Course Correction

You know, this blog really IS more about Jesus than about Doug Wilson, but you’d be forgiven for wondering after the last few posts. I feel the need for a gentle, Spirit-lead course correction — a reminder of the need to stay on the road I embarked on originally — and I’d like to take a moment and examine what that means to me.

I don’t regret or take back anything that I’ve written — not today’s defense of Biblical egalitarianism, not yesterday’s frustration and disappointment with the Dalai Bama, homo pomo slowmo, and strudel dough, and not my concerns over the last few days with this pastor’s discourses on rich food, theology, and father hunger. I stand by them; I’m sure I’ll need to reiterate them. But my intention in this blog is always to offer with my rebuke what I call The Third Way of the Cross. An outpouring of passion and writing from me this last week has overshadowed the “Third Way” goal, I think.

Now, if I were to begin a post with a rumination on butter, for example, or if I wanted to express my dismay at the childishness of a powerful local pastor, I’ll have to use some examples — some touchstones, as it were, that anchor “where I’m going” with “how’d I get here anyway?” If I want to rebuke the idea of a “theology of food and feasting” that I think unfairly represents Christian liberty, or voice concern about exaggerated pastoral authority, I need to bring up the “source irritant.” A diatribe of mine, lacking a “first cause” of objectionable views, would look odd, coming out of nowhere and unable to make a point — really, who in the world thinks about butter and fudge and father hunger, if not for a previous reference to them elsewhere?

The same thing goes for what I think is immature, un-pastoral mockery of presidential candidates and post-modern moral decadence: without a reference point, my going on about “The Dalai Bama” would look more than a little odd. “Homo pomo slowmo” without explanation would kick “a little odd” right through the goalposts of “freakin’ bizarre.” These are public commentaries from Moscow’s most public pastor, and I’m sure he owns them just as cheerfully now as he did when he first wrote them on his public blog. They represent errors that I think are not only serious enough to merit comment, but solid enough to open the door to an offer of a better way. If other pastors in town — other representatives of Christ to a largely unbelieving community — said, wrote, and did the things Wilson does, I’d voice my dismay in their direction, too. But they don’t. There are some pastors and elders of Christian churches in town that I’m not fond of, and a couple of churches I wouldn’t recommend to people, but I know of no other pastor in Moscow who offers the public mockery, intentional offense, bad theology, and loathsome approach to engagement with non-believers and critics as Wilson, and so, when I think that shedding some light on a dark piece of blogwork is important, I have to make clear the reference.

My concern here is that I also have to make clear the light, the better way, and that’s where, for whatever reason (volume, passion, etc.), I’ve gotten a bit off course. Please don’t worry about whether or not any display of soul-searching is “effective” in what I’m trying to do with “Prevailing Winds.” It’s not about effectiveness. It’s about my character, and I need to always focus not just on “leading away from,” but “leading the way to.” I’ve been a believer for 27 years, and I know a nudge from the Holy Spirit when I get one.

So, that said, I’ll continue to offer my thoughts on food, liberty, feasting, respect, theology, the price of tea in China and all of that, and if a published or publicly-spoken example that I find rebuke-worthy appears, I won’t hesitate to offer my comments. But with those comments, I hope to always offer a better perspective that ultimately focuses less on Doug Wilson and more on Jesus Christ.

One more thing: I think you can eat and drink anything you want to, as long as you don’t do it in a way that harms yourself or puts others at risk. Further, I always appreciate good counsel from church leaders. However, I object to the idea that anyone knows better than you the motivations of the food choices you make, and I would expect your pastor to honor your Spirit-informed autonomy and liberty and not judge the maturity of your walk by what you eat or don’t eat or the questions you have about your food. We are all responsible to each other; we are accountable only for ourselves, and the are a lot of areas where the wisest course for a pastor would be to butt out. The Gospel is free and freeing. Don’t ever let anyone shackle you with burdens and expectations you were not meant to carry. There’s room in the covenant for you to disagree with your pastor or discount his teachings. Apostasy has as its central point a moving away from Christ, not from any pastor.

2 Responses to “Course Correction”

  1. Dad says:

    “….A diatribe of mine, lacking a “first cause”… would look odd, coming out of nowhere… unable to make a point ….”

    And… you would post it here on passing wind…

  2. Congratulations, D.A.D. You’re the first Kirker to make a public association between “Prevailing Winds” and fart jokes. The sad thing is that I knew it would happen — I’d been cautioned that it would — and now you’ve proved that your pastor’s immaturity has, indeed, influenced his flock. Way to go.
    Keely

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