Doug Phillips: Muzzling Women

Well, most of the them, at least.

(Start with chapter one, if you are new here.)

On our second Sunday at Boerne Christian Assembly, Doug and Beall Phillips introduced us to a special guest – Jennie Chancey. After the meeting of the church (the worship service), Doug invited Jennie Chancey to formally meet with all the women and talk to them about college. Jennie Chancey began relating why it was so evil for women and girls to go to college, especially outside the home. She related some of her own experiences at King College, where she received a BA in English, but in a way that was intended to warn others not to let their daughters attend institutes of higher learning. On her bio page, (since removed) very near the top, Jennie Chancey lists her educational qualifications for the business she runs out of her home. I guess that degree wasn’t so bad after all!

I was bold enough to ask the obvious: “What do unwed young ladies do all day?” Jennie’s answer, and the answer of every young lady in that congregation was, “Serve her father.” Some had family businesses and that was a great answer. They were working hard all day, learning skills, and helping the family to earn a living. But I know many that don’t fall into that category. Don’t get me wrong, nearly all the young ladies at Boerne Christian Assembly are wonderful young ladies, and would make great stay-at-home wives. But are they prepared to homeschool sons someday? How are their sons going to learn to do great things for the Lord if the moms aren’t educated enough to be able to teach them?

Beall Phillips also has a bachelor’s degree in education from William and Mary College, where she met Doug. From there, she attended law school classes with Doug Phillips at George Mason. I understand she did quite well. I asked her once if she ever regretted her higher education and she said that God can use every experience we have in life. I am grateful for my degree and am currently studying (dare I say it?) to be a naturopath. Doug did tell me once that I would make a great lawyer; maybe I’ll take him up on that suggestion as well!

Several months later, we had another guest, Jeff Pollard, come to speak to us about his new book, “The Public Undressing of America.” Since I was very new to the study of modesty, I asked Doug Phillips if the women of the church could meet together after the service to discuss the practicalities of the sermon and how it related directly to us. Doug’s terse answer was, “That would not be biblical. Women are to be silent in the church.” As some of you may have guessed by now, I wasn’t satisfied with that answer, so I reminded him that it was going to be after the service, like Jennie Chancey had done earlier. But, no dice.

(Some of these stories will be repeats for those who have read Ministry Watchman, but I want to put it all together in one place, so bear with me as I retell my whole story.)

Boerne Christian Assembly tends to have some extreme views regarding what it means for women to be silent in the church. I’ve had several occasions where I wished I could introduce visitors who were friends or family. When my mom came to visit once, and my husband was out of town on business, another man tried to introduce her to the congregation, except that he didn’t know who she was. He couldn’t ask her, because women are to be silent in the church. Flustered, he finally introduced her as “Jen’s mother.”

A similar situation happened when my dad came from Scotland, and since he was wearing a kilt, and one of the men tried to introduce him as one of the Scottish Covenanters. My father used to be a Baptist pastor before he turned atheist, and he knows both church history and Scottish history extremely well, so he was not at all pleased by that label.

On another occasion, I had some friends come to visit. Although I was friends with the whole family, but Mark had never met them. Mark was there that day, however, so he introduced them (leaning over to ask me their names). Afterward, the husband (friend) told me how uncomfortable he was when Mark introduced them and he didn’t even know them.

Prayer requests are also a time for women to be silent in Boerne Christian Assembly. This was a major chunk of the service, sometimes lasting up to an hour. The men give all the prayer requests. If my husband wasn’t there, my son could give it, even though he wasn’t old enough to take communion. If you don’t have a husband or a son there, you can write it out and give it to another man to read to the whole congregation. After a few attempts at that, I finally just gave up and would tell my friends about my prayer request privately. It wasn’t worth the humiliation.

So, women being silent in the church at Boerne Christian Assembly includes not being able to introduce your own guests, not being able to ask for prayer yourself, not being able to have a discussion after the service, and not being able to make announcements – unless your name is Jennie Chancey.

Join me tomorrow for the first Kangaroo Court.

(For a humorous version of this episode, watch this video.)


39 Responses to “Doug Phillips: Muzzling Women”

  1. Brandon Giromini Says:

    “How are their sons going to learn to do great things for the Lord if the moms aren’t educated enough to be able to teach them?”

    Not to get into a debate about higher education for women, but my wife who taught in public school for 3 years (specifically computers to 1st – 4th graders) has told me that the teacher’s guides tell you how to teach the subject, so you really don’t even have to be an expert or have special training.

  2. Lynn Says:

    “She related some of her own experiences at King College, where she received a BA in English, but in a way that was intended to warn others not to let their daughters attend institutes of higher learning.”

    The same type of tactic could be used to tell daughters to leave home and establish being independent, because a sizeable percentage, if not a majority, of sexual abuse of young unmarried women happens in their own homes.

    I’ve posted in my blog the link to Doug’s agreement with this kind of teaching. I said there I wonder what Amy Carmichael and Rachel Saint would have said about this kind of thinking:

    “The notion of protecting women at home and abroad stems from the biblically-mandated obligation not only to protect a woman generally from harm, but from the father’s duty to preserve the chastity of his daughters from any who would seek to violate it. It is the unique responsibility of fathers to watch over their daughters. An unwed daughter, be she eighteen or twenty-eight, is under the headship of her father, which means his protection and provision. Protection requires proximity . . . .”

  3. Jen Says:

    Brandon, teaching elementary school is almost a no-brainer for most people. As my children approached the high school level, though, the majority of their homeschooled peers started attending other schools, including almost full-time “homeschool” co-ops. Why? Because mother after mother tells me that she can’t teach science and math, especially, to high schoolers. As far as teacher’s guides go, that depends a great deal on the curriculum you use.

    And many of us don’t use someone else’s curriculum at all, being well educated enough ourselves to be able teach because we KNOW. Now there’s a concept!

    However, I’ve seen it happen many times as well that a mom uses a great teacher’s guide, but the child asks a question that’s not in the teacher’s guide. Then what? That’s why so many give up in the later years.

    I am not saying that every woman MUST have a degree to be able to teach high school level academics, but I can certainly see the value of knowing enough to be able to teach those sons, who NEED that level of education.

  4. Morgan Farmer Says:

    RC Sproul Jr made some wisecracks on his blog about women being silent in church…a blogger by the name of PrairieGirl tore into him and he ended up retracting.

    Why is there this never ending war on women and what women should and should not do…whats baffling is that all the rules are man made….not God breathed.

  5. truth seeker Says:

    I could not help but think of Mary Magdelene who was not under the protection of her earthly father. Funny that Jesus did not mention her being dishonorable in this?

    I guess my single cousin who started and ran a Missionary Bible College in Romania after the fall of communism was a big sinner. Her mother and father were dead, her brother an atheist. Guess she was out of luck…oops, I mean options. (By the way, she died on the mission field of cancer which could have easily been detected and treated had she been here)

    Guess he would [not approve of] my grandmother who left home at age 17 to attend college 200 miles away and graduated in 1907.

  6. Jen Says:

    Yes, Truth Seeker, being a single missionary is out for women as well. A wonderful young, single lady in her 30s in the community recently went to be a missionary and Doug strongly encouraged people not to support her. She took it hard.

  7. Prairie Girl Says:

    Wow, I didn’t know I actually “tore into him!” I do believe, however, that he got the message from many women in the blogosphere.

    Jen, I am glad to hear you telling your own story in your own words. I know there are those who are skeptical about the veracity of what happened to you. But even if none of what you say really happened, Doug Phillips’ views of women still promote an abuse of women and are still the reason so many women in our culture today have reacted to and rejected Christianity and have ended up embracing feminism in its most deadly and debasing forms.

    As far as college for women is concerned, you all might want to check out the website my very lovely (and college educated!) daughter and I started to encourage conservative women to consider the benefits of having a college education. We are on the verge of expanding our blog and, Lord-willing, will be discussing some of the other aspects of the lives of conservative women who have rejected the notions of these patriarchs. Come on over and join us at

  8. mosaic Says:

    Truth Seeker, your comments were just what I was thinking when I read this.

    I wonder how the women mentioned in Romans 16, particularly Phoebe, would fare at BCA. Not very well, I’m guessing.

    So what do single young women without fathers do? And what if they never marry? Now they are going into the work force without any education, where even educated women earn just 73c on the dollar of a male salary.

  9. Rose Says:

    There indeed is a double standard. Some women, like Mrs. Chancey, are given a platform to speak vociferously, authoritatively and bluntly about issues as long as it compliments the x-treme patriarchal view. If a woman speaks in the same manner as Mrs. Chancey or any other woman who speaks on behalf of the x-treme patriarchs, but she questions the x-treme patriarchs, then she is a woman who doesn’t know her place and has been infected by the feminist virus.

    Just wait. Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Chancey at the privilege of higher education and Mrs. Chancey was able to pursue her career until she married. They may be preaching against it now but just wait until their daughters are in their late teens. It won’t look so black and white to them anymore. They will be confronted by the hypocrisy of it all. Are they going to deny their own daughters the same privilege that they had? I don’t think so.

    I wonder how long it will take for the x-treme patriarchs to start teaching that a female only needs to be educated through the 8th grade. After all, why waste all that time educating her when an education will only make her realize that she has a mind, every bit as good as her husband’s mind and she will be sorely tempted to use her mind in her home, church and area of influence?

    Read Luke 8:1-3. Here we have a bunch (many) of women, some of them married women, traveling about from village to village and town to town with a bunch of men they were not married to, and they were traveling with them in order to support Jesus’ ministry from their OWN resources. They weren’t there to cook for them, to do their laundry, to make their beds and to pick up their socks and draw their baths. Their job was supporting the ministry of Christ and His disciples FROM THEIR OWN RESOURCES.

    Now tell me, how does this bit of scripture fit in with the attitude extremist patriarchs have towards women? What were the fathers of those women thinking? What were those husbands thinking? Isn’t it impossible for men and women to work side-by-side in ministry without it combusting into fornication and adultery? Maybe it was a special dispensation? No, wait, these guys aren’t dispensationalists. 🙂

    Too bad [they] do not take the whole counsel into scripture when they are formulating their teachings.

  10. Jen Says:

    Double Standard, I decided to do a google search for Jennie Chancey’s rebuke of Andrew Sandlin’s article and I found something quite surprising! Although Jennie Chancey’s article is written in a similar fashion as my reply to Doug’s voting article, her article is actually hosted and promoted at Vision Forum Ministries, Doug Phillips’ own website.

    So, Double Standard, I think this double standard of Doug Phillips’ open and public endorsement of a woman publicly rebuking a man (remember that mine was done privately), and the fact that he already holds Jennie Chancey to a different standard than other women of the church, is just outright blatant hypocrisy.

  11. Light M. Says:

    Rose said: “There indeed is a double standard. Some women, like Mrs. Chancey, are given a platform to speak vociferously, authoritatively and bluntly about issues as long as it compliments the x-treme patriarchal view.”

    Elisabeth Elliott is another one of those women. She teaches that women are to be keepers at home and not have a career – while she herself has made a career for herself travelling around telling women to do as she says, not as she does. She has been known to rail against women who do not take their husbands names, but keep their maiden name to use professionally … meanwhile, she still publishes and speaks under the name Elliott, which was two husbands ago!

  12. ReformedCalvinist Says:

    “[E.E.] has made a career for herself travelling around telling women to do as she says, not as she does. She has been known to rail against women who do not take their husbands names, but keep their maiden name to use professionally … meanwhile, she still publishes and speaks under the name Elliott, which was two husbands ago!

    The blogosphere so easily engenders quick leaps to the Isle of Conclusions, as well as a rash of mote-spotting. In the interest of toning things down a bit, I offer the following defense of Elisabeth Gren.

    She had a career as a single woman, but when Jim Elliot married her, she became his full-time helpmeet. When he died, she continued the ministry he had started as best as she could, which gradually grew into the writing and speaking ministry she now has. When she married Professor Addison Leitch, she changed her name to Elisabeth Elliot Leitch, but few know her by that name because as a wife she dropped out of the public view and very little was published under that name (she helped edit the NIV, but her name only appears in its supplementary literature, as “Elisabeth E. Leitch”).

    After Addison died she remained in the background, raising her daughter and running a boarding house for students at Gordon-Conwell seminary. Two of those students became her son-in-law and husband, respectively.

    With Valerie married, and Lars serving as her manager, she was free to expand her ministry again. She decided that to avoid confusing her readers, she would continue to write and speak using the name under which she became famous as a writer, Elisabeth Elliot. It is nothing more than a stage name; offstage she goes by Mrs. Lars Gren. She never uses her maiden name.

    Elisabeth did not ‘make a career for herself’. It was thrust upon her by the martyrdom of her husband, and she has never allowed it to supercede her responsibilities as a wife, mother, and grandmother. Nor does she rail against women who teach publicly like she does.

    Wherever else Elisabeth Elliot may fall short, on this issue she’s no hypocrite–with her, there’s no double standard.

  13. always batya Says:

    Jen, I copied the article just in case it mysteriously disappears. It IS a double standard.

    After reading her article: What about women whose husbands die? That happened to my mom at the age of 50. What about war? Are women allowed to go and build airplanes for the men in war?
    What about women whose husbands leave them? (Oh, yeah, I forgot, that is ALWAYS the woman’s fault)
    What about women who are never asked to marry?

    Here is my point: DP better put his money where his mouth is and start financially taking care of some of the women who have to work for reasons stated above.

  14. Rose Says:

    ” She cannot both “obey her own husband” (emphasis mine) and obey another boss (even if it is one for whom her husband has asked her to work).”

    This is so illogical. If this is true, then how can a woman obey a judge, police ifficer, elders in the church, our country’s laws AND her husband?

    We are all under authority.

  15. Susan T Says:

    I am sorry you had to endure such a trial at the Phillips home church. It is appalling! But God, praise God, has made a way for you to help others in similar situations and to point out hypocrisy and illogical arguments. My Christian, homeschooled, conservative daughters, almost 18 & 16, have been shaking their heads at Doug’s Blog for some time now and they are going to love all the links (I found & saved in favorites tonight) about all these patriarchal/Jennie Chancey/Education issues that they have been questioning. Thanks! We’ll be back.

  16. Marie Says:

    I quit visiting Doug’s blog some time ago.

    I hope your testimony frees many women who are trapped into thinking they are pleasing God by following extra-Biblical rules and regulations.

    I do believe in biblical submission – no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water. I just don’t believe in unBiblical submission.

    Abigail for instance was not submit to her husband to the point of standing idly by while innocent people were put to death. Case in point.

  17. Marie2 Says:

    Not the same Marie as above.

    Question for you, Jen: Why do think you have to have a college degree in order to be well-educated enough to homeschool sons as well as daughters? I find this comment to be very objectionable. Did you study Chemistry in high school? Did you study Biology in high school? Government, English, Literature? Why then, do you not think a woman with a high school education would not be well-enough equipped to teach her children the same things? I remember being in high school and even the teachers having to say “I’m not sure. I’ll find out and get back to you.” Same thing for mother’s. Better yet, why not take them to the library and show the how to find out the answer for themselves? True learning is learning out to find things out that you don’t know. Just to let you know, I took some college courses, which today a full of revisionist history and “gender” teaching. I thought I would enjoy the Literature courses I took, but they were pretty much full of discourse on how the constructs of gender have influenced all of our literature. Excuse me, but that is not education, it is liberal social commentary. I did not finish my degree as I got tired of the anti-Christian, anti-male rhetoric that encompassed nearly all of the classes I took. You know what I did discover, I have gained more from reading on my own over the last several years than I would ever have attained by means of a diploma. I think the point in the idea of not sending women away for college (NOTE: not the same as saying women should not be educated) to the goal of the education in the first place. So much “education” in college is geared toward a woman having a career. Any I can personally say, from having been away at a college campus, it is no place for a young Christian woman. And I was not a Christian at the time.

    Anyway, I said all that to say this, just because a woman does not hold a piece of paper saying she has a certain type of education does not mean that she is not both very well educated and completely competent to school her children, whether they be boys or girls.

  18. Jen Says:

    Marie2, I think we are actually on the same sheet of music regarding education for women. I was mostly addressing what we were taught, or more accurately, what we observed, at BCA.

    Although I went to a private high school, and got almost straight As, I don’t for a minute think that I received an education worth anything at all. I learned far more in my 8 weeks of basic training for the Army than I did in all of high school.

    My college degree was through universities working with the military, so maybe I am spoiled, but I feel that what I learned in college literally changed my life — a lot. I did two of those years getting my degree through distance education, which I loved.

    I think that most colleges today, even the Christian ones, are places for Christians to stay far away from. With a daughter college age now, this has been eye opening. I really can’t recommend any particular college (not that I have checked them all out) to send either a son or daughter.

    And I agree that I have learned TONS teaching myself, even a lot just homeschooling my own children.

    So, this is what I am trying to say. Women need to be prepared as much as possible to homeschool their own sons someday, if this is a pattern you desire to pass down to each generation. If they are self-taught, great. If they go to college, fine, but just be very careful what kind of college it is. I would still favor distance education because I think I received a better education that way than I did in the traditional classroom, but a great deal of that depends on the subject matter. I do NOT propose that we should send our daughters away to college, but I am not going to say that we should never allow it either. There are certain young women who maintain their faith and their virtue in such circumstances, but I would agree that they are very rare.

    What I often observe, however, is even educated women who balk, or panic, when it comes to homeschooling highschoolers. The majority give up. I think that women should be educated well enough that they are fully capable and self-confident enough (placing their trust in the Lord, of course, but at the same time knowing that they can teach) to educate high school age children.

    The other thing I often observe in these circles is young women who excel in homemaking skills, but know very little academically. These young women are sold on homeschooling for life, but I can guarantee you in 15 years when they have to teach certain subjects to their sons (which is the only group advocated here to need to know certain subjects), these lovely young ladies are going to be way out of their league. And if they have a dozen children, which is the standard for this group now, how are they possibly going to be able to learn enough to teach those highschoolers while taking care of the rest of the little ones? I see the handwriting on the wall only too clearly. Saying that a young lady doesn’t need to be educated now is inviting disaster upon the next generation. And these are the people whose goal is to take over by having a dozen children each generation. What good will it do in three generations to have dozens of uneducated children?

    I want to make it clear that not everyone feels that it’s not important that girls be educated, but there are enough to be concerned about. Suffice it to say that in a church filled with homeschoolers, I very rarely had a conversation about academics with other homeschool moms, and I find that very odd.

  19. Jean Says:

    Something to consider…I would like to think that my children would also homeschool their children. I know that not every state in the union has favorable homeschooling laws. Some states DO require that parents be college educated to teach their own children. All the more reason to give serious thought to how our children will acquire a college degree of some sort. And Jen correctly points out that there are numerous ways to do so.

    I certainly don’t want my daughter having to scramble for an education when she lands in State XYZ with her husband’s new job only to find hostile homeschooling laws. Just trying to think ahead a bit. And this is where some of DP’s teaching goes awry…it seems as though he would encourage young ladies to NOT seek higher education when in fact, this could adversely affect future homeschooled children. I agree with Jen’s observation: “I see the handwriting on the wall only too clearly. Saying that a young lady doesn’t need to be educated now is inviting disaster upon the next generation.”

    Laws change all the time, nothing wrong with being prepared! Being well educated can be God-honoring, remember.

    Praying that ALL home educated children will seek the highest education that the Lord has for them,


  20. Marie2 Says:

    You know, I don’t think that Doug Phillips was saying that women should not have an education. I have read and listened to too many of his teachings to think that. Like I said, I think the idea of leaving the home to go out to a college is the main problem. That and getting an education with the purpose of a career. I don’t think he has a problem in the least with women being educated – but educated to what end.
    I have not met anyone associated with this organization saying that they thought it best that women do not get a higher education. Education, in itself, is not the problem. It is the attitude that can and does sometimes accompany it. But I won’t go into that here.

    A question for you Jen: You seem to have had a problem with the whole church from the beginning. While I may not agree with your assesments of the church, I have to ask, why did you continue to attend a church where apparently you were so at odds with their position on things? From what you have written on this site, it appears that you were somewhat contentious toward their beliefs from the beginning.

  21. Jen Says:

    Marie2, there is a subtle difference in how Doug lives vs. what he publicly teaches. Doug was anything but thrilled with the fact that I taught other moms how to teach different subjects.

    You ask a very good question about church, and I wish there was an easy answer. For the sake of argument, I am going to assume that you desire to be in a church where others are like-minded with you in at least several, if not most, areas of life. I really have no greater desire here on earth, but I have a very difficult time finding that. I think a church should be like a family, with interaction on a daily basis, not just an hour on Sunday morning.

    When we first came to BCA, it seemed that it was the perfect church. There were three elders, who held each other accountable, and there were no extremes. As the other two elders eventually left, however, the church, and specifically Doug, began to change and to take firmer and firmer positions. As Doug would meet new people who influenced him in his thinking, he would begin to take on a new extreme position. One clear example is politics. During the first presidential election that took place while we were in attendance at BCA, we were not even aware that Doug’s own father was running for president, and I don’t remember politics even being discussed that year. The next election four years later, Bill Einwechter had greatly influenced Doug with his very extreme views (on almost everything, I might add) and that filtered down to what he taught at BCA as well. So, these extreme views were not in place when we first started attending.

    That’s one aspect. Another aspect is lifestyle. Although we didn’t agree on the details necessarily, we really did (and still do) have a lot in common with the families at BCA. We have the same basic values, the same basic lifestyles, the same basic beliefs. For instance, we all homeschooled, although that looked different for each family. We all believed in not dating, although that certainly looked different for each family. We all believed that wives should submit to their husbands, but we didn’t always agree on the specifics of that. I did have disagreements here and there, but I know that I’m never going to find a church where we agree on everything and am willing to give in lots of areas.

    BCA is unlike any other church I’ve ever been to, in many good ways. I love the all day fellowship, many of the sermons (which can be good at many churches, I’m sure), the music style that we agree on, the like-mindedness, the children who are mostly good influences for my own children. I didn’t leave earlier because there truly wasn’t another church even close to the good parts of BCA. We also strongly hold to the belief that we should never change churches unless God clearly leads us to, and although we prayed about it for a couple years, we did not feel a peace from the Lord to leave. And the longer we were there, the more we put down roots, the stronger our friendships were — or at least I thought so. After being in such an unusual church, where would we go? And we weren’t the only ones who had that problem. I know many people who didn’t go to church for a long time after leaving BCA because there was no place else to go.

    I am very grateful to be in the church we are in right now, but it is far different from what we’re used to! My heart still desires a church like BCA with all the good that it had to offer, but one that is biblically sound in church government, counseling, and doctrine, one where the pastor truly loves his sheep. In the meantime, I shall bloom where I am planted and appreciate all the blessings this church has to offer.

  22. Violet Says:

    I do not agree with a lot of what is going on with the Phillips/Sproul thing.
    I am not taking a patriarchal stance in women keeping silence in the churches. I am taking a Biblical stance.
    I do think women should be allowed to ask prayer requests and make announcements.
    But….ladies… Did you know why the women were not allowed to talk during services? The best thing ever is not to have to be responsible for the words or advice that are given publically. We own every word we say. We pay for every word we misuse or give out.

    I am going to risk a lot of serenity by posting this publically. The same thing as in church, it is not good for our serenity, which we need to function well within our selves and homes. Public criticism is detrimental to our own bodies and even sexual responses. The more serene we are the more we enjoy the embraces of our dear husbands. We are grateful to him for the safe harbor he allows us to have while he takes the brunt of public criticisms. He may get some great Attaboys but most times he is being criticised and becomes a fly on the wall. Slapped by whomever wants to usurp his position.
    So…please do not knock what you need most. This isn’t about being stifled or gagged by men. It is about how God provides a safe harbor for women. This is a special place of loving and being loved. Love is far above education. God says, in His word, that everything, except His kind of Love, will be wiped away. Why kick about being in the most important place in life and Eternity?
    Education is good but love is better. Enjoy it now because in the end you won’t have any regrets.

    I suspect that the postings in here are very much stressed over and the homelife suffers from this stress.
    I am an elderly woman and have no small children to have to focus on.
    I know what Proverbs 31 says about being clothed in dignity. The most dignified place for a woman is sheltered in a home where she is loved and honored. The world is searching for these type women even though they do not realize it.
    So many are searching for fantasies and ethereal happenings when they have a God honored position and it is true…There’s No Place Like Home.

    About the Sproul/Phillips episodes…. I have dealt up close with some of these offshoots of this group and it isn’t purty but I agree with the Biblical teachings of women keeping silent. Praise God for a wonderful Grace in His type love.

  23. Jen Says:

    Violet, your advice is excellent – for those wives who find themselves in a biblically sound marriage. I hope that we are able to find a place for those wives whose husbands don’t love and protect them as they should. It is hard enough for them already.

    I think my point about prayer requests and introducing visitors was that it is fine in most circumstances for the men to do so, however, there are times when that simply is not practical or even able to happen. My husband travels extensively, for instance, and is often not at church. I realize there are many reasons why a woman might be at church without her husband. These situations need to handled in a way that is not demeaning to the women.

    You are right about us being held accountable for every word we say, whether man or woman. Some women seem to need more protection in this area than others. Some men seem to need more accountability in this area as well. I’m all for biblical roles, in a biblical perspective. Let’s not add to Scripture.

  24. Violet Says:

    Do you think I am adding to scripture?
    Perhaps, you must go to our Lord and ask Him His intentions for women. Beneath God’s commands, He has many reasons for giving them. Please ask God His deeper meaning for women and why some things are required of we women.
    God bless your heart. Violet

  25. Cynthia Says:

    Paul said that he would not allow a woman to preach or teach in church, AND he said that women who pray or prophecy in church should be veiled. So total silence of women in the church is unscriptural: in the early church women could obviously pray and prophecy, though they did not preach, teach, or hold authority over men.
    But God’s angel at the tomb chose Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Salome to be the first to spread the gospel, commanding them to “tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you” and when those disciples didn’t believe the Gospel brought to them by the women, Jesus Himself “(Mar 16:14 ) appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”

  26. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Isn’t it amazing that the love, respect and favor the Lord showed to all of the women that he came into contact with is such a direct contradiction to what we as women have received throughout history and still receive today?

  27. Violet Says:

    Our altars of dedication to the Lord, at home, are so important that we should not be too concerned about church matters. If we are too focused on things happening in the church, we neglect the great mission in the home.

    We are to be busy in our own homes or on specific assignments the Lord sends us on, as described in Proverbs 31. Yes, I know single women may have to work. I know some married women have to work but the heart belongs in our homes firstly. To deny this is to deny Biblical teachings.
    I believe girls should be raised as homekeepers first and a necessary career as second. I am not a Reformer, Reconstructionist, Presby, or any denomination, to be factual. I believe in following scripture as Truth and guide.
    I always need help from Holy Spirit but He is there whenever we want His help.

    Jen, these are the practical guides you requested about how to’s in marriage. Most marriages, these days, suffer from the attitudes of feminism and just plain sinfulness.
    Men come to a marriage with extra erring baggage as well as women do. Women are not to be blamed for everything that goes wrong in a marriage. What is important is seeking, closely seeking, what the Lord has for our part, as women.
    We, as women, need to have that Proverbs 31 dignity when we find areas of sinfulness in our spouses that ruin a peaceful home. We need to confront with gentleness and wisdom. If there is more abuse, we need to rebuke. God doesn’t intend women to be abused. God doesn’t intend for women to abuse their husbands emotionally or physically.
    S ome women take it as abuse if a man tosses his dirty socks around. This is not so. We must pray and ask the Lord for what is sin and what is just male thinking. Most men have horrible days providing for families and when they get home, they relax and pitch and toss things to unwind from having to hold a job for the family…until he is in his grave.
    We must separate feelings from facts.
    If we begin to obey the commands the Lord assigns to us, we find the hidden treasures of why they are there.
    A meek and quiet spirited woman isn’t suppressed. She is free from having to carry burdens of too much of everything. She is released from talking gossip and foolishness. She is free to enjoy the quiet fellowship with the Lord and her family. So many women think that women are under bondage in the Biblical commands but actually she is free to be more than anyone in the world.
    Do not think I come from a comfy, cozy background. I came from abuse. There was murder, suicide, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, in my childhood.
    God fixes all broken things. Give Him time and mostly give Him you and your whole soul.
    He loves you more than what we understand. Violet

  28. Mark Epstein Says:


    I recently read an article concerning women’s roles. It was in a Q&A format with Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Bible at Phoenix Seminary in Scottsdale, AZ. What appears below is the last question and Professor Grudem’s response. BTW, this Q&A deals with feminisim undermining the church.

    WORLD: What are rightful ways for gifted women—some of whom are business, governmental, or nonprofit leaders—to serve in the church and in society generally?

    GRUDEM: The Bible only restricts leadership to men in the home and in the church. It does not make similar restrictions in regard to government or business or other areas of life. The principle here is the sufficiency of Scripture: We need to remain true to everything that the Bible teaches, but not require more than the Bible teaches and not try to become “more conservative” than Scripture itself. We have the principles of male headship in the home and the church, but the Bible also has the principle of equality in the image of God. As men and women we both bear God’s image equally (Genesis 1:27), and that means we have equal value and importance and dignity before God and with each other. That principle gives us great freedom to have both men and women lead according to gifts and abilities and callings in areas such as government and business and nonprofit organizations. (As for para-church organizations, that depends on whether they are carrying out the functions that Paul restricts to men in 1 Timothy 2.)


  29. Jen Says:

    This last comment by Mark is why he keeps encouraging me to run for mayor. Female mayors run in my family!

    Violet, I think you have some very good advice, but I still don’t see the reality of abuse (childhood abuse is quite different from spousal abuse, I’m sure you would agree) within the context of what you are saying. I have not said anything about what exactly my husband did, and I’m not going to, but suffice it to say that it would have been clearly labeled “abuse” by any definition.

    I realize that wives are to have a certain biblical role no matter what their husbands are like, and I tried very hard to fulfill my role as a submissive and respectful wife. I also know many other women who have done all that they know to do and still find themselves in a horrible marriage. Obeying the Lord is no guarantee that the marriage will be godly. In this respect, it takes two to tango — in other words, if both the husband and the wife strive to fulfill their biblical roles, the chances of having a godly marriage are quite high. There are also some marriages where only person has to do their part and the other one will come along as well. Praise the Lord for both of those situations! But there are still others where one does everything humanly possibly to obey the Lord in the marriage and it is still a horrible mess. My short advice is for the person striving to honor the Lord: keep praying, constantly praying, and never, ever give up. It may not be that the Lord ever blesses your marriage, but He will bless you for your faithfulness and that is the most important thing. Do it for the Lord. If He blesses your marriage along the way, count it as a side benefit. No matter what happens, obey the Lord.

  30. Violet Says:

    When we get down to the core of the problem, we will not be intimidated by [these types of people].
    God then gives us His dignity to deal with it.
    We are imperfect in learning His ways but He is perfect to give us what we allow Him to do in us.
    When we encounter those who try to intimidate us we need to have enough wisdom to know that that person is hurting badly. We need to know when to walk away. We need to know what to say. We need to know when to keep silent just as Jesus did at times.
    Jesus gives us the perfect example but we are the imperfect vessels that cannot seem to contain or retain that wisdom very long. Aren’t you glad our Lord is in control! Violet

  31. K. Says:

    I agreed with everything Violet said. I am not an oppressed or abused over these things and I am sure there are other women who would say they are not oppressed or abused (I am specifically talking about Mrs. Chancey or Mrs. Phillips)

    Note from Jen: At the request of this commenter, I have changed the name on this comment to “K”

  32. Marsena Says:

    Violet, I do not agree with your interpretation of what it means to be a submissive Christian. For example, you imply that if women let their husbands do all the talking in church, they will not have the “burden” of being held responsible for the words they say. But when Jesus Himself said, “for by your words you will be justified, and by your words condemned”, he meant both men AND women. I am just as responsible for how I speak to my husband, children, or anyone else outside the four walls of the church as I would e within.

    And since when is it a burden for women to think or have an opinion on church matters, or other things going on in the world? God gave women brains to be used for His glory, not to lie dormant in the name of subservience (I cannot call it the submission the Bible speaks of). The kind of woman you describe as Christian doesn’t have a brain, or at least is forbidden to use it outside of unbiblical patriarchy. How can a wife be a good helpmeet if she doesn’t have any opinions or views of her own to contribute? And how are these women intelligent enough to homeschool their own children, but not good enough to participate in the affairs of the church? This model of womanhood is an insult to Christian homemakers across the nation, many of whom are very active in their local churches in various positions.

    Jen, thanks for posting this blog. I didn’t know things were that bad among these unbiblical patriarchy advocates like Doug Phillips. Thank God for delivering you and your family from such warped theology!

  33. ACorduan Says:

    Just a comment . . . where I go (branch of the Plymouth Brethren) women have never spoken in a church meeting since the mid-1800s, not to give announcements, not to introduce anyone. We have plenty of ladies with college degrees, some are high powered busnesswomen (a dear friend was the president of the national Latin Business Association, meeting at times with President Bush, another flies all over the world supporting her line of clothing in upscale department stores) . . . and they have NEVER spoken in the meetings. My point is not that I agree with their career choices . . . my point is that intelligent, powerful women can be silent in church and accept it, feel it is biblical, normal.

  34. Hotham Says:

    It is my observation that those supporting the patriarchal churches are demonstrating the greatest gift (1 Cor 13 ) while those opposed actually seem to lack some of the fruits of the spirit and delight in gossip and divisiveness (Titus).

    I may never understand this issue from a woman’s perspective, nor even the “proper” legalistic path as laid out in the many pages the Bible. I only hope to concentrate on God’s grace for me and how I am supposed to share that with everyone. Especially those I disagree with.

    If it helps, I see no drastic downfall to the fellowship if women speak. I don’t believe that God’s reward can be diminished by women speaking in church. I also don’t believe that you will find a perfect church on earth until Jesus returns.

    May all of our disagreements melt into grace for one another. Jesus has forgiven us and requires us to do the same to others (Matthew 18:35).

  35. Katrina Says:

    Violet hit the nail on the head. Let the older women teach the younger. The Bible’s commands to women are the same whether or not her marriage is “biblical”. I also come form an abusive background and have had a less than perfect marriage. But I have found that the more I live according to scriptural teaching, the more peace, freedom and contentment I have. And my marriage usually ends up better off as well! While BCA’s policies (if true) are extreme, I would not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  36. Jeremy Says:

    Wow, this is disturbing. Thank you for sharing. I will be looking in to more of these accusations. I pray you have found a Church Home and the Lord uses you and your family in a mighty way for His Glory.

  37. Should Women Be Pastors? (part four) « Fides Viva Says:

    […] [7] Jen Epstein chronicles her time spent at Boerne Christian Assembly and her association with their pastor, Doug Phillips. She describes in detail what it meant for to be silent in church. […]

  38. Dina @ Married at 12 Says:

    I grew up in what I now recognize as a cult, and women were required to be silent both in prayer spaces and at most times when there were men around. I feel like as an adult I am still damaged by this idea that women were to be neither seen (we adhered by strict modesty rules) nor heard. G-d wants to hear our voices!

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