Doug Wilson is one of the most popular figures in Reformed Evangelicalism, specifically those in or adjacent to the CREC denomination (Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches). The controversial pastor has proven to be an eloquent writer and orator. This week he took aim at both Stephen Wolfe and Christ the Redeemer Church in Pella, Iowa, a CREC church in an article titled, “As the Fighting Moderates Mount the Lone Bulwark.”
I used a couple of celebratory events that Christians could not attend in order to demonstrate how much more they should be unable to attend a trans wedding. The examples were a reception a man gave to introduce his girlfriend, for whom he ditched his wife of thirty years, and also the case of a man with a problematic alt-right web site that went big, and they were going to start up a print magazine, of the white nationalist sort, and you were invited to a grand opening barbecue. My answer was that of course you would not attend either one of these, but that the tranny reception was far more of an ethical debacle than the other two.
Doug Wilson starts off trying to create scenarios where Christians would not attend, yet the girlfriend introduction is a nigh nonexistent scenario and the alt-right magazine barbeque could hardly be considered sinful. We even ran a poll on it.
An "alt-right web site that went big, and they were going to start up a print magazine, of the white nationalist sort, and you were invited to a grand opening barbecue."— Evangelical Dark Web (@EvangelicalDW) February 5, 2024
Is it a sin to go to this event?
So I followed up with a piece critiquing the principle that is currently circulating among some conservative hard-liners, which is that of No Enemies to the Right (NETTR). I believe that our guiding principle should be that if God has enemies to my right, then I have a moral obligation to have enemies to my right. But I did grant a measure of wisdom to the NETTR impulse. We must not denounce anyone to our right simply because we are feeling emotional pressure from the screechers on the left, those who never cease demanding that we do so. They will not be mollified in any case, and so it is important never to try.
Doug Wilson takes aim at NETTR (or NEOTR) yet falls into the trap of responding to something out of either emotion or social pressure.
And as everything about our culture continues to unravel, apparently on schedule, Stephen recently wondered aloud on X whether or not it was time for Canon Press to say the “eleven words,” referring to his “lone bulwark” tweet. I will have a counter-offer for him here in just a couple of minutes.
It is all very well for us to say “dumb,” but dumb how? As a demographic observation it was as true as the fact that the sun rises in the east, and that the grass is greener after it does. This kind of observation is a staple coming from the punditry class on all the talking heads channels. “Black women vote this way, Jewish intellectuals vote that way, and white evangelicals go in the other direction.” So as a demographic observation, Stephen’s tweet was as true as it gets. America keeps trying to commit suicide, and evangelicals keep getting in the way.
The problem is that the progressives and the reactionaries (to Stephen’s left and to Stephen’s right) have both fully embraced the same ontological mistake. The only thing that separates them is what they think of that mistake. The mistake is that of thinking that the evangelicals are the lone bulwark because of their whiteness. The leftists loathe what they do because it is grounded in whiteness and the reactionaries love it because it is grounded in whiteness. I love it because it is the lone bulwark against moral insanity.
Wilson goes after Stephen Wolfe’s famous eleven words. Wilson tries to disassociate Whites from Evangelicals, but the reason that the zeitgeist targets White Evangelicals is for both of these attributes. Europe was the bastion of Christianity for over fifteen hundred years, and Christ is Satan’s enemy. The forces of darkness go after the church, yet they also target anything resembling Christianity and that which is good, true, and beautiful. For this reason, there is a concentrated effort to replace White people with third-world migrants.
So here is my counter-offer to Stephen. I would be willing to say eleven words, and would also be willing to try to get Canon Press to say them. But the deal would be that he would have to say them also. Here they are: “Zionist dispensationalists are the lone bulwark against moral insanity in America.” If we were to offer this up as a demographic observation, it makes the same kind of sense as does the white evangelical version because, in North America, white evangelicals really are overwhelmingly Zionist dispensationalists. And it would not appear as though we were sub-tweeting anything (Fourteen Words) because we are not Zionists and we are not dispensationalist. We would just be giving a hats-off, credit-where-credit-is-due kind of thing. And I do like the fact that even though they get all tangled up with that rapture thing, the Zionist dispensationalists do manage to be a lone bulwark.
Doug Wilson incorrectly attributes Zionism and dispensationalism to being a lone bulwark. Zionism actually has furthered the decadence of American society, most notably our appetite for military interventions that have zero material benefit for the Americans. Standing with Israel is a policy priority of many Evangelicals, but this political capital could have been spent on issues of importance, and not paying tribute to foreign nations that have attacked a flagged US ship. The rise of Christian Nationalism is a repudiation of Christian Zionism and the post-war consensus, both of which left the church politically inept. Moreover, almost none of the major opponents in the church against wokeness were Zionist dispensationalists. At most, there were some so-called leaky dispensationalists. But they weren’t the majority of the leaders in opposition to these false gospels ransacking society. Therefore, Doug Wilson’s terms are not acceptable.
The reason I fight for my right to qualify my words on ethnicity and sex the way I do is not because I want to make the race hustlers or misogyny-mongers happy. I know I will never be able to do that. I do it because I want to make it crystal clear that their accusations are false. I want them to have more than a few awkward moments in the day of visitation (1 Pet. 2:12).
I want to fight for the truth in such a way as to make people accuse me of being a bigot. I also want to fight in such a way as to make it manifestly clear to all the sensible observers that I am not a bigot. The point is not to endear myself to the progressives. The point is to fight the progressives more effectively.
This is why I am so delighted that my denomination, the CREC, is in the process of approving a memorial on all such issues, a statement that nails the issue down on all four corners.
Doug Wilson is talking about a third way here, similar to many others in Big Eva. He demonstrates a huge concern for answering or befuddling liberal objections to his ministry, that his orthodox detractors do not share. Thus he admits he is virtue signalling here. He makes references to memorials he wants adopted by CREC which will enshrine Wilson’s virtue signals on churches and pastors in the denomination. Taking exceptions to these is a much bigger deal than disregarding a Southern Baptist resolution.
The screaming need for such a statement was powerfully illustrated this last week when a CREC congregation in Pella, Iowa was attacked for ministering to and fellowshipping with some folks who would not have been included on the committee that drafted our memorial. You see, the Alistair Begg Rule only works in one direction. It would certainly be stretchy enough, but it only stretches to the left. On top of that, the situations are not exactly parallel. There is a difference between talking to someone who wrote an objectionable book and offering a toast at the book release party for said objectionable book. Alistair’s way is more like the latter, and the situation in Pella is more like the former—although that doesn’t keep the situation in Pella from being a real pastoral mess.
A photo was released online by a gent named Blake Callens that showed various folks associated with Church of the Redeemer in Pella sitting and talking together. These men, along with goodness knows how many feds, have been guilty of publishing various offensive things online. And when I say offensive, I don’t mean scare quotes “offensive.” I mean offensive-to-God offensive. Callens also released screen shots of those, in case you were curious.
Dishonestly, Doug Wilson does not itemize what the screenshots were. The screenshots were of tweets opposing Zionism in no uncertain terms, a saucy AI image connecting Jewish tunnels in New York to Pizzagate, and a meme of a Ben Shapiro(?) sojak saying “Give us Barrabas. These weren’t categorically sinful, and many were quite based.
Yet Doug Wilson is getting his panties twisted over politically incorrect memes because a liberal nutjob with a fatwa against Christians complained about them on Twitter. Doug Wilson’s critique of NETTR showcased an inability to recognize a friend-enemy distinction, and moreover, he is virtue signaling to his enemies to show his friends that he isn’t like them,
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