A Post Doug Should Answer

I know, I know, this post comes from the self-proclaimed Fully Documented Anonymous Attack Blog, or FDAAB for short. You all will notice that I don’t link to that blog. I simply cannot, and Mark knows why, and has accepted that fact. However, I will admit to reading every post of his. Hypocritical? Probably. I would like for Doug to answer this post, though, if he has a minute. The evidence is all from Doug’s own blog, which is public for everyone to read. Would he chalk it up to rhetorical flourish? In which case, Mark T’s comment still stands: does this rhetoric make the charge of lying worse or better? Wilson does seem to have charged people with lying, and not just seeing through their paradigm-limited glasses. I am thankful that he has recently dialed down such rhetoric. The internet is far too vitriolic as it is. But has he never accused Scott Clark or Guy Waters of lying? By the way, (totally off-topic!) you might be a red-neck if you’ve ever been accused of lying through your tooth.

Update: See Wilson’s post for his answer, and also my comments in the combox. I have closed this thread. We will move on.

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34 Comments

  1. Sam Steinmann said,

    April 17, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I think the quotes make the opposite point.

    The Catechism treatment of the 9th Commandment says that the 9th Commandment, properly understood, forbids not just lying, but “unnecessary discovering of infirmities”, “aggravating smaller faults”, and many other things. Persistent misrepresentation due to ignorance is wrong, but most of us don’t consider it as serious as deliberate lying.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    April 17, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Sam, could Waters and Scott really be accused of misrepresentation due to ignorance? That would almost be worse, because then they are being accused of being fools!

  3. Xon said,

    April 17, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Lane, Wilson can comment for himself, but the very claim that “culpability=intent=lying”, and the insinuation that Wilson’s appeal to “tangles” means he is equivocating, shows that Mssr. T. is giving a sophomoric analysis (lots of flipping around in different sources, very well footnoted, the vocabulary of one who has taken a class at some point, a very good show to the freshmen who haven’t taken the class yet, but a completely shallow analysis).

    For one thing, if we actually look at the WLC’s treatment of the 9th Commandment to which Mr. T referred us, there is a lot of stuff in there that is pretty “tangled”. Yes, outright lying has to be intentional, but “receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defense” is not quite as clear. Yes, there is always something intentional in such actions, but it’s not necessarily “I think I’ll receive and countenance an evil report now!”. It could be more like “I’m already suspicious of Mr. Smith b/c of something Mr. Jones said, and I trust Mr. Jones for pretty good reasons, and I’m also worried about a particular heresy that I think is creeping into the Church anyway, and Mr. Smith said something that at least LOOKS like it might be that heresy, and then when I raised a concern about Mr. Smith to his friend Mr. Brown, Mr. Brown completely flipped out on me. And now here I am, feeling pretty confident that Mr. Smith is a heretic. And then when this next charge against Mr. Smith comes along, I simply don’t listen as carefully as I should or as I normally would.”

    Now, is that sort of thing culpable? I think so. Is it an intentional slander against Mr. Smith? Eh, not so sure. (That example is totally made up, any resemblance it has to real people or events is purely coincidental. If I wrote it again right now, it would come out differently.)

    In fact, in the very same thread where Wilson said he wouldn’t call anyone an intentional slanderer (who signs their name to their charges, anyway), he says in a comment that some folks do “have a moral responsibility to grasp what they appear to be incapable of grasping. And that is a moral, ninth commandment issue in the Larger Catechism sense.” So, he distinguishes between deliberate lying on the one hand, culpability for breaking the 9th Commandment in other less flagrant ways on the other, and total innocence of any 9th commandment sin on the other. This sounds reasonable to me; what’s the problem? Only a reductionist who wants everything to be binary would have a problem with this.

    Mark just reduces it all together. If Wilson says someone has broken the 9th commandment in any way, then that means they have deliberately lied and that means that Wilson is lying when he says he doesn’t think anyone non-anonymous critics of his are deliberately lying. (Of course, Mark’s own failure to consider that perhaps Wilson didn’t intend to mislead here is glaring as well. Perhaps Wilson forgot exactly what he had said earlier, etc.). Mark uses Wilson’s references to the 9th commandment as evidence that Wilson thinks someone is lying, even though Wilson himself says he distinguishes between culpable breaking of the 9th commandment in certain respects and outright lying. Perhaps Mark thinks Wilson is wrong to draw that distinction, but no, instead Mark wants to act as though Wilson doesn’t draw it at all and that Wilson is himself lying.

    The “high slander” line is the best piece of evidence Mark has. On that piece of evidence, it will be interesting to hear Wilson’s response. But as usual, it is all couched in an obviously fallacious thought structure, and one motivated by “getting” Wilson from someone who is not available to be “gotten” himself. So, yeah, wake me up when it’s over.

    The whole notion of proportionality seems lost here as well (another sign of the sophomore reducing it all together?). Wilson is accused of being a heretic by people who, he claims, are not properly representing his position. Wilson says he doesn’t think of any of those critics as deliberately lying about him, although perhaps he made a comment a while ago that implies a bit stronger of an evaluation than that. Okay, everyone catch your breath at the scandal. On this basis, Wilson is accused of lying about whether he thinks any of his accusers have deliberately lied about him. And, oh by the way, Wilson is not heresy hunting any of his accusers, or trying to cast their theology out of the Reformed tent of public opinion, etc. But he might have claimed to have a softer attitude towards the people that are doing that to him than he showed in a comment once…

  4. greenbaggins said,

    April 17, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Xon, the points you raise are valid points for consideration, certainly. And, by the way, by raising this issue I did not mean to prejudge the question of whether Wilson was being hypocritical or not. I just wanted his thoughts on the matter.

    However, when all is said and done, I still think that Mark has more evidence that needs to be dealt with than you think he has.

    I think Mark didn’t read Chris Witmer’s haiku correctly. Chris is putting words into the mouth of an FV critic. It is not an FV’er speaking, if I read it rightly.

  5. Joshua W.D. Smith said,

    April 17, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Lane, you’re right about Witmer’s haiku. Such a radical misreading of something very basic might call into question the reading of more ambiguous statements…

    As for the rest of the stuff, I’m not sure what DW means by high slander, but references to the 9th commandment are not equal to accusations of lying. The WLC, interestingly, always lists what positive things are required by the commandments; with regard to the 9th, there are things like: “a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them…” There are critics who have actually reversed the last two, being utterly unwilling to consider a good report and eager to receive a bad one (e.g., believing what radical liberals say about a Christian church, or asserting that any contradiction means Wilson is lying–hardly a charitable judgment). Sometimes slander has been directed against someone even trying to bring a good report (e.g., a time when I pointed out some positive statements in RINE and was immediately told I was either “duped” or a “shill” on a public message board). And no one has rebuked the people who have done these kinds of things…

  6. Mark T. said,

    April 17, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Yes, I see, they put the imaginary accusation of lying into the critics’ mouths — not theirs. This is a mitigating circumstance and changes everything.

  7. greenbaggins said,

    April 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Mark, I have a genuine question. Do you think you might have misinterpreted Witmer’s haiku? Let’s leave out Joshua’s about the more ambiguous statements.

  8. Dave Glasebrook said,

    April 17, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Mark T is a brother acting in sin. Please pray for him. Please do not assist him in his sin by continuing this thread. If you have a question you should handle it via e-mail.

    Mark T’s blog is full of misinformation and lies.

    He repeatedly called me a liar on his blog yet he offers no proof — only lots of words. He avoids the Matthew 18 process by hiding behind his moniker. I have pointed this out to Mark T, Pastor Lane and others.

  9. greenbaggins said,

    April 17, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Dave, just because I disagree with his being anonymous does not mean that everything he says is worthless. I have deep moral issues with someone putting up stuff on the internet and not putting his name up there. However, Mark has said some fair things as well. I will never condone his anonymity. That’s why I do not link to him on my blogroll. However, he put a face on an issue about which I myself had been thinking. Doug’s comment raised a question in my own mind that I would like answered. Mark’s evidence, though faulty in the case of Witmer’s haiku (at least that is my judgment) does bring some relevant quotations. At the very least, we can all understand the 9th commandment better as a result of this exercise.

  10. Mark T. said,

    April 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Yes, Lane, I clearly misread it. I did not catch the role-playing, probably because it mitigates nothing. I saw the accusation of lying, whereas you saw CW putting the accusation in someone else’s mouth. I would apologize, but I don’t see that I’ve sinned. In fact (watch out, here it comes), I think that my erroneous reading was the more charitable.

    But as long as I’m being brutally honest, I actually had few other reasons for including it, which probably account for my indiscretion: I wanted to reiterate a point I’ve made in the past that a certain high-profile blogger has a corrupting influence on his disciples, and I’ve been wanting to get to that RC Sr reference for a couple of months, so I saw it as a two-bird one-stone opportunity. But, yes, I did misread it.

    Regarding Glasebrook, I’ve been pretty careful to limit my use of the word “liar” so I searched my blog to find his reference but could not find it, which is consistent with his track record. He tends to see things that don’t exist.

    Finally, I think that in another lifetime in another world I would have agreed with Pastor Lane on anonymity, but bad things happen in Moscow and the persons responsible for those evil deeds hide behind a non-existent wall of accountability to prosecute their imprecatory agenda. So if someone if John Knox’s ordination justifies someone else’s ordination, then Knox’s use of anonymity to publish The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women justifies my anonymity, because if I’m not mistaken Knox was a man of stalwart courage.

  11. Mark T. said,

    April 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    TYPO ALERT: Here is the correct reading:

    So if someone can use John Knox’s ordination to justify their ordination, then I can use Knox’s use of anonymity to publish The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women to justify my anonymity, because if I’m not mistaken Knox was a man of stalwart courage.

    Thank you.

  12. Xon said,

    April 17, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Ah, anonymity justified by another unprovable assertion. You have to attack Wilson from the shadows, because he’s such a bad dude he’ll come after you if he knows who you are.

    And it’s not melodramatic at all to compare it to Knox and Mary Queen of Scots. No siree! How about you just give us some examples of “bad things happening in Moscow” that even remotely compares to the sort of reprisals Knox likely would have faced (and which everyone at the time would have acknowledged he would have faced).

  13. David Gray said,

    April 17, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    >And it’s not melodramatic at all to compare it to Knox and Mary Queen of Scots.

    You have to understand that Mark T. has spent time as a galley slave.

  14. Mark T. said,

    April 17, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Xon,

    I don’t think you followed the analogy, but that’s okay. Please see my threads “Anonymity” and “Accountability”; I’ve seen enough of your stuff to know that they won’t satisfy you but that’s okay too.

  15. Lee said,

    April 17, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Gentlemen,
    I do not know who is right about the facts on Mark T’s blog. Mark T may indeed by a giant liar who does nothing but make up stuff on his blog all day long. However, using the fact that he hides his true identity to dismiss his blog is not right. Not only did John Knox publish anonymously, but Martin Luther also used a false name for a time to hide his identity. Is he in trouble of persecution? I don’t know, maybe. If he is then his anonymity is completely justified. If your problem with his blog is that he is anonymous then I hope you also have problems with whistle blower laws, unnamed sources in news articles, and anything ever written by Mark Twain and Stephen King since they too use fake names. If one has a moral problem with withholding ones name, then I would like to see a Scriptural argument about that fact.

    If you have a problem with the material on his blog then attack the material. But don’t dismiss the material because you want the author’s name. That to me seems lazy.

  16. Keith LaMothe said,

    April 17, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Lee,

    While I certainly agree that the truth of a statement is strictly independant of the speaker’s willingness to reveal their identity, I believe that the “Scriptural argument” which you ask for can be found in Deuteronomy 19:16-21 (which would not apply to psuedonymous publication of something not making a charge against someone else, e.g. King and Twain). Do you disagree?

    Blessings,
    Keith

  17. Sean Mahaffey said,

    April 17, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Lane, I think it would have been better to communicate with Wilson privately if you were going to reference Mark T. His blog is scurrilous and really needs not to be advertised. If you wanted to ask the question publicly you could have restated it in your own words, especially since you say that the question had concerned you before you read Mark T’s attack piece.
    He stated above “I’ve been pretty careful to limit my use of the word “liar”. His understanding of the word “limit” is about as extensive as his understanding of the word “careful”. He called me a liar more than a dozen times in just a few paragraphs in the coments section of his blog. He said, “You are a liar and cannot communicate without lying, which includes your favorite device of leaving false impressions. I, however, have dedicated my blog to exposing lies and liars, such as yourself” and ” You did this because you are not interested in the truth; you are interested in winning at any cost, including telling a few lies or disgracing the gospel. This makes you a liar, a deceiver.” What did I do to cause him to spew venom in my general direction? I pointed out obvious mistakes he had made about an article that I had written.
    I wrote an article that was against the use of marijuana and he misread it as being in favor of marijuana. His ability to understand prose is as advanced as his ability to comprehend haiku. I said that marijuana use was “godless rebellion”, “sin of the first rank”, and “identical with that sin in the garden that plunged mankind into an estate of sin and misery – rebellion, pure and simple”. He said I was extolling the use of marijuana. I said that I wasn’t doing that at all, so he repeatedly called me a liar. He would not even print my replies in the comments section of his “fully documented” blog.
    He still says in two places on his blog that I wrote the article for our school newspaper or newsletter. That is patently false. The school never had a newspaper or newsletter. The article was written for a newsletter that was completely independent of the school and no copies of the newsletter were given out at the school. I have offered twice to send him a copy of the entire newsletter (he only has a portion) to prove this, but he has declined. His anonymity is more important to him than proof.
    If you have read every post of his then you have read the post wher he slanders me, but you have not read my defense, because he will not publish my replies and corrections. When you link to his web rag you link to his false witness about many, many people, not just pastor Wilson.
    Please don’t give him the microphone.
    Blessings,
    Sean Mahaffey

  18. Kyle said,

    April 18, 2008 at 12:20 am

    This is the exchange to which Mr. Mahaffey refers: http://federal-vision.blogspot.com/2008/03/new-website.html

    While Mr. Mahaffey’s article does call marijuana use “godless rebellion,” the majority is taken up with dismantling arguments against marijuana use. Essentially, his argument is that because using marijuana is illegal, therefore it is sinful to use marijuana. While not a false agument in itself, the implied corollary throughout the article is that recreational use would be acceptable (even commendable) if legal. I don’t think Mark T. misread the article (although it’s possible he corrected an original misreading) so much as believed that the article’s actual effect is opposite its explicit conclusion. This he used as an illustration of what he argues is the corrupt culture surrounding Christ Church.

    I’m not defending Mark T. per se. However, his skill (cunning deceit?) in presenting and documenting his position is certainly impressive. If the Christ Church folks are going to counter him effectively, they need to present equally impressive argumentation and documentation. Dismissing him for reason of anonymity, and accusing him of being a false witness, are not going to be sufficient to shut him down.

  19. Bob Suden said,

    April 18, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Sean, yes or no, are the quotations of Wilson correct in said post on the blogsite that may not be named? And if they are correct, is Wilson lying through his teeth or just with his tongue in cheek? Or are you pleading extenuating circumstances that justify Wilson’s comments? (Sophistry? Rhetoric?) That’s the material issue and anybody is free to respond to the matter in the same public fashion, though they may care not to and regardless of the character of some of the other characters in on the action. Which is to say quite bluntly, if MT was FV/on Wilson’s side, it wouldn’t phase Wilson a bit.
    In other words, Matt. 18 doesn’t apply the way you seem to think it should, if I understand you correctly. (Why did you not approach Lane privately about privately approaching Wilson?)
    For that matter, the whole FV thing has been conducted by the FV themselves in a vocal, coarse and public way on the web and they really have no excuse or complaint, if they are on the receiving end of their own medicine.

    Not only that, Matt. 24:28 tells us: For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

    There is a stench and a FV carcase or two in Moscow, so a few jackals might be expected along with the eagles/vultures. But that will all sort itself out, so lets not sweat the small stuff. If you’re an honest man and weren’t involved with the casino and drugs, your rep will survive and so and so’s will rot.
    But if not . . . .
    cordially

  20. Lee said,

    April 18, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Keith,

    I believe Deuteronomy 19:16-21 is not saying anything about being anonymous or anonymity in general. It simply says that if a person lies as a witness about someone else then the judges and priests shall determine the truth of the matter through an examination of the matter, and the liar will be punished. I am in complete agreement with that. I think that is what Lane has asked be done. He is asking a reply be made to the attack so that an examination can be made and the truth found.

    I want to go on record one more time. I am not defending Mark T’s blog. He may very well be scurrilous as many allege. My point is that being anonymous should not be a reason to dismiss his claims, nor should it prejudice one against the content. It seemed to be a reason to avoid answering the question poised by Lane such as Xon in post #13 when the focus ought to be on diligent inquisition to see if the witness is false (Deuteronomy 19:18) as Xon does in post #3 and Sean does in post #18.

  21. Lee said,

    April 18, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Emoticons? How did that happen. The scripture quotation on the second to last line should read Deuteronomy 19:18.

    I hate emoticons.

  22. Patrick Poole said,

    April 18, 2008 at 1:27 am

    I do find it incredibly hard to take the Pasha of the Palouse’s court eunuchs seriously (Glasebrook, Mahaffey, et al.) on the issue of Mark T’s anonymity, when they stood mute on other much more grave issues in Moscow, such as payments of hush money out of church funds (Morton Street casino) and immediate threats to public safety (serial pedophile Steven Sitler).

    And correct me if I’m wrong in my recollection, but the Pasha himself has been known to use pseudonyms. I recall some previous mention of “Glenn Schwaller” and “Edna Wilmington”. I also recall Christ Church using third party purchasers for property to conceal the true identity of the purchaser – Christ Church People’s Temple. Where were Glasebrook and Mahaffey’s scrupples about anonymity then?

  23. Xon said,

    April 18, 2008 at 4:23 am

    The biblical complain is against receiving anonymous accusations, not against the very idea that a person might use a pseudonym under some other circumstance. For instance, if a person lives in an academic culture in which their ideas are already associated with something bad, then they might publish something anonymously in order to give it a fair hearing. Nobody is being accused of grave sin (either in an official ecclesiastical trial or in the “court” of public opinion). The same goes for certain forms of joking, if that’s your thing.

    You can attack someone’s theology/worldview/philosophy/etc. while anonymous and that’s not a problem. You can also under a certain form of joking be anonymous and that’s no problem. Etc. But you cannot make charges against a fellow Christians character unless you are willing to expose yourself to the consequences of slander.

    If someone says “Mr. X shoplifted at Kroger last Saturday night,” then in order to even consider the accuracty of the charge the accuser has to have a name and they have to be willing to subject themselves to the penalties for perjury and slander (which is why the Deut 19 passage is relevant). This is a “judicial” issue. Judicially, we must regard anonymous charges as no charges. Case dismissed, never even gets to the grand jury. There simply is no charge to put on the record, legitimately, until someone with a real name makes such a charge.

    I will say that, all things considered, Mark T’s response to me above is the nicest tone I’ve ever seen him take. I thank him for his gracious reply (to me), given that I was not being my sweetest self towards him. That said, though, it illustrates the problem. I don’t know who Mark T. is. Who, exactly, is making these charges? If they turn out to be gross slanders, then how can he brought to account? He can’t, b/c he’s anonymous. Well then, his charges are not to be considered.

    If he genuinely fears persecution, especially in this day and age (nobody is getting burned at the stake, locked up in London Tower, or put on a galley ship), then let him take whatever precautions he thinks are necessary. But let him stop launching accusations of bad character against a fellow Christian from under the cover of that anonymity.

    There are other ways, you know. Why doesn’t he go to a Christian friend whom he trusts (I assume there are such people), someone who does know his identity, and give them the information he thinks he’s got on Wilson and let them make the public charge? That still puts him at some risk, but it is a “workaround” of sorts, isn’t it? The problem is finding a person who is willing to stand up publicly and pass on the charges against Wilson’s character at the risk of the accuser’s own reputation, etc.

    Anyway, since we don’t know anything about his situation, saying that he’s anonymous b/c he fears persecution is actually just another unsubstantiated charge against Wilson. Is there some evidence that Wilson persecutes those who accuse him? We’re right back where we started.

  24. J.Kru said,

    April 18, 2008 at 7:01 am

    #24… right on. Perhaps someone like Lane could actually level a charge against DW. Anonymous accusations (italicize that last word, somebody) just won’t do.

  25. Sean Mahaffey said,

    April 18, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Kyle,

    My point, which was clearly stated in the article, was that even if the traditional arguments against marijuana do not hold up then it’s use is still wicked. My position is that there is some conceivable level of use of marijuana that would not automatically be drunkenness or dissipation. This level of use is not the “high” that marijuana users are looking for. It is far lower. It could not be any greater effect than a cup of coffee, a beer, a cigar, or a benadryl. If such a mild use in not possible, then any use is sinful.

    I don’t know of anyone who has used my article as justification for this sin. I do know several who were rebuked by it. If anyone has been tempted to sin by what I have written, or has used what I have written to try to excuse their sin then all I can do is ask forgiveness, but I have not heard of a single case of this happening.

    If my article was foolish, unclear or unpersuasive then I apologize. But I know why I wrote the article. I wrote the article in an attempt to persuade Christians away from even flirting with the idea that marijuana use might be acceptable. I repeatedly told Mark T this and he repeatedly called me a liar.

    Blessings,
    Sean Mahaffey

  26. Sean Mahaffey said,

    April 18, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Bob,

    The way I understand what Wilson wrote is that while some of the FV critics have broken the 9th commandment in this issue they have not been doing it purposefully. The way that lying is used here is to knowingly tell a falsehood. The 9th commandment is much broader than that, as the catechism shows.

    Example #1 Ahab really hates Bill. He stays up all night making stuff up out of thin air, then he goes around and tries to convince people of it. All the while he knows Bill is innocent, but he doesn’t care. If I understand him correctly, this is what Wilson is saying that the FV critics are NOT guilty of. This is how he is defining lying.

    Example #2 Cyrus and Dave used to get along fine. One day Eli comes and tells Cyrus that Dave has lost his mind and is now a Pelagian. Cyrus is sad and troubled. He reads some quotes that Eli has with him and goes away sorrowful. At the next prayer meeting he asks everyone to pray for Dave’s soul. If I read him correctly this is one possible violation of the 9th commandment that an FV critic could be guilty of without knowingly lying. There is of course such a thng as culpable ignorance. I think this is what Wilson is getting at, but I will let him answer for himself. As for me, I don’t see any contradiction in the quotes.

    I don’t think that Lane was in sin for this blog post. I said “I think it would have better…” That is what I meant.

    Wilson has exhorted FV proponents both publicly and privately to be charitable. If a Mark T. equal was on the FV team I would have nothing to do with him and there is no reason to believe that Wilson would either.

    Blessings,
    Sean Mahaffey

  27. Sam Steinmann said,

    April 18, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Sam, could Waters and Scott really be accused of misrepresentation due to ignorance? That would almost be worse, because then they are being accused of being fools!

    Not having read Waters or Scott to any significant extent (remember, as I’m outside the Reformed world, a significant part of this debate isn’t very beneficial to me), I’ll just say I didn’t have anyone particular in mind.

    Here’s what I’m thinking of (and think Wilson is thinking of as well.) How many credobaptists do you know who can explain the paedobaptist position to the satisfaction of a paedobaptist? In my experience, it’s less than 1%. In some cases it’s ignorance, but in many cases it’s not ignorance per se, but a different starting point, and a different set of filters. So most of my brethren, if they try to explain paedobaptism, are going to make arguments that you see as misrepresentation.

  28. Sean Mahaffey said,

    April 18, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Patrick,

    I have only been to Moscow once – for two days – ten years ago. The only things I have heard about the incidents you have mentioned have been in the back and forth on the internet. Pastor Wilson’s explanations of events and his actions in the midst of those events make far more sense to me that the railing of his accusers. We are not to receive an accusation against an elder except when there are two or three witnesses. Witnesses. People who were there. People with names. People who were not far away when the things happened. People who did not judge hearts and motives and sensitive pastoral issues from hundreds of miles away and then post their judgments and accusations without accountability.

    I’m not a mindless follower of Wilson, I’m not a fawning sycophant, and I’m sure as hell not a eunuch.

    I like Wilson and his family and church and ministries. I like most of what he writes and says. Sometimes he is off his rocker, crazy, looney even – c’mon he likes Ron Paul for goodness sake! I’ll never get his weird Northwest politics. Or the 4-office view. Or a few other things. But we can get disagree and still get along….wait I’ve got to go, the phone is ringing and I think I hear the black helicopters. I’ll try to …..

  29. greenbaggins said,

    April 18, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Folks, Lee is entirely correct in post 21 with all his points. To say that I shouldn’t have used Mark T’s blog because of “all the other bad stuff on that blog” is an example of the poisoned well argument: something is bad because of where it came from. If the exact same information had appeared on my blog independent of Mark T’s blog, where would be the hue and outcry then? It would be non-existent. Furthermore, I posted this to get information straight. Let Wilson exonerate himself. This post was never meant as charges. I have no authority to charge Wilson with anything. If anything, I want Wilson to respond to this post simply because it is one of the more cogent posts that Mark T has put out there. If you believed some of the people on this blog, Mark T is not even human, much less a Christian. The line from Shakespeare is coming to mind: “Methinks you protest too much.” If Mark T is so off his rocker, then it is time for the FV completely to ignore him, and pay him no mind. But the hue and outcry that the FV’ers (and others) have made regarding my link to his blog is way out of proportion to the supposed evil. It makes me think that the FV has something to hide, and is having almost the opposite effect that the FV’ers intend for their outcry to have. But you’ll forgive me, I’m sure, if I treat Mark T with a degree of charity as to his status as a Christian, even if I strongly disagree with some of the methods he has used to achieve his ends.

    Folks, we all sin often. This blog has shown my sin every bit as often as Mark T has sinned on his blog. Is that a reason to reject everything I say? I try to take what is good from every place, bad or good. And my motivation in this matter has nothing to do with “gotcha,” and everything to do with “finding the truth.”

    That being said, if Wilson does not wish to respond, I can understand that. That’s his business. I had a question, and I raised it.

    I am not hereby blasting FV’ers for their response either. I can understand their response. They have nothing but contempt for Mark T because he is anonymous, and because he is attacking Wilson constantly. No one likes for someone they respect to be attacked in such a fashion. We have to remember that this is part and parcel of being a pastor. I cannot even count the number of times I have been attacked by many different people as to my motivation for doing things, not to mention what I believe. What did I sign up for? The shepherds get attacked. That’s part of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. So, if FV’ers consider Wilson to be a true shepherd, then they can expect Wilson to be attacked. This is my final word on the subject.

  30. greenbaggins said,

    April 18, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Sean, 29 has offensive language in it. Four letter swear words are not allowed on this blog.

  31. Mark T. said,

    April 18, 2008 at 10:19 am

    “Bad stuff”; What bad stuff?

  32. greenbaggins said,

    April 18, 2008 at 10:36 am

    That’s what they’re saying, Mark. Personally, I think your rhetoric is a bit over the top.

  33. J.Kru said,

    April 18, 2008 at 11:28 am

    QUOTE: I have no authority to charge Wilson with anything.

    Sure you do. Jesus said “If your brother sins against you.” As long as you consider him to be a brother.

    I only poke my e-head in here every so e-often, so I don’t follow all the arguments. How do we translate discipline and conflict-resolution to the e-world? Lane, if you said something personal that was wrong… say, “I happen to know that J.Kru is a Mormon” … and deserved a rebuke, I would send you a private email. If you didn’t turn from that, I would raise the issue publicly. But you would know who I am (as you actually do.)

    If someone raised a point on an anonyblog about something you did, say, “Lane kicks dogs and supports PETA,” I would disregard it. But if it was something you SAID which I could research (as in, “Lane says he isn’t FV but here he supports them,” I would research it. If I thought you were guilty, I wouldn’t say,
    “Well, I’M not PERSONALLY saying this, it’s just that, you know, some anonyblog said this, and, you know, it’s not a bad point, but who am I to say anything?”
    That’s just getting an anonymous person to do the dirty work.
    I mean, [although I DON'T believe this to be the case] “Mark T.” could be you, or heck, it could be Randy Booth. Who knows?
    If Mark T. has a point, agree with him, and tell DW the same. But bringing it up is like facilitating a fight between two other people, one of whom is anonymous.

    With much respect, it seems as if you’re saying the well isn’t poisoned, yet you refuse to drink from it.

  34. Lee said,

    April 18, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Xon,
    re: #24

    I can agree with you that charges cannot be filed anonymously. They also should not be filled without multiple witness which is also in Deuteronomy 19. I also agree anonyminity can be a way to attempt to get away with slander. However, it is not simply slander because he is anonymous. It has to be proven to be slander. Which, for the record, it very well may be.

    Sometimes, however, anonymous accusations can be a way to start an investigation which will led either to a trial with real public witnesses or to the complete discrediting of the anonymous source. Take Deep Throat for instance. He helped expose the scandals of the Richard Nixon administration, and his life was probably not in jepoardy ever. He feared other sorts of reprisals. So he took his accusations public with the condition of remaining anonymous, the press printed it, it launched an investigation which proved many scandals in the White House. Was that unbiblical? Did Deep Throat sin or did he do a public service? In today’s modern world with blogs there is no longer a need for the press, so how is that different than Mark T’s blog?
    You said you would not have a problem if he went to a Christian friend to help him bring to light the accusations. Lane is not anonymous and he asked for an answer to things brought to him by Mr. Anon. So, I am not sure why you have a problem with Lane asking for these answers.

    I should be upfront here just so everyone knows where I am coming from. I am not that interested in defending Mark T, nor Doug Wilson. However, I am interested in defending anonyminity. People feel scared when they believe their pastors are spirtual dictators. They do things anonymously. If someone gives me proof that a fellow minister is heretical by dropping me an unsigned letter with a tape of said minister teaching heresy, can I act on this? I think so. If I get an anonymous tip to check out a website that has proof of heretical beliefs of a fellow minister in my denomination, can I act on this? Should it at least start a judicial investigation? If someone starts a web site or sends an email with a documented list of times he felt the Spiritual Council of some church trampled on the rights of the people in the church, can the denomination investigate to see if its true? Or must these things be ignored and dismissed because the author is anonymous.

    This may be a rare pastoral case, but it is one that happens.


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