Pooh’s Think

… with comments

Josh Gibbs’ Letter To Me With My Reply

The following is the letter from Josh Gibbs. Following his letter quoted in full, I re-publish the letter with my comments inserted:

Dear Mike,

You recently wrote:

“Anyone who has been following all this closely and has not concluded that Wilson is a power hungry, corrupt, arrogant liar is not someone I’m interested in trying to convince about anything anymore.”

I’ve suspected you felt this way for several months now, but I was still surprised to see you say this in such an unguarded manner. I’d ask you to take a closer look at your statement above and then consider the ramifications of such a statement.

Of all the people who are not convinced that Wilson is a “power hungry, corrupt, arrogant liar,” you will find a healthy majority of Christ Church, Trinity Reformed, their elders and deacons, and Wilson himself. If you’re no longer interested in convincing your skeptics of what you believe to be true, then you’ve given readers reason to believe you are on the verge of either drawing your website to a close, or to no longer posting proofs and examples of Wilson’s hunger for power, corruption and arrogance. If not, I would question the purpose of continued posts…. about Wilson’s hunger for power, lies, corruption, etc. To do so would seem to be for no other purpose than to hurt Wilson (not to show him, others the truth) and to stir up greater distaste for him among those who are already disposed towards your opinions. This seems like the kind of thing you wouldn’t want to do given your comments and feelings towards the serrated edge.

If you’re not interested in convincing those who don’t believe Wilson is arrogant, corrupt etc. “anything at all,” then one would have to reason that you’re not interesting in convincing Wilson of anything at all. As such, I wonder why you want to continue to discourse with him in public. You jumped on the chance to comment on Wilson’s website, and have posted several thousand words about the man and his apologists during the last twenty-four hours alone.

However, when you say that you’re not interesting in convincing Wilson defenders of anything, I believe you. You continue to provide long proofs and evidences for his corruption despite the fact you don’t care for the man at all. In this, you’ve become the embodiment of what I dislike about the serrated edge- that it is frequently (but not always) directed at people that the person wielding the serrated edge has never seen, never known or doesn’t care about. I ceased believing you cared at all about Doug months ago. For this reason, your claims that Wilson’s serrated edge “maligns the Gospel” were amazing pictures of a man who lacked any amount of self-awareness at all. Others would simply call you a hypocrit- which is a fair claim, but doesn’t get to the deepest root of the problem. It is for this staggering, amazing lack of self-awareness that people such as myself have insinuated that you are touched by some kind of mental handicap.

While not entirely, I somewhat understand the kind of shock you feel when people don’t believe your claims and proofs about Wilson. However, what I would hope the last nine months have shown you (as they’ve shown to me,
others) in the light of your recent claim to no longer aim at convincing your skeptics otherwise, is that the internet is a lousy place to try to do what you’re doing. I know of other people who are surprised at the difference between the Internet Metzler and the Inperson Metzler. The Internet Metzler is not well spoken, rarely coherent, sometimes quite mean.
The Inperson Metzler is a polite, normal kind of husband/dad. I will return to the advice I offered you months ago: take a long break from your fight.
Give it up for a couple months and see if it doesn’t give you a better perspective on a different, more affective road to take in getting some satisfaction for all your claims. I daresay that we’re reaching some kind of critical mass here. You’ve said just about everything that can be said about Wilson and his apologists. Wilson and his apologists have said just about all there is to be said about Metzler.

I’ll go ahead and admit what’s below the surface here. I’m hoping that you take this advice, because I believe that if you give up your fight for a month or so, you’re going to realize just how much time and brain power you spent fighting the Kirk. I think you’re going to love having that extra time to play with your kids and cook, talk with your wife about other stuff you’re interested in. And I don’t think you’d come back to the fight. I think you’d get a different perspective and decide that if Wilson is as bad as you say he is, then the Lord will take care of him.

Guilelessly,

Joshua Gibbs

THE LETTER WITH MY COMMENTS INSERTED:

Dear Mike,

You recently wrote:

“Anyone who has been following all this closely and has not concluded that Wilson is a power hungry, corrupt, arrogant liar is not someone I’m interested in trying to convince about anything anymore.”

I’ve suspected you felt this way for several months now, but I was still surprised to see you say this in such an unguarded manner. I’d ask you to take a closer look at your statement above and then consider the ramifications of such a statement.

Me: Josh, this statement was not unguarded at all, and is simply a restatement of similar comments I have already made. I haven’t simply “felt” this way for the last several months, but have made a principled determination to take this stance for my own sanity, my family’s sake, and my more long term and far broader goals.

*Of all the people who are not convinced that Wilson is a “power hungry, corrupt, arrogant liar,” you will find a healthy majority of Christ Church, Trinity Reformed, their elders and deacons, and Wilson himself. If you’re no longer interested in convincing your skeptics of what you believe to be true, then you’ve given readers reason to believe you are on the verge of either drawing your website to a close, or to no longer posting proofs and examples of Wilson’s hunger for power, corruption and arrogance. If not, I would question the purpose of continued posts about Wilson’s hunger for power, lies, corruption, etc. To do so would seem to be for no other purpose than to hurt Wilson (not to show him, others the truth) and to stir up greater distaste for him among those who are already disposed towards your opinions. This seems like the kind of thing you wouldn’t want to do given your comments and feelings towards the serrated edge.

Me: I really think I have already made clear statements that address all of these worries. It was not until I understood Wilson to be a conscienceless, dishonest, and harmful man that I even decided to begin my public criticism. Talk about convincing Wilson of something seems a bit odd at this stage. Further, I have been very clear that I do believe there is New Testament warrant for using Wilson’s own form of attack on Wilson, since Wilson is really the only person on the Palouse the qualifies as an object of such attack. The fact that Wilson attacks those who do not qualify for such an attack is part of the reason he is himself the object worthy of such attack. I explained this very thing to both Wilson and Leithart to their face many months ago—as I have repeatedly noted.

I have also been very clear in my transition from serratedly criticizing Wilson to simply acting the role of a detached sociologist or social philosopher. Given how successful Pooh’s Think has been, I have been enabled to go on with life in this respect. If it wasn’t for Wilson’s latest unprovoked attack on me, attempting to discredit everything I’ve done over the last year, my web site would not have dedicated much more time to Wilson to begin with. As for other Kirkers, I’m afraid that I just find the world too big a place to allow these people to guide my actions from here. Thy have been given the most light and they are the ones who knew me and my family. I have convinced a number of them actually, and most who remain unconvinced are simply not going to be convinced any time soon regardless of the evidence and information provided them. The irrational and willful ignorance on the part of many is precisely what has caused me to gain such an acute interest in the sociology of belief.

And on this point, I must say that I was a bit perplexed about your comments about the nature of “cults,” which I got off a link from Jon Amos’ site a while ago. You appear to admit that CC is a cult, but then dismiss this as an unimportant fact. I doubt that the majority of folks out there share this point of view; and given this, I should note that it is not surprising at all that Wilson, elders, deacons, and the typical layman are not “convinced.” This is precisely the problem with a sociological cult; you never even know when every last one of the members is going to be found dead on some island after the leader informed them that drinking poison was the Will of God and the way to Heaven. Wilson and Jones have aggressively countered my attempt at free public discourse by simply seeking to unjustly malign me in the hearts of minds of kirkers—and there year long project has paid off for them.

Finally, you don’t seem to grant the nature of my readership at this point. I write many things that are offensive to most of the groups reading, regarding issues such as covenant theology, patriarchy, political liberalism, the state of reformed theology in general, fundamentalists, kinism, etc. And I do not write on a level most conducive to increasing my readership base. A friend of mine moderates the BB Warfield Yahoo list and he told me outright that he was seeking to suppress reading of my site since I rejected the Covenant of Works; and this is coming from folks who don’t like Doug Wilson. And yet my readership has only climbed; not long ago it was holding steady at the same volume that Leithart’s site generates. There is a big world out there, as my more recent posting and the responses to it have illustrated. In this regard I find your challenge incoherent: I’m supposed to cease blogging about Wilson, but then as soon as I start moving on I’m supposed to keep a web site dedicated to convincing whatever Christ Church members might still be reading?

*If you’re not interested in convincing those who don’t believe Wilson is arrogant, corrupt etc. “anything at all,” then one would have to reason that you’re not interesting in convincing Wilson of anything at all. As such, I wonder why you want to continue to discourse with him in public. You jumped on the chance to comment on Wilson’s website, and have posted several thousand words about the man and his apologists during the last twenty-four hours alone.

MM: I think it would be utterly vain to try “convince” Wilson of anything. In fact, I fully believe he knows that much of what I say is indeed true, just as he knows, for example, that the Law Center’s recent report was not filled with “brazen lies.” There is almost nothing about his politics and religious leadership that is simply aimed at truth. His willingness to manipulate and deceive seems almost unbounded to me at this point.

Your comment about how much I’ve posted in the last twenty-four hours is typical of the kinds of remarks you have made about me or to me over the last year. It certainly seems you don’t like it when I write a lot at one sitting; I am still clueless as to why this is. Would it be more satisfying to you if I time stamped my posts so that they came out at a more even rate? Given Wilson’s deceitful attack on me, I decided to respond with a series of short essays that were exhaustive. I wanted the intelligent reader to at least in principle have everything they needed if they wanted to understand my full answer to Wilson’s very serious and libelous allegation. Is there something wrong with taking a good part of my Saturday to do this? Do you think I enjoyed the opportunity to do this?

*However, when you say that you’re not interesting in convincing Wilson defenders of anything, I believe you. You continue to provide long proofs and evidences for his corruption despite the fact you don’t care for the man at all. In this, you’ve become the embodiment of what I dislike about the serrated edge- that it is frequently (but not always) directed at people that the person wielding the serrated edge has never seen, never known or doesn’t care about. I ceased believing you cared at all about Doug months ago. For this reason, your claims that Wilson’s serrated edge “maligns the Gospel” were amazing pictures of a man who lacked any amount of self-awareness at all. Others would simply call you a hypocrit- which is a fair claim, but doesn’t get to the deepest root of the problem. It is for this staggering, amazing lack of self-awareness that people such as myself have insinuated that you are touched by some kind of mental handicap.

Me: I think you are confusing some important things in this paragraph. First, I did not go public in my criticism of Wilson for the sake of convincing Wilson. Your failure to grasp this one fact calls into question your interpretation of Pooh’s Think in general. I’ve known Wilson for over a decade. There have been other times in the past that I thought he had acted abusively and wrongly, but I always kept my concerns 100 percent under wraps and continued defending his ministry. It was only after a very difficult three years as a private student and then Greyfriar student that I finally concluded in a fully conscious way that Wilson was an untrustworthy, power hungry, deceitful man. And it was still a number of months of abuse after this conclusion that I finally started going a bit public; and even my public behavior became progressively aggressive only in proportion to the wild response from Wilson, Jones, and others.

Your comments about the serrated edge also seem confused. I think the local church in Moscow has given Christianity a horrible reputation by lacking any backbone to stand up to Wilson. They carp and whine in private but then refuse to do anything substantive—and I do think there is plenty of corrupt politics locally that allows for this; just look at Jim Wilson’s interesting hedging on all this over the last decade. I think it is very clear that my actions during the first number of months were in part for the purpose of rectifying successful defeat of the Christian story by both Christ Church and her local Christian ‘critics.’ The testimony of ‘the church’ is simply worthless if it can’t testify against the corrupt abusers leading the show. As in the case of the RC Sproul Jr. scandal and Ligonier’s law suit, I really don’t care to hear anything further about the doctrines of grace and the doctrine of “submission to elders” if all we are doing is sitting back and enjoying the hypocrisy and lies from our personality-cults.

Calling me a hypocrite is not a “fair claim” at all, and you know full well that the criticism against me has been nothing but irrational and bitter insults. Your concluding remark here is astounding, Josh. You talk about my “staggering” lack of “self-awarness,” and attempt to justify your public claim that I am mentally insane only after demonstrating that you don’t know what you are talking about and can’t offer a cogent interpretation of what has transpired over the last year. And it is here where I need to comment about my perception of you. Partial explanation of your strange harassment these many months is I think found in the very strange concluding remark in your public letter to me: your concluding summary exhortation to me was that I not think that I was smarter than you. This kind of infantile and self-absorbed response to public controversy is simply not something I’m interested in dealing with at all.

*While not entirely, I somewhat understand the kind of shock you feel when people don’t believe your claims and proofs about Wilson. However, what I would hope the last nine months have shown you (as they’ve shown to me, others) in the light of your recent claim to no longer aim at convincing your skeptics otherwise, is that the internet is a lousy place to try to do what you’re doing. I know of other people who are surprised at the difference between the Internet Metzler and the Inperson Metzler. The Internet Metzler is not well spoken, rarely coherent, sometimes quite mean. The Inperson Metzler is a polite, normal kind of husband/dad. I will return to the advice I offered you months ago: take a long break from your fight. Give it up for a couple months and see if it doesn’t give you a better perspective on a different, more affective road to take in getting some satisfaction for all your claims. I daresay that we’re reaching some kind of critical mass here. You’ve said just about everything that can be said about Wilson and his apologists. Wilson and his apologists have said just about all there is to be said about Metzler.

Me: I really think you have lost touch with reality here, although I appreciate your claim about my niceness in person. First, I think it is morally reprehensible to play a “sitting on the fence” role about all this. You are not willing to deny my allegations, and yet you are not willing to act in a way consistent with their truth. Do you believe and care anything about all this mess outside of taking me down a notch Josh? You seem to be offering us quite a “postmodern” response to all this. Is there such a thing as truth in your world? Did Wilson do what I claim he did or not? Have I given successful evidence of this or not? If so, don’t you have an obligation to think something about it? Dare I suggest: do something about it? You are like the man during War World II who wanted to play checkers early with the Jews so that you could make the Nazi parties in the evening. War? Accusations? Oh, settle yourselves gentleman; don’t let your bitterness get in the way of a good game of a checkers. From a brief look at the nature of your comment threads and the kind of folks it attracts, I don’t think this postmodern concern of mine lacks warrant. I also find your statement that Wilson defenders have said ‘all there is to say’ ludicrous and offensive. Wilson defenders have not even BEGUN to provide cogent public responses and have replaced any attempt at argumentative exchange with ad hom attacks, lies, and subterfuge. Your comment about the fact that my writing is “rarely coherent” is plain silly. I’m not going to comment to this outside of repeating myself once again: if someone wants to make sweeping claims about the 900 posts here in the Wood, I would appreciate at least ONE EXAMPLE.

*I’ll go ahead and admit what’s below the surface here. I’m hoping that you take this advice, because I believe that if you give up your fight for a month or so, you’re going to realize just how much time and brain power you spent fighting the Kirk. I think you’re going to love having that extra time to play with your kids and cook, talk with your wife about other stuff you’re interested in. And I don’t think you’d come back to the fight. I think you’d get a different perspective and decide that if Wilson is as bad as you say he is, then the Lord will take care of him.

Me: Throughout this letter of yours, the implication seems to be that my energetic attempt at exposing Doug Wilson has been largely unsuccessful and that my efforts are now starting to fizzle out into incoherence and desperate exhaustion. The problem with this is that it simply is not true. Doug Wilson has been very successfully exposed for who he is in countless ways over the years by critics other than myself. I’m simply added my efforts to the mix. The public looking in on this simply agrees with my assessment. Period. You can pretend that the rest of the world is as postmodern as you are about all this; but it simply is not true. The rest of the world on-looking this has taken careful note and is generally a bit horrified at the teaching and practices of Doug Wilson. Wilson is backed into a social corner and given his continual arrogance so far I don’t see him coming out.

I’ll leave you with yet another bit of encouragement from an email that came in just a few days ago. After recently locating Pooh’s Think for the first time, the gentleman writes:

“…I want to encourage you to continue to stand firm in what you are saying. I want you to know that you have at least one more person out there who neither wavers on the side of blissful ignorance (”Maybe if I just keep quiet, wisdom will prevail, and erring ways will correct themselves…”) nor on the side of disgusted apathy (”This is all too much to keep track of! One head slain and two more born! Screw this!”).”

And on this note, I would really like to know what you think about the other issues I have been focusing on, such as RC Sproul’s brazen disregard of his defrocking, Ligonier’s law suit, Tim Bayly’s patriarchalism and offensive censorship, Phil Johnson’s recent defense of Frank Turk and offensive attack against David McCrory, and Doug Phillips misogyny and popularization of theonomic patriarchy.

Thanks
Michael

November 3, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

5 Comments »

  1. Hi. I would love to dialog here. Great web site. Bring it on. Once again, all posts sent to metzler@moscow.com will be published at http://www.poohsthink.com.

    Michael Metzler
    509-330-1503
    metzler@moscow.com

    Comment by Michael Metzler | November 2, 2006

    By the way: please remove your libelous claim “but he blocks all comments on his blog.” That is clearly an intentionally dishonest way of refering to the simple fact that I don’t have comments. I used to; it was in my favor to given the intelligence and character of my opponent; and when I ceased comments I explained why at length (and have had to repeat myself more than once). I “block all comments” the same way Peter Leithart “blocks all comments” on his blog. Check it out: http://www.leithart.com

    Given this libelous statement right out the gate, I take it that you are a Wilson defender.

    Michael Metzler
    509-330-1503
    metzler@moscow.com
    http://www.poohsthink.com

    Comment by Michael Metzler | November 3, 2006

    Michael,

    If you are so interested in dialog, why not post a link from your website?

    Comment by Pooh | November 3, 2006

    I very rarely post links to web sites until I think I can anticipate what kind of sites they are. I think it is a privelage to earn the blog hits from well read blogs. This principle is the same for business referals. I was tempted to provide a link to this site only to show how silly the opening remarks were about my refusal to allow comments. If I prefered spending my time answering the 101 irrational and insulting comments from Wilson apologists I would have re-activated my comments a long time ago. I prefer to give the read a chance to have a full post right to Pooh’s Think. For some reason this has been a great way of dignifying those who want to take a shot at real dialog while also filtering out the ninnies: they just refuse to send me a post. Strange stuff, but I like the way it has worked out so far. The only folks in this “debate” who refuse accountable face to face dialog is Wilson and his apologists. Given that I don’t like anonynomy on the web unless there is some principles purpose to it, I would ask that you fully disclose your identity and intentions. Word Press is a powerful application, and you have certainly not convinced me yet that you are desiring judicial discourse; in fact, your refusal to pull your opening, libelous remarks suggests that you have no intentions of seeing justice done here. The suggestion that I don’t promote open dialog is simply ludricrous too by the way. However, after nine months of trying open dialog, I’m certainly less motivated about this on the topic of Doug Wilson….

    Yours
    Michael
    http://www.poohsthink.com

    Comment by Michael Metzler | November 3, 2006

    Comment by Michael Metzler | November 3, 2006 | Reply

  2. Well, Josh didn’t want to respond further, so I guess that is the end of that public dialog. Too bad I don’t have comments so that Josh could non-respond in a comment thread.

    Michael

    Comment by Michael Metzler | November 4, 2006 | Reply

  3. It is too bad that Josh didn’t respond. Perhaps this should indicate why you ought to allow comments.

    Comment by Pooh | November 6, 2006 | Reply

  4. Huh? How in the world does this follow Mr. Anonymous? Gibbs gets full posting status, uses this status to offer a lengthy letter, and then decides not to post anymore, and this suggests that comments would be good? As it turns out, Gibbs has responded viciously to the fact that I took the opportunity to respond firmly to him; he went on and kept sending me emails explaining to me that he was deleting my emails to him without reading them. He is now claiming that I need to change my religion since I’m now a political liberal” and he told me to go play in the street. He has made no response to my reply on Pooh’s Think. So after giving Gibbs full posting status right on Pooh’s Think he now bans me from his own private email inbox!! This should explain perfectly why I am not wasting time right now with a comment section. If I were to re-open comments, I would now moderate them with WordPress; however, there is no way in the world I would take the time to do this until end of January…or at least until my PhD applications are out.
    Michael metzler

    Comment by Michael Metzler | November 7, 2006 | Reply

  5. Michael,

    I find it very ironic that you, of all people, are taking me to task for being anonymous.

    Comment by Pooh | November 8, 2006 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: