My Friend Jeff Moss Writes In
Jeff Moss wrote me a note last night and requested that I post it here. Jeff is a Christ Church member and a Grayfriars student. He is perhaps the only (there might be one more) Christ Church member who has been willing to acknowledge a disagreeable stance to Pooh’s Think while also remain kind in his dealings with me (the other categories are: members who agree with me, those who disagree and mistreat me, and those who act as if they know nothing of my gruesome expulsion from the Kirk.) The following is his note, followed by my reply:
Just an observation, and I’d appreciate it if you could post this on your blog.
I care a lot about you personally, although I can’t say I feel the same about Pooh’s Think. It seems that despite your occasional positive postings about narrative, metaphor, and community, your blog is still primarily and massively devoted to personal attacks. Recently “Ministry Watchman” has appeared, and that website has shown some of the same tendencies. So when I heard that your two sites had begun to criticize each other, I couldn’t help thinking of Judges 9:19-20, especially when these verses are read in the context of the parable of the trees (verses 6-20).
“‘if then you have acted in truth and sincerity with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you. But if not, let fire come from Abimelech and devour the men of Shechem and Beth Millo; and let fire come from the men of Shechem and from Beth Millo and devour Abimelech!’”
Thank you for your willingness to post challenging comments on your blog. My message here is more an observation than an argument proper. However, I think it would be worthwhile for Pooh’s Think to consider to what extent the parable in Judges 9 is relevant to the current situation in the blogging world.
I look forward to seeing you again soon. May mercy and truth be with you always.
Your brother in Christ,
Thank you for the note. If there is some religious meaning in this ancient text that you would like to apply to this interesting situation here in North Idaho, please feel free to explain it to us. Your way of interpreting and applying my willingness to criticize Ministry Watchman after suspecting unjust motives and methods appears to me highly skewed, and yet it also seems very consistent with your attempt at dealing with Doug Wilson’s attacks against me many months ago. Your unwillingness or inability to perceive your social environment objectively became fairly obtuse, particularly after my efforts at pointing out your continuous errors off-line proved futile. I appreciate the kindness you have shown me. However, being nice in a situation like this is not sufficient for acting in truth, mercy, and justice. You are like the “nice guy” husband that Wilson talks about in his book on marriage. You have stood by and watched Doug Wilson and many Christ Church apologist thugs attack me, insult me, libel me, and shun me. And yet you offered no disapproval—ever. You know full well that the creation of Pooh’s Think was in part a self-protective defense mechanism as I groped for a way to make it out of the Kirk alive and sane once Wilson aimed his notorious sheep-shooter at my head. You rather enjoyed the comfort of your cultish existence within a small extreme fundamentalist group in North Idaho, enjoying your status as a minister in training under men like Mike Lawyer and Doug Wilson. I imagine you would like to get married by now too, and you certainly have a high selection of good looking virgins within the walls of Jerusalem, Idaho. Perhaps this is another good reason for being a “nice guy” friend.
I’m glad for you Jeff, and that you can lead your comfortable community life here in North Idaho; and I hope you get a nice ministerial job somewhere and find a young lady to marry before you go. But all this quality good living has its down sides. You are obviously blind to or deceiving yourself about what has really transpired here between myself and Ministry Watchman—although you are no doubt responding precisely how Doug Wilson would want you to. I am simply applying the same judicial truth-seeking standards to them as I did Doug Wilson. And to my own hurt, I acted with integrity to speak to my findings. You know full well that one of the reasons Wilson started shunning me and going after me months before I started Pooh’s Think was because I wanted to know more truth about his treatment of others and the criticism of him and my church from those outside. I also wanted to inquire into the justice of Doug Wilson’s dealings, such as his treatment of Terry Morin after Morin simply made available primary documents of the history of Doug Wilson’s road to “pope.” If you recall, my primary concern expressed on Wilson’s blog was his unjust treatment of Brian McLaren; I noted back then that if McLaren could not be handled in a judicial fashion then we lost all hope for future credibly in criticizing or censuring anyone. In response, Wilson got out his chainsaw and made it loud and clear he had no intentions in dealing in truth or justice; he libeled me on his blog, continued to shun me, approved of his son’s thuggish response to me, and proceeded to intentionally misrepresent Brian McLaren in a barbaric “book review” that Wilson himself called “bar brawling.”
What got me in trouble at the Kirk, and what cost me much suffering and heart break was my willingness to seek truth in a just way, and defend those who Wilson was unjustly attacking. For precisely this same reason I have now pressed and criticized Ministry Watchman over their unjust dealings with Doug Phillips. But I am not surprised that you would suppress your understanding of all these things—enjoying my academic work while spurning my practical applications of that work. I am not surprised because you have lost credibility as a man who seeks justice, truth, and mercy. You have consistently refused to handle my expulsion from Christ Church in a truthful and just way. You have progressively crippled yourself from speaking fairly to any of this. You now claim a pious censure on the “personal attacks” my web site is supposedly given to. You hypocrite. What do you say of Wilson’s personal attacks against me? What do you say about Kirk men filled with hatred who revile me publicly? Your latest NSA professor who shuns my small children? What do you say about Wilson’s treatment of people in his very own congregation, such as Jon Amos, the church musician Duck Schuler, Charlie Nolan, Dr. Terry Morin, Charlie Craig, Eddy Gray Sr, Dr. Randy Gutting, Gary Greenfield, to name a few. And what of those outside his congregation he unjustly attacks at such a frequent rate. If you want to think about ancient Israel, I would recommend looking in-house before you start worrying about your critics from the outside; after all, doesn’t it say somewhere that judgment begins with the household of God?
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