A lack of discernment? Controversial speaker Doug Wilson to host 'IFI’s Annual Banquet Celebration'

By Angela Wittman

IFI Fall Banquet

Illinois Family Institute will be holding it's annual fundraising banquet September 18th, 2015 and has advertised it as a “Cultural Cataclysm & Advancing the Truth” themed event. However, they seem reluctant to investigate the controversial nature of one of their guest speakers, Mr. Doug Wilson of Moscow, Idaho. If one is advancing the truth and claiming to represent Illinois families, then they have a responsibility to vet their speakers.

I first expressed my concern about Mr. Wilson and his involvement in the Federal Vision controversy to Illinois Family Institute via Facebook August 31st. Their response was:

I was aware of Doug Wilson's connection to Federal Vision theology, but theological differences are irrelevant to the mission of the Illinois Family Institute. IFI is an ecumenical public policy organization committed to protecting faith, family, and liberty through sound laws and policies. We are decidedly not a seminary, church, denomination, so differences regarding ecclesiology, eschatology, soteriology etc. are not our concern.

Doug Wilson is a man of deep and abiding faith, who boldly advances biblical truth in the public square. In fact, with regard to our culture wars, he is one of our national treasures.

Those Evangelicals who love and admire John Piper likely know that he has invited Doug Wilson to speak at multiple conferences at Bethlehem Baptist Church even though Piper does not subscribe to the Federal Vision.

IFI has both Catholics and Protestants on our board of directors. We invite both Catholics and Protestants to speak at our events. And we publish articles by both Catholics and Protestants. As everyone knows, Catholics and Protestants disagree on many theological points, and those differences can be substantial.

Then on September 1st, I posted a link on Facebook while tagging IFI to an article which more fully critiques Federal Vision and the danger it poses to the reformed community, which is part of the greater Illinois Christian community and should be included in those whom IFI reports to represent.

Then once again yesterday I posted a link, plus tagged IFI, to an alarming report that Mr. Wilson and his "church" has been involved in the case of "supporting" a pedophile in his congregation, even going to the extent of performing a marriage between the pedophile and a young naive woman who have had a child together. And what really should alarm all of us is the pedophile became sexually stimulated by his own baby son. And what is IFI's response?

Doug Wilson once again teaches us well about grace, mercy, forgiveness, accountability, which is to say, the truth of the Gospel message: http://dougwils.com/.../an-open-letter-from-christ-church...

And to cast doubt on the source of the information:

With all due respect, I would look carefully into the people who posted this indictment of Doug Wilson, evidently without knowing all the facts and evidently without contacting Doug Wilson. Please read carefully the women's bios and everything else on the "basics" page on the Wartburg Watch website.

My response is for IFI to do their own research as the information is readily posted online.

My plea with IFI today is:

I've been uneasy about CREC and Wilson for many years - probably a decade and ask others, including Illinois Family Institute who has invited Wilson to be a speaker at their fund raising banquet, to please visit this website and see the evidence presented:

The Truth About Moscow

For Whom
For whom is this site intended? The broad answer to this question is anyone curious about the hype coming out of Moscow, Idaho. A more specific answer is listed with the various people below:

Parents Considering New Saint Andrews College (NSA) for Their Child
Every parent who is considering New Saint Andrews College as a potential school for their child should ask themselves three questions:

  1. Do you want Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, or any other Kirk elder to arrange a blind date for your daughter with a convicted felon with the hope that the two will foster romance and eventually get married?
  2. If one of Mr. Wilson’s followers repeatedly raped your daughter for several years, would you take offense if Mr. Wilson sat with the rapist, in direct opposition to your daughter, at his sentencing?
  3. Would it make a difference if your daughter was 13-years old when the sexual abuse began and the rapist was a 23-year-old student in Greyfriars’ Hall?[1]

These three questions sound ridiculous, but they describe two actual events that took place at the Kirk, and neither case had any mitigating circumstances — only aggravating. For example, the Kirk elder who arranged the blind date for the New St. Andrews College student didn’t choose a garden-variety felon for her prospective flame. He picked a Level III sex offender[2] — a serial pedophile — who has a life sentence hanging over his head. When Steven Sitler violates his probation, he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Not negotiable. Perhaps Mr. Wilson said it best when he wrote, “Rapists are hardly a good pool for selecting fine sons-in-law.”[3] But in that pool Wilson and his elder swam. To be sure, Wilson just wrote, “I officiated at the wedding and was glad to do so.”

The other rapist, the one with whom Mr. Wilson sat at sentencing, has nothing to commend him either. He got married not long after his release from prison and in October 2014 a jury convicted him of perjury and spousal abuse. He strangulated his wife.

Pastor Doug Wilson has established a pattern of siding with Kirk criminals in court instead of their victims, who are also members of the Kirk. He does this contrary to the well-crafted image of a champion for biblical justice that he has framed with his writings.

People Tempted to Move to Moscow
Douglas Wilson needs a continuous influx of followers to move to Moscow because without them his congregation would flounder. Two reasons account for this:

Sheep leave the Kirk at an inordinate rate for a myriad of reasons. Some flee when they learn the facts about serial pedophile Steven Sitler; others prefer the gospel of peace as opposed to the antagonistic gospel of the Kirk vs. Whatever Culture War Wilson May Be Fighting; some he just drives out.

The second reason follows from the first, namely, in 2003–2004 Doug Wilson torched his chance to evangelize the Palouse when he equated his defense of the antebellum institution of race-based chattel slavery with a defense of the Christian faith.[4] However, this apologetic failed miserably because the Bible doesn’t command believers to build a white Christendom with the slave labor of kidnapped Africans. Then, during these slavery hostilities, Wilson invoked the “idea of warfare” to declare the strategic towns of Moscow & Pullman “enemies” and stated his plan to “take” the territories. This language failed to persuade his so-called “enemies” of his good will. And since then Mr. Wilson has marked himself with a number of scandals that fixed his reputation in cement. For example, by 2007 he had soiled his reputation so bad that he reported to the heads of households he could not purchase downtown property without using a third-party proxy, due to climate: “because of the climate in town, we decided that we could not talk about what we’d like to do in a normal manner. We had two potential purchases denied because of the climate in town.” The word “climate” euphemistically refers to the ill will he had sown in the community since 2003. Doug Wilson has no gospel for Moscow.

Consequently, since Mr. Wilson cannot increase the Kirk by evangelizing the Palouse, he needs followers to migrate to Moscow. And if you are considering the trek, then this website has documentation for you to reflect upon what is best for you and your family.

To put a finer point on it: When you enter the assembly hall on Sunday morning, you will inevitably see Steven Sitler holding his newborn baby in his arms and at the same time you’ll see hundreds of glassy-eyed kirkers completely oblivious to this unthinkable scene. This is just one of the many sacrifices your conscience will have to make to accommodate life in the Kirk.

In October 2003 Douglas Wilson scandalized the university communities of Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington, following an interview with the Moscow-Pullman Daily News to discuss his book Southern Slavery as It Was. In case you have not read it, the book claims an almost secret knowledge about slavery, stating, “It is time for us to stand and declare the truth about slavery and to expose the failures of the abolitionist worldview.” And in the interview, Wilson admitted, “I did know I was defending an unpopular issue.” Please note the word “defending.” It means “speak or write in favor of an action or person; attempt to justify.” Wilson wrote SSAIW to defend, or justify, an “unpopular issue” — namely, the Southern institution of race-based chattel slavery. The book’s thesis states this and Wilson confirmed this fact to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Fast forward to 2005, when Wilson published Black & Tan. He wrote,

In the fall of 2003, a controversy erupted in the small town where I live in northern Idaho. The controversy concerned a booklet I co-wrote with Steve Wilkins in the mid-nineties entitled Southern Slavery as It Was. It was the contention of this booklet that the way in which slavery ended has had ongoing deleterious consequences for modern Christians in our current culture wars, and that slavery was far more benign in practice than it was made to appear in the literature of the abolitionists. . . . The reason we were attacked in our little controversy in Moscow was not because we would not condemn racism as a sin; we had done so repeatedly and clearly. The reason we were slandered in the way we were was simply because we refused to say that racism was a sin against the State or against humanity. (Douglas Wilson, Black & Tan: A Collection of Essays and Excursions on Slavery, Culture War, and Scripture in America [Canon Press: Moscow, ID, 2005], 14, 17)

These statements are demonstrably false as we will demonstrate. And they are not alone. Half-truths and falsehoods abound in Black and Tan — so many that they were the catalyst for the website. The original goal was to correct Wilson’s revisions by presenting hundreds of newspaper clippings and other primary sources from that period to compare them with Wilson’s stylish adaptation. But the number of documents for the archive grew because the slavery scandal of 2003–2004 didn’t just end with the Credenda/Agenda conference. It bled into a series of new front-page headlines. And Wilson, the man who regularly described himself as “under radar,” suddenly found himself an unwelcome bogey on the radar.

And with all these headlines that we’ve gathered together, we want to give the historians a head start for when they begin writing the story of Moscow.

Kirkers Who Need an Outlet
Not every kirker sacrifices their conscience. Some stay because it’s the lesser of two evils. For example, more than one husband knows that if he resigns his household’s membership from the Kirk, his wife will abandon him in order to stay. Likewise, many wives see the other side of the Potemkin village but have nowhere to go. They feel isolated and alone. They can’t confide in other wives because everyone checks their fellow-kirker’s loyalty in the Kirk. And there are many children who grew up Kirk households, go through the Logos School system, and attend New Saint Andrews College, eventually realize that “covenant household” really means “submit to Doug.”

In a recent interview with the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Doug Wilson said Christ Church isn’t “a ‘strong’ cult. . . I don’t control people or anything like that.” But it is a cult nonetheless and, like all cult leaders, he is the sole ruling authority and those beneath him oftentimes feel like they could pop.

This website is for you.


[1] Greyfriars’ Hall is Douglas Wilson’s seminary program; Mr. Wilson never attended seminary and has never been ordained.
[2] The state of Washington grades its sex offenders on a scale of I to III. They deem Level III sex offenders the most dangerous to society and the most likely to reoffend. Idaho has no such grading system.

[3] Fidelity: What It Means To Be a One-Woman Man (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1999), 84.

[4] Team Truth shall document this controversy in exhaustive detail.

Source: http://moscowid.net/for-whom/

In conclusion, my plea is for Illinois Family Institute to exercise discernment and not give its critics ammunition to discredit their work on behalf of families in Illinois. My advice is to not fan the flames of controversy, but instead to simply "un-invite" Mr. Wilson as a speaker and truly represent all Christian families in Illinois.

See also:

* Updated 4.7.2018 - Please note that I've deleted my Facebook account and the links no longer work. Thank you, AW.


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