He Says Some Of The Oddest Things, Wilson Does

Moscow’s Bishop of Bluster has been scurrying about addressing on Blog and Mablog everything recently from free light bulbs to hatred of the poor to playing prophet on the battleship while he was in the Navy.

You know, where you can sail the seven seas, as the Village People so helpfully point out, and where Wilson chose to both serve his country and assume the mantle of Old Testament prophet by railing against the sexual sins of his crewmates. He was always quick, pointed, and blissfully unrestricted, he says, in pointing out that their liaisons with prostitutes were sinful — and indeed they were. Now, he avers, a Godly young man can’t harangue and condemn his fellow soldiers because open “sodomites” — leave it to Wilson to use an ugly word when the more common, irenic one is out of reach of his level of civility — are in the Armed Forces. And, he argues, if they’re judged to be fit to serve, Christians repelled by their homosexuality won’t be permitted to, well, harangue and condemn them. This, he insists, will make for abysmal ship, bunker, and cockpit morale.

Now, I’ve never served in the military, and I am aware that every single study commissioned by a gay-fearing military since the 1950s shows that there is no reason to bar open homosexuals from serving, but it does seem to me that far more disruptive to the smooth operation of the mission, and much more threatening to soldiers’ morale, would be a young Christian soldier who believes his greatest service to the Kingdom, then and now, is to loudly and repeatedly condemn the sexual behaviors of his comrades. It’s a shame that the abolition of the absurd “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was necessary to rein in, we hope, these Thundering Onboard Prophets and instead allow the Spirit to help them live out their faith by praying for their comrades, walking in humility, and becoming grieved by the manifold sins around them that don’t, actually, have to do with other men’s penises.

In a long Blog and Mablog dissertation about Ron Paul and his “gee, he’s ALMOST got it” political righteousness, Wilson uses the example of the free light bulbs shipped to Palouse-area residents by Avista — under the same government energy-savings and environmental-safety program that resulted in most Americans receiving this summer a box of new lightbulbs. They may be free, Wilson thunders, but there’s no “freedom” about it — this was a socialistic governmental intrusion into how he and Nancy light their Sabbath dining rooms, by God, and it, like every other government program that seeks, however imperfectly, to do good for its citizenry and our world must be resisted. “Tyranny” is a word he uses often.

But while I wish the free, mandatory-usage bulbs were a soft pink, giving off a light citrus or sandalwood scent and projecting ponies on the wall, I suspect that with one out every nine Americans out of work and many millions more holding down to or three McJobs just to keep them in their homes — perhaps even with food on the table — the Great Injustice of the day probably isn’t going to be manifested in a box of free light bulbs sent by a well-intentioned government. He is indeed a lucky man if the only crisis, tragedy, or injustice that shows up on his doorstep — and I’m speaking metaphorically here — is a box of freebie light bulbs, because thousands of his neighbors on the Palouse wish that was all they had to face every morning when they open their doors.

Kind of puts it into perspective, although perspective is one quality Wilson has yet to master.

In another post about a debate between two Christians regarding the social justice mission of the Church — spoiler alert; he doesn’t believe there is one — Wilson takes into typically vicious account the ministry of pro-social justice debater Jim Wallis of Sojourners Community, a man who for four decades has fought passionately, fueled by his profound Biblical faith, for the poor, the sick, the marginalized, and the lost. Wilson, of course, hates that kind of thing, preferring to stick with the Reconstructionist belief that poverty is largely a spiritual problem and one almost entirely non-existent in the U.S.

Poverty is a sin, actually — but a grievous social sin far more often than it is evidence of an individual’s shortcomings. Wallis, who once dared to call Congressional budgets “moral documents,” which offends the man whose idea of a “moral document” is his promotion of the serrated blade of civil discourse with unbelievers, has been a tireless fighter for legislation and social policies to help poor people — or at least prevent their further exploitation. He boldly, Wallis does, proclaim that God is on the side of the poor, which even a cursory reading of the Old Testament prophets and Jesus’ New Testament teachings would support, and he stands in a long line of evangelical justice activists like William Stringfellow, Ron Sider, Stanley Hauerwas, Fredrich Beuchner, Dorothy Day, and Marian Wright Edelmen. Oh, and Jesus.

Wilson’s social ethic descends from the redoubtable Rev. Dabney, Charles Hodge, Rousas John Rushdooney, Gary North, Greg Bahnsen, and the late David Chilton. (Chilton was the guy who countered Sider’s prophetic “Rich Christians In An Age Of Hunger” with the snarky “Productive Christians In An Age Of Guilt Manipulators.” I’ve read both, and the fruit falling from Chilton’s tree was sour, rotten, and shriveled indeed). Wallis follows Paul’s pastoral admonition to “expose the deeds of darkness” with the justice and righteousness that should stream forth from the Gospel message. Wilson equates that with the sin of “hating the poor,” which seems to me to be quite a hefty stone to throw from the glass house of cultural insularity and privilege in which Wilson abides. It also sounds, ummmm, kind of nutty. But someday that tidy little separatist glass castle will shatter (again, I speak metaphorically), and I fear Wilson will have to contend with wounds far deeper than those wrought by what will, in Christ, be revealed as an impotent, silly, juvenile, and hateful serrated edge.

He who wields the sword of contempt, wrong judgment, and overweening pride ought to lay it down before, as Scripture says, that selfsame sword turns on him.

Wilson, you need a metanoia, and I pray you seek it.

(“Metanoia” is the Greek word for a deliberate, complete turning around from something; its New Testament usage describes repentance).

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