Home School Leaders Warned About Doug Phillips

The following letter went out to a number of home school leaders across the nation and abroad. A copy was also sent to Doug Phillips asking for his response.

We know that there are many more leaders, home school groups, and home school families out there who need to hear this, so if you would like to forward this to them yourself, please feel free (just be sure the links are included). Or you can send us their email address and we would be glad to send it to them.

Dear Home School Leader,

I’ve been a Christian home educator for twelve years now and have been president of a local home school group for seven years. I’ve been active in the home school community for quite some time and have helped to coordinate numerous home school functions and co-ops in the San Antonio, Texas area and have worked at many homeschool conventions.

Home schoolers have worked very hard for a number of years to earn a good reputation for Christian home education. Our proven track record of educational excellence has largely overcome the criticisms of the government educrats. However, we need to remain ever vigilant to maintain that good reputation. If our reputation is undermined by any among us who have divisive and potentially harmful agendas, we stand to lose much.

It’s vital that the most prominent of our home school leadership be men and women of impeccable reputation and strong moral character. We’re very concerned that one of the most prominent of our home education leaders runs the risk of causing the entire home school movement great damage. We speak of Douglas W. Phillips, the founder of Vision Forum. We believe that Doug Phillips’ intentions may be good for his attempts to shed light on a number of wrongs that have crept into the Christian home, the church, and society on the whole, in recent decades. However, a number of Doug Phillips’ methods and ambitions for correcting these problems are seriously flawed. Rather than working to bring about reformation, Doug Phillips embraces opinions and methods which are reactionary, harmful and even potentially dangerous to the family and the church.

Home schoolers are already considered by many to be “radicals” and “extremists.” Of course, we know that most Christian home educators are actually very moderate and do their best to “live at peace with all men” (Rom 12:18). However, Doug Phillips, even by many Christian home schooling standards, is very much an extremist. We’ve known Doug personally for many years and have spent much time studying and analyzing his opinions, as well as his actions. As a result, we’ve become increasingly concerned that Doug Phillips may be far more a liability than an asset to the Christian home school movement.

There is much to show how unhealthy and problematic Doug’s views are, and in this brief email we hope to demonstrate just a few of those. Our goal is to warn you as a Christian home school leader so that you can take any precautionary steps you deem appropriate to minimize any adverse impact to your own family and home school organization. In order to protect the Christian home school movement, we believe it is important that Doug Phillips be isolated and relegated to the outer fringes where he properly belongs, and where he can do little harm. We believe that it is risky for your organization to be identifying yourself with Doug Phillips, and to give him a platform from which he can promote his views. Please now allow us to explain why.

Doug Phillips has just expressed his views publicly on the massacre at Virginia Tech in an article entitled On The Horror At Virginia Tech. Though Doug makes some valid theological observations, his timing couldn’t have been worse. Doug is taking considerable heat over how insensitive and calloused his remarks appear to be. Most troubling is the fact that Doug is publicly advocating arming students. This is a classic example of Doug’s reactionary thinking. Because gun control advocates are calling for further gun control legislation, Doug reacts by saying the solution is to permit students to bring guns into the classroom. This isn’t to say that he wants all students armed, though. In Doug’s patriarchal world, only male students would be armed.

Doug Phillips is known as a significant leader of “Patriarchy,” a movement which seeks to restore homes and churches to an idyllic antebellum image, a time of chivalrous gentlemen and ladies in fluffy dresses. However, just below the surface of this superficial “Gone With The Wind” veneer lurks a far less honorable side. Doug Phillips often challenges radical feminism, and he’s right to do so. However, the solution to radical feminism isn’t a shift to the opposite extreme. Phillips’ views aren’t “complementarian,” or even just patriarchal, but rather hyper-patriarchal, a world in which women are effectively treated as doormats and not permitted to have any opinions of their own. Phillips’ patriarchy vision is an autocratic pseudo-feudal world in which women are completely dominated by husbands, and daughters are deprived of higher education and careers of any kind.

Doug Phillips’ jaded view of women is no more clearly evidenced than the way that he directs his own church, Boerne Christian Assembly, as its self-appointed and unordained pastor and sole elder. At BCA, “Let your women keep silence in the churches” (1 Cor. 14:34) is interpreted in such an extreme manner that women aren’t even permitted to introduce guests, women aren’t permitted to make prayer requests, and women aren’t even permitted to get their own communion (if her husband isn’t present, she must be served by another man, or one of her own sons, even if that son is too young to partake of communion himself). We were members of Doug’s church for five years, and so our comments about this are based on personal experience.

Doug Phillips takes his low opinion of women into the marriage counseling setting as well. Where marital problems are brought to his attention, he’s known to avoid any judicious examination of underlying issues, but rather immediately side entirely with the husband and seek out any excuse to blame the wife for any problems. We know this not only because of what’s been reported to us, but because of what we personally experienced. Some of Phillips’ more common questions to husbands of troubled marriages are: “Isn’t your wife a dripping faucet and a nag?” “Isn’t your wife rebellious?” “Isn’t your wife a Jezebel?” In Doug Phillips’ world, the wife is always to blame. Doug Phillips is not known to have ever asked a wife, “Does your husband love you as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her?”

Considering the fact that women quite often are doing the majority of the practical teaching at home, and also making many of the decisions about home school curriculum, we consider it remarkable that Doug Phillips evidences all the tendencies of a misogynist. Since women are probably making many of the decisions about what materials to order from Vision Forum, and women make up such a large percentage of the home school leadership, one would think that Doug Phillips would want to treat women with much more regard than he does.

Doug Phillips is an attorney and claims to have a biblical world view about law and justice. He even sponsors an annual law conference. This is one of the reasons that we recently exposed Doug on the internet for having conducted a Kangaroo Court in his own church, Boerne Christian Assembly. For those who will take the time to carefully examine the facts, they will come away deeply troubled by the huge disparity between what Doug publicly espouses about justice versus what he actually practices when given the opportunity to exercise justice himself. Without any due process whatsoever, Doug Phillips unjustly excommunicated us for sins that we’d already repented of, as well as sins for which there wasn’t a shred of evidence to support. In fact, one of Doug’s charges against Jen was over a sin that she had committed years before she had even become a Christian, and years after she had repented of that sin! The Lord Jesus forgave her of that sin over seventeen years ago, but apparently Doug Phillips’ standards of forgiveness are far higher than the Lord’s.

After leaving Boerne Christian Assembly, we were welcomed into a church led by Richard “Little Bear” Wheeler. Pastor Wheeler’s church is a “sister church” to BCA. Aside from being a pastor, Little Bear Wheeler is a prominent home school leader and the founder of Mantle Ministries. Doug and Little Bear were close personal friends and have spoken from the podium at many of the same home school conferences and retreats. Little Bear Wheeler worked diligently for fourteen months to reconcile our relationship to Doug Phillips and BCA, but Doug refused to make an appearance for any of the numerous meetings that Little Bear arranged between us. Doug rebuffed all efforts at reconciliation. Worse yet, Doug retaliated against Little Bear by terminating their long friendship, and he even removed most, if not all, Mantle Ministries products from the Vision Forum catalog. For his kindness toward us, Doug Phillips shunned Little Bear Wheeler.

Doug Phillips is a significant leader in the “Family Integrated Church” movement. Many churches do indeed segregate family members by age and pressure parents to have their children participate in youth groups which, though often consistent with the values of public school parents, are often at odds with the values of “family integrated” home school parents. While well intentioned, the family integrated church movement, much like the patriarchy movement, has too often shown itself to be extremist, self-righteous and divisive. Rather than seeking to reform churches from within and wean them from being “programmatic,” the Family Integrated Church movement has become a “program” in itself and has caused a number of church splits. Though Doug Phillips has spoken on “how leave a church honorably,” much of the fruit of the Family Integrated Church movement has been anything but honorable.

Most troubling in its ramifications for how it could adversely impact the cause of Christian education is Doug Phillips’ video documentary “Raising The Allosaur.” Some have referred to this video as a “fakeumentary.” Indeed, there is overwhelming evidence that many of the claims made by Phillips in “Raising The Allosaur” are blatant fabrications. Phillips has never been able to provide any reasonable explanations for the glaring inconsistencies and serious allegations that have been put to him as a result of his video production, masquerading as a documentary. Phillips suffered so much negative public exposure for his fakeumentary that he withdrew it from the Vision Forum catalog, without any public explanation, and he did so in spite of the fact that “Raising The Allosaur” had been a very lucrative product for Vision Forum. Phillips’ fakeumentary has greatly harmed the cause of creationism. If even just a few of the allegations against this video are true, then Doug Phillips is guilty of perpetrating a huge fraud against many thousands of Christians, and especially against Christian home schoolers (in the video Phillips falsely credits home schoolers as having been responsible for finding the allosaur). Phillips owes the Christian public either an explanation or an apology. However, after many such demands, he has completely evaded doing either one. There are numerous other issues that call into question Doug Phillips’ integrity, but “Raising The Allosaur” may be the most glaring example yet.

Perhaps the single greatest risk of all though, in associating with Doug Phillips, are the numerous concerns expressed that he may be a closet racist. We ourselves are not prepared to make such an allegation. We believe that some of these allegations are based on the logical fallacy of “guilt by association.” The problem for Doug, though, is that some of the things that he has said and written do tend to cast strong suspicion on his views of race. Many of Doug Phillips’ personal heroes are notorious racists. As just one example, Doug has written a poem about Robert L. Dabney in which he says, “Hail Dabney, defender of the South!” This is an obvious reference to Dabney’s book, “A Defense Of Virginia and the South.” If you’ve read Dabney’s book, you already know that it was written for one purpose only — as a defense of Southern slavery. Dabney was the South’s strongest apologist for slavery. Dabney had an extremely low view of Blacks, believing that their only appropriate station in life was in perpetual servitude to Whites. For Doug Phillips to “Hail Dabney!” seems extremely problematic.

Doug has left himself wide open to scrutiny on the question of racism. This isn’t to say that we personally believe that Doug is a racist. We do believe, however, that Doug has been very foolish by using his close personal friends to make “racist” allegations against others, based on nothing but guilt by association, when his own associations with known racists are so problematic. We haven’t and we won’t accuse Doug being a racist. However, we believe that the allegations against him of racism are potentially very dangerous to the home school movement.

We would ask that you carefully consider the ramifications of your organization’s relationship with Doug Phillips, through his serving as a speaker at your conferences or otherwise, and the great harm that it could cause to not only your organization’s reputation, but to Christian home education in general, by promoting him and giving him a platform to advance his extremist views.

We recognize that some will choose to immediately dismiss our concerns on the assumption that this is some kind of “personal vendetta motivated by unforgiveness and bitterness.” That’s simply not the case. We both worked for nearly two years to privately reconcile with Doug. We attempted to do so by going through appropriate ecclesiastical channels with not just one, but two different different churches and their elders in our area. In both cases, Doug refused their offers of reconciliation. We’re not motivated by vengeance. We’re motivated by a genuine concern for the well-being of the Christian home school movement.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

Yours for Christian Education,

Mark and Jennifer Epstein

_________________________

*Our concern about Doug Phillips’ blog article on Virginia Tech is not that Doug is a proponent of the Second Amendment. We are, too. But we also believe that Doug should be consistent. What Doug advocates is a disparity, based on gender. Men are free to carry guns anywhere, including to their college classes, and they do so allegedly to protect the poor, helpless women, while not allowing for women to carry guns for self-defense as well. What would happen if a public university was full of armed men and unarmed women? What would happen if everyone was armed and a debate ensued in a classroom? How long before the first gun came out? Or maybe we have a problem with the hypocrisy of Doug espousing that only the young men be armed, when we see this video of his daughter?

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345 Responses to “Home School Leaders Warned About Doug Phillips”

  1. Micah Gelatt Says:

    “My husband stated very passionately that Jesus never offered such emotionally inappropriate content at a time of grief ”

    It was a horrible thing that happened at the college, for sure. But, I am afraid that your husband is sadly mistaken about Christ. He may want to re-visit Luke chapter 13, concerning the falling of the Tower of Siloam. Here, Christ very pointedly addresses the real issue, in the same vein that Doug Phillips does.

    We must understand that we cannot single out any characteristic of God, and define it in exclusion with the others. Is God compassionate? God is compassion. Was Christ compassionate when He explained the true significance of the painful falling of the Tower? You bet. Yet, His compassion can only truly be understood through others characteristics such as His holiness, His wrath, His justice, His love, etc.

    So, although I don’t always agree with Doug, I see nothing wrong with his comments regarding Virginia Tech. They were “spot on.” I hear many people decrying Doug’s comments, but all of the answers are based on emotion. The fact is that God very plainly demonstrates how He feels about “tragedy” and “death”. Are we not to have His mindset, and not merely an earthly one?

  2. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Although I do not disagree with what Doug is saying, a better worded article by Ravi Zacharias is available at this link.

    http://www.rzim.org/resources/essay_arttext.php?id=21

  3. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Micah,

    I’m afraid that you’re misapplying this context to apply to someone who fails to demonstrate the heart or mind of Christ. Keep fishing. Luke 13 does not apply. In the passage you mention, Jesus responded to people who approached him with a question, a question that we are not told in Scripture. He responded with the knowledge of the hearts and minds of the people to whom he responded also. We do not know if those in the crowd were personally affected or to what extent, but Christ knew this.

    Doug however not only made this publically available, he emailed it to many, some of whom were personally affected. Doug had not such knowledge comparable to Christ’s in this situation, and above all, no one solicited Doug for his opinion.

    We never separate out the holiness of God from anything, but we do have much information regarding the account of Christ’s responses throughout Scripture. He hung His head and wept. Where was his wrath at this moment, “Well… Lazaras had sin in his life and there are no righteous men…” He didn’t use this as an opportunity to talk about the sins of Caesar and about how we’re all going to die from the wages of sin. The Son of God wept.

    I also agreed that there was nothing technically wrong with Doug’s theology in his statment. Doug however thrust his comments on many who did not solicit them. As I stated, it isn’t that these theological issues dont apply, it concerns the lack of empathy for all those who lost their loved ones. What of the Christians who survived their loved ones? Those decrying Doug’s comments did so because they lacked appropriate emotional consideration at a time that demanded emotional consideration. If you had your face shot up like that one young man, how would you have responded to the message that we all deserve death and our world is fallen without any grace or hope or consideration. How would Jen and Mark have felt a few hours after they opened that letter from Doug’s attorney if someone gave them an unsolicited lecture about how they needed to forgive Doug? Or if a pastor told a raped woman that she needed to forgive her rapist less than a week after the rape? I can’t believe that this the true expression of your heart, Micah. Think about it. These people didn’t go to church to hear Doug’s opinion. Doug launched it on them in the midst of crisis.

    There is a time to weep and a time to comfort. There is a time to try to make sense of things with intellect, but there is also a time to grieve. We are supposed to mourn with those who mourn. What would Jesus’ mindset have been about the time that Doug volleyed his unsoclicited opinion? If he were here in my living room, I think that he would have hung His head with my husband and wept. He does as much for the sparrows, and they are earthly creatures. The whole of creation groans under the effects of sin, and it is quite earthly. The eternal implications of the event make it all the more emotional for us. How is any of this “earthly?”

  4. Micah Gelatt Says:

    I don’t need to keep fishing, because that does certainly apply. I resent your comment.

    I don’t need to “fish”. That implies that I am grasping for straws, and that is a disgusting implication.

    I can discuss all day long things of theological significance. I love to do it. Yet, I will not be talked in a condescending fashion that implies I have nothing to offer, from my line of thinking. Hence, your “fishing” comment. This is not the first time you have replied to me in such a tone. I assume it will be the last, since I really don’t intend to discuss with you any further. I certainly do not mind when people disagree with me or attempt to point out errors in my thinking, but I very much disagree with HOW they do it, if they do so in a condescending fashion, whereby treating me like an addle schoolboy. 🙂

  5. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Micah,

    I just briefly read these links that you posted. They speak of grief, horror, anguish, trying to make sense of things, etc. against the larger backdrop of our fallen world. That is on a cursory reading. Doug’s commentary mentions none of these things and does not even begin to approach the depth of these others. What point are you trying to make, because these are vastly different than Doug’s statement.

  6. Corrie Says:

    Micah,

    Actually, Luke 13 is an excellent example for how Doug Phillips SHOULD HAVE responded.

    “1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.””

    Instead of pointing the finger of blame at people for going to public schools and using tragedy as a springboard for furthering one’s own political agenda, he could have simply offered a word of sympathy and grief and told of the hope that we have in Christ.

    No, Doug Phillips responded to the VT tragedy in the same way that the people who questioned Jesus responded- with shame and condemnation. It is apparent that Jesus could understand their thoughts and where they were going and that they were implying that the people struck with the tragedy were to blame and that this was God judging them for their sin. Job’s “comforters” come to mind.

    Doug told us why this happened and that it had to do with secular schools. I wonder if he could speak for God as to why the Amish school shooting occurred? Surely God is in THAT school? Why didn’t we hear about how the Amish men really fell down as men and wimped out when they didn’t stormtroup the building in order to subdue the crazy man who held their girls hostage? Funny how these sloppy pundits were so silent with their surmisings during this tragedy.

    So, the Tower of Siloam actually doesn’t agree with Doug Phillip’s sweeping judgment of the WHY behind the VT tragedy. It is actually, imho, an idictment against those who try and speak for God as to the reason for tragedy.

    What really angers me about these things is that some people appear to have a direct line of communication with God so that they can speak for God and tell us just why this happened to them.

    The other thing that angered me is all the talk from the armchair quarterbacks talking about how manly they are and how the male students at VT were just a bunch of wimps who didn’t try and fight. This was within a day of the shooting. They spoke of things they know not. They were not there. They do not know. And it is the height of arrogance to think they could have done anything differently. “If ONLY…” Yes, it is so nice to be able to look back and think we could have done things so much better.

    It is like when I worked for a large, downtown bank. The police would run drills on us at unappointed times. They would come in dressed in ski masks and jump over the counters and do a mock robbery. We did not know if this was a real thing or not. I remember some male teller bragging, upon hearing of another robbery at another bank, how he would not be afraid and how he would act decisively. Well, when the police did their drill on us a few weeks later, the guy cried like a little baby.

    I have found that the ones that brag the loudest are usually the ones who crumble in fear and tears at the first sign of danger. Manly men don’t brag about how manly they would be in a shoot-out. Manly men understand that there are all sorts of different variables that go into any one of these situations and that we don’t live in TVLand where everything goes according to our own grandiose imaginations. My stepdad, a Vietnam vet, who was a Marine in the DMZ talked about this phenomenon, also.

    “Doug’s commentary mentions none of these things and does not even begin to approach the depth of these others. What point are you trying to make, because these are vastly different than Doug’s statement.”

    Cindy,

    I agree.

  7. Corrie Says:

    “We must understand that we cannot single out any characteristic of God, and define it in exclusion with the others. Is God compassionate? God is compassion. Was Christ compassionate when He explained the true significance of the painful falling of the Tower? You bet. Yet, His compassion can only truly be understood through others characteristics such as His holiness, His wrath, His justice, His love, etc.”

    Micah,

    As my husband always says, “A time and a place.”

    Do you agree with Doug that God was judging VT for the reasons he stated? How do we know this? Isn’t this like the people who asked Jesus who had sinned, the blind man or his parents? Where is the line where we do not cross and start playing God?

    No one said that we can’t speak TRUTH at a time such as this. I think Billy Graham’s response to this was very good. And so is Ravi’s response. But, they obviously didn’t have an agenda. All they cared about are the people involved.

    No one was saying that we should separate the compassion and mercy and love of God from His judgment, wrath and righteousness. But, I really wonder what His judgment, wrath and righteousness has to do with what happened at VT? Do we know for sure that God was judging the students at VT and their families? Did God speak to someone a prophecy about this judgment? Is it our position to judge FOR God, especially unbelievers?

    I have no problem with someone talking about the hope that Christ offers in these situations. Just as Cindy pointed out, you wouldn’t tell a woman who has just been raped that she needs to forgive her rapist. Would you think it appopriate to then to say to her that she was being judged for her past immorality and going to a secular college and for not being under her father’s roof?

    Like one woman who attends BCA said “We can’t sit around and make sad eyes at each other”. Well, I would rather some Christian make “sad eyes” (talk about a condescending statement) then rain fire and brimstone down upon them when the blood of their child is still running in the streets. At least, when the dust has settled, the victims will know who to turn to for answers to this tragedy. It will be the ones who wept with them and had compassion on them and not the ones who pointed their fingers and presumed to speak for God.

  8. Corrie Says:

    “Given the flatness of his compassion, Doug used this more as an opportunity to make a statement that placed him in a list on a search engine for anyone who entered Tech in the search field. I was confused by his response when I read it, remarking of how it sounded okay but… It was void of hope for those who suffered loss and I was embarrassed. Awash with a sense of helplessness, watching my husband grieve, rather than use his statement as an opportunity to show Jesus as a comforter, Doug used it to focus on sin and the law. This was not an opportunity to demonstrate a war of worldview between us and the larger society. It was an excellent opportunity to show the world the side of Jesus who sat with the broken, offering them hope in their times of need.”

    Cindy,

    FWIW, I totally agree with you and your husband. I know your husband was not saying that truth didn’t matter. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time to weep and to mourn. All we have to do is read the book of Job to see how this attitude is condemned.

    Like I have said in other places, are we so blind to think that the parents of these victims and the surviving victims are already beating themselves up and heaping guilt upon themselves over this? Has anyone heard of “survivor’s guilt”? Soldiers frequently go through this, too. People who have been victimized always feel like they could have done something to stop it and that they somehow failed to do all they could do. They blame themselves. We don’t need Job’s friends coming to finish the job.

  9. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Corrie,

    I just find it interesting on this website that there are some who want to vilify or nullify anything and everything Doug says, does, looks at, or thinks about. I find that distressing, if not deplorable. Do I disagree with him on some things? Of course. Yet, it seems that there are those who want to crucify him, and I find that very sad.

    As far as Luke 13 goes, there are similarities. Jesus, after a time of much grief and calamity, was putting the focus on the hope of repentance, which is part of what Doug has offered. I think the section about carrying guns should not have been included, though I don’t disagree with entirely. I just find this sad. In his article, he gives the case that we live in a sinful world, and our systems (school, et al) teach a doctrine of Existentialism, and so forth. By the way, this was Ravi’s point as well in his article. And, from that system of hopelessness that reigns supreme in our culture, come acts of tragedy such as this. Did Doug narrow his focus a bit on “secular schools”? yes, but what he says is still true.

    Some say his timing was bad. If he had waited quite awhile even, I guarantee that several on this website would have still wanted to stone him for it. They would “find an excuse.” That vitriolic attitude is almost laughable, except that it is just so sad.

    Could his timing have been better? Well, I doubt that he hand-delivered the message to each family member who lost someone. Anyways, he was not telling them family, “It is your fault.” He was telling everyone that the fault is sin, and our corrupted world “systems.” And, he was offering hope through God’s sovereignty and Christ’s death on the cross.

  10. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Micah,

    In the future, if you feel that I have offended you, will you click on my name and direct your comments to me via email? This is the second time that this has happened, and I did not intend my comments to be personal. I’m still confused about the first event and how I executed a “diatribe.” If you have ought against me that is personal– not a debate about doctrine or a working out of some related issue here, you can email me via my website at the bottom of the list of pages on the left.

    I disagree with you on the applicability of that passage of Scripture. Rather than “fishing” let me “challenge” you to to defend your statement, or possibly provide some additional examples where we can agree on the context. Please let me know if this language is condescending, because I am truly confused. I cant think of one interpersonal experience where I have been accused of condescension. Academic comes up rarely. Opinionated, stubborn and polemic apply often, but not condescension, so I am really confused. The Gothardites never accused me of this and gave me an opportunity to clarify.

  11. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Corrie,

    Here is the thing. If I had been there, i would be hugging the people in the streets, blood dripping down my clothes from trying to save victims. I would have been crying with, holding to them, whatever was needed, i would have been doing it after the calamity happened. Afterwards, I would have talked with students, parents, and met whatever needs were possible because that is an ASPECT of compassion. There is a time for that, for sure. That situation would have warranted that type of Biblical response.

    Yet, another situation (Doug posting on his blog to a Christian, conservative audience) might call for a reason”why” these things happened. Can the “why” be determined? Somewhat in a generic sense. So, I see Doug just attempting to describe our current godless culture as an explanation for “why” these tragic things take place. He is right. Could he have worded things a bit differently? Sure. But, to me he provides a different way of looking at things, and I am glad for that. It is helpful to see it from a different perspective, for me.

  12. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Micah,

    If you would have been so moved with compassion for these others whom you describe, why was your first response to my husband’s expression of intense grief so critical?

  13. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Cindy,

    I was not critical about his grief. That is clearly taking my words out of context. I was talking about what he said regarding Christ. Read my post, please. He said that Christ would NOT have reacted in the way Doug did, and I flatly disagreed with that. That has nothing to do with his grief.

    I am a compassionate person, yet your sentence above is loaded in that you are trying to back me into a corner. My goodness! You are logically hanging whether or not I am compassionate on how I supposedly reacted to your hubby’s grief, which you have taken out of context. wow!

  14. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Micah,

    If pushing you to the logical conclusion of your argument is backing you into a corner, then that is exactly what I’m trying to do. Are you familiar with Schaeffer’s “taking off the roof?”

    As you asserted before, I apparently am not sufficiently intellectually sophisticated to understand your comments in the context that you intend. I’ve asked you to explain them to me, and you publicly state that I’ve offended you instead. You did state to me (I think last week) that you were humble enough to agree to disagree on some of these issues, but you dont take that opportunity here. You argue that I am flawed and that my statments make no sense or misrepresent your meaning. You didn’t address Corrie here either. You flipped back to your problem with the premise of exposing Doug.

    Let me make a blanket statement then, for future reference that I apologize that my nature and general dispostion offend you. I do not intend to offend you, but it seems inevitable and will surely be an ongoing problem. I really do not understand, so I ask you forgive me. Be it character flaw or stupidity or spiritual pride, I know not. My heart condemns me not. I truly do not understand, so as these things occur, I ask that you would forgive me and take compassion on me and bless me. I will do likewise.

  15. Corrie Says:

    Micah,

    ” So, I see Doug just attempting to describe our current godless culture as an explanation for “why” these tragic things take place. He is right. ”

    So, he is right? God judged America because of its godlessness by having Cho shoot 32 students? And we are supposed to know this by how??

    What verse in the Bible tells us this?

    I think his statement came out the day or day after this happened. Could he have waited until the blood was washed from the hallways and the bodies were cold to use this as a platform to further his agenda of patriocentric ideals?

    I do not see from the Bible how one can conclusively say that God was judging America by that shooting.

    How about the Amish shooting? Was that God’s judgment on godless America? How about the massacre at the Russian school a couple of years ago? Was that God judging that godless nation?

    How about all the floods in Texas? I happen to think that God is trying to wash the patriocentric hogwash away! Who can say I am wrong? Can’t I speak for God as much as the next guy?

    These tragic things take place because of sin. Not because America is not a theocracy where everyone lives in a Christian Utopia. We are not of this world. God knows that we will never be a God-fearing nation where all of its inhabitants are following Him. That just isn’t biblical. It won’t happen in this world.

    What if Christians ruled America. There was no abortion or making our children “pass through the fire” to Molech. There was hardly any divorce. People were stoned for adultery. What IF our laws totally reflected God’s laws?

    There would be no tragedy? No evil? What would we blame the evil deeds on then? God judging who, what, why???

    People being murdered is not a sign of judgment unless you want to count the Christians eaten by lions in Rome as a sign of God’s judgment on a godless nation?

    Oh, there will be judgment for these evil deeds one day! And the recompense will be meted out on the GUILTY.

    If God spared the few “righteous” people in Sodom, then why would He not have also spared the Christians who died that day at VT before He judged that college for the sins of America?

    How do we sort out which murdering spree is of God and which is not? How about all the father murders these past two weeks where fathers have murdered their whole families? Is that God’s judgment? I have a hard time understanding which events are God’s judgment on our wicked nation (as opposed to what kind of nation that doesn’t ever experience evil???) and which ones are just sinful humans?

    • Surprise Says:

      Excellent points, Corrie. After all, we all know that, currently, the countries with the lowest crime rates and the highest standards of living are not Christian or even religious nations (Japan, Norway, Sweden). While it’s true that Norway recently experienced the Breivik massacre, it still has an extremely low crime rate, especially in comparison to our own. Are we to assume that God punished America through Cho’s killings, but chooses to leave the Godless countries, for the most part, in peace? It doesn’t make sense. Plus, those presuming to speak for God in horrific instances like this just seem almost pathologically arrogant. Perhaps it’s hyper-patriarchy speaking?

  16. Corrie Says:

    “I just find it interesting on this website that there are some who want to vilify or nullify anything and everything Doug says, does, looks at, or thinks about. I find that distressing, if not deplorable. Do I disagree with him on some things? Of course. Yet, it seems that there are those who want to crucify him, and I find that very sad.”

    Micah,

    So that is what I am doing because I find his message to wrong?

    I find it hard to believe that you were so easily offended by Cynthia’s comment to “keep on fishing” but can turn right around and make such an accusation.

    So, must we agree with you where you agree with Doug and disagree where you disagree with Doug to be considered fair and unbiased people who are not out to “crucify” and “villify” everything he does?

    I am not here to list the things I agree with him on. I am here to warn and mark those things that I believe to be harmful to the Body of Christ.

    There were MANY people who know NOTHING about his ministry that were appalled by his post VT statement.

    “Some say his timing was bad. If he had waited quite awhile even, I guarantee that several on this website would have still wanted to stone him for it. They would “find an excuse.” That vitriolic attitude is almost laughable, except that it is just so sad.”

    Wow!

    I am very confused by your words, Micah. It seems that things are fair play as long as you have an issue with them but if you don’t have an issue with them and someone else does, they are trying to “stone”, “crucify”, “villify” and “find an excuse”. We are vitriolic because we have a problem with his message concerning VT? Wow! Just wow!

    And if I don’t agree to your judgment that makes me stubborn and your time is wasted in a redundant stream of responses?

    You are wrong about the above, Micah. For many of us this is a LOT harder than you even know because there are so many things we hold in common. Not one of the regular commenters is what you have described them as. I am sorry but I detect a lot of vitriol and invective in your own words.

    You keep on making these broad sweeping, nebulous accusations but you refuse to point out exactly where these things are happening. It shouldn’t be hard. You keep on using the adjective “many”. So, if there are many people here doing these things, point it out and give them a chance to account for their behavior.

    I would also like to know how you know these things? The same way that Doug knows why Cho murdered all those people?

  17. Corrie Says:

    Micah,

    “As far as Luke 13 goes, there are similarities. Jesus, after a time of much grief and calamity, was putting the focus on the hope of repentance, which is part of what Doug has offered. ”

    I don’t see this at all.

    Jesus was taking their focus off of the their humanistic reasonings of WHY the Galileans died and put it back on themselves. Jesus was taking their little pointer finger and pointing it back at themselves. You see people who point fingers in tragedies and judge them are the ones who think of themselves in good standing with God and in a position to make such judgments. Jesus frequently rebuked such thinking. And here He is doing it again.

    How do I know that God was judging America on that day that Cho murdered all of those people? What verse tells me this?

    No one has said that we should withhold the message of the gospel. No one has said that we should not tell people that unless they repent they will all likewise perish? NO!

    I don’t see any similarity between Christ’s words to the finger pointers and Doug’s words.

    I am still wondering how Doug knows that God was judging America that day and the reasons why He was judging?

    Maybe it was because of all the porn addicts in the pulpit? Maybe God was judging America because of all the child molesters in Her border?

    Also, my questions aren’t because Doug said them. It could be anyone who speaks for God out of turn like this that would cause me to have a BIG problem with it.

    Remember, I am not a reconstructionist, so I don’t believe in stoning anyone. 🙂

  18. CynthiaGee Says:

    “I am still wondering how Doug knows that God was judging America that day and the reasons why He was judging?
    Maybe it was because of all the porn addicts in the pulpit? Maybe God was judging America because of all the child molesters in Her border?”

    Cho used a gun to kill those people. The gun-control lobby probably thinks that God was judging America for allowing criminals and psychotics to have access to weapons.

    Just sayin’. 😉

  19. Micah Gelatt Says:

    I do believe a whole lot of slander (which I am guilty of , as well) can take place under the guise of “exposing” or “warning” or “marking” or whatever you want to call it. “Exposing” is fine and dandy, but a line of distinction should be drawn before emotional slander takes place.

    Right?

  20. Micah Gelatt Says:

    As far as my offensive comments yesterday, I apologize. Obviously this was not the forum in which to say such things, and in the future I will deliver pointed e-mails to those I think are “going too far.”

    Although I do not recant from some things I said, I apologize for saying them, if they truly offended and “dug in too deep.”

  21. CynthiaGee Says:

    Right, but where would you draw that line?

  22. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Corrie wrote: “If God spared the few “righteous” people in Sodom, then why would He not have also spared the Christians who died that day at VT before He judged that college for the sins of America?
    How do we sort out which murdering spree is of God and which is not?”

    After 9/11, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell both made statements that the WTC was God’s judgement against America. With Cho, he was an American citizen. He was one of us with access to our free society and all its benefits. Our own society contributed to the production of this young man. Perhaps it is not a judgement but a simple reaping of neglect of individual people within our culture?

    Perhaps Doug could have put a fifth point in his statement about how the church has neglected not our civic duties to control government and laws and conduct (as he aludes in one of his points) but to our care and love for our fellow Americans. Not all of us have, but many have. We certainly were not effective or influential enough in the lives of these young men who murdered their schoolmates. That is what really disturbs me about all this…. the sequelae of the post-Christian era. If you are going to sweep back to blame in your efforts to ask why, we at least need to recognize that we have largely neglected our own people. I wonder how this Cho fellow would have been received at BCA? Or your church? Or my church? Or harder yet, by me? People don’t like to hear those sermons…

    Although we disagree on the way he has gone about it, how to restore things in America and where things fell apart (circa Dabney), at least Phillips does in some sense address this problem. I wish we could agree on how we can go about at least mitigating or correcting the problem, however. In many ways, this issue belongs to all Christians, and we are at fault. I think God is less concerned about gun control and decentralized government than He is about whether we ignored a kid like Cho. Or whether someone who presents themselves as Christ’s ambassador turned someone like us away over a disagreement in an attempt to revoke their status as a Christian. Or because we are “non-normative.” If we are going to get specific, we need to take it all the way back to the basics. We need to do things to the least of these our brethern, both our brothers in Christ and our fellow man, too.

  23. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    ..Do things FOR the least of these…

  24. Mike Says:

    “After 9/11, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell both made statements that the WTC was God’s judgement against America. With Cho, he was an American citizen. He was one of us with access to our free society and all its benefits. Our own society contributed to the production of this young man. Perhaps it is not a judgement but a simple reaping of neglect of individual people within our culture?”

    I would not conjecture that our own society, with all its freedom and benefits, contributed to the production of this crazy, evil person. His family says he was trouble from the very beginning — sullen, uncommunicative — to the point where they thought he may be autistic.

    His action was the result of his own personal problems, and I see nothing about America, no matter how many bad things we can point to, that would have contributed to his behavior.

    And he wasn’t ignored, either. I know plenty of churches that would have welcomed him and tried to help him, but I don’t think that anything short of institutionalization could have helped him. He could just as well have done what he did in a church full of loving, good-hearted people. In fact, in my home town, a nutzo DID do this exact same thing.

    America is not to blame for Cho, or for Lee Harvey Oswald, or for Jeffrey Dahmer, or for the WTC attack on 9/11. Evil, crazy people are to blame.

  25. Corrie Says:

    “As far as my offensive comments yesterday, I apologize. Obviously this was not the forum in which to say such things, and in the future I will deliver pointed e-mails to those I think are “going too far.”

    Although I do not recant from some things I said, I apologize for saying them, if they truly offended and “dug in too deep.””

    Micah,

    It is not that what you said was offensive or that they “dug in too deep”. It is WHAT you said and that you have absolutely NO basis for saying them and that you have falsely attributed motives to people all because on this one issue, you happen to agree. You have set yourself up as judge and you appear to think you can read the motives and intents of the hearts of people involved on this board.

    So, dig away, Micah! If it is true, I know that the people on this board will admit but if it is not true, then what? You still think you are right and it doesn’t matter what anyone says.

  26. Corrie Says:

    “And he wasn’t ignored, either. I know plenty of churches that would have welcomed him and tried to help him, but I don’t think that anything short of institutionalization could have helped him. He could just as well have done what he did in a church full of loving, good-hearted people. In fact, in my home town, a nutzo DID do this exact same thing.

    America is not to blame for Cho, or for Lee Harvey Oswald, or for Jeffrey Dahmer, or for the WTC attack on 9/11. Evil, crazy people are to blame.”

    I agree. This is what I have been trying to say since April.

    And this is the reason why I find it so offensive that some people dare to speak for God while they tell other Americans after experiencing an horrific event that this is God’s judgment, punishment and wrath for whatever certain, pet sins and ideology they think to be most offensive to themselves.

    It is never that God is judging America for the sin of greed, lying politicians, shepherds who abuse the sheep, child molestors, lust, pornography, drunk driving, pot smoking, or even failing to pay your taxes. 🙂 The same people who speak for God have about the same political agenda which drives their reasons for why God is supposedly judging America.

    Judgment starts in the house of God and it starts with those who are in authority. I would think we would want to start there.

  27. Corrie Says:

    Micah,

    I truly want to understand where you are coming from.

    “I do believe a whole lot of slander (which I am guilty of , as well) can take place under the guise of “exposing” or “warning” or “marking” or whatever you want to call it. “Exposing” is fine and dandy, but a line of distinction should be drawn before emotional slander takes place.

    Right?”

    What exactly is “emotional slander”? And could you provide an example? Obviously this term does not apply to the discussion at hand. You must have some other issue or example in mind. I just don’t understand what you mean.

  28. Jen Says:

    I did not have time to read this discussion yesterday and I am saddened by the direction it took. Micah, although I briefly addressed this subject in my letter above, you will note that I did not write an article about Doug’s VT article. I am not here to attack Doug’s every word and deed, but there are some wicked deeds he has done and there are some false teachings that he spreads, and those are what I am concerned with. In fact, scattered throughout my articles and comments, you will find that I give Doug credit where credit is due and stand up for him when he is falsely accused.

    There have been occasions when others have falsely attributed intention or motive where I have seen no proof. I try to address those, as I want this site to be not only factual and honest, but to glorify God in the way sin is exposed. In yesterday’s conversation, I do think that it is unfair to surmise that Doug’s only motive, or even partial motive, in posting this VT article was to drive up his Google hits. Whether we think that or not, we have absolutely no proof and we should be very careful about attributing intention where none exists.

    Likewise, we should be equally careful about attributing intention and motive to fellow commenters here. I see lots of that happening here and it’s not right.

    Another issue that I would like to address is the fact that Doug’s article was unsolicited, whereas Jesus was being asked a question in Luke 13. Doug sends out his articles to those who are on his email list. If you don’t want to receive them, unsubscribe. Doug puts his articles on his blog. If you don’t want to read them, don’t. They are no more unsolicited than the articles on my blog are. I would not be surprised, however, to find that several people did indeed ask Doug Phillips “why” this tragedy happened. It is natural to go to someone you respect (and many people still respect Doug) and ask them questions when tragedy strikes. Either way, Doug had every right to send out his article. Are we to even take away his right to freedom of speech?

    On the other hand, I agree that there is a time and a place for everything. Had Doug written his article as is, and maybe included some other school shootings as well, at a later date, I would be mostly in agreement with it. His theology is mostly fine (I disagree with some minor points, but nothing worth making an issue over). I think he makes a good point about us bringing judgment upon ourselves when we commit so much evil as a nation. There are many reasons that God allows evil to happen and sometimes we bring it upon ourselves. I don’t think he was stating this particular shooting was a particular judgment for a particular sin. But, as Americans, we are bringing judgment upon ourselves and we should consider this aspect of our modern-day society. I do not know if this shooting was necessarily a judgment from God, but Doug’s point regarding this is well worth considering.

    As far as the gun control issue goes, I agree that too much legislation has been passed against the carrying and use of weapons. However, I don’t think Doug has thought through the implications of advocating that all MEN carry guns. In his idealism, he has not foreseen what would happen if men were armed in today’s society and women were not. That is where I take great issue with this article. I am all for Second Amendment rights, but they shouldn’t apply to just one sex.

    Beyond that, however, what would happen if the students were allowed to carry guns in today’s universities, secular or not? Tempers flare at the slightest provocation these days, even in Christian circles. 🙂 What is in place to stop a hundred, or a thousand, Chos at each university when someone enrages them and they have a gun? I don’t think this one was thought through very well. Although I am opposed to gun control in general, I don’t believe most people have the self-control necessary to carry weapons with them 24/7 anymore. My personal solution would be to arm the teachers, administration, and security personnel at such places. Then there would have at least been a recourse against the full extent of this tragedy. When Cho first pulled out his gun, another, hopefully responsible, adult would have done the same and severely limited the damage done.

    So, was this an emotional issue? Yes, all the way around. And people reacted to it emotionally as well. Emotions should not run our lives or determine our theology, but at the same time, we should be emotionally sensitive to those affected as well. Could Doug have shown more compassion in this instance? Probably. Could his timing have been better? Probably. But is it worth dissecting his entire article because of this? Probably not. Again, there is a time and place. It is important to discuss his teachings in light of Scripture, and in this article, he is mostly right. There are some teachings that are blatantly false biblically, and that is where my focus lies.

    Does Luke 13 apply? That is a good Scripture to discuss in light of this article and I like that kind of analysis. It is perfectly acceptable to compare Scripture to what Doug has done or said. We may not agree on the application of it, but we should not use that as an occasion to hurt or offend one another. This is my biggest concern with this thread yesterday. Let us not be easily offended. Love covers a multitude of sins. If it is truly an offense that is great enough to address, then address it in love. If the offense was public, addressing the offense can be public as well, although you may choose to settle it offline. If there have been contentions publicly, and they are settled privately, I would like for them to be addressed publicly as well.

    There are issues in Scripture where we will not agree, but that is one thing that I really like about this blog so far – that we can come from different perspectives, discuss them rationally, and leave friends. I want it to stay that way.

    Micah: “’Exposing’ is fine and dandy, but a line of distinction should be drawn before emotional slander takes place.”

    Micah, I think you are trying to say something about the whole nature of this blog, and you probably have a very good point, but your references are too vague for us to follow. What do you mean by “emotional slander” and where do you think the line should be drawn?

  29. Hutch Says:

    My wife is armed! Her father was a Marine and she shoots better than I do. I always joking tell people that if they wish to break into my house, they should do it while I am home, because I will give them the option to leave the way they came in. My wife has instructions to just shoot em.

    Texas is a great country.

  30. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Mike said: “And he wasn’t ignored, either. I know plenty of churches that would have welcomed him and tried to help him…America is not to blame for Cho, or for Lee Harvey Oswald, or for Jeffrey Dahmer, or for the WTC attack on 9/11. Evil, crazy people are to blame.”

    This is good to know that people did reach out to him. Since the late ’80s, after I heard the testimony of that kid on death row in Oklahoma for murdering his parents, I wonder if we could of helped this Cho kid or those Columbine kids. That kid in OK stated that he did reach out for help several times when he was in crisis and that no one responded appropriately to him. Fletcher Brothers at Freedom Village in Elmira, NY was really heartbroken over it all and featured the kid on his TV program and at his outreach to teens. When I moved to OKC, I remember talking to a doctor there who thought that the kid’s conversion on death row was just ingenuous. They did execute him, as well they should have.

    My comment, in retrospect was a reitteration of Fletcher Brother’s message. “Did I turn someone away today? Could I have ministered to him and somehow ministered to him at a critical time?”

    It is something to consider that each person can do and something that the Word admonishes, and at an appropriate time. It can impower each believer to see themselves as a vital part of change amidst crisis that seems so overwhelming. It isn’t so much a laying blame but a chance to show ourselves blameless.

    Sadly, there are many crazy, evil people out there.

  31. Corrie Says:

    ““Our nation has broken covenant with the God of our fathers. We have forsaken the law of God and have worshipped before false idols. We have sacrificed our children, not only spiritually and intellectually to the high priests of a new secular religion in our government schools.””

    This is a quote from Doug’s VT artcile.

    I have asked this before. Which covenant have we forsaken with the God of our “fathers”? You know? I have NEVER gotten an answer for this question.

    I find this point in his theology to be a huge one. And, disagreeing with someone’s theology doesn’t necessarily have to equal an “uproar” just because one doesn’t see the disagreement.

    One thing that I like to do is try and understand why people get upset about certain things that would never bother me. It helps me to learn. But, to condemn others and use inflammatory words like “uproar” when it comes to what other people find disturbing but not classifying one’s own points of disagreement with Doug’s theology as an “uproar” is, imho, duplicitous.

    On another note, Micah told Cindy that her husband was “sadly mistaken” and then provided a scripture that does not seem to back up his statement. I do not think Cindy was trying to be condescending by using the term “keep fishing”. To me the level of upset did not equal the words spoken and I saw no benefit of the doubt given.

    I will admit that the comments from many of my fellow Christian brothers and sisters concerning the Virginia Tech massacre had me very upset for weeks. Just because one person does not understand that some had a problem with certain things that were said does not nullify their concerns and make them worthy of having nasty motives ascribed to them.

    I finally had to stop reading them and writing about it. I don’t care if there is a little bit of truth mixed in with an article. I take offense that we are no different from the world when it comes to using other people’s trauma to further our agenda and that is what I saw in Doug’s article and many like his. I am embarrassed that this is all we have to give a lost and dying world.

    So, why this discussion came up again? I do not know. I just don’t think one person is qualified to decide what should bother another person, especially if they are using intelligent and rational reasoning to present what disturbs them. Reasoning adults listen to one another and understand we all come at things with different angles and to me, using the term “uproar” about a person’s legitimate opinion is condescending.

  32. Lin Says:

    “Jesus was taking their focus off of the their humanistic reasonings of WHY the Galileans died and put it back on themselves. Jesus was taking their little pointer finger and pointing it back at themselves. You see people who point fingers in tragedies and judge them are the ones who think of themselves in good standing with God and in a position to make such judgments. Jesus frequently rebuked such thinking. And here He is doing it again. ”

    Amen, Corrie

    One thing that confuses me about these statements from pastors after tragedies is that they do not speak the Gospel. Perhaps that is becasue the media would not publish that?

    The message is really: Repent and follow Christ. It could be you, tomorrow.

    It is NOT going to get better. Christians are NOT going to take dominion. Having a ‘Christian’ President did not stop it nor change much.

  33. Mike Says:

    ““Our nation has broken covenant with the God of our fathers…”

    “Isn’t this characteristic of Theonomy and Dominion Theology?”

    Yep. They believe that the Puritans made a covenant with God, and that America is subject to that covenant. So as long as the institutions of our society are not all under the “dominion” of “God’s law-word,” we are “covenant-breakers.”

    They seem to believe that they have the authority to strike covenants with God, and set the terms. Fascinating. Thank goodness for everyone else they are no closer to doing so than they ever were, no matter how many Patrick Henry interns work in Washington.

  34. CynthiaGee Says:

    “Yep. They believe that the Puritans made a covenant with God, and that America is subject to that covenant…….They seem to believe that they have the authority to strike covenants with God, and set the terms. Fascinating. Thank goodness for everyone else they are no closer to doing so than they ever were, no matter how many Patrick Henry interns work in Washington.”

    Amen and amen! And I thank God that the Puritans were not my “fathers.” As it is, they murdered the Indians who refused to be subject to their “covenants”, and a good many of their descendants discriminated against everyone who came to this country who wasn’t of their own blue-nosed religion and blue-blood stock. Sheesh!

  35. Hutch Says:

    Mike said: ““Our nation has broken covenant with the God of our fathers…”

    “Isn’t this characteristic of Theonomy and Dominion Theology?”

    Yep. They believe that the Puritans made a covenant with God, and that America is subject to that covenant. So as long as the institutions of our society are not all under the “dominion” of “God’s law-word,” we are “covenant-breakers.”

    They seem to believe that they have the authority to strike covenants with God, and set the terms. Fascinating. Thank goodness for everyone else they are no closer to doing so than they ever were, no matter how many Patrick Henry interns work in Washington.

    Well said Mike.

    You hit the nail on the head. Many of these different movements base their elaborate doctrines on a so called “covenant” of human origins!

    Their entire systems are based on a covenant of human works that God never instituted and one that is not valid or binding on anyone in the church. I suggest they focus on receiving the New Covenant and focus on preaching the gospel.

    I just ran a search of the covenants that God instituted in His Word and of course all of them were originated with and instituted by God Himself. I could not find mention of the covenant these folks adhere to.

    Now that is what you call extra-biblical!

  36. Mike Says:

    “I just ran a search of the covenants that God instituted in His Word and of course all of them were originated with and instituted by God Himself. I could not find mention of the covenant these folks adhere to.”

    And worse — they refuse to accept what the New Testament clearly teaches about the new covenant. In fact — the reason that part of the Bible is called the “New TESTAMENT” is because it reveals the new covenant. Testament = covenant.

  37. CynthiaGee Says:

    “And worse — they refuse to accept what the New Testament clearly teaches about the new covenant. ”

    Doesn’t refusing to accept the new covenant pretty much equate to refusing salvation by grace?

  38. Mike Says:

    “Doesn’t refusing to accept the new covenant pretty much equate to refusing salvation by grace?”

    No. Salvation has always been by grace. What they reject about the NT revelation concerning the new covenant is what it says about our rule of life.

    Theyare blind to it because they “desire to be under the law” [Gal. 4:21] — and thus they try to put the yoke of slavery back on the necks of believers [Gal. 5:1; Acts 15:10]. They have veiled their hearts by focusing almost exclusively on the old ministry of death and condemnation [2 Cor. 3], and not on the new ministry of life and righteousness [2 Cor. 3]. They want to go to Sinai, and not to Zion [Heb.12].

    We are commanded to reject their enslaving teaching and resist their pressure.

  39. CynthiaGee Says:

    “They have veiled their hearts by focusing almost exclusively on the old ministry of death and condemnation [2 Cor. 3], and not on the new ministry of life and righteousness [2 Cor. 3]. They want to go to Sinai, and not to Zion [Heb.12].”

    Yes, but isn’t that pretty much the same as rejecting Christ and the atonement?

  40. Jen Says:

    No, Cynthia, I don’t think it is at all the same as rejecting Christ and the atonement. Speaking from painful experience, I focused mostly on the OT and the Law before Mike showed me that I was under bondage, a bondage God did not intend for us under the New Covenant. I was a Christian and I believed in the atoning work of Christ, but I was still under the Law. After weeks of work on Mike’s part and gut-wrenching Bible study on my part, all of a sudden one day, that veil that lay over my heart was lifted. Suddenly, I was interested in what Christ had to offer through the New Covenant, as opposed to being under the Law of the Old Covenant. It didn’t have to do with salvation, as that had always been by grace, but it had to do with how I lived my whole life, under the veil of the Law.

    What a glorious day it was when that veil was finally lifted! Passages in the New Testament that I formerly couldn’t comprehend all of a sudden made perfect sense to me. It was as if my eyes were now opened after being blind. Everything that was so confusing to me before was now very clear. It was a night and day difference. Being under the Law made me in bondage to legalism, even though I didn’t know it. Being free under grace gives me the liberty to live my life FOR Christ and to walk with Him not only in grace and love, but also in truth. This time, though, the truth is that of the New Covenant of life and not the Old Covenant of death.

  41. Mike Says:

    “After weeks of work on Mike’s part and gut-wrenching Bible study on my part”

    Rather — after decades of work on Mike’s part. For you it started a few months ago. For me it started with my run-in with a Seventh-Day Adventist way back in 1976.

  42. CynthiaGee Says:

    Jen, that sounds like what happened to me when I realized that salvation was by grace through faith. As I mentioned before, I was raised Roman Catholic, and while they believe this doctrine, they don’t actively teach it because, I think, they believe it will lead to license. I thought that you had to follow all the rituals, Sacraments, etc etc, to BE saved, rather than do those things freely as an expression of faith BECAUSE one is saved. What a glorious day when I realized the difference!

  43. Katrina Says:

    THe family Integrated movement has good points about family worshiping together but It concerns me how he views women and how authoritarian the men are over women. He does not believe in women attending college? What if they marry an abusive husband or a bum who is not a good provider? What are these women going to do after their kids are grown?
    Women are to respect their husbands but husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. How? By giving up their own lives for their wives. THis movement seems more like a cult the more I read about it.


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