Part of an ongoing discussion of multigenerational faithfulness...
I would like to explain a bit more about the mentality behind what I understand to be Douglas Wilson of the CREC’s position on reaching out to women who are pregnant and are considering abortion. As I believe that I fueled some of this debate by alluding to Doug Wilson’s statement in “Mother Kirk," I’d like to again address what he’s actually said. I believe that his reasoning represents the mindset of the patriocentrists, and this reasoning no only concerns how those who are not Christian should be treated, the reasoning also determines how this group of Christians views reproduction in general. This mindset is neo-tribal and exclusive, aspects of which I’ve discussed recently on this blog.
I left the following comment on a blog in response to a comment that stated that Doug Wilson is pro-abortion. In some sense, this person was absolutely accurate. The reasoning stems from a mentality of superiority and what I believe are logical conclusions of what many promote as Christian hierarchy which reflects God’s sovereignty. I made a few corrections in what I originally posted as a comment on the True Womanhood blog. I offer it here as part of this ongoing investigation of “multigenerational faithfulness” and "covenantal succession." Some of this will be redundant, but I would like to post it anyway, for the sake of clarification.
About Wilson “supporting abortion.” I would not say that this is exactly his position.
Federal Vision and the teachings that resulted in Steve Schissel (I don’t understand any of that with him) and Doug Wilson losing their ordination involved their view of the importance of the “covenant community,” or for those of you who don’t speak Covenant Theology-speak, this means church. “Federal” in Latin means “Covenant,” so Federal Vision is a vision for the church in real English. But if you are Wilson, you have to demonstrate that you are clever and smarter than everybody else, so you have to make things a little more obscure.
In this teaching, these guys insisted that they were getting back to what the Protestant Reformers taught, and it boils down to this (for which at least 3 denominations have denounced them for): Your eternal fate and your salvation (justification, sanctification) depend as much or more upon church membership than they do upon the condition of your heart and your own personal confession of faith. There is an assumption that all people who are born into the church (to church members) automatically get this station with God (God’s elect), though if you asked these patriocentrists, they would say that it is also dependent upon personal confession. Because they believe that God chooses those whom He will save as an act of His sovereign will, those whom Ephesians calls God’s elect, everyone else deserves what they get. God hates the non-elect.
So the mentality is that the non-elect deserve what they have coming to them. I’ve read things on Michael Metzler’s blog (reportedly hacked with sections missing) where he’s quoted Wilson encouraging imprecatory prayer and saying that we should rejoice when we see the children of the heathen naked and hungry in the streets. This brings glory to God because he is punishing His enemies. (“Destroy my enemies God, and Joe Shmoe is my enemy. Kill them and have Your vengeance, because I know that you hate them and their hearts hate you.”) This was also the attitude that the more well-off had in Victorian times, as people said if you were poor, destitute or ill, this was God’s sovereign justice against you. This is the same hierarchical mentality that promotes scapegoating through slavery. That person was born a slave because God knew who they were and that is the station that they merit. There is a logical conclusion that is not stated that says we should basically not mess with God’s sovereign will by trying to elevate these people out of poverty, and we should not really minister to the needy. These things should be restricted to those who honor God only (by participation in the covenant community or those who are church members).
So, he’s said that we should be honest about pro-life efforts, and we should let the children of Molech go kill themselves, because this is the just end of the heathen. (Notice that there is always an assumption that human beings can tell somehow who is elect from who is not. Maybe this gift is limited to Wilson? If you were elect, you would think like the patriocentrists. This is the same mentality behind the persecution of the Jews. God turned His back on them and all Christians should hate them.)
So somehow, those who are elect should be able to discern who is God’s elect and who is not, and they should direct their missionary efforts, including pro-life efforts, to only the elect, and that can be easily determined: the elect are in the covenant community or look that they will likely come to join the covenant community. He says “The ancient psalmist blessed the one who would take little ones of those who hate God and dash them on the rock (Ps 137:9). We should likewise pray that the babies of the non-elect should die in utero so that they are never even born, in accordance with this Psalm.
So he is technically not “pro-abortion.” He is just pro-death, suffering and destruction of any kind to those who are non-elect.
This is the same reason why Christian attorneys out there and so many patriocentrists are willing to violate 1 Cor 6 (which admonishes Christians keep matters among Christian’s out of Caesar’s courts). These Christians who take other Christians into the courts just make the decision in their heads that they know beyond certainty that those whom they are at liberty to sue are non-elect. They declare you non-Christian, and then they can take you to court or into kangaroo courts of arbitration or mediation with lawyers of their choosing (that they manipulate), and they can fleece you.
And let me say that I talk much of ideological totalism, thought reform, collectivism and the lot in association with these groups. They purpose to do the right thing, but they do it by human means to create a “more perfect world” for the “greater good.” But in the process of solving for x in human equations, their ends become their idols and they use any means to accomplish them. They can’t tolerate tension very well (some we will always have with us, such as differing interpretations and intramural issues concerning Scripture), and so they believe that they are doing God’s work to make those tensions go away. But man cannot do this, so the results are always the works of the flesh. When you do this en masse, it always degrades into thought reform. Dehumanize those that don’t fit the prescribed standard and marginalize them, debilitate them, shut them up or destroy them. Send them to Rhode Island in exile like the Puritans in Massachusetts did with the Baptists and whoever else they found to be problematic. This is what the Spanish Inquisition did. This is what Hitler did with his Jewish “problem” and anyone else that did not suit him. This is what the Pharisees did ("Thank you Lord for not making me a worthless sinner like this one… Thank you Lord that You did not see to it that I was born a goy, a slave or a woman.”) Kick the dog and slit its throat to get rid of the inconvenient tension of life, an inevitable part of the human experience.
What is truly sad is that this is a trap that we humans fall into by making small compromises, and if we do not stay rooted and grounded in love and the Word in balance, we don’t even see that we are falling into error. This is the very nature of the idolatry of idealism. Satan takes good intentions and uses them along with the deceitfulness of our hearts (that not yet transformed through sanctification), and he turns us into that which we most hate.
So all that to say, Doug Wilson is not “technically” pro-abortion. He’s just pro-death for anyone outside the covenant community. This is evidenced, of course, by total agreement with him. Such is the case with most all the patriocentrists....
And I assume that it should go without saying that Jesus taught us to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who despitefully use us. We should not turn ourselves into doormats with them, but we should not pray destruction on people, nor should we rejoice in the demise of anyone. Our real warfare is not against the non-elect, and this comes from Covenant Theology’s identification of themselves as attached to Israel directly. We are to take authority over our own thoughts as well as principalities, powers, the rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places. That’s not warfare against people. We should not pray against those people personally but should pray for their deliverance. We should pray for God to deliver them from the spiritual forces that hold them back from unity with the Body of Christ (as opposed to their forced version of uniformity). We should pray that their wounds be healed (as I believe much of what many seemingly wicked people do is just self-protection and pain from their own unhealed wounds). We are never taught anywhere in the New Testament to curse or condemn people, and even Paul states in I Cor 5, I think, that we should give people over unto their own corruption SO THAT GOD MIGHT SAVE THEM eventually. We should release them, letting God deal with them. We are not to pray for their harm and we certainly should not rejoice in their affliction.
We are also never told to restrict our charities to only the elect. God told Daniel that man looks only to the outward things, as only God can see the intent of the heart and judge righteously. That’s why vengeance is His and not ours. We can certainly say “The Lord rebuke you,” but we are never told to curse. We are to hate sin, conduct ourselves with wisdom and to “one another” each other. I’ve never seen that this was ever restricted from sinners. The only people we are to hold at length from ourselves are recalcitrant people who will not repent or show themselves accountable to the brethren and those corrupt religious teachers who pervert the Gospel, thus abusing their sheep. Even then though, we are to pray that in the Day of the Lord and in the fullness of time that God will redeem them.
The patriocentrists see themselves like Abraham’s real seed, and they think that the holiness mandates for Israel’s purity still apply to their “spiritual nation.” But these new supposed Covenant Theologians (as I don’t really think this is a correct interpretation of Covenant Theology and Theonomy) forget that salvation is no longer restricted from the gentiles/available only to the Jews, and salvation is no longer nation-based. We follow the Holy Spirit to do what the Law used to do for Israel to keep her pure. God works our purity from the inside out now, not the outside in like the patriarchalists demand. This is also why they are focused on “fecundity,” as they are interpolating Old Testament identification with Israel with salvation of the world. That is why evangelism of the lost is not key to them. It’s replacement theology on the steroid of human pride and tribalism.
Please read preceding posts here for more information.