Returning to Doug Wilson, specifically my last episode going through the timeline of alleged scandals related to him, should we be more suspicious of the 94 ecclesiastical charges which were reportedly brought against him in his own denomination, CREC, given that all 94 charges were dropped?
This was a follow-up comment and question from my neighbor, JP Chavez, after listening to that episode. And I believe he’s right to bring it up, since I should have made more of this.
So why didn’t I?
To be as truthful as I know how, the thought didn’t occur to me because I’ve been trying, perhaps too hard, to play nice in several other arenas. And I say I might be trying too hard precisely because certain observations which otherwise typically come easy to me entirely escaped my attention.
This fact serves as a reminder that we all in America have been hearing so much about unity in recent years, and how the whole truth as far as we might know it is often a casualty of heeding these calls for unification are insufficiently pre-conditioned, or predicated on objective truth in any discernable way.
That is to say we feel the pressure to put on blinders in the interest of unity. But when we do this, we can become too good at ignoring things.
On a related note, two episodes ago I talked about the Old Testament book of Ezekiel and some traditions about it which have held that men under 30, as well as women of all ages, should not read that book. If you listened to that episode, you know some objections raised there by yours truly that we ought not to censor God and His Word, in my strongly held opinion.
But JP made another point to me relative this episode that what God does is distinct from what we do by virtue of the fact that God is positionally not our peer. And perhaps this is relevant to how certain facts of life are discussed in the book of Ezekiel compared to how we should talk, given that we are not God. In any event, that is the question, whether these things are connected in a way which would give more legitimacy to the tradition that women and young men were not allowed to read Ezekiel.
As Christian families, for instance, we talk about difficult passages differently based on the maturity of our children. And, yes, age is a factor in assessing this, the maturity of our children, when we explain the harder to understand parts of the Bible to those who lack maturity.
There are other important factors too, however. For instance, if the rate of maturation is contingent on what, when, and how we share, there is a certain tension to maintain that is related to the mental, emotional, and spiritual equivalent to how the muscles in our physical bodies which we work too lightly or not at all atrophy instead of growing stronger the longer we neglect them.
To put it another way, we only get the gains we train for, humanly speaking. And yet I do believe God has made clear that we should strive to make gains toward maturity by His grace.
Daughters and Difference
In other news, and speaking of grace, we celebrated our daughter Evelyn’s ninth birthday this week. And this reminded me once again that our daughter is so different than our seven sons.
Am I allowed to say that these days? Many don’t want us to say such things, but threaten taking offense at self-evident distinctions. They call them prejudiced and antiquated.
Yet regardless who might take offense, it’s a true saying. Our daughter Evelyn is very sweet and special in a way our sons are not – qualitatively, not quantitatively. They are sweet in their way often enough, to be sure. But they are not sweet like she is, and she is not sweet like they are – all things considered. That’s just that, I think, because she is a girl. And girls are inherently and significantly different than boys, whoever might take offense at my saying so.
But I admit to going too easy on Evelyn, and my wife Lauren chides me for it. Hopefully I’m not spoiling her. Yet here again, there is the problem stated earlier of trying too hard to play nice, as well as a confession that I very often do not know entirely what to do with a daughter, our having so many sons besides to have practiced raising the past fifteen years.
And here again, to be as honest as I know how, I recognize that the last thing I want is be too harsh. Yet sometimes we can try so hard to not be harsh that we’re not letting love be genuine, and we’re not actually serving and safeguarding one another properly. That is, when we try so hard to not be harsh that we are failing to take seriously enough the things which might hurt those we love, we are not loving them as well as we ought to.
In sum, all these things are related in a way peculiar to our age. Our attitude about doing what is right and telling the truth has been muddied by partiality, and a corresponding lack of discipline, maturity, sobriety, humility, and reverence for God.
Perhaps I need to meditate more on what it means to “let love be genuine,” but my suspicion in the present is that if we would do that more often and thoroughly in relation to all these things, we would not have nearly so many dilemmas and controversies which come to impasses so early, often, and easily in this day and age.
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