after my divorce, your father-in-law was agreeing to marry off the man you’re sorry I married to a Christ Church woman (who was then 22, I believe). Was he blind in this circumstance to agree to such a thing? And, if so, might he be blind in other circumstances? This, by the way, was the entire point of the church discipline my ex was trying to bring down on me… he wanted to marry another woman in Christ Church, and would have, if I hadn’t gotten in his way. I have proof of all of this; I don’t plaster it everywhere because the only result I want from all of this is change — not to embarrass or shame anyone, even people who were cruel to me personally.

      1. Katie,

        The reason I started with questions – How long did you attend Christ Church? How long did you attend any CREC church? Are you currently a professing Christian – is that I belive they are relevant to your abillity to fairly judge this community with regards to how it handles abuse or any other issue. (Would you be willing to answer the questions?) Like I mentioned above, I have seen churches fail in this area my whole life. This is why I appreciate my church now. I base my assesments on years of living within the community and watching tough situations dealt with and women cared for, the wounded cared for. These are people I know, not just people who have contacted me from the interwebs.

        As for your second post, my father-in-law wouldn’t recommend someone marry only a month or two after a divorce, whether he/she was a solid citizen or a chump. When I asked about your comment he said,
        “After all the hostility toward us that (your ex) displayed in the years prior to his marriage — even though he sought my help to save his very brief marriage — I cannot imagine trying to set him up with anybody. If Kate’s information about this comes from him, i would urge her to consider the source.”

      2. How would Katie being or not being a currently professing Christian have anything to do with what she is asking for — that consequences for wrong actions be judged fairly, justly, and objectively? Objective being the operative issue; cronies and subordinates by definition cannot be objective. This “requirement” that an accuser be of the same faith as the accused does not seem reasonable, considering some acts are wrong no matter what the people involved believe or don’t believe regarding religion or philosophy.

        This is like Doug Wilson, rather than admitting or apologising to having poor judgment as a pastor regarding Jamin Wight, saying to Natalie Greenfield: “And I hope you find it in your heart to return to Jesus.” How is that relevant, exactly, in how capable Greenfield would be in assessing how she was treated by (CREC) Christians?

        Even if it were relevant — and the Natalies and Katies of this world were not or no longer Christian, and therefore their calls for justice are somehow diluted and not as important — aren’t Christians supposed to answer to a higher calling of justice than heathens and pagans?

      3. Heather: Your father-in-law didn’t “set up” the two… he was meeting with them and had agreed that they could pursue marriage, and that he would perform the ceremony if they did. She said this, he said this, her family said this. It’s consistent with his “lawful marriage” line, similar to the Sitler case. He may not have “recommended” they get married, but he was meeting with/conversing with both about eventual marriage to one another, and “eventual” wasn’t sounding all that far away, either. You want me to trot out the emails I have and make it obvious which CC family I’m talking about?

        Be honest, do you really think that people within the CREC who have serious problems with how abuse is handled are going to bring it up with you of all people? You’re a Wilson. You’re married to DW’s heir apparent (or one of them). I don’t doubt that you’re experiencing an idyllic, safe atmosphere within the CREC. You’re one of its crown princesses. But your experience is, by definition, not the experience of those with fewer connections, those married off less well, those abused by well-connected people. And those people are coming to the church with their pain. And the church is saying “Grow tougher skin.” “Man up.” “Trust God.” “Obey God.” In short, the church is (in many cases; obviously not all) offering words that change nothing.

        Even in the current CREC investigation, are victims being consulted, or is it just a matter of all the CREC presiding ministers looking through official records handed over willingly and then rubber-stamping them? If you know anything about law or due process, the way the “investigation” is being handled should be setting off alarm bells.

        I deliberately do not talk about my beliefs in public. Either way, they have no bearing on my ability to read or to investigate. I agree that there are many churches where really bad things happen. But this is happening in my back yard, and I know CC better than most, having researched controversies from both sides and simultaneously attended CC events with my CC friends for 15 years. Back in the “Southern Slavery as it Was” days, I got commended by the church for my accurate reporting. I’m still taking great pains to be accurate in my reporting; they just don’t like what I’m digging up, this time around.

    3. I have never been to Christchurch at all, but the disdain that Doug Wilson expresses towards women on his blog is a big red flag for me concerning how a community that he leads will treat women. Yes, I get it that his behavior towards some women is gentlemanly. That’s the point – some women get favored status and are rewarded. A woman who isn’t in his good graces is a target for ridicule over everything from her looks to her voice to her prospects in life. This sounds to me like a bully. I don’t need to be there to see pretty clearly that a blog that routinely pokes fun at women, emphasizing their powerlessness and general ridiculousness, is written by a person who is not to be trusted with justice towards abused females.

      1. Kathleen Schwab: “– some women get favored status and are rewarded.”

        But what a woefully small box these women must crouch down into in order to maintain their precarious favored status.

    4. Hi Heather. Michael Metzler here. As you know, I watched your church community grow from 150 to 1000. I was one of the first New St Andrews students, a Greyfriar’s Hall student, wrote for Credenda Credenda, knew your husband before you did, mentored with Leithart, your father in law, and Doug Jones. Your father in law counseled me through my divorce and my remarriage, officiated the wedding, and baptized my first child. Your community and its beautiful vision was an important refuge to me early in life, what I called ‘home’ for a decade, and I was one of its most loyal supporters (Still with Andrea, have not touched another woman, and have provided for my family of seven, and so forth). And so, given your reasoning here in this thread, I hope you will still consider me qualified to say that you were the most wonderful person I knew in Moscow, especially in your father in law’s community. If you in fact somehow could not see all the violence done to others while we lived in the same community together, it was largely because you were too busy offering kindness yourself. I think you were also brave, and the only woman to refuse any form of shunning of my wife. At the same time, as Katie notes, you are a princess, talking about people well outside the protection of your royal clan. I think you have the causes of insight and of blindness a bit backwards here. But I do agree with your assessment of evil within the typical religious community. I might recommend your community over many others (actually, I have) so long as it is understood that Douglas Wilson is to be feared and obeyed – not an unusual arrangement in this evil world. In any case, if you ever want to get back to Trestles, you have free room and board with us here. I need some pointers.

      1. Well Heather,
        I don’t know you from Elvis, but your Father in law keeps saying, adversity that comes from being a Christian is a promotion. Michael here says you are a Christian and, like some others, says you are a princess as well!

        That sounds like a promotion to me!

        I wonder how much adversity you would have to face with godliness to become a Queen?

        Enjoy the princess gig while you may! (before someone else judges you to be something else! ; – )

  3. I admit that I can’t read your blog a lot these days because it rubs me the wrong way. Okay I’ve said it.

    Now that I’ve said it, I will say this.

    I’m almost done reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas and it’s a work of art that happens to be true. In it, Douglas wrote that the worst slaveholders were the church going ones, the really pious ones. This has a strong ring of truth to it.

    I’m pretty sure I would have been the most ruthless slaveholder the South had ever seen and found a way to make it look like God’s will. There isn’t a day that, when thinking clearly, I bless God that He has seen fit to never give me power.

    It’s not until recently that I’ve begun to realize there is a problem and the problem is me. If my theology is so disconnected from reality that I can’t get a grip on my TRUE state, not merely an EXPRESSION of my “true state,” then it’s totally useless. If I can’t connect my belief in total depravity to a need for holiness, it’s also useless. So pretty much my faith has been useless but I guess God is going to keep hacking away at me.

    So I can appreciate this post more than I could in the past. It’s not enough to say We’re all bad, we’re all wicked sinners, life is messy. We also have to say Enough.

  4. I once put a man in the hospital for assaulting a woman and attempting to pull her clothes off and rape her on a university campus. True story. I received a meritorious commendation from the university and the local government.

    During the trial when he was being prosecuted with first-degree attempted rape and aggravated assault, he tried to claim that I should be arrested for beating the shit out of him, because even though he was in the middle of committing a brutal assault I “had no right” to hit him and break some of his bones. The judge actually laughed at him.

    As far as I know, he’s still in prison; he had a lot of priors. I confess that I thoroughly enjoyed that entire scenario. When you’re right, you’re right.

    1. In re-reading this may come across as a non-sequitur, so I’ll point out that at the time of typing it seemed related to your last paragraph. I’m not tooting my horn with this story; I have a lot of friends who would’ve done the same thing. Can men of the CREC say the same?

      1. Hey Dash, (and Katie)
        I am an man. I attended CEF, predecessor of CREC in the mid 80’s while at the U of I. The three times I recall seeing male on female violence in the street, twice the police were close by and I got them to the crime, the third time it was a public escalation where I put myself between the male and the woman and he backed off. If you are the “dash” who commented to me on Rachel Miller’s site, then according to you, I did all of the above from a view inside Doug Wilson’s intestinal tract. ; – )
        I have yet to beat the crap out of anyone for any reason, so you’ve got me there.

        Katie, I am sorry that the marraige you mention did not work out. I did want to warn you that the church and state abuse advocate subculture, “A cry for justice” in particular, does have a bad scource problem.

        Abuse “expert” Lundy Bancroft is a charlatan and cult founder per the links below:

        Lundy Bancroft is a cult founder.

        http://transitiontoanewworld.blogspot.com/2011/03/new-spiritual-community.html

        The core beliefs of Nature’s Temple:
        1) The human being is an animal. We are no more different from other animals than they are from each other. We are not a race apart. All the creatures of the earth are our sisters and brothers.

        Lundy Bancroft, fired “expert” by the Massachusetts trial Court
        http://www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/2003/LundyNtonForum030619.htm

        “A Cry for Justice” is taken in by this guy.

        I don’t know if you were taken in by this guy, but if you were, this knowledge may be a means for you to cut yourself and Jim Wilson some slack. Even if Jim was truely wrong on some points. I have no idea.

        I can distinguish between unity and uniformity.

        I hope my comments help all of the church achieve unity.

        Thanks and Salt. JFS

        Dash, if you ever meet Lundy Bancroft in a dark alley… Hmmm, what would you do?

      2. I don’t think anyone one I am close to would have just walked by without doing something, whether in the CREC or outside of it.

      3. Dash – Go ahead and toot your own horn. If only more people did the same as you when women, children, and yes, men, are being abused. One of the things that abuse victims often say hurts most is the number of people who knew about the abuse but did nothing.

  5. Abuse of power. Have you ever heard a sermon about this? Prime example is King David with Bathsheba. Interesting that it is necessary to portray Bathsheba as a seductress. She was on the roof doing ceremonial washings. That’s seductive? Her dad and husband were military men away at war. The king was not at war. Why not? The assumption would be that the king was at war with his army.

    Like I said, no sermons on the abuse of power. A lot of need somehow to portray women as seductive.

    1. Insomuch as that is rhetorical or not-rhetorical, I am erring on the side of caution here. If you’re honestly looking into it as someone who wants to change abusive behavior, contact me privately.

  6. @ Heather–
    ‘Katie,
    The reason I started with questions – How long did you attend Christ Church? How long did you attend any CREC church? Are you currently a professing Christian – is that I belive they are relevant to your abillity to fairly judge this community with regards to how it handles abuse or any other issue.’

    This sounds very much like rhetorical questions…and with all due respect, comes across as rather insulting. Those questions are NOT relevant to this specific situation of Katie’s. Katie has detailed HER (and Natalie’s) experience, with apparent proof to verify. Is she and her experience less important because she did not attend your church or live there long enough or at all? That is how your response comes across. Others involved have not offered proof or responded to accusations with clear answers–in fact the whole debate on your FIL’s blog about beautiful women and then your SIL’s posts about feminism came off as deliberate aversions to the abuse issues…Honestly, all anyone outside the small circle of loyal Wilson followers is asking for is CLEAR ANSWERS and a SINCERE AND HUMBLE APOLOGY & acknowledgement of wrongdoing…the only ‘apology’ that I have seen was from your FIL about his ineptness in tech abilities. Very unkind, and flippant–NOT clever at all! and frankly NOT pastoral considering that families and marriages and PEOPLE have FALLEN APART. Both your MIL and FIL for DECADES (and your FIL’s father) have written extensively about true repentance and humility, asking forgiveness, etc…Is that ONLY for those who offend the collective YOU?

    Also, I say this as respectfully as I can (and must admit that I am a sinful creature and I am feeling disheartened and angered and I do not have clear objectivity–disappointed and saddened by people that I have read and looked to for biblical teaching for DECADES –I am realizing may well be just like those in the same camp as other ‘fallen leaders’–self promoting and unwilling to admit they are wrong and some, maybe not even sincere believers…but rather Pharisees) but THE REASON THIS IS ABOUT A MUCH WIDER AUDIENCE than your specific churches or denomination is because your FIL has made it so! He has a very public and controversial blog and ‘ministry’…he has an ‘Ask Doug’ video
    ‘show’!!!!! Really!!!?? HE has all the answers!!!!?? Forgive me if I am wrong, but it appears he has promoted HIMSELF and people have moved there to help sustain his ‘ministry’ (business)

    I apologize–I am off topic and I sincerely do not want to be unkind. I do not want to personally attack anyone–but it is very hard to separate an individual from their public personality–I am just trying to voice what those of us who are being called an ‘internet mob’ and
    ‘Intoleristas’ are thinking and feeling.

    We were AWESOME when we were reading your blogs and posting Thank-You comments, buying Wilson literature, starting Classical Christian schools and sending our kids there for college–but now that we have sincere concerns we are intolerable and uninformed.

    1. Do not apologize for your anger. You are finding and using your voice to articulate you reasonable anger at an unreasonable and unchristian system. Your anger is appropriate and in no way nullifies your concerns and questions.

      Your concerns and questions deserve better answers than what DW and Co. have given so far.
      They have no right to use your anger as a reason to not give real answers. Doing so is just an attempt to deflect away from the elephant in the room.
      They need to stop vilifying everyone else and deal with their stinking elephant

      1. Katie, the thing is perpetually confusing to me is that I I know you are smart. I know you are fun I enjoy your company. And yet I have so much trouble reconciling the fact that someone I respect (you) has come to very different conclusions than I have. Christ Church, Doug Wilson, have been huge blessings to me. I have come to him and Nancy in times of deep spiritual agony and found deep comfort. And I was no cookie-cutter Christian either.
        I wanted to meet with you in person, but you’ve been out of the country –I know you’re back now, so maybe we still can when you visit Moscow.

      2. Hi Lauren,

        I don’t doubt that your experience with the Wilsons is good and that they helped you, and I’m sure many people would say the same. I believe them. But I also believe the people who say that they have experienced injustice in the way the church handles abuse… or, I should say, I believe them after verifying their words. Their experience doesn’t have to be false for yours to be true. Yours doesn’t have to be false for theirs to be true. Do you see what I mean? One person can make both good, helpful decisions and bad, destructive decisions in a position of authority. In fact, this happens all the time (I’m sure you can relate as a parent, to some degree). And I would love to hang out again!

    2. Wow, wow, WOW!! Thank you for this, Mary. This is perfectly said. You took the time to say what many MANY of us wish we could say so eloquently and heck, you put in the time to say it too.

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