A Letter from Doug Wilson to the Saints of Christ Church and Trinity Reformed Church

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All communications are best understood within the cultural context of the writer and of those to whom the letter is directed.  It may be difficult for those outside the Kirk, or those unfamiliar with Doug Wilson's writings, to sense the undercurrents present in this communication.  We are familiar with Doug Wilson's writings and we do understand what he (and the elders) are intending to convey in this message. 

It is important to note that the intent of the letter underscores the notion that because Doug Wilson and Doug Wilson alone (with the notable exception of Paul Kimmell) is the cause of 99% percent of the difficulties between the community and Christ Church it is in Doug Wilsonís best interests to spread responsibility for his failings among the membership.  Few male church members (and none of the women) have a significant part in leadership decisions or actions.  The faithfulness of the rank and file is demonstrated by cheerful, unquestioning obedience to the decisions made by Doug Wilson, and endorsed by the elders.  In many ways it is as though the Reformation is wiped from their collective memory. They have simply traded the authoritarian hierarchy of one church for another.

Doug Wilson's praise for the cheerfulness of the congregation reinforces his need to control and dictate their emotional response to him.  However, Doug Wilson pulls no punches about what those who do have complaints can expect.  No one in the church believes for a moment that the "Fellowship of the Grievance" was an affectionate nickname. It was intended to be pointed and hurtful. The acronym FOG was Doug's response to membership criticisms ranging from concerns about Doug Wilson's sarcasm, to Doug's book on slavery..  Much like the label "Intolerista" or more recently, "The Coalition of the Fevered Brow" (CoFB) Doug believes if he names it, he owns it. 

The problem with seeking what Doug defines as the "biblical way" to faithfully address concerns is the price one can expect to pay.  In a secular setting if we are unhappy with our working conditions or the boss's personality and behavior it is not likely that we would make an appointment with him/her to point these problems out.  If we did so, we probably wouldn't expect a grateful thank you, a nice raise, or a promotion.  Neither do the members of Christ Church Christ Church is not an two hour commitment on Sunday.  It is an all encompassing entity, a covenant of like-minded saints, socially, spiritually and often economically dependent on each other. The carefully directed social isolation, particularly of the women, underscores the futility of bringing forward troubling examples of pastoral failure. Therefore, the plain message of the last two paragraphs of the letter is this:  if you continue to publicly disagree with us, you are no different than the sinful humanists in Moscow, and you will be ex-communicated.  Those of us outside the Kirk would probably shrug our shoulders and say "so what." 

Here's the so what. Suppose you believe that children should receive a Christian education consequently, your kids attend Logos.  What will their status be if you are singled out for public criticism or worse yet, excommunication?  Hint:  They won't be invited to many birthday parties in the future.  Suppose your wife does not work outside the home (and very few Kirk wives do).  Her social contacts have been primarily developed within the church.  She is isolated (perhaps by choice, perhaps by peer pressure) from the larger community.  Do you really think that the wife of an excommunicated man, who remains married to him, is going to be welcomed at the Ladies Aid Society?  Her friends have two choices: shun her, or risk censure for associating with her. 

Ten men (elders) signed this letter.  One signature is not legible, another is unclear.  Of the remaining seven (not including Doug Wilson) every single one of them depends on Wilson, Inc. for employment.  Which of them, having families to support, children to raise, wives to sustain, would stand against Doug Wilson?  They know, from similar situations in the past, what happens when a member defies Doug Wilson's wishes.

Mike Lawyer, Doug Wilson's Chief Administrative Officer

Doug Jones, Administrative control of Canon press and administrator of New Saint Andrews

Chris Schlect, is an administrator at New St. Andrews (where his wife also is employed)

Patch Blakey, Chief Administrator of Doug Wilson's Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS)

Matt Gray, Director of the Christ Church campus outreach programs at UI and WSU

Jim Nance, Principal at Logos School

Like us, they want to be able to feed and care for their families - and frankly, they probably enjoy the inherent privilege of their positions. And they know what is required to keep these perks coming.  After reading Doug Wilson's letter, you should know too.

It is our hope that readers of this letter, particularly members of Christ Church or Trinity Reformed Church, or NSA students will read the fourteen page document linked to this editorial comment.  For those who are not members of Christ Church please take the time to read the document as well.  We hope it will educate you and encourage you to reach out with compassion and support to those members in need of your understanding and friendship.

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