Larry Kummer asked me a question in an email exchange that I want to discuss as a stand alone post:
Reading your last post, I don’t understand your objection. They posted your content in full, and gave a comprehensive reply. That fulfills the agreement. It presented your most thoughtful work to a new audience.
As many commenters said, expecting a useful exchange was (to be kind) wishful thinking.
You could make this a back and forth by giving a response, which I strongly urge you to do.
Since there is little substantive content to their reply, it should be easy to write. Listening to their podcast is the difficult part.
They do make some points requiring a reply.
I wanted to focus on substance from the beginning, but they changed the subject to character. So be it. Warhorn is on untenable ground here. As I shared yesterday, back in January Nathan approached me claiming Warhorn wanted their audience to understand my perspective, even if we disagreed:
I’d like to get as clear an articulation of your views as I can, and present it to the world.
The podcast may ultimately reflect these differences, but I’d like to give you a fair chance to say your piece. This won’t be “gotcha journalism.”
I’d like to sincerely understand and present your point of view, even where our camp diverges.
Now Nathan writes that this was never their intent:
To be perfectly clear, however: Dalrock is bad news and we recommend you stay away from him. We seriously considered canning this episode because it might inspire a greater interest in Dalrockian writing and philosophy. If it does, frankly I’ll be sorry we did it.
He then reiterated the point:
We didn’t want to get too far into the weeds of Dalrock’s philosophy. To do that was to risk validating a dishonest and uncharitable man.
Even worse, in his final private email to me Nathan wrapped himself in Christianity as he went back on his word, matching the worst stereotype of the sanctimonious Christian hypocrite:
It’s brutal, as you’ll see. But after much thought and prayer, we decided what you’re doing is not just misguided but harmful, and we wanted to inoculate people against it.
I hope you don’t think yourself ill-used. I did ask the questions in good faith, despite what your followers say about me. And then we took a long time to weigh our options and craft a response.
Your followers who validate you are are not really loving you.
I don’t feel that I owe Warhorn any further substantive discussion on the issue. I might decide that I really want to address something for the sake of my readers, but this would be elective on my part*. I took quite a bit of my time to write thoughtful answers to Warhorn’s questions, but Warhorn was never interested in the substance. They wanted to make it an issue about character, yet from their own words they never acted in good faith! I’m not crying about it, but I will shine a light on Warhorn’s duplicity.
Keep in mind that Warhorn isn’t just another blog, it is a ministry of Pastor Tim Bayly’s Clearnote Church. Here is how Nathan described his position at Warhorn Media when I asked:
I’m the creative director of Warhorn Media, a media ministry of Clearnote Church, Bloomington, In.
Moreover, Pastor Tim Bayly claims he had no idea the men who work for him were engaged in this duplicitous enterprise, as they evidently did it without his approval or knowledge. But bizarrely, instead of apologizing to me and my readers for how terribly his ministry behaved, he is angry with me for what his underlings have done behind his back:
After putting up three posts and a tweet about Nadia Bolz-Weber and Glorian Steinem, I come to Sanity to see if there are any questiions directed to me and find this thread. Which leads me to go to the podcast itself and read the stuff between Nathan and Mr. Anonymous Dalrock. Let me say here that I never knew Mr. Anonymous would be addressed, let alone interviewed on Warhorn, and when I found out I was not pleased. This for a number of reasons I won’t go into here, but not in one iota because I think Mr. Anonymous is right or has drawn blood with his critique of me or what I’ve written. I like good back-and-forth, but not ever anonymously—particularly when for fifteen years I have suffered much for the Name of the Lord Jesus and His Words and know how privileged I am for doing so and how much strength it lends to the work to which all believers are called.
But just a couple comments about Mr. Anonymous’s arguments, such as they are. Reports of a General Assembly are all written with an eye to getting the majority to sign on. That Mr. Anonymous is ignorant of this is excusable, but now he knows and needs to stop repeating himself that the report is worded and argued by Tim Bayly. I was its principle author, and I wrote in such a way to win the majority of the committee and to give the report the greatest possibility of being approved, some or all, by the Assembly. Which they did and they did.
That said, at the same time as I was writing, a student at IU decided to go into the Navy as an officer responsible for nuclear reactors. I loved her and told her she should not do so. We’re still friends and she’s always known I think she was not obeying God in this. Full stop.
This is just one of many, many examples of my fulfilling my responsibility as husband, father, and pastor to say “no” to women, and rebuke them. That Mr. Anonymous spreads his false accusations otherwise is disgusting to me. False charge after false charge after false charge. Long ago I decided not to answer him, and then I find out Warhorn is providing him a platform, so now I’m having to do what I determined wasn’t worthwhile, or even right.
One last thing: for fifteen years I’ve been online saying that the only thing the feminists have given men is the right to cry, and Jesus already gave us this right. For fifteen years I’ve also been saying that feminists’ chief gift to women has been removing any moral agency from them, most especially their moral agency in the slaughter of their unborn children. Look at my Warhorn posts the past three days alone and see if it isn’t true that Mr. Anonymous bears false witness against me and us. Look at my tweet yesterday about the stories of unborn children being “ripped apart” by their mothers. Does that sound like a man who denies women moral agency and places all the blame on men?
Between Nathan’s spiteful underhanded behavior and Bayly’s claim of oblivion, this paints a picture of Warhorn Media as a ministry out of control. But I would remind Bayly that it was his ministry that approached me with a proposal to help Warhorn’s audience understand my views. That his men acted behind his back, and were duplicitous in the process is not my fault. Someone is responsible for Warhorn, but it isn’t me. When Bayly learned his team was out of control and dragging the Warhorn name through the mud, he should have apologized to me and my readers for their duplicity. Perhaps he still will, but after I shared the email exchanges I had with Nathan last night, Warhorn tweeted today advertising the podcast:
This makes it look like either Pastor Bayly is still oblivious, or he approves of what the men of Warhorn did behind his back. I’m not sure which would be worse.
With that in mind, looking through my own comments and the (now locked) comments at Warhorn, I want to address what seems to be Bayly’s and Warhorn’s core complaint:
Their chief complaint with this regard is my discussion of the PCA resolution in the exchange Male responsibility and female agency. What Nathan is saying is he (and presumably the other “elves”) objected to what I wrote in the discussion, but kept it to themselves for over a month so they could complain about me being disingenuous in the podcast. The whole benefit of an email exchange is that you can call each other out if you feel like the other side is missing something or misrepresenting something. As I demonstrated yesterday, I proposed an email exchange to Nathan and he accepted the proposal. This was one of our first exchanges, and at this point Nathan hadn’t started backing out of the deal. Warhorn manufactured a crisis so they could exploit it a month later. They were disingenuous so they could accuse me of being disingenuous.
But this still leaves the question. What if the Warhorn media ministry wasn’t disingenuous and Nathan had raised this concern when I was prodding him for responses to this very argument? What if instead of manufacturing offense, Nathan had challenged me during our discussion with the argument Warhorn moderator Ben Sulser challenged commenter Nereus:
Then I would have had the opportunity to respond pointing out that while the resolution quotes Calvin and a heathen poet disapproving of women dressing as men, it very carefully does not tell women they are sinning if they become warriors. This in fact is what commenter Nereus went on to do quite well (comment, first link, second link):
In his comment Joseph Bayly expands the same argument, that if you delve deeply into the document you will find that there is some commentary against women joining the military. However, this is discussion of what the authors of the resolution didn’t agree on. Nereus quoted the final recommendation presented to the assembly, and we can see the same thing from this section from the larger document as well:
AREAS OF AGREEMENT AND DISAGREEMENT
The dearth of men ready to serve their country in defense of their wives and children is a concern shared by our entire committee. Further, we rejoice that the Holy Spirit brought us to consensus in these statements:
The history of the Church’s views on women serving in the military reveals that the Church has stood opposed; this was never a significant issue because warfare was a male duty.
* * *
By eating the fruit, Adam betrayed his duty to protect his wife, the race, and all creation. …By calling the woman a weaker vessel, Scripture indicates that there is a greater vulnerability attendant to womanhood, and calls upon her husband to be considerate of this fact. This vulnerability of the woman and the duty of the man are further confirmed by Scripture’s command that a husband serve and lay down his life for his wife. (We) have come to unanimous agreement that women ought not to be conscripted. 
Still, our Committee remains divided over whether the Word of God speaks with clarity concerning the meaning and purpose of sexuality as it bears on the normal practice of women serving in military combat roles. Thus our consensus report states:
We confess that, while we also are unanimous in stating that the above doctrine of sexuality gives guidance to the Church concerning the inadvisability of women serving in offensive combat, some among us believe that such guidance should be limited to pastoral counsel that does not bind the conscience while others among us believe that this counsel rises to the level of duty.
I’ll take Bayly at his word that he wanted to pass a resolution that called out women’s sin, but was forced to accept one that called out men’s sin instead. But this was my point in the exchange. It wasn’t about Bayly’s desire to hold women accountable, but the fact that blaming invented sins of men is used to avoid calling out real sins by women. This is exactly what happened in the PCA resolution. If Bayly is frustrated that this happened, this is something we both can agree on. And if his organization weren’t sneaky and duplicitous, we could have had that very agreement a month and a half ago** instead of him wrongly directing his outrage at me today.
*I still haven’t gone through the podcast, and probably won’t have time to go through it until this weekend. I’m tiring of the subject as it is, but if I see something further I really want to address I’ll probably roll a post out on it some time next week.
**I sent my first message to Nathan in the referenced exchange on January 16th. Nathan sent his message asking to delay further comment on January 17th. At the time I took him at his word that he would reengage after I answered other questions, but given what he has now publicly stated I see that he never intended to reengage in the email discussion and was merely fishing for more items for Warhorn to suddenly become outraged over once it suited their purpose to be outraged (a month and a half later).