Scott Brown and Jason Dohm Offer Advice On the Doug Phillips Debacle

In the last three days Scott Brown and his fellow church Elder Jason Dohm have, between them, posted three noteworthy articles. Their articles seem inspired by the Doug Phillips sex scandal that resulted in his resignation and the closure of Vision Forum Ministries. No doubt there is much more than a mere adulterous affair that forced the closure of Vision Forum Ministries, but that story will have to wait for another day. Scott Brown and Jason Dohm are Elders at both Hope Baptist Church and Sovereign Redeemer Community Church. Both churches are in or close to Wake Forest, N.C.

Distancing oneself from Doug Phillips is all the craze these days. Multiple blog articles, Facebook posts, and even a sermon or two have been hastily thrown up by Vision Forum board members, employees, interns, and various assorted associates of Doug Phillips. The humorous part for me is they hardly ever mention the name “Doug Phillips”. It’s as though there is now an unwritten rule, Let not that name be mentioned. In this way they can circumvent the “no gossip” rule that is so widespread in Vision Forum Land, or so they at least rationalize. Since we all know who they’re talking about anyway, I’d much prefer they just stop pretending. Moreover, too many of those public postings smack of CYA and are no more genuine than was Doug Phillips’ True Repentance article that he posted in August 2013. In retrospect we can plainly see that article was an utter sham and a ploy to save his own bacon. It goes to show that even the most biblically valid article, written in the most eloquent prose, can be authored by a silver-tongued wolf in sheep’s clothing. We should never assume that good sermons only come from good men.

ScottBrown-DougPhllips

Doug Phillips and Scott Brown

Scott Brown features prominently in the Doug Phillips sex scandal. He is the Director for the Vision Forum Ministries Board of Directors and, no doubt, has good reason to distance himself from The Doug. Scott Brown is also the Director for the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches. The NCFIC was handed over to Scott Brown by Doug Phillips.

Brown and Dohm’s articles are quite good. I especially appreciate Jason Dohm’s article, not only for his brevity and his insights, but for the fact that he’s one of the few that has actually used the forbidden name “Doug Phillips” (Scott Brown has yet to do that). Jason Dohm’s article is so good that I contacted him and asked permission to repost it here, in it’s entirety, thereby giving it far greater exposure than he has now. To put it in the politest possible terms (on my part) he declined my request.

Jason Dohm

Jason Dohm

Jason Dohm doesn’t permit comments on his blog, and perhaps that’s why he doesn’t want his article being reposted in it’s entirety here. Doing so might facilitate some discussion that he may not want to address. It might also necessitate his interacting with commenters here, something he may wish to avoid. Be that as it may I’ll only selectively quote from Brown and Dohm’s articles and link to them where they may be read in their entirety. Needless to say, any discussion is welcome here, as are Scott Brown and Jason Dohm themselves, should they wish to make an appearance to answer questions. Feel free to ask them questions regardless of whether or not they reply. I’m confident they’re reading. In fact Jason made an appearance here earlier today.

Regardless of their motivation in writing their articles, they are good articles, and worthy of our consideration and discussion. We should all take these matters to heart.

First from Jason Dohm:

Has Doug Phillips repented? No one knows.

Even if all the signs were positive – granting that purely for the sake of argument – no one would really know for quite some time. Though Proverbs 28:13 doesn’t explicitly use the word “repentance,” it contains the best definition of true repentance that I know: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Did you catch that? Confession ≠ Repentance. Confession is a subset of repentance. The other active ingredient is the forsaking of the sin, and knowing whether or not that has really happened takes significant time. Part 1, confession, is super-easy for a skilled communicator – and Doug is a very skilled communicator…

Has Doug Phillips repented? Don’t count on it.

If we have learned anything from these revelations, it is that Doug is a very skillful deceiver and manipulator. He is good at it, and he has had a lot of practice. Knowing that, it would be foolish for any of us to put ourselves in a position to be deceived or manipulated by him now…

Which kind of shepherd has Doug been? For years now, Doug has been an Ezekiel 34 shepherd, exploiting and devouring for self-satisfaction. He was entrusted with sheep to be a blessing to them, and instead he has been a curse. Is this not beyond dispute? And has not the Chief Shepherd removed him?…

Has Doug really repented? Time will tell, as the saying goes. And as it relates to Christian leadership, that can’t mean a week, a month, a year, or a decade. When it becomes known that a shepherd has cultivated a life of deception and manipulation for many years, such a man may not have enough years to reestablish himself as qualified for leadership.

Should Doug be forgiven? Absolutely. Anyone who has been forgiven much by the King must stand ready to forgive his fellow servants (Matthew 18:21-35).

Should he be trusted? Not on your life. At least not now. At least not soon.

Next, Scott Brown:

Disciplining an Elder – Alexander Strauch Weighs In

One of the most difficult things a church ever does is to discipline an elder. It is difficult enough to bring biblical discipline to church members, but it is even more difficult when elders are the ones in need of correction. There are so many conflicts and questions that are raised when an elder is caught in sin. When this happens, the church is in a very vulnerable situation. They are immediately subject to partiality, divisions, and even biting and devouring one another. Alexander Strauch has given me permission to post this from his book, Biblical Eldership. The quotation below is from chapter nine, following this citation is a link to the whole chapter.

Disciplining an Elder

How should an elder be treated if an accusation of sin is found to be true? Verse 20 provides the answer: “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all.” Some expositors think that verse 20 begins a new subject regarding the treatment of sinners in general, but this view is incorrect. Such a break in thought would be too abrupt and unexpected. Furthermore, it is clear that verses 19-25 deal with the topic of elders, particularly the sin of elders.

The clause, “those who continue in sin,” translates a present active participle (tous hamartanontas). The New American Standard Bible rendering stresses the persistent nature of the sinning. There is disagreement among commentators, however, as to what is implied by this present tense participle.

Some commentators believe that only those elders who stubbornly persist in sin after private warnings are to be publicly rebuked and that repentant elders need not be rebuked publicly. This interpretation, however, misconstrues the point of the passage…

The elder’s disposition toward his sin is not the issue here. The issue is: an elder’s sin demands public exposure…

First Timothy 5:20 provides additional biblical instruction on church discipline, specifically the matter of a church leader’s sin. Of course, if an elder refuses to repent, he would be disfellowshiped from the congregation according to Matthew 18.  Paul’s instructions go on to add that an elder who has been proven to be guilty of sin by witnesses is to be rebuked before the church. The imperative verb “rebuke” translates the Greek word elencho, which is a rich term conveying the ideas of “exposing,” “proving guilt,” “correcting,” and “reproving.” In this context, “rebuke” includes the ideas of public exposure, correction, and reproof…

Nine Ways Church Elders are to be Held Accountable

Each year we see new stories of Christian leaders who get entangled in scandalous sin. Our experience tells us that this has happened before and will happen again. Often we ask, “Who was holding this man accountable?” And, “If I can’t trust this seemingly godly man, who can I trust?” It is very common and very appropriate to also ask, “How are we supposed to hold leaders accountable?” If they are local church elders, the Bible speaks directly to the question…

Following are nine ways that 1 Timothy 5:19-21 shows how church elders are to be held accountable.

1. Personal responsibility

Paul makes it clear that church members have a very specific role. Every church member has the divinely appointed right and responsibility to bring a charge against a church elder when it is necessary. It is remarkable that woven into the very relational and sociological fabric of the local church is the assumption that at no time should elders be above the evaluation of the people they serve. Every person in the pew has this responsibility…

2. A stricter judgment

It is immediately evident from 1 Timothy 5:20 that the Lord has designed His church to have a very specific set of rules for dealing with church elders when they sin. These procedural commands are obviously focused on elders, not the wider church. Eldership carries with it greater risks for a greater number of people, and therefore they are subjected to a “stricter judgment,” (James 3:1)…

3. Multiple witnesses 

Holding church elders accountable requires two or three witnesses, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.” Notice how the Lord has commanded that there be a careful process that includes the following elements. First there must be a personal witness. Then in order to bring an accusation, that person is obligated to bring a minimum of one other witness. This language implies a vigilant examination and verification process.

This procedure is designed to protect the elder from trivial, false or evil accusations. It also protects him from accusations based on rumors, gossip or internet slander. It is part of the territory: Church elders are often targets of criticism since they are all imperfect in their life and doctrine, and the best of men can be picked apart…

4. Partiality avoided

Paul makes it clear that there must not be any partiality, “I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.” Partiality has many faces. Sometimes it expresses itself when there is a very gifted elder and because of his charisma, persuasiveness and position, people actually hold him to a lower standard when they should be holding him to a higher one…

5. Accountability for what happened

Paul is advocating accountability for the sin, in the phrase, “Those who are sinning rebuke…’… In the case of sins of a financial or moral nature, for instance, the very act of getting caught almost always brings these sins to an immediate stop.

For example, if an elder is caught embezzling funds from his church, the ability to embezzle is taken away the moment he is found out. He is therefore no longer continuing in his sin. Does this mean that he should not be rebuked? Or if a man is caught in adultery, he usually stops. Does this mean there is no need to rebuke him?…

What if the man says he repents: does he then escape the rebuke? This passage gives no indication that repentance suspends rebuke. In fact, there is no mention of repentance in the text. Paul’s instructions are very clear. The purpose of this rebuke is not to produce repentance in the elder—important as that may be—but to cause all “to fear.” The issue here is not excommunication (whether that happens or not). The issue is the public exposure and reproof of one who holds a high office. No one gets a pass in Christ’s churches when it comes to sin, especially not its elders. While true repentance is a critical matter in the elder’s relationship with the Lord and His church, it is important to remember – the explicitly stated purpose of the rebuke is not repentance, but the causing of fear…

6. A rebuke 

…The rebuke is designed to expose and bring the sin to light. The word that Paul uses here speaks of exposing, convicting, disapproving or punishing.”The rebuke should be delivered according to wisdom. It should be measured according to the severity of the sin and the disposition of the offender. There could be a simple public rebuke, or temporary removal, or even excommunication depending on the many factors involved. The punishment should be delivered according to wisdom…

7. A public rebuke 

The rebuke is to be delivered before the whole congregation, “…in the presence of all.” There is the tendency in many situations like this to try to protect people from hearing. Sometimes, in an attempt to express sympathy or to act out of a sense of misplaced kindness, there is a private meeting for the church members only, or a subset of the church. It is difficult to see how these approaches are appropriate applications of the scriptural language…

8. The courage to cause fear 

In today’s church environment, church elders and members often prefer a positive, upbeat church life; free from guilt, repentance or fear. In contrast to this, Paul’s stated purpose of the rebuke is so that “the rest also may fear.” Paul uses very strong language to communicate this. The word he uses to communicate the desired result indicates “alarm” and “fright.” Paul desires that there be a fear of sin in the congregation…

9. Trembling at the seriousness of the matter

The requirement to rebuke must be regarded with utmost seriousness. The gravity of handling the matter properly is identified by an unusually sober warning, “I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.”…

Is your church afraid to expose sin? Is there partiality? Are you personally reluctant to play your role for an elder trapped in sin? If so, the consequences can be terribly harmful for the purity of the church and the elder entrapped in sin. It easily blemishes the public reputation of the church as “pillar and ground of the truth.” It can muffle the proclamation that God saves and sanctifies sinners. In the presence of God, the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels, it hides an important expression of the redemptive power of the gospel itself.

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391 Responses to “Scott Brown and Jason Dohm Offer Advice On the Doug Phillips Debacle”

  1. PioneerHomeschooler Says:

    The idea that these men would offer “advice” is laughable. I hope everyone takes all of it with a grain of salt. I’m a little dismayed at all the praise for Dohm’s post–it’s just more CYA. Please, men, spare us.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      You may be right, but I don’t want to dismiss their articles on that basis alone. In my view they’ve written very good articles that are worthy of our attention.

      Please bear in mind I am not endorsing the men themselves. In emailing Jason Dohm with a few questions about his participation with Joe Morecraft and Peter Bradrick in confronting Doug Phillips at his home this past October, Jason replied that he was “not willing to correspond” with me. I don’t understand why that should be such a big secret, particularly in light of Scott Brown’s excellent articles. It strike me as rather odd.

      • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

        He came and commented on the blog but now won’t correspond?

        • Randy Says:

          I’m in the don’t trust Dohm category. Once he had helped create a mess at the last church he should have separated himself from snotty Scotty, and taken time away from the ministry to think things over. I know it would kill most of these “ministry” guys that are so use to living off the fruits of other’s labor to go get a JOB, bUT that’s exactly what most of them need. REAL LIFE experience so they aren’t so out of touch with the congregation that supports them.

      • notsurprised Says:

        I am STILL floored that it was Jason (which most people don’t even know who he is/was), Peter and Joe. I can see Joe Morecraft…….but the others???? whyyyyy????? Why not his inner circle of people that call him “their best friend”? I am talking Bill Potter, Scott Brown, Geoff Botkin etc??? While I like to see him finally calling Doug out, I don’t put much stock into it. Why wait this long? It was a cowardly move imho. To me it should have been Joe, Scott, Bill & Geoff. Those 4 should have been there and confronting Doug……and breathing down his throat! Not the other 2!

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Here’s the email that I sent to Jason Dohm early this evening:

          You seem to have been a bit of a mystery as far as your involvement in the whole Morecraft-Bradrick confrontation with Doug on or about Oct 19. We’d heard that you were there with them? That’s all very confusing to me. It’s hard for me to understand why Morecraft played lead man on this rather than Scott Brown. And why Peter Bradrick? He has no more part in VFM board matters than does Joe.

          I’ve had to deal personally with board of director decisions myself and I can’t say as I’ve ever seen anything like this. It looks bad to me. One doesn’t send unrelated surrogates to handle board matters. Maybe Scott had good reasons for that, or maybe he was just shirking his legal and moral obligations so he could avoid a messy situation.

          Do you have any insights on this that would help me understand what happened that way?

          Doug Phillips instructs us in his “Clarification of Resignation” on Nov 14, 2013 that, “The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance”. We all saw how well that worked. Needless to say Doug’s handed picked puppet elders have never done anything to hold him accountable.

          Doug Phillips’ was caught twice in the act with “Cassandra”, once in Cassandra’s home by her family members, and then a month later in his home by one or more of his family members. His behavior seriously jeopardized a very successful ministry. The Vision Forum Ministries board of directors was legally and morally obligated to safeguard the ministry from being defrauded, ruined, or having it’s reputation damaged by any of its officers and key employees. That’s what directors do. That’s one of the most important of their functions — oversight and accountability. In function the VFM board turned out to give no more accountability to Doug Phillips than did Doug’s hand-picked yes-men elders at Boerne Christian Assembly.

          The VFM board of directors is made up of Scott Brown, Jim Zes, Josh Wean, Don Hart, and Doug Phillips. Not a single one of them were there knocking at Doug’s door. Scott Brown is the Director, where was he? Jim Zes, where was he? Don Hart is right there in the immediate area, so where was he? Josh Wean, as corrupt as he is, you wouldn’t want him involved anyway.

          Scott Brown sent surrogates to handle a matter that was the exclusive legal responsibility of the Vision Forum Ministries board of directors. It looks very bad.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Joe Morecraft is probably the only man in this group and the others are mere infants in comparison. I’m not trying to be insulting – just stating what I believe to be true. I’m glad Pastor Morecraft took the lead. May the good Lord bless him for showing these boys how to confront sin.

      • Michael Says:

        So, Jason came out just enough to say he “can’t plead guilty” to the online rebuke, but won’t answer your questions. These guys are trying to hide. The sermons and articles are necessary to show their separation from Phillips. Looks like they are trying to put just enough out there on Phillips to keep the focus off themselves. Unfortunately there are those pesky witnesses to their past behavior that just keep popping up. That must be inconvenient and even somewhat annoying for men who are accustomed to monolog style leadership..”.I say it, you believe it, now don’t question me.”

      • Outsider Says:

        So Mr. Dohm will not now correspond with you although he posted on this site.
        That is a red flag in my opinion.
        I have followed all of this from a distance. I do not know any of the people involved.
        However, I do have an interest in how badly dominating, legalistic leaders have wounded the body of Christ.

        I find myself increasingly infuriated with these men who look at the church as their personal financial and sexual playground.
        They must be exposed and held accountable in every conceivable way.

        • Boxelder Says:

          Outsider: We are all upset by the events surrounding this topic. In your 7:19 a.m. post you have accused (at least) Mr. Dohm of “look[ing] at the church as their personal … sexual playground.” By your use of “these men,” one could reasonable infer that you are including Mr. Brown in your assertion. No one, to date, as far as I can tell, has stooped so low on this website.

          You overall post is, at best, a poorly constructed vent, and given the justiafiably strong sentiments, is understandable. However, One could also conclude that you have just slandered these two men. My counsel to the proprietors of this website is that your post be struck.

          This website is providing a very valuable service. Let us all be a little more careful in our rhetoric.

        • Jen Says:

          Outsider, I think Boxelder makes a very good observation that your wording may lead others to believe that you are accusing both Scott Brown and Jason Dohm of sexual impropriety by lumping them all together with Doug Phillips. Unless you have evidence to support this, I would ask that we just stick to treating individuals on an individual basis. Thanks.

        • Outsider Says:

          @Boxelder, Jen.
          Thank you for your reply. My intention with the last paragraph of my 7:19 post was not to accuse anyone specifically. I was certainly not accusing Mr. Dohm.

          I was pointing out a general trend in Evangelical circles that I have seen in the last few years and that has me very concerned. I do see your points though and thank you for them.

        • Boxelder Says:

          You are very welcome, and all the more so given your gracious response.
          Let’s all be careful out there.
          “When words are many…”

        • Jen Says:

          Outsider, thank you for clarifying!

    • Walking in Freedom Says:

      Amen.

    • Seejay Says:

      I used to feel like some others have commented about not dismissing statements solely based on the history of Scott and Jason. After all, every good and perfect gift is from the Father above. However, I can’t accept anything either of these men say. If I want the truth, I’m going to head straight to scripture myself or trust that God will deliver it through a different vehicle.

      I often wonder why Eve even engaged in conversation with the serpent in the Garden. He/It must have had a very pleasing voice. Scott, and to a lesser extent Jason, is so charismatic, it is … hard to believe unless you engage him first hand. Even listening to him on tape doesn’t have the same effect. Don’t read beyond what I’m saying — I’m not calling him evil incarnate. I’m just saying that I refuse to listen to him or really read anything he writes. Because somewhere in there, there is going to be a twist, however tiny. Just like the twist in truth from the serpent to Eve. And I don’t want to be hunting and pecking for it. His twists are deliberate and serve his own ends. They are not the same as someone else who maybe needs a Priscilla and Aquila to explain the way of God more accurately.

      One of Scott’s favorite things to say when teaching on sin went something like:
      Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go
      Keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay
      And cost you more than you ever wanted to pay.

      That is where Scott is. And he is blind to it. He is a prime example of someone ignoring God until their heart is hardened completely. I think there is something telling that some 90 percent of the people still around Scott are either his nuclear family or folks who’ve only known him a relatively short amount of time. Jason excepting. He has lost his guest teaching privileges at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (thank God) and seen men who would have taken a bullet for him, well, maybe a graze, tell him that his vision is rotten, he needs to repent and should dissolve his ministry. And those messages began shortly after he started Trinity and got more deeply involved with Doug Phillips. And time and time again, he ignored them and reinvented history and the truth so that he could justify what he was doing.

      The last Sunday at Trinity where Scott was allowed to speak before he was cut loose (at that time we met in Jones Dairy Elementary auditorium), Scott made a rambling speech where he blamed it all on jealous men. And then he went as far as saying that if he was wrong, God would show him. But God hadn’t. Ergo, he wasn’t in need of repentance. He made a very similar statement at congregational meeting held after he and Jason had “stepped down” due to the vote of confidence.

      After he made his I-am-without-blame statements, as we talked over all that had happened with our children, we told them that Scott had had two groups of elders, half his deacons and more than half his congregation tell him he was wrong, not in an effort to throw him out, but in an effort to bring him back to truth. And that if they (our children) ever found themselves in a position where that many God-fearing, Bible-believing people were calling them to repentance, they should sit up and take notice. That *is* most likely God speaking.

      Scott continuing in his work at Hope and NCFIC with any modicum of success is not, IMO, a sign of the rightness of what he is doing. It is more like 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
      -Clellie Allen

      • Jay Says:

        I’ve seen that quote show up several times here: “sin will take you farther …”, and wanted to note that it is not original with Scott. Adrian Rogers used it regularly, and he got it from R.G. Lee, a prior pastor at Bellevue Baptist, Memphis. That was part of his sermon “Payday Someday” about Elijah and Jezebel, first published in 1926, and reputed to have been preached nearly 1,300 times. http://thedailyhatch.org/2012/03/20/payday-someday-by-robert-g-lee-part-1-of-transcript-and-video/ And who knows if it was original with R.G. Lee.

        • Jen Says:

          Jay and Clellie, that is a good example of how one can base their convictions upon something very good and very worthwhile, and yet, with just the slightest twist, can turn it into something horrible and ugly. I believe that is what has happened with patriarchy, and probably what happened with this favorite quote that Scott Brown uses.

      • zooey111 Says:

        “I used to feel like some others have commented about not dismissing statements solely based on the history of Scott and Jason. After all, every good and perfect gift is from the Father above. However, I can’t accept anything either of these men say. If I want the truth, I’m going to head straight to scripture myself or trust that God will deliver it through a different vehicle.

        I often wonder why Eve even engaged in conversation with the serpent in the Garden. He/It must have had a very pleasing voice. Scott, and to a lesser extent Jason, is so charismatic, it is … hard to believe unless you engage him first hand. Even listening to him on tape doesn’t have the same effect. Don’t read beyond what I’m saying — I’m not calling him evil incarnate. I’m just saying that I refuse to listen to him or really read anything he writes. Because somewhere in there, there is going to be a twist, however tiny. Just like the twist in truth from the serpent to Eve. And I don’t want to be hunting and pecking for it. His twists are deliberate and serve his own ends”.

        You know what? That is a very good insight, SeeJay. As a young kid,I heard from people who had heard speeches by a couple of pretty well-known tyrants in modern history, & they all said, “It was his voice. Somehow, when I heard his voice, even though I knew it was wrong, I got caught up in the sound of his voice”……
        I don’t know if its a natural thing, or if its cultivated (probably both), but there seems to be a way that some people have of speaking that lulls you into not hearing what is actually being said.
        Thanks for your insight. I can see how that can happen……

  2. DesiringToDiscern Says:

    This part said so very much to me. This is a serious matter.
    Mr. D wrote…
    …pray for his family. And more than that, pray for the woman who was exploited by a shepherd who was meant to be a blessing to her. Nothing short of the grace of God will bring her back from that,
    ~~~~
    I pray that she realizes the LOVE (agape) of Jesus Christ with Shalom, healing and much grace… true love ! Not a counterfeit.

    • zooey111 Says:

      ,I have to say’ that was the one part of the article that shone out for me too: At last, somebody in that crew has the stones to admit that the woman in the case was exploited. Everybody else has either ignored her, or hasaccused her as beingthe one at fault-which is,IMO, throwing stones at a victim whilst the offender sits in the counting house……..

  3. LHarding Says:

    It is hard to give advice on holding elders accountable if one has a history of leaving the elder ship of one church and starting a different church when their membership tried to hold them accountable, don’t you think?

    • Randy Says:

      Maybe just a bit….
      Then again, these guys get away with this stuff and then go from church to church continuing with their ” I wannabe a leeeader…..”

      Unfortunately there are way too many venerable , naive and needy Christians for them to continue “leading”.

      A guy should be able to attend church and take Communion without being expected to sign membership agreements, be subject to what these tools call biblical church discipline or accept everything a pastor says as truth. Many times it isn’t .

  4. Grace Alone Says:

    Why are SB and others afraid of clearly telling the truth?? Truth sets us free!

    • Jen Says:

      Grace Alone, that is more astute than you may realize. When I first told my story, I was careful to tell what I had done wrong as well all the other parts of the story. For 15 years or so, I had “hidden” this sin from everyone except a few relatives, and it gnawed away at me. I was “forbidden” by my husband to ever tell anyone about it, but then Doug Phillips made it public. Although it was wrong on Doug’s part to do so, it forced the issue out into the open, and when I finally was able to openly admit my past sin, which I had long since repented from, that feeling of freedom was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

      I wish that freedom for Doug Phillips, and all those involved in this whole debacle.

  5. tim Says:

    Found this comment by Dohm on this blog.

    Jason concluded that discussion by stating, “the normative pattern is for a woman to be a keeper at home. So, if she does not, it should divide [the Church].”

    • zooey111 Says:

      Blecch.

    • Jen Says:

      Tim, that is very significant! So not only does Jason Dohm make being a stay-at-home mom a “sin” issue, but he actually advocates dividing the church over it? That should be enough to make those in his church wonder what else he is willing to divide a church over.

      • oneh20 Says:

        Jen, I’d love to see this further explored. All things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient…. I’ve heard one person say conclusively that it is sin for our daughters to attend college.

        • Jen Says:

          oneh20, I’m planning on a whole series on the patriarchy issues soon. :-)

        • JourneyGirl Says:

          Yes. I have been told by a number of people that it is a sin for any woman to go to college. One person said, “It is a blatant defiance of God’s will.” Most of the folks who have said this to me are college grads. I have much to say on this and related issues pertaining to how people like Jason Dohm blaspheme God’s Word by adding to it and put chains on many people’s spiritual lives.

        • Jen Says:

          JourneyGirl, great! We will put that on our list of subjects to discuss then!

        • JourneyGirl Says:

          Oh yay! I will bring all my can openers and lots of fishing hooks and poles. Heh

        • oneh20 Says:

          JourneyGirl, Would it be okay to connect privately if Jen wouldn’t mind taking the trouble to give us each others’ emails?

        • JourneyGirl Says:

          Oneh20, exchanging emails would be fine. Thanks for asking. I actually have some questions for you, a few of which revolve around your involvement at Dr John MacArthur’s church.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Thanks, JourneyGirl. Busy day ahead, but will hopefully email by the end of the day.

        • Scott Says:

          Well maybe all this homo stuff in the news ( gay marriage, in the military, adoption of kids by two MEN or two women) has me a bit grossed out BUT I love my FEMALE physician. If I could find a decent female chiropractor I would change in a heartbeat. The problem is they think it takes a lot of force to align you and are way too rough. Frankly it’s just more natural to have a woman wrapping their arms around you and slamming you down on a chiro-practic bench. I’m not real big on men hugging me like that, LOL Seriously , I’m thankful they went to college and medical school. I’m thankful for female nurses too. God bless them , I don’t want a boy-nurse ( or whatever you call them) touching me or sticking me with a syringe. The best teachers in high school were women. One of the best attorneys I retain is a woman.

          This idea that GOD calls all women to be stay home moms, or to even marry and have children is bogus. Many women will never marry. That is not sin. A couple choosing to not have children for reasons that are none of our business, is NOT sin.

          Sure, a mother being able to stay home is a wonderful blessing but not everyone can swing it financially. I would definitely be in favor of a couple reducing the amount they give to any church that teaches the above by say 99.9% so MOM can quit her job. I bet if 80-90% of church families started doing that all this working mom bashing would cease quickly.

        • tim Says:

          Btw. The comment was found on ephesian511.WordPress.com. Just to clear up any confusion.

  6. idontgetit Says:

    The best way to rebuke an Elder / pastor /ceo /? is to have well written bylaws, checks and balances, regular elections, and to actually follow the bylaws that you have written. Rebuking is actually a silly notion, telling someone to knock it off or you are going to go to the cops / state / what ever applicable. Oh and if they threaten you get video or audio and a very good lawyer. Simple test if you walk into the church office and ask to see the bylaws / financials and they get mad or say no leave that church.

  7. Debbie Says:

    Can’t help but notice that in the photo with Scott Brown, Doug appears shorter than usual, pudgy, and his receding hair line is quite prominent.

    • MomT Says:

      Yes – now all these men are sporting facial hair. I told my husband that it is odd that they all went from shaved, clean cut face to beards, goatees, unshaven at the same time. Maybe they are trying to hold to that verse in Lev. about not shaving the corners of your beard?

  8. DesiringToDiscern Says:

    The other serious issues remain untouched in these statements. Misuse of funds ? Solicitations of funds for personal gain. JG ! Harassment of BCA folks who stayed, left and even those who left the state (being followed by BCA *ministry* for the purpose of ruining reputations and businesses). For corrupt doctrine being SOLD by the moneychangers. …and BTW, your donations have been slacking therefore thou art not spiritual enough.( I personally believe in giving to God’s true work BTW just not through coercion ).

    • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

      Yes, DesiringToDiscern, all that you listed above still need to be addressed and are very serious. To us they prove DP was hiding something huge, yet BCA is incapable of hiding DP accountable ( exactly why he wanted it handled locally instead of on the internet as DP stated, how convenient) and since all these men are really only accountable to themselves,meaning Scott, Geoff, Kevin, RC, etc. it is going to take some real strong men in their camps who know this is wrong to stand up to them. WE need to pray God will rise these men up and give them courage. I also agree with Just A Shadow that we as home school families, need to start speaking up about who is at our conferences, who is running our state home school organizations and start picking up the phone and demanding some answers. Please pray, everyone across this nation, as to how you can help in this way.

      • Out My Window Says:

        Commenting as a past homeschooler and one who has long been concerned about these homeschool organizations, websites and leaders who have led many into bondage of legalism and extrabiblical teaching, as I have seen the effects on friends and family. I have been praying for false teachers to be exposed and brought down for years, and see the DP debacle as an initial answer to this–may there be more, although I am grieved for his family and those who had their fortunes tied to his and the VF wagon. I have read your blog for a long time, Jen, and I am very sorry for what your family suffered at BCA, but am thankful there continues to be a means here by which evil can be exposed and people can be healed.
        I am not familiar with many state HS groups, but in WA state the “biblical” HS organization, Christian Heritage, has so many ties to other “likeminded” leaders through marriage, VF and business associations. Last year they were scheduled to have DP as a repeat keynote speaker (he had spoken many times and been involved with CH probably from their onset) in April, then Voddie Baucham was suddenly called to fill in (I can’t remember reading their explanation at the time). However, DP is still listed as a speaker in their conference store of past recordings.
        A board member of CH, Neil Craig, manages Blue Behemoth, the site that still sells scads of Vision Forum audio for download. looking at it, one would never know that Doug Phillips and Vision Forum have been discredited, rebuked and disbanded. DP’s many message tracks can be downloaded for $4.95 and up. One of the Craigs’ sons is married to a Bradrick daughter (Michael Bradrick is also a founder and board member of Christian Heritage, as well as Peter Bradrick’s father). The Craigs also have a history with ATI, having had key positions in their Moscow, Russia, orphanage and at the Indianapolis training center.
        The 2014 CH conference features (surprise) Scott Brown, R. C. Sproul, Jr., Ken Ham, Israel Wayne and Kelly Crawford as speakers (no doubt KC will only be speaking to women). Another chance for SB to get his name and face out there as the new leader… Other events have had Deborah Brown, Stacy McDonald, and various combinations of the Botkin family excitedly touted as speakers. Last fall there was an economic conference put on by CH and Kevin Swanson’s Generations With Vision; R. C. Sproul, Jr., also made the rounds to that one.
        Kevin Swanson recently featured another Craig son, Daniel, who has promoted College Plus (also a VF spinoff?). Now Daniel Craig is given credit for a self-study program to mentor young men and women ages 15+, Lifelaunch, which is sold through Swanson’s Generations With Vision store for $129. Students get a step-by-step planner, 300 page full color workbook, and 4 DVDs with “30 powerful training sessions” from the faculty, who include Kevin Swanson, Geoff Botkin, and…Doug Phillips.
        There are so many webs that bind this whole group of self-appointed leaders together; it is very enlightening to begin unwinding them. I am sure some of them are very nice people and families, others like the Messrs. Phillips, Swanson, Botkin, Sproul, Jr., and Brown I would not want to come within shouting distance of. I am saddened and disgusted that these men and their associates are continuing to show their “entrepeneurial spirit” by marketing unattainable rules, fearmongering and fluff to unsuspecting people who will spend beaucoup bucks, time and effort painfully trying to make their families achieve the idyllic status held before them. I will continue to pray for the light to be revealed to many and for the gracious Gospel of Christ to be seen as the only thing that saves us and keeps us.

        • just a shadow Says:

          Thank you for unwinding these strands further for us. It is important to have names to the behind the scenes players so that we can begin to organize.

          Very informative post.

        • Jen Says:

          Out My Window, yes, it is indeed a very intricately woven web indeed, and I am afraid that you have just touched on one little section of that web. Thank you for filling in many blanks.

          I will say that College Plus was not exactly a spin-off of VF, but that Doug Phillips discovered Brad Voeller at the beginning of his ministry, and subsequently helped to promote it (through selling Brad’s book via Vision Forum). There are definite links there, but not a spin-off.

          Thanks for letting us know about Blue Behemoth. It doesn’t look like they plan on closing down any time soon. It is pure passive income, so there would be no good financial reason to shut it down.

        • Out My Window Says:

          Now I remember why Doug Phillips had to be replaced as speaker for the Christian Heritage Conference–it was due to the death of his father. Otherwise, probably all would have gone on as scheduled.

        • Jen Says:

          Out My Window, yes, that’s makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

        • Bbb Says:

          Thank you Jen for posting about College Plus. I feel that this is a reputable organization – and they are certainly in the business of educating young men AND women. They also employ women and promote the female graduates and tout their accomplishes which include running businesses and the like. I do remember CP being promoted by VF and also Voddie Bauchman. His children use them as well as the Duggars. I am not going to assume that this makes them Patriarchy just because these other families utilize their service. There coaches are youth pastors and entrepreneurs out in the real world.

        • Bbb Says:

          This is an interesting thread – not sure if it has been posted before.
          https://www.facebook.com/jus.fly.93/posts/10202331894603090

        • Jen Says:

          Thanks, Bbb. It is so good to hear that the Voellers have moved on past the legalism of ATI and VF, and recognize that Doug never preached grace or the gospel. Notice that they said these things before they were ever mentioned here, so they weren’t just jumping on a bandwagon. For those of us who have left, it is widespread that we all see how extreme Doug had become over the years.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          As an aside and FYI, M. Bradrick came on board with CH after having associated with and then kidnapping the WATCH (original Washington State Homeschoolers group) from it’s leadership. I spoke with the leader of WATCH when this all occurred; the poor guy was beaten into submission with ruthless tactics by MB and refused to sue to get mailing lists and other materials generated by and for WATCH’s use. Then CH suddenly became the go to support group for Washington State Homeschoolers. A dubious beginning to be sure. So the Bradrick’s have learned well from DP.

        • Jen Says:

          Thank you, Andrew. A shaky foundation will lead to toppling one day.

        • Out My Window Says:

          To Andrew McDonald,i do remember when WATCH was the Christian WA state homeschool group, along with WHO, which was more secular oriented. I belonged to and appreciated WATCH (Mike Smith?), but was done homeschooling when they faded away and Christian Heritage took over. I vaguely remember the sudden switch, but had forgotten about the strong-arm tactics involved.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Well, I refreshed my memory with a call to the fellow I’d spoken to years ago and he hasn’t forgotten at all. He has removed himself from the Homeschool movement, knew nothing about DP or SB and told me he never wanted to be around MB or anyone of his ilk. Sad.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Sorry, but this is rather disheartening for me as I deleted my Christian Liberty News blog due to it’s pro-theonomic theme and at the beginning of this year resurrected a blog I had years ago called “Christian Heritage News.” Please know I am in no way affiliated with the CH Network and I emailed them a message letting them know I carried articles that helped expose the wolf Doug Phillips and that they should use more discernment in who they have as conference speakers. I hope this helps clear up any confusion. I own the Christian Heritage News domain and I’m not going to make any changes. Perhaps I’ll post a disclaimer at my blog. I am so sick and tired of ungodly “Christians” and their selfish actions that I am in no mood to be associated with them at all. In fact, I think I’ll pray some imprecatory prayers. Thanks for letting me make my [position clear. :)

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Angela, When you warn CH top dogs you may be only giving them a ‘heads up’ to be more clandestine in their activities. History shows them to be not much different from DP and it is, above all else, a business NOT a ministry.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Thanks Andrew… But the good Lord has always had me speaking my mind, so that’s what I did. :) Also, it just might be that I’ve had some sort of past relationship or affiliation with these folks and I want them to know I am no longer in their camp.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          As a follow up I called the man from the now defunct WATCH (Washington Assoc. of Teaching Christian Homes) to confirm my previous comment. M. Bradrick (Peter’s dad) was brought on board WATCH w/pay and later wanted his pay doubled retroactive to when he had begun. This started what ended in a law suit (no surprise here) with a lawyer that was one of the nastiest lawyers the defending lawyer said he’d ever run across. The man (I called this morning) knew nothing of Doug Phillip’s problems or Scoot Brown, but most definitely remembers MB and wants nothing to do with any of their ilk. After a less than amicable separation with MB Christian Heritage, aided somewhat with what were WATCH resources, came into being. The process itself was a stinky affair that seems to be in keeping with the processes under DP’s influence. (see Scott Brown’s handling of the TBC situation, another DP trained leader) That MB was influenced by DP is bolstered by the fact that he and his wife blessed Peter’s association with DP as an intern. A seemingly litigious, judgmental and mean spirited lot. We are now praying that the fall out from DP will bring down all those others who are like him or at least bring leaders, pastors, and others in leadership or congregation, who have been enchanted with them, to prayerful evaluation. Some of the beliefs these teachers taught are good and Biblical but dis-association with these folks does not dis-associate with truth.

        • Half truths abound Says:

          Andrew, I’m not sure if this is so much that all of these men learned from DP, but that they are more like “birds of a feather” that flocked together.

        • Y'allStreet Says:

          Andrew it’s the same story with Kevin Swanson who stole the Christian Home Educators of Colorado from the people who founded it and ran it for years. Good folks too. They weren’t in it for the money. Swanson made a hostile takeover move for it years after CHEC had been up and running strong. He didn’t like that it wasn’t all about patriarchy and quiverfull stuff. So he took it over in a really nasty way. He didn’t do it honestly. He didn’t ask if he could take it over. He stole it. With Kevin Swanson in charge it couldn’t just be about Christian home schooling. No. It had to have all that other stuff too, and if you weren’t on board with him you weren’t welcome as speaker or a vendor any more. Just like a lot of these other State home school groups you’ve got to drink their koolaid or you’re not welcome to do anything other than buy a ticket and show up. Better wear a dress too or plan on being scowled at.

          Kevin Swanson is a self righteous pompous ass and a thief. What a nut job he’s become too. Has anyone here listened to his radio program? I can’t understand how he manages to stay ordained in the OPC. I thought they were a fairly solid denomination but maybe they’ve just gone off the rails too. Someone needs to expose Swanson. I think the only difference between him and Phillips is he hasn’t cheated on his wife. At least so far that anyone knows about.

        • zooey111 Says:

          Angela, I hear you. It infuriates me no end when perfectly good language gets co-opted by folks who use it to their own ends.

        • noturniptruck Says:

          Kevin Swanson is a self rig Someone needs to expose Swanson. I think the only difference between him and Phillips is he hasn’t cheated on his wife. At least so far that anyone knows about.

          Seriously? have people SEEN Swanson? he’s the biggest NERD/Dweeb out there……..Everytime I see his photo, I think it screams “REVENGE OF THE NERDS” lol. I am amazed he’s married and found someone to marry……blek

        • Y'allStreet Says:

          noturniptruck I get what you mean about Kevin Swanson being a nerd. He was an engineer earning a honest living and doing some good before he became a pastor. I think he ought to go back to that. But he can make a lot more money scamming home schoolers than working an honest job. Yes he’s a geek nurdball. Is that why you think he doesn’t cheat on his wife? Because he couldn’t get a woman if he wanted one? I wouldn’t be willing to say that about him. He’s just not a horndog like Doug is.

    • Just a shadow Says:

      @ Not fooled -

      Yes. Time for some grass roots action.

      • scott Says:

        SO I read in this thread that Kevin Swanson swiped one Home school association and Bradrick swiped another. Exactly how did they do that ? I have also read of businesses being “stolen” by these types of folks, How exactly does that happen? If you have the organization or business properly set up that would be impossible. I’m wondering if words like stole and swiped are a bit of an exaggeration.

        • Jen Says:

          Scott, I will let others give more details of what happened regarding the home school associations, but we hope to have an article soon regarding one of many business/ministries that Doug Phillips stole. Yes, stole.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          “If you have the organization or business properly set up that would be impossible.” First of all, even if an organization is set up properly it doesn’t preclude a hostile takeover by an adversary. Apparently you haven’t seen it done before, but I have a number of times.

          I spoke with someone quite recently that Doug Phillips had threatened with years of expensive litigation if they didn’t hand over their business to him. Their only recourse was to close their business down entirely. At the time Doug had virtually unlimited resources at his disposal and that business owner had comparatively little. There are several such examples of business owners that I’ve spoken to that Doug Phillips has ruined their businesses. I’d love to tell those stories but those business owners are still living in fear of Doug Phillips and aren’t ready to come forward yet. I trust in time that will change.

          A hostile takeover of a state home school organization, such as is being alleged of Kevin Swanson, is far easier than you perceive, and certainly easier than a for profit business. From what I’ve heard about Kevin Swanson he’s not above intimidating people to get his way. The typical state home school leaders that have formed state organizations seem to be rather mild mannered. They’d feel very uncomfortable having to go up against the likes of Kevin Swanson. I wouldn’t be, and maybe you wouldn’t be, but many others would be. I’d’ recommend you listen to Swanson’s radio program to get a taste of his dominating personality.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          I can tell you that these types of power plays are common. It really is easily done if the one being challenged is trusting and thinks the other person is going to operate ethically and fairly… I had it done to me in the Constitution Party. In my experience, they secretly contacted voting members and swayed them to their side before the official meeting of the organization. Then at the meeting they took a vote and their pawns all voted accordingly to what had been secretly decided before hand.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Angela is correct. Most of the folks heading up these groups have, step by step, entered into an arena that they are not overly savvy in. M. Bradrick came on board WATCH with everyone’s approval, established himself and then things went south. Unless the former leaders are agressive and determined they are easily out maneuvered. I have no doubt that MB received more than enough council from the DP camp.

        • Jen Says:

          This whole homeschool conference takeover sounds just like they are taking dominion of the homeschool conferences and therefore they will justify everything related to that pursuit.

        • Shawn Says:

          TW and others: Your assessment of how Mr. Swanson obtained his position at Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC) is different than mine. He obtained the executive director position at CHEC because it was given to him. He was actively involved in the h/s movement from the get go in Colorado. He knew Chris Clicka and other movers and shakers. He is full of energy and that kind of position needs such energy, especially for endorsing CHEC. My information is no hearsay. I’ve known him since the mid-90s.

        • Molly Says:

          So what happens if the President of the State Homeschool Convention is already friends with Phillips and a VF follower?

        • Shawn Mathis Says:

          Molly, is your question directed to me? Are you asking what you can do about h/s organization president being friends with Phillips?
          That depends on how well you know him or her. You can certainly pray. Or influence them or those around them to reconsider their views by offering a friendly critique. Have lunch with them, etc.

  9. oneh20 Says:

    Hi T.W. and Jen,

    I found this on a great link on Steve Camp’s blog – its from John MacArthur’s commentary on 1 Timothy – you would love the link, btw. Let me know if you’d like me to post it:

    Elders are to be protected from false accusations, but are not to receive immunity from true ones. Those elders who continue in sin must bear the consequences. Paul does not mention here any specific kinds of sin. Any sin or pattern of unrepentant sin that causes an elder to violate the qualifications listed in 3:2-7 would be grounds for rebuke in the presence of all. There are no elaborate steps of discipline to be followed. An accusation is made and confirmed by two or three witnesses, then investigated; if found true, the elder is to be publicly rebuked. The Greek word for rebuke means to expose, to bring to open conviction, to correct, or to reprove. There are no exegetical grounds for limiting all to the other elders. It means everyone, elders and congregation. A sinning elder has nowhere to hide.

    The ministry is thus a two-edged sword. Those who serve faithfully are to be honored and protected, but those who sin are to be publicly rebuked. One of the purposes for that public rebuke is so that the rest also may be fearful of sinning. When one elder is publicly disgraced because of sin, that puts a healthy fear into the hearts of the others. It also puts that same fear into the hearts of the congregation (cf.. Matt. 18:17). Godly fear, along with love, is a proper motive for avoiding sin and obeying God (Deut. 13:6-11; 17:12-13; 19:16-20; Acts 5:5-11). Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Second Corinthians 7:1 admonishes believers to “cleanse themselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (cf.. Acts 9:31; Eph. 5:21; Heb. 12:28; 1 Peter 2:17). Such fear is not sheer terror, but rather a sense of the ominous reality of God’s hatred of evil.

    The church needs to decide whether to protect man’s reputation, or God’s? Those who repent are to be forgiven and accepted by the congregation. That does not mean, however, they are to automatically be restored to ministry. Depending on the severity of the sin, they may be permanently disqualified.

    The church must maintain these principles regarding sinning elders without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. No one is to receive preferential treatment. The rebuke of sinning elders must be done with accuracy and integrity. There must be no effort to protect those who are famous, specially gifted, or popular, nor to expose those who are not.

  10. Seejay Says:

    I’ve been graciously invited to bring my thoughts over here from here (http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/doug-phillips-boerne-christian-assembly-more-lies-and-cya/comment-page-2/#comment-31127) as that post has gotten very long. And now I’m making a very long post. But it’s late, so I’ll throw it all on here.

    Background
    My name is Clellie Allen and my husband Todd and I were members of Trinity before and during the time that Scott and Jason were disciplined by their former flock at then-Trinity Baptist Church (TBC). Our history with both Scott and Jason is significant. Scott married us in 1991, after several months of premarital counseling. If you could hear his message that was given at our wedding (one of solid mutual submission to each other by the husband and the wife) you would be astonished that it was Scott. That is not his message now. We attended the wedding of Jason and Janet Dohm which was in 1990 or 91 (I’m sure it was before ours, but can’t remember how long). We attended North Wake Baptist Church together from its beginning (also in 1991). We had moved away at the time Trinity split (however amicably) from North Wake. When we moved back in 2004, we started at North Wake and then moved over to Trinity because of the needs of one of our children who needed a more sedate environment. At the time just before everyone started to come out of their spiritual stupor and then God broke up Trinity, I would have counted Scott’s wife Deborah as one of the people I looked up to the most. She was definitely a spiritual older sister and I truly loved her. I still grieve for her. She is as much a victim of her husband’s teaching as anyone else.

    Our involvement in the breakup of Trinity is also significant as Todd was one of three brothers who approached Scott and then all the Elders together in 2006 to ask him to back down from statement that he made in the League of Grateful Sons video. The video may have been revised since then, but the original had Scott saying, “It’s a son’s task in life to spread the fame and the glory of his father in the same way that the Lord Jesus Christ spread the fame and glory of His Father in heaven.” That video comment was sort of the last straw. There were six other extremely troubling issues including TBC’s position on the Law, Theonomy creeping into the mainstream teachings, lack of Biblical support for “Family Reformation” to be a “Pillar” of the church, legalism that caused matters of conscious to be treated as matters of doctrine and the concern that TBC was becoming almost a subsidiary of Vision Forum. What happened as a result of that effort has been more thoroughly documented elsewhere, but in short, it led to the most astonishing and horrible breakups of a church and two elders, Scott and Jason, heading off to do what they are doing now.

    Here are some of my other comments I’m copying/pasting here to save time:

    Regarding Jason’s blog entry, I made this comment in reply to Jason’s comments:
    I certainly think the Bible represents that repentance involves seeking reconciliation. Jason, you and Scott and the others there have left a trail of destroyed relationships every bit as terrible and far-reaching as what Doug has. And yet you have not even attempted to apologize or seek to make a bridge with those you damaged and damaged seriously. You have never even once publicly (meaning publicly enough that those who were hurt have knowledge of it) tried to build a bridge with the sheep you were a shepherd over at Trinity.

    The Bible says that if you are coming to the altar to bring your sacrifice and you remember that someone holds something against you, you should leave your sacrifice and go to your brother and be reconciled and then come back to make your sacrifice. You cannot possibly believe that you have made a good faith effort to be reconciled with the majority of the people at Trinity who voted to pass that statement of rebuke.

    Faith (in your every-day repentance) without works (seeking reconciliation) is dead.
    Physician — heal thyself.

    From followup comment on same thread:
    I’m saddened to see this mess bust open because like [Jen] (although not to the extent, as [Jen has] literally been to hell and back) I’ve lived firsthand the pain of having to be yanked almost bodily out of the aberrant teachings of Scott/Jason/Dan Horn/Trinity/Hope/NICFIC. It was one of the most painful experience of my life as everything gets called into question when something like this happens — everything you’ve learned, believed wholeheartedly. It’s like pruning a grapevine — whacked right back down to the dirt. I am grateful that God loved me so much to do it. And to put up with all my weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth while it went on. But it hurt, hurt deeply and it echos to this day. I am much, much slower to trust people (especially those in leadership), my radar for legalism is set pretty high (I have to be careful not to be overly critical) and I had to go back to Bible 101 and start over like a newbie. Even down to reexamining the Gospel message itself. If that won’t scare you sober, nothing else will.

    While some may dicker over the use of the word, “cult,” I can’t imagine detoxing from something we’d all agree was a cult (like Jim Jones’ group) could be any more painful. While Scott et. al. of course never advocated (to my knowledge) taking one’s own life, they have, with all seriousness, discussed the stoning of wayward children and homosexuals, for example. And Dan Horn in a men’s meeting told Don Albright he was heretical (heretical!) for saying that Jesus brought about a new covenant of grace, bringing people out from under the Law. (a la Hebrews 9:15) I mean, can you imagine being called heretical because you believe what the Bible says in Galatians when it says that the Law can never be efficacious for salvation or for justification? Well, if you’ve been in one of Scott’s churches you can. Because that is what was taught.

    It is just all so mind boggling — many, many good (meaning Christian, because Christ makes us good for all you literalists), Bible believing (Biblical inerrancy), loving families were torn apart from one another in violence to hearts, minds and souls. One of the last elders, Jerry Mestas, told us all in a properly convened congregational meeting that Scott had been vicious, actively seeking to destroy the reputations of those who opposed him at that time (like Don Albright, who is Scott’s brother-in-law, Mike Thorpe, a deacon, the other elder, Don Bowen, just to name a few). And yet Scott felt he had nothing to repent for. Neither did Jason.

    I’m rambling. This all makes me sad because of that inevitable hurt that comes when the word of God divides bone from marrow. BUT, I am also glad. It is a sign that God is not willing to leave His people believing in a lie. It is a testimony to what he says In Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

    • oneh20 Says:

      Glad you’re here, Clellie. You said so many things that resonate with me, but most of all I totally get this:

      “It was one of the most painful experience of my life as everything gets called into question when something like this happens — everything you’ve learned, believed wholeheartedly. It’s like pruning a grapevine — whacked right back down to the dirt. I am grateful that God loved me so much to do it. And to put up with all my weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth while it went on. But it hurt, hurt deeply and it echos to this day. I am much, much slower to trust people (especially those in leadership), my radar for legalism is set pretty high (I have to be careful not to be overly critical) and I had to go back to Bible 101 and start over like a newbie. Even down to reexamining the Gospel message itself. If that won’t scare you sober, nothing else will.”

      • Graceandmoregrace Says:

        I could have written these words as well. I was so “grace-deprived” after my time in a VF-sister group. When I left the group I read Galatians over and over again for months. I also read some hyper-grace books (probably heretical) because I so needed to be reassured that the Lord loved me and extended grace toward sinners. VF (and Scott Brown’s) teaching leads to incredible self-righteousness but also often deep discouragement and depression. Deep down I knew I was not keeping the law. I was failing miserably. Was I even a Christian? I questioned the heart of the gospel–because the teaching I was under certainly wasn’t “good news.”

        • Ruth Says:

          I just can’t let a comment about “grace-filled books” slip past without suggesting “Because He Loves Me” by Elyse Fitzpatrick.

          The Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/Because-Loves-Paperback-Edition-Transforms/dp/1433519518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389476763&sr=8-1&keywords=Because+he+loves+me

          Elyse, attributing to Tim Keller the saying, “We are, each one, more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe, but more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope,” goes on to unpack that the love of God for us in the gospel assures our hearts and brings us peace, especially when we see our sins and failures.

          Pg. 61 The gospel is good new for us, yes, but the goodness of this good news is not primarily us or even our new identity. It is good news about him [Jesus]: his mercy, his faithfulness, his holiness and atoning sacrifice. It’s a report about his great condescension as he traded his glorious identity for our shameful one.

          When we forget who we are in Christ:
          Pg. 55 Our problem is that if we don’t continually remind ourselves of how he has chosen, renamed, and remade us, the struggle to grow in Christian character will become nothing more than another attempt at self-improvement, and self-improvement always results in self-loathing or pride.

          After reading chapter after chapter (which quotes verse after verse) about how God loves me, by chapter 10, I receive a glimpse at how to apply the gospel to my life, in a way that I am slowly transformed in the likeness of Christ. We have trouble connecting the dots between Bethlehem, Calvary, the throne of heaven and our daily grind. Elyse spends more time on the indicative (declarative) verses-who we are in Christ and how God purposefully cares for us- and only after we are awakened and drenched in God’s deep, deep love, does she thoughtfully discuss the imperatives. Commands are valid and binding, but they also reveal the actions of a believer with a grateful heart. Take courage, your sins are forgiven.

        • Jen Says:

          Ruth, I loved your comment about this book by Elyse Fitzpatrick, telling us how she develops the theme of God’s love for us first. I have often found that even those in the grace movement don’t have a very strong foundation in understanding God’s love for us. Thank you for sharing that!

      • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

        Could not agree more! One of the most painful experiences we ever went through, yet I am grateful to God he saw us through. Just praying one more of my young adults will rely totally on Jesus and we can have peace in that area. It really took it’s toll there. We would appreciate prayer there!

    • Michael Says:

      Thank you Clellie. So the other shoe continues to drop. I have been waiting for a past Scott Brown/Jason Dohm church member to come out with what happened there. I appreciate your honesty.

    • Grace alone Says:

      Clellie,
      Since I live close enough to WF and was involved in our state homeschooling organization, I heard horror stories from our regional rep of what happened with you all, but wasn’t sure if it was overblown. Then a SEBTS former employee, now a pastor in our area, related his interactions with SB. So many have been affected. I’m so thankful you have shared your story. May God’s grace uphold you all continually! Although we considered visiting Hope for a possible church home, thank God he protected us by giving my husband insight into DP and some FIC problems.

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        Hello Grace Alone, What is SEFTS and can you tell me what the experiences related to you were? I am wondering as our church has had SB come and I want to know more about him.
        Thanks

        • Grace alone Says:

          Andrew, SEBTS is Southeastern Theological Seminary in Wake Forest. Another poster mentioned that SB lost his guest teaching privileges there. I think you should read all the posts on this blog including the http://ephesians511.wordpress.com/ site and the posts from Clellie Allen and Scott’s brother in law on this blog. I am not close enough to the situation to discuss him but they were/are.

    • Thomas Says:

      In case any readers missed it, Scott Brown, Jason Dohm, Dan Horn, Geoff Botkin, Joe Morecraft, (plus a couple more) were the stars of a very misguided conference video on Christian rap music that Scott released to promote his new book on worship. It showed their hearts: judgmental, mean-spirited, legalistic, etc. It created a firestorm of criticism, literally several hundred negative comments on the NCFIC site and their FB page. But, don’t try to find the video now because Scott Brown has removed it and he closed the comments and hide many. He did leave the various apologies on his blog, but what a coward. Where’s the integrity? Where’s the character? I am so sick and tired of all of these jokers.

      Here’s the link sans video and with closed comments: https://ncfic.org/blog/posts/worship-of-god-qa-what-about-holy-hip-hop

      • MomT Says:

        They also will not sell the cd of the Q & A time from the Worship God Conference that this clip came from. I find that suspicious since they tried to say that we would be more “understanding” of the comments if we had the whole context of the Q&A time/Conference to put the clip in “context.” I was at the conference. The clip speaks for itself. What I can’t understand is why SB would post that clip as the first clip from the conference. I can only think of two answers.
        1. He was so sure that others would be impressed with how spiritual he must be to vehemently oppose Reformed Rap and would look to him/NCFIC as the next DP/VF replacement. Which shows how clueless, undiscerning and unwise he really is?
        OR
        2. He was purposely trying to make Botkin look bad. (But to what end? To knock him out of the running for next leader?) Which paints him as devious and mean.

        • Keith Blankenship Says:

          My question is simple. What is “Reformed Rap”, and why is it so important to either side of the debate?
          If this is “Christianised” rap music, I suppose it would be like Christian Cumbia, Bluegrass, Reggae and so on. What does this have to do with worship?

        • MomT Says:

          Keith – this group – VF/NCFIC – is saying that no style can be “christianized.” No “worldly” music can be redeemed and used to glorify God/Jesus. They are not just saying that it is not appropriate for corporate worship, but that it is sinful. The style of music itself is sinful because it was created by sinful people who lived in a sinful culture – pop, rock, reggae, country western, jazz, blues, soul, r&B, hip-hop, bluegrass etc. There is a very interesting debate going on over on Scot Anniol’s blog (religiousaffections.org) between him and Shai Lynn (sp?) – a Reformed Rap artist. Scot was one of the unplanned guests on the above mentioned Q & A time at the NCFIC Worship Conference. They are trying to use scripture to teach that only the “1800′s hymn-style”(I am guessing on this b/c it has been very difficult to get any of them to actually explain what the guidelines are for God-approved music) is acceptable to God for worship and if you like any contemporary worship style you lack wisdom and judgement and are appealing to your baser nature and God is not pleased with your “worship.” However – Botkin, Pollard and Aniol keep appealing to history, culture, philosophy and science to make their main arguments while at the same time ripping scriptures that have nothing to do with music out of context and ignoring all the ones that do pertain to music and debatable issues. I am not sure what worldly music is because “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is on Scot’s “approved” music list. It’s all very sad and confusing. I think it is another form of legalism and bondage. As in, “We are the true worshippers and we can tell you what is approved and not approved by God, but we can’t tell you how we know. We just have more wisdom and judgement than you do.”

        • Keith Blankenship Says:

          MomT Thanks for your reply below. Is someone advocating the introduction of “rap” into the worship service? I have just gone on youtube and listened to a little of reformed rap. Although I do not like the genre of rap, it was surprising to me that the two songs I listened to were very biblical. It does not seem like music for worship, but for entertainment, I heard nothing objectionable.
          It is wrong to say that this or that style of music is inherently sinful. Frankly, i don’t like much hymnody from the mid-1800′s to the present (with exceptions such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, and a few others), but for entertainment, or simply to convey a message a variety of music can be appropriate. To make it a point of doctrine is troublesome, and burdens the conscience.

          So from the little bit I have listened to, Lecrae and shai linne ( if names are wrong please indulge me), I don’t have a problem with it. I would not want it as worship music, though. To make it a doctrinal issue seems to be adding burdens without biblical warrant. As I said before in another post, new “movements” and -”isms” seem all too common in the Reformed world.

        • Jen Says:

          Sounds like more “adding to Scripture” to me. Personal preferences are one thing. To make it a “sin” issue is something wholly different.

        • Molly Says:

          _They are trying to use scripture to teach that only the “1800′s hymn-style”(I am guessing on this b/c it has been very difficult to get any of them to actually explain what the guidelines are for God-approved music) is acceptable to God for worship-

          Hahahahaha! Do they realize that some of the melodies of the classic hymns were based on secular tunes? And sometimes, even DRINKING SONGS?! Printed music was hard to come by back then, so they wrote new lyrics to tunes that everyone was familiar with.
          Music was created by God. It is a gift to us. We can’t make “good” or “bad” music. Music is what it is. It is the message in the music and the heart of the person playing or singing it that counts.

        • noturniptruck Says:

          MomT Says:
          January 10, 2014 at 3:28 pm
          Keith – this group – VF/NCFIC – is saying that no style can be “christianized.” No “worldly” music can be redeemed and used to glorify God/Jesus. They are not just saying that it is not appropriate for corporate worship, but that it is sinful.

          First of all we are NOT rap or hard rock fans at all………but these legalistic restrictions give me the heebegeebies because it reminds me of all the legalism intertwined within ATI, IFB and even Seventh Day adventists were anything that’s not a hymn or has a “beat” is a sin because it’s “rooted from rock music”. I am NOT a fan of all music and even some of our contemporary music is not Biblical but I am not going to “throw out the baby with the bath water”……

      • notsurprised Says:

        In case any readers missed it, Scott Brown, Jason Dohm, Dan Horn, Geoff Botkin, Joe Morecraft, (plus a couple more) were the stars of a very misguided conference video on Christian rap music that Scott released to promote his new book on worship. It showed their hearts: judgmental, mean-spirited, legalistic, etc. It created a firestorm of criticism, literally several hundred negative comments on the NCFIC site and their FB page. But, don’t try to find the video now because Scott Brown has removed it and he closed the comments and hide many. He did leave the various apologies on his blog, but what a coward. Where’s the integrity? Where’s the character? I am so sick and tired of all of these jokers.
        Here’s the link sans video and with closed comments: https://ncfic.org/blog/posts/worship-of-god-qa-what-about-holy-hip-hop

        Um……..yes this was part of the Worship God conference and Doug was supposed to be one of the “keynotes” but this conference was literally a day after his resignation.

      • zooey111 Says:

        This is no end of amusing to me, since a fair proportion of those “18th C. Hymn-style” tunes were lifted from the tunes of the drinking songs of their day. You could be the best poet on earth, and not know a thing about how to compose music, and the more raucus songs that were common amongst the wilder elements of society were, in that day & time, free for the taking.
        More than one songwriter of those days has been credited with the original use of the line, “Why let the devil have all the good tunes?”

    • Outsider Says:

      Seejay, you wrote:
      ” And Dan Horn in a men’s meeting told Don Albright he was heretical (heretical!) for saying that Jesus brought about a new covenant of grace, bringing people out from under the Law. (a la Hebrews 9:15) I mean, can you imagine being called heretical because you believe what the Bible says in Galatians when it says that the Law can never be efficacious for salvation or for justification? Well, if you’ve been in one of Scott’s churches you can. Because that is what was taught.”

      Did Scott Brown actually teach that we are saved by law – keeping? Did he teach a mixture of law-keeping and grace? Or, was it all law – keeping? What you are describing seems similar to what some BCA members have said about Doug Phillips’ teaching, i.e., that his sermons usually did not mention Jesus or the grace of God. Did DP teach along these same lines?

      My radar is now set high for legalism and law – keeping as well. It destroys a Christians’ understanding of his relationship with his Lord. Those leaders who demand law – keeping usually end up shipwrecking their faith and the faith of others. This also sets up congregations for abuse by dominating leaders.

      • Seejay Says:

        @Outsider — What was funny is, and you’ll have to pardon me, but I’m having to think back to 2004-2006 as I certainly did not try to keep all this stuff fresh in my mind, is that Scott himself steered mostly clear of the whole grace-law conundrum. He was focused on men being in control of their households and all the horrible things that happen in life when they are not; how Sunday School was wrong; how much children needed to honor and obey their fathers, etc. He preached sermons like how abortion is patricide (seriously). He never focused on how abortion in the most populous areas of the world — India and China — and almost solely to destroy a female infant. He preached how sending girls to college was sending them to Sodom and Gomorrah and the like. I know this is random, but I remember how he wanted to hold a baptism on the Super Bowl Sunday in 2006 to find out “who the real believers were” — meaning those who would ditch SB for the baptism. That was jaw dropping for those of us who used SB to invite seeking/lost friends/family over as a means to build bridges with them. He could only see one side of any issue — his side.

        The grace-law teaching was heavily the interest of Dan Horn, who was not an elder before the breakup. Horn is a devotee of Rushdooney and more so of Gary North and was a staunch reconstructionist. Also, a then-deacon, Stiles (or Miles) — drawing blank on rest of name. They loved to stir that pot.

        Jason’s “specialty,” as it was, was focusing on women working outside the home. He considered it a point over which churches should divide and said exactly those words. Which was funny as at the time his wife Janet had a cleaning lady come to her home at least twice a month and I know Deborah saw a woman doctor because I had gone to her for a recommendation after we moved back to the area. I’ll let ya’ll draw the hypocritical conclusion on that.

        So to my recollection, Scott sort of stayed out of that but he certainly allowed it to be preached from the pulpit. Which is why the three men I mention elsewhere here went to Scott and the other three elders with seven concerns, which heavily concentrated on legalism. There is another blog out there somewhere that has the whole thing documented.
        -Clellie Allen

        • John Says:

          Here is the info on how Scott and Jason Left Trinity…
          http://ephesians511.wordpress.com/

        • Outsider Says:

          @Clellie. Thank you for sharing your perspective. What you described mirrors, in some ways, an experience I had with a brutal, legalistic pastor 20 years ago. He actually described himself as “God’s man” from the pulpit. He also declared that if you disagreed with him, then your were disagreeing with The Lord. I packed up and left that church as did many others. The problem of overbearing leaders certainly seems to cross denominational lines and generations.

          It was the consistent encouragement from the scriptures that carried me through that discouraging time and carries me now as well.

          God bless you, Clellie.

    • Just a shadow Says:

      Wow. So very familiar & similar to my own feelings / experiences.

      We need to all pray that God breaks the back of this destructive system once & for all.

    • JourneyGirl Says:

      Thank you so much Clellie! You don’t know me, but I know who you are and was on peripheral edges of the entire Trinity saga, and I greatly admired the courage and conviction of your husband. Thank you for your testimony of seeking after Christ and walking in truth. I appreciate your candor, forthright communication and willingness to share your experience publicly. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.

      • Seejay Says:

        That is very kind, @JourneyGirl. Todd and Mike, especially, spoke with a number of other folks outside of Trinity about what they were seeing — especially as regards the statement about sons honoring their fathers like Christ honored God and also Theonomy and reconstructionism — before the big “confrontation” with the elders. I know Don Albright was doing the same, but as Scott’s brother-in-law, he was walking a line that I can’t even imagine how difficult it all was. (See below for a note on that).

        The counsel they received was quite literally to “walk away, and quickly.” Todd and Mike and me and Mike’s wife (I won’t “out” her) had numerous times of prayer and weeping and reading the Bible and praying again together trying to decide what to do. We decided we just couldn’t walk away. We loved these people too much. How can you love people like that and then leave them to the mercy of horribly erroneous teaching? We, naively, thought that by following the bylaws and coming before the elders that surely, surely!, they would see the error of the teaching that was corrupting the Church.

        Many times afterwards, I really questioned that decision and, I admit, in a lot of bitterness before God finally freed me of that, I wished we hadn’t spoken up at that time. It was hard to see that it had done any good whatsoever. All we’d gotten was a load of hurt. Coming here and seeing your comments and someone else who wrote about being in Raleigh and hearing from a homeschool leader about what was going on, that is — like wow!

        It felt like nobody knew what was really going on at the time. I am so, so grateful to hear that folks were seeing ti then and even more so now. God really does all things in his time.

        Note about Don Albright: To understand what kind of tightrope he was walking, the Albright Clan is large, full of strong believers and very closely knit. Something like three or four brothers and two girls. Deborah is the oldest, then came all the boys and then the youngest sister. Their father and mother are unique, God-loving, hard working people. And they all had to sit back and watch this man (Scott) go crazy and take his wife, their beloved sister, with him and tear their family apart.

        I hope Don won’t hate me for sharing this, but one night, after the initial “confrontation” that started it all but before the complete breakup, a group of us were at Don’s house praying and talking about what to do next. Don got a call that he took in the back of his house. When it was over, he came back out in a state of broken shock. Deborah had just called him and told him that she was quite literally going to slander him to her children until they hated their Uncle Don because of what was going on.

        Please, do not be harsh with Deborah over this. If you’ve ever been in one of these cultish groups, then you know how insidious the teaching is and difficult to break free from. I cannot in my wildest imagination think of what it is like for Deborah to be married to the ringleader and to have to reinvent truth and history in her mind to be reconciled to that. I can say that all of us who know her and have known her have watched her suffer, even though she staunchly supports him.

        I share that anecdote, only to show the extent to which all of this was literally killing families and causing people to do the most ungodly, unloving, unBiblical things. It is sad, sad, sad.

        • MomT Says:

          What is the relationship like between Don and Debra and with their parents today?

        • Seejay Says:

          @MomT — I really couldn’t tell you. Maybe someone else knows? From a distance, the Albrights have been a study in forgiveness. I would think that Don and his parents are probably fine. Deborah? I really don’t know — because of Scott. (Just to remind others, Scott and Deborah are married. Deborah is Don’s eldest sibling.)

          Now between Scott and his parents — I’m guessing things are great. Mr. and Mrs. Bill Brown live with Scott and Deborah. They are very elderly at this point.

        • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

          Seeyay, We can so relate to this, “We decided we just couldn’t walk away. We loved these people too much. How can you love people like that and then leave them to the mercy of horribly erroneous teaching? We, naively, thought that by following the bylaws and coming before the elders that surely, surely!, they would see the error of the teaching that was corrupting the Church.” Sadly it has not worked that way has it for so many of us.

          We too, chose to stay at BCA for way too long, thinking all along these were Godly men and they would surely bring so much sin to light when it was not being stopped. We told our kids, erroneously, that DP’s ministry taught good things and that he would handle the situation and put a stop to the sin in the camp.Little did we now he could not handle other sins due to his HUGE sin in his own personal camp thus why he shut us all up and disciplined us over JG! So sad, we damaged our children and have had to take responsibility for that, as is has been painful for us all, and we have repented of ever going there and have gone on with our lives. So thankful God is good, but want to see this stopped nationwide so others are not duped anymore and hurt by these teachings.

        • oneh20 Says:

          You were disciplined over JG? Can you say more?

        • Just a shadow Says:

          You know what strikes me? Both these men -DP & SB – have literally separated their wives from their own parents all the while teaching other families ( and offspring) that you must obey your parents in everything – that parents must rule your marriage choice, your career choice, your future plans as a young adult, your college decisions ( ie ” don’t you dare go!”)

          Etc. etc.

          HYPOCRISY

        • Don Albright Says:

          Clellie, I do not hate you, how could I, you labored and prayed through this like a faithful warrior. Just hearing some of the recollections you have brings a horrible feeling in my stomach. You and Todd, and Mike all took hits but did not consider your own reputations at the expense of the truth.

          It did tear at our family, and most of those relationships are still cold. Your right about my parents, they are strong, I learn from watching them how I ought to move on without bitterness. Scott and I actually try to get together once in a while, maybe once a year.

          Regarding the conversation with my sister, she did call and the conversation did involve my relationship with her kids, and the relationships did change for the worse. But I do not remember it the way you stated it, perhaps my memory is faulty or perhaps I overstated what she said. I believe my sister hated what as happening but was powerless to do anything. I know she loves me but I also know that barring a miracle our relationship will have to wait for heaven to begin again. For the most (barring one exception) my nieces and nephews are kind and respectful when I see them.

        • notsurprised Says:

          Just a shadow Says:
          January 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

          You know what strikes me? Both these men -DP & SB – have literally separated their wives from their own parents all the while teaching other families ( and offspring) that you must obey your parents in everything – that parents must rule your marriage choice, your career choice, your future plans as a young adult, your college decisions ( ie ” don’t you dare go!”)

          Etc. etc.

          HYPOCRISY

          Ding Ding Ding…………You are right on the money JAS!

        • Mike Says:

          Just a Shadow that is a very excellent point. Kind of ironic isn’t it? You could also mention how much divisivness this group causes in the body of Christ with their ‘patterns and priciples’ interpretation of Scripture. It is from ‘patterns and principles’ that you derive that Sunday School and Youth Groups are a sin. Just check out the movies Divided and Weed in the Church and you will see how divisive this movement is.

          Cl

        • DesiringToDiscern Says:

          …and Beall is estranged from her parents. :(

        • zooey111 Says:

          For people who have [ahem, cough] “visions “[[cough, cough]. about the restoration of familes, DP & Co have sure done a heckuva a job of tearing familes apart……

        • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

          oneh20, We do wish to stay anonymous, so we need to word this carefully. Yes, we were one of the families who left over the JG situation. When we questioned things, along with others, many of us were put on church discipline and threatened with excommunication. It was a very painful situation. What i was referring to is that it now appears they could not hold her accountable at the time due to the fact of DP’s own state of “affairs”. Bob Sarratt was a yes man to DP and went along with the discipline. To our knowledge not one of us to this day has had a letter removing those threats nor been contacted with an apology.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Thank you, NFA.

        • Seejay Says:

          @Don Albright — thanks. I really didn’t mean that seriously (the hate me part). I just know it must be extremely hard it is to see other people write about your family, and I apologize. I probably could have made my point without sharing that, and I truly ask for your forgiveness if it was overstepping.
          I shared the anecdote because that person who called you (to me) was not Deborah. Even at the time, how shocking it was, I remained convinced, that was not her, it was him behind it. But what was she going to do?
          I can’t imagine what it has been like for your family. I’m glad you get to see your nieces and nephew and vice versa. You all really have been a model of continuing to extend love in a truly difficult situation.
          I love your sister and the few times we’ve run into each other, we talk about kids and grand kids (not mine, of course, LOL). But it breaks my heart. I still refuse to speak to Scott, even though we practically bump shoulders working just a block from each other. I just can’t. Others may feel differently and I certainly appreciate you trying to keep channels open. If he was married to my sister, I’d do the same. But since I have no “natural” reason, the most I think I could possible say to him is, “Repent.”

          On other forums (not here), I have read really unkind things about the wives (and daughters) of these “Patriarchs” and NCFICers and it makes me crazy. I’m sure there are some that are completely complicit. But for the rest, what would everyone want them to do? Last I checked (and I’m sorry to be a literalist), being married to a spiritual nut job is not a criteria for divorce. And they know that. The guilt and shame they would have to move past to get to a place of spiritual and emotional safety is staggering. I think everyone one of them is just as trapped as the children in the family. Even if they could get past the “brainwashing” that has taken place, what will they do? If you’ve spend 20+ years being a homemaker, you can’t just jump back into the work force. There’s no way to force your husband to leave without physical proof of abuse and if the wife leaves, in most states, she forfeits a lot. They can’t secure loans if they’ve never built credit because all the accounts have always been in the husband’s name. Can’t even rent an apartment. Can you imagine going to social services and trying to explain how you need protection from a crazy theological belief? I can see it: “Have you been beaten?” no “Have you been denied food or shelter? no “Have you been threatened or abused in some other way? only emotionally, mentally and spiritually by twisting Scripture. “I’m sorry ma’am, but we don’t really handle that kind of thing here. You should talk to your pastor or something”

          These wives would have to turn their backs on everything and every circle of support they’ve had and stay turned away. It’s hard enough to make the initial move, even harder to maintain staying away. And when the kids are little (or grand kids), how is that going to work? Whose going to watch the kids while mom tries to work? Better believe the husbands would do everything possible to maintain custody of the kids, further entrapping the wives. Daughters who have never even truly finished high school — what can they do? It’s really hard to live on a McDonald’s salary, especially when you can’t secure a loan, even for a used car.

          The whole situation is horrible! Only God can fix it.

          -Clellie Allen

        • Jen Says:

          Clellie, and that’s probably exactly where Beall is at this moment. You have certainly painted a very clear picture of a very difficult situation.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          “Please, do not be harsh with Deborah over this. If you’ve ever been in one of these cultish groups, then you know how insidious the teaching is and difficult to break free from. I cannot in my wildest imagination think of what it is like for Deborah to be married to the ringleader and to have to reinvent truth and history in her mind to be reconciled to that. I can say that all of us who know her and have known her have watched her suffer, even though she staunchly supports him.”

          You can pretty much replace “Beall” for “Deborah”. The story is very much the same. There’s nothing new under the sun. Both Doug Phillips and Scott Brown are religious sociological cult leaders who speak of building goldy families while they tear them apart.

        • Sarah Says:

          @Notfooledanymore, what was the reason given for your dicipline by BCA if you don’t mind saying?

        • Don Albright Says:

          Clellie, sorry for the late reply (I also sent you an email), there is nothing to forgive, you have been through hell and back and I can sense from what you have said it’s a relief to have an outlet to speak openly about what happened. It’s crazy to think by burying something it will go away, it won’t, it didn’t for us and it won’t for the young lady who was violated by Doug or the masses he raped through his phony demeanor and message of freedom from the world through bondage to rules.

          The truth is that some horrible things happened at Trinity by the hand of supposedly godly men, and instead of repentance they fled church discipline and dug in even deeper. Today they continue to spread their message to the homeschooling community through conferences and the internet, drawing people away from their home churches and into their own for the purpose of building their own kingdoms here on earth (along with a nice income). Now, instead of hiding behind well crafted sermons and blog articles aimed at deflecting responsibility, it’s time for these talking heads to come out of their ivory towers and face the people they have savaged with their man made religion and their fierce loyalty to Doug and his agenda.

          Which brings me to the reason I’m writing. Doug’s failure was not a surprise to many, Doug’s failure was not an isolated event in his life, and Doug’s failure was enabled by a handful of men who put absolute faith in him. The first time I really understood how deep this faith was came when church member was pleading with me saying “would you just give Doug a try”, I turned and said, “listen to yourself, who do you think this guy is!”. Doug and his ministry was all anyone could talk about, he was a dignitary, a worshipful figure. If you are reading this and were around Wake Forest or Trinity/Hope you know this is true (can I get a witness please?). Life-sized cardboard cut outs were of him made, his entourage of men and boys would run to his side at his call. The number of things people could recall along these lines would fill a book, seriously. It is not a stretch to say that men in Wake Forest staked their reputations, ministry, future and even life on Doug Phillips, and in addition called others to do the same. The men who put this level of blind faith in this man bear some responsibility. Pastor Gifford did his best to warn Doug of his sinful ways, while men here in Wake Forest did their best to protect Doug from guys like Gifford, and in the process unleashed a sociopath.

          I am not a prophet, but I will predict these men in Wake Forest will say nothing more than they have, there will be no apology or clarification brought to their blind faith in Doug. They will scour the landscape for flare ups in their movement and address them if need be to keep people quiet. The young woman Doug violated will be “dealt” with quietly so as not to bring any unwanted attention. It’s called damage control, and if you open your eyes you will see it.

          This will happen, just watch and see.

          If you are or know someone who is attending Hope Baptist church in Wake Forest NC, or Sovereign Redeemer in Youngsville NC, take your families and go somewhere healthy, if you are a son or a daughter and old enough to live on your own and your parents won’t do the right thing, leave and find a healthy church, there are many in this area.

    • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

      Seejau/ Clellie, Thank you so much for sharing this. This needs to be shared just like DP’s story needs to be shared. Praying more from the DP camp will see the light and come forward with the truth. Then between all these men and their “ministries”, we can put an end to these false teachings and wolves hurting/devouring the Lord’s sheep.

    • blessed2bamommy96 Says:

      Thank you for sharing here. I’m sorry for all you’ve been through. I really appreciate your insight.

    • mom2six Says:

      Thinking out loud here. Our family was smeared & alienated after lovingly, tearfully and privately confronting sin in a leader’s life. This was in the legalistic group our families have been for generations. I’m wondering if this is just what we should expect when we obey the scriptures about addressing sin in leadership. I don’t want to expect it to be the norm but look who crucified Jesus. My other option is to think that we too quickly align with others or just because we go to church together we become best buddies so that when seperations must occur the rip just doesn’t hurt for awhile it actually destroys people.

    • notsurprised Says:

      One of the last elders, Jerry Mestas, told us all in a properly convened congregational meeting that Scott had been vicious, actively seeking to destroy the reputations of those who opposed him at that time (like Don Albright, who is Scott’s brother-in-law, Mike Thorpe, a deacon, the other elder, Don Bowen, just to name a few). And yet Scott felt he had nothing to repent for. Neither did Jason.

      Thanks for sharing your story. I know it’s hard for you and hurtful……..this passage above from your story sounds JUST like Doug Phillips………JUST like him!

      • Andrew McDonald Says:

        This may sound stupid but what would you do if your current pastor had joined NCFIC and was being engaged as a speaker at their events? Would this be a red flag for you?

        • Bridget Says:

          Has he discussed this with the congregation he is shepherding? Is everyone aware of his intentions? Is the congregation on the same trajectory with him? Has he done this with the elders AND congregations blessings? If you, as a part of this body, have no clue as to the answers to these questions . . . there might already be a problem.

        • Jen Says:

          Andrew, I don’t know if that is a hypothetical question or not, but what I would say is that each situation is unique and must be dealt with individually. Why did he join? Does the church approve? Does he agree with all that the NCFIC teaches and stands for? Is the church becoming more and more legalistic? Are there new issues now that may divide the church, issues that didn’t used to be issues? Has the pastor’s attitude changed at all to become more controlling? Are there changes being made that are against the wishes of the people? Those would all be red flags for me.

        • Molly Says:

          Yes. My former pastor began aligning with these people and tried to take our church down the family-integrated road. It nearly destroyed us and led to a nasty split. That would be a humongous red flag for me.

        • Dom Walk Says:

          Andrew, yes a huge red flag. Either he’s naive about the theology and practice of NCFIC, or he’s on board with preaching another gospel.

    • Jen Says:

      Clellie, it is so good to see you here! I am so sorry that you had to experience such issues not only in church, but with people who were obviously, at one time, very close to you. That is indeed very painful.

      Thank you for speaking out, though. Now that Scott Brown seems to be trying to pick up the slack for Doug Phillips, it is important that everyone knows the truth about who he really is.

      Like a couple others, I can TOTALLY relate to having to throw out literally EVERYTHING I ever learned in church, to being pruned to the very dirt, and to question all my previous convictions. Now that I have learned a better way to understand the Bible, I no longer live in that gripping, almost paralyzing fear brought about by the theonomic teachings of patriarchy. I remember reading through Galatians hundreds of times and still not getting it. I will never forget the day (night, really), when I suddenly “got it” at about 3a.m. It was like a veil was suddenly lifted from my eyes. And I have never looked back since.

      I pray that, as difficult as the pruning experience is, that thousands of people and families who have put themselves under the bondage of the legalism of patriarchy will allow themselves to now be pruned by God’s Word so that they can experience healthy spiritual growth in their lives from now on. And if at all possible, I pray that for all these legalistic FIC churches (not all FIC churches are legalistic, but many are), as well.

      We need to keep putting the pressure on — the pressure of sharing the good news of grace and love in Jesus, as well as the pressure of exposing unrepentant and consistent sin.

  11. idontgetit Says:

    Jen TW would you agree that one of the best ways to avoid much of this is for religious institutions I E churches / ministries is for said organization to have well written bylaws, checks and balances and following the provisions of those bylaws. Included in that would be plurality of leadership, bylaws that protect parishioners who have issues with leadership. Ways to avoid harassment and excommunication if they just bring up concerns. There are many ways that can avoid much of this power struggles. Maybe Jen and TW you an push this type of accountability, it offers and objective way to deal with these situations.

    • Seejay Says:

      @idontgetit — Trinity Baptist Church had all of those things in place. They did not prevent Scott and Jason from doing anything. I don’t think you can create an infrastructure that can protect people from leadership who make their own power and fame an idol. They will do everything they can to protect it.

      I think there is a reason Paul writes to the Galatians with very strong language: “Who has bewitched you?” That describes perfectly what happened for a season to the congregants at Trinity and what is wrong with Scott and Jason today. We were like spiritual zombies or something then. They are still worshiping the idol that is themselves and their own teaching now.

      To me, it was like when Scott separated from North Wake Baptist (after he met Doug and got hooked on the idea of family integration), his car he was driving went off course by one tiny degree. And then he ignored his first set of elders who told him as much (Kenny Goetze and Pete Schemm). They actually told him that his vision was fatally flawed and he should shut the new church down. As time went on and he continued on his off-course path, the gap between the track he was on and the truth became wider and wider.

      Bottom line, you can’t create a leak-proof system. But I don’t think most pastors are as wrapped up in their own ideology as Scott and Jason are.

      Clellie Allen

      • idontgetit Says:

        There is truth in what you say, back when I walked in the evangelical camp there was lots of idols if you will. I was born with a rather cynical spirit and I am very thankful to God for that, It warned my off of the likes of doug and others of his ilk. But having some type of framework is a good start it also begins with people not giving up their rights and autonomy. I get a church should have a right to discipline when needed but not for retaliation. Look Im not a dreamer I think most of the nonsense religious people promise is delusional though I still believe in God I dont have real high expectations, I learned that after some 30 + years in the Church. But I hate to see people hurt so I think this is a good start.

      • Jay Says:

        “I don’t think you can create an infrastructure that can protect people …”

        So true! Whatever system (episcopacy, presbyterianism, congregationalism) work reasonably well when the people with power are godly people. But when they are wicked, then a good system doesn’t work. Even multiple eldership. “Presbyterian” is EXACTLY what the Sanhedrin was that sentenced Christ to death.

        I guess that means we should all have our eyes wide open. Forgive the frailties of human sinfulness, but don’t give an inch to tyrants.

        • Donna Says:

          I have to take issue with the accusation that “Presbyterian” is what the Sanhedrin was that sentenced Christ to death. We are not Presbyterian, but we know many who are, and they are good, godly people who understand grace.

          A fundamentalist can be just as much of a “Sanhedrin” as a Presbyterian. (And yes, we know many fundamentalists who are indeed that way! The church where we were victims of spiritual abuse much like yours, Jen, was a fundamental, non-Reformed Baptist church.)

          So the problems are in an individual’s *heart*, not necessarily the denominational structure. Although I can think of one denomination in particular that seems to be a problem across the board, because it goes deep into the very theological beliefs by which their denomination is set up. And every man, woman and child I know who belongs to this particular denomination is part of the FIC, Patriarchal, Reconstructionist movement… fans of, and/or friends with, Doug Phillips, The denomination of which I speak is Doug Wilson’s.

        • Jay Says:

          Donna, I am not slamming Presbyterianism. What I am pointing out is the Sanhedrin was part of a presbyterian system: they were the Session so to speak of Judaism, at the highest level. What I am saying is that even the best system (for those who accept multiple eldership and multiple congregations in relationship to one another through their elders as the best system) is fruitless in stopping wickedness IF the elders themselves are wicked.

          The same point could be made about congregational systems (e.g. fundamental baptists that you mentioned, where power is vested in the congregation) IF the congregation is wicked, or in episcopacy (e.g. Roman Catholic Church, where the power is in one pope) IF the pope is wicked. Systems don’t help us if the people holding power in the system are wicked … even the best system.

        • Irish Says:

          Coming out of lurkdom to concur that systems are only as good as the people in them. Our abuse happened in both: first in a reformed baptist “church” and then again after we cautiously joined a reformed Presbyterian denomination, erroneously thinking it a safer system. There are lone wolves and there are packs of wolves.

        • Jen Says:

          Irish, welcome! Great observation! Feel free to comment more often!

    • Jen Says:

      idontgetit, I may differ personally with many on this particular issue. I believe that LOVE is what should hold us together. I am opposed to more laws, more rules, more standards, more restrictions, more provisions, etc. That pattern only tends to lead to the need for more and more and more tightening of the noose. And that is what led Doug Phillips to where he is today.

      In fact, most BCA members can look back on the day that BCA (or Doug Phillips, I should say) decided to implement the membership covenant as the turning point from BCA being a good church to being a controlling church. Before that, people and families were pretty much free to make their own decisions in life and church was run mostly as a group of people who had something in common who desired to come together and worship together. It was when the rules started getting made that we started experiencing problems.

      I personally do not think we need to add to Scripture in this area at all.

      • oneh20 Says:

        Do you know what Scriptures are used in having people sign a covenant for a church?

        • Jen Says:

          oneh20, at the time, I remember that Doug used many Scriptures, and that they were mostly Old Testament passages about covenants. None of them were about churches having these types of covenants, so MANY families left over this issue. It was the first big wave of people leaving BCA.

        • Donna Says:

          New members sign a covenant at our church at the time of joining… I will look it up, but it might take me a couple days because we have a busy weekend ahead of us. I’ll try to remember, though. Maybe someone can reply to this post so that I get an email notification and am reminded.

          FTR, our church covenant *does* have a provision in it for leaving. I actually think what we have in place is a beautiful thing, as it’s based on both Scripture AND mutual love between the brethren, not rules. I can’t imagine the leaders of our church EVER doing to people what DP & Co. did to Jen (and what Brown, etc. did to SeeJay and others). Those men are just plain spiritually abusive, arrogant, and greedy! And smart. They know how to deceive *very well*.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Thank you, Donna!

      • Half truths abound Says:

        This comment was helpful to me when I found it on a website…

        In Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, he makes the following point:

        “The worse men are, the less they are bound by oaths; the better they are, the less there is need for them.”

        Those who are led by the Spirit of God don’t need to sign on some dotted line guaranteeing their faithfulness. Those who aren’t led by the Spirit have no business in a Christian ministry to begin with. We don’t sign contracts guaranteeing our commitment to Christ for our salvation. So, why is it now necessary to sign a contract guaranteeing our commitment to serve in His church? Because faith isn’t required, that’s why. It’s only when you set out to fill your church with the faith-LESS that guarantees become necessary.

        • Jen Says:

          HT, that is a GREAT quote by Matthew Henry! I believe that LOVE should hold us together, in any type of relationship.

          What do you think of that quote? Do you think church membership is necessary?

        • Half truths abound Says:

          Nope. It’s actually harmful in that it is actually a bit of a farce. Some elders think that they cannot act with Godly resolve in defense of the flock in opposition to “non-members” It’s quite silly really. There needs to be some look at the logical conclusions of the theory.

        • Jen Says:

          HT, I agree. I’m having a difficult time finding church membership in the Bible. Perhaps there is a good reason for that!

        • Teresa N Says:

          I go to a Baptist in Wisconsin and the only thing we had to sigh was that we were in agreement with our church’s statement of faith and meet with the pastor and deacon’s and give a clear testimony of salvation and the gospel. They make sure that there is no false conversion and that one really understand the gospel as laid out in the bible.

          When I moved from West Virginia to Wisconsin 5 1/2 years ago after leaving the Charismatic movement, it took me and my husband 3 years to join the church because I could not find in scriptures where it was biblical to join a church.

        • Jen Says:

          Teresa, I’m curious. How does a pastor determine if there was no false conversion?

        • Teresa N. Says:

          Good question? Wish I had not commented on that now but here goes.

          When we meet with our pastor and the deacons, we were asked to give a testimony of our salvation. Then they asked us questions like how do we see man…..my answer was we are totally depraved and no one seeks after God and I believe we do not deserve nor could I ever do anything to merit God grace but it is a gift from God.

          Then they ask why did Jesus have to come die on the cross and so forth. Biblically they just want to make sure that we understand the gospel. They decided based on that if you can join the church or not.

          My 11 year old daughter was declined for membership because she could not give a clear testimony nor answer the questions they ask her biblically nor did she understand. I knew she was not ready but it was a good lesson for her.

          We prayed and studied the Word of God and finally she understood the gospel.

        • Jen Says:

          Teresa, so in other words, your pastor awards membership based on whether you can answer his test questions correctly according to his doctrine. He doesn’t truly know if someone is saved or not.

        • Donna Says:

          Well, consider this: The fewer people who are committed to their local church and *biblical*, godly elders who are actually *qualified* to be in the position (though I realize that’s hard to find today!), the more wanderers will fall prey to the leaders of parachurch ministries such Doug Phillips, Scott Brown, Jason Dohm, Bill Gothard, Geoff Botkin, et al. Sheep without a shepherd will go astray, and elders are appointed to the role of shepherd — with very strict instructions about what they’re supposed to be doing as shepherds — throughout the NT epistles, Paul’s instructions to the various local churches.

          Likewise, the people within those churches to whom Paul wrote had very instructions about what they were to be doing, too. This is why it’s important to really *know* your people well, and for the people to know their elders well, and to know *exactly* what it is the church believes and preaches so that ALL are held accountable to one another. When a pastor such as Scott Brown, Jason Dohm, or Doug Phillips refuses humility and accountability, it’s time for the people to get up and walk away, and sound the sirens. Loudly. That does not mean there isn’t a biblical precedence for church membership, though, just because SOME men/leaders fail. Scripture warns us that some men WILL fail.

          But refusing to be part of a local body because of some hypocrites is like refusing to go to the fitness center because of some people who are out of shape. There’s a reason that fitness centers require membership if you’re going to stick around with the intent of *becoming* fit, and then eventually, to help mentor and “train” others. Likewise, there are many good reasons for members of a local body to join in membership to one another, to express their committment to one another, with the intent of *becoming* spiritually fit, and then eventually, to help mentor and “train” others according to the Scriptures. Note that the Timothys and Titus have a great detail of instruction for the *members* of the body — in a “local church”, presumably, since Paul is specifically addressing those letters to ELDERS, shepherds of the flock. The instructions in those letters are not to elders ONLY, however. They’re to all of us. Those are the instructions on what the local church is *supposed* to look like. Because some (many?) churches are not following those instructions doesn’t negate the need, nor our responsibility to do OUR part in the local body.

          Yes, we are part of the “universal” church, and we have ALL of Scripture to learn from (2 Tim. 3:16-17). But Paul addressed his letters with very detailed instructions to elders of the *local* churches, too, and to their members. (In that sentence I’m using “members” in a spiritual sense… more about the piece of paper in a sec.)

          We live in a world of “contracts”, pieces of paper “proving” everything from vehicle ownership to fitness center memberships to marriage and citizenship and home ownership. Sometimes even dog or cat ownership! In the LEGAL world, documentation wins. Doug Phillips could easily have numerous lawsuits brought against him by the MEMBERS (those who signed the piece of paper) of BCA who’ve been abused by him in numerous different ways. Without documentation of the alleged sins that Jen and others committed, justifying excommunication, DP would lose a lawsuit in a heartbeat. But without *membership*, Jen wouldn’t have any ground to bring her lawsuit in the first place.

          (My husband attended Bible college where he received excellent biblical counseling training, and the *legal* responsibilities of a church were part of that. It’s for *legal* reasons that a formal church membership is a good and necessary thing.) Keep in mind that lawsuits, IRS tax exemption status, separation of church and state, etc. were not yet issues in the church at the time of Paul, so in a sense, the concept of formal church membership is a cultural necessity.

          Also, historically speaking, church membership identified who people were even as *citizens*. (Hang with me for a minute, because this is before Thomas Jefferson’s separation of church and state here in America.) If you weren’t a documented member of a church, you were nobody on the streets, in business, in government, or at the local market. And THAT goes all the way back to the Roman era when the divide between Roman (non-Christian) citizens, Jews, and Christians were identified by where (and who) they worshipped.

          Gotta’ run… busy day today, but all this talk about church membership not being “biblical” has been bothering me for a while, and I felt the need to share my thoughts on the numerous good reasons FOR the concept of formal church membership. The fact that some churches (and some men) fail does not negate the need for the rest of us.

        • Donna Says:

          Oh, and I do agree that church membership should be for *believers only*, not unbelievers. All are welcome, of course, but until *everyone* (leaders and other members) are confident (or as confident as they can be) that the new member applicant is truly a born-again child of God and has a sincere desire to be a committed part of that local body, according to biblical instruction, then those attendees should not be part of the formal membership. When someone makes application for membership in our church, the other members are notified and asked if anyone knows of any reason the applicant should not be allowed to join — presumably after a period of at least several months has gone by, and much opportunity has been given for all to get to know one another. Just like one would do at a wedding ceremony when asking if anyone present knows any reason the bride and groom should not be joined together. Presumably, by the time they get to the alter, all those kinds of “kinks” have already been worked out. It’s not perfect, of course, because we’re all still human and things happen, we know that. But that’s why our Church Covenant includes a provision for leaving the church if something ever happens that can’t be resolved.

        • Teresa N. Says:

          Thanks Donna, you write and articulate better than I do. I know what I mean but just do not always explain it correctly. Sorry if I confused you Jen.

        • Teresa N. Says:

          Like I said wish I had not commented now…….Please do not twist my words. I can not always explain what I mean so please do not misunderstand me. It is not like that at all, it is not based my pastors doctrine’s nor how well that we answer the question, it is based on, our testimony and how well we understand the doctrines of Jesus Christ and the gospel.

          The church I grew up in lets anyone join and the pastor does not even talk to them. They go to the altar, say a prayer and join the church, he has no clue wherther they are believer’s or not.

          sorry I commented on this, should have not. I am learning just like everyone here.

        • raswhiting Says:

          Re: Donna’s response [10:15 AM] to HTA and to subsequent replies. A clarification on one statement, “But Paul addressed his letters with very detailed instructions to elders of the *local* churches..”
          Looking quickly through my New Testament at the epistles, most were addressed to the saints or to the churches as a whole, with only a few adding references to the overseers and deacons. This excepts the pastoral epistles, a special case. I find this notable especially in the Corinthian letters and Galatians with these letters having a purpose to correct problems in doctrine and behavior. None of these three are addressed to overseers, elders, etc. Paul calls the local churches’ memberships as a whole to reform themselves.

        • Bridget Says:

          I will never sign my name to a membership agreement for a church affiliation again. My affiliation with a body of believers will be marked with my actions, not with my signature on paper. A signature on paper does not prove my understanding of, love of, or commitment to, a body of believers. My actions and how I live my life are an indicator of what I believe.

        • Teresa N. Says:

          Jen, I request that you delete my comments concerning this matter because I do not feel comfortable with all the questions, still leaning myself. Should have never commented on this and did not intend to be drilled about it. Thank you and please delete them or contact me privately, please.

        • Jen Says:

          Teresa, I am working all day today. I will get back to you this evening.

        • Bridget Says:

          Teresa N -

          I hope you don’t feel bad about what you have written and there is no need to have your thoughts erased. You are free to think through your ideas without feeling bad about them. What people need more of is to be able to express themselves and their beliefs without feeling like they have to agree with everyone else, as long as people are respectful.

          One of the problems I see is that many Christians only treat others who are in complete agreement with them respectfully. Many Christians treat non believers (especially homosexuals or pro-choice advocates) contemptuously. Jesus didn’t treat people like this. People weren’t afraid to interact with Jesus. The people Jesus spoke the most strongly to were the Pharisees who kept the letter of the law but knew not the spirit of the law.

        • Teresa N. Says:

          Thank you Bridget. I am in agreement with what my pastor believer’s or I would not be there or joined. I have had my share of deception and would leave that church if I did not agree in a heart beat. I am not good at writing like other’s and often get misunderstood, I should be use to it but I am not. I certainly will be careful in the future what I comment about.

          Let us please move on. Thanks

        • Molly Says:

          Donna, it is not being committed to a church and an elder body that keeps us from falling prey to false teachings that come from ravenous wolves. It is the discernment of the Holy Spirit. Christ should be our shepherd. Don’t get me wrong- I understand that pastors, elders, and deacons are all important and supported by Scripture. But they should not be put on too high a pedestal. Many of us fell victim to these teachings because we were too focused on a leader instead of being focused on Christ. We came from good churches with strong leadership, and yet we were still led astray.
          I will never sign a church membership covenant. Ever. I can understand signing something that says “I agree with the doctrines of the church,” but that is it. There should not be big hoops to jump through to join or leave a church. Churches are not country clubs! One more thing I would like to respond to:

          - This is why it’s important to really *know* your people well, and for the people to know their elders well, and to know *exactly* what it is the church believes and preaches so that ALL are held accountable to one another. -

          I was duped by someone I had known for 25 years who was like a father to me. I thought I knew him and could trust him. I was wrong.

        • Molly Says:

          -But refusing to be part of a local body because of some hypocrites is like refusing to go to the fitness center because of some people who are out of shape.-

          Donna, let me also say that I DO agree with this. Joining a church body can be a very good thing, and we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves just because there are some times abuses of power. I just don’t really see any scriptural support for signing a contract or “covenant.” Our covenant is with Christ, not a church body.

  12. ColleenInWis Says:

    A small point about the quotations from Scott Brown: Five of the six paragraphs you include from this NCFIC blog post, Disciplining an Elder – Alexander Strauch Weighs In, are Alexander Strauch being quoted by Scott Brown. A small point, but it might avoid some confusion in the minds of your readers. The original NCFIC blog post confused me when I read it earlier this week because Brown didn’t use any quotation marks to separate his words from Strauch’s words.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      That was my fault. I should have included the text from Scott’s preface that made that somewhat more obvious. I’ve edited the article to now include it. Sorry for the oversight. Scott really should have formatted the article in such a way to make it obvious to his readers that he was quoting someone else. The standard way of doing that is to either use quotation marks or indent the text.

      • Donna Says:

        So would this be plagiarism, then? The fact that Brown didn’t make it clear that he was quoting someone else, and exactly *which* quotes were from Strauch?

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          No, I wouldn’t go that far. Careless in the formatting or negligent in calling adequate attention to the author? Absolutely. He does at least include a link at the end of the article for where the book can be purchased. In doing so he might mitigate the concerns that the original author is likely to have over Brown’s sloppiness.

    • Jen Says:

      Colleen, it is significant, to me, that these are Alexander Strauch’s words as well, and that is because when BCA lost our first three elders, and Doug Phillips was the lone elder, he brought in Alexander Strauch for a weekend conference (for men only, but I listened to the tapes) to teach the men in the church about Biblical Eldership. At that time, Doug thought the world of Alexander Strauch and strongly recommended his guidance on elders.

      I wonder if Doug still recommends Alexander Strauch’s view on this?

      • Eva Says:

        Jen, do you think Alexander Strauch is Scripturally correct? I had his book at one time but don’t think I ever read it. I have no opinion but just wondered since you have listened to the tapes.

        • Jen Says:

          Eva, at the time, I really liked Alexander Strauch. I have re-evaluated so many biblical doctrines and positions since then and so I do not remember all that he taught. The one thing he said that has always stuck with me, though, is, “Be careful not to squeeze five gallons of orange juice from one orange.” In other words, if the Bible doesn’t explicitly say so, don’t force that understanding into the passage. Apparently, both Doug Phillips and Scott Brown did not need that particular teaching. Alexander Strauch’s example on this was the verse that says an elder must be the husband of one wife. He noted that this does NOT say anything about divorce or remarriage, but simply that the elder must only have one wife. What does that mean? Simple. No polygamy for elders.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Eva, I don’t know that Jen has read the book, but I have. I highly recommend Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership. Strauch is an excellent Bible teacher and knows his subject matter well.

          There are many different views on church government. Strauch makes an excellent biblical case that the only legitimate form of biblical church government is rule by a plurality of elders who are first nominated and confirmed by the congregation. This should be the ideal system for preventing spiritual abuse. But of course rule by a plurality of elders can also be perverted into the system that Doug Phillips erected to lord it over the sheep. Strauch would have in no way endorsed Doug’s system of church government, and especially making people sign a “till death do us part” church covenant.

        • Jen Says:

          TW, yes, I did read that book, many years ago. The thing that struck me most about Strauch is how he would rather err on the side of grace than on legalism.

        • Darrell Says:

          T.W. Eston said “I highly recommend Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership. Strauch is an excellent Bible teacher and knows his subject matter well.”

          I am in agreement with T.W. Our Elder team read Strauch”s book Biblical Eldership and discussed it together. I think that people who are not on the up and up like to quote from people who are recognized as good Bible teachers in an attempt to legitimize themselves and their own ministry.

          I like what Strauch says on pages 151-152: ” Paul goes on to predict something even more subtle and frightening than wolves; he warns that false teachers will arise from within the flock, men from within the congregation! Not only will wolves come in to destroy the flock, men from within God’s flock–professing Christian–will emerge as false teachers. Such men expose themselves by teaching ‘perverse things.’ Paul means that they will teach perversions of God’s holy truth–twisted, distorted, heretical doctrine. They will not-out-and-out deny the truth of God’s word, for that would be too obvious and ineffective for Satan’s purposes. Instead, they will pervert truth. As masters of subtlety and novelty, they will mix truth with error, reinterpret the truth, and change the meaning of words to give the illusion of truth”

          The above quote from Strauch describes Doug’s “biblical patriarchy” It has a skin of the the truth stuffed with a lie. Strauch also condemns polygamy on pages 190-192. In our church the elders are nominated by the church leadership and approved by the congregation. They also receive to pay or compensation for their service. They are truly servant leaders.

      • raswhiting Says:

        Jen, Re:”an elder must be the husband of one wife.”
        This from the Greek is literally, “a man of one woman”, as in the Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament. Meaning that a legalist-adulterer could not say, “I am not a bigamist, so I am not disqualified.” I could see that kind of rationalizing being done by DP. He is not a one woman man.

        • Jen Says:

          RAS, I almost went there, so I’m glad you brought that up! Yes, if there was any way around that, some would try to make that argument, I’m sure. I don’t know the specifics of Doug stepping down as an elder, but he did so shortly after being caught. While he did not “claim” polygamy, he certainly lived it. And that disqualifies him.

  13. Not Fooled Anymore Says:

    This is sightly off topic, yet it is directly related to this in a way. We plan to call and see what, if any, answer we are given and thought others may like to also if you are involved in this ministry too.

    My husband and I were talking last night. We have been members of Samaritan Ministries for over 15 years. We have been truly blessed by this medical ministry and it has served our family well. We have absolutely no complaints with Samaritan and do not want to cause them any problems.

    The question we were discussing is this, ” Doug Phillips and family and many others of these men have been on Samaritan form what we understand. An extra marital affair violates the rules of being a member of Samaritan. Are they still allowed to be on Samaritan?” What about the JG family, are they on there? “Casandr” and family. The others into porn, going to strip joints ( meaning young people) as this all violates what this ministry was founded on and what this is supposed to be setting us apart from.

    Samaritan may not be able to answer. I will call and report back. Just a thought and question that came up in our conversations last night. Once again this is not meant to implicate Samaritan Ministries in any way, we are just curious as to the status of these memberships in light of all of this.

    • JourneyGirl Says:

      Good thoughts and I agree. We will be asking Samaritan the same questions, again, not meaning to implicate the ministry, but wanting clarification.

    • Sarah Says:

      I don’t see why JG family can’t be getting insurance from Samaritans ministry. I am not going to judge her heart. She is not in a leadership position or an elder so we really shouldn’t even be discussing her on here.

      • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

        This is not intended to be a judgement on anyone. May of these things and folks have been discussed in detail on this site. The questionnaire that must be filled out by a pastor requires a one woman/ one man heterosexual marriage relationship for sexual relations and is part of the requirements. This is an issue as this is how they keep their costs down by living by these biblical standards. If folks have not kept nor are they keeping these rules should they still be on here? The requirements for membership are very clear and do not apply to just leaders, they apply to ALL members. That is the question, not who is keeping these rules. We were just going by all that has been stated knowing that Bob Sarratt and Jeff Horn would have to sign off for many of these folks.DP would have been signing off until last Jan/Feb for others. Just asking, not trying to judge but also seeking further accountability for all involved in so many ways and this could /would impact the other members throughout the world.

        • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

          By the way , been calling line has been busy. Will let folks know.

        • JourneyGirl Says:

          Not Fooled Anymore, yes absolutely. And as a member who adheres to all the guidelines, I am not going to knowingly send my monthly share money to anyone who violates Samaritan Ministries’ terms of membership.

        • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

          If DP is still on here then the BCA elders would be signing off and filing out the form for him. Just wondering? That is really all it was about. Called and were told Joel Noble is who we have to speak to and he was out. Will try again. Maybe others will try too.

        • Sarah Says:

          My point is that if JG had an affair many years ago and has since repented that would not effect her from getting insurance now.

        • just a shadow Says:

          It wasn’t all that many years ago that the affair took place.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          Thank you for raising this topic. It’s actually quite significant for several reasons. Adultery is supposed to be an immediate disqualifier from Samaritan Ministries’ coverage. Though JG is certainly related to that topic, a much bigger issue is did Samaritan Ministries follow its own policy and drop Doug Phillips as a client once they learned of his adultery? If they didn’t then they’re playing favorites. For business purposes it would be understandable why they might have some strong personal biases and wish to turn a blind eye to Doug’s infidelities. Doug Phillips has brought Samaritan Ministries a great deal of business. Rank has it’s privileges.

          An even bigger issue is did Samaritan Ministries drop Doug Phillips as an affiliate. Doug Phillips has long promoted Samaritan Ministries and brought them a great deal of business. We can be sure that he didn’t do so out of the goodness of his heart. It’s only reasonable to assume he’s received commissions, perhaps quite substantial commissions. Will they continue that business relationship with an adulterer? Perhaps some calls to the president of Samaritan Ministries, Ted Pittenger, might be in order. I recommend going right to the top because no one else will be qualified to answer such questions or make any decisions.

        • JourneyGirl Says:

          Agreed, TW. I will do my best to take my questions to the top and get to the bottom of it. Might take a while though.

        • Donna Says:

          You all know that Ted Pittenger started Samaritan while under ATI and Bill Gothard, right?

        • Just a shadow Says:

          I didn’t say many “families”. I said many people. But yes, Whole families were excommunicated/put under discipline b/c of this woman. Does she owe them nothing? And as far as the family in question being made whole. I know as recently as 2 weeks ago that this is *absolutely* NOT true, whatever story JG is currently passing around through her young friend circuit.

          Sarah, when you are are old enough to have a son affected the way this young man was, then perhaps you will understand the depth of the issue.

          The central focus should not be on how *hurt* JG feels to be talked about, but should be on the very real fallout that many families have suffered due to her selfish behavior.

          True repentance on her part would, at a minimum, be to go to the BCA leadership on behalf of those disciplined B/C of her and to ask them to send letters of apology.

          That would be a start.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Hi again. Its obvious that you are very hurt and very angry and I’ve been there. In fact, as I was waiting for my dinosaur laptop to link to this to reply, God brought to mind a person helped cause much pain in my own life in the way you are describing. How I responded to my personal underlying fears about it didn’t help matters. It was a difficult time and I am sorry you and others went through something like that and for a long time.

          For the record, I do not know JG. In some of your responses about this you have a assumed things and I haven’t mentioned it. One example is that you quoted me as seemingly having said that it was “so easy” for her to move on. I never said that. I said she has moved on. Whether it was easy or difficult, I have no idea.

          Its seems here that the problem is the fact that it was allowed to go on for so long by the elders and that people were apparently actually excommunicated over voicing their concerns. From what I am reading this still lends itself to a need to return to the focus on leadership – not JG. I don’t see that anyone here cares enough about her to have a genuine concern for her soul. I see a desire for retribution and we are told “Vengeance is Mine,” says the LORD, “I will repay.”

          I am so sorry for the pain you and others endured. I remember my own pain well and it was over 17 years ago. I do remember hearing a Christian speaker saying once, “Its not them, its Him.” I hope there is healing for all of this. I really believe there is. I just know it tends to come more so when we fix our eyes upon our loving God who sees all and really cares, and not our offender.

          Whatever JG did, God will handle it. That we can be sure of.

          Blessings to you and yours.

      • oneh20 Says:

        Amen. My understanding is that she has repented and moved on. We should too.

        • Jen Says:

          Interesting. Where have you ladies heard that Jennifer Grady has repented?

        • oneh20 Says:

          I’m sorry. I can’t say.

        • Jen Says:

          I will say that I have heard otherwise. Until I see true repentance, I will have a very difficult time believing that.

        • Sarah Says:

          Jen I don’t want to be rude or disrespectful but have you had any direct contact with JG recently? Did you whiteness her behaving improperly? I think we should give her the benefit of the doubt and let God judge her heart. She is not in a position of leadership so I really don’t think we should even be discussing her on here :)

        • Jen Says:

          Sarah, I have never spoken to Jennifer G. However, I do have friends who do. She has caused great hurt and harm to many families at BCA. When she attempts to apologize to those families and make things right with them, then I will believe that she is on the right track.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          I agree with Jen. Until JG makes “whole” those who have been hurt, then any said “repentance” is just social posturing. Frankly, I’ve heard just the opposite as recently as 2 weeks ago about JG’s level of “repentance”.

          There are still people who are devastated.

          And no,she isn’t talked about “just b/c she’s pretty ” as someone in another thread said. There are plenty of ladies young and old in these circles who are prettier. Plenty.

          I’m glad it’s so easy for her to “move on”. That’s grand.

          Many left in the wake can’t say the same.

          What about the young man and his family?

        • Walking in Freedom Says:

          “What about the young man and his family?” I’m not understanding this…

        • oneh20 Says:

          My understanding is that she has made direct amends to him and to his family, so it would seem to me that that situation is between JG and that family and none of our business. I’m saying that in general, WIF, not to you specifically. The focus really needs to stay on those in leadership – that’s why most of us are here, right? The personal fallouts with JG shouldn’t be up for public scrutiny. Its too personal for a blog. Again, this woman is not in leadership! We are soooo merciful toward Cassandra. Please – God hates partiality. Sounds like there is a lot of pain and I get that – but are we called to forgive or not? Is that forgiveness contingent on her coming to everyone who feels offended? Is forgiving her contingent on whether or not she passes our fruit tests? I, for one, certainly can’t say that I deserve more grace, more understanding, more mercy, more forgiveness, more of anything than JG.

          Ok, I know I’m going to take heat for this one. SIGH…

        • Jen Says:

          oneh20, while I agree with you that the focus of this blog is on Doug Phillips and other patriarchy leaders, the truth of the matter is that, as her elder, Doug Phillips (and Bob Sarratt) did nothing to stop this wicked behavior, and allowed her to continue to hurt and harm multiple families. Unless it is extremely recent, JG has not made amends with the family of the 17-year-old boy, and if she has done so (I hope she has), then what about all the other families she has hurt? This was not a one-time situation, but rather a years-long pattern of behavior.

          I’m all for forgiving, but forgiveness does not negate the responsibility of the offender to right the wrongs and make amends. And in this case, elders are not only overlooking serious sin, but seem to be encouraging it.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Hi Jen,

          All the more reason to turn the focus back to the elders. Whether or not JG makes amends is just not something anyone has any power over. Sounds like a weak and inappropriate eldership at best. I know for myself, I have been more empowered by looking at what *I* might have done differently and thereby taking personal responsibility for my part (regardless of the reasons) in spite of what anyone else may have done. It doesn’t appear that the focus of this blog has been to bring private citizens to repentance. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit and all the more reason to pray for her and get back to people who can impact families nationwide and then some.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Okay, I don’t want to minimize any real damage, but I’m confused – many families are “devastated” because she was a flirt?

        • Jen Says:

          oneh20, about a dozen families ended up leaving the church, under church discipline, because the situation was so severe, and many of their own family members were put in more-than-awkward situations, having to refuse her advances (both men and young men). I have spoken with some of them. Yes, they are reeling still from being hurt by the elders refusing to do anything about this situation, effectively causing a major church split over it.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          And JG is going to have her young defenders on here b/c she hangs out with them.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          Walking in Freedom –

          Take time to read the story on Jen’s Gems about JG. It will answer your question about my comment.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          Sarah – my comment posted in a strange place. It is up above here.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          Actually my comment was addressed to oneh20

        • Just a shadow Says:

          JG has not made the young man’s family whole. Nor have the others who were driven out of the church & harassed b/c of her been made whole.

        • Bridget Says:

          oneh20 -

          I don’t think it wise to be upset about grace you see extended to Cassandra and what you believe is lack of grace extended to JG. Those are two entirely different circumstances. One of these people was born into and groomed into her circumstances from a child, the other claimed to be a Christian adult when she began her events. Yes, they both sinned, but the sin isn’t the same. Yes, we all sin, but we don’t all sin the same, and all sin isn’t equal. It is only equal in that ‘any sin’ separates us from God unless we know and believe Jesus. And Jesus forgives ‘any sinner’ the moment they turn in truth to him (i.e., the murderer on the cross).

        • oneh20 Says:

          Hi Bridget,

          I’ve responded regarding this elsewhere and am hoping you can read my responses there.

          God bless.

        • Bridget Says:

          oneh20 -

          No problem. Can you point me to your discussion elsewhere on this? FWIW, I don’t wish to discuss either of them, just don’t think they are similar issues and should be compared.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Hi there, Earlier in the day I tried to respond a few times but it wouldn’t post for some reason. I think if you just read through this particular thread the responses should come up. Bless you!

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          oneh20, we’ve had a few cases where someone’s comment wound up in the spam folder. I’ve checked and none of your comments are in there or are they being held in moderation.

          For anyone who has a similar problem feel free to send Jen or I an email and we’ll check on it. However, please be aware that the majority of posting problems are either the users own computer, or their internet connection. For obvious reasons we can’t do anything about that.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Hi T.W., I think it was only the server being busy or something like that – its happened a few times before. Also, my computer has been acting up. Thanks!

        • Sarah Says:

          I just would like to add that there seems to be a lot of hurt and anger towards JG(a private citizen). My childhood sexual a abuse situation was also mishandled by a church. In fact it was the Pastor interfering that got the child molesters out of a prison sentence. We are talking about a dozen children. The two molesters were members of a local church, the same church my family was a member of. My point is that these situations sadly happen. I can’t spend my whole life being angry and bitter that the situation was mishandled. I had to forgive and leave it in Gods hands to deal with the elders and Pastor who interfered in the trial. I also had to forgive my molester. We can’t spend our life being a victim. BCA is a corrupt church with extremely weak and unqualified leadership. There is zero chance anything is going to change that. The only help JG is going to get is if she leaves BCA and finds a healthy church who helps her address all of her issues. You people need to forgive JG. This is not your battle. Pray for her but forgive her. It is not your place to call her out. Let God deal with that situation and focus on Doug Phillips and the elders of BCA. They have failed their flock.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Sarah, Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for you and all the other victims that were not only victimized by the actual perpetrators, but also by the elder and pastor. After everything I have been through, and some quite recently – all I know for sure is that God will use it – painful as its been.

        • Jen Says:

          Sarah, I agree that BCA has failed JG. I pray that this whole situation will bring her healing found only in Jesus.

        • Sarah Says:

          I was under the understanding the young man was 18.

      • Alexis Says:

        JG should be mentioned. Both he and her are UNREPENTANT adulterers. She is a sexual predator of the worst kind as she preys on hapless young men and is unrepentant in her behavior time and again. I don’t judge her heart but I certainly judge her atrocious behavior and she WILL be accountable for it whether or not DP chose to. No quarter for predators sorry. I beg for repentance but there hadn’t been any and I pray for her soul

        • Sarah Says:

          Alexis, all I can say is wow. JG having an affair does not give anyone the write to discuss her on a internationally read blog. I don’t know JG but I do know she obviously had/has some issues. Her church and her elders failed her in my opinion. Yes she has to answer for her own mistakes and any pain she has caused others. She does not need to answer to the general public. Do I think she needs to go to each and every family that was attending BCA at the time? No. That is the responsibility of the elders. The family of the young man she had an affair with, yes! I don’t consider and 18 year old man a child either. I have a teenage son and we are diligently discipling him so that if he was ever pursed like that by a married women he would flee and come to us his parents. Like it or not this man did not flee. He went to her house for crying out loud. He was dishonest with his parents. He is also responsible for his actions. You people make JG out to be a monster be she had an affair. She did not receive that help she should of. Her husband is obviously a failure as protector of his home and wife. This is a family with a lot of problems, it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. Leave this family alone. Maybe pray for them or reach out to help them. They should not be a topic of constant discussion. They are private citizens.

        • just a shadow Says:

          @ Sarah – Sorry, but even an 18 year old by any standard is still considered a teenager. I see you are ( as often happens) blaming the victim. You insinuate that since you diligently disciple your teenage son, that some how b/c this other teenage boy was lured into sin by a grown woman, *he* or his *parents* must have done something *wrong* (that you, of course, are doing *correctly*). I’m sorry, but you absolutely *do not* know how your boy would react when faced with the same temptation. No parent does.

          And if you do not *know* JG then you really have zero room to speak to the actions in question. None. Nada. Zip.

          You do not know of what you speak.

          You are defending someone you have never even *met*. That is unwise at the very least.

          I doubt you would be so unconcerned if it were your child involved.

          Of course we pray for the entire situation.

          But there is some real world action that needs to take place, beginning with JG going to the BCA leadership and asking them to issue letters of apology to ALL of the families who were disciplined, harassed, chased out of the state,and threatened with excommunication on her behalf.

          Let’s start there.

        • just a shadow Says:

          You are aware, I suppose, that she has a son near the same age of the young man in question?

        • Sarah Says:

          I am not blaming the victim I’m saying the he is responsible for his own choices. He doesn’t get a free pass just because she was an older married women. I get hit on by guys that exact age all the time and I’m 33. I was also a victim of sexual abuse thru out most of my childhood and this is hardly the same situation. If she had been single would this be as big of a deal? If my 18 year old son made the exact same choices I would be holding him accountable as much as her. I married a man 5 years older the me was I was just 19 and had 3 children by the time I was 23. I hardly consider an 18 year old incapable of saying no to a woman who makes advances on him. They had an affair, it was wrong, and it’s no of our business. It’s between them, God, and their families. BCA is a non-church and should be closed down. The elders are not qualified and are not capable of dealing with Doug Phillips, JG, or anyone else for that matter. They need to disband and move on with their lives.

        • just a shadow Says:

          Ok. I agree that BCA is a non church. But they don’t hold the same opinion on that as you & I do. They *think* they are a church.

          It wouldn’t be anyone else’s business if whole families *hadn’t* been disciplined. But since these families *were* affected directly, then no, the “situation” is no longer a private matter. It is the business of families who were DIRECTLY affected by being disciplined/ threatened with excommunication etc.

          If this were a simple matter of a relationship between 2 people, then I would tend to agree with you – it should be handled as privately as possible.

          But that is not what this is.

          This became a church & community wide matter that affected families, children, young people.

          Would it be as big of a deal if she were single? Yes, if a like number of families were directly affected and threatened with excommunication.

          As I said, a good start towards showing true repentance would be to go to the leadership at BCA and ask them to issue letters of apology admitting wrong doing to each family who was wrongly harassed b/c of the situation.

          I won’t hold my breath for that to happen.

          And how do you know that the young man’s family has *not* held him accountable?

          You don’t.

        • HalfTruthsAbound Says:

          I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the family of the young man. They clearly didn’t have his heart and have family issues that seem to go back before BCA…

        • Jen Says:

          HT, while I am sure that every family has its own problems, this is a situation that could have been used to bring healing to both families, with the elders and BCA members coming alongside both families and helping them love one another correctly. If that family was suffering from problems, that is all the more reason they needed help, not additional hurt, harm, and abuse. Where is our compassion for those who are already struggling?

        • Half truths abound Says:

          There is more back story to this,.. I agree that grace is needed, however, it is lacking from both directions and the family of the young mans seems to me to be quite unwilling to see their own sins in the mirror in their desire to blame JG. Their own son still seems unrepentant.

        • Jen Says:

          HT, it takes two to tango, doesn’t it? Yes, both families still need much help. I agree.

        • just a shadow Says:

          “Didn’t have his heart”

          Do you know how *sick* I am of this particular phrase? It is right up there with the term “like-minded”.

          It is VF code talk for “they were bad parents, so they deserve no sympathy”.

          This comment is a prime example of what is wrong with this community.

          Instead of holding the predator accountable, we are going to crucify the parents for not “doing it right according to the VF/ATI/homeschool parenting manual 101″

          Excuse me while I throw up.

          Get over it. No parent “has” their child’s heart. Or if they do, they shouldn’t.

          The only One who deserves to hold a humans heart is J-E-S-U-S.

          Quit with the family/parent IDOLATRY, please.

          Should we have kiddos “ask their parents into their heart” rather than Jesus?

          How about having them “ask their daddy into their heart”? Hmmm?

          *throws hands up in disgust*

          Quit trying to drink from dry cisterns.

        • Walking in Freedom Says:

          Thank you, JAS, for verbalizing my exact thoughts. I can still picture DP saying “Give me your heart, my son…”

        • Grace alone Says:

          JAS, thanks for clearly speaking what I’ve noticed for years. I’d love to have my kid’s heart, but I’m not strong enough! Only the Holy Spirit can draw anyone’s heart to Jesus and change that heart through redemption! Praise God it’s not up to me! It’s all of grace :)

        • Jay Says:

          re: parents having children’s hearts

          I can understand a backlash at code words that that are nothing more that man-made rules designed to place parents under a load of guilt, and I tend to agree with you there.

          However, having your child’s heart is specifically a Biblical teaching regarding training of your children (Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways), and the notion of “asking Jesus into your heart” actually is not, much as it is bandied about these days, so let’s not go overboard on the other side when reacting to those who want to put us in bondage with with man-made rules/definitions.

        • Jen Says:

          Jay, I am inclined to agree with you. I try to use biblical words in these situations, when possible. The key is to use the biblical words in context. :-)

        • Bridget Says:

          Jay -

          The verse in Proverbs is directed to the son and encouraging the son to listen to his father instead of women who would entice him. The point being, the son is the one who needs to take the action. As parents we can train and guide only as long as our children are willing to receive from us. We can’t force our children to give us, or God, anything. They need to come to this decision with the work of the Holy Spirit.

        • Half truths abound Says:

          Sorry for using the code words just a shadow, but I stand by the essence of what I said. The Bible does give parents responsibility towards their children and the same to the children. One of my beefs with the situation at BCA had to do with the while promotion of unmarked elders and elders with young children that clearly didn’t meet the biblical qualifications. Part of those qualifications include having ones household in subjection with all gravity and the children not being accused of riot or unruly. That was also an apparent issue with this family. It’s ironic to me that the movement that made so much of the family has had plenty of sons and daughters in open defiance to their parents (some of that perhaps deserved looking back) and living in open sins. So much fail.

        • Jen Says:

          HTA, yes, it is interesting that so many of the young people and children have not followed the patriarchy of their parents. Why do you think that is?

          And what specifically do you have to say about the unqualified elders at BCA?

        • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

          Jen said, “[I]t is interesting that so many of the young people and children have not followed the patriarchy of their parents. Why do you think that is?”

          HTA, I am also intensely interested in the answer to this question, since we are now surrounded by the young adult fallout from BCA, its sister churches, and VF. It would be fascinating to hear your viewpoint.

    • 8inTexas Says:

      We too are Samaritan Ministries members and having nothing but good to say about them. It’s been a huge blessing for our family. Every year when we renew our membership, we (as do all members) are required to have our pastor or church leader fill out a form stating that we do not participate in extra-marital sex, do not overindulge in alcohol, etc. Basically these are the tenets that allow Samaritan to keep their costs so low – i.e. because they’re not paying for abortions, STDs, drug rehab, etc that result from those lifestyles.

      I would say that as a Samaritan member you should feel free to contact them and ask because this is a very public case and most conservative Christians know about it. It is possible that the SMI leadership is not aware of the DP situation, although I’d think that would be unlikely.

      If you do contact them let us know what happens, if possible.

      • notsurprised Says:

        Every year when we renew our membership, we (as do all members) are required to have our pastor or church leader fill out a form stating that we do not participate in extra-marital sex, do not overindulge in alcohol, etc.

        well that just disqualified people like Doug Phillips and others!

      • notsurprised Says:

        I know his affair is public but proving that he “knew” her would be difficult (Unless Cassandra admits to it)……Also with the alcohol. Again, hard to prove unless they see it. They wouldn’t probably be able to do something purely on hearsay!

        • zooey111 Says:

          Yeah, but DP himslef admitted to the “sexual component” of the realtionship, & extramarital is extramarital. (Even if Clinton, Phillips, et al try to say it somehow doesn’t count…..probably only works for lawyers, anyhow……)

        • noturniptruck Says:

          so then this discussion leaves me to ask, was JG’s relationship with this 17 year old young man sexual?

        • Jen Says:

          Noturniptruck, yes, it was sexual.

        • noturniptruck Says:

          and………..how long ago did this happen (JG & the 17 year old)?

        • just a shadow Says:

          Noturniptruck -

          Go back and read the article on Jen’s Gems regarding this situation.

        • noturniptruck Says:

          okay……..I was trying to wrap my brain around stuff and got very confused. I thought this was a different man and situation. Mainly because people here were identifying him as a 17 year old………I went back to the article that said he was 18. That’s why I thought it was a different situation.

        • Jen Says:

          He was 17 when the affair began, I believe.

        • T.W. Eston Says:

          JG began pursuing him when he was 17. That’s when the sex talk began as well. The father had email evidence that they were having sex while he was still 17, but it wasn’t until he was 18 that the father caught them together at her house. This was the incident in which he was caught climbing out her bedroom window.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      I’d like to hear your report on what they say, especially about Doug Phillips. He’s brought them a lot of business, and I doubt he did it out of the goodness of his heart. He’s probably received some generous commissions for it. It would be interesting to know if they still have a business relationship with him. My guess is that with his very extensive mail list they probably do. It will also be interesting to know whether or not they’ve dropped him as a client.

    • Cindy Lacy Says:

      Just thought I would play devil’s advocate here. When my children and I couldn’t get on my husband’s insurance, we considered Samaritan Ministries. My husband was actually able to meet one of the higher ups in the organization when he was at a men’s retreat. He voiced a concern that we had with them. The concern was that I and the children could not get a cheaper rate since my husband did not need insurance. If I had been widowed or divorced, I could have. The man was very arrogant and prideful in his response. Thankfully, I found another Christian health sharing ministry that would allow the kids and I to be covered without having my husband on the plan. Just thought I would share this since I am very interested to see what their response is.

      • Teresa N Says:

        From my understanding Medi share is a good one. My husband and I looked into this and actually filled out lots of paper work but my husband has some pre existing medical issue that would not be covered, like a hip replacement and heart issue.

  14. Jen Says:

    Does anyone own the CD by Scott Brown: “Gossip: The Plague of the Church” and would like to donate it to a good cause? I’m not sure if anyone is sending me one yet, but I would like to use this for a future article. Please email me if you have one to share. Thanks!

    • backtotheBible Says:

      Going through all of VF/NCFIC materials knowing that many of you are more familiar with their teachings. Any comment on 2000 years of Christian Theology by Joe Morecraft. Brand New – Unopened. Audio Lectures and Study Guides.

      • Just a shadow Says:

        @ Back to the Bible – Throw it away. It will be a biased, Calvinistic, one sided treatment of “Christian” history from someone who preaches “regulative worship” among other things.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Okay… I’m reformed Presbyterian and the Regulative Principle is mainstream teaching in reformed churches. Let’s not start a denominational war, please. :)

        • Just a shadow Says:

          Fine. But the fact that it may be “mainstream” in Reformed Presbyterian circles doesn’t = mainstream in Evangelical circles.
          So I stand by my statement that any “Christian” history by someone holding to regulative worship/Calvinism is going to be biased towards and slanted by that train of thought.

          Most mainstream Evangeilcals would disagree with “Regulative Worship” if it is explained in its entirety without attempting to soften it for easier swallowing.

          No denominational war intended. But regulative worship is clearly outside the boundaries of what is “normative” in evangelical mainstream thought.

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        Don’t toss it. If you don’t want it send it to Jen. We’re doing a research project on all things Vision Forum/NCFIC, etc. for a possible book. It might prove useful to us.

    • notsurprised Says:

      I thought it was on sermonaudio

  15. Mike Says:

    There were four Elders at TBC that we brought these issues to. Two of the elders handled things in a godly way. One of the two made some mistakes. When he realized that what he was doing wasn’t right he asked for forgiveness. He is one of the most godly men I know and is a good friend to this day. God has since used and blessed him tremendously with an adoption and food ministry. Below is a quote of his final statement on the matter. He made this confession at TBC’s last congregational meeting. I think Doug Phillips Jason and Scott should call Jerry and ask him about humility. God truly exalts the humble and makes the proud look foolish.

    Here is an excerpt from his resignation letter…. you can read the rest at ephesians511.WordPress.com. This is the kind of men we need speaking to us about repentance, family and church life.

    I do believe Scott Brown has failed to properly execute his God-ordained duty of Elder of Trinity Baptist Church. That being said, I believe Jason Dohm and I are also guilty of that charge. I believe we “lorded” our positions as Elders “over” brothers that brought a charge to us, and this contributed to their abrupt departure. For my actions, I am deeply sorry and beg forgiveness. . .

    I believe the New Testament teaches that a“self-willed” man, “lording it over” others does not qualify to be a church leader and should be removed from office

  16. Mike Says:

    Actually here is the link to the whole article. This will save you time searching for it. http://ephesians511.wordpress.com/the-congregational-meeting-43006-pm/

  17. steve240 Says:

    With the discussion of what to do with an errant elder you might find this post I did for the Wartburg Watch of interest:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2011/07/20/mahaneys-chicanery-regarding-calvin/

    My big point was how C.J. Mahaney seemed to focus on the passage that says don’t receive an accusation but never mentioned the following passage about rebuking those elders that continue in sin. Mahaney even quoted Calvin’ on the accusation portion but conveniently left out what Calvin said about pastors using the “not receive an accusation” to hide their sin.

    Those that sin rebuke before all” (vs.20a) 104 *Whenever any measure is taken for the protection of good men, it is immediately seized by bad men to prevent them from being condemned*. Accordingly, what Paul had said about repelling unjust accusations he modifies by this statement, so that *none* may, on this presence, *escape the punishment due to sin*. And, indeed, we see how great and diversified are the privileges by which Popery surrounds its clergy; so that, although their life be ever so wicked, 105 still they are exempted from all reproof.

    I am no fan of Calvin but Calvin made a good point here. Mahaney sure used the “not receive” to try and prevent him from being condemned and likewise with Doug Phillips.

  18. Julie Says:

    My two cents, for what it is worth. I am thinking people associated with Doug are afraid to name him as they are afraid of being sued by him. He has done it before, and he will do it again! What a wolf!

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      You’re quite right. As I’ve written in a previous article, Doug Phillips is a religious sociological cult leader, not a pastor or a shepherd. He has a number of mind control tools in his toolbox and fear is one of his primary tools. Fear is a powerful mind control tool and nothing scares the typical American into silence quite as effectively as the threat of a lawsuit.

      Thankfully not everyone is scared of Doug Phillips though. Jen is a perfect case in point. With everything she’s been doing for years to publicly expose Doug Phillips he still hasn’t sued her. He’s claimed many times that Jen has “defamed” him. He’s called her a “gossip”, a “slanderer”, an “internet assassin” and a “Jezebel”. Yet he still hasn’t sued her for defamation. Clearly the man is a blowhard. Sadly most people have bought his bluff and bluster. We don’t because we know the last thing he’d ever subject himself to would be legal Discovery, and that’s what would happen if he sued.

      Doug Phillips knows perfectly well that, as a “public figure” the burden of proof is entirely on him to prove defamation. Were he a “private figure” the burden of proof would be the opposite. There is nothing defamatory about speaking the truth publicly about a public figure.

      I wish many other people would come to their senses and see that there is no need for all this fear that Doug Phillips will sue them if they come forward and publicly speak the truth (or privately with us) about what they know. Concealing sin is sin in itself by making the concealer complicit in covering it up.

  19. Mike Says:

    TW: Seejay/Clellie stated in one of her comments that she would not use these men as a source for truth. She pointed out that she knows that somewhere in Scott’s teachings there will be something in there that is self serving. She stated that she would go to the Word and another source for truth.

    In Scott’s article I find the following comment by him interesting and fits perfectly with what Clellie stated in an earlier post.

    Scott says in the essay:
    Alexander Strauch has given me permission to post this from his book, Biblical Eldership.The quotation below is from chapter nine, following this citation is a link to the whole chapter.

    The question I have is why does Scott state this? Why not just quote from Strauch’s book and cite his source? How does this statement benefit the reader? Does this statement by Scott referencing Strauch provide credibility to Scott and his message?

    I believe that an Elder is to be above reproach. We shouldn’t seek council from those who have a history of being self willed and deceptive.

    • Jen Says:

      Mike, I think Scott was sending a message to Doug by stating that he had permission from Strauch to quote from his book. Scott knows that Diug respects Strauch.

      • Just a shadow Says:

        It’s the very familiar tactic of coat tail riding.

      • Mike Says:

        Jen,

        Good theory, we certainly can’t know his motives for sure. If Scott wanted to let his good friend know this he could certainly pick up the phone and call him or email him. Biblically we are to separate from divisive people and false teachers. When Christians teachers do ministry or are associated with false teachers it lends credibility to the false teacher. The false teacher has everything to gain and nothing to lose by association with godly teachers, like Doug trying to be associated with Pastor Gifford.

        Knowing Scott’s history and that he was mentored by Doug causes me to ask these questions when reading his advice on rebuking an elder.

  20. Cindy Lacy Says:

    Are any of the rest of you dealing with people who are telling you that discussions like this are gossip? I tried to make some people aware of this situation and this is what I got: 1) the dictionary definition of gossip, 2) that DP’s sin wasn’t that bad, 3) DP has resigned, cancelled his speaking engagements, and closed his business. We should drop it, 4) that Satan is using this gossip to smear the church. Very disheartening… and making me question my own intentions of wanting to see justice done to these men who have hurt so many.

    • Andrew McDonald Says:

      Yep, exactly. I was told that I “love the juicy stuff” and to stop looking into the whole matter… except that the fellowship I go to is in the family integrated fellowship movement and maybe headed in a direction that I don’t want to see.

    • Molly Says:

      It’s not gossip that is smearing the church. Doug Phillip’s actions and his false doctrines have already done a pretty good job of that. Like it or not, most of the world tends to lump all Christians into one big category. Scandals like this hurt the name of God.

    • JourneyGirl Says:

      Cindy Lacy, yes, I deal with such ‘gossip accusations’ often, especially on this subject. And I have been told the same things you’ve just cited. I have studied and written on this subject… Been wondering about posting it as a comment, but don’t want to derail the discussion. For now, be encouraged that exposing false teachers and walking in wisdom often requires negative truths to be stated and verified, whether in a dinner conversation or on a blog forum. If we are walking in the Spirit and seek to know truth, then God is honored. If our hearts are vengeful and deceitful, then that characterizes the works of the flesh, often producing fruit of gossip, slander and angry forms of retribution. But if LOVE motivates us to bring evil into the open and warn others of pervasive sin in the church, then it is part of walking in the Spirit. Against such things there is Jo law.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      I’m in the process of writing an article on gossip, as defined by Scott Brown, Doug Phillips, et al. It should be up early next week.

      The charge of “gossip” has been used repeatedly by these men, and those pastors and elders who have followed them, to silence anyone who would challenge them. The problem has not been gossip but their own refusal to submit to any legitimate form of accountability.

    • Donna Says:

      Oh, yes, I’m getting that, too, despite the fact that I’m only sharing things which can be *proven*. The other words I’m getting a lot are “hearsay”. and “assumptions”. These of course are coming from people who don’t want to discuss it at ALL, and don’t want to believe that these leaders are really that bad, so let’s keep our eyes closed and pretend while they continue to do more damage.

      • noturniptruck Says:

        Of course you COULD just say “Congratulations. You are accomplishing EXACTLY What DP & SB want to accomplish. They are wanting to silence you so that they are NOT held accountable. Can you show me where in the Bible that Christians are NOT supposed to be held accountable? Can you show me where in the Bible that a man in Doug’s position is not to be held in a position above reproach?”

        These people are doing what they have always done. They are turning a “blind eye” to what’s going on. If they possibly Opened their eyes to see the REAL Doug & the REAL Scott Brown, what their agenda’s are, then they would change their tune. These are people that obviously have put Doug upon a pedestal & idolized him and to be honest do not want to hear the truth. Unless this would affect their family directly, then they are not going to be willing to see it. Sad to say.

    • Scott Says:

      Some people would have you believe that a witness giving testimony in court is gossiping.

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        Scott, could you elaborate please? I’ve never heard that before. This could be very significant, especially regarding Doug Phillips. If you’d rather speak privately please email me.

        • Scott Says:

          It didn’t involve Doug Phillips. It was litigation in a case where a couple from a church that I attended for 10 years was divorcing, and the “dad beat dad” was basically trying to get custody so he could park the child at his parents and save money. His mother and a friendly elder were warning people slated to testify in her behalf that it’s gossip. When they called a friend of mine she told them that she would be reporting the call to the judge as they were clearly attempting to intimidate witnesses. So the genius elder threathened her with church discipline. She said bring it on fat boy. Literally that was her exact words, LOL. Needless to say they backed off and she followed through and did exactly what she said, reporting the matter to the judge. In the end joint custody was awarded with the child residing with his mom. Eventually the elder resigned and the rest of the board apologized for the threats.

  21. Mike Says:

    Cindy,

    Doug has been in the forefront for a long time. His influence over homeschoolers, the church, entertainment, and politics is well known. These are the areas he sought to take dominion over and did a better job than anyone else before him. I have learned some very helpful things here about his reach, tactics and influence. Those who choose to hear no evil, see no evil will certainly become captive to evil.

    While there may be some comments that may be gossip you can choose to ignore that, however for the most part that isn’t the norm. Someone could make the same comments about prayer groups, but I would bet they wouldn’t tell you to avoid that.

    If you are in a ncfic church the leaders may have been ignoring all of these things for years…..not saying they did since I don’t know them. I think it would be a good question for them since this information has been out there for years. Did you guys know about the controversies surrounding Doug and the NCFIC leaders?

    • Cindy Lacy Says:

      These are some of the very things I tried to tell this individual to no avail. I was still told I was participating in gossip and helping Satan smear the church. We do know about Doug and the NCFIC leaders. I have kept quiet about the fact that my family has been a part of two FIC churches. For our family, the experience has been a good one. Vision Forum was one of the main reasons we left the typical main-line denomination. We were so tired of the shallowness of the teaching. One deacon actually told us that he wanted his kids to party like rock stars. Our first FIC church was a great experience for us as a family and we grew a lot. Families were allowed to be different and not all fit in one mold. They do follow the teachings of one man who has been pretty criticized on this blog so I will not mention his name. I have yet to make up my mind about him. The FIC church we presently attend (by the way, we left our last church only because of a move across state) has been a good experience also. Our pastor is actually very concerned about the DP scandal since his family has followed VF. I will mention that the two churches are very different in style. At neither church did we have to sign any member covenant. I share all this to say that even though we attend a FIC church, I do not follow Scott Brown or anything he promotes. I do not even think our present church is on the NCFIC list. The problem I am having right now is with certain members of both churches. But, I think this could be found at any church.

      • Jen Says:

        Cindy Lacy, I am sure that FIC churches CAN be healthy. The question as to whether or not they actually are will have to be determined church by church. I hope this whole experience will serve to bring healing to those churches which are unhealthy.

  22. Carol Says:

    Jen,
    To your list of issues to be addressed, would you add the following:
    1. A single woman (sitting alone) being denied communion at a FIC.
    This happened to me in 2004 at a FIC church service in St. Louis, when I was visiting there. The pastor invited all the male heads of households to come to the front and take the communion elements for their families, and then serve their families. No provision was made for anyone who did not have a “male head of household.” I just sat there in shock. After some time had passed, a very kind man – a stranger to me – sitting nearby, saw my plight and got up and served me.
    2. A total prohibition on women teaching — even teaching children and other women.
    Yes, Titus 2:3 notwithstanding. I am in full agreement with the Scriptures in that women should not teach *men* in the church, but the pastor of a small, FIC in East Texas (where I live) was adamant in his condemnation of my (or any other woman) doing **any teaching at all.** With my strong background in English and science, I had offered to help the church families with their home schooling, and I was in the process of becoming a member of this church, but I did not know that the pastor felt as he did until he told me this **quite forcefully** at my membership interview. I terminated the membership process and did not return to that church.
    Another subject: I, too, am a long-time member of Samaritan Ministries, and I am VERY interested in earlier comments by other Samaritan members on their plans to contact Samaritan leadership regarding DP’s personal membership, and others associated with him who may be in violation of the membership agreement.

    • Jen Says:

      Carol, thanks for sharing those extreme circumstances with us. I am not sure we will be covering all unusual circumstances and teachings here, but feel free to bring them up in similar areas.

  23. T.W. Eston Says:

    Quoting from Justin Voller’s Facebook, his brother Michael makes the following statement about Doug Phillips. It applies, I believe, equally to Scott Brown and Jason Dohm, so I’ll share it in this thread:

    Michael Voeller Nathan, you are right in the definition of legalism. That is exaclty what I experienced when I atteneded BCA, which is the church Doug Phillips pastored. Even though they did not openly preach works righteousness, their message through action was one of exclusion, rejection, judgmentalism and pharisaical works righteousness. The picture of Christ on earth was grace extended to the adulterer and love to the sinner. The spirit of judgementalism experienced at BCA was the exact opposite. Never once did I hear the gospel preached. I lived in bondage, constantly trying to do right without the power of the holy spirit. Works righteousness feels right because it’s something that we can understand, something we can relate to. But exoeriencing God,s love is what finally changed my life. Every seromon and every interaction at that church only served to push me farther into bondage. The freedom I experienced when I knew the love of God was night and day. It took 23 years for me to believe it. Just know that the way we act may be the only smapling of God’s lovely others around us may ever know. If I as a Christian reject you for something you wear or like or listen to or participate in, that is a misrepresentation of who Christ is. I am the same as the Pharisee picking up stones to kill the adulterer. The picture of Christ is so dramatically different than anything I have seen or heard in the years I was attending BCA and around the vision forum crowd. After being saved out of that bondage, I have a burden for those still trapped and in bondage. Works righteousness is the most deceptive religion out there, and though it may not be preached from the pulpit, it is at the core of so many “Christians”. I believe that what is preached at BCA and other churches like it is actually Satan’s number one weapon against the incredible love and the freeing grace that Christ offers.
    November 1, 2013 at 8:47pm

    • Jen Says:

      TW, thanks for sharing Michael Voeller’s statement on works righteousness. I am glad to see this young man turning his back on the legalism he was so drenched in growing up. I pray that all the Voellers would come to understand the difference between the love of God and the works’ mentality that so permeated their lives. He does describe BCA/VF to a ‘T’.

  24. Leslie Says:

    This is a comment/question not specific of this comment thread but in general of this comment thread. Since I have not ever been connected to VF or Bill Gothard( except minimally through taking our kids to Basic Youth Conflicts and my middle daughter being involved in the whole movement), I don’t get the HUGE stigma attached to modesty and sex. And I am not talking about DP and other leaders who should know better. That is a whole other thing. I can think of many things that are more evil than a girl/woman not wearing ankle length skirts and long sleeves. Or dating, kissing and holding hands. It seems to me that the focus on these issues makes it more important than it would be if people just dressed and behaved in a normal way. having been a Christian for over 40 years I still wonder why sexual sins have more importance and gravitas than say, embezzlement, lying, elitism within the church body etc., etc., etc. Just wondering. Even here in the liberal Silicon Valley, I have seen this kind of dress plus head coverings on the women, while the men dress in jeans, tshirts and baseball caps just like any other guy. It seems hypocritical for the women to draw attention to themselves in this. Again, just wondering.

    • A Shore Says:

      Here is an explanation that I have heard over the years.

      1.Men are very visual creatures
      2.Jesus warns that just looking at a woman and lusting after her is a sin
      3.Women need to dress modestly so that they don’t cause men to stumble
      4. Since the sin of lust can so easily be committed because of point number 1, it is important to continually remind the women of the importance of modesty.

      This is why , I think, the woman takes more of the blame , unfairly I might add, than the man for sexual sin.

      • Leslie Says:

        I mentioned to my daughter several years that I didn’t underst and why men could not be self disciplined about their own thoughts and actions. Her response to me was “it doesn’t work that way”. If that is the case it seems to me that men are the “weaker sex”

      • Scott Says:

        Well said. I can lust after a woman in .001 seconds regardless of what she is wearing.

      • zooey111 Says:

        IN those countries with a dominant Islamic presence, there are a lot of women in burkas. And the statistics on sexual assault are appalling.
        Its not the clothes the woman wears, nor is it anything else she may have said or done.
        Blaming the victim is simply an easy way for perpetrators to excuse themselves in their own mijnds..

      • GB Says:

        Lust and modesty are issues of the heart not clothing issues. I can ogle a womans behind in a dress just as easy as in tight jeans. Well almost as easy!

    • SiliconValleyGal Says:

      Re. “…having been a Christian for over 40 years I still wonder why sexual sins have more importance and gravitas than say, embezzlement, lying, elitism within the church body etc.”

      Hi Leslie,

      Good question, which I have pondered as well. I suspect the additional stigma on sexual sins has something to do with The Church being symbolized as the Bride of Christ. Although it is Christ himself who cleanses us with his grace, there is probably an underlying desire not to give him extra dirt to wash away. Throughout history, the major cultures of the world prized purity as the most important feature a young bride could bring to her marriage. Considering the times in which the Bible was written, this was a universal standard, for which there were some very sound reasons.

      Yes, all sins put Christ on the cross, and, yes, The Church has other sins to reckon with as well, but as reflected in our own legal system (misdemeanor, felony, etc.) not all sins carry the same weight.

      Then, there is a basic issue of trust. If you can’t trust a man or woman to keep their vows in their private life, how can you trust them in their public life?

      • T.W. Eston Says:

        Leslie and SVG, I have often wondered the same thing. It strikes me as peculiar that the church seems almost obsessed by sex scandals. This is really no different from the world where salacious “news” sells big. It can hardly be avoided in the grocery store check-out aisle. It seems every tabloid cover is about the latest celebrity sex scandal. The evening news is infected with it too. That’s what the world is into, so it shouldn’t surprise us.

        What surprises me though is how much this same thinking has invaded the church. Sex scandals are always a bad thing in the church; but are they inherently worse than other violations of pastoral trust? In my view they often are not. I can think of many abuses that are at least as bad, if not worse, that quite often are just swept under the rug and ignored. For some odd reason a pastoral sex scandal isn’t as easily ignored.

        The real story of Doug Phillips — the real man himself, isn’t so much about 12 years of clergy sexual abuse, though that certainly is a horrible thing. The real story is the story of a religious sociological cult leader who has spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically abused dozens of families under his “care” since just after the turn of this century. It was the cult-ure he established at Boerne Christian Assembly that allowed him to get away for so long with the clergy sexual abuse. The sex scandal is only a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. Yet the sex scandal is, for thousands of home school families, the only thing they focus on, if they’re willing to even take notice of it at all. For too many they dismiss it as, “We’re all sinners. Any of us could have fallen like that. Look at what happened to David and Bathsheba”, etc.

        For this reason, Doug Phillips will find it relatively easy to make a comeback at some point in the future unless far more is done to expose this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Why is an easy comeback likely? Because if an “extra-marital affair” is considered to be his only major transgression, all he has to do is write and publish a Jim Bakker I Was Wrong book and all will be forgotten.

        • emmaline51 Says:

          Well… except for gossip. We all know that gossip is the worst sin of all. **wink**

        • GB Says:

          Gossip is a terrible sin. Again the determining factor is the motivation of your heart. Are you trying to tear someone down, malign their good name, or are you trying to help with a heart of regarding others as your brothers and sisters in Christ.

          Its not that hard. What is motivating your actions or tongue? Only your heart can answer that question. If you are truly acting or speaking in love then ignore the critics.

        • Jen Says:

          For me, the worst part of Doug Phillips’ sex scandal is the hypocrisy. There are people who have sex outside of marriage all the time today. It is commonplace. But Doug put such a heavy emphasis on purity and family and moral rules, including extreme modesty designed to prevent sex outside of marriage, all while he was living a double life. I know his hypocrisy has driven my kids far, far away from wanting anything to do with God or church, and I am sure that this type of hypocrisy has driven many others far, far away as well.

  25. OtOLi Says:

    I was listening to a Vision Forum CD this morning (that’s not a sin, right?). The message was “Tilling the Soil: Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Vision in Your Family” by Joel Salatin (available at Amazon for only $4,689.00!!!).

    Joel Salatin is most definitely *not* part of DP’s inner circle (he has female interns at his farm, *gasp*). He was simply brought in as a guest speaker because he has some great things to say. I don’t know him personally, but from everything I’ve read and heard, he’s the real deal as far as being a godly family man (kind of like DP’s vision, but the biblical version).

    Anyway, one part of his message really caught my attention. This is a paraphrase, but the gist was something like this:

    “The fact that this room is full of people [the message was from a VF conference] is not necessarily a sign that God’s hand of blessing is on Vision Forum. Do you remember Saul and the Agagites? He destroyed them as God had commanded…but what is that lowing of cattle I hear? Success is measured in faithfulness, not necessarily physical and material blessings.”

    The actual wording was much better, but you get the idea. Interesting, no?

    • Donna Says:

      Wow! He said that at a VF conference and they still endorsed and sold the CD? They must’ve missed that comment…. :p

    • Jen Says:

      OtOLi, I like Joel Salatin. Yes, Doug Phillips had some guest speakers that didn’t buy into the whole VF ideal, but had something worthwhile to share, so I am sure it is not a “sin” to listen to Joel Salatin on a VF CD. ;-)

      Interestingly, I got an email from Grace and Truth Books this morning advertising a book that I thought for sure must have been Vision Forum: “Born-Again Dirt: Farming to the Glory of God.” I can just hear Doug Phillips talking about how we need to take dominion over dirt for the glory of God. Oh, my.

      That is an awesome quote! I wonder if he knew something at that time, or if he was just stating something in general.

      I had to look on Amazon to see if you were kidding about the price of $4689 for that CD, but you are not. That is CRAZY! You’d better hang on to that one!

      • Liberty V. Says:

        I know the author of the book “Born Again Dirt” personally and that this book is not what could be called Vision Forum propaganda. In fact you would probably find him to be more of a student of Salatin than anyone else. Noah is a really neat guy with a very level head on his shoulders.

      • DesiringToDiscern Says:

        http://bluebehemoth.com/album/60312/ BB has it for 4.95 :( but the $ goes to duggie Sad that so much good is tainted by DP and VF now.

    • JourneyGirl Says:

      Hmmm, That is interesting! Thanks for sharing. I do know Joel Salatin and his daughter. From what I have observed, he is the real deal and he has a testimony of truly loving his family and loving the Lord. His agrarian skills and expertise have blessed many people. I have wondered about his involvement with VF.

  26. FancyFans Says:

    I also saw the CD at Amazon.com for that crazy amount of money…what is up with that? I will sell for $3,000 if anyone wants one. :o) Also, I signed up awhile back for daily deals from Vision Forum and haven’t taken my name off the list yet – now I am leaving it on there to see what emails continue to go out from them. I am amazed that roughly one every other day advertising this or that. To me, this is an obvious sign that DP is trying to keep his name out there in order to make a “comeback” at some point.

    • OtOLi Says:

      Actually, I think VF sending out so many e-mails promoting other people’s stuff is an indication that DP is desperate. While you can make some money at it, no one gets rich exclusively promoting other people’s stuff. The real money is made selling your own stuff, which VF/DP is not in a position to do at this time. In the meantime, he is destroying whatever goodwill he may have had with his mailing list, and in short order all of his customers will be following other vendors.

      Think back even half a year ago. Was VF promoting other vendors? Sure they sold other people’s stuff, but they were doing the selling, not sending customers to other vendors. I see this as one last attempt to milk whatever he can from his list, although I don’t discount that he may try to make a comeback at some point.

      • Jen Says:

        OtOLi, I have not been on their mailing list for many years now, obviously. Is this a change from what he used to send out? At first, I thought perhaps he was just fulfilling contracts made many months ago, but does it appear that he is simply using this mailing list to make money now?

        • OtOLi Says:

          Yes, this is a definite change. I can’t remember VF ever promoting their “competitors.” They would sell other people’s stuff (like the Homestead Blessings DVDs, for example), but I don’t recall them ever sending out links to competitor’s websites like they are doing now. The closest thing to what they are doing now is promoting Samaritan Ministries, CollegePlus, etc., but that was just affiliate marketing of non-competing products. What they are doing now (just within the past month or two) is promoting their (former) direct competitors who sell the same types of products they used to sell.

          Like I said before, this doesn’t appear to be a viable ongoing business model. It is simply a desperate attempt to milk as much money out of the mailing list while that is still possible. Once a customer gets on another vendor’s list, that vendor has no more use for VF. The biggest costs for these types of businesses is customer acquisition. That is why affiliate marketing is a losing prospect for affiliates. They spend all their efforts promoting someone else. You can make some money at it, but again the real money is made by those who actually produce and sell the products.

        • Jen Says:

          Some people have forwarded me some of these emails. I saw in one today that you had to use the code “VF3″ to get your solar generator. Can’t get much more obvious than that!

          I saw another one where Paul Washer had this to say about the Puritan Hard Drive, which is selling many Doug Phillips and Vision Forum materials: “In the history of extra-biblical study, there has never been a resource as useful …”

          There was never a truer statement! Extra-biblical indeed!

        • DesiringToDiscern Says:

          It sort of looks like a whole lot of affiliate links to other companies from VF at the VFM address. The selling is all over the place….bibles, Library and Ed. Services, Solar generators, spiritual guidance, history, tandy leathercraft kits…. almost daily solicitations!!

        • Jen Says:

          Sounds like Doug is putting some feelers out there and seeing where the money is.

        • Bbb Says:

          I wanted to post confirmation that a rep from College Plus affirmed for me today that “(CP) has no intentional tie to any “Patriarchal Movement” representatives.” The rep also added “I can say with 100% certainty, none of our team espouse these beliefs.” DP gave them a break early on as an affiliate. Obviously it fit the mold for schooling at home for some of the DP type families. I found just a few things linked to R C Sproul, but they are cleaning house of that soon I understand. I really like these guys. They are down to earth, personable, into casual dress, and hosting teen events for their students. Definitely not fitting any Patri-fied mold that I can see. (LIke my new buzz word?)

        • Jen Says:

          Bbb, that is good news indeed! Thank you for the update!

        • Bbb Says:

          Regarding the mailouts – interestingly enough, you can still request the catalogue and sign up for emails through the sign up link in case a friend forwards you the email and you want to be a part :-) Someone is still minding the store.

    • OtOLi Says:

      Speaking of interesting mailing lists, we got a notable e-mail from Jon and Candy Summers yesterday. Jen’s Gems is even mentioned in a note from one of their subscribers (although of course they edited out your website name and address, wouldn’t want anyone coming here, would they?). I am not familiar with the Summers, and some of the things in the newsletter seem good, so I would appreciate hearing if the Summers are complicit in all this or just clueless? Here are some excerpts:

      CHEF’s New Name

      Please Note: As some of you have noticed on our website, Christian Home Educators Fellowship is now Family Covenant Ministries. Perhaps you may wonder why, after 30 years, we changed our name, especially since you know that we are such die-hard traditionalists. Well, according to some speakers and vendors, the name CHEF is a fairly common name for homeschooling groups across the country. However, unlike us, the vast majority has become very worldly. Thus in an effort to distance ourselves from them, we changed our name. But more importantly, for quite some time God has impressed upon us the need for more clearly defining who we are.

      Although we will always be referred to as homeschoolers or home educators, the fact remains that we do not bring schooling home or educate like the world because God has commanded us to disciple our children.

      As heirs with Abraham, we are children of the covenant, and since family is the foundation of that covenant, and of the church and civil government, we felt God was calling us to change CHEF to Family Covenant Ministries. In this newsletter under Covenantal Families, we have begun a series of articles entitled The Family Covenant, which best explains the significance of this.

      Our family’s desire then is to renew a vision and a commitment to rebuild the foundation by returning to God’s covenant for the family. Although we work towards this goal in everything we pursue, we actually dedicated our entire 2012 CHEF conference to reestablishing this vision of our noble mission. In fact we had the greatest speakers of our time—Doug Phillips, Kevin Swanson, Marshall Foster, Dr. Paul Jehle, Dr. Joe Morecraft, Colonel John Eidsmoe, and others—confirm the historical and biblical truth of dominion taking in all areas of life through the family covenant.

      To transform our culture for the glory of God, we must turn back to the covenant because it is our only hope for the future. That is why we are specifically emphasizing the importance of multi-generational covenantal faithfulness—for the family is God’s strategy for victory, the very heart and soul of His covenant, the key to life, and the core to the Gospel. It is what forged Christian civilizations and the bedrock on which they rest. And it is only our fidelity to God’s covenant that can alter our perilous course.

      May we persevere together to restore the ancient foundations! –Jon and Candy

      NOTES FROM OUR SUBSCRIBERS

      Your CHEF Newsletter was a blessing. My daughter peeked over my shoulder and was very glad to see it. We are all blessed by it, but she looks forward to it all month. The article on Doug was very good. Thank you all for handling it so well. (We just listened to a sermon by Jeff Pollard on the same subject last week, and you all had some similar points. The Lord is merciful.) We have been praying for you all the past several weeks about that very thing. Encouragement and wisdom for Jon especially, as you all shepherd His people through this challenging time. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves and had some important conversations as a family because of it. He works ALL things for the good of those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose. He is good. Oh, and I loved the section in the Newsletter about how to handle yourselves at events, acknowledging hosts, elders, being specific in thank you’s, offering to help. I am printing that out to review with the kids (and a reminder to me). Please let me know how I can pray for you all. That is a job that I am being called to more and more as I get older. And I think our leaders VERY MUCH need to be covered in prayer as they battle on the frontlines. –Spring Hill, TN

      I was blessed to read your recent email regarding the situation with Doug Phillips. I didn’t know your organization existed except that I found it on this website…I do not know if you are aware of this website, but they have posted your recent newsletter article on it. They are a horrible site and are very full of maliciousness and gossip.

      I became aware of them back in 2007 when they were ex-communicated from Mr. Phillips’ church… and her family was very, very bitter and put the whole thing up on the Internet to discredit Doug. I knew with the latest happenings, they would be at it again. It is so hurtful to the cause of Christ, but I wanted to thank you for presenting a wonderful letter in how we Christians should be dealing with this very sad situation.

      I was going to suggest that you contact…as she probably has not gotten permission to post your newsletter on her site, but yet the Lord put it there, I believe as a redeeming factor, so I would suggest that you allow her to leave it up. Do you have it available at your homeschool website as well? I do not find it, or maybe I do not know where to look.

      Anyway, you have a great site, and sure wish I lived in your neck of the woods. I am in FL, and your lawn business would do well down here, neat name you have for it.

      Please do add me to your list. I have been reading many articles over there, and they’ve ministered to me so much!

      Blessings to you, and we’ll pray for the Lord’s will to be done through this whole fiasco, and also praying for Mr. Phillips’ repentance and restoration, as well as all involved. We will persevere! –Florida

      Hello, could you please add this email to your list. I received your letter via a friend and love it. We too are saddened with the passing of such a great ministry VF. We had Doug booked for our annual convention in April. Your words to your membership are so accurate regarding our response to the Phillips’ and Doug himself… –Alberta, Canada

      Sorry this is so long. Feel free to edit it for space if you need to. You should see the whole newsletter (this is less than 10% of it!).

      • Angela Wittman Says:

        From my past involvement with the Constitution Party of Missouri (I was an officer in the Illinois affiliate), I would say the ties between the Missouri home school group and Vision Forum are deep and it will take some time for them to fully see the errors of theonomy, dominionism and patriarchy – just as it has taken me. Please keep them in prayer and please continue to tell them the truth. The sincerity and grace shown to me from Jen and others at this forum spoke much louder than the rhetoric of the VF defenders.

        • MomT Says:

          Angela – I would be interested in hearing your journey in more detail. We are trying to help some friends make this same journey. Were there any websites, books, etc that were especially helpful in helping you to see the error of these teachings? It seems that so many of the twists of scriptures are so small and vague and seemingly harmless that they are hard to pinpoint and expose. Also, it seems that they redefine words like many cults are known to do.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Dear MomT, Things really began unraveling for me in June of last year – so, it was a 6 month process with the Doug Phillips’ scandal as the clincher. I’ve begun compiling some resources that helped open my eyes at: http://christian-heritage-news.com/resources/ . Two I haven’t yet linked to and I will are Jen’s Gems and Rethinking Vision Forum. Hope this helps. :)

        • Shawn Mathis Says:

          Jen, Angela, etc. Are you all aware of this site: Scarlet Letters? The author is going through dozens of VF lectures and quoting them copiously while critiquing them: http://scarletlettersblog.wordpress.com/

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Thanks! I’m reading some of the posts there and I’m shocked at how long Doug Phillips got away with this type of teaching… He really is wacky; it’s much worse than I thought.

        • Jen Says:

          Shawn, thank you very much! That will save me a ton of work!

        • Molly Says:

          MomT- you might check out http://recoveringgrace.org It is the stories of those who were raised under the teachings of Bill Gothard and the Advanced Training Institute. Very similar to VF teachings. Gives great insight into the impact these teachings have on young, vulnerable children, and how many of them have found new hope as adults by learning the true grace and hope that comes from a real relationship with Christ. Good luck- I also have friends who are still caught in this mess, and my heart grieves for them. But they will not listen to me. So I pray for them, because I think at this point, the Holy Spirit is the only thing that can open their eyes.

        • Jen Says:

          Molly, I found much healing among former Gothardites. While I found that we had much in common, there were also some differences as well, but thanks for the link. It may be helpful to many trying to understand the legalism found in both camps.

        • MomT Says:

          Thanks for the info Molly:)

        • DesiringToDiscern Says:

          Not sure where to put this but … Kevin Swanson interviewed 2 different guys regarding CULTS !!!!! Great broadcast. He says that there are lessons to be learned and signs to look for. Yes indeed! This can be related to BCA and DP !! Worth a listen.

        • Jen Says:

          D2D, thanks for the heads up on that one. I fixed the link in your comment.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Praise the LORD! I’ve been praying for the good Lord to use this scandal with Doug Phillips to have me and others re-examine what we’ve been saying and promoting to others. I sincerely pray and hope Pastor Swanson has been doing some heart searching, too. I’ll give his broadcasts a listen. :)

      • Jen Says:

        OtOLi, thank you for sharing that with us! I wonder why that person keeps coming to this “horrible site.” Perhaps they will learn something biblical here as well.

        I do pray that Jon and Candy Summers will have the veil lifted from their hearts soon. They are leading many astray.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          I think readers might want to also take into account that the favorite weapon of the “patriarchy/dominionism” movement is demonizing those with opposing views. It is probably only the Holy Spirit who can break through that brick wall they’ve erected – I’m speaking from experience and not proud of it at all. :(

        • Jen Says:

          Angela, that is a very good point. I hope to present a whole different attitude here. It is important that we understand which issues are those pertaining to Christian liberty and conscience, and which are truly sin.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Well, lady, you walk the talk and that is of great worth! Without hardly a word you dispel your critics. :)

        • Jen Says:

          Thank you, Angela! That was very sweet!

        • Rebecca Says:

          Thank you, Jen, for allowing OtOLI to post that letter concerning the Summers. It’s so hard for me to read that because it all sounds so good and godly yet my stomach turns reading it because I can now see the error in it all. My eyes have been opened, largely in part to your blog and exposing the true evils behind this type of teaching. Knowing so many families are being further exposed to this teaching all because they simply feel called to homeschool is sad. I pray that this deceptive teaching would be blown wide open SOON because I have many friends who are caught up in it who justify with scripture left and right that they are right in their beliefs and they feel they are loving God and following Christ in taking back the culture through family dominion practices. May God free us all from the error of DP’s teachings and cleanse us. I’m still in the process of taking a hatchet to all the wrong teachings I had listened to and began to believe. God has spared me from so much and I am truly grateful for His tender mercies renewed each day. I also wanted to comment that I have so appreciated the apology that was offered to TW Eston and you and the forgiveness extended back. I feel like the air has been cleared here a bit. I feel bad for the other blog that stirred up such controversy when you have similar missions. I follow both blogs and was saddened to see the content get derailed on seemingly trivial issues. Keep up the great work!

        • Jen Says:

          Thank you for all your good words, Rebecca. As I prepare to write some articles about the specific issues of patriarchy, I am reading these comments to get an idea of where people are coming from and what they are struggling with. I know when I first learned how to properly interpret Scripture that it was a HUGE struggle to let go of my “biblical” foundation for all my convictions when I suddenly realized it wasn’t biblical after all. I will not say this journey will be easy, but that it is necessary, and in the long run, is the most wonderful thing we can do — understand the truth of Scripture for ourselves.

      • Anon Says:

        No idea whether they are complicit or clueless, but their emphasis on “multi-generational covenant families” is interesting, considering their relationship with their oldest daughter.

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2010/06/dispelled-one-girls-journey-in-a-home-school-cult-part-1-meet-my-mother/

        • Jay Says:

          Maybe I misunderstood, but it doesn’t appear that the link you gave relates anything about Jon and Candy Summers and their relationship with their oldest daughter, but rather, the mother-daughter relationship of a family who knew them. Big difference.

      • Dr. Postulate Says:

        “To transform our culture for the glory of God, we must turn back to the covenant because it is our only hope for the future.”

        Is not our only hope in Christ? Placing the family/covenant in place of our Savior is nothing short of idolatry.

        • raswhiting Says:

          Dr. P – “Is not our only hope in Christ? Placing the family/covenant in place of our Savior is nothing short of idolatry.”
          Great point!

        • Molly Says:

          That line of reasoning was a favorite of Doug Phillips’, too. I saw it all the time in his blog articles. It’s ridiculous. GOD is in control. Christ is our hope and the hope of the entire world!

      • Molly Says:

        That whole letter makes my stomach turn…I’ll just pick one part to reply to.
        -And it is only our fidelity to God’s covenant that can alter our perilous course. -
        You know, for people who claim to be that God is sovereign and in-control of everything, they certainly make this claim a lot. I saw it on Doug’s blog often. How we have to “get a vision” and “return to the covenant” or the whole world will be doomed and fall into chaos. As if we, not God, are in charge of what happens to the world! I agree that we need to do what is right and make an impact and all, but the world is going to go the way it’s going to go. It’s already laid out in the book of Revelations. Our job is to impact people and share the love and salvation of Christ, not insulate ourselves with our families, play dress-up, and defend the honor of those on the Titanic.

        • Angela Wittman Says:

          Dear Molly, You hit the nail on the head! Even while I was promoting this type of thinking, I kept wondering how on earth people could be faithful to God’s covenant if not for His grace in their lives… I mess up daily!!! Also, it really does undermine God’s Sovereignty! Thanks for sharing your thoughts; you are helping me see clearer. :)

      • Shawn Mathis Says:

        Family-worship in near naked form: “That is why we are specifically emphasizing the importance of multi-generational covenantal faithfulness—for the family is God’s strategy for victory, the very heart and soul of His covenant, the key to life, and the core to the Gospel. It is what forged Christian civilizations and the bedrock on which they rest. And it is only our fidelity to God’s covenant that can alter our perilous course.”

        This is what I have been writing against in homeschooling circles for five years. Phillips was not the only one to push these false and confused views.

        • Jen Says:

          Shawn, who said that quote?

        • Shawn Mathis Says:

          Jen: that’s from OtOLi above. She quoted a Missouri h/s organization’s newsletter (it’s on the first page of their website too). Too many h/s eat this stuff up.

        • Jen Says:

          Thanks, Shawn. I should know better than to reply from the dashboard. I can’t see the whole conversation here. :-)

        • OtOLi Says:

          Shawn,

          What recommendations/resources do you have for building a godly Christian family without going overboard into worship of the family? Thanks.

        • Shawn Mathis Says:

          OtOLi

          To help build a godly family I will start with the broadest and deepest base and work toward particulars (since your question is so broad and I know nothing of your background):

          1. The Gospel. Knowledge of it and faith (renewed) in Christ and His work. This means learning about Him and His person and work more and more throughout life. This fights against a fear and works-based religion. If you are concerned with helping other families, don’t always assume they know or remember (we forget often!) the Gospel (see ). A Weak Gospel Creates Weak Families

          Closely related to this is knowledge of the persons and work of the Trinity: in creation and providence. I personally find systematic theology works helpful here. To know the bible read it. To know what the bible says about a topic read a systematic theology. Berkhof’s A Summary of Christian Doctrine is geared toward late high school, early college. I believe children should start learning the bible as soon as the parents can start reading to them. But they should learn systematic theology like we learn systematic nature (all the sciences) around junior high when abstract reasoning kicks in (think: Algebra). Also: the Westminster Confession of Faith with proof text. Look the texts up and see if and why you agree or do not agree.

          Also: knowledge of sin and depravity are important to understand the glories of grace. So: Bondage of the Will, Luther, is what I recommend (even to young adults, eg. teenagers).

          2. The Church and the Public Means of Grace: Good, solid, exegetical, Gospel-oriented, challenging preaching and teaching. Families are *not* the foundation of the covenant but the stuff upon which the covenant of grace transforms. But not just families (many are divided by the Gospel!) individuals too. And they need each other in some meaningful relationships. This is the church. Both the church organized (officers and formal worship) and the organic church (everyone helping and serving one another when possible). Prayer. Sacraments (which should be joined with good preaching).

          Recommended: R B Kuiper The Glorious Body of Christ. A Consumer’s Guide to Preaching, Jay Adams (how to learn from preaching and help preachers preach even).

          The church organic: Uniting Church and Family

          The public means of grace (for those in the Reformed tradition):

          3. Private Means of Grace: Family worship (devotions). Personal and couple prayer time. Fellowship with the saints beyond Sunday. Bible reading, studying and meditation. Fasting even. Bible studies.

          Recommended: Matthew Henry’s Family Religion: Principles for raising a godly family. (see below for more).

          4. A Spirit-disciplined Life: both family and individual. Even if your family is undisciplined you can be disciplined in the Spirit. What I mean is *not* living life like a drill-sergeant but being more aware of your short and long term goals and being more structured in life. And learn how to read and use the Bible. And how to be the solution to a life of trouble. All of life is full of trouble or difficulties.

          The previous categories above presuppose some sort of a self-disciplined life that can grow by the Spirit (1 Timothy 4:7: “exercise [discipline] yourself toward godliness.”

          Recommended for all types of families: Godliness through Discipline, Jay Adams. Christ and your Problems, Jay Adams. [Why I like Adams: these two books are upbeat. They encourage people that they can change by Christ' power!]

          What to Do on Thursday, Jay Adams: A book about how to read the bible and how to apply the bible and how to structure life goals around the bible. To go along with this: Four Weeks With God and Your Neighbor, Adams–a help to start devotions; weens you off his help near the end.

          Handbook on Church Discipline, Jay Adams (I am sure others can recommend good books beyond Adams!): a must for church members to know their biblical rights and to learn how to apply Matt. 18 to various situations (even to churches going astray).

          Ready to Restore (guess who?), Jay Adams. A book on how to counsel (help) other people repent and follow God again (good for self-analysis too). Conflict resolution.

          Useful workbooks: Homework Manual for Biblical Living, Mack

          Catechisms for kids. Kid’s bible devotions (see P&R publications). Teenagers should be eased into their own devotions.

          Now, Christian liberty is important to stress here. This means that there is not set rule of what family devotions looks like (maybe you sing hymns? maybe not). Or when (morning, noon, night, different on weekends?). And that you may find some of the books less helpful than others because of where you are in our spiritual walk (and your personality). You may be, for instance, a person who is *too* structured and self-disciplined. So, you will need to learn to accept setbacks and missed nights of devotions and to learn patience for those less punctual, etc. Then a study of the fruits of the Spirit may be very helpful (see how to think and do this in What to Do on Thursday).

          Annual reading of 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 with specific questions for self-examination. Annual reading of John or Romans (to get Gospel again!) and/or Ephesians (don’t feel like a sub-Christian if you do not read the bible in one year!). Look up all the ‘one-another’ passages. Ask your pastor to preach on them (I did a ten part series recently on that. Very helpful for me too!). Again, these are suggestions only.

          I would always recommend my advise be taken in conjunction with more advise from spiritual mentors and teachers in your life who know you better.

          for a healthy, Christ-centered family and church,

        • OtOLi Says:

          Thanks Shawn. Very helpful.

    • Molly Says:

      I see those crazy inflated prices all the time on Amazon. I think they are there in the hope that one person just might fall for it.

      • sickofit Says:

        I’ve seen those crazy prices too for many items. My husband suggested those listings may be used for nefarious purposes such as money laundering.

        • Chip Says:

          The reason these prices are astronomical is because top sellers have purchased programs that monitor what other people are selling the items for and then it moves it up or down incrementally so they may remain at the top of the list as the best price in hope of selling their item. Factors such as scarcity also factor in to these books that go higher and higher. I once saw one book listed for over $20K! Go look at Amazon listings and you will see several books for $0.01- the program kept lowering it when someone else lowered their price by one penney etc. until several books ended up for $0.01. The only way I know this is because I have sold books on Amazon and this topic has come up in the seller’s forum. Just thought you’d like to know.

        • Jen Says:

          Thanks, Chip. And when they get to the “one cent” category, that’s when I donate them to the already glutted market at the library. :-)

  27. tgbtg Says:

    “As heirs with Abraham, we are children of the covenant, and since family is the foundation of that covenant, and of the church and civil government”

    God made a covenant with Abraham (individual) NOT a family. I know that is topic is for a WHOLE different thread, but that’s where the train falls off the track.

    (And let me actually rephrase: God made a covenant with HIMSELF! Covenants as we know them involve two mutually “agreeable” parties working together–instituted by one and agreed upon to “keep” by the other. God is the author, institutor, fulfiller, and finishing of the covenant.)…..

    As for the rest of the letter, it smells of “willful ignorance” in regard to the heighth and breath and depth of things DP. However, I will say I’m glad they mentioned that they are praying for DP’s repentance…..He resigned…..but did not truly repent. So that IS a worthwhile and right thing for which to pray.

    • Bridget Says:

      Oh, my. There is much amiss in that letter and teaching. Where is Jesus and the New Covenant which fulfills the OT covenant? Where is Jesus who is the Prophet, Priest, and King?

      The letter sounds like that leader is digging in his heals and now separating from other HS groups that don’t believe as he does.

      • Angela Wittman Says:

        I agree with Bridget’s impression of the letter… :(

      • Jen Says:

        Bridget, Doug Phillips taught separatism. It sounds like Jon and Candy are doing the same. To me, that is one of the most dangerous teachings ever.

      • OtOLi Says:

        Bridget wrote:
        “Where is Jesus and the New Covenant which fulfills the OT covenant? Where is Jesus who is the Prophet, Priest, and King?”

        Yes, but most American Christians don’t really understand Jesus and the New Covenant. This is clearly evident in the unbridled support for the unbelievers living at the east end of the Mediterranean. After all Christ said and did, and the writings of the apostles, people still don’t understand that being born with a certain ethnicity doesn’t earn any special favor with God. The Jews need to repent and receive God’s grace just the same as everyone else. The NT clearly identifies God’s people, and it is by faith, not ethnicity (see John 8:33-59, Gal. 3:7, 29, Rom. 2:28-29, John 1:11-13, James 2:1-9).

        Sorry that this is a little off topic. Just trying to point out the blindness of “Christian” America. No wonder people are so easily led astray.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Romans 11:15-36

        • Donna Says:

          Well stated, OtOLi. For “Israel” in the New Testament refers to TRUE Israel, not “national” Israel. (See Romans 9 and Galatians 3.) Neither Christ nor Paul would contradict themselves.

        • oneh20 Says:

          I don’t want to derail things, but I will follow up with these verses from Romans 11 with asterisks before and after key words or phrases – and then no more after this from me on the subject ;) :

          25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a *partial* hardening has happened to Israel *until* the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so *all* Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

          “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
          He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
          27 “This is [b]My covenant with them,
          *When* I take away their sins.”

          28 [c]From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but [d]from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are *irrevocable*. 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you *they also* may now be shown mercy.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          These verses are addressing ethnic Israel & have nothing to do with addressing gentile believers who “fall into sin”. Paul, a Jew, was speaking to the situation of ethnic Israel rejecting their own messiah, while Gentiles were pouring in to the kingdom.

          Yes, I’m very familiar with the Reformed interpretation of these verses. But the fact remains that these verses are addressed to ethnic Israel, not worldly Christians.

        • Donna Says:

          JAS, we’re Reformed but would agree with you on the Romans 11 interpretation as far as its not addressing Gentile believers who “fall into sin”. I thought in the context of this discussion that oneh20 was defending the position that Romans 11 does in fact refer to national Israel, as saying they’ll be forgiven (as a nation) and get their land back. That is NOT the Reformed view (as I’m sure you’re aware) because if it were, then Paul would be contradicting himself since he had just defined what TRUE Israel is in chapter 9, and also refers to it in Galatians 3. John the Baptist refers to it in Matthew 3, Jesus refers to it in Matthew 7, and there are many other places, as well.

          Furthermore, the verses in Romans 11 can’t be addressed to ethnic Israel since the book of Romans was written to *believers* in Rome. Paul just got through explaining that only *believers* — whether Greek or Jew — are considered TRUE Israel.

          But, I’m not sure what point oneh20 is actually trying to make, since he (or she?) only quotes the verses in Romans 11 and doesn’t explain what his/her point is. My guess, though, given the placement of his/her quote (twice now), is that he/she is trying to say Israel *IS* it by taking that passage completely out of context.

          You don’t get to take verses out of context to mean what you want them to mean. In the WHOLE context of Romans — the ENTIRE letter to the Christians at Rome, not just bits and pieces of it, it was ONE letter — Paul is talking to *believers*, whether Jew or Greek. There is *nothing* in there that’s addressed to ethnic Israel, except to say that they’re NOT it unless they’ve believed on the Christ.

        • oneh20 Says:

          It is actually the Reformed Baptist view – under MacArthur, etc. I’m not a Preterist or even a partial Preterist. And I was not referring to DP. Obviously Romans 11 flows out of 9 and 10. All this said, lets not hijack the thread. We certainly don’t have to agree on a non-salvific issue and either Jen or TW already asked someone else to drop something similar (a debate regarding Catholics). I’m open – but will have to study/debate/articulate this topic elsewhere. Back to VF…

        • Jen Says:

          Thanks, oneh20. While I certainly love to debate theology myself, that is simply not the purpose of this blog. We will get to some Scripture regarding patriarchy soon, though.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          I understand. The letter was not written *to* the Jews, but it is explaining their situation to the Gentiles who are reading the letter. I don’t want to get into a theological debate. It seemed to me that oneH20 was attempting to apply those verses to DP in an effort to prove that he should be shown mercy due to his “partially hardened” state.

          My only point was that these verses cannot be used determine how we treat wayward Christians. The verses were written about Ethnic Israel to the gentile Christians to explain why ethnic Israel was rejecting their own messiah and why the ethnic Jews were not “chosen” in the sense that they were automatically saved. Paul is telling the Gentiles that they are on equal footing with the Jews as far as the need for faith in order to be saved.

          “Neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male or female but all are one in Christ Jesus.”

          Nobody has an automatic “leg up” on anyone else.

          All are required to come to faith in Jesus.

          And I know I’m gonna get slammed.

          So, on to my day now.

  28. Jen Says:

    Someone sent me a link to a very interesting article written by Jeff Crippen, entitled “Many Churches are Led by Unsaved “Christians” – A Firsthand Look Into Church Boardrooms.” Perhaps this somewhat disturbing article explains some of the pattern of behavior we are seeing among the leaders in the patriarchy movement.

  29. Blindsided Says:

    It’s a bit appalling to me…Doug Phillips has used his daughter’s birthday to make a posting on Facebook. I guess that’s one way to get positive comments (who would be unkind to an innocent birthday girl?) as well as finding out who’s still willing to post on his page. I find it off putting because it’s cowardly to use your child’s birthday as your first public statement since declaring you’re out of the public eye. Go away, Phillips. Don’t use your kids to test the waters.

  30. Grateful Says:

    Out of curiosity, is it Biblical for an elder who has committed adultery to continue being an elder? I ask this based on the passages that were referenced. I realize that different denominations have different views of eldership (lifetime vs. limited terms), but do not understand how an adulterous elder can continue in leadership, even if true repentance is present. If this is the case, wouldn’t DP be able to resume his leadership role so long as he was really repentant? (I realize those chances are slim, but am more interested in what the difference is between a leader who is caught in sin vs. a follower.)

    • Jen Says:

      Grateful, for me, I only go by what the Bible says, not by what denominations say. So, if we look at even this one passage on elders, I think we will find that Doug Phillips is FAR from qualified from being an elder again:

      “If a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop[b] must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”

    • Sarah Says:

      No! They are no longer above reproach.

      • Just a shadow Says:

        I wouldn’t have him as elder of any church I’m part of. I wouldn’t be able to trust him after all those years of deception.


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