How Doug Phillips Lost His Vision for the Second Greatest Commandment

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35

Why is it that some churches can have right doctrine, right theology, the right values, emphasize the right Bible verses, have the right world view, and yet after only a short time of doing things right something goes terribly wrong? What starts out as something very special is soon corrupted.

When I first started attending BCA, Doug Phillips had just finished preaching a series of messages on “one another-ing.” The church had studied how to love one another, greet one another, care for one another’s burdens, be hospitable, forgive one another, serve one another, give preference to one another, admonish and exhort one another, among many other commands on how we are treat our brothers and sisters in Christ. We stepped in right as BCA had been saturated with learning the second greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

That first year there, I cannot recall any bickering or fighting or backbiting whatsoever. There was no gossiping and Matthew 18 just wasn’t necessary. There definitely was no judgmental spirit.

On my very first Sunday at BCA, we were invited the next day to a special event that was taking place at an IBLP conference. Lew Sterrett was going to be teaching the Sermon on the Mount by breaking a wild horse, so I thought appropriate attire, in August in South Texas, would be short shorts and a tank top (my values about attire were much different then). When I showed up, it quickly became apparent that ALL the other women were in long dresses, but no one judged me that day. Not one person said a word and many of the women came up and greeted me anyway. We were invited to dinner the next week at a home where the family did all dress very conservatively. Again, no judging.

So what changed? Why today are so many BCA women afraid to be seen in public in pants? Why do some women go out of their way to avoid those they know are going to say something about their choice of clothing? Why do some women feel it is their responsibility to tell everyone else how to dress? Did I miss that verse in the one another-ing list?

I really don’t know what changed, but I can point to some patterns that I noticed. The first situation that stands out in my mind regards leaders setting the example. The first year we were at BCA, Doug Phillips was present nearly every Sunday and he preached at least half the time. Church was held at his home and he would sometimes go down to the end of the road and stand there and greet everyone coming in. He was always a very gracious host and was constantly available. Since church at BCA was nearly an all day event, we were often at Doug’s home from 10 in the morning until 5 or 6 in the evening. Doug would set the example in loving one another during that time and was nearly always mixing with the brothers all day.

And then we moved. Or rather, the Phillips family moved, and so the church moved with them. That conference season, Doug had a sharp increase in speaking engagements, and he was gone quite a bit more than before. When he was home on a Sunday, he would usually still spend time with other members, but he seemed to disappear a while before most of us went home. It was only a matter of time until he would go take a nap on Sunday afternoons rather than stay and fellowship in his own home, or sometimes he would just sleep all day on Sunday.

By the time the church moved again, a couple years later, Doug Phillips was only showing up once a month. Now, I understand his ratio averages once every two months. The last year I was at BCA, on the Sundays Doug would actually show up, he would usually arrive late and would often leave immediately after the sermon, while the rest of us were still praying. Doug is now a Christian celebrity and has very little time to care for his flock.

So how much one another-ing is Doug Phillips practicing now? How much love does he show for the brethren? (We won’t even talk about the sisters in this article!) How much time does he invest in his sheep? It’s not like he’s just another traveling man in the congregation. Doug was our SOLE elder. Where was he? I think of Jesus’ example of being a shepherd when He said, “My sheep hear My voice, and they know Me.”

Pastors are often known as “under-shepherds,” meaning that they care for Christ’s sheep under His authority. Clearly, an under-shepherd should know his sheep and know them well. Did we know Doug? Did he know us? At first it really seemed that he did, and that he really cared for us. But as Doug’s popularity grew, and his travel itinerary intensified, he soon became a stranger to us. Doug not only no longer cared about us, it was apparent that his celebrity status had gone to his head. Doug started treating us as though he was better than us.

A particular speech I really enjoy giving is entitled, “How Do Children Spell Love? T-I-M-E.” As sheep without a shepherd, how does Doug show that he loves us? How can he possibly “one another” us when he’s not there? When he runs out the door immediately after the conclusion of the church service, rather than staying to fellowship and minister to his sheep, how is he demonstrating love?

Do you know how often Doug invited church members over to his home just to fellowship? I’m not talking about just church parties. He was great at putting on a party where he would be the center of attention. I’m just talking about having a family over for dinner. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that part of being an elder? There were 20 families at BCA. In five years, Doug and Beall never invited us over for dinner. They never invited 90% of the church over for dinner or fellowship. Doug talks about hospitality a lot and he has the interns over all the time and he has out of town guests over all the time, but he didn’t have his own sheep over, nor did he accept invitations from church members for dinner. Is that a biblical example of one another-ing?

Could it be that underneath the vision for Patriarchy, the vision for men leading their families, the vision for submissive wives, the vision for age-integrated church, the vision for correct doctrine and theology, the vision for music that glorifies God, the vision for doing “church” God’s way, that somewhere along the way, Doug forgot the most important ingredient – the second greatest commandment? Talking about love is a good first step. Spending TIME with people is living it out. Doug Phillips is so busy with his vision, he has no TIME for people anymore. Time equals love.

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31 Responses to “How Doug Phillips Lost His Vision for the Second Greatest Commandment”

  1. Love One Another Says:

    “Do you know how often Doug invited church members over to his home just to fellowship? I’m not talking about just church parties. He was great at putting on a party where he would be the center of attention. I’m just talking about having a family over for dinner. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that part of being an elder?”

    Jen, 1 Timothy 3:2 says that an elder must “be given to hospitality.” Elders lead by example. If an elder isn’t hospitable then it’s far less likely that his church members will be hospitable. Our family has experienced this many times. Where our elders have been hospitable then the church members inevitably follow the example. Hospitality is just one of the more obvious indications of a loving church, of a church that shows by example that we “love one another.”

    It sounds like you joined BCA because it not only had good teaching, but Phillips took some time to fellowship with his congregation. Still, there were some warning signs, even in the beginning for you, that you didn’t pay heed to. An elder is demonstrating a form of hospitality by opening his home for church parties, but you describe Phillips’ parties as something that he threw to be the center of attention with. That’s not real Christian hospitality at all. That’s what unbelievers do. Showing off.

    I know someone who was once invited to one of those Doug Phillips parties. I thought he’d tell me what a wonderful edifying evening he’d had. But what he said is exactly how you just described it. A time for Phillips to show off his big fancy multi-million dollar home with the indoor swimming pool that he bragged about it being once owned by a billionaire.

    My friend tells me that long before the evening was over Phillips just disappeared into his bedroom or study or who knows where and never explained his absence and never bid his guests good night. His wife was left by herself to entertain, and apparently she’s not much for conversation, especially with men. Apparently that’s Phillips’ way of ending the party. He just disappears. That’s not hospitality.

    “Doug not only no longer cared about us, it was apparent that his celebrity status had gone to his head. Doug started treating us as though he was better than us.”

    I’ve seen this happen too often. When preachers become celebrities too often they start acting like they’re too good to associate with “the commoners.” Doug Phillips is obviously no pastor. What he did to you and your family (excommunication and shunning) proves it. Phillips is a lot more like a Jehovah’s Witness than a Christian. He should step down as pastor of BCA and let a real Christian pastor take over, a man who keeps the second greatest commandment.

  2. Lin Says:

    The whole world of ‘conferences’ has become ridiculous. It is big business in Christendom and has snared many a pastor from his flock. You get paid to speak and can sell lots of materials.

    What can you learn at a conference that one cannot learn from scripture?

    Keep in mind, I am speaking as someone who has attended thousands of them for work, church and have spoken at many and even coordinated quite a few of them. They have fellowship value for the Christian and networking value for business but beyond that, they are really about promotion and marketing.

    Have you noticed it is usually the same people in the same circles speaking at each others conferences?

  3. Cynthia Gee Says:

    I started noticing that a few years ago. Check out who Doug’s fellow speakers were at this conference.

  4. Mark Epstein Says:

    I know of one person who is so afraid of Phillips (and what he perceives Phillips capable of in destroying him financially) that he wanted assurances from Ministry Watchman that his role in the excommunication would not be made public. IMHO, it speaks volumes that a “minister of the Gospel” would be so afraid of a man (Phillips) that he would embark on the path of moral cowardice instead of doing his duty before God and man. However, this should also answer some of Jennifer’s and my more vocal critics regarding the fallacious argument/insinuation that since certain folks haven’t come forward, then the veracity of statements made by us are questionable. Not so. Phillips has intimidated many people and he continues to do so — but he doesn’t frighten Jennifer and me because we fear God more than man.

  5. Cynthia Gee Says:

    As I’ve said before — something is gravely wrong with a church where the line between people’s income security and their spiritual life becomes blurred. Jesus said that we cannot worship both God and Mammon.
    Jesus’s teaching is underscored by the fact that when people’s jobs or financial security are on the line, they are apt to compromise themselves in all kinds of ways — it affects their “vision”, so to speak, and tempts them to do things they aren’t quite comfortable with, morally. It’s not just greed, or the love of money that’s the problem: even the quite legitimate concern with feeding themselves and their families has corrupted a lot of people, because sometimes serving God and taking care of our temporal welllbeing stand directly at odds with one another.

  6. Lynn Says:

    Jen, this reminds me of Jennie Chancey’s article on Vision Forum about why it is a sin for wives to work outside the home for pay, and this is one of my responses:

    3)[Jennie Claims a] “wife who works outside the home is in sin, even if her husband wants her to, because she is under another authority when she works for pay, and this is evil. Much has been said about this, the chief one being, “it ain’t in the Bible,” and also that a woman is always under other authority besides her husband, such as God, and the law of the land, her church elders, etc., and this fact isn’t evil. It is true, though, that outside work can tempt one to have more loyalty to it than to home, and this is more to be considered than the authority issue. But you know . . . this applies to men also. How many times have you heard wives and children unhappy because Daddy spent all his time at work, or watching football, or with his buddies, and no time with them? The sin of neglecting the home and family on account of competing outside loyalties is not one to be laid only at a woman’s feet.”

    The same could be said for pastors and elders in the church, couldn’t it?

    Who was it that preached on Sundays, then? And what kind of leadership dealt with the day to day aspect of things when Doug was away?

  7. Jen Says:

    Lynn: “The sin of neglecting the home and family on account of competing outside loyalties is not one to be laid only at a woman’s feet.”

    Yes, Lynn, Doug’s outside loyalties not only take him away from his home and his family every week, but he obviously has no TIME for his flock. That was why it always took about 6 weeks or so to even get an appointment to speak with him. To be fair, though, he does take one child with him every time he travels. Can you imagine growing up at homeschool conferences?

    The other men at BCA all took turns preaching. Some were better than others, but it was a good learning experience for them.

    Lynn, there was no other leadership at BCA. Doug was IT. There were two deacons, but they both admitted that they did NOT hold Doug accountable, they would never make any decisions without Doug, and they did not do ANYTHING without his approval. What happened to the day-to-day problems when Doug was gone? Didn’t you read my story? That is the point. NOTHING happened when Doug was gone.

    Cynthia, leave it to you to find a link like that conference! And some people thought you were reading too much into all this!

  8. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Pages and links like that were the things that alerted some folks to the troubles with the patriarchy, long BEFORE all the current BCA/Phillips thing started. Those links are starting to disappear though. Try pulling up the Patriarch’s Path website…

  9. Cynthia Gee Says:

    For another interesting read, try Googling “phil lancaster” y2k rivendell , or “gary north” Y2K “real estate”. And then there’s this …..

  10. Cynthia Gee Says:

    That last site to which I linked is not an especially reliable information source, but the particular article in question is right on the money.

  11. Kate Says:

    Cynthia,

    Thank you for the interesting links. I understand that North is a reconstructionist and the wads of cash he made. My interest even got piqued with the comment about cab drivers ;), but I digress. The link that featured the 1999 conference tended to illuminate some of the more extreme beliefs that DP has aligned himself with. But to be fair, that was a while ago and my own beliefs have quite reformed over even the last 3 years. I am in no way defending him for any kind of weird (I grew up in the North) pro-South, extra-biblical, hyper-patriarch type of teaching or beliefs. To be fair, there have been much worse sites (that have now been taken down) that have espoused reformed doctrine, yet with an extra-biblical twist of man’s reasoning in the area of exclusivity based on “race”.

    I do not even know what to think of Mr. Epstein’s statement here:

    “I know of one person who is so afraid of Phillips (and what he perceives Phillips capable of in destroying him financially) that he wanted assurances from Ministry Watchman that his role in the excommunication would not be made public. ”
    … and
    “However, this should also answer some of Jennifer’s and my more vocal critics regarding the fallacious argument/insinuation that since certain folks haven’t come forward, then the veracity of statements made by us are questionable. ” (and the rest of what he said)

    I am really, really wondering (there goes my flesh again) what Mr. Epstein’s first statement means, and can only presume (there I go again) that perhaps my arguments were referred to as well here. That’s okay, I’m here to learn, and hope sincerely you’ll all forgive me for not being as informed with all the volumes of reading material on all this and related controversies.

    I am reminded of Heb. 4:12, “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
    … and
    Matt. 10:34, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
    … and
    Eph. 6:17, “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

    …. and I wonder if this is a very “real-time” threshing of the wheat and tares? Is this perhaps the disciplining of His children? I just sincerely pray that the schism I have witnessed and participated in with the Body of Christ would be brought to reconciliation through God’s Truth. I pray for sinners (me/anyone/everyone) would come to repentence and God would be glorified.

  12. Jen Says:

    Kate, I want you to know how much I appreciate you coming here and asking me questions. Just you asking your questions really does a lot to help heal our relationship. You asked about my husband’s statement:

    “I know of one person who is so afraid of Phillips (and what he perceives Phillips capable of in destroying him financially) that he wanted assurances from Ministry Watchman that his role in the excommunication would not be made public. ”
    … and
    “However, this should also answer some of Jennifer’s and my more vocal critics regarding the fallacious argument/insinuation that since certain folks haven’t come forward, then the veracity of statements made by us are questionable. ”

    Actually, Kate, he wasn’t very clear, was he? I will fill you in. When we were first excommunicated, we went to another church for six months. This church was also in what we call “the community,” which is a group of churches that all started FROM BCA. They were not church splits, but were differences of personalities. All the churches in “the community” loved one another and we fellowshipped together often — until we were excommunicated, and it all stopped, sadly. Why did it stop? Because Doug required that all the other churches shun us as well, but they didn’t all agree with him.

    This one church in particular had an elder who was one of Doug’s best friends for many years. When this elder took us in, Doug became extremely angry with him and refused to have anything to do with him and his family again. They were already scheduled to speak together at a Father/Son retreat six months after our excommunication, and although they spoke at the retreat together, Doug absolutely refused to speak TO this elder while they were there. I’m sure that glorified God. 😦

    Anyway, this elder’s business/ministry was directly linked to Doug’s Vision Forum as well and so he was very concerned that Doug would ruin him financially, since Doug had the upper hand business-wise. They run in the same circles, they speak at the same conferences, and they sell some of the same products. They used to be best friends.

    When we started telling our story through Ministry Watchman, this elder panicked at the thought of his name being made public, because he thought Doug would totally ruin him. So, even though he could publicly vouch for us, we have chosen to keep him hidden from public view, out of respect for what we know Doug would do to him. We are not going to ruin one man’s ministry just to clear our own names.

    This elder/homeschool conference speaker worked for 14 months trying to get Doug to cooperate, but Doug refused even to meet with him and his other elders. When Doug finally met with him after 14 months, Doug accused him of sinning for taking us in. This elder, and the others, did say that if they had it to do all over again, they would do the same thing. We are grateful to them.

    And that is what Mark was referencing here.

  13. Joe Geek Says:

    Has anyone else been receiving those e-mails almost daily from Vision Forum asking for money, and having 50% off sales on their items? He sure sounds like he desperately needs money!

  14. Kate Says:

    Jen,

    This has been a very long road for you. Thank you for the clarification. I do not know what to say, except that I’m truly sorry for your situation, I apologize for interfering, and pray for you. Please know that I mean it, even after all the battle and not knowing who to trust in all of this. I would like to privately email you again in the near future, if that is permissible by you?

  15. Jen Says:

    Kate, you and anyone else are welcome to email me whenever you’d like. I look forward to hearing from you.

  16. Lin Says:

    Mark wrote: IMHO, it speaks volumes that a “minister of the Gospel” would be so afraid of a man (Phillips) that he would embark on the path of moral cowardice instead of doing his duty before God and man. However, this should also answer some of Jennifer’s and my more vocal critics regarding the fallacious argument/insinuation that since certain folks haven’t come forward, then the veracity of statements made by us are questionable. Not so. Phillips has intimidated many people and he continues to do so — but he doesn’t frighten Jennifer and me because we fear God more than man.”

    Mark, this is rampant in Christendom. It is EVERYWHERE and I have witnessed it over and over because I was in a position to see it first hand in many mega circles. There are many reasons for it including money (income) but also because in some circles the term unity has taken precedence over truth. Unity is considered more important than truth.

    If you follow the money trail you will see that they all speak at each others conferences and blurb each others books and promote each others materials. I personally know pastors and church leaders who cannot stand Rick Warren or his teaching yet…they sit on boards with him and promote his materials. Why? Because if you want to be in the club, you keep your opinions to yourself…including scriptural truths.

    We have witnessed the same thing with Ligonier and their cronies. Which is why we MUST stop following men and follow Christ.

  17. cynthiagee Says:

    It’s this type of attitude — the one where everybody avoids calling a spade a spade because it’s more PC to call it a silver teaspoon — that has brought the Anglican Communion to the brink of schism in recent years. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between making nice, and kissing up.

  18. Trying to Sort it out Says:

    Jen,

    I have been following this story for some time now and have been impressed by your story. Is the elder/homeschool leader you mention Little Bear Wheeler of Mantle Ministries? I can’t image that he would be scared of Doug Phillips. I mean he has his own major ministry selling Elsie books and doing conferences. I think it is important that we know who stands where so we can support those men and ministries that are truely trying to honor the Lord.

  19. TheIronHare Says:

    Considering what the Bible requires of elders up against what DP has shown himself to be…well, has Doug banned his sleepy sheep from reading the Bible? I mean, you’d think the Bible said “Unloving, eager to brawl with critics, unteachable, unforgiving, vindictive, proud, self-serving, hard-hearted, cruel, having a *terrible* reputation with outsiders, given to much wHinING, petulant, deceitful” etc. so that the Sproul “Jr.”-Dwilson- DPhillips groupies could go “Yup! That’s our man.”

    This Christian celebrimania truly does have to end. But the pride goes to the congregants too. “MY pastor is such and so. Of such and such ministries. SURELY you’ve heard of him and it! Isn’t he GREAT? And he’ll be featured at the big conference. Who’s YOUR pastor? Never heard of him. Does he speak at conferences? ‘Doesn’t want to neglect his sheep?’ Ha ha! That just means he’s an unambitious nobody. Or so lacking in oratory that no one outside of Podunk Presbyterian would want to listen to him. MY pastor is BIG TIME and that makes BIG TIME by extension.” Well, no one would say it quite so *plainly* but…

    I’m starting to think that some of these conferences should be called…

    …Ego-fest 2007.

    Or Weaselmania.

    Or The Sacred Cow Roundup.

    Or Good Old Boys Gone Wild Scratching Each Others’ Backs (And Covering Each Others’ Guilty Posteriors)

    Or Money Grubbers United.

    Dennis

  20. Pope Blastus XVII Says:

    Dennis,

    D’accord. Very well said.

    I grew up in a Roman Catholic family of ten children; attended a classical RC boy’s school all my life (through high school) and did the ‘altar-boy’ and ‘church lector’ thing. The older I got, the more I dug; the deeper I dug, the more I saw that Rome was a labyrinth of lies, bloodletting, and perversion. Every single priest was a charlatan, either wittingly or ignorantly mendacious. What a disaster.

    In Romanism, I was every bit as misguided as one who is trapped in Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, or Judaism. By the grace of God, I chose Him…by the only avenue He allows to mankind: through Jesus Christ, His Son.

    By God’s grace, I knew Romanism was wrong.

    When I first left my Roman Catholic family religion and training, I entered the body of Christ as a Pentecostal (the flavor-of-the-month in my hometown during the ‘Jesus Movement’). I believe it was this way with many folks (even if they weren’t ex-Catholics) who had newly found eternal life in Jesus Christ: you’re excited…you want to hoot and holler and sing to the rafters: JESUS IS LORD and I AM HIS!!

    After a few years babbling utter nonsense to prove myself truly “one of them”…I had a keen desire to study Church history, soteriology, and such. I had just as many questions about God and Christ’s Church when I left Pentecostalism as wehn I joined it. Pentecostals are clueless, I’m afraid; all they know is that Sister Rhoda started their denomination in 1943. They live in ignorant bliss and palpable heresy (in some respects, not every respect). In this faction of the Church you see an incredible number of money-grubbing hucksters with pompadour haircuts and expensive rhinestone suits.

    By God’s grace, I knew Pentecostalism was wrong.

    We moved on to a Southern Baptist church: yes, the red brick place with the very tall white steeple, tacky carpet, even tackier choir robes, scripted sermons, perfunctory “worship” and programs, and all the rest. Plus a pastor’s wife who got knocked up by some young kid, causing the pastor to quit.

    By God’s grace, we knew THAT Baptist church at least, was wrong (we later understood how wrong the whole denomination was…interestingly when another Baptist pastor at a much larger church ran off with a female “youth minister”…interesting pattern).

    We belonged to an Evangelical Free church for a few years, until they undertook an endless series of psychobabble lectures and “financial freedom seminars” instead of Sunday meeting of the body for worship and fellowship. They sure had lots of “programs”, though!

    For three years, we drove 3 hours each way every Sunday, to attend a ‘Reformed’ PCA church up in San Antonio (yeah…Jen knows them real well). I knew that ‘Sunday school’ was the invention of London newspaperman Robert Raikes, to teach reading & writing to street waifs who worked every day but Sunday. And I knew that Baptists and Pentecostals loved Sunday schools; but these folks called themselves ‘Reformed’, so why did they split the families up and put Daddy in his coffee-room while the kids got sent to the four corners of the church for ‘Sunday school’?

    I had other problems with the setup, but mostly I kept doing a lot of reading and study (much of it driven by ‘Reformation’-era authors, and by such excellent, flawed contemporary ‘Reformed’ men as the Sprouls, Doug Wilson, George Grant, et al). I noticed some strange inconsistencies. One was the Sunday school baloney.

    Another was that a lot of these men liked to wear a frock and deliver long, learned oratory from a pulpit, just like priests and rabbis and such. Nothing reformational about that; NOT the model for the Sunday meeting that we see in Scripture!

    Unlike followers of Luther and Calvin, who killed those who refused to wet their babies and call it Christian baptism — these men merely kept wetting babies and calling on Calvin and Augustine for support (since they could find none in the New Testament). But they called themselves ‘Reformed’.

    One day, this PCA church announced that it was going to let women start doing some readings and praying and such, in church meetings. (I’m sure the ladies here will cheer at this one.) Not at the morning worship, you understand; only at the Sunday evening ‘service’, when God comes in wearing Bermuda shorts. You can play with the rules in the evening, you know.

    Anyway, not even being a dues-paying member, I raised a stink about this with the elders, via e-mail. Apparently, two of the elders fought the move vehemently…and were shown the door. My family was shown the door, as well — I was “contentious (true, but sometimes contending for things is a necessary evil) and divisive”. I was asked not only to leave, but not to even SPEAK to anyone in the Church from then on.

    I reacted EXTREMELY bitterly; calling the “main pillar of the church” a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I was wrong to do that, but I did indeed leave that church. So did the two elders who disagreed with letting women lead certain parts of the Bermuda-shorts services at Faith Presbyterian Church San Antonio.

    I asked the forgiveness of those men, and I believe we have restored a cordial, honest fellowship (communication). I am still totally convinced that what they did was wrong, and they should repent. They haven’t, and I;m not going to lose sleep over it. God will judge these things.

    But in so many ways, by the grace of God, I now know that the PCA denomination is an ironic daughter of its PCUSA mother…now, only 35 years into its life, already displaying the retrogression for which 250+ local PCUSA churches decided to cleave off and form the PCA. What a short half-life for a denomination!

    Ironically, one of those former FPC elders went on to start a CREC church that’s far worse in many ways: robes in the pulpit, wetting infants, bread and wine for toddlers… Sigh.

    And yes, this comes from the silly, misguided, unbiblical teaching and model of Doug Wilson and his ‘Federales’, and of RC Sproul Sr and Jr, and basically of every Presbyterian in the world. So by the grace of God, I know know the TRUTH about the centuries of reformation and martyrdom BEFORE “the” Reformation. I read Thielemann vanBraght’s huge book, The Martyr’s Mirror, and I see that the whole “Reformation” is nothing so much as a colossal marketing ploy by a politically-connected bunch of European lawyers who were definitely great men of God, but also were compromisers.

    And murderers as well. This was NO “reform”!

    By the grace of God, I have learned that ALL denominationalism is wrong. Christ prayed that we would not split like this, and yet we do. We have countless justifications and rationales for our sin.

    But it is sin.

  21. Pope Blastus XVII Says:

    Please: I am not charging that Luther or Calvin were murderers. But their followers were, and they (like the Roman Catholic inquisitors) murdered in the name of “the purity of the Church”.

    When you read Church history without the Calvinian seive upon which colonial America was founded, you see a far wider, deeper picture of the “semper reformanda” nature of the body of Christ. “The Reformation” is an artifice upon which proud braniac men build empires that are every bit as repugnant to Scripture as the sequin-suited snake-charmers’ empires.

    And because they have the gall to assume the “Reformed” self-label, theirs will be the worse condemnation when they face the King.

  22. Pope Blastus XVII Says:

    And NO, I will absolutely NOT be throwing out my library of books by RC Sproul, Doug Wilson, RC Jr, George Grant, et al. Therein is some of the best teaching I’ve ever had.

    My time as a Calvinian was the most fruitful time in my 34-year stumble with Christ, in terms of learning what real Christianity is about.

    But that does not mean that the men who label themselves ‘Reformed’, are actually reformed yet. If they refuse to give up the trappings and traditions of their camp, they will NEVER reform. I think this is where many of you who are rough on Doug Phillips are really missing the fact that in all those things (and more), DP has it very right.

    I am not absolving him of bad blunders, or even of imperiousness or pomp that he should rid himself of. But — like hundreds of less-well-known pastors and elders of the “Reformed Baptist”* camps, he has truly reformed so many of the practices that the ‘Reformed’ fellows refuse to drop, because they would have to leave their camp, and friends, and such.

    *************

    *I think “Reformed Baptist” is TWICE as silly a label as “Reformed” alone. On my Reformed (to the Nth Degree) Blog, I show how “Reformed” churches are known by their tendency to hold Roman Catholic traditions among their canonical rites. Now the “Reformed Baptist” dons that subspecies taxonomy to distance himself from the baby-wetting and such.

    But why not launch a denomination called “Lord’s Supperist”, then? Indeed, how many churches today truly observe the memorial that Christ instituted…a regular meal, in which bread is broken and wine is served, in memory of His body and blood? Most American churches despise the wine that Christ instituted, running in fundamentalist fear from “demon wine”…while Christ MADE wine, and DRANK wine, and directed us to do so as well, in memory of Him!?

    So the Baptist (Reformed or otherwise) is as unbiblical as a Pentecostal snake-handler…but will deny it, of course. They never, not once in their whole lives, take a meal with bread and wine afterwards in memory of our Lord and King! They raise up a false, Pharisaical standard of “holiness”, and call Christ a drunk and a wine-bibber on principle! Woe to them, hypocrites!

    Anyone wanna join me in launching the “Southern Lord’s Supperist” denomination? 🙂

    Oh King, send repentance and a true spirit of reform to this, your wayward Church…

  23. Pope Blastus XVII Says:

    Because I have railed at pseudonymous bloggers here, I must clarify that I am NOT using a pseudonym. I was born David M Zuniga, but when elected to serve as the Pape of the RPSOGPWP*, I had to assume a fitting Papal Name.

    And I have. When the ‘Reformed’ puppies are asked what they think of me, they respond “Oh, David? All he ever does is blast us!!”

    I am now the Pape of Reformation (North America); the UberModerator. RC Sproul Sr. and Vesta camp outside my door just to be the first to see me in the morning! I can put John McArthur on hold for an hour and a half, and he will still be there, breathlessly waiting, when I deign to talk to him!

    So you see, it is no pseudonym. Don’t try it at home.

  24. Pope Blastus XVII Says:

    *RPSOGPWP doesn’t exactly roll of the lips, I know. But that was the SHORT version of our Reformed Super-denomination’s acronym. Plus, it helps you appreciate RPCGA and other micro-splinter mega-acronyms.

  25. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “Anyone wanna join me in launching the “Southern Lord’s Supperist” denomination?”

    Why “Southern”, Dave? Jesus doesn’t have a Mason-Dixon line tatooed across His midsection.

  26. Jen Says:

    David Z: “If they refuse to give up the trappings and traditions of their camp, they will NEVER reform. I think this is where many of you who are rough on Doug Phillips are really missing the fact that in all those things (and more), DP has it very right.”

    Who is missing it, David? This blog is open to extolling Doug’s virtues as well as exposing serious vices. I am not here to pick Doug apart, bone by bone. I absolutely agree with you that Doug, for the most part, does “church” right. And now you understand why we are too spoiled to be able to go to another church. I think it was a little extreme that I couldn’t introduce my own mother or get my own communion or share a prayer request when my husband was gone, but for the most part, BCA does “church” almost perfectly.

    David Z: “They never, not once in their whole lives, take a meal with bread and wine afterwards in memory of our Lord and King!”

    I almost thought I was only one who thought this. Doesn’t anyone else see that this is supposed to be a MEAL? I do think the bread and wine were at the beginning, though, with the blessing, rather than afterward, but I won’t argue that detail.

    David Z: “Anyone wanna join me in launching the “Southern Lord’s Supperist” denomination?”

    Do you take excommunicants? 🙂

  27. Corrie Says:

    Interesting story, Pape Blastus.

    “Anyway, not even being a dues-paying member, I raised a stink about
    this with the elders, via e-mail. Apparently, two of the elders
    fought the move vehemently…and were shown the door. My family was
    shown the door, as well — I was “contentious (true, but sometimes
    contending for things is a necessary evil) and divisive”. I was asked
    not only to leave, but not to even SPEAK to anyone in the Church from
    then on.”

    Now, this is time to pause and reflect on a moment of irony. 🙂

    You were kicked out of FPC and taken in by BCA

    and Jen was kicked out of BCA and taken in by FPC

    but then she kicked out of FPC because they had
    to recognize Doug’s authority to kick out Jen?

    Does BCA recognize the authority of other pastors to kick people out of their churches and to formally discipline them? (RCPGA for one. FPC, in your case, even though Doug would thoroughly agree that you were right but that should have nothing to do with it unless Doug has set himself up as the sole judge of excommunications and jury as to whether they should be recognized).

    Do they honor the discipline of other churches and presbyteries like they expect other churches and presbyteries to honor their discipline? Or do they pick and choose based on doctrine and friendships and the like?

    It seems, from BCA’s track record, that they do NOT honor the discipline of other churches. They should, though. I hope they do not expect that everyone is to honor their decisions but they are not beholden to honor the decisions of other churches.

  28. Corrie Says:

    I thought the reason that Mcdonald and Lovett left was not that allegations were posted before due process but that they had only been in the presbytery under a year, thus making them not able to vote in the defrocking of Sproul Jr? They didn’t want to abide UNDER the voting rules so they left and started their own presbytery.

    I could be wrong and I would welcome any clarification.

  29. David M Zuniga Says:

    Corrie:

    I was never a “member” of Faith PCA in San Antonio; we did not feel it necessary or practical since we were living 160 miles away and Sylvia and I could not be true “one another” members of an organic fellowship. We planned to, when our home in Boerne was complete and I movedd my practice up there (almost there now, yay!)

    Faith PCA had no more (and no less) oversight in a biblical sense over my family then, than they do now. If I publicly sinned today, and an overseer or member of Faith PCA — OR ANY OTHER CHRISTIAN IN THIS WORLD — was witness to that sin, then that Christian’s duty is to confront me as is laid out in Matthew 18.

    What I did was not in good taste, and it was “railing”, if you will; I should have just walked away. The Faith PCA session should not have dealt with me so rashly and sinfully, but under their tight-shoes Presbyterian “church court” system, and since they were determined to have women participate in leading part of the church meetings, they really had no choice but to get my family out of there.

    I honestly don’t know enough about the subject; I just know that in denominations that let a woman get her nose under the edge of the tent, ends up having them ordained and running the show, before too long.

    That’s why I said that Faith PCA was wrong. Maybe they were just being wise and avoiding undue arguments in the church. But I still find it terribly ironic that they’re headed right back to mother ship (PCUSA) praxis, after splitting from her for this very thing.

    they have just as much authority (in my view) Cynthia: “Southern Baptist”…”Southern Lord’s Supperist”. See what I was trying to accomplish with the jab? Yes, I’m an unreconstructed Texan, but I am NOT a Southern partisan. I think every one of these 50 sovereign States should start acting like it. The reason we initially caved in to Lincoln’s shock troops (the DC al-Qaeda at its birth) was that if the cities of the South didn’t cave in, they got their fields and churches burned to the ground by Lincoln’s “emancipators”.

    The reason we STILL cave in to al-Qaeda is that now the IRS employee tries to wear the bluebelly uniform.

    The reason I can laugh at them is that the Lord has allowed me to perform my due diligence (as He has certainly done for millions among the 67 million non-filers) and we are no longer victims of state-sponsored terrorism.

    If we had fifty vibrant, proud, patriotic and sovereign cultures and communities acting like these united States of America, the entire world would be better off for it. We would no longer have a DC al-Qaeda with a $3,000,000,000,000 annual budget, and about 75% of the stresses, regulation, and outrages in our lives would evaporate.

    The family, the church, and the local community would re-assume due sphere authorities over 95% of American life. The PEOPLE (through our checking accounts) and NOT politicians, would “downsize government”.

    I am an optimist and I believe the Lord can do anything in history. I am not a utopian; this is possible. And if it happened, would we call that “Reformation”?

  30. Adam Says:

    I am so glad your here to protect me from that mean phillips guy!

  31. Mark Epstein Says:

    Adam,

    Since you’ve now posted on my blog and my wife’s blog, allow me to clarify something for you.

    The issue is not about Doug Phillips being mean, it’s about Doug Phillips being an ecclesiastical tyrant that doesn’t love the sheep, but uses and abuses the sheep.

    Just as you had free will to post your comments on both our blogs, you have the freedom to follow and subscribe to Doug Phillips’ tyranny. However, if you choose that path and something later goes awry, you can look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Yep, I’m to blame, I didn’t listen to the Epsteins’ warning.”


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