This is a reaponse to this article by pastor Doug Wilson. It is my first “open letter” so it may be poorly written.
Dear Doug Wilson,
I would really like to start out with anger over your recent post about the Confederate Flag, but I must start by thanking you for your work in spreading the gospel. It is hard to say this as I am outraged by much of your commentary on race and politics, but I must side with the Apostle Paul (as h hard as it is and as much as my sinful nature wants not to) and celebrate your work for the Kingdom of God regardless of your misguided commentary on social and political news and events. I believe you have the orthodox gospel and solid Reformed theology, but I would like to comment on some of your statements about race and the confederate flag . This is very hard to do in a civil way, but I wish to show that Christians can disagree civilly. If I criticize you in an unfair or unkind way, I myself am at fault. I do not want to be so anti-fundamentalist that I become a anti-fundamentalist fundamentalist if that makes sense.
So first, I want to understand why you decided to write a piece supporting the confederate flag. It seems to me there are a few possibilities. One of them could be that you know something I don’t know and you are in fact right and I am wrong. That’s always a possibility. Secondly you may be willfully ignorant. Maybe you chose to view history through your own lens in a way that you can bypass the outrageous evil of the Confederate States. Third you may be acting intentionally antagonistic (or being troll.). I hope this is not the case, but it is hard to see that this does not potentially play a part.
So I want to analyze the first two reasons I mentioned first by going through some of your points and then the third one at the end.
You mention that we should not make this a political issue out of respect for the victims of the tragedy. Agreed we should first and for most mourn with those who mourn. This is a personal tragedy before it is a political issue. While I agree with this sentiment, I do not think taking down the flag is in any way disrespectful for the victims. Taking down the flag in no way prevents this from being a personal tragedy or prevents us from mourning with the victims families. To me this seems like. red herring. Even without this awful tragedy the flag should be gone. This conversation should have happened a long time ago, like 150 years ago.
In addition, Dr. Moore was actually not making this a political issue. He was clearly pointing out how it was a gospel issue. He said the cross and the confederate flag cannot stand together, not that the American flag and the confederate flag can’t stand together. The cross, not The American flag is the reason why the Confederate flag must go. At their core they are from two desperate world-views. The confederate flag represents an earthly kingdom built upon the backs of slaves, the cross represents the kingdom of God.
Continuing with the themes of politics. I find it interesting that you want to depoliticized this issue. It often appears to me as if you want to politicize the gospel with your idea of theocratic libertarianism, an idea I still find untenable.
Alright moving on. Your analysis of psychotropic drugs is also somewhat faulty. It is true that many mass shootings in recent years have been carried out by those who are on psychotropic medication, but this by no means shows that these drugs lead to mass killings. These drugs are often prescribed to those who have a predisposition to violence. Therefor it may just be that these drugs are prescribed to those who would carry out these killings regardless of medication. I also have one other issue with this. I know you like beer like every good Reformed guy with a beard. Alcohol leads to way more deaths than psychotropic drugs even if we assume that these mass shootings were a result of the drugs. I have a feeling you wouldn’t be happy if prohibition was reinstated. Sure psychotropic drugs should be worked on and improved but to make them illegal is a terrible idea. Unlike alcohol, there are actually people who need these drugs in order to be healthy. Psychologists are certainly not a protected class in the church. They are actually a vilified group.
On to the third possibility of you just being a troll. To me it seems that you often seem to be intentionally offensive and intentionally controversial. Why did you have to call the LGBT community the “homo-jihad.” Sure I believe that there are people who want to push a “homosexual agenda” if I must call it that, but it is not necessary to use the word jihad to describe them. You seem to embrace conflict and distaste from others as a way to prove that you are standing up for something. That is not persecution. Persecution is suffering and being slandered because of Christ not because of stupidity and being a jerk. Just because people don’t like what you are saying doesn’t make you a martyr. Martyr complexes aren’t cute. They are actually really unattractive. I advise you rethink at least the tone you use in controversy. You come off as brash, prideful and lacking compassion.
Hopefully that makes sense.
I really hope you reconsider your allegiance to the Confederate Flag. If you like the south that’s fine. I like Southern Rock, southern food, and SEC football. If you like NASCAR and Lynyrd Skynyrd and guns, that’s totally fine. The problem if that you have elevated your love for the South to a point where it is a stumbling block for people receiving Christ. Spurgeon wisely says that the cross is offensive enough and that no offense must be added to it. I wouldn’t wear a Redskins shirt to a Native American Reservation to evangelize. The Redskins are my favorite NFL team (though I would not call myself a huge fan) but I have given up trying to support the use of the name. It’s just not something worth fighting for and I realize that it can be offensive. I hope you see this with the Confederate Flag and your label as a paleo-confederate. I have no delusions that somehow taking down the flag will lead to the end of racism, but I do believe that it should go. I love what Al Mohler said: “Gospel minded Christians should support taking down the flag. Love of neighbor weighs even love of region, and it certainly requires that we distance ourselves from any hint of racism, now or in the past.” So maybe it isn’t racially motivated for you to fly the Confederate Flag, but many African American’s would say otherwise. For someone on Christian ministry, as you are, this should not be a hill to die on.