If anyone says he does what is right, remember that the test of this is not how loudly he claims it, or how many followers he has; how much praise, but his ability to do good transparently and consistently, even to his enemies.
I was recently reminded of a C.S. Lewis quote from The Last Battle, where Aslan, speaking to Emeth, says “because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him [Tash, the demon-god]. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted… For all find what they truly seek.”
I read this as a paraphrase of something Jesus said, specifically that the measure of a Christian is someone who loves God and loves his neighbor as himself. The two are alike, and in this lies all the laws and the prophets. The Bible can be, and has been, used as excuse to commit heinous acts such as the Spanish Inquisition and mass genocide, so backing up an action with a glib “the Bible says this” does not make the action good or even Christian (according to Jesus, anyway: “you have heard it said, an eye for an eye, but I say unto you…” and “If anyone says he loves God, but hates his brother…” and “I was naked and you did not clothe me”)
So with this in mind, let’s look at a few things Doug Wilson wrote about how to “pray” for enemies (remember, those people Jesus specifically said to bless?) and notice that Doug wants even the children of his “enemies” to be blotted out, orphaned and shown no mercy (how very pro-life of him). And then consider if Doug perhaps would act to his “enemies” in accordance with his own prayers, by committing extortion against them, by blotting out their children. For all find what they truly seek.
And keep in mind, the “enemies” Doug prays these things about may be former congregants (such as my ex-husband). In fact, I’m guessing that Doug has prayed these things about me, given that I’ve publicly critiqued him. If not me, most likely others who have recently critiqued him, such as Natalie and other former congregants of his. Doug’s imprecatory prayers are not limited to official church prayers either, as I discovered many years ago during a private Christ Church Bible study.
Here, for your consideration, the window into Doug’s prayer life: “Let Satan be continually at their right hand, accusing them… When they cry out to You, let their prayers be reckoned as sinful. When they pray to You, let the ceiling above them remain silent. Cut short their days.”
“Add iniquity to their iniquity; make a great heap of their sins. Do not let them enter into Your righteousness. Blot them out of the book of the living. Do not record their names alongside the names of the righteous.”
“Let their children be orphaned, cut off without a father. Let their wives be widows, and we pray that their children would be desolate, having to beg their bread in empty places. We pray that the extortioner would come back at them, catching them in their plots, and taking all that they have. May strangers and aliens pillage them and leave them with nothing. We pray that when this happens, and Your hand is evident, that no one would show mercy, and that no kindness would be extended to his fatherless children. Cut off his posterity; may his name and his line come to nothing. Recall how sinful his father was, and call up again the sins of his mother. May their sins come before Your throne continually so that their name may be blotted out, and remembered on the earth no more.”
When I consider that these words, or similar ones, may be directed at me and my family through Doug, I have to conclude that the deity Doug is invoking with these words is a malevolent one, created in Doug’s own image. And as such, I do not believe his prayers will be answered. When you toy with malevolent deities, you bring destruction upon yourself, draw your power from the sickening rot of anguish. And this, more than anything, makes me very sad for the man.
58 thoughts on “Serving Tash”
I’m not sad for Doug Wilson, any more than I’m sad for John Wayne Gacy or Richard Kuklinski or Albert Fish or Ted Bundy or H.H. Holmes.
And to those who would protest that I exaggerate, those are apt comparisons. A man who drives numerous others to such complete ruin that the remainder of their life is a fate worse than death is as bad as a serial killer, and in many respects far worse. He is the devil himself. He is evil incarnate.
Also, I sure hope that Doug is praying imprecatory prayers at me, and by God I mean it. I feed on negative energy and hate like lamprey feeds on game fish.
I am *ecstatic* at the thought that Doug Wilson might be praying that psychotic shit in my direction, because I have absolutely nothing to lose and there is nothing of substance a blowhard nitwit like Doug Wilson can threaten me with that has any meaning or substance. I already live far worse and unspeakable things upon myself voluntarily on a daily basis. He better pray all of that and a thousand times worse at me, because when you threaten people who have nothing to lose you swim in very dark and dangerous water indeed.
Hey, Dash, reading your comments here/there on this issue, ISTM that love is driving your rage. I beg you to keep the terrible anger turned outward, and hold that small quiet spot inside of you where love can stay safe.
I so so so much don’t want a kind and truth-valuing person like yourself to self-annihilate in some quixotic drive to trump violence.
Look at what Natalie Greenfield has been through, and is still going through.
Now, think about all of Steven Sitler’s victims. Think about the lengths to which Doug Wilson has gone to shut those families up. Take Natalie’s story and multiply it by 10, or 20, or 30. Most of those kids are going to grow up and try to kill themselves. Some of them will succeed.
Fuck Doug Wilson with a lead pipe. God damn that piece of shit motherfucker.
Yes, you are completely correct, Dash. I am not put off by your vitriolic comments. They are honest imprecatory prayers, genuine articles.
I recognize myself when you write about self-hate and being violent against yourself. (I was sexually/physically abused by pastor-father.) We have been treated as if we are garbage, but I don’t want you to act in agreement with those opinions, that’s all.
We are amazing and precious—we really are–I want you to see that, not only for others, but also for your own self.
I wish you the best and to keep the rage where it belongs, on the a**holes.
Psalm 57New Living Translation (NLT)
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High,[b]
to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
disgracing those who hound me.
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.
I am surrounded by fierce lions
who greedily devour human prey—
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
and whose tongues cut like swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
May your glory shine over all the earth.
My enemies have set a trap for me.
I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
but they themselves have fallen into it.
Gracious! Reading those lines fave the mental image of a Voldermort-like robed figure in the middle of a circle of similarly robed death eaters. You’re saying these were offered by a minister of the Gospel who has prayed them in a congregational gathering? Written them down?
Sounds more like a frustrated prophet of Old Testament times. one for whom the Nazarene’s commend to “do good to those who hate you” and “bless those who curse you” would be new news.
Yes, if you follow the link, you’ll see a lengthy sampling of Doug’s imprecatory prayers, offered up by himself. His church (and various Bible studies, some of which I’ve attended) invokes these kinds of prayers out loud also.
Wow, excellent analogy, well written and very sad.
As Jesus said on the cross regarding those whom He allowed to nail Him up there, “Forgive them for know not what they do.”
The whole human race is broken, some just more than others.
Here is a link to a powerful sermon on imprecatory prayers from one of the greatest preachers the church has ever known, St. Chrysostom The Golden Mouth.
Dash, I know you’ve been through a lot, but you’re getting me a little concerned for you here, dude. I truly hope you’re okay and getting any help you need.
I’m fine. I’m angry and I’m tired of pretending like I’m not.
Several years ago, I co-hosted a weekly two hour radio program on “Radio Free Moscow”, an unpretentious little very low wattage community station that is still plugging away. My co-host and I devoted a large portion of those weekly two hours targeting Doug Wilson and his outrageous behavior, and the broadsides against him only increased after his writing that Moscow, to him, was nothing more than a “strategic, feasible location” for establishing a Wilsonian theocracy. While the Great Man himself may well not have listened to our little program, I’m sure that he was aware of it, and perhaps even heard from some of his followers what was said about him. Because of that, I would not be at all surprised if I, and my radio co-host, made his “enemies” list, and were, and perhaps are still, among those targeted with his imprecatory prayers. Somehow the thought of that is of no concern, it merely evokes in my mind some very strange and oddly humorous imagery of him invoking his voodoo spells. Have at it, “Pastor” Wilson. Have at it.
Thanks for this. Your invocation of Aslan and Tash reminded me of something a friend of mine who goes by Gov Pappy said on twitter: “Just reading through this, Douglas Wilson is John Withers from CS Lewis’ That Hideous Strength. Talks just like him.” “Seriously, DW is a CS Lewis villain.”
Katie: “When you toy with malevolent deities, you bring destruction upon yourself, draw your power from the sickening rot of anguish. And this, more than anything, makes me very sad for the man.”
The imprecatory reality of hate, in which one wreaks one’s own destruction and draws distant pity from observers.
There is one aspect to imprecatory prayers that I appreciate—the forward-looking satisfaction of justice served. Justice doesn’t erase wrongs but makes a marvelous antiseptic.
Thanks for all your excellent writings on this subject, Katie.
“Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, So a curse without cause does not alight.” Prov 26:2
“If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear” Psalms 66:18
God isn’t listening to, regarding, and certainly not answering Doug’s imprecatory prayers.
First, to Dash: Your expression is clear rage expressed and so can be let go to some extent, except that we know DW is still at work, tirelessly plugging away at his agenda. Never forget what a harmed man he is, Dash, and how his harm is codified using scripture to say what he wants to have said, not what was perhaps intended in the writing. The Old Testament vitriol is what feeds Doug’s harmed self and so the begging at God to torture others is just the medicine he needs. Your being openly angry because you need express how horrible this man can be, is helpful to others who are frozen in their expression…. You help free others to openly feel what is a sensitive human response to the harm this man strews all around as he brings us his corrected gospel with a bite. Abused people sometimes forget how to be open with their feelings but your anger shouted out demonstrates human compassion for the victims of this bully. We do not need to stop Doug Wilson… we need to reveal him and you help with that goal.
Thank-you, Katie for another well-expressed note on DW…. so clearly, simply expressed, and wow, that a man in 2016 can use such Old Testament revenge in his ‘love’…. Holy shit, is all I can say in response to the gospel of DW.
A definition: “These “imprecatory psalms” are prayer songs so designated because of their particularly vigorous attitude toward the enemy. The verb “imprecate” means “to pray evil against” or “to invoke curse upon” another, hence the name for these prayers.”
Matthew 23 The Message (MSG)
33-34 “Snakes! Reptilian sneaks! Do you think you can worm your way out of this? Never have to pay the piper? It’s on account of people like you that I send prophets and wise guides and scholars generation after generation—and generation after generation you treat them like dirt, greeting them with lynch mobs, hounding them with abuse.
35-36 “You can’t squirm out of this: Every drop of righteous blood ever spilled on this earth, beginning with the blood of that good man Abel right down to the blood of Zechariah, Barachiah’s son, whom you murdered at his prayers, is on your head. All this, I’m telling you, is coming down on you, on your generation.
37-39 “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me. And now you’re so desolate, nothing but a ghost town. What is there left to say? Only this: I’m out of here soon. The next time you see me you’ll say, ‘Oh, God has blessed him! He’s come, bringing God’s rule!’”
Well, looks like that Jesus can be imprecatory Himself at times. Must be some Love, Grace and Truth in there somewhere, right?
Me? I typically don’t go imprecatory. But anyway Katie, you don’t have to offer speculations about my prayers for you, or Doug Wilson. They typically go something like this:
“God, be with Katie, Doug, the Greenfields and even Dash. I don’t know what they need. You do. Help them all to do the right thing. Bring them all whatever healing they need. Help us all to see darkness and its’ damage fall, and Your goodness rise up.”
jfs, the examples you give fall in the category of pointing out that you reap what you sow, rather then wishing that horrible things befall those who didn’t listen.
Howl, This blurb from the link to the Bible Gateway commentary, I think gives a fuller understanding of correct imprecatory speech, than has been mentioned so far.
Also, Acts 7, where Stephen is stoned by the Sanhedrin, and Paul is one of their coat holders, is a good example of godly imprecatory speech, and forgiveness, both in the same “conversation”.
“…..The Christian reader must begin by accepting these prayers as they are, by and large the cries of God’s people for vengeance for unspeakable atrocities against them as God’s people and those places sacred to them and to him. The best reading will refrain from spiritualizing the enemy or the petitions or the blessings thereby diminishing the depth of the agony felt and the vehemence of the action sought.
The disciple of Jesus must also realize that any disquiet he or she feels in reading these prayers is due to the redeeming influence of the Lord and his apostles, not to any particular moral sensitivity naturally possessed by the “enlightened” reader. Contemporary readers would have no problem, were it not “given” them by the same Scripture that preserves both these poems and the teachings that call them into question. This sensitivity surely does not rise out of pure Enlightenment refinement or “modern maturity.” Secular humanism can never on its own support values sufficient to impugn these prayers. Thus one will do well to refrain from patronizing or moralizing approaches to these works……” link below:
When Christ was on the Cross, His prayer was “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Paul called himself–not those around him–“the worst of sinners.”
In prayer, the Pharisee praised his own righteousness; the Publican begged God’s mercy and called himself a sinner…and went away justified.
St. Nikolai Velimirovich faced Nazism and was interred at Dachau…but his Prayer for Enemies is an abyss apart from what is presented in this post.
So who are we going to learn from? Christ, St. Paul, the Publican and St. Nikolai? or Wilson?
He said more than one thing, and His Word and Spirit are still with us.
Show me where He taught us to pray imprecatory prayers.
Read the Lord’s Prayer. This is what He taught us to pray when asked directly.
Jesus prayed this one when he was being crucified:
And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.[b]
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.[c]
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help…….
It goes to 31 verses. You and I will probably never be in a situation where we would have to pray this one.
I at least, am not holy.
JFS, as a somewhat more than interested observer (since I live in the same town as Mr. Wilson, and, I have no doubt, fall into his “intolerista” category), if imprecatory prayer is legitimate, how does Mr. Wilson determine who deserves to be the, uh, object of his imprecatory prayer? Where is the line crossed where someone becomes one of his “enemies”?
What kind of power does Wilson have over his congregation??? I can’t imagine how many children who attend will totally reject Jesus when they get older. Once they get away from home they will be very confused to see the God of Wilson is toxic and irrelevant to most everything except as a path to isolation and depression.
I can’t imagine anyone under him can hear the voice of God with all Wilson’s pontificating!
There are an inordinate number of people who leave Wilson’s church in great pain. Those who stay overlook this in favor of the good Wilson has done them personally; he could not have survived as a pastor if he hadn’t helped some people.
Do you have any idea what the numbers are? Just curious.
I don’t think Doug has “helped” anyone in the usual sense of the word. I think Doug gets dirt on people, helps them to cover it up, secures their undying gratitude, and then holds it over their head until their autonomy is utterly destroyed or until they break, whichever comes first.
I do know people who sincerely appear to believe Doug has helped them. I feel the need to say it because otherwise they think I’m lying about the bad stuff.
I know people who still love their biological parents even though those parents beat the shit out of them. I’m one of those people. The fact that it exists doesn’t make it a rational impulse.
He’s a psychopath.
Thank you, Katie.
Hey there, Dash,
I, too, am a survivor of sexual abuse/assault. I grieve over what you’ve been through. Feeling anger — though often horribly, gut-wrenchingly raw and painful (at least it has been for me) — is such a necessary part of healing. It is right and it is righteous and it is justifiable.
Can I please ask you just one thing? That as you express your very real and very justifiable anger, that you not publicly on this blog threaten anyone with rape (the lead pipe reference)? I’ve wrestled all day with how to request this of you because I haven’t wanted in any way to invalidate your anger or your need to express it. I never, ever want to invalidate your pain or undermine your anger, or that of any survivor’s. Mine is simply a request made so that this space — which has thus far been very safe for me, a survivor — can be free of threats of sexual violence toward others, no matter how heinous their actions.
The phrase “Fuck Doug Wilson with a lead pipe” is invective. Invective is not illegal and in this case does not qualify as threatening speech. If you’re here on Doug’s behalf, you’re not covering your tracks very well.
Dash, Sara’s comment is legit. She’s a survivor and doesn’t like to think of the imagery conveyed, and regardless of whether it’s a real threat (she’s not saying it is, nor do I think so) she’s triggered by your choice of words. Please consider what she’s saying, not because she’s pro-Wilson (she’s not) but because she’s been reading here as a survivor and wants to feel as if this is a safe space. Your anger is valid and your expressions are pithy; cathartic, I hope. But just consider what she’s saying. If you want to vent with invective verve, maybe keep the rape imagery out of it?
In the future, I shall endeavor my level best not to use triggering phrases when attempting to articulate my infuriation with people who practice malevolent abuse.
However I make no apologies for anything I’ve said to date and you may judge me as you will. I make no claim to be a good person; in fact, I’m one of the worst people you will ever meet. If you think anything I’ve said up to this point is offensive, you only need to try and imagine all the things I *haven’t* said which I’d like to say, or for that matter, all the things I haven’t done that I can hardly restrain myself from doing for incoherent rage. We’d all be better off id I was a dead man, frankly, and I mean it.
Excuse me, I’m going to go eat dinner and go to bed. In the morning I have to get up and go out and try to pretend like I mean well, and it’s exhausting.
invective (plural invectives)
1.An expression which inveighs or rails against a person.
2.A severe or violent censure or reproach.
3.Something spoken or written, intended to cast shame, disgrace, censure, or reproach on another.
4.A harsh or reproachful accusation.
JFS, for some reason WordPress does not let met respond to your comment responding to my question.
Your last sentence is a statement of truth about both of us.
You still have not answered the question I asked. Psalm 22 is not an imprecatory prayer along the lines of Wilson’s.
Bible Gateway has one interpretation of Psalm 22. Many early Christian writers have a different interpretation, which is calling for help against those who are truly our enemies–not other people but the devil and his followers.
Pajo, don’t misunderstand . There is a place for imprecatory words. Whether you, I or Wilson use them properly is another question. In Acts 7:51-60 Stephen speaks in the imprecatory , and offers forgiveness as he is being stoned. In Revelation 2:18-29, Jesus Himself speaks in the imprecatory to the church at Thyatira.
Stephen is neither cursing nor judging those who stone him, nor does he ask God to judge or curse them. Stephen tells his murderers what they have done, and his dying words are asking God to forgive his murderers.
Jesus speaking to Thyatira speaks against the sins of the people–not against the people–and tells them that if they persist in sin, they will die. Eden replayed. But He does not call a curse on them, but instead promises that if they turn themselves around, they will be blessed. And Jesus is the Righteous Judge, anyway–so if we wish to mimic Him, first we have to be righteous before we can judge that others are worthy of a curse from God. And *nowhere* in the Scriptures does Christ tell us to pray as Wilson prays. Nowhere.
There are times for imprecatory prayer, but mostly, these are prayers related to our own sin and to the temptations and demons we fight.
If we can’t see the difference between the prayers of Jesus Christ (both how He prayed and how He taught us to pray), Stephen, Paul, and St. Nikolai Velimirovic and the imprecatory prayers of Doug Wilson, that’s a pretty big problem. And not for Doug Wilson, but for us.
CNW, I have a few thoughts on this:
First, since you live in the same town, you could always email Wilson or call him and ask him your self.
Next, God presumably speaks, determines, inspires or accepts righteous imprecatory prayer, psalms and speech and does not accept unrighteous imprecatory speech.
This I gather from reading the Word in instances when imprecatory speech happens. Working from NT to OT, In Revelation 2:20-23, The Risen Lord Jesus says this imprecatory about a woman named Jezebel:
“20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.”
2 Samuel 12 is where the Lord speaks imprecatory through Nathan against King David, because David went “lounge lizard” for a while: (read the whole chapter!)
10 Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.”
11 ‘This is what the Lord says: “Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.”’ 13 Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Nathan replied, ‘The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for[a]the Lord, the son born to you will die.’
Ruh-roh again! All that imprecatory stuff happened to David, and God still had mercy on David, and David was repentant.
Katie says: “and notice that Doug wants even the children of his “enemies” to be blotted out, orphaned and shown no mercy (how very pro-life of him).”
What does the Word say? Sounds like God is deadly serious about our sins. This sometimes motivates me to avoid committing them.
Like everyone else here, and also Doug Wilson, my success in avoiding sin has been uneven. ‘Hope we are all praying for each other, at least as much as we blog!
Doug’s enemies are the victims of pedophiles who won’t shut the heck up about Doug’s tragic mishandling of the situations and Doug’s sins against and further abuse of the victims and their families.
Doug’s enemies are the people who refuse to agree with his high view of himself and who refuse to get inline with the warped religious system he has built. It is a warped system that is a mockery of Christianity, far and away from anything Christlike.
Comparing Doug imprecatory prayers against his ‘enemies’ (i.e. unsubmissive peons who dare to question the Great and Mighty Oz) to the imprecatory prayers in the Bible only heightens how staggeringly arrogant and sinful Doug Wilson truly is, even when he prays. (where angels fear to tread, anyone?)
You are not improving my view of Doug Wilson or my view of your understanding of the situation by spouting off so many scriptures. Nor are you proving that you know how to handle the Scriptures, able to rightly divide the Word of Truth.
Mara sums up my feelings nicely. JFS, I have nothing to be “repentant” for regarding Doug Wilson. I resist his stated wish (as he sees my family’s hometown of 133 years as nothing more than a “strategic, feasible” location) to set up “Wilsonville” in the town I love, and where my roots are deep. I resist his mocking of elements of my hometown that I hold dear, and that have made, and continue to make, Moscow a wonderful town despite his efforts to bend it to his worldview. For this I need to “repent”? I think not.
JFS, I think our discomfort with Wilson’s imprecatory prayers are because they are illegitimate, and because Christians have a tendency to avoid anger as if it is sin.
A victim eventually gathers enough energy to respond to severe abuse, and that will show up as justified anger, including a need to see justice done. When support is not obtained for the victim, and when justice is not done, imprecations happen.
See for eg, Dash who, as I see it, is in a lengthy bout of Imprecatory prayer.
But Doug Wilson’s imprecations are grossly off-base. He’s not been damaged to the core of his being by others. Nor has he been left in a garbage dump, everything lost to him, as was Job. The only hurt he is suffering is a scrape to his overblown ego.
The proper response to that would be the silence of humility and self-correction. That Wilson thinks he is near-to-dying and seeks continual verbal revenge (not justice) shows the extent of his spiritual poverty.
Well gang, I guess it is to be expected that separate thoughts conflate in blogs and blog comments.
My previous reference to the Word was to answer CNW’s and Pajo’s question: “if imprecatory prayer is legitimate, how does Mr. Wilson determine who deserves to be the, uh, object of his imprecatory prayer? Where is the line crossed where someone becomes one of his “enemies”?”
My answer was twofold, 1. Imprecatory words are legitimate, when spoken by God, or inspired by God. 2. Neither Wilson or anyone else, by themselves, determines when that “line” is crossed, God does.
I did not offer an opinion on whether or not Wilson’s 10 year old example of an imprecatory prayer was legitimate, I don’t know. Some here have implied that imprecatory words are never appropriate. I don’t know if Wilson or anyone else has uttered anything inprecatroy to anyone else on this blog, as has been implied. I know I have not.
The thing I do find ironic about this particular dialogue is, like the old expression “the pot calling the kettle black”, here we have “the invective calling the imprecatory black”! And this by people who say Jesus only allows for people to bless and not curse their enemies.
To that end, what “blessings” can folks here, offer to their enemy, Doug Wilson? Everyone here seems to have agreed that “bleep Doug Wilson” is invective, not blessing. “Bleep Doug Wilson” does not count as a blessing in general. Pejorative comments could be a blessing, but to agree with Patrice, Christians in general are not well versed in expressing or receiving appropriate righteous anger, or properly giving or receiving legitimate rebuke. Hence, the expression of typical blessings would be safer.
CNW, I said nothing about your need to repent of anything between you and Doug Wilson. I do wonder if that is your conscience stirring? The principle I was expressing is that we all have things to repent of, as individuals, between ourselves and God. I have a hard time admitting what my sins are, never mind knowing the sins of someone I know nothing about and have never met. (so let’s refrain from trying to point each others out! ; – )
Mara, while you may not agree, I think the expression of your thoughts would be more compelling if they were supported in part by the Word, rather than entirely by your own opinion.
Patrice, considering our previous exchanges, your last comment might be the beginning of a more productive exchange. Thank you.
One last thought, do we really know, to any great extent, what damage other people have suffered?
King David, for instance suffered as both an innocent casualty and as a guilty perpetrator. Both kinds of suffering are painful.
I think all human beings are like that, suffering sometimes as an innocent, and other times as the guilty. Even Doug Wilson.
JFS, yeah we often don’t know of others’ sufferings. And suffering has various sources: self-inflicted, circumstantial, the result of evil action by others. Imprecatory prayers are for the latter, yes? Imprecations towards self or God are pointless. Imprecatory prayer isn’t legitimized by the amount of pain but emerges from unaddressed injustice. It is specific and has a shelf-life.
So let’s say, as an hypothetical, that a guy named Doug had been sexually abused by a family member when a child, and it was never addressed.
We, the public, don’t know this about hypothetical Doug, who grew up to become a religious speaker/writer. We see strange rage and cruelties, an obsession with sex and power, and a willy-nilly calling-down of God’s wrath as if he were God’s own Prime-Enforcer.
Our hypothetical Doug has taken up the mantle of an abuser and has spread damage across the social fabric. He is responsible for what he does. Imprecations will occur against him because of the injustices that he dished and left unaddressed.
Imprecations are different than rebukes.
The greatest blessing I can give Douglas Wilson is that he be confronted with himself, as in a mirror, seeing clearly, finally, who he was created to be, and who he has become.
thanks for linking the blog post.
that made it possible for me to find these bits:
“You have taught us, called us, summoned us, to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, to rejoice when we are mistreated by them, and to return good for evil. We are not to return evil for evil, but rather to overcome evil with good. We accept this and rejoice in it. We know and understand that this is based on Your holy character and example—You give rain and sunlight to the righteous and unrighteous both—and that this is therefore Your standard of holiness for us, and we gladly submit to it. We therefore seek the grace to continue to love our enemies, asking You to save them. Not only would we be saved from their treachery and lies, but we ask that You would save them from their treachery and lies.
In praying this way, we ask that we would be able to distinguish sharply between those who are our personal enemies, and those who are our enemies for Your name’s sake. We pray that we would extend nothing but wholehearted grace to the former, and that we would commit the terrors of strict justice, with regard to the latter, entirely and only to You.”
“Father, we pray that You would deal with this situation. If it is Your good pleasure to deal with it through saving them, then that is what we would by far prefer, and it is what we ask for. But if it is not Your good pleasure to save them, we ask that You would cut them off in their course of sinning regardless, and that You would not allow their iniquity to come to its full measure.”
I guess I’m wondering why you didn’t quote those sections; your own post might have been stronger if you’d done more to address the fullest expression of Doug’s perspective on this. Whether he’s being disingenuous there or failing to live that out with integrity seems like a separate issue than the one you appear to address.
I see those statements as ways for Doug to claim he’s not actually saying what he’s clearly saying. It’s a strong pattern with him, also, the more I study the way he communicates. It ties in well with linguistic theory on threats, also.
K’, I took a look at “the linguistic theory of threats”, it was sort of interesting, and came under the heading of “politeness theory”.
I also looked at “carrot and stick” theory, which was interesting as well! ; – )
The promise that God will reward us for being faithfull, (carrot) or allow us to be caught in our own snares (stick) if we are not faithfull, is motivating, to me at least!
Think of this comment as a “carrot”, it is not intended to be a “stick”! ; – )
JFS, I’ll let you have the last word as regards my participation, it’s time to turn my attention to March Madness. Go, Vandals! But, regarding my conscience, I have many things I regret having done in my 65 years, but no guilty conscience whatsoever in this case. Peace and Cheers. Did I mention Go, Vandals?
Bless you! And the Vandals CNW!
(No imprecatory implied! 😉
Jfs: “Mara, while you may not agree, I think the expression of your thoughts would be more compelling if they were supported in part by the Word, rather than entirely by your own opinion.”
As you can imagine, I don’t agree.
I will admit that my communication doesn’t need the extra adjectives and adverbs (Just as Wilson and Piper don’t need nearly so many.) But the facts I state stand on their own merit. Facts are facts and don’t need Bible verses to make them compelling.
Also, it is YOUR opinion that my communication is not so very compelling.
You may find it surprising that my responses to you are written more for others to read and consider than for youself.
If I can persuade you of anything, great. But I go into these kinds of conversations knowing that most of those I address directly already have their minds made up. They don’t want to be confused by any facts brought to the table.
“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”
― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
yah, yah, I know it’s so 2003, but couldn’t resist.
That was for Mara, but now for Dash as well.
March 10 at 6:59, JFS said:
Where is the line crossed where someone becomes one of his “enemies”?”
My answer was twofold, 1. Imprecatory words are legitimate, when spoken by God, or inspired by God. 2. Neither Wilson or anyone else, by themselves, determines when that “line” is crossed, God does.
Well, I have to disagree. I used to share this view but have had to let it go up in the smoke it is…
When a young woman is taken into a church office and queried specifically about her sex acts, what they were, oral or what, then I do not need any Authority to tell me it is wrong. Patriarchal Christianity holds a deep disdain for personal boundaries that I would suggest are basic for health and safety. A preacher who strays into personal business only does so to please himself. It has no bearing on the health of the victim. The line is crossed.
When a pastor uses his authority in a church to control others (using God or not-God) he no longer deserves the title, pastor.
In my human opinion, I feel very strongly that the man we speak of here, is not a healthy human who should be in a position of power where he is content to abuse others. This is DW’s Christianity at work and it appears to me to be abusive and lacking in decency and respect, full and overflowing with scriptures.
But then JFS appears to be saying, well, you are like DW. Look at how you speak of him! God will judge and only God knows when the line is crossed and judge not lest….
This kind of talk is part of the reason abuse flourishes among the patriarchal Christians: They hog-tie their own conscious feelings and trust the Authority. They decide who is worthy and who is outside the blessing. Communion is for the team. Get on the team. NOt on the team, then THAT is your problem. Rape and abuse are secondary matters and it wasn’t really rape anyway. It was a relationship!
You can get endlessly scriptural about these matters until it all goes blurry and nobody can do anything anymore but drink the kool-aid when the pastor decides it is time. Not for me, JFS. Count me out. I am a simple human being, a retirement age son of a Baptist preacher, my family full of preachers and missionaries so I know the ropes. I cannot believe in such a God as the one DW invokes in imprecatory prayer to bring salvation, suffering or whatever. It is the result of patriarchal Christianity that I was freed from belief (so I am grateful to the DW’s of the world for that! We can always find something to be grateful for…)
I deeply respect the young woman who after much abuse, stood up and said, No! I will not be demeaned and cajoled. I will not be refused my communion with the God I choose or not. I will go on and speak freely, speak as I am able, with what is left to me.
Were you aware that this preacher invited Natalie Greenwood back to attend the church where her abuser was welcomed back? But that she would have to be refused communion for a time? How sick can sick get is an question yet to be answered at Christ Church in Moscow.
(For those wishing to see Natalie Greenwood’s recent presentation at the local university, it is on her blog site.)
If you have been on the inside of one of these false churches, you recognize these kind of ‘prayers’ for what they are – they are threats. They are used to silence the lambs, who have no desire to have such terrible things happen to them. By ‘praying’ in such a manner, Wilson controls and manipulates his followers, and they never even recognize consciously what is happening. This is the exact same method that was used by the false teachers in Jesus’ day, and one of the many reasons he so soundly condemned them. The Pharisees were not about teaching God’s love, or meeting the genuine needs of suffering people – they were about hoarding wealth, power and control for themselves. Reformed Theology, a.k.a. ‘Calvinism’ is a huge and dangerous cult, initially established by a megalomaniac very similar to Doug Wilson. Calvin not only had a Messiah complex, but power of the sword, and the opportunity to permanently eliminate his dissenters, which he freely did. Calling them ‘heretics’, Calvin most likely prayed the exact same ‘prayers’ that Wilson prays before commanding the pyres to be lit. Make no mistake, any theology that portrays God as hateful, exclusive and desiring the death of any man is false. The true God went to the greatest lengths possible to reveal his love and offer life to all men. Do not believe any false teacher that corrupts this genuine love into a cultish particularism that separates ‘the chosen ones’ from the ‘pagans’. We are all pagans, and God loves each one of us, and desires to enjoy an eternal loving relationship with the creatures he made in his image. That is the message of the true church, and it is upon this rock that the true kingdom of God will be built. All other cornerstones, of all other ‘kirks’, will crumble along with the false fiefdoms built upon them.