Doug Phillips Shuns “Little Bear” Wheeler

What is the difference between this year’s Vision Forum catalog and those of the last several years? Little Bear Wheeler is AWOL. He’s not there. He’s simply disappeared from Doug’s catalog, and from Doug’s life entirely.

Hasn’t Little Bear Wheeler and his Mantle Ministries always been a major part of Doug Phillips’ Vision Forum catalog? Wasn’t his whole history section always centered around his very good friend, Little Bear? Didn’t they used to put on Father/Son retreats together? Weren’t they close personal friends?

Little Bear Wheeler and Doug Phillips only live a few miles apart. Why is Doug now refusing to have anything to do with Little Bear? What’s the big rift over? It’s over me. Us. The Epsteins.

I told a little bit of that story in a comment recently, but I didn’t name names. A few people have accurately guessed who I was talking about, in some comments that they posted here (which I didn’t approve). It’s probably just a matter of time before a lot more people figure this out too, so I am going to go ahead and tell some more of the story here, including the names. I have decided to come forward with Little Bear’s name because of what he did for us. Little Bear Wheeler went way above and beyond the call of duty. Little Bear Wheeler deserves to have homeschoolers know that he is a loving, selfless and biblically-minded man who is worthy of their support.

When we were first excommunicated, we went to visit Little Bear Wheeler’s church. This church was also in what we all called “the community,” a group of churches that all started from BCA. They were not church splits, but were started as a result of some differences of personalities. All four churches in “the community” loved one another. We all fellowshipped together often. But that all changed when the Epsteins were excommunicated. Then it all stopped. It stopped because Doug Phillips required that all the other churches shun us as well. But not everyone agreed with Doug, and that included Little Bear Wheeler.

We were upfront with Little Bear about our being under “church discipline” from the moment we arrived. Little Bear not only welcomed us with open arms, he immediately took time to find out what was going on and asked me over the next day. Being the history buff that he is, when I told him my story, he said, “This sounds just like the Salem Witch trials.” He then asked us to stay at his church for six months while he and the other three elders attempted to clear up the situation with Doug Phillips. We agreed.

It was a time of being greatly loved by this church and by Little Bear and another elder in particular, who took us under their wing and spent time with us daily. They did all that they knew to do to help us with our marriage. This in itself was in huge contrast with what we experienced at Boerne Christian Assembly where, rather than helping our marriage, Doug’s so-called “marriage counseling” only made things much worse. Little Bear and his elders also attempted to contact Doug many times for the express purpose of facilitating reconciliation. The problem was that Doug refused to cooperate.

Little Bear was one of Doug’s best friends for many years (see here and here and here), but when Little Bear took us in, Doug Phillips 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 same retreat together, Doug absolutely refused to speak to Little Bear the entire time they were there. Little Bear even left a note for Doug under his door asking to speak to him, but Doug refused to even acknowledge Little Bear.

Although we only attended church there for six months, Little Bear and his co-elders worked for 14 months trying to get Doug Phillips to reconcile, but Doug refused even to meet with any of them. When Doug finally did meet with Little Bear, after some 14 months, Doug accused Little Bear of sinning for “fellowshipping with sinners.” Little Bear and the other elders did say that if they had it to do all over again, they would do the same thing. We are grateful to them.

Little Bear’s business/ministry, Mantle Ministries, was directly linked to Doug Phillip’s Vision Forum as well. They run in the same circles, they speak at the same conferences, and they sell some of the same products. They used to work together on numerous projects. Since Doug had the upper hand business-wise, Little Bear was very concerned that Doug would ruin him financially when we started telling our story through Ministry Watchman, and he was distressed at the thought of his name being made public. At that time, we decided not to publicly use Little Bear’s name, for fear of what Doug might do to him. We know that Doug is very much about vengeance, not just because of what he’s done to us, but what he’s done to so many others, as well. We didn’t want to see Little Bear hurt, but the fact is that Doug Phillips paid back Little Bear long before we went public with our story anyway.

I think it’s time to publicly thank Little Bear Wheeler for the incredibly selfless man that he is, and the kindness that he’s shown us. His charity has cost him dearly. He truly lives out the verse, “We ought to obey God rather than man.” Little Bear loved us when we were beaten down and deeply disillusioned with the church. He loved us as a true under-shepherd of Jesus Christ at a time when we had grown skeptical of pastors. He tried all he could to bear our burdens. He welcomed those who were deeply hurting and had no place else to go. He even went so far as to continue helping us for eight more months after we left his church. Little Bear was willing to risk losing his friendship, and a profitable business relationship, with a man who had been his good friend for a long time. He truly loved God more than “mammon.”

Little Bear Wheeler is a truly honorable man, and this is the honorable man that Doug Phillips is shunning because of us. Little Bear Wheeler is now paying a heavy price for having done nothing more than loving and caring for us — for being pastoral. For fourteen months Little Bear Wheeler attempted to facilitate reconciliation between us and Doug Phillips. For all his charitable efforts, Little Bear has been subjected to a dose of The Phillips Treatment.

When you see Little Bear at a homeschool conference this year, or one of his incredible retreats, please encourage him and let him know that he did the right thing in the eyes of God. His reward will be an eternal one.

“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” I Cor. 3:11-15

353 Responses to “Doug Phillips Shuns “Little Bear” Wheeler”

  1. Praying For Reconciliation Says:

    Wow! Stay away for a little while and look at what happens! So many comments!

    K. Theodore Jenkins said, “I’m sure it’s not easy being the enemy of a former associate who he’s probably known for a long time…but to have it look as though he’s coming to the aide of people apparently for gun-control and martial equality…that’s gotta be rough.”

    I don’t see anyone here in favor of gun control. I do see people concerned about the ramifications of Phillips advocating college students taking guns into the classroom. So is opposition to gun-toting college students “gun control”? In the strictest sense maybe it is, but doesn’t a college have the right to regulate that? What about 18 year old high school students? If we’re going to be consistent about it shouldn’t they be able to carry guns into high school too? They’re of age to buy a gun, aren’t they? Haven’t even more shootings happened in high schools? If Phillips wants to see college kids toting weapons into class shouldn’t high school kids have the same right to “defend themselves”? Where do we draw the line? Once you go there it’s a slippery slope. Shouldn’t 16 year olds be able to carry guns to school too? What about 14 year olds? The 2nd Amendment doesn’t mention mention anything about an age limit on the right to bear arms. Let’s not forget that the “militias” mentioned in the 2nd Amendment quite often had armed members as young as 14.

    What’s “martial equality”? Do you mean marital equality? No one has said anything about that either. Why are you trying to make things an either/or? Criticizing patriarchy isn’t advocating marital equality. Just because someone opposes patriarchy doesn’t make them an advocate of “marital equality.” That’s called egalitarianism. What I believe in is complimentarianism, and that’s probably what a lot of others here support too. Complimentarianism is biblical. Complimentarianism is NOT marital equality.

  2. Corrie Says:

    “Why does “man” think he must do something to “help” God bring His plan into action. God says that we are to leave it to Him, that He will have revenge. We are each accountable to God for our own actions, including putting things in His hands and acting in love and peace.”

    I don’t know, Marie. Good question. Why do some men go around suing everyone who disagrees with them or does things they don’t like? Why are they so into protecting their own assets?

    And how does what you say jive with the quote Cynthia just gave you from Doug’s own pen? The quote about every Christian male carrying a gun so he can shoot anyone who is a threat?

    Is God in control or is man? I would agree with you that God is supposed to be in control but Doug’s words make me think that he and others like him are the ones in control.

  3. Cynthia Gee Says:

    OK, Jenkins… I should know better, but I’ll bite: what gives you the idea that I or anyone else on this list is either matriarchal or antinomian?

  4. Corrie Says:

    “Sorry Cynthia, got you confused with Corrie there.

    My apologies. Yes, conversing with you or anyone else here seems to be a waste of time. I’m just shocked, absolutely shocked, that you think you have a chance with a boycott if you’re going to write off befriending anyone who isn’t as matriarchal and antinomian as yourself. Good luck with that.”

    K. Theodore,

    No you didn’t??? You weren’t addressing me. I didn’t write this quote that you responded to:

    ““I should hope I’m not even on the fringes when it comes to dominionism and theonomy — I’m an orthodox Christian. I’m not trying to warn theonomists about Phillips, I’m trying to warn Christians about theonomists!”

    Who are you, and why should I care? My comment was for Jennifer Epstein. And thanks for proving my point, btw. If this how the Epsteins and other commentators here feel about it, next time a theonomist blows the stuff coming out about Phillips on this website off, I’ll be sure and keep my mouth shut.”

    You WERE addressing Cynthia and I don’t think you really understood her answer. I think you just might be plain confused.

    You asked Cynthia “who are you and why should I care”? Well, that is a weird question, especially when Cynthia was merely responding to a comment you made to her. You weren’t talking to the Epsteins. This is a question I would expect some pompous, arrogant self-appointed dictator to ask a peon who dared question his words. You are not some world dictator are you?

    What does it matter who Cynthia is? She is a person, a sister in Christ, whom you owe respect and honor and love. She asked you a simple question. Is it because she is a “nobody” or that you are only allowed to make coments to her but she is not allowed to answer you or ask you questions?

    BTW, I don’t think Cynthia is either matriarchal nor is she antinomian. Nice try with the logical fallacy of ad hominem, though. Too bad most of us recognize a red herring when we see one. 🙂

    Just so we have this straight. You weren’t confused. You weren’t addressing me. You WERE addressing Cynthia. You did make a comment to Cynthia and she WAS responding to it.

  5. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Say, Tim… how about those Marlins? ;D

  6. Lin Says:

    “Remember, that hardline stance you praised the early church for (and praise Jen for, as well)? — It may be the same one Doug believes he has taken against the Epsteins. Two different interpretations. Two different convictions. ”

    Either you have not read the entire site and all the documents associated with this OR you, yourself are in a cult like DP’s and have been brainwashed with patriarchal teachings from DP such as a woman should take physical abuse and do nothing to protect herself. Otherwise, you would not say this.

    Perhaps you been taught that one should not try to reconcile with another believer in a Biblical fashion as the Epstiens did and DP refused. Perhaps you have been taught to shun children of other believers who have been shunned. Nice to children, huh?

    Perhaps you have been taught that pastors are allowed to make private, confidential information of a sheep available to their interns to put on websites. Perhaps you have been taught that pastors should allow their interns to publish lies to destroy a sheep ‘he’ thinks is unrepentant when that sheep has begged for help on what they are to do to be considered repentant and never got a real answer. Is that the right way for a pastor to handle things?

    perhaps you have been taught that pastors should have their close friends publish sensational websites to lie and destroy their sheep even going so far as to link it from his own business website.

    Maybe you have been taught these things are ok. My suggestion is for you to study Jude in depth. Beware of following ungodly men.

    Be a Berean..follow Christ…not men.

  7. Corrie Says:

    Maybe he meant “martial equality” and not marital equality?

    Maybe he meant that because of the discussion concerning men carrying guns and not women.

    Martial pertains to being suited for war or as a warrior; being experienced in or inclined to war.

    I don’t know anyone who is talking about that kind of equality, either.

    The discussion was concerning Doug’s comment that all Christian males carry pistols (concealed weapons- how does that make all you female feel? LOL!) to school. That is ludicrous. We would have more shootings than we know what to do with. I feel no confidence in the average man to hold his temper and keep cool under stressful situations all the while packing a weapon. I hardly think that is a reasonable cure to the problem. Arm even more males with guns! Aren’t we having enough problems in this world with males who are armed with weapons? Turn on the TV and you won’t be able to go a night without a man shooting someone with a gun. The solution is for more men to have guns?

    I don’t think so.

    And I am NOT against guns. I am not for all measures of gun control. I have seen a lot of hot-headed men, even Christian men, who might just be tempted more than they can handle if they were packing a pistol. Anger makes people do some crazy things and considering how many irrationally angry people there are in this culture, I don’t trust the entire populace of males with guns. No way.

    So, although K. is kind of confusing, he might have meant “martial equality”? That is an odd term, though. I see nothing precluding a woman from using a gun, do you? I am not arguing for women in combat, either. The context is schools not war.

    Let us put it this way, in a way that some might be able to grasp…..

    Suppose it is the civil war and those darn Yankees (I am one, so I can say that [wink]) are marching on your plantation. You, the Man, are off to war with your sons and your wife and daughters are left at home to take care of your home. Would you want them to be armed? Or would you think that it would be an abomination and an occasion for gnashing of male teeth for a woman to be skilled at shooting a weapon in self-defence?

    And, if our daughters are not armed and all the sons are armed, who will protect our daughters when they are being murdered with the very guns by the very men who we thought would protect them?

  8. T. Reformed Says:

    K. Theodore Jenkins said, “Cynthia, my comment was an attempt to say that your political views are going to isolate you from a significant portion of the people who even care about things related to Doug Phillips. Most of those people are theonomists.”

    Valid point, and a valid concern. This blog is about “Exposing Doug Phillps’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny” not “Exposing Patriarchy, Dominionism, Theonomy and Reconstructionism.” The fact that Phillips espouses those views doesn’t in and of itself make those things bad. However, Doug Phillips certainly isn’t helping the public reputation of other Dominionists, Reconstructionists, etc.

    However, I disagree that “Most of those people are theonomists.” Most of VF’s patrons probably couldn’t even accurately define theonomy.

    I’ve had a number of friends who espouse patriarchy, dominionism, theonomy and reconstructionism. They’re good families who are raising up godly children. As far as I can tell their views line up pretty well with the Westminster Confession. For the most part they’re not the scary types. Doug Phillips scares me because it seems like everything he believes he takes to an extreme. My patriarchy/theonomy/recon friends aren’t scary in the least. If they were they wouldn’t long be my friends. For the most part their views are fairly conventional, in the Reformed sense.

    The problem isn’t patriarchy, theonomy, reconism, full quiver, etc. The problem is extremism. Doug Phillips is a great example of an extremist, but thankfully not many recons are nearly as extreme as Phillips. Rather than ridiculing patriarchy, theonomy, reconism, etc. we should identify and isolate the extremists in those movements.

    “Because from what I’ve seen in this thread and elsewhere, most commentators are highly liberal, and extremely critical of “Dominionism”. One theonomist does not speak for all. R.C. Jr. was a theonomist, but he was defrocked by theonomists who believed him to be an abusive shepherd. Many theonomists are fiercely opposed to any form of tyranny, whether ecclesiastical or civil.”

    You’re making some assumptions Theodore. No doubt your right about R.C. Sproul Jr. being a theonomist. After all he was prominently featured in a popular (among theonomists) video, God’s Law and Society, along with George Grant, R.J. Rushdoony, Howard Phillips, Ken Gentry, and Gary DeMar. BTW, I’m not criticizing the video. It’s well produced and has some scholarly commentary.

    But what about the RPCGA, the denom that defrocked Sproul? Are they really theonomists? If you asked them they’d flatly deny it. Below I’ll also debunk your assertion that theonomists oppose ecclesiastical tyranny. Some of the biggest names in theonomy are personally guilty of perpetrated some major ecclesiastical abuses.

    While I’m not antagonistic to patriarchy, full quiver, theonomy, reconism, etc. the thing that troubles about it all is the high potential for abuse. Dominionism (which seems to be over-arching in all of it) tends to attract some very sordid characters, and it can easily corrupt otherwise good men. You can see that in the reconstructionist church Westminster Presbyterian Church of Tyler, Texas debacle. That church was most commonly identified as “Gary North’s church.” David Chilton, who was a member and elder there, repented of the abuses that he was a party to there, but many of the other perpetrators never did. James Jordan in particular has continued publicly defending the indefensible (sort of reminds me of Doug Phillips). Ray Sutton was a pastor there, and (not surprisingly) Gary North was also a member. The church was THE place to be for Theonomists, Dominionists and Reconstructionists. But the dream soon turned into a nightmare.

    I think part of the reason that the Dominionists, and anything related to it, have been the subject to so much criticism is because of stories just like Westminster Presbyterian Church of Tyler. If they want to have a good reputation their leadership needs to do a better job of earning it. The fact that Doug Phillips so closely associates himself with them doesn’t help their rep. If I were a Reconstructionist I’d plead with Phillips to stop calling himself a Reconstructionist. They don’t need that kind of help.

    Lastly, I think your assertion “from what I’ve seen in this thread and elsewhere, most commentators are highly liberal” is way off base. Just because some of the commenters here are demonstrating some ignorance about theonomy/reconism/dominionism doesn’t make them “liberal.” Just because they’re opposed to patriarchy doesn’t make them egalitarians.

  9. Cynthia Gee Says:

    T. Reformed, you make some good points. I don’t agree wiuth all of them but I like the way you think and I appreciate the clear way in which you express your thoughts.
    BTW, just because a person is an egalitarian doesn’t necessarily make them a liberal, and vice versa; and, some people are neither completely egalitarian nor altogether complementarian.
    Just sayin’.

  10. Corrie Says:

    T. Reformed,

    Thank you for your well-reasoned and thoughtful post. I am glad to see that there is at least one person who doesn’t think that this is an “either/or” conversation.

    I am a “complementarian” (I use that term loosely. I still see male leadership in the church and male headship in marriage. I do think there is a LOT of extra-biblical definitions of both of these concepts and that is specifically what I am against. Not the concepts but the extra-biblical and unbiblical teachings about these concepts). I am hardly liberal nor am I antinomian.

    I am glad to hear that you understand that just because some of us are against “patriarchy” as defined by Phillips, Baylys, Sproul Jr., CCC-Forum at Yahoo and others, doesn’t make us liberal.

    I also see that many egalitarians are falsely accused of believing things they surely don’t believe. I may disagree with them on some issues but I will keep to those issues without manufacturing other issues and falsely representing their side.

    “The church was THE place to be for Theonomists, Dominionists and Reconstructionists. But the dream soon turned into a nightmare.”

    And this is what I would think would happen in a society where these teachings were LAW over all. It was never meant to be that way. That is not Christ’s instructions for His followers.

  11. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “The church was THE place to be for Theonomists, Dominionists and Reconstructionists. But the dream soon turned into a nightmare.”

    And this is what I would think would happen in a society where these teachings were LAW over all. It was never meant to be that way. That is not Christ’s instructions for His followers.”

    I agree.
    And that’s why I AM

  12. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Huh? the rest of that post disappeared.
    It should have read,
    “and that’s why I AM in favor of theonomy… just as soon as Jesus returns to take the throne, and not one minute sooner.”
    Weird.

  13. T. Reformed Says:

    “I am glad to hear that you understand that just because some of us are against “patriarchy” as defined by Phillips, Baylys, Sproul Jr., CCC-Forum at Yahoo and others, doesn’t make us liberal.”

    No, it’s not at all hard for me to tell that you ladies are anything but liberals. Theodore is obviously confused, and in more ways than one.

    Thank you for also qualifying “patriarchy as defined by Phillips, Baylys, Sproul Jr., CCC-Forum” etc. From what I’ve seen of these “patriarchs” they have a very perverted and unbiblical understanding of patriarchy. That’s why I don’t call them patriarchs. A misogynist doesn’t qualify as a patriarch.

    It seems to me that we shouldn’t call them patriarchs. That’s what they call themselves, but that doesn’t make it so. For example, we don’t call a legalistic Pharisaical fatalist a Calvinist, we call him a hyper-Calvinist (sounds like Doug Phillips again). I think the proper term to apply to Phillps and co. is “hyper-patriarchalist.”

    I’m the patriarch of my home, and I’m not ashamed to say that. That’s what the Mrs. calls me, and it’s a term of affection. It’s a term that used to have positive connotations. I think the men that you mention are guilty of giving it a very negative connotation, and I deeply resent them for that. Now I have to call myself “complimentarian” so that no one misunderstands. Just give them a little time though. They’ll screw that term up for us too!

  14. Praying For Reconciliation Says:

    Don’t miss Jen’s latest article, The Family Consequences Of Ecclesiastical Abuse

  15. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Hyper-Patriarch… I like it.

  16. Corrie Says:

    T. Reformed,

    I hope there is a day that I can say the word “patriarch” and it has good connotations in my mind. It used to until I got in thick with the “hyper-patriarchs”. 🙂 I have some detoxing to do. I am very glad I don’t have to deal with this in my own home.

    I think with more patriarchs like yourself, I can see a lot more people like me coming around. Like the old saying says, you can catch more flies with honey.

    I see what you are saying about the differences betwee hyper, legalistic pharasaical Calvinists and just the regular old Calvinists. I am pretty Calvinistic in my theology but my spirit rebels when it comes in contact with the hyper variety.

    Thanks again.

  17. Corrie Says:

    “I agree.
    And that’s why I AM”

    Cynthia,

    Good thing you clarified yourself! I thought you were proclaiming that you were…well……God used the term “I Am” to identify Himself to the Israelites. 😉

  18. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Hey now….. I’m arrogant, but I’m not thatthink so…. 😉

  19. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Hey now….. I’m arrogant, but I’m not thatthink so…. 😉 ..

  20. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Sheesh… WordPress is on the fritz. I SAID,
    Hey now….. I’m arrogant, but I’m not thatthink so…. 😉 ..

  21. Jen Says:

    Hey, everyone, I’m finally back. It will take me a LONG time to wade through all these comments, so please be patient. I have seen a couple here and there that were directed toward me specifically, so I will try to answer them sometime this week.

    My blog has taken on a life of its own!

  22. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    If this is a bit lengthy, I apologize.

    Praying for Reconciliation,

    “I don’t see anyone here in favor of gun control. I do see people concerned about the ramifications of Phillips advocating college students taking guns into the classroom. So is opposition to gun-toting college students “gun control”? In the strictest sense maybe it is, but doesn’t a college have the right to regulate that? What about 18 year old high school students? If we’re going to be consistent about it shouldn’t they be able to carry guns into high school too? They’re of age to buy a gun, aren’t they? Haven’t even more shootings happened in high schools? If Phillips wants to see college kids toting weapons into class shouldn’t high school kids have the same right to “defend themselves”? Where do we draw the line? Once you go there it’s a slippery slope. Shouldn’t 16 year olds be able to carry guns to school too? What about 14 year olds? The 2nd Amendment doesn’t mention mention anything about an age limit on the right to bear arms. Let’s not forget that the “militias” mentioned in the 2nd Amendment quite often had armed members as young as 14.”

    Good point. Excellent point. I stand corrected.

    My main point in bringing gun-control up, however, was simply to say that, again, you’re marginalizing yourselves. Right or wrong, my fear is that a lot of far-right people, the type of people that buy from VF, may tune you out over things like this, and continue supporting Doug. That would be very unfortunate.

    “What’s “martial equality”? Do you mean marital equality? No one has said anything about that either. Why are you trying to make things an either/or? Criticizing patriarchy isn’t advocating marital equality. Just because someone opposes patriarchy doesn’t make them an advocate of “marital equality.” That’s called egalitarianism. What I believe in is complimentarianism, and that’s probably what a lot of others here support too. Complimentarianism is biblical. Complimentarianism is NOT marital equality.”

    Yes, I meant marital equality (sorry). Never heard of complimentarianism. If that’s indeed what the commentators here embrace…that’s not egalitarianism, so disregard everything I have said, as it was all based on a misunderstanding.

    But from a lot of what I’ve read, and I know others see it too, it looks like the opposite of the stuff sold at VF. Which is fine -I didn’t decide to comment here to criticize anyone’s opinions on marriage or what have you. My comments here really weren’t so much as about defending theonomy, 2nd Amendment issues, or even discussing Reconstructionist leaders, as they were just wanting to say that, since I can’t imagine the majority of VF supporters to be something other than patriarchal, right-wing theocrats, any effort to boycott shouldn’t be an effort that ostracizes “dominionists” and patriarchs. “Dominionists” are the type of people that spend a lot of time on the internet familiarizing themselves with causes like VF, and take pains to get to know people of that mindset, if not outright contact Doug or people in his church. And considering “dominionists” like myself have spent hours trying to research these people, I’m sure many of them will stumble on this site.

    And considering all the true, well-researched claims brought out here and on Ministry Watchman are trying to reach the whole Reformed community, I find it disturbing that, comment after comment, women attack theonomy. Reconstructionism, Reconstructionism, keeping women down, Reconstructionism, patriarchy, Rushdoony-evil….that seems to be all I’m seeing when I scroll down this lengthy thread.

    If you really want to have an effective boycott (not that anyone appointed me the expert on such things), I would think it should include the type of people who likely buy VF products -the people who like Rushdoony, patriarchy, etc. I just imagine myself being ignorant of these matters, stumbling on Jennifer and Mark’s websites for the first time, seeing all the comments, and instantly clamming up about the subject, and never returning just because of the things said on here about Doug Phillips’ actions being the culmination of things theonomic. Now, that would have indeed been unfortunate, as I would have remained duped about Doug. And it’d be unfortunate if other good Reformed Christians, of a theonomic persuasion, were as well.

  23. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    [Sorry for the length]

    TR,

    Amen, in so many ways. I don’t even know if I could call myself a “Reconstructionist”, honestly, since I don’t think politics is going to save America (Rushdoony said “you can’t return by politics to less statism”), nor do I think a vote for the CP (or any party) will do anything other than encourage the freaks in the Pink House.

    And yes, the recon movement butchered its reputation with leader after leader. But just because a Van-Tillian abuses people, should I really throw what Van Til taught out the door? That’s letting them claim the victory, is it not?, and handing on a silver platter to them that “cult of personality” claim over your life -making it so you identify principles with a person. Why not be the good paedocommunionist, or the good theonomist? Why not admit having been edified by Phillips, North, Sutton, Chilton, and even R.C. Jr., but at the same time, admitting these men have done horrible things, and opposing them for their abuses?

    Didn’t know that about the RPCGA. It’s probably a confessional thing, but I don’t doubt that Ken or Randy Talbot is in any way antinomian. [When I say “theonomist”, I really just mean people who believe God’s Law applies to life. I should have clarified that from the get-go, and that’s totally my fault. It’s been a while since I’ve thought about the subject, and forgot that many aren’t theonomic because of the WCF or fidelity to Calvin’s view in the Institutes. But they’re not Sabbath-breakers or “heathens”, lol, not at all.]

    But more important here than me, my opinions, theonomy, recons past and present, is the truth about DP. That’s what this site is about. And my position remains firm -if people are going to use the tragic, awful events documented on this website to advance an anti-theonomic, anti-patriarchal agenda, good luck with a boycott. You’re on the fringes automatically (by opposing theonomy) precisely because most VF supporters are, well, like Doug Phillips (belief-wise) -I would think. Because I think what MW and the Epsteins are doing the Reformed world much good, I would hate to see it fail in getting public support because the majority of commentators here concede Doug’s theology and political views to him, rather than exposing his hypocrisy and tyranny (entirely inconsistent with honor and God’s Law). Just because Doug promotes honor, doesn’t mean I should throw honor out the door. Just because R.C. Jr. gave children the Eucharist, doesn’t mean I should deny the Eucharist to my children.

    Of course, these are all my worthless opinions, and I guess I have no invested interest in this. I would just hate to see ya’ll back yourselves into a corner here.

  24. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    Again, to TR

    “Doug Phillips scares me because it seems like everything he believes he takes to an extreme. My patriarchy/theonomy/recon friends aren’t scary in the least. If they were they wouldn’t long be my friends.”

    I agree with you about extremism (as I believe you are defining it), believe it or not. I’ve had a few encounters with extremists -one of them is stalking me (had to learn the hard way). Theonomy and patriarchy are simply vehicles such people uses to advance their agenda of opposition to everyone else. But extremists stab you in the back, just as soon as they embrace another extreme, and go through Christianity to atheism without blinking an eye (at least the one’s I knew did). I can assure you, that’s not me.

    “No, it’s not at all hard for me to tell that you ladies are anything but liberals. Theodore is obviously confused, and in more ways than one.”

    Absolutely. Never been more confused in my life.

    “Thank you for also qualifying “patriarchy as defined by Phillips, Baylys, Sproul Jr., CCC-Forum” etc. From what I’ve seen of these “patriarchs” they have a very perverted and unbiblical understanding of patriarchy. That’s why I don’t call them patriarchs. A misogynist doesn’t qualify as a patriarch.”

    Very telling comment here. If the attacks here against patriarchy are actually meant as attacks on misogyny, than this is a misunderstanding, and I really don’t have a beef with anyone who’s commented. But please, understand that to the average reader who stumbles upon this site, when they see attack after attack on “dominionism” and “patriarchy”, I doubt they think to themselves “probably a complementarian with confessional issues”. It looks like liberalism, but is not, as you have stated (I stand corrected).

    And because I care, I just wanted to say how concerned I am that you’re marginalizing yourselves and potential allies. I could be wrong, and if so, forgive me. I just want this information to get out to everyone, not just one group.

  25. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    Sorry for the grammatical errors, as I already see a few. I trust you know what I meant.

  26. K. Says:

    Cynthia: Thanks for the laught. I saw the I AM and I got a little worried . . . . until you reposted 🙂 🙂 🙂

  27. T. Reformed Says:

    Theodore, I think I’m starting to better understand the concern that you’ve been trying to address. You’ve now made a very good point, and it’s worth giving further thought to.

    “I would hate to see it fail in getting public support because the majority of commentators here concede Doug’s theology and political views to him, rather than exposing his hypocrisy and tyranny (entirely inconsistent with honor and God’s Law).”

    I’d hate to see that too. I think it’s wise that Jen is exposing Doug Phillips as an ecclesiastical tyrant. That seems to have been an easy case for her to make, not to mention his numerous hypocrisies. Hopefully Phillips’ support is dying out.

    If discussion here gets carried off into the hazards/risks of dominion theology, theonomy, reconstructionism, patriarchy, etc. it only causes those who say they support such doctrines, whether they truly understand them or not (and in my experience many do not understand), to support Phillips that much more strongly. Supporters of the Epsteins are attacking Doug Phillips and they’re anti-patriarchy. Well I believe in patriarchy, so I’m not going to listen to any of what they’ve got to say. If I understand Theodore correctly, that’s the risk. Phillips’ supporters will reject Jen’s message before they even take the time to examine it.

  28. Corrie Says:

    Hi K,

    I think I understand what point you are trying to make. I really thank you for clarifying.

    I don’t think anything we say to the Doug Phillips/RC Sproul, Jr/MacDonald/et al. followers will make a bit of difference. The very fact that we don’t agree with them on some things means we are the enemy.

    We are not on the fringe of Christianity, they are and they are considered “scary” to many. I was at a recent homeschooling event and I sat down with a couple of couples who I had never met before. They were asking me if I had been to the homeschooling convention that Doug Phillips keynoted at. I said “yes”. That was a few years earlier. They told me that they were glad that it seemed that the convention was taking a different view on things because Doug Phillips seemed extreme and “scary”.

    These were CONSERVATIVE couples. These were couples who were like me in MANY ways.

    K., I will tell you that I am weary of being accused of being a feminist or a lesbian or whatever just because I disagree with the extremism in Christianity.

    I am a homeschooling wife/mom of 10. I am hardly the poster child for the feminist movement! LOL In fact, they would probably use me as the poster child of what NOT to do!

    But, I am tired of seeing women run down, marginalized and spoken about in such deragatory terms. Women are necessary in all spheres of life. They have valid insights. Some extreme patriarchalists would like to eradicate all women from any position of leadership in the secular arena.

    I was just watching 60 minutes taped from Sunday and it was about school shootings. It was very insightful. Men with many years of service in the Secret Service who didn’t promote every student carrying a gun. They saw the problem from a much different angle. In fact, they would know a lot more about the problem since they study it and work with it.

    Also, there were women who were interviewed who worked in the CIA who were profilers and investigators. Without their unique expertise and contributions, a huge part of the picture would be missing but that is what some of these extremists want. They don’t think a woman should have any position of influence in any sphere of life. The only position for a woman is in the home or doing a subservient job that would ensure that no male is ever under her oversight or learns anything from her.

    What bothers me is that they think they can take women out the picture of learning about theology, too. While I believe that the position of elder can only be filled by men, I believe women play a very important role in the church and that includes theology and the development of it. After all, we do have the same measure of the same Holy Spirit and Jesus happily used women in His ministry in very powerful and important ways.

  29. Ann Says:

    This is crazy, 254 posts, and I make 255?? It’s basically a Christian Soap Opera. You know what I think would be a neat ending to this all. Doug comes over to the Epstein’s. He walks in, sits down, and says, “Jen, Mark, kids, I’m sorry, please forgive me.” Big giant grin on his face, hugs for everyone. Then Jen, Mark and Kids, say, “We’re sorry too Doug, please forgive us.” Tear, hugs, smiles. They all shake hands, Doug (family) gets up, walks out. END of story . . . Show’s been cancelled, now get on with real life folks!!!!!
    Ann

  30. Cynthia Gee Says:

    K. Says:
    Cynthia: Thanks for the laught. I saw the I AM and I got a little worried . . . . until you reposted 🙂

    Sorry about that. WordPress is either on the fritz today, or else my computer is. I tried to post my last comment here three times, but the middle of the paragraph kept disappearing.

  31. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Corrie wrote,
    “We are not on the fringe of Christianity, they are and they are considered “scary” to many. ”

    Well put, Corrie.
    And, T. Reformed and K. Jenkins, I do appreciate the vast difference between patriarchs and hyper-patriarchs, but at the end of the day, a theonomist is still a theonomist, insofar as they subscribe to the writings of Rushdoony and North.
    True, some theonomists may be nicer than others, and not all theonomists are misogynists, but if they are following Rushdoony, they still believe in a church-run state where adulterers would be stoned to death instead of forgiven by a loving Savior who bids the accuser who is without sin to cast the first stone.
    Rushdoony’s theology flies in the face of scripture, and I cannot and will not say otherwise, even to help oust a false shepherd such as Phillips.

  32. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    Well, I’m very sorry for the confusion I may have caused. But I know others have said the same thing to me in private, but no one’s publicly tried to make this point, to my knowledge. This has been my unfolding attempt, lol, pathetic though it may have been.

    Also, HUGE grammatical error that needs to be address on my part. I said:

    “Didn’t know that about the RPCGA. It’s probably a confessional thing, but I don’t doubt that Ken or Randy Talbot is in any way antinomian.” [I meant that I DO doubt that Ken Talbot is in any way antinomian. And from the looks of it, he’s probably more faithful to God’s Law than any of our so-called dominionist preachers.]

    Kevin Reed’s article, “Antinomian Reconstructionists” is well-worth a read (though I differ with him on some things, i.e. 2nd Commandment).

    And you’re right on the money with that last sentence. That was the whole reason why I decided to finally comment. Think what we may about any subject, but any discussion of boycotting is unrealistic if it will only be hostile to the majority of Phillips’ supporters. How are you gonna change their minds by attacking patriarchy and theonomy? Isn’t this about an allosaurus-rex film and whether or not we can forgive repentant sinners? How does Phillips’ views on Gen. 1:28, shared by many in the Reformed world, play into these matters?

  33. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    “True, some theonomists may be nicer than others, and not all theonomists are misogynists, but if they are following Rushdoony, they still believe in a church-run state where adulterers would be stoned to death instead of forgiven by a loving Savior who bids the accuser who is without sin to cast the first stone.

    Rushdoony’s theology flies in the face of scripture, and I cannot and will not say otherwise, even to help oust a false shepherd such as Phillips.”

    To TR,

    See, when I see things like this, I instantly think “liberal”. I don’t think I’m alone in this.

    While you, being TR, may have confessional issues with theonomy, that’s not the same as Cynthia’s opposition to theonomy, which seems to have a lot to do with niceness (like John Steinhausen said, “Happy Jesus”). And maybe I’m wrong about Cynthia, but even if I am, a lot of people who read this may think the same as me, and write off really important things that all Christians need to know about.

  34. Vik Says:

    T. Reformed said:
    “Valid point, and a valid concern. This blog is about ‘Exposing Doug Phillps’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny’ not ‘Exposing Patriarchy, Dominionism, Theonomy and Reconstructionism.’ The fact that Phillips espouses those views doesn’t in and of itself make those things bad. However, Doug Phillips certainly isn’t helping the public reputation of other Dominionists, Reconstructionists, etc. ”

    Boy, what a lot of labels. Well, I was glad to see this, anyway. James Dobson (Focus on the Family) believes all the things Doug does as far as the definitions go, but his application is as different from Doug’s as bicycles are to spinach. I have never seen Dobson abuse or mistreat anybody or treat his wife/daughter like second-class citizens. So I guess it can be done.

    He is not Reformed, which may make some of the difference here? Whether in person, message boards, or blogs, I do not find Reformed people very likeable most of the time. At least not reformed men; they argue constantly and are known for arrogance. Why is that? (I’m not being facetious, I’m serious, and I’m not addressing T. Reformed here).

  35. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “While you, being TR, may have confessional issues with theonomy, that’s not the same as Cynthia’s opposition to theonomy, which seems to have a lot to do with niceness”

    NO, KTJ, quite the opposite. Read what I said.
    “some theonomists may be nicer than others ……. BUT if they are following Rushdoony, they still believe in a church-run state where….”
    I said, in short, that theonomists may be nice or not-so-nice, but either way, they follow Rushdoony, whose theology flies in the face of scripture.
    AND, this has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative, since one can be quite conservative without following Rushdoony. Rushdoony is a new kid on the block, theologically speaking — he published his Institutes on Biblical Law less than 40 years ago, well after I began to study such things. The religion I follow is over 1900 years older than Rushdoony, and its Author is more reliable too.

  36. marsha Says:

    Ann says: “This is crazy, 254 posts, and I make 255?? It’s basically a Christian Soap Opera. You know what I think would be a neat ending to this all. Doug comes over to the Epstein’s. He walks in, sits down, and says, “Jen, Mark, kids, I’m sorry, please forgive me.” Big giant grin on his face, hugs for everyone. Then Jen, Mark and Kids, say, “We’re sorry too Doug, please forgive us.” Tear, hugs, smiles. They all shake hands, Doug (family) gets up, walks out. END of story . . . Show’s been cancelled, now get on with real life folks!!!!!”

    Is this what you think reconciliation looks like? I think that, perhaps, is the whole problem within abusive churches. There is a mindset that says “Those people are so unforgiving” and there is no accountability for those who sinned against someone else. I have seen this in churches repeatedly. I remember a friend’s church I had visited several times with her. They had a pastor who single handedly chased out 2/3 of his congregation over the course of several years. He had certain perspectives on doctrine and rather than teaching those views in context of Scripture and over a period of time, he marched in and said things would be his way because, and I quote him “a pastor is the greatest among equals” (meaning his elders….I know he said this because I saw a blog where he made that comment and signed his name, linking to his own blog.) But when it was all said and done, the battle cry was “everyone needs to forgive” but there was no cry for “he needs to repent” of his lording it over the congregation.

    Ann, your simiple little scenario sounds good to you and, I suppose to others who are also naive about both spiritual abuse and the demands of the Gospel regarding this issue. But the truth of the matter is that restitution is a crucial part of the process. And this isn’t about personalitites or personal stories, really. It is about the philosophy of Phillips and men like him who believe they can do whatever they want to whomever they want without consequence.

  37. marsha Says:

    Vic says “Boy, what a lot of labels. Well, I was glad to see this, anyway. James Dobson (Focus on the Family) believes all the things Doug does as far as the definitions go, but his application is as different from Doug’s as bicycles are to spinach. I have never seen Dobson abuse or mistreat anybody or treat his wife/daughter like second-class citizens. So I guess it can be done.”

    Actually, there is a world of difference between Phillips and Dobson. As I recall, Dobson was raised as a Nazarene. He also wouldn’t hold to the hyper patriarchy taught in the Phillips circles.

  38. marsha Says:

    Vic says “He is not Reformed, which may make some of the difference here? Whether in person, message boards, or blogs, I do not find Reformed people very likeable most of the time. At least not reformed men; they argue constantly and are known for arrogance. Why is that? (I’m not being facetious, I’m serious, and I’m not addressing T. Reformed here).”

    ROFL….I am reformed and cannot tell you how very true this statement is! I grew up in Baptist circles where if one group became disgruntled, they moved down the street and started 2nd Baptist Church. But in reformed circles they hollart “heretic” and excommunicate you because, of course, the elders ARE greater among equals. Someone pointed out that in her PCA church, “taking it to the church” meant to take it to the elders. This is my experience as well in a PCA church. They interpreted many things in the oddest ways you could imagine…to wit.

  39. T. Reformed Says:

    “I do not find Reformed people very likeable most of the time. At least not reformed men; they argue constantly and are known for arrogance. Why is that? (I’m not being facetious, I’m serious, and I’m not addressing T. Reformed here).”

    Ouch! It’s true Cynthia, and the truth hurts. And even though you aren’t addressing me it still hurts. It hurts because it’s a reputation we Reformed have earned. Arrogance, pride, stubbornness, always eager for an argument. Yup, that’s us.

    Reformed theology should be the most humbling theology there is. Reformed theology is logically inconsistent with arrogance. Logically speaking, the Reformed should be the most humble of all Christians. The very motto of the Reformation was, “The church reformed, always reforming.” Reformation isn’t an “I have arrived” but rather the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis throughout the course of our lives.

    The arrogance of some of my Reformed brethren in acting like they’ve arrived just flabbergasts me. They think they’ve arrived because they have the right theology, as though having the right theology makes one superior. We Reformed do have the right theology, and we know it. As Lorraine Boettner put it, “we believe that Christianity comes to its fullest and purest expression in Reformed Faith.” I believe that too, but I don’t think it makes me superior to other Christians. I’m sad to say that I’ve known a number of Reformed who do think they’re superior because of it, and they act like it too.

    I’ve struggled for years to understand why so many of my Reformed brethren are some of the most arrogant Christians I’ve ever known. Pompous, arrogant windbags without a shred of the love the Lord Jesus in their hearts. This is especially dangerous when it’s a pastor. I’ve come to the conclusion, Cynthia, that many of the arrogant ones have all the right head knowledge, but their hearts have never been converted.

    Jen, it seems to me that this is a description that fits Doug Phillips well. No?

  40. Cynthia Gee Says:

    T.Reformed wrote,
    “I do not find Reformed people very likeable most of the time. At least not reformed men; they argue constantly and are known for arrogance. Why is that? (I’m not being facetious, I’m serious, and I’m not addressing T. Reformed here).”
    “Ouch! It’s true Cynthia, and the truth hurts. And even though you aren’t addressing me it still hurts. It hurts because it’s a reputation we Reformed have earned. Arrogance, pride, stubbornness, always eager for an argument. Yup, that’s us. ”

    Um… I didn’t write that, T, that was Vik. I disagree theologically with Dominion theology/Theonomy as developed by Rushdoony and North, but I have few problems with Calvinism as a whole.

  41. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “I’ve come to the conclusion, Cynthia, that many of the arrogant ones have all the right head knowledge, but their hearts have never been converted.”

    If their hearts have never been converted, then their head knowledge is also lacking. As Romans 10:17 says, “faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ”

    According to the Word, the head believes right doctrine first, and the heart and all else follows.
    The author of Romans tells us to be “transformed by the renewing of your MIND, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” and Ephesians 4:23 says to be renewed in the spirit of your MIND; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

  42. Saddened, but not shocked Says:

    But I always understood that to be less of a “jedging” issue and more of a protecting the rest of the flock issue.

    Bingo, Marie. You hit the nail on the head. I know you were talking about elders of a church, to put this in its context, but I’d say it’s a perfect “nutshell” of what this blog is about, at least from what I’ve read… and shortly before Peacemakers was brought in, I read the whole thing, start to finish, so I hope I got the gist.

  43. Vik Says:

    Yup, KTJ, that was me dissing Reformed men. 😉

    Everybody thinks their theology is right, but we none of us have to think we’ve “arrived”. I don’t buy into TULIP theology at all, but it would be nice for once to converse (not debate! not with a reformed guy!!) about the subject civily with a Calvinist. It never happens for two reasons: 1) That I disagree in the first place, and 2) because I’m just a dumb girl.

    I was once in an *Anabaptist* message board, and this nasty Reformed guy was angry because women and men were conversing, which to him, translated as “women teaching men” whenever women posted their opinions. He tried to drive all us women off, but the moderater nixed that. So he asked not to be addressed by women, basically. Boy. Got my dander up, and it takes a lot for that to happen to me.

    I’m glad you don’t appear to be that way. You’re a first.

    Thunderstorm coming, gotta unplug this thing.

    Vik
    P.S. Are most of you here reformed? Just wunnerin’.

  44. ReformedCalvinist Says:

    How about returning to the topic at hand:

    The rift between DP and LBW.

    According to the link at BCA’s website, Little Bear and his fellow pastors don’t have any issues with DP or BCA.

    What gives?

  45. Bruce Says:

    So, three churches and counting……there seems to be a developing trend.

  46. Jen Says:

    Sorry I seemed to have missed your comment, Reformed Calvinist. Give me a few days and I will answer your question. There’s a method to my madness!

    And, Bruce, exactly what trend might that be? It appears that you have missed the point.

  47. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    Just wish there was some way I could inject a little testosterone into this comment section.

    When I read about how Doug’s been keeping the woman down, and “muzzles women”, I tend to feel an affinity for him. I hate having warm and fuzzy thoughts pertaining to someone I don’t really like.

  48. · Does Patriarchy Produce Ecclesiastical Tyrants? Says:

    […] of the hottest blogs right now is “Jen’s Gems; Exposing Doug Phillips’ Ecclesiastical Tyrannies.” I don’t mean that Jen Epstein’s blog is hot just in Christian circles. I mean […]

  49. David M. Zuniga Says:

    There are simply too many issues here to address; enough for a year’s worth of blogging and arguing back and forth.

    I would only say two things for the present.

    My wife and I have gathered with the saints at Boerne Christian Assembly on a semi-regular basis for almost three years now; we’re building a home in Boerne, but presently we still live 180 miles away so can’t be with them every Sunday, alas. From everything I have ever heard Doug say or read of his writing, I have never sensed the slightest affinity for “white supremacy”. That is a preposterous assertion; just because he supported Rousas Rushdoony in much of his teaching (so do I), I’m sure Doug Phillips has serious problems with Rushdoony’s writings on the issue of “the black race”.

    I personally do not even subscribe to the idea of “race”; men are men, period. There are animist barbarians dancing around fires in Africa, to be sure. Or dancing in hip-hop clubs right here in America, and many of them are as white as I am. Barbarians come in every color.

    As for the value to the Church of a woman carrying her gripe against a local church, out into the catholic (universal) Church for airing, I see it as consummately divisive and unbiblical.

    Do I support everything my brother Doug and the elders at Boerne Christian Assembly do and say? Indeed, no; each of us has foibles and sins that he will answer for before the Lord. None of us should be proud of them, defensive about them, or dismissive of them!

    But to carry on this pointless, ascerbic, unbiblical rage-fest in the presence of unbelievers (as indeed we are, in this blogosphere) is the epitome of tale-bearing and division of the Church, bringing infamy to Christ’s work and gospel.

    Please, please forbear. Please try to find it in your heart to simply be wronged if you were wronged, and forbear.

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your blog.

  50. Jen Says:

    David, I appreciate you coming here. You are the first person from BCA to come here and use your name. I don’t believe I have ever had the privilege of meeting you, but I have read your blog and your forums, so I feel like I at least know a little bit about you.

    I would guess that you don’t really understand why I am here, though. I am here because of people like you. Because I have read your blog, I can see trouble ahead for you with Doug. I am here to caution you to be VERY careful. I am not the only one Doug has abused. If I were, I would not go public. I would rather be defrauded. But I am here because I care about people just like you.

    I’m going to tell you what is going to happen. I can already guess that you don’t have much opportunity to speak with Doug. You would like more. You think he’s just a busy man. He is. He’s too busy for people, people like you and me anyway. Eventually, you will become frustrated at your lack of access to him. Or you may get into his inner circle.

    Either way, seeing your personality, you are setting yourself up for hurt. Doug will do one of two things to you. He will take your ideas and use them, never giving you any credit. He does not like for someone else to have any ideas, any vision. Or, more likely, you will start to butt heads, because you are a highly opinionated man, and that’s a good thing. But Doug isn’t looking for people with any opinions that are different from his. Doug is looking for “yes” men. You are not one of those. You won’t last.

    I pray that you will not be terribly hurt when the time comes. I could introduce you to many people who have been on your same path and now have no place to go to church. Enjoy it while you can. A man like you surely can’t last there very long. I wish you well and I pray that you seriously consider my warning.

    BTW, if you’d care to run interference on behalf of BCA, I’m all ears.

  51. Morgan Farmer Says:

    I read his blog too….he sounds like some people I knew way back that I do not even recognize now. Sad….

  52. Lynn Says:

    David, regarding the racist charges. It was Doug’s friend Matt Chancey who made racial slurs against the Epsteins on mrsbinoculars.com. Most of us (not all) who have been discussing this issue understand that we are only applying Chancey’s reasoning to Doug when we claim Doug sings the praises of Dabney, show the KKK and other racist ties to the Constitution party, and tibits like that.

    It was primarily to show how the guilt by association game with respect to racism can be applied to Doug far more than it can to the Epsteins. I for one, understand the logical problem there, but it was Doug and Matt Chancey who still think they will convince people to not pay attention to the Epsteins because they had interaction with kinists.

  53. David M. Zuniga Says:

    I did not intend to “run interference” for anyone; we are ONE Church, all those who follow Christ. Those who make life all about one man — Doug Phillips or anyone else; for or against — are involved in folly. I only ask that you forbear, but I did not (in the flesh) hold out much hope for you doing so. Obviously you have an agenda, just as you accuse Doug Phillips of having.

    Morgan Farmer, if you can find anything factually or legally flawed on my blog, I am all ears. Otherwise, you sound like a government-school product who has (I would wager) never even seen a copy of the Tax Code, much less actually read any of it. Please make your personal attacks more substantive than ad hominem.

    Or is that simply too much to ask, given this venue?

  54. David M. Zuniga Says:

    Morgan Farmer,

    You did not, obviously “read my blog” as you stated. You likely read the first few paragraphs of the introductory article thereon. Correct?

    Did you even get as far as reading the ten introductory points before I walk the reader through the historical, constitutional, and legal support for the Tax Honesty position?

    No, I didn’t think so.

    Please don’t call me “sad”; the 67 million of us who no longer bend the knee to Baal are as happy as we’ve ever been in our lives! What is truly sad is folks like you, who are perfectly willing to pooh-pooh important matters for the Church in the public square, before you have performed the least bit of due diligence.

    Now THAT is sad!

  55. Praying For Revealing Says:

    “Please, please forbear. Please try to find it in your heart to simply be wronged if you were wronged, and forbear.”

    David, how are the Epsteins to “forbear” their unjust excommunication? That excommunication prevents them from ever joining another church ever again. Doug refuses to lift the censure and he refuses to so much as meet with the Epsteins to even talk about it. What about their children who are being shunned by the entire BCA congregation, even though they’ve committed no sins worthy of shunning? Are you saying that children too must “forbear” such wicked deeds perpetrated against them by those who call themselves Christians? By “forbear” are you saying that the Epsteins should just stay out church for the rest of their lives? In this case that’s exactly what “forbear” means David.

    I realize it’s got to be real embarrassing having your pastor exposed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but shouldn’t wolves be exposed as wolves? This isn’t a case of “forbear” David. This is a case where a great injustice must be corrected.

    Speaking of “carrying on this pointless, ascerbic, unbiblical rage-fest in the presence of unbelievers,” David, why don’t you just “forbear” and pay your income taxes? Your web site makes you sound like some kind of a tax protest evangelist. It looks like you’ve devoted your entire life to refusing to pay the income tax. How does that bring honor to Jesus? It doesn’t. “Please try to find it in your heart to simply be wronged.”

    David, does Doug Phillips support your tax protest evangelism?

  56. David M. Zuniga Says:

    Well. Ahem.

    Let’s begin this way, “Praying for Revealing”, shall we? Let us begin with introductions. You have my (real) name; may we have yours?

    If we can get that far, I think we could have a lively Friday afternoon discussion to break the pointless, ascerbic, unbiblical rage-fest!

    Oh, and Doug Phillips is not “my pastor”. He is my brother in Christ, as Mrs. Epstein is my sister in Christ.

    Your name first, and then we’ll talk about a few things…like “tax protesting”; for I have studied the Tax Code for eight years, and never found ONE section that I wish to protest. I follow it TO THE LETTER, and only want the Congress to do the same.

    Oh, and incidentally: I am totally open and above-board with the IRS; I immediately, forthrightly answer (certified mail) every threat, love note, or request I receive from them. All I ask from them is that they show me any law I have broken, and I will be happy to stop breaking it, and pay any fines, etc. they wish to have from me.

    Now, do I sound like a “protestor” to you, “Praying For Revealing” sir/madam?

  57. David M. Zuniga Says:

    This blog brings to mind two superb Williamesque quotes:

    “Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d
    Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.”
    (Wm. Congreve, The Mourning Bride)

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
    (Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet)

    Please, forbear. The spirit of Christ would be to give up this spirit of ‘sweet revenge’, and to pay no more heed to personal slights if the Church (other churches who have reviewed the situation, not the local church that is charged with tyranny) has already absolved you and sent you on your way.

    I do not know if the larger Church (other elders nearby who know the parties and the facts) has already done that. I only say that the public excoriation of the ‘offender’ here on the worldwide web is FAR WORSE than the public excoriation of the ‘offender’ in a small rural church (of which, incidentally, I never claimed to be a member).

  58. Moderator (for the afternoon) Says:

    Mr. Zuniga,
    Jen is away and has asked me to step in and moderate. I’ve put you on the moderation list because you just attempted to post an article. The comments section here is not for posting your articles. You’ve got your own blog for that and for promoting your personal agenda. Jen posts the articles here, and others get to comment on her articles. Posting articles yourself as comments is unacceptable.
    If you need to answer anyone’s questions here about your tax protest positions feel free to link to an article, but don’t clog up Jen’s blog by posting the article itself.

  59. David M. Zuniga Says:

    Hmmm…my “personal agenda” was really just trying to make a point: it’s more important (and possibly a welcome break for a Friday afternoon after months of the “tyrant pastor” tirade?) to consider the sellout by the American 501c3 church, and by America’s Christians — of the U.S. Constitution and of the sphere sovereignty of the Church.

    But it’s Mrs. Epstein’s blog, not mine — true enough!

    For the record, I am NOT a tax protestor; I am a corruption protestor!

    Thanks for the visit, and for allowing me to ‘speak’ to your little group.

  60. Brett Rollins Says:

    David, your protesting of the personal income tax has nothing at all to do with the tax exempt status of churches. Your conflating of those two issues is dishonest.

    I Googled on “David M Zuniga” and what an eye opener. David has posted quite a few comments on blogs and forums. The only things he ever talks about is why he’s refused to pay his income taxes for the last six years and why everyone has to join the Constitution Party. His religious fervor for the CP sounds much like Doug Phillips own religious fervor for the CP. David also posted some comments defending R.C. Sproul, Jr. when Sproul was defrocked. One of the things that Sproul was defrocked over was for being a tax cheat (he stole and used the tax identification number of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church). Phillips too has stood closely by his defrocked tax cheat friend. R.C. Sproul, Jr. was also once an officer in the Constitution Party.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

    David, PFR asked you a reasonable question. Does Doug Phillips endorse your position on the income tax? I have a question of my own. How many other BCA members endorse your “nontaxpayer” position? You do appear to be quite an “evangelist” for the “nontaxpayer” position. Are you striving to convince BCA members to not pay their income taxes?

  61. David M. Zuniga Says:

    Brett,

    Thanks for giving your real name, brother. I hate talking to fake names.

    I don’t know if Jen will allow this long answer, but since she has been pretty generous about allowing her detractors to attack her here, perhaps she will allow me to answer you, my detractor here!

    I’m not sure why you would want to disparage me? Have I done something to offend you? Have I said anything immoral, illegal, or false?

    You libelously insinuate a “pattern” of dishonesty, but would you please support your personal disparagement of me, here? Or retract it, please? I see no point at all in it.

    I posit that the Church’s raising its “tithes” by giving tax write-offs is DIRECTLY correlative; it trains people to give to “the Lord’s work” just so they can get some of that paycheck back from a corrupt government! You consider that to be dishonest conflation? If so, you are muddle-headed about taxation, and about what the Church has become in seeking 501c3 status under a financial scam of a palpably corrupt Congress.

    You are correct to call me an evangelist for the Nontaxpayer position. If you understood how tactically vital is this battle for the future of the American Church, and for constitutional self-government as well, you would not consider that a disparagement.

    Please, if you find anything immoral, unethical, unlawful, or untrue on my website, please report it to me — or if you like, right back here. But the only reason you suggest that I am trying to convince members of Boerne Christian Assembly (in which I am not a formal ‘member’) to “not pay ‘their’ [sic] income taxes” is that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about with respect to tax law. You only know what you have been told by Mommy, or the mailman, or your teachers in school, or the IRS pamphlets, or the major media.

    As when trying to detoxify a Darwinist, this is not easy work, but it is a challenge I believe I am called to, as are tens of thousands of others. “Ye shall be my disciples, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” applies very much to living one’s life on an April 15th hamster-wheel, as much as it applies to living under an autocratic local church leadership!

    I have confronted RC Sproul Jr, Doug Phillips, Doug Wilson, Gary North, Dave Black, George Grant, and at least a dozen other evengelical “leaders” about the constitutional and moral crisis in the Church inherent in the 501c3 sellout and the other side of the same sin, the capitulation of Christian men and women to the DC al-Qaeda. Only two of those men (Sproul and Grant) have even bothered to answer me on the subject; both to say “that’s not my ministry”. Um…sure.

    They all realise that the Tax Honesty battle is ‘Reformation, on the ground’; I think they also believe it will be a dangerous position to undertake, even with 67 million of us now lawfully and happily living as Nontaxpayers.

    Even with (by IRS’s own estimation) the conviction rate for filers being FOUR TIMES higher per capita than for non-filers!

    Even though not ONE judge, jury, or prosecutor in the few Nontaxpayer cases that come up — have been able (willing?) to simply show the section of law that is being broken by the person who is brought into court for “failure to file”. Not ONE has shown a law.

    This matter dwarfs every other social battle going on in the Church today; the sellout of Christ’s Church for a mess of 501c3 pottage is VERY MUCH at the heart of all that is wrong with American goverment, regulation, and public life today because YOUR paycheck is underwriting the avowed enemies of God, the enemies of the Constitution, and the corrupting equivalent of 10,800 major drug cartels inside the DC beltway.

    Why don’e these “Reformed” brothers take serious measures for reform, instead of selling books, tapes, and plastic swords to children? For the life of me, I don’t know. I think that these brothers BELIEVE that to take on the tax-exempt donation, would be to cut their own cashflow. But having been a law-abiding Nontaxpayer for almost eight years, I can tell them: being free of the DC al-Qaeda’s check-skimming scam actually frees up a great deal MORE to give to the poor, the outcast, and the kingdom work all around us.

    We have the Church and the civil government that we deserve. We have been selfish, slothful, and fearful of our employees.

    You deserve the hamster-wheel life you live, and by God’s grace and years of study and courageous standing (ONLY by that courage God has given me, not any of my own!) my family enjoys the liberty that we enjoy. This is reformation in real time, rather than arguing doctrine and expulsions and hurt feelings.

    I think the Epsteins are providing a service, in a very perverse and painful way. I know there is no way to undo all that has been said here, nor is there any way to deny all of the charges. As someone said (far) above, it would be nice to see a heartfelt humility and reconciliation from BOTH sides, and true reformation on both sides.

    But I’m not holding my breath.

    Thanks, Jen, for letting a stranger step all over your blog with what seems an unrelated matter. I hoped to provide a Friday afternoon ‘diversion’ that will be true food for thought and family reformation.

    And thanks, Brett Rollins, for the questions. I know you meant them sincerely, but if you re-read them you’ll see they do insinuate that I am either a liar or a law-breaker so I wanted to respond.

  62. David M. Zuniga Says:

    Sorry; I just realised that Brett Rollins is NOT the real name of “Praying for Revealing”, only that both of them attacked me (the messenger) instead of engaging my challenge RE Tax Honesty and the sold-out 501c3 Church.

    I suppose I may never know who “Praying for Revealing” really is. But it doesn’t matter; it’s common for pseudonymous bloggers to launch attacks, because they are essentially ‘free’.

    That’s OK, I don’t mind, as long as some brethren start to think about these things.

    Have a blessed weekend and Lord’s day, all.

  63. David M. Zuniga Says:

    Incidentally, although the Constitution Party unilaterally made me its “Webb County Chairman” WITHOUT MY CONSENT, I do not belong to any political party, and do not endorse political parties any more than I endorse religious denominations.

    A pox on both their houses.

  64. Brett Rollins Says:

    “If so, you are muddle-headed about taxation, and about what the Church has become in seeking 501c3 status under a financial scam of a palpably corrupt Congress. You are correct to call me an evangelist for the Nontaxpayer position. If you understood how tactically vital is this battle for the future of the American Church, and for constitutional self-government as well, you would not consider that a disparagement.”

    Okay David. I tried. I really tried to give you an out. I accused you of conflating the church’s tax exempt status with the individual income tax. You deny it. From what I can see your agenda includes using churches to advance your cause. You want to see entire churches become tax protestors. You attend Boerne Christian Assembly and so evidently you’re evangelizing them in tax protesting, or as you call it, becoming “nontaxpayers.”

    Jen is exposing Doug Phillips’ ecclesiastical tyrannies. I wonder how long it will be before BCA is exposed as a “nontaxpayer” church?

  65. Jen Says:

    David Zuniga: “Please, forbear. The spirit of Christ would be to give up this spirit of ’sweet revenge’, and to pay no more heed to personal slights if the Church (other churches who have reviewed the situation, not the local church that is charged with tyranny) has already absolved you and sent you on your way.

    David, I like you. You have guts. You are not afraid to come to my blog like everyone else at BCA is. But I really love Doug. I know that might be hard to understand, but that is really why I’m here. Well, that and I care about those he will hurt. If I had wanted revenge, I would have gone public two years ago. I could say a whole LOT more about Doug, if I just wanted revenge. If you knew the things I haven’t told, you would see that I am not out for revenge. I pray that you see the spirit of Christ in me as you read this blog. I do not believe you will find any bitterness here, at least on my part. Sometimes Christ had to be fairly forceful with those Pharisees. I see Doug as a Pharisee, and he has forced me to be forceful as well, but it is still done in love.

    This is not a personal slight. Have you read my story? If you attend BCA, I recommend that you read my story and the documentation. I know it’s long, but it’s necessary for YOU.

    What church do you think has absolved us, biblically speaking? How are we to go to another church now? Is this even possible? Can we stay in the community? How hard was it for you to find a church to attend? We already went the same PCA route you tried. You know very well there is not another church we could go to.

    David: “I do not know if the larger Church (other elders nearby who know the parties and the facts) has already done that. I only say that the public excoriation of the ‘offender’ here on the worldwide web is FAR WORSE than the public excoriation of the ‘offender’ in a small rural church (of which, incidentally, I never claimed to be a member).”

    There are no other churches who know the facts, David. That is the problem. No one is willing to look at the facts. So why am I going public rather than be defrauded? Because Doug Phillips has left a long trail of hurt all over the world and I’m tired of seeing fellow believers get hurt. You, personally, are probably the next one to get hurt. I can see the handwriting on the wall now. The point now is for me to warn others of this wolf in their midst.

    David: “I posit that the Church’s raising its “tithes” by giving tax write-offs is DIRECTLY correlative; it trains people to give to “the Lord’s work” just so they can get some of that paycheck back from a corrupt government! You consider that to be dishonest conflation?”

    I agree with you, but not for the reasons you state here. A friend recently told me that when we give to the Lord and we then take a tax deduction for that gift, we have already reaped our reward. Our reward is an earthly reward (tax write-off) and we have forfeited whatever heavenly reward we might have had for “cheerful giving.” While our family is required to pay taxes, we will not take these deductions. I wonder which side you will stand on that.

    David: “I have confronted Doug Phillips … about the constitutional and moral crisis in the Church inherent in the 501c3 sellout.”

    And do you know why he hasn’t responded favorably? Do you know how much of a hypocrite he really is? When we first started attending BCA, Doug Phillips preached against 501(c)3s. Did you know that? In fact, I believe he was trying to have that stance be one of his “visions” at Vision Forum. He was preaching against them until, all of a sudden, “poof!” Vision Forum was suddenly a 501(c)3. And this is the kind of stuff that I have not brought up about Doug Phillips unless someone else does first. This is why I say that I am not out for revenge. But this is also the kind of hypocrite you look up to.

    David: “This matter dwarfs every other social battle going on in the Church today; the sellout of Christ’s Church for a mess of 501c3 pottage is VERY MUCH at the heart of all that is wrong with American goverment, regulation, and public life today because YOUR paycheck is underwriting the avowed enemies of God, the enemies of the Constitution, and the corrupting equivalent of 10,800 major drug cartels inside the DC beltway.”

    This dwarfs every other social battle in the church today? This is a mighty strong statement, David. Is money really more important than someone’s physical life (abortion) or confronting sin (homosexuality, sexual immorality, divorce, you name it) or, should I say, helping abused wives and children? Is money really more important than all these? I’ll take your stand against 501(c)3s any day of the week, but we do need to have our priorities straight, David. I say exposing ecclesiastical tyranny is more important than where the money goes, although they are both important.

    I realize money isn’t the whole issue here. I know that you are saying that, in essence, a 501(c)3 is really supporting all the evils of Big Brother, and you are right. But I want you to look at some other issues as well. We don’t have to put everything into just one fight. Fight this battle. I pray more churches and ministries have their eyes opened to this wickedness. But take on a few other battles as well. Be a little more well-rounded. Consider the effect on the church of sweeping sin under the rug, for instance.

  66. David M. Zuniga Says:

    Okay, folks; I offered to give you a Friday afternoon respite from the spit-fest, and nothing more than that.

    Jen, if this is the way you “love Doug”, I’d hate to see what you’ll do to those you despise! Madam, you have done a great deal of damage; may I suggest repentance? I was once a regular attender of Faith Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, and I know that the elders there attempted to mediate in this dust-up. As I understand it, they ‘suggested’ that you do certain things, but you refused to do them. Now you complain that you have no relief from the ‘tyrant’. Sheeeesh.

    Brett Rollins, I invite you to read the introduction to Tax Honesty on my website. It is a 2+ hour read, I will admit, but considering the stakes for our way of life and the REAL ‘War on Terror’, I think it’s worth it for every American worthy of the name, to perform his due diligence, rather than continuing to pour $2.7 TRILLION per year into a corrupt Congress’ redistributionist State.

    Mrs. Epstein here claims it’s “about money”; yes, of course it is. But only because money is the engine of our Constitutional crisis, every bit as much as it is in Colombia or Mexico. One cannot ignorantly continue to give 25-40% of one’s family substance to corrupt men, and expect God to bless their land!

    Fellows like Brett Rollins are precisely the kind of vapid evangelicals who, rather than invite God’s judgment on America — ARE God’s judgment on America. They spend an incredible amount of time on the silliest hobbies, subjects, etc… and remain blissfully ignorant of the mega-shifts in Church and State that have resulted directly from the sins of the CHURCH. Not sins of politicians.

    Brett, I’ve invited you and Mr/Mrs pseudonym to actually read the primer on Tax Honesty provided at my website, and then comment, rather than making ignorant ‘threats’. You continue to make silly statements when I have clearly stated that I am not a “member” of Doug Phillips’ church, and that no one of its elders or leadership (to my knowledge) has taken a position on Tax Honesty.

    OK, folks; Friday is past, and my attempt to divert you to thinking of personal, family, and Church reformation rather than silly bickering obviously failed. Results are the Lord’s; mine is but to tell what I know. I have the same passion when the subject comes to parents training up their own children (rather than sending them to government indoctrination centers), or when the subject is ‘Calvinianity, or the Baptismian faith, or other such historical illiteracy and internecine bigotry (which is rife in the Church today). Tax Honesty is not my only passion, but it is tactically critical in our day.

    Blessings on your houses!

  67. David M. Zuniga Says:

    Let me CLEARLY reiterate that I do not support breaking ANY law; I follow the Tax Code scrupulously. I also do not support lying. Nor do I support, in the least, living in fear of terrorists. Especially when they are one’s employees, Brett.

  68. David M. Zuniga Says:

    Goodness gracious, Epsteins!

    I just visited my Tax Honesty blog site and noticed the incredible upturn in hits I’ve received since I visited this blog! You folks must have an incredible amount of traffic; I’ve never had so many visitors to my American Glasnost blog, or such long visits.

    I pray that Christ will be glorified in His Church, that all of these horrible battles will end to His glory; and that many folks (even unbelievers) will learn how to stop fearing terrorist boogeymen impersonating public servants in America’s REAL ‘War on Terror.’

    I have a design deadline I’m supposed to be delivering, yet I’ve spent hours and hours here, learning about this battle in the Church, and throwing in my own salvos. Seeing the incredible increase in traffic at my American Glasnost blog and having opportunity to defend my friends Doug Phillips and RC Sproul, Jr has been worth it.

    Thank you, Epsteins, for allowing the exchange.

  69. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    To Dear Little Bear and all others who have been shunned by Doug: wear the experience as a badge of honor. The red letters tell us as much.

    Consider how Jesus responded to the legalists of his day and compare yourself to Him. I’ve read here that “Little Bear would like to get back into Doug’s good graces” but it is doubtful that he has much grace to offer. Do you really want to reconcile with a modern day Pharisee (a little bully?) and his band of thugs? Consider Matthew chapter 10. Jesus told the twelve to “kick the dust off their feet” when they were not received.

    Many have critically responded here with tones of offense that Doug has been targeted. I’ve read that this topic and website serve as a honed weapon to unfairly criticize others over doctrinal interpretation. SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS WHAT HAS BEEN DONE IN SECRET! In my estimation, little of this material discusses doctrine but details evidence that Doug does not hold himself accountable to the very strict standards that he demands of others. He demonstrates behavior more akin to — identical to — the legalism and proud showmanship of the Pharisees. See Ezekiel 34. Read Zech 12, II Peter 2. Maintaining conduct and peacable relations should never be at ANY cost. What I read here is not loving and compassionate care of a shepherd but that of a wounded animal who preys on his sheep to maintain his own sense of self importance. He makes an idol of the the institution of family yet behaves as if he seeks the destruction of any who fail to meet his standards. There is no problem with submission to doctrine or authority here. These matters concern the authoritarian (expressly non-Christian, unbiblical) behavior of a person who publically espouses an explicit code of conduct and morality and fails miserably to live up to them. Paul said that our leaders are held to a much higher standard of conduct as well. He has established himself as such ad nauseum. We are duty bound as Christians to hold one another to Biblical standards of conduct for the benefit of all. Who then is the hypocrite and where the den of vipers? Which parties represented here demonstrate accountability?

    If I had nothing better to do, I could most likely list at least 15 “thought stopping cliches” that have been here in the responses to those who are critical of what they apparently percieve to be “Blogosphere Gossip”. (Now little children, we should all know by now that the Westminster Confession explicitly denounces this!!!) Can you all suspend your offenses long enough to consider that you just might have been unduly influenced? Have you fallen for the appeal to authority, maybe just a little? Question why you are offended or threatened by someone else. Be critical. Go ahead and more power to ya. But consider whether or not you are actually doing damage control on behalf of Doug. If he’s truly righteous in these matters, as a man in his position of authority, why would anyone care about what is said of him? Why is he theatened by what is said against him if it is false? If he is innocent, then no weapon formed against him shall prosper. The Word tells us that God will not be mocked either. Could you just possibly be recanting the propaganda with which you have been indoctrinated?

  70. David M Zuniga Says:

    Cindy,

    I would not defend any of Doug Phillips’ unbiblical actions, or his immature reactions; but neither do I believe it is right to maintain a blog site (ad infinitum) to pursue a man’s every foible and negative character trait, including false accusations, and then just offer a facile “why be threatened by my attacks against you if they’re false anyway?!”

    That is simply not the biblical way to confront sin; it is answering a perceived sin with an even more egregious one of your own. Talebearing is not biblical; you SHOULD be concerned if an accusation against Doug Phillips is untrue.

    None of us would want to have entire blogs out there, “exposing us” — attacking almost every aspect of our character and work! Imagine an entire blog entitled “Why Cindy Kunsman is a hypocrite”, or “David Zuniga: bitter curmudgeon!”

    If you see defensiveness among Doug’s employees and close friends, it is nothing more than what you’d see in any other circle of Christians: the more intense the attack, the more intense the defense. This is human nature, even (especially?) in Christ’s Church.

    It is one thing to say that Doug Phillips (and the elders at BCA) sinned in their manner of expelling the Epsteins from their church. There is little doubt (in my mind) that they did, and it is understandable that the Epsteins would attempt to redress that grievance in approximately the same circle in which it took place: the local area where the BCA elders had the Epsteins “shunned”.

    But if the Epsteins’ position has merit (after weeks of studying the situation, and years of studying the history of Calvinism’s excesses, I believe it does) then they should be able to rest secure in the very same principle you have espoused: “why (are they) threatened by what is said against (them) if it is false?”

    It appears that this blog has been a cathartic exercise for not only the Epsteins, but for a handful of others of us who were similarly unbiblically expelled from Calvinist local bodies. But we remain members of the body of Christ, together. Should we not keep that in mind, as we prayerfully see to the healing process?

  71. Joan Hathcote Says:

    Mr. Z, I find it AMAZING that you’d denounce this blog after all the time you’ve spent on it. For the past several days, it’s been more like YOUR blog, with all the posting you’ve done here.

  72. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    To Joan H,
    You beat me to the chase. I am also confused. Mr.Z’s response to me is somewhat adversarial (as if I’m advocating bashing or unfaithful representations) and then he affirms the Epstiens (by blogging). I meant to present a challenge to everyone: consider the truth. If anyone thinks that I’ve misrepresented it or that my perspective is invalid, so be it. (Truth is truth — we are to BUY it and SELL IT NOT.) I offer my experience and opinion in the hope that they will foster true Christian liberty.

    To Mr. Z: I am one of the greatest hypocrites that has ever drawn breath, but God has afforded me grace. You beg the questions and my point. How do you know that there’s not a Cindy bashing blog out there? Or far more destructive slander that has done far more damage than a blog?

    I applaud this site. I applaud the honest an honorable works of Doug Phillips. The body of Christ owes him a debt of gratitude which is why criticism of him proves a daunting task. You’ve addressed me (I assume it’s me) directly, but to whom are you really directing your comments? In begging my question, it seems you’ve missed my point.

  73. David M Zuniga Says:

    Joan,

    I think my post was considerably more nuanced than to “denounce this blog”?

  74. David M Zuniga Says:

    Cindy,

    I’m not aware of how I used petitio principii (begging the question) in my response to your post?

    You said, speaking of Doug Phillips, that “it is doubtful that he has much grace to offer. Do you really want to reconcile with a modern day Pharisee (a little bully?) and his band of thugs?”

    You also said, “I applaud the honest an honorable works of Doug Phillips. The body of Christ owes him a debt of gratitude…”

    And you also said, “I am one of the greatest hypocrites that has ever drawn breath…”.

    Wow…who needs a “Cindy-bashing bog”? You’ve done a pretty good job all by your lonesome! 🙂


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