Doug Phillips “Excommunicates” Children for the Sins of Parents

Doug Phillips’ Peculiar Interpretation of “Covenant Theology”

When Mark and I were “excommunicated” from Boerne Christian Assembly in 2005, we were “disciplined” individually. In theory, we could be restored individually. In other words, if I were to repent of whatever it is that I’m supposedly guilty of (we’re still trying to figure out what that could be), but if Mark were not to repent, then I could return to membership in BCA and would not have to wait until Mark repents of whatever it is that he’s supposed to repent of. The inverse would also, supposedly, be true. This is born out in Section X of the Disciplinary Action Statement against us from January 23, 2005. It states the following:

X. Individual Discipline
For this purpose of this disciplinary action, both of you are being treated as individuals. Restoration of one spouse is not contingent on the restoration of the other. Your past and future conduct is evaluated on an individual basis. Either or both of you may request restoration of fellowship, and your request will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Mark and I were “excommunicated,” and we were excommunicated as individuals. Our entire family was not excommunicated. Our children were not excommunicated. Our children were not under any form of church discipline whatsoever. In practice, though, BCA has treated our children as though they too were excommunicated. BCA has shunned and punished our entire family. What sin are my children guilty of? None that anyone has ever stated. Only in the past couple months has anyone from BCA said anything about any alleged sins that my children are guilty of, and in both cases those alleged “sins” occurred just within the last couple months.

Joshua’s “sin” is that he assisted me with passing out fliers at the Arlington home school conference. Natasha’s “sin” is that she went to Vision Forum to assist the process server in identifying Doug Phillips, after Doug’s employees had already lied to the process server and told him that Doug wasn’t there. Also, shortly after that incident, one or more of Doug’s employees alleged that Natasha had “flipped them off.” Natasha denies this. However, for the sake of argument, let’s just say that Natasha did “flip off” Vision Forum employees. What does that have to do with the shunning and “discipline” that she’s been subjected to for the two years prior to that incident? The same goes for Joshua. Even if assisting me with handing out fliers at a home school conference were a “sin,” what does that have to do with the prior two years of shunning and “discipline” that Joshua has been subjected to by everyone at BCA? Doug is now grasping for excuses after the fact for punishing my children.

Shunning and punishing my children for my own “sins” doesn’t in any way inspire or compel me to want to repent. Just the opposite. Scripture forbids punishing children for the sins of the parents, and visa versa:

Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin. Deut. 24:16

But everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge. Jer. 31:30

The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. Ezek. 18:20

Even if Doug Phillips were capable of complying with my repeated requests to furnish me with a specific and detailed list of my sins, supported by evidence and testimony of witnesses (rather than the vague, unspecific, and unsupported general list of charges that I can’t comprehend how I’m guilty of such things, nor will anyone even attempt to explain the charges), punishing my children for my alleged “sins” only confirms the fact that Doug Phillips is an ecclesiastical tyrant — a bully. Isn’t this exactly what a bully does? Pick on and punish people who are smaller and weaker and unable to defend themselves? Bullies are also cowards, and it doesn’t get any more cowardly than what Doug Phillips has done, but to punish children when they’ve done nothing wrong.

After having spent five years of their young lives totally enveloped in BCA, and all their friends at BCA, and knowing very little outside of BCA, my children suddenly had all their friends and all their social lives ripped away from them. BCA members were ordered to shun Mark and me. However, in practice, they shunned us all. How has that affected my children? It’s been absolutely devastating to them. If my children pull through this with their Christian faith intact, it will only be by the grace of God. It certainly won’t be because of any kindness and compassion of Doug Phillips. There have been many times that I have genuinely feared for Doug and the judgment awaiting him. The Lord Jesus showed a very special care and compassion for children, and obviously he expects His under-shepherds to follow His example:

But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matt. 19:14

In a very practical way, Doug Phillips has censured my children for no sins of their own. In so doing, he has hindered and undermined my children’s walk with the Lord. Doug’s unjust punishment of my children has seriously hampered their Christian faith. My children have greatly struggled with the implications of fellow believers treating them so cruelly, all sanctioned by a “pastor.” Unless Doug repents, he may one day pay a very heavy price for it:

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matt. 18:6

If Doug Phillips would do it to my children, he can and probably will do it to others, as well. But he can only do so if he’s given other opportunities. It is for this, and other reasons, that I’ve gone public with my story. If I can do anything to prevent Doug Phillips from injuring the lives and undermining the faith of anyone else, and children in particular, I believe that I have a moral and a biblical obligation to do so.

Here’s a peek into just one weekend of my children’s lives. First, Natasha:

If there is one thing young ladies love to do, it’s to plan their weddings. For years, girls in their teens and early twenties will giggle and whisper and share secret plans for that special moment — someday. This is often a time of choosing bridesmaids and flower girls as well, and many girls make promises to one another to have each other be attendants in their weddings. This everyday scenario takes place just as often in Family Integrated Churches as well, especially where courtship is taught and practiced. But what they don’t plan on, maybe, is outside interference, outside meddling.

My daughter, Natasha, was very good friends with Little Bear Wheeler’s daughter, Aimee, for seven years. Natasha and Aimee fellowshipped and spoke often. Not only did they plan their weddings together, but Aimee was the one person who was there for Natasha when it seemed that all the other Christians were only interested in judging her. Being a pastor’s kid (PK) isn’t easy. It put Aimee in the spotlight, always under the scrutiny of other church members, both inside and outside her own father’s church. Natasha stood by Aimee through thick and thin. So when Aimee recently announced that she was getting married, Natasha expected that they would go through with the plans they had made for Natasha to be Aimee’s bridesmaid. Disappointed, but not really surprised, Natasha soon realized that Aimee’s attendants did not include her after all, but she was still looking forward to attending the wedding of one of her best childhood friends. However, Natasha’s invitation never arrived.

Seeing how desperately Natasha desired to go to her friend’s wedding, a mutual friend ran interference and was able to get Natasha an invitation to the wedding that was to take place on Saturday, July 28. Natasha was so elated! But that joy lasted only a few hours before being dashed by a phone call from Aimee, uninviting Natasha to her wedding. Devastated, Natasha asked why. It turns out that Doug Phillips’ “influence” (and meddling) reaches a long way. Apparently, some people at BCA read Still Fed Up and they weren’t pleased with the pictures of Natasha that the SFU boys stole from Natasha’s private website and posted on SFU. Then there was the false accusation that Natasha “flipped off” the Vision Forum folks when she was at Vision Forum, assisting the process server. These two incidents seemed to be enough to provoke Doug Phillips into convincing Little Bear Wheeler to not only ban the entire Epstein family from attending Aimee’s wedding, but also to hire policemen to keep us all out, on threat of being arrested if any of us showed up.

Natasha asked Aimee if she had ever given her reason to believe that Natasha would lie about flipping people off at Vision Forum. No, Aimee didn’t have any reason not to believe her, except that certain people from Vision Forum (Peter Bradrick was standing there the whole time) had stated such. Aimee didn’t know who to believe. Natasha asked if she had ever caused a scene before, and if not, why would Aimee think that she would do so at her friend’s wedding? Aimee had no answer except that a certain person had convinced her father that Natasha should not be allowed to attend. In the end, Aimee really had no choice but to submit to the edicts of Doug and her own father.

Natasha felt betrayed by the fact that shortly after our “excommunication,” Doug removed any mention from Vision Forum’s web site that Natasha had won runner-up in a Vision Forum writing contest. This was her first indication that she too would be punished for her parents’ “excommunication.” The punishment has continued to this very day, and from all appearances, she will continue to be punished for the “sin” of being an Epstein.

The fact is that none of the other Epsteins had been issued an invitation, and we wouldn’t have “crashed” Aimee’s wedding. There was no need for Doug to hire police officers to keep us out. Apparently though, he still believed it necessary to hire policemen for the sole purpose of keeping out just one twenty-year-old girl. This goes to show just how fearful Doug really is, and it’s that same fear that caused him to hire police and other “security” for his recent open house at Vision Forum.

Now to fourteen-year-old Joshua:

Joshua has also been very lonely since the whole family got kicked out of BCA. Joshua is very shy to begin with, but he did have a very good friend at BCA. He’s seen him a couple times at various events since January 2005, but averaging once a year to see a friend just doesn’t seem to fulfill those social needs. We have tried finding other friends, but other churches, which don’t seem to last very long either, haven’t had any boys close in age who were willing to be his friend either. He’s quite a likeable guy; we’ve just been stymied in our attempts to find even one friend for him.

So when our recent houseguest said that he would like to visit BCA this past Sunday, he asked if Joshua could come with him to keep him company. Joshua was so excited about seeing his one friend again that he was willing to risk pretty much anything for the opportunity to spend time with a boy his age for a few hours.

I asked Henry Johnson, our friend, why he wanted to visit BCA. Henry is Joe Taylor’s digging partner and works at the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum with Joe. Henry has witnessed Doug’s treatment of Joe and Henry is also the videographer who was with me at the Arlington Homeschool Conference in May. He saw how I was treated there. So I wondered why Henry wanted to visit BCA. He said there were a couple reasons. First, even though he knew what had happened to both Joe and me, Henry is the type of person to give someone the benefit of the doubt. I had also told Henry of the incredible sense of family (Family Integrated Church) that we felt for the five years we were at BCA. I had explained about how we would stay at church all day fellowshipping after the service. Henry had such a strong desire to a part of something like that all his life that he was grateful if he could just experience it, even for one day. I had described the service to him and it seemed like the type of church service Henry would greatly enjoy. BCA would also line up well with Henry’s own theology. Henry has not been able to attend church for a long time, for various reasons, so he was excited to be a part of a service like this, even if it was just for one day. Living out in the boonies, Henry gets lonely sometimes, so he, too, was looking for church fellowship for the day.

So, with much anticipation for a pleasant day, Henry and Joshua drove an hour to visit BCA. Accidentally parking on the wrong side of the building on someone else’s land, they were greeted cheerfully by Bob Sarratt, who asked them to please park in a different location. After pulling in next to a whole line of white 15-passenger vans, Doug Phillips got out of his van right next to them and Henry greeted him. Doug returned his greeting. When the church bell rang announcing the beginning of the service, Henry and Joshua made their way to the building to find a seat. As they passed the annex building, Joshua noticed Doug Phillips speaking with Mo Gill, one of the deacons. It soon became clear what they were discussing. Walking up onto the porch, Henry and Joshua greeted several of the men and young men there, who also greeted them in return. Joshua knew a couple of them very well and spoke for just a moment with them.

Shortly thereafter, Steve Ringer came up and asked to speak to Henry. Steve wanted to know why they were there. Henry explained that Joshua had a friend there and that Henry had come just to enjoy the service and to be with Joshua. Steve wanted to know if Henry was the man doing the videotaping in Arlington and Henry said that he was. Steve said that Henry and Joshua had “shown an aggressive nature” toward them, but Henry replied that he was only there to listen to the sermon, that he was not there with any kind of aggressive intentions at all. He explained that rather than taking someone else’s word for what church was like at BCA, that he desired just to worship with them for a day. “I have no desire to do anything else except listen,” he said.

At this point in the conversation, Wesley Strackbein joined them and said that Henry couldn’t be trusted to act in an appropriate manner, so he asked Henry to leave the premises. After verifying that he was indeed being asked to leave, Henry asked if Josh could just stay there and Henry would pick him up later. Wesley responded that since Josh is part of the same family that caused a great deal of harm to BCA, that even though he didn’t have anything against Joshua personally, that given Joshua’s family’s involvement, “covenantally, that would not be acceptable.”

The term, “covenantal,” is significant. We can only interpret this as meaning that since Mark and I had been excommunicated, all our children are “covenantally” subject to the same punishment. Unless Mark and I are restored to fellowship, all our children are to be treated as though they, too, have been excommunicated. For all practical purposes, Doug expects, and even demands, that all other churches treat us all in the same manner. An example of this is what happened to us at Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA). We were initially all welcomed there. Later we were all asked to leave together. No option was ever afforded us to just bring our children to FPC, so that just their own spiritual needs for hearing the Word preached, and Christian fellowship, could be met. Just like BCA, FPC punished not only us, they punished our children, too.

Wesley Strackbein introduced Bob Sarratt to Henry as an elder for Boerne Christian Assembly. Although Bob’s name appears on the document that BCA wrote against us when we first went public, he was not an elder at that time, but he was a deacon. I also noted when I wrote my response to that article that even though Bob Sarratt’s name appears on the document that it had to have been written by Doug. It appears that Doug has since appointed Bob Sarratt as an elder.

Henry then explained that he had heard a lot about BCA and he wanted to come and share in their worship. Interrupting him, Bob Sarratt said, “That may have been the pretenses, Sir, but Joshua Epstein has been publicly crying out against this body, handing out fliers, being interviewed on the internet, and saying slanderous things, along with his family, and as such, he is not our welcome guest.” Bob went on to say that if the Epsteins wanted to meet with the leadership and settle all that that BCA would love to have us back. In the meantime, Joshua would not be allowed to stay and he asked Henry to leave as well. He said if Henry were there by himself sometime, he would be welcome to stay. However, since BCA was leasing the facility, they had the right to ask people not to stay if they were seeking to disrupt the meeting of the church.

Henry assured Bob that he was not there to disrupt anything but had only desired to quietly participate in the service. However, he said that he understood what Bob was telling him. Bob continued on that the Epsteins’ actions had proven time and time again that they must be there to disrupt the service. Bob went on to say that Henry was complicit in Arlington as well and Wesley said he had witnessed that as well. Again, Henry said that he understood that they didn’t approve of his videotaping at Arlington.

Then Bob asked where Joshua was. Joshua had been waiting several feet away, on the front porch, during this conversation. At one point, Doug Phillips and his son, Joshua, who is the same age as my Joshua, and who also used to be very good friends with him, passed right by Joshua Epstein, but refused to even look at or speak to him. It wasn’t as if they just didn’t notice; they had to have passed within just a few inches of him, and they had seen him as they walked up. There was no mistaking the obvious shunning of a fourteen-year-old boy. His own father had set the example. Like father, like son?

As Bob Sarratt then approached Joshua, he told him that he had seen him protesting and bringing accusations against BCA. He said he had also seen Joshua “on the interviews and in the commentary.” Bob told Joshua that although he wasn’t personally excommunicated, that Joshua was complicit in the acts of slander and had had a very negative impact against BCA and therefore he wasn’t welcome there until that was settled. But that wasn’t enough for Bob. He continued, “We could call the sheriff’s department and they’ll remove you from this body and we do have the right as leasees. We have the domain of this property right here that you’re on.”

Again, Henry expresses his understanding, “I’m sorry we couldn’t stay, but I understand.”

But Bob Sarratt still isn’t finished with them and tells Joshua that he can’t come back until the excommunication of his parents is taken care of, as well as the issues that have arisen since the excommunication which “pale by comparison.” As Henry once again agrees, Bob has to threaten them one last time: “I’m going to have to ask you to leave or we will be calling the sheriff’s department and have them remove you.”

Henry finally shakes Bob’s hand and tells him he’s sorry and he appreciates it. After Henry shakes hands with Steve Ringer and Wesley Strackbein as well, Joshua puts his hand out to Bob Sarratt as well, who had already put his hand back in his pocket. As Joshua stands there with his hand out, waiting for Bob, Bob finally and reluctantly agrees to shake Joshua’s hand.

As Henry and Joshua walk toward the truck, Joshua remarks to Henry, “That was real Christian love, wasn’t it?” Laughing, Henry simply replies, “No!”

So what did this fourteen-year-old do to be openly shunned like this by Doug Phillips and his son? What did Joshua do to be threatened twice with calling the cops on him? How has Joshua slandered BCA? I seem to recall that slander involves saying something that is not true. When has Joshua protested and brought accusations against BCA? When was he interviewed and what commentary has he provided?

Joshua is my son and that is the real reason he was not allowed to worship at BCA on Sunday. Doug Phillips is the one who taught me to take my children with me wherever I go, so naturally I would have brought them with me to Arlington. I did not go there to cause trouble. I went there to speak with Doug. When Doug refused to meet with me, I used my time there to warn others about Doug Phillips. Since Doug encourages us to “teach our children real life,” that is exactly what I did. Joshua helped me pass out a few papers, legally, to some attendees. He was not interviewed by the police, nor did he protest, slander, or bring accusations against anyone. He has never done anything to cause Doug Phillips to think that Joshua will ever do him any harm. I have never done anything to harm Doug Phillips, nor will I. That is not why I am here. I am here first to call Doug to repentance (which I did for a number of months), and second, to warn fellow believers about a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have never had any intention of bringing harm to Doug or anyone at BCA or Vision Forum, nor will I ever. These acts of calling the authorities, or threatening to call the authorities, are simply Doug’s overreaction to his own refusal to meet with a woman to discuss the issues.

Doug and BCA’s latest claim that they’re now willing to meet with us is just another ruse. For two years we attempted to meet with Doug. In every case we were told, “Talk to my attorney.” I’ve never heard of such a thing. In the first place, our “excommunication” isn’t an attorney matter. It’s a pastoral matter. Secondly, we weren’t “excommunicated” from Vision Forum, and Doug’s attorney is Vision Forum’s attorney. He’s not BCA’s attorney, nor does he even attend BCA.

Is it appropriate to punish the children for the sins of the parents? Under Doug’s bizarre interpretation of “covenant theology,” yes, apparently it’s totally appropriate, and it’s consistent with Doug’s views on covenant theology. However, it’s not in any way biblical. Perhaps in the future, I’ll do an exposé of Doug Phillips’ strange views of covenant theology.

And by the way, what were those sins again, those sins that I’m allegedly guilty of?

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113 Responses to “Doug Phillips “Excommunicates” Children for the Sins of Parents”

  1. Alisa Says:

    “I think that John Thompson disowned one or more of his daughters because of who they married. I got this second hand (from a reliable source), so don’t quote me.”

    Only the seriousness of such a possibility kept me from laughing at the irony!!!! The same John Thompson that wrote numerous articles on “Biblical Romance” and “Courtship” that were full of the same misquotes and out-of-context assertions and insertions of opinions in Scripture as the Tenets of Biblcal Patriarchy???? There were only something like 9-12 or was it 15 such articles on Phil Lancaster’s website??? Oohhhh…I must say, as sad as it is that it was necessary, I’m proud of those girls for standing up against such abuse of authority and Scripture.

  2. CD-Host Says:

    Jen —

    It just occurred to me that no one had linked to Doug’s discussion of leaving a church:

    http://www.visionforum.com/hottopics/blogs/dwp/2005/08/1230.aspx

    The discussion is rather vague. People should try and work it out, ministers shouldn’t try and force people… On the other hand its not written in terms of what happens if the above doesn’t work.

  3. Jen Says:

    CD-Host, there is a very important aspect of Doug’s blog that you need to understand. Doug does NOT just write about whatever is on his mind at the time or about a subject that he thinks might be of value to his readers. No, Doug almost always has an agenda. Doug uses his blog to speak directly TO or ABOUT certain individuals. If you are the recipient of his article, even though he goes out of his way never to name you, you will know that he is talking about you. Doug has written many articles about me and to me, yet you are probably not aware of any of them. In so doing, he makes it appear as if he is either taking the high road while he condemns others, or as if this is just some biblical teaching that only Doug has been privileged to glean from God’s Word.

    This article about “honorably leaving a church” is no different. In this particular article, Doug grouped together several different stories, yet it was one in particular that brought about the article in question. I will not tell anyone else’s story here, but the hypocrisy of this article is about as extreme as it gets.

    Doug said, “Pastors and elders must never behave as if it is a crime for people to want to leave a church.” And yet that is exactly how he behaved when people wanted to leave.

    What happens if the pastor/elders and the covenanting members can’t work it out? The members leave anyway and there may be consequences. Often, there is loss of fellowship with everyone left behind. There is LOTS of hurt. There are many false accusations. There may be threats. I’m really not at liberty to tell you any specifics, but I think you get the picture.

    I once joked with a friend that we should write a rebuttal article to this one: “How to Honorably Lead a Church.”

  4. CD-Host Says:

    Well you may feel you can’t tell, but I don’t know anything that’s not in public documents so for benefit of everyone else ….

    William Hill ( http://theparchment.org/)
    documented the case.
    There is a nice edited version here

    http://www.rtrc.net/documents/theology/ecclesiology/ch_mem.htm

    And on the parchment you can find comments directly responding to DP

    http://theparchment.org/index.php/2005/08/14/a_public_response_to_doug_phillips_part_1

    http://theparchment.org/index.php/2005/08/28/a_public_response_to_doug_phillips_part_2

    The website is Doug is talking about is http://www.patriarchy.org

    The church was Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church

    http://www.calvaryrpc.org/

  5. Hutch Says:

    Jen-

    You are so much more gracious than I am! You could have said: How to leave a church honorably- Definitely not the way that Doug Phillips or RC 2.0 left their previous churches. Don’t you dare even try to split their precious cults, while they themselves are masters of causing divisions and church splits! Look how they left, with honor? I think not. Hypocrites!

  6. Hutch Says:

    Jen-

    Do you guys have a copy of the BCA membership covenant? I have looked on your site for that document, but I cannot seem to find it. If it is available, it could be a pretty nifty post: “How to know when you are about to join a cult!” It could prove very helpful to serve as a warning to others who are involved in churches that are heading in the direction of BCA. Let’s determine how biblical Doug’s “Cultic Membership Covenant” really is!

  7. Jen Says:

    Hutch, unfortunately, we do not have a copy of the covenant. I’m not sure if anyone does. What I remember is that it was written on a scroll with the document at the top and space at the bottom for all the men to sign. I don’t know if there are any other copies.

  8. Hutch Says:

    Jen-

    That does not suprise me.

    Cult Rule # 1. Never give out copies of the paperwork.

    Do you think Doug thinks of it as BCA’s Book of Life?

    Do you think they held some type of a ceremony and marked you guys off the list?

    What about new members, do they have to sign and then get to see your names scratched off the list?

    Yikes!

  9. Jen Says:

    CD-Host, yes, those are SOME of the incidences Doug is referencing in that post on honorably leaving a church. There are also some personal stories I know, but can’t tell, one especially which generated this post. (CD-Host’s comment got stuck in SPAM; if you want to see what stories Doug was referencing in his post, CD-Host listed several of them in a comment farther up this thread.)

    Hutch, you are on a roll today!! Yes, I’m sure new members sign that very same covenant. Who knows what they did to Mark’s name? (Mine wouldn’t be scratched out because it never existed.)

  10. Anne Says:

    Jen,

    It might be a healthier thing to walk away from this.

    We and our children experienced the same thing with reformed Baptists and reformed Presbyterians. However, after the first experience I did not allow “church” to be the only place to find and develop solid friendships. Only these “outside church” friendships have survived. Nevertheless, I now have cancer, my doctors say, on account of stress. The toll has been incredibly high upon my children, who although christian, refuse to ever join another “church” again.

    It is clear what you’ve come from is unsafe. Be thankful you have escaped and see the truth.

    Anne

  11. Hutch Says:

    Jen said: Hutch, you are on a roll today!!

    Jen-

    How about a post such as this: Doug Phillips leads open rebellion against his church elders in violation of his membership vows! -or- Doug Phillips leads group in rebellion against his elders to establish rouge assembly in clear violation of his membership vows! -or- Group of rebels led by Doug Phillips openly defies their elders to establish separatist cult. -or- When leaving a church do as rebel leader Doug Phillips says, not as he does!

  12. Lynn Says:

    “Doug Phillips leads group in rebellion against his elders to establish rouge assembly in clear violation of his membership vows!”

    That’s a church that allows makeup, right? ;-)

    ducking!

  13. Hutch Says:

    Lynn said: That’s a church that allows makeup, right?

    ducking!

    Lynn-

    You do not need to duck! I can only blame my spell-checker so many times for my poor spelling and inability to spot when I am using the wrong word!

    In the thread of another post I referred to Doug’s tenants of Patriarchy! If you knew what I do for a living, that would be even more hilarious. I have dealt with a lot of tenets, er tenants.

    My wife says that I am slow but trainable. So there is hope for me! Grin.

    Watch out for those scary rouge assemblies, they all look like those television evangelist’s wives on the satellite circus!

  14. Hutch Says:

    Ouch! My wife just kicked me.

  15. RefCal Says:

    What’s with the long row of *white* vans?

    I understand the need for large families to have a stretch van (I own 3 myself), but why white?
    Is this a church rule?
    Around here in Mennonite land, it’s not unusual to pass a church parking lot full of *black* minivans.
    And believe me, it’s a rule. Used vans get painted before they dare drive them to church.

  16. Mark Epstein Says:

    RefCal,

    I don’t think it’s a “rule” per se, it’s just the “lemming mindset” of BCA.

  17. Jen Says:

    Actually, white is a very common color for vehicles here in Texas because it is so hot. It probably has more to do with pragmatism than anything else.

  18. Alisa Says:

    Not sure why, but something about that picture of all those long white vans in a row has always been a little creepy to me. Am I the only one???

  19. HappyMom4 Says:

    Here’s a Mennonite who drives a black mini-van just because that is what God provided for us when we needed one–not because our church says we have to. ;-) But yes, I’m very aware that there ARE some Menno churches who specifcy black vehicles. On the fip[ side, I know of another one who has the rule that vehicles must be either black OR white. (our church has no rules at all about color or make or style or . . . ).

    I’d gladly trade my black in for a white–it gets AWFUL hot here even if we are farther north than Texas! We are praying God chooses to provide a lighter color next time. ;-) (Although it’s been good for a laugh when those who think we have gone “liberal” see us driving a black van–it really boggles some minds!)

  20. Chris Says:

    You are a woman who needs much prayer. I am an outsider looking in… but I see no humility in your spirit, only anger. Turn this over to God. Get over yourself.

  21. jd Says:

    It seems to me that your daughter was not invited to the wedding and obtained the invitation by deception. You seem to thin that Little Bear has no mind of his own, I have known him very personally for over ten years and have always known him to think on his own with the guidance of God. To think that you would even allow your daughter to bring any sadness to her on her wedding day was a completely self centered act.

  22. Jen Says:

    Natasha did NOT obtain an invitation by deception in the least. She was truly invited, and then un-invited. Why would Natasha bring sadness to Aimee on her wedding day? That is ridiculous. Natasha and Aimee were very good friends for many years. Typically, best friends go to each other’s weddings for the purpose of celebrating and rejoicing with their friend. That is all Natasha wanted to do. If you only knew what things Natasha asked me not to say in order to protect her friend.

    You may have known Little Bear for ten years, but I doubt if you are a very close friend. You do live VERY far away.

  23. CD-Host Says:

    Jd —

    What sadness was Natasha likely to cause?
    And what deception did she utilize to get an invitation?

    — Did she do social engineering with the invitations company?
    — Did she sneak into Aimee’s house and change the names?
    — Did she call up Aimee’s finance and get on their list?

    The issue here is that Little Bear is a coward and has violated the standards for church discipline that have existed for centuries. Maybe Natasha’s presence might remind people of that but somehow I have trouble blaming the 19 year old kid and not the 50 year old man.

  24. Tony Pogue Says:

    I am absolutely amazed at the energy put in to attempting to degrade one man. Amazed. Where is the love and humility of Christ in all this? There is none. It appears that the church discipline that took place – that obviously led to this stance – must have been warranted. Church discipline is a lost practice in our modern church culture. God defines it in His Word. It has purpose -keeping the church pure – and it works. Accept it. Repent and ask for forgiveness ( which I believe it is known what the issue(s) were/are ). Move on and lets target the REAL enemy of the Gospel of Christ.

  25. Mary Says:

    I agree with Tony regarding the subject of church discipline. This site is just obsessive-compulsive. Looks like you’ve wasted way too many hours of your life on this effort.

  26. Deborah Ladorian Says:

    You need to quit. Please take your blogs down for the sake of the gospel..please!!!!!
    Deborah

  27. Morgan Farmer Says:

    HappyMom4, I believe it was Henry Ford that said a person could have any color car they wanted as long as it was black……

    …drive on…at least you have wheels…. :)

  28. jes Says:

    I started reading the whole “vision forum” thing as a laugh…until I realised the sadness and horror of the suffering that many are going through…
    I am a person whose cowardly reaction in a similar situation is to cut and run as far away as I can, so I appreciate your courage to keep writing and warning others.

  29. David Petersen Says:

    I hope you and your family can eventually put most of this mess behind you and find a good church.

    I do congratulate you for putting this type of information online. Doug and his friends need to be shown for who they are. In a recent issue of Church History, there was an informative article regarding Rushdoony and the Christian Reconstructionists; Doug is cozy with that crowd and they are extremists. These type of people must not be allowed to characterize homeschooling in general.

  30. Mozzie Says:

    terrible, this is why the best believers i have had the privilege to know no longer “go to church”, and this is true in all English-speaking countries.

  31. Dulce Says:

    Thank you for having the courage to publish this material. Though your story saddened me deeply, it did not shock me. I have long been concerned about the “celebrity status” of some of these people. I believe that many non-thinking, well-meaning Christians are bordering on idolatry in the way they accept as infallible truth whatever these “leaders” say. There is something cultish about the adherence of their followers. Instead of focusing on following Christ, they blindly follow whatever Mr. Phillips says. Unfortunately, too many people simply do not understand that this pocket within the homeschooling movement does not represent the whole. Let us graciously share biblical truth without legalism. May God have mercy on all of us.

  32. selidororous Says:

    So glad I stopped going to church years ago – people secure in their own faith simply have no need for validation from other people.

    • Annette Says:

      You are exactly right on. Once you come to the full knowledge of Jesus Christ, there really is no need for any man to teach you how to live. We live free in Christ, but many of these so called self appointed leaders are delusional and on ego trips. Why else would they take people to another gospel. We are free in Christ, walk in love, and have our steps guided by the Holy Spirit. Only the self righteous need all these so called weird culty rules to live by. People, wake up!! Dont be turned so quickly from the simplicity of Christ by every wind of doctrine set before you by men. Come to Christ, He is waiting to teach you all things. Dont get into bondage by the Pharisees, we walk by faith, and live under grace.

    • Elsie Says:

      That is simply not true. We need to have fellowship with other Christians, and edify one another. I agree that the church mentioned above would not be a good choice, but a believer needs to be a member of a body of believers. I don’t mean that a person who is not in church on Sundays is not saved. But it is better to be with a believing, loving, and CHRISTIAN body, then to worship alone.

      Thank you Jen for your posts. Joe Taylor is also a good friend of mine, and I know all about Doug’s treatment of him. Joe made some bad choices, but the whole fiasco was Doug’s fault. I will be praying for your family, and for Doug Phillips. Also for the seemingly ‘brainwashed’ people who follow his leadership.

  33. David Says:

    According to the epistle of Galatians, Bill Gothard preaches, “another gospel.” Doug Philips is likewise guilty. These people are heretics who have done great damage to the Body of Christ.

  34. Bible Believer Says:

    Wow. You really have it out for Doug Phillips, don’t you? This seems to be very personal. Just because YOU don’t like someone or agree with them doesn’t make them a cult. You are dragging his name through the mud because YOU don’t like him. Not a good example of forgiveness.

  35. discerning thinker Says:

    I’m so glad you posted this blog! I used to hear Doug Phillips speak at our home school convention, and i bought a bunch of his tapes, but I always has a feeling of unease about his messages. Some were very good, and needed saying, but it was all mixed up with other extra-biblical teachings. Your blog helps to show what is really going on behind the scenes. You show the true man, apart from the words he says. Why should you follow the teachings of a man who can’t seem to make even an attempt to behave like a Christian? Given that you are now Doug’s enemy, what does Jesus teach about our behavior towards enemies? I am sorry you had to go through this. Let it be always a reminder that only God’s word should be followed, and always pray for discernment.


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