[Vision2020] The end of real slavery

Douglas dougwils@moscow.com
Tue, 25 Nov 2003 15:00:43 -0800


Don Coombs' post brought several important issues to mind.

First, he answers a couple of his own rhetorical questions with the very 
dogmatic, "Absolutely not." Then, without any sense of irony, he goes on to 
say,  "Doug Wilson is open to criticism -- and almost demands it -- when he 
says he is right and I am wrong." But of course, in saying this, Don is 
maintaining that *he* is right, and I am wrong. In other words, Don makes 
truth claims (absolute ones) just as I do. The difference between us 
appears to be that I am aware of it.

It is true that I always believe that I am right, but it is important to 
note that I do not believe that I am always right. I know that I have 
erred, and made mistakes, and I have sinned in multiple ways. So I 
emphatically deny that I am always right. At the same time, I always 
believe I am right. How can those two statements be reconciled? In always 
believing I am right, I am saying nothing more than that I always think 
what I think. This is true, but trivial. In other words, always believing 
yourself to be right is not the trait of an excessively dogmatic 
personality; it is the trait of every human being, and that includes 
everyone who posts to this list.

When Don objects to me saying that I am right and he is wrong, he is not 
offering this statement to us all because he believes it to be wrong. He 
says it because it believes it is accurate -- or, to use another word, he 
thinks he is right. He believes that he is right, and I am wrong. Moreover, 
he always thinks that he is right. This is not an objection to him, because 
it is saying nothing more than that Don always thinks what he thinks.

Second, he says "secular humanists would have waged fewer wars and produced 
a better world than we have today." This can only be maintained if you 
restrict the application of the words "secular humanist" to the actual 
membership list of the American Humanist Association. But if you construe 
it the way we have been using the phrase, you would have to include Stalin, 
Pol Pot, Hitler, Marx, Robespierre, et al. -- quite a bloody crew. 
Secularism is the attempt to separate our public lives and culture from the 
authoritative Word of God, and on the altar of that separation, secularism 
has slain her millions. This is yet another sin that must be repented of -- 
whitewashing the crimes committed in the name of our idols.

Third, Don says, "Doug may say that I will go to Hell. What a silly person 
Doug is. Doug may respond and say I am taking chances with my immortal 
soul. And my response to Doug's response would be what a silly person Doug 
is." In addressing this, I should note that Don is interacting with things 
that I might say (according to him), but which are things I have actually 
not said. But then, having created this hellfire-speaking straw man, Don 
proceeds to lose the argument with that straw man, since his response 
basically amounts to, "neener, neener." Generally, when you invent an 
adversary, the argument should go better than that for you.

Not surprisingly, this points us again to the basic issues. We are not 
talking about politics, or culture, or racism, or history. We are talking 
about sin, and sin is always the real slave master. No chains are greater 
than the chains of our own lusts and desires, and we cannot break free of 
these as long as we are who we are. In order to be set free from our 
bitterness, our lies, our pettiness, our anger, our envy, our covetousness, 
our disrespect of parents, and so on, we have to be made into new 
creatures. We have to be born again, as Jesus told Nicodemus. But the only 
one who can recreate us is God. This is why the gospel of Christ's death, 
burial and resurrection is entirely grace. We cannot help Him 
recreate  ourselves any more than we helped Him create us in the first 
place. I was born in 1953, and I did absolutely nothing in 1950 that 
contributed in any way to my subsequent arrival here. In the same way, God 
is sovereign over the new birth. It is all His doing, and because He is a 
gracious and kind Father, we may trust Him to do the right thing. But one 
thing is certain -- we cannot do it ourselves. He must be the One to turn 
us back to Himself, and if does not do it, we are hopelessly and forever lost.

This is what Christian baptism means -- baptism in the name of the Father, 
Son, and Holy Spirit always points to Christ, and it represents a 
fundamental covenant requirement to love and serve Him. Of course, there 
are many baptized individuals who are not faithful to their baptism, just 
as there are many married people who break their marriage vows through 
infidelity. But this does not make them any less married; it makes them 
unfaithfully married. In the same way, there are many baptized individuals 
who are (covenantally) my brothers and sisters in Christ, but who have 
compromised themselves by joining in with the worship of the idols of our 
secularist age. I am simply trying to call them back to their true home, 
and to invite all those who have never been baptized to come to God through 

The only way out of this fatal dead-end trap of humorless,  dull, ugly, and 
bone dry idolatry is to turn to Christ, the source of all that is 
beautiful. We are all invited to worship Him in the beauty of 
holiness.  Come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.


Douglas Wilson

At 05:20 PM 11/24/2003 -0800, you wrote:
>History is littered with cults (or supply your more modest
>word here) like Doug Wilson's.
>Christ Church must represent the beliefs of far less than 1
>percent of the religious people in the world. Does that mean
>that they are wrong?
>Absolutely not.
>I am just one person, and a lot fewer than the members of
>Christ Church, and I find a lot of their beliefs -- such as
>how the husband is the head of the household and the wife
>should recognize that -- unacceptable.
>So does that make me wrong? Absoutely not.
>Doug Wilson is open to criticism -- and almost demands it --
>when he says he is right and I am wrong. I may be only one
>person willing to question this, but I can't imagine
>accepting Doug's conclusions about the way to live life.
>Secular humanists would have waged fewer wars and produced a
>better world than we have today.
>Doug's latest posting to Vision 2020 suggests that liberals
>haven't registered their opposition to slavery in the world
>today. No liberal who has posted to Vision 2020 in the past
>year (including me) has or would offer any support to
>slavery -- which does exist, and which shouldn't.
>Doug may say that I will go to Hell. What a silly person
>Doug is.
>Doug may respond and say I am taking chances with my
>immortal soul. And my response to Doug's response would be
>what a silly person Doug is.
>Don Coombs
>  List services made available by First Step Internet,
>  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.
>                http://www.fsr.net
>           mailto:Vision2020@moscow.com