Vision Forum: Culture of Deception by Doug Phillips’ Example?

“Mom, that was such a great birthday present!” ~~Natasha Epstein

Vision Forum’s widely advertised Open House on Saturday, April 21, 2007, promised lots of excitement and fun. With exclusive book signings, clearance specials, and workshops planned, this event portended a large turnout. Complete with refreshments and decorations and cops, it was a gala event.

Wait a minute! Did I say “cops?” What were the cops doing at a Vision Forum Open House? The last time we went to one of their Open Houses, there were several hundred people in attendance, but I don’t remember seeing any cops. In fact, I’ve attended many Vision Forum events and I don’t recall ever seeing any cops.

Oh, well, let’s get on with our coverage of this grand event. It seems that things were a little slow ’round about mid-afternoon. Vision Forum announced on their web site and their email list that Doug would be doing a book signing from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM. Anyone who wanted to meet Doug should have had no trouble doing so between those hours. Then the excitement suddenly began to pick up. In fact, for Doug Phillips, things suddenly got very exciting. Exciting as in heart-pumping, adrenaline-rush “Oh no! What do I do?” exciting. They say that a man’s true character is best shown when the veneer of his superficial exterior is suddenly stripped away by an event that catches him totally off-guard. That’s exactly what happened to Doug last Saturday.

The significant thing that I want my readers to see from this story is the fact that not only is Doug Phillips a deceiver, and that he told a whopper of a lie, Doug Phillips has created an entire culture of institutionalized deception within Vision Forum. Not only did perpetrate a deception last Saturday at the Vision Forum offices in front of multiple witnesses, including his own wife, he orchestrated the broader deception by instructing his staff that were present to lie for him, too. They all knew that he was on the premises, but they deceived someone who came there looking for him with “He’s not here.” Like the “honorable” people that Doug has trained them to be, they were only too eager to assist with Doug’s duplicity.

The following is the story of two people who were in attendance Saturday afternoon with Doug Phillips, ever so briefly, prior to being escorted off the premises. The one was a legal process server. The other is my daughter, Natasha. At the request of the process server and his company, I have blurred their names on the official notarized legal affidavit.

This entire incident took place on Natasha’s birthday. She called to tell me that Doug had given her one of the best birthday presents she’d ever received. Natasha now wants to reciprocate Doug’s thoughtfulness by including her personal testimony in this article.

Process Server: “Location is a business, Vision Forum. I first arrived at 3:07 PM. It appears they were having an open-house style function to develop more business. A man wearing a yellow Polo-style shirt greeted me as I entered the main entrance. The man appeared to me to be a security person. I mentioned I had a delivery for Mr. Phillips and he directed me to a young man named Peter [Last Name Unknown]. When I told Peter I had a personal delivery for Mr. Phillips, I was escorted down a few stairs into a warehouse-looking storage area. A table was positioned sideways in front of where I stood. There, I met Joshua Wean, CFO for Vision Forum, Inc., standing with three ladies. He stated he could sign for anything being delivered. At this point I informed him I was a process server and needed to deliver to Doug Phillips personally. I was escorted by Peter and Joshua into an office, apparently so as not to disturb the function and to discuss the situation privately. A person dressed in a Hollywood Park Police Officer uniform also stood inside the office door as we spoke. Joshua insisted he was able to sign for all company business. I informed him that what I have is addressed to Doug Phillips, not Vision Forum, therefore, as a process server I could not and did not feel comfortable leaving the package with him, since I did not know the contents of the documents being delivered. I then stated, “All I need to do is hand Mr. Phillips the letter and depart. Mr. Phillips won’t have to sign for anything.” Joshua and Peter wanted to know what the letter was about. I stated that it had something to do with a dispute over a movie or video, but that I didn’t know the specific details since I hadn’t read the letter. (I had put the letter it into an envelope and sealed it, before making the delivery.) At this point, Joshua discussed scheduling the delivery for Sunday or Monday. I said it would be illegal for me to deliver the documents on Sunday; however, I would make a call to get permission for Monday. I made the call and was told the package needed to be delivered that day because Doug Phillips was supposed to be there. I asked if Doug was on the premises and Joshua stated “Doug was scheduled to leave at 2:00 PM for another engagement”. By this time it was already approximately 3:15 PM, well past the time that Joshua told me that Doug was scheduled to leave. However, I was suspicious about this, since I had been specifically instructed that my best time to catch Doug Phillips at the event would be between 2:00 and 4:30 PM. It was because of that information that I arrived at 3:07 PM, to make sure that I would make an attempt during the time specified in my instructions. Joshua then made a phone call. Based upon the content of the conversation, it appeared to me that he was talking to Doug Phillips. Joshua asked him, “Are you still here?” After a few moments while Joshua listened, a response was relayed through Joshua, who asked, “Where are the documents from?” I informed them that I didn’t know for sure, but I could open the letter in front of everyone to determine where it was from if that would be agreeable to Mr. Phillips. (I made this offer with the understanding that the person on the phone was Doug Phillips, and that he was giving his permission for me to open and read the document). It was relayed through Joshua that I should open and read the letter to find out who it was from. I opened the letter and said it was from Joe Taylor at Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum. After a few “OKs” and “That’s what I needed,” Joshua hung up the phone. Joshua then stated “Mr. Phillips is not here.” He also said Doug Phillips would not be accepting anything from Joe Taylor and that all documents needed to be directed to their attorney. Joshua looked up and gave me the info for the attorney on a sticky yellow note. Don Hart, 7389 FM 3405 Liberty Hill, TX 78642. I shook hands with Joshua and Peter, thanked them, departed and called my superiors.”

Natasha: “The process server came and went, and then a friend and I showed up and walked in the doors around 4:15 PM. The first people we saw were the Ringers. I spotted Doug right behind them signing a book. I only saw one other family in attendance. The Ringers kept staring at me and whispering, and right after that, Doug looked my way and immediately bolted into his office. Some guy I didn’t recognize followed him. Beall peeked around the corner and saw me and whipped out her cell and started talking on it while she looked at me a couple times. This all happened within 2 minutes of my walking in the door. As soon as that all happened I called the process server’s boss while I was still standing by the front door and she said the process server was going to call me. So I moved and browsed around and Peter Bradrick came and said hello to my friend and me. The process server called at that time and I told him that Doug was in the building but he was hiding and I gave him a description. He showed up a few minutes later and two little girls at the front door asked him to fill out some sheet to enter in a drawing, and then I showed him what Doug looked like in a video that they had playing on a TV in the lobby and he took description notes.”

Process Server: “Around 4:00 PM I received a call from my superiors, directing me to return to Vision Forum and meet with a young lady, last name of Epstein. I was told that Ms. Epstein knew for certain that Doug is at the function now and she could point him out to me. When I arrived at 4:15 PM, I met Miss Epstein inside the foyer entrance. She said that Doug Phillips had spotted her, recognized her, and immediately ducked inside the office to the right. Miss Epstein also said she was seen by Doug’s wife and would probably be asked to depart at any minute. Miss Epstein pointed to a video playing on the lobby TV. She said it was Doug, so I studied the video for a few moments.”

Natasha: “We stood there for about two minutes when Josh Wean and three other Vision Forum employees came over and Josh said that this was private property and was going to have to ask us to leave.”

Process Server: “Just as I was about to fully enter the main area, another man dressed in a yellow Polo-style shirt (security?) approached us, said that this was private property and that we would have to leave. As instructed, Miss Epstein and I quickly left the building.”

Natasha: “So we exited the building and I turned around as I was walking out the door and said, ‘Nice seeing you again, Josh.'”

Process Server: “Once outside, Peter, the man who asked us to leave, and another man stood in front of the doors as if preventing entry back into Vision Forum. I spoke to Miss Epstein and told her the parking lot was also considered private property and that we should leave before anything else happened.”

Natasha: “Then we walked over to the process server’s car and talked about it and he said there was nothing he could do at the the moment because private property trumped what he was doing and that maybe he could have someone else come over and give it to him now that he had a description and all. Peter Bradrick and two others stood outside this whole time watching us and waiting for us to leave, so then we got in our cars to leave.”

Process Server: “As I was driving away, Peter flagged me down to ask why I came back for a second time. I said someone had identified Doug Phillips at the function, after I had departed the first time, and was told they would identify him to me so that I could make the delivery. Peter asked who hired me to which I could not give him the answer since I did not know. I showed him the top portion of the letter addressed with Joe Taylor’s contact information. Peter then asked for my business card, which I gave him; then I drove away.”
__________________

The process server’s boss appreciated Natasha’s assistance in verifying that Doug was indeed on the premises, and visually identifying Mr. Phillips for the process server, since both the VF employees and Doug Phillips lied about him not being there.

According to the Texas Rules of Civil Process, a process server has every right and reason to be on a property to do the job they are appointed to do. As a lawyer, Doug knows that. Doug also knows that a process server is an “officer of the court.” Doug orchestrated a deception on an officer of the court.

What I don’t understand is why he was asking the process server to leave, based on the private property trump card, when he was supposedly conducting a business function that was open to the public.

With all Doug’s talk last week about Christian men needing to be armed, I wonder why he was so afraid of a 20 year old young lady that he felt the need to run and hide in his office when Natasha arrived. What also doesn’t make sense is why he would run away and lie, and have his employees lie for him, over a letter from Joe Taylor. Joe isn’t even suing Doug. But this kind of avoidance is SOP for Doug.

Doug’s deceptive actions, and the deceptive example he sets for his employees, should really make people wonder whether anything he says can be trusted.

564 Responses to “Vision Forum: Culture of Deception by Doug Phillips’ Example?”

  1. Lucy Says:

    Better yet, Bryan… read these words instead. Mine aren’t as important — and apparently they’re coming off as stuck up.

    I Corinthians 6
    Ecclesiastes 5:2
    Proverbs 11:2
    Galatians 5:22-26
    Colossians 3:15
    Philippians 2
    Titus 3
    I Peter 5
    Mark 9:50
    Romans 8
    Romans 14:19
    Ephesians 4
    James 3:17

  2. Vik Says:

    K said:
    “Cynthia: I just don’t join a church I don’t agree with. Don’t become members unless you KNOW you agree with most of if if not all of it.”

    Husband and I thought we did that, once. After we joined, we gradually learned over time that the preacher believed the strangest stuff we ever heard. Not Baptist docrine. Off the wall stuff, and he purposely waited to tell us until we joined (privileged info, you know!). He didn’t believe in ordination, and was an “independent independent” as he liked to call himself. Totally unaccountable. We tried to leave politely but he wouldn’t let us. And he never, ever lets people give up their membership; he will not transfer it. My church overrode him, thank goodness.

    Sometimes people don’t learn until it’s too late, and sometimes the leadership changes from good to bad. Your statement is well-taken, but doesn’t always work out in practice.
    ———————————
    Morgan: AMEN Sister!! I wonder what Doug would think of MY family?

  3. Bryan Says:

    Lucy:

    I think you are playing games.

    A far as those scriptures you mentioned, I suspect that Jen and Mark are as perplexed as I am as to why Doug Phillips doesn’t follow them.

    In Christ,

    Bryan

  4. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Vik:
    Morgan: AMEN Sister!! I wonder what Doug would think of MY family?

    Morgan: I don’t know but I like ya’ll already!!!! I am thinking we could have some wondeful fellowship time!!!! Of course with some rebellion repentance tossed in too! 😉

  5. Lucy Says:

    Bryan – I do believe they are important, and that’s why I posted them to begin with. Jen has told me repeatedly that she intends to go back over them, so maybe you could , too?

    All you have to do is go to the individual thread, and page down until you see my name. Or “Ctrl+F” and type “Lucy”.

  6. Lucy Says:

    “Lucy:
    I think you are playing games.”

    How so? By quoting scripture????

    “A far as those scriptures you mentioned, I suspect that Jen and Mark are as perplexed as I am as to why Doug Phillips doesn’t follow them.”

    Bryan, are you relieved of your Christian responsibilities because of the actions of others?

  7. Justice Prima Says:

    K. For what it’s worth, although I fall firmly in the Patriarchal camp and yet do believe there is such a thing as ‘hyper Patriarchalism,’ many here would consider my family hyper-Patriarchal in many of our beliefs and practices.

    We would never counsel an abused wife to simply ‘make an appeal’ in private in the event of a harmful situation. Nor do we believe problems are always (or even mostly) the wife’s fault. We believe men and women are equal opportunity sinners, so in that since we are egalitarians. Of course, I do not personally know any fellow Patriarchalists who believe sin in the marriage is usually the woman’s fault, nor do I know any who believe that woman does not truly bear the image of God, or any of the other things I’ve heard here.

    Human pride, not a belief in family integrated churches, is responsible for any and all church splits in that area- and I have seen some very ugly treatment on both sides there. I have seen churches split and those in favor of family integrated churches treated very shabbily by the other side and vice versa.

    I do not agree that it is Patriarchy that caused Doug’s misbehavior. I put that down to a sinful response to a sinful situation- hero-worship, isolation from those who put him a position of leadership in the first place, and pride. I see it happen to doctors, to social workers, even to rock stars, for crying out loud. Any time people are in a position to be idolized, they stand the risk of taking that idolization too much to heart and losing a sense of perspective, thinking more highly of themselves than they ought.
    As a great philosopher once said, ‘it’s tough to handle that fortune and fame, everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed’ (that’s a joke, too, btw. The ‘great philosopher’ quoted is Joe Walsh, from a song by the Eagles). Non-Patriarchalists are just as susceptible to this as Patriarchalists.

    The constant harping on patriarchy by some here also sets my teeth on edge, and I believe it is not only unfair to those of us who hold to patriarchal beliefs without harshly judging others or falling into sins of pride or abuse, it’s also ham-fisted and will only serve to make other patriarchalists defensive and allow Doug to (convincingly) dig in his heels and say, “See, it’s not about me and what I did, it’s all about my beliefs- beliefs many people share.” When my beliefs are attacked, of course I get defensive- but no matter what anybody else says, this is not about my beliefs or yours, Lucy’s, Bryan’s, Corrie’s, Lynn’s, Joan’s, Ann’s, Marie’s, or even Doug’s- except insomuch as we see anybody preaching one thing and practicing another- and even then the issue is not the beliefs, it’s the disconnect, the hypocrisy. It is about the actions and responses of Doug Phillips, Matt Chancey, the guy behind Still Fed Up, and the Epsteins.

    On a lighter note- yes, I do see that my story of my name is funny, and the joke is totally on me. I had forgotten, if I ever knew, that DP has a son named Justice. And I do know that Prima is Latin for first- I just wasn’t thinking. All I can say in my defense is that the traditional statue of Justice, found on most courthouses in the Western world which sport such decoration, is a woman.
    And Jen, obviously, I have absolutely zero credibility when it comes to assessing whether or not somebody else’s humor ‘worked.’
    It’s all most humbling.=)

  8. Jen Says:

    Hey, did anyone check out that legal affidavit that’s been up for the last two days now?

  9. Vik Says:

    Morgan: I don’t know but I like ya’ll already!!!! I am thinking we could have some wondeful fellowship time!!!! Of course with some rebellion repentance tossed in too!

    Me: …and maybe the teensiest bit of sarcasm? 😉
    —————————
    Lucy, would you mind just summarizing what you think? I did read a number of your old posts but I just couldn’t follow, most of the time. The only thing I could find that Doug wanted Jen to repent of was “rebellion” and “blogging about me”. Oh yeah, and thinking she perfect and sinless.

    I do understand your concern about her time being better spent praying about it — and she is. Who prays 24/7? Sometimes action is required — some kind of action. This is how she chose to take action.

    I think we could all think about spending our time better other than on the computer in general… but then I’d never have met you, now, would I? 😉

  10. Vik Says:

    Jen asked:
    “Hey, did anyone check out that legal affidavit that’s been up for the last two days now?”

    I saw it before I saw your post, because I noticed it was written in blue! (the link, not the affidavit)

  11. K. Says:

    Prima Justice I liked what you said — a lot. There is nothing I disagree with (on what you wrote). My only thing is this on the DP issue: Because I was notthere and because I did not see it I have to take either Jen’s word or DP’s word. The reason I said what I said is because there are some really ugly things being said about the patriarchal beliefs out there – check out a couple of the websites on here – Just seems to be like you are in one category or another.

    Vik I liked what you said about spending our time but then we would not have met anyone here 🙂 It was nice.

  12. Jen Says:

    Cynthia Gee: “what if someone at Bourne makes a “personal choice” to send their children to public school, or their daughter to college, and gets excommunicated for “rebellion” — not rebellion against the precepts of the faith as set down in the Bible, but rebellion against the Gospel of Doug’s Tenets of “Biblical” Patriarchy?”

    Cynthia, this has indeed happened at a sister church, and to one of Natasha’s good friends.

    Lucy: “my response has been to suggest that Jen search herself to find humility, and look for recurring or new sins, and possibly, ways that she still may need to repent.”

    Lucy, thank you for this. I do ask God to search my heart every day and to show me my sins. I’m sure that I continue to sin every day, and I probably will, with or without this blog. This blog does make my sins a little more public, but it also serves as a mirror to me. When I go back and re-read what I have written, sometimes I see my own sin staring me back in the face. And I would say that that is a GOOD reason to keep this blog up. Having a written record keeps me more accountable with my words.

    Gotta run for a while now. Back later to answer the rest.

  13. Lucy Says:

    True enough, Vik. Maybe we’d find out that we had more in common than we thought. 🙂

    I have to say though, that I’m pretty surprised to hear that you want me to summarize my thoughts. It seemed like you were pretty tired of them, for a while, there.

    I guess the only reason I’m hesitant is because it seems like I’d be violating the message of Ecc. 5 to just repeat myself when all Bryan would have to do is click the link and “page down”.

    …that, and I’m extremely busy today 😉

  14. Vik Says:

    Justice Prima said:
    “As a great philosopher once said, ‘it’s tough to handle that fortune and fame, everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed’ (that’s a joke, too, btw. The ‘great philosopher’ quoted is Joe Walsh, from a song by the Eagles). Non-Patriarchalists are just as susceptable to this as Patriarchalists.”

    I remember the song (What was I doing listening to the Eagles?)

    Well, for my part, I apologize if I’ve made any smart remarks regarding patriarchy. I think maybe people have different definitions of it, and I am using Doug’s definition when I post. I wonder, exactly, what the proper definition is. Who knows, maybe my family is doing “patriarchy” unawares.

  15. Vik Says:

    Lucy said:
    “I have to say though, that I’m pretty surprised to hear that you want me to summarize my thoughts. It seemed like you were pretty tired of them, for a while, there.”

    Heh heh, that’s why I just asked you to SUMMARIZE! 😀

    Seriously, your posts got to where I would have to read them out loud slowly, one word at a time, to make sense of them, and I didn’t have the time or the inclination, after awhile. In this thread they do seem very coherent as far as readability (and shorter), and I AM reading them. 😉

  16. K. Says:

    where is the legal document?

  17. Lucy Says:

    Well, that’s exactly why I feel that boiling it down to the scripture verses that backed it up was the best summarizing I could do.

    By the way, Bryan, add Matthew 5 to that list. It’s the best example I can think of, with regard to Jesus’ attitude towards christian quarrelling and “one anothering”.

  18. Rena Says:

    Lucy, The problem with your ‘verses’ is that you are proof texting. People ‘proof text’ when they have a point they want to prove. So they find a verse that does so (that is pretty easy to do) even ignoring or stretching the original issue about which the verse was written. We must rightly divide the Word of Truth.

    So for Jen to study your ‘verses’ she must study each in context. (She probably has already)

    To minimize misusing scripture by proof texting, we need to ask several questions: To whom was it written. What did it mean to the original hearers. What kind of problems, issues were facing those being addressed and finally, most importantly, what is in the chapters preceding that verse!!! The CONTEXT.

    This ‘proof texting’ is one tactic that is used very by the seekers, legalists and spritual abusers. It really is amazing how many false beliefs we have because we have learned scripture in bits and pieces and not in the full spirit of truth.

    You know, the funny thing is that there is all kinds of teachings in the NT about wolves in sheep clothing, false teachers and mockers. Jude is all about false teachers. Read about how false teachers come in from among us and slip in unaware. The teaching creeps in subtly.

    Check out Titus 1.

    By his actions, DP is a false teacher. He fits the bill.

  19. Joan Hathcote Says:

    I sure didn’t mean to “diss” on patriarchy. My own family subscribes to certain of those principles…the ones that are specifically spelled out in the Bible. I guess what gets me hot under the collar is when EXTRAPOLATED concepts, such as homeschooling or “no college for girls,” are taught as though they are the very commands of Christ. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Jen’s story mention needing an INVITATION to attend Doug’s church? And needing to be vouched for–to prove that her family was willing to follow those specific, extrapolated teachings–before being invited? Does this strike anybody else as just a tad bit UNLIKE the church of the Bible?

    What I find so fascinating is that in Scripture, just about all of the people God chose to use were never discussed in terms of their families’ subscribing to a certain set of lifestyle principles. In fact, in Jesus’ ministry, He seemed to go out of His way to seek out the least likely candidates for His disciples. You just have to wonder, would the unmarried Apostle Paul have received an invite to Doug’s church? What about Timothy? He apparently grew up in a MATRIARCHAL family.

    I guess it comes down to, is it that surprising that the pastor’s behavior during the Epsteins’ excommunication might have been unbiblical when some of the conditions for attending BCA were unbiblical? Wasn’t all that “looking on the outward appearance” at least somewhat at the root of what is now causing these irreconcilable differences?

  20. Vik Says:

    Joan asked:
    “…correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Jen’s story mention needing an INVITATION to attend Doug’s church? And needing to be vouched for…?”

    Not only that, but when Jen first called to see if she could attend there (she had to ask?), Beall told her, simply, “No.”

    Un-bee-lievable!

    Doug does not run a church. It is NOT a church. The Epsteins were fooled into thinking it was one.

  21. Bryan Says:

    I personally think that, based upon the evidence provided, that Doug has basically done the exact same thing as RC Sproul Jr.; that is, he has pastorally abused members of his flock, the Epsteins.

    At least RC had the decency to go through a presbytery reivew of the situation, and was defrocked. (Of course, his subsequent actions make a mockery of his defrocking.)

    And now I suspect we know why DP is so eager to support Jr. : he has apparently done the same thing as Jr.!

    But Doug is too proud to submit himself to the same process as RC Jr. No one has provided the results of Living Waters’ and the PCA church review of whether or not Doug is guilty of pastoral abuse (actually, I think “spiritual rape” is a more accurate term, but alas, I digress) because evidently there was no review of Doug’s actions to see if they were proper. No one has yet to stand up and say “Yes, Doug SHOULD have read confidential counseling notes to the enitre congregation”. No one has yet to say “Yes, Doug was right in revealing Jen’s pre-conversion sin publicly.” No one has yet to say “Yes, Doug was right in excommunicating members of his church in absentia.”

    Lucy, quote all the scriptures you want. I got a whole Bible full of them if you run out. (Oops, I forgot, no more sarcasm allowed.)
    You left off Galatians 6:1 through 5 when you quoted Galatians 5:22-26 (“context”, remember?). I’ve yet to have anyone stand up and publicly declare that Doug was right to deal harshly with Jen and Mark instead of gently, as Gal. 6:1 says, since he is the more spiritual one. Will you, Lucy?

    And you have spent more time and space typing why you can’t summarize your suggestions instead of just doing it. That’s why I am accusing you of playing games here. I ask you simple questions (others have too) and you simply skirt and ignore them. That too is why I am accusing you of playing games here.

    So, back to the point of this blog: Exposing Doug Phillips’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny (In Accordance With Matthew 18:17).

    Signed,

    Bryan (Longtime Vision Forum and Doug Phillips Supporter)

  22. Corrie Says:

    K,

    First of all, it is not wrong to label a system of thought. The word “hyper-patriarchy” is a label that defines a system of thought that goes well above and well beyond what scripture says. Much of it is adiaphora but a lot of it is just plain bondage. Then, they use their manmade extrabiblical systems to judge other Christians as being weak or liberal or what have you.

    Visit patriarchy.org to see some very good articles addressing exactly what I am talking about.

    The apostle Paul labeled religious systems, too. He also said to stand firm in our Christian liberty and refuse to be yoked to bondage again. He also links the false teaching of the Judaizers to being bewitched and being lead away from the grace of Christ.

    It is NOT enough to just “not do it”. K, really. When is it ever right to teach something as fact and as something all people should do when it is not something God teaches us in His word? You have a very flippant attitude towards scripture. Men of God, the shepherds of God’s people, MUST accurately handle scripture and leave their own bias and agendas out of it. There are many people being hurt by this system. I have seen it with my own eyes. It is bondage. It is focused on man and it is, imho, idolatry in many cases.

    We have lost our focus, K. “Thy Kingdom Come”. Well, do we really understand this? What does that mean? The kingdom work is about telling others about Christ.

    Go to that link and avail yourself of some articles that expose the teachings that I label as “hyper-patriarchy”. You can also call it “patriarchy on steroids”. And, the men writing these articles are no lightweights.

  23. Bryan Says:

    “Vik Says:
    May 3rd, 2007 at 3:30 pm
    Joan asked:
    “…correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Jen’s story mention needing an INVITATION to attend Doug’s church? And needing to be vouched for…?”

    Not only that, but when Jen first called to see if she could attend there (she had to ask?), Beall told her, simply, “No.”

    Un-bee-lievable!

    Doug does not run a church. It is NOT a church. The Epsteins were fooled into thinking it was one.”

    Vik, I’m going to go one further and surmise that BCA is a cult. If you go to their website, there’s no address, no meeting time, no “come visit us”. No “contact us”. No telephone number. No e-mail address.

    And to think my wife and I actually talked about moving to Texas so we could fellowship with the Phillips family and other “like minded brethren”! Thank you Lord for not subjecting us to what the Epsteins have gone through.

  24. Jen Says:

    Cynthia: “Actually Jen, it’s more like cleaning out the refrigerator. What’s lurking down in the bottom under the crisper drawer can be pretty yucky, but the longer you put it off, the nastier it will get.”

    You have a MUCH better analogy than I do!

    K: “I just don’t join a church I don’t agree with. Don’t become members unless you KNOW you agree with most of if not all of it.”

    K, that’s what we thought we were doing. When we first started attending BCA, we loved every aspect of it. Doug was loving and kind and THERE. But the changes came gradually, and we weren’t ones to run when the going gets tough. We thought it was just some growing pains for a new church. We had no idea at the time how much Doug would really change. I really liked the old Doug Phillips, before he became so full of pride.

    Joan: “didn’t Jen’s story mention needing an INVITATION to attend Doug’s church? And needing to be vouched for–to prove that her family was willing to follow those specific, extrapolated teachings–before being invited?”

    Vik: “Not only that, but when Jen first called to see if she could attend there (she had to ask?), Beall told her, simply, “No.”

    I have to be fair to Doug and Beall here. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in my story, but the lady I called was NOT Beall and the church she was referencing AT FIRST was not BCA. I was just looking for a church and she attended both these churches (one on Sunday, one on Wednesday nights). Looking back, I think this lady took it upon herself to not invite me until she knew more about me. That part had nothing to do with Doug and Beall, as far as I know.

    However, BCA does not and never has advertised in any way whatsoever. Bryan, you are correct about their church website not having any information about when and where they meet or any contact information. That is why we call it Doug’s church blog instead of a website! I said this several months ago, but go to Vision Forum’s “Uniting Church and Home” site and look for Boerne Christian Assembly in Texas. Now why do you think that Doug would have this huge church directory of family-integrated churches on his website, but not list his own?

  25. Bryan Says:

    Jen:

    Wow! We were on that list for a few years. Yes, you make an excellent point!

    Guess only the perfect people (like yourselves) were wanted! 🙂

  26. Marie Says:

    Jen,

    Just for sake of clarity – in one of your posts in response to me you said “In the very first MW article, MW was kind enough to shade two of the signatures in the first document so that we would not have to bring their names into this. We asked MW to do that to protect their reputation. There was nothing to hide. The story was about Doug and we wanted to protect the others. Since then, however, we have posted that document in full, so there are NO documents with blocked out signatures.”

    To which I replied “As far as the blocked signatures are concerned, I THOUGHT that the documents without signatures were because they had been intentionally left out.(Your above explaination indicated to me otherwise) I know there were signatures blocked out at one time, though, I saw them (which you verified to me through your above statement).”

    But then you came behind me and said this –
    “Marie, the one thing my husband asked you that I would also like to repeat is for you to show exactly which documents on my site have blocked out signatures. You stated there were many, so even two examples would suffice.” I already told you that I misunderstood why there were no signatures on the other documents. I thought the ones that had no signatures were that way because you had intentionally left them off. You told me there were never any signatures to begin with. I left it at that.

    So why do you keep asking me to provide examples of blocked signatures? I thought we were done with that conversation. So, there are two documents with blocked out signatures – the one that you stated above and the most recent affidavit. The rest, you say, never had any signatures at all. And I have noticed that on certain documents there aren’t even any typed in dates, only handwritten. Whenever I write correspondece, I always make sure there is a date on it. Why the handwritten dates?

    Would one of you that is so “anti” patriarchy or hyper-patriarchy, as you like to call it, care to define what you mean by it? It seems to me through some of this dialogue that this word is thrown around like a catch-all phrase for what you, personally, don’t like about certain teachings. When it has been referred to, I have seen other websites suggested for “seeing” what it is, or broad general sweeping comments. I would like someone to give me their perceived definition of what hyper-patriarchal actually means.

    (BTW) I know we are on a new topic now, but I have been out all day or busy, and not been able to read or respond to anything.)

  27. Jen Says:

    Marie, I’m sorry that we didn’t understand each other about the documents with/without signatures. I think I see what you mean now. My husband wanted an answer and I didn’t quite understand what you meant. I’ve got it now! That conversation is done!

    As far as the handwritten dates, Doug does not put dates or signatures on any (most) of his documents/letters, so I wrote those in to remind myself. It is frustrating when I can’t remember a date! At the time we received them, I had no inkling that they would ever be made public, so I sometimes wrote all over them. Sorry about that!

    I am working on an article about patriarchy, hyper-patriarchy, and what the Bible says about men’s and women’s roles. It looks like it is a necessary article here and I will have need of that information soon anyway, so if anyone has any links or information you would like me to consider, feel free to email them to me. I am NOT going to be trying to divide my readers on a point of doctrine, but my purpose will be to show what happens when we add to Scripture. This will be a change of mindset for me as well, so I hope we all come to this with our hearts open to see only what God’s Word has to say.

  28. Vik Says:

    Bryan — I know. I tried to get my brother to move from Houston to San Antonio to go to Doug’s church. Besides the obvious, it’s a good thing he didn’t because he’d never have been able to find the place!

    I listened to VF’s entire “Uniting Church and Family” tapes, and in one of them Doug said that people were getting so desperate to find a church that they were moving to San Antonio and calling him (how they got BCA’s number, I don’t know), but Doug’s reply was, “We don’t want you to come here” and something along the lines of not wanting people to visit his church. I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of the tapes so I could give you the exact wording, but that was the jist and I was very stunned.
    ———————————
    Jen, okay gotcha on the “No” person.
    Still, at my church we don’t check out backgrounds for visitors!

  29. Vik Says:

    Jen,
    How come I can’t post on “Doug Phillips’ School on Yellow Journalism”?

    (What’s up with the Yellow? People have said “yellow-bellied” and you said “yellow journalism”? I guess I’ve never heard all this yellow stuff, but I’m sure it’s bad.)

  30. Ann Says:

    Jen,
    Why on the affidavit do you have the Notary’s name blocked out?

  31. Jen Says:

    Ann, as I explained above, the process server’s company asked us to block their names because this is such a public case. The story is not about them.

  32. Ann Says:

    Is the process server’s company also the notary?

  33. Jen Says:

    The process server’s company has a notary.

  34. Ann Says:

    What was the reason to put up the notarized affidavit?

  35. Bryan Says:

    Ann:

    I suspect that Jen put up the notarized affidavit so that she could not be accused of fabricating the account at the top of this page about Doug playing games and trying to avoid the process server.

    The affidavit (by a disinterested third party) is just confirmation of another example of DP’s shenanigans (paranoia?)

  36. Elizabeth Giromini Says:

    “(What’s up with the Yellow? People have said “yellow-bellied” and you said “yellow journalism”? I guess I’ve never heard all this yellow stuff, but I’m sure it’s bad.)”

    Vik – I guess it must be a southern thing. I’ve heard people called yellow as long as I can remember, or worse, “yeller” (which is yellow with a REALLY thick accent.) Yellow or “yeller” means cowerdly.

    The word detective has an article on the word here http://www.word-detective.com/020403.html#yellow

  37. Lynn Says:

    I love the proverb with a twist —

    “Silence is golden . . . but sometimes it’s yellow.”

  38. Ann Says:

    How can one tell it is authentic though? I went on-line and found a Texas stamp that was same as Jen’s, only date was different, and I saved it to hard drive and then placed it in a document. Looks authentic. I could easily make the affidavit in my MS Publisher program.

  39. Bryan Says:

    Vik:

    In Doug’s defense, I can see why he would want to “limit” who comes to visit. He is a very popular public figure within the homeschool community, and perhaps he realizes that he cannot attend to a large flock. He may also want to actually avoid “cultlike” status in that way also.

    So I can kind of see the desire to remain discreet. The church is not his major focus or ministry (at least that I can see); Vision Forum is (along with speaking on the circuit as well).

    Where I used the term “cult” in my posting above, it is more out of the observation (albeit indirect) of the need to “control” others. This is for the purity of the church, and again, is to be able to hold people to account. I understand that. Where accountability breaks down is when BCA has no process for appeal to outside disinterested third parties (such as a presbytery or denomination) where an investigation can take place into allegations of pastoral/elder abuse. Leadership accountability is equally important to the purity of the church, otherwise you end up with examples such as this. This is what cults do. No leadership accountability. They SAY it, but it isn’t ACTUAL accountability.

    Again, kudos (sort of) to RC Jr. for at least “pretending” to go through a leadership accountability process. That is more than DP has done thus far.

  40. Bryan Says:

    Ann:

    You’re right. Everything here is a lie. Why do you continue to waste your time here?

  41. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “In Doug’s defense, I can see why he would want to “limit” who comes to visit. He is a very popular public figure within the homeschool community, and perhaps he realizes that he cannot attend to a large flock. He may also want to actually avoid “cultlike” status in that way also.”

    I was thinking the same thing, Bryan. People might begin to come to Bourne as “tourists”, to get books signed, etc.

  42. Brandon Giromini Says:

    Ann,

    Here is an even better question, would you believe it if you could see the signature? For all you know, Jennifer could have taken someone’s signature off of the Internet and photoshopped it into place.

  43. Ann Says:

    Well if I could see the actual notary, maybe we could send the affidavit to them and ask them to verify if that is an authentic document prepared by their office or at least notarized by their office. Is that legal to do????

  44. K. Says:

    Lynn:

    Here is the proverb I like:

    The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. THE BIBLE – Prov. 15:2

  45. Lynn Says:

    Bryan says:
    “Everything here is a lie.”

    Hahahahahah! That includes what Bryan just said!

    😉

  46. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Cynthia:
    “I was thinking the same thing, Bryan. People might begin to come to Bourne as “tourists”, to get books signed, etc.”

    Morgan: Oh puhleeeeessse. Do not tell me you made that comment seriously unless this Vision Forum BCA thing is really SO whacked out that people would make Boerne a tourist (do I hear pilgrimage here) destination just to get someones signature? Of course if you are that serious forgive me if I have offended you.

    Ann Says:

    Well if I could see the actual notary, maybe we could send the affidavit to them and ask them to verify if that is an authentic document prepared by their office or at least notarized by their office. Is that legal to do????

    Morgan says: Jen could be in big trouble if she posted falsified court related documents. So the speculation reagrding the authenticity of the documents seems to me to be ‘moot’. Unless Jen could care less about any civil procedure liability, which I seriously doubt.

    Indeed one of their own says , All Cretans are liars. Ah yes the great Epimenides paradox….

    I say we end this!!!! We end it now…even though this is probably the busiest blog in the universe….

    All of the women here that do not agree with patriarchy and DPs VF teachings…repent of rebellion to partriarchy NOW.

    With some sarcasm thrown in too. 😉

  47. Jen Says:

    Ann, I am limited as to what proof I can provide online. I will just say again that I have a standing invitation for Doug to refute anything I have said here.

    Now, let me ask you. In all of Doug’s rhetoric on his church blog, has he actually refuted one thing I’ve said? Has he shown any documentation that is contrary to mine? And if I made this up, don’t you think I’d be receiving my own summons by now?

    Doug has already publicly threatened to take me to court. If I say anything untrue, that is all the excuse he is looking for. Everything I write here is carefully thought through since I have the threat of a lawsuit constantly hanging over my head.

  48. Bryan Says:

    Morgan:

    Not a pilgrimage, per se, but rather, there are many people who hold Doug and his family in high esteem (me and my family among them until very recently), and would probably like to meet them and worship with them. Locals would perhaps want to “Check them out”.

    So yes, I do not see it as unreasonable at all for Doug to NOT want to have a worship service turned into just that, a pilgrimage.

  49. Lynn Says:

    K — about proverbs, all proverbs, even the *BIBLE* proverbs, is that their truth or falsehood stands on whether they accuarately portray a majority of life experiences they speak about. IOW — something can be very true, or wise, whether it is in the Bible, or not.

    You quoting that proverb from the Bible, and my quoting that one about silence, does not mean that your words are truer than mine. I’m not sure whether you meant to imply that, but I did note your all caps *BIBLE*. It is as though I said that 100 plus 100 make 200, and you quoted something about numbers from the *BIBLE*.

    It is true that silence is good when it is wise to be silent, and it is also true that sometimes it is out of cowardice that men do not speak up. Many examples in Scripture of this last one, including not defending those being delivered to slaughter, standing by while injustice is being done and one knows it. It would be easy for me to fetch the references which show that the proverb *I* gave is a true one.

    But more to the point, neither what you quoted, nor what I quoted will prove that things Jen is sharing is right, or wrong. It is elsewhere we must look for that.

    Have you noticed that this thread started out by Doug Phillips running away from people who aren’t after a lawsuit, but just want to make peace with him — ie– Joe Taylor? I think Joe Taylor has every right, biblically speaking, to pursue peace with Doug Phillips.

    I am glad Jen asked Natasha to verify if Doug were there. I am glad Joe Taylor wants to make peace with an adversary in a manner he believes is most pleasing to God. I am very sorry Doug ran away and hid himself, and deceived a process server. I believe the testimonies, because if they fired Linton over using a work computer for private business, I firmly believe if this were a fabrication Jen would be in court by now.

    So is Joe wrong to have pursued peace with Phillips? Is Jen wrong to have written about it to teach us something of VF’s MO? I don’t think so, and I don’t believe your proverb demonstrates it.

  50. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Bryan Says:
    May 4th, 2007 at 8:52 am
    Morgan:

    Not a pilgrimage, per se, but rather, there are many people who hold Doug and his family in high esteem (me and my family among them until very recently), and would probably like to meet them and worship with them. Locals would perhaps want to “Check them out”.

    So yes, I do not see it as unreasonable at all for Doug to NOT want to have a worship service turned into just that, a pilgrimage.

    Morgan says: And that’s all well and fine, but permit me to completely NOT understand that at all…..it just does not compute in my universe of understanding…(I told Jen I was probably spending too much time in web app domains 😉 )
    BTW..isn’t is funny how we each perceive the same thing in so many different ways….?

  51. Ann Says:

    Jen said: Everything I write here is carefully thought through since I have the threat of a lawsuit constantly hanging over my head.

    Jen also said: After reviewing my article about my friend, David, and looking over my notes again, I realize that I need to make some changes, as some things weren’t very clear. I was in too much of a hurry to post it, so I am going to try to write it a little more clearly and will have it back up soon! I also need to double-check some facts.

  52. Bryan Says:

    Ann:

    Jen ALSO said (you left this part out):

    “I am more concerned for the truth than providing a sensational story. I will have it back up after I check something out.”

  53. Ann Says:

    Bryan,
    Don’t you think Jen should check the facts thoroughly before ever posting anything, and make it a point to be very clear. Her words said she was in “too much of a hurry.” She wants it to be true, so why not take plenty of time checking it out and go over it with a fine-tooth comb before posting. Because when you post something, then take it down to fix something, it looks suspicious, in my opinion.

  54. Bryan Says:

    Ann:

    Ann, You’re right. Jen should have been more careful before she posted it. She admitted she was in a hurry. Hopefully she’ll be more careful now.

    Now that we have caught her lying about checking things out thoroughly before she posts, that just proves beyond a shadow of a doubt EVERYTHING written on this blog is suspect. And we should automatically assume it is all fabricated, and instead believe everything coming from DP/VF/BCA.

    Whew! Glad we got that clarified.

  55. Ann Says:

    Bryan,
    No, it is just another contradiction, one of many that I’ve seen while being here for the past week.

    She can go on here for weeks, months or years, but I really doubt that it will get the results she desires. I think there are lot of people wasting their time here, including myself, and we are all accountable to the Lord in how we spend the time He gives us.

  56. Bryan Says:

    Ann:

    Are you perchance the ombusdman for the New York Times? 🙂

    But, again, seriously, you are right. She should have stayed true to her word and checked it more thoroughly. She didn’t. So now, in your book, I guess that calls EVERYTHING on this blog into question. Well, okay. If 100% perfection in EVERYTHING the very first time out, no exceptions, is your standard of proof, then good for you.

  57. K. Says:

    Morgan says: Jen could be in big trouble if she posted falsified court related documents. So the speculation reagrding the authenticity of the documents seems to me to be ‘moot’. Unless Jen could care less about any civil procedure liability, which I seriously doubt.

    I am confused . .. I thought this was not even a LEGAL document but simply a letter (the one supposedly being delivered that is)

  58. Lynn Says:

    Well, this casts Doug Phillips’ accusation that Jen believes in sinless perfection into grave, grave doubt here. Jen is very honest about where she makes mistakes and needs to correct things. This is more a sign of honesty than it is cause for suspicion, and yes, it does make me very suspicious about the truthfulness of the original BCA statement.

    The differences I and some others did have with Jen in our off-line Bible study in no way centered on sinless perfection. We knew Jen didn’t believe that.

    Jen has been overall very consistent in her story, and where clarification is needed (such as w/Natasha being asked to go to VF), it doesn’t change her story. Human error every now and then is to be expected from all of us. After all, we don’t believe in sinless perfection, now do we?

    BTW– Mr. Revelation — you need to supply the evidence for the charge about lying, or else retract.

    Slinking into the shadows like that is yet another thing to be suspicious about, in addition to the logical fallacies employed in an attempt to falsify what Jen is sharing here.

  59. Ann Says:

    Jen wrote: This blog has actually been instrumental in changing my own heart, along with this online Bible study I’m in, more than at other time in my life. I have gone through an incredible transformation in recent months, but it only shows me how much more I still need to change. Lynn, and some others here, have seen me struggle and struggle spiritually in the last two months in a way that I have never had to deal with before.

    So, Lucy, I am dealing with my heart or, I should say, God is dealing with my heart, THROUGH this very blog! I am so grateful that God is using this to teach ME what He wants me to learn. This is an incredible learning experience for me and I wouldn’t give up these recent heart transformations if I had the ability to choose between never having been excommunicated in the first place and what God has done in my life in the last few months. I would chose to go through this all over again if it was what was necessary for God to work in my life in this way. God meant all this for good!

    So Jen, this blog is sort of a cathartic process for you. Well when you get to the place where you feel your “heart is transformed” enough that you can then walk forward unencumbered, turn around and look at the piles of wreckage and ruin you have left in your path, and then ask yourself if this really was the “Lord’s” will.

  60. Elizabeth Giromini Says:

    K,
    “Morgan says: Jen could be in big trouble if she posted falsified court related documents. So the speculation reagrding the authenticity of the documents seems to me to be ‘moot’. Unless Jen could care less about any civil procedure liability, which I seriously doubt.

    I am confused . .. I thought this was not even a LEGAL document but simply a letter (the one supposedly being delivered that is)”

    Morgan is not talking about the letter that Joe Taylor attempted to have served to Doug. She is talking about the notarized affidavit that the process server wrote.

  61. Morgan Farmer Says:

    K. Says:
    May 4th, 2007 at 10:48 am
    Morgan says: Jen could be in big trouble if she posted falsified court related documents. So the speculation reagrding the authenticity of the documents seems to me to be ‘moot’. Unless Jen could care less about any civil procedure liability, which I seriously doubt.

    I am confused . .. I thought this was not even a LEGAL document but simply a letter (the one supposedly being delivered that is)

    Morgan says: Well my mistake…brain assumes ‘service’ with legal…..that will teach me huh?
    Darn …now I am confused. Why would anyone waste a process servers time serving a letter? A Fed Ex that had to be signed for specifically by the Recipient or a certified letter would have done…if a certifed letter or FDX was used then that would have shown too. Seems to me like someone was deliberately calling someone out. Very tacky indeed.

    However…since the document Jen posted was notarized it is assumed (?) to have some sort of legal status. I think that this whole calling people out thing is a bad way to proceed and serves no one at all.

    Ann says:

    So Jen, this blog is sort of a cathartic process for you. Well when you get to the place where you feel your “heart is transformed” enough that you can then walk forward unencumbered, turn around and look at the piles of wreckage and ruin you have left in your path, and then ask yourself if this really was the “Lord’s” will.

    Morgan says: That may be just a tad below the belt there gal.

  62. Joan Hathcote Says:

    I addressed this question to Lucy, originally (twice!), but she’s apparently busy with other things, so I’m going to ask any of Jen’s detractors here (especially those who think she’s doing wrong by this blog) if they’d be willing to address the following:

    Do you think that it is always wrong to speak out against leaders who have wronged us? At what point would it be OK for Jen to share her story? What would she need to do (in your book) to prove that, in telling what happened to her, she’s reached the place where she’s not harboring sin?

    Do you think there’s EVER a place for someone with serious concerns about a Christian leader to share that information with the larger body of Christ?

    With the tremendous amount of traffic here, I’m sure this question is in danger of getting lost in the shuffle, but certainly ONE of Jen’s detractors could provide an answer?

  63. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Joan Hathcote says:
    “Do you think there’s EVER a place for someone with serious concerns about a Christian leader to share that information with the larger body of Christ?:

    Morgan says: oh how about one of those who understands where she is coming from?

    IMHO…sharing serious concern information about a Christian leader is always going to be a problem for some people. We are always admonished to not gossip but this admonition is always used to sweep it all under the carpet and ignore the problems. Which is too weird because the Apostle Paul always took the opportunity to admonish, warn and yes NAME people called to his attention that were causing problems.

    go figure….

  64. Justice Prima Says:

    On the one hand that are several of Jen’s critics clamoring for her to hurry up and post answers to every question they ask, now already. And these same people accuse or coyly suggest she spends too much time here and is neglecting her family. And then when she decides she did post something too hastily and should take it down and make it right, she gets criticized for that, too.

    I noticed that article was too hasty just because many sentences were redundant. And I notice that what Jen has done is far more above board than Doug’s revision- as seen here:
    http://www.simply-christian.org/blog/2007/05/01/uncongratulations/
    Simply disappearing the announcement down the memory hole and trying to hide the traces- that is not honorable or ethical. It is not the sort of action I would want to see in a man I admired, and I it does not speak well of the character of a Christian leader who would do such a thing.

    And making people aware that this has been done is not the shameful thing- doing it in the first place is the shame.

    Are there articles from Fed Up or Matt Chancey’s site that have simply ‘disappeared?’

  65. Elizabeth Giromini Says:

    Morgan, the reason a process server was used instead of FedEx is that FedEx can be refused.
    Joe wanted Doug to actually have his letter physically in his hands so that Doug would read it and make a decision of whether or not to attempt reconciliation.
    Joe wrote: “All I’m asking you for at this time is a simple written “yes, I will discuss this with you,” or “no, I will not,” answer. The details would be worked out later. Please have a written response in my hands by May 5, 2007.”
    Because Doug refused the process server, the letter was posted publicly so that Doug could see it and respond.
    So, today is May 4, 2007 and Joe requested a response to whether or not Doug would be willing to attempt reconciliation by tomorrow.

  66. Lynn Says:

    Ann says:
    “So Jen, this blog is sort of a cathartic process for you. Well when you get to the place where you feel your “heart is transformed” enough that you can then walk forward unencumbered, turn around and look at the piles of wreckage and ruin you have left in your path, and then ask yourself if this really was the “Lord’s” will.”

    Morgan says: “That may be just a tad below the belt there gal.”

    Lynn says:
    I don’t see any wreckage. Phillips could have dealt with this privately for years, and hasn’t.

  67. Corrie Says:

    Isn’t it odd for a trained lawyer not to date his written correspondence? I would think that a lawyer, especially, would be rather conscientious about dating everything.

    Marie, I am not sure why it is so hard to understand that people can have legitimate problems with extra-biblical teachings being passed off as biblical teaching? Why are we so hung up on the term “hyper-patriarchy”? Call it whatever you want, I won’t be upset. But, don’t equate people who call into question “hyper-patriarchy” as being “anti-patriarchy”.

    First of all, there is a concept in scripture that teaches that the husband is the head of the wife and that church elders are to be male.

    What falls under the term “hyper-patriarchy” is when people try and foist their manmade traditions and pass them off as doctrines of God, something Jesus strongly rebuked the religious leaders for doing.

    What some teach under the topic of headship/submission is extrabiblical and has no root or basis in scripture.

    They miss the picture of UNITY and get all wrapped up on authority. A head without a body is useless. A body without a head is useless. Christ used the analogy of Him as the head and we are the Body. It was a picture of unity and dependency. Hyper-patriarchal teachings are inconsistent because reality doesn’t allow for them to apply their teachings consistently. They teach that men were given the dominion mandate but that is not true. God gave the dominion mandate to both the man and the woman with no distinction. (Did you guys catch the VF statement on concerning patriarchy? It looks as if they changed their assertion that God gave the dominion mandate to the man alone. I remember we talked about this over on Adventures in Mercy. I could find what it used to say.)

    The hyper-patriarchal group focuses almost solely on a man’s authority when their focus should actually be on loving and serving. It is a WRONG focus that is found in hyper-patriarchal teachings. “Father-rule” is the main tenet of the gospel. It isn’t even in the top 10 but you would think it is by reading the people who promote this. To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    They take a scripture to women (wives submit yourselves to your husbands) and construct a whole doctrine about how men are the authority when that is not the focus of that verse. It is a command to the woman. The focus on men is serving, sacrificing and loving and they should stop trying to extrapolate something out of nothing. If God wanted them to be focused on their own authority and how they are “spiritual leaders” of their wife, then He would have put that in there. But, He didn’t. They spend too much time focusing on the wrong thing. They also get dangerously close to ignoring Jesus’ teaching about leaders and how the Gentiles wanted to lord their authority over others but Christians are to turn that structure upside down and the leaders are to be the servants.

    Also, the hyper-patriarchal group applies scripture written specifically for the organized church to the secular world. They believe that blessing will come by following their vision of a theonomic patriarchy but that is NOT what scripture teaches. If it were true, then we would have seen that blessing in all the patriarchal nations throughout history.

    Patriarchy, a proper understanding of it, is not wrong when the proper emphasis is applied. But, patriarchy, with the wrong emphasis and ignoring the rest of the Bible for a few very specific verses soon gets off track.

    When a whole ministry focuses all its time on men as rulers and making sure women act according to how their own worldview dictates, then they have lost the focus. This is worldly thinking.

    Our focus should be on Christ, His word and all the rest will fall into place. Also, we need to stop expecting the world to act like Christians and stop railing against those who “know not what they do”. They are dead in their sin. We need to start looking at ourselves and seeing how we have lost our saltiness because we have been side-tracked by issues of “who’s the boss”.

  68. Corrie Says:

    Marie,

    Have you gone to patriarchy.org, yet? I think that would be very helpful to you to see some of the issues that are in question. Surely these men at that site are not “anti-patriarchy”. I can only lead you to the places in order to research this issue, I can’t make you read them though. If you are truly interested in finding out about the many extra-biblical, manmade traditions being taught as biblical truth in many patriarchal circles, then you will avail yourself of such sites.

  69. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Elizabeth clarifies:
    Morgan, the reason a process server was used instead of FedEx is that FedEx can be refused.
    Joe wanted Doug to actually have his letter physically in his hands so that Doug would read it and make a decision of whether or not to attempt reconciliation.
    Joe wrote: “All I’m asking you for at this time is a simple written “yes, I will discuss this with you,” or “no, I will not,” answer. The details would be worked out later. Please have a written response in my hands by May 5, 2007.”
    Because Doug refused the process server, the letter was posted publicly so that Doug could see it and respond.
    So, today is May 4, 2007 and Joe requested a response to whether or not Doug would be willing to attempt reconciliation by tomorrow.

    Morgan says; THANKS !

  70. Jen Says:

    Ann: “So Jen, this blog is sort of a cathartic process for you. Well when you get to the place where you feel your “heart is transformed” enough that you can then walk forward unencumbered, turn around and look at the piles of wreckage and ruin you have left in your path, and then ask yourself if this really was the “Lord’s” will.”

    Ann, please don’t put words in my mouth. The purpose of this blog is not to act as a catharsis for me. I merely mentioned how God was using this blog in my life because Lucy keeps questioning my intentions here. No, this was not my idea in the first place. I truly feel this was from the Lord. And He can use it for any purpose He so desires. If this blog does not lead Doug to repentance, so be it. That is God’s job anyway. BUT, He can use this blog for that purpose. If someone people choose, after being warned here, to follow Doug Phillips, so be it. I was just the messenger. And if God uses the many messages in this blog (most of them by the commenters here) to change people’s hearts, then I have not wasted my time. Offline, I have already heard several reports of some major heart changes just because of this blog. I am so humbled that God would use my blog in that way. I never dreamed that that was God’s purpose here. So, no, Ann, rather than seeing piles of wreckage and ruin, I see changed lives. It is SO worth it!

    Morgan, let me try to explain this process server business a little. Joe Taylor did consider sending Doug a certified letter instead, but he was aware of Doug refusing letters in the past from certain people, so he knew about this pattern of behavior. If Doug just let the letter sit at the post office, for instance, it could legally just sit there for three weeks before being returned as “refused.” That would have been a total waste of time. Joe was also aware that Doug does not like to deal with these things personally, but this was Joe’s personal letter to Doug and he wanted it personally delivered to Doug, not his employees. It had nothing to do with Vision Forum employees, so he requested personal delivery.

    Process servers are used to legally deliver different kinds of documents. They are restricted in what they can and cannot deliver. One item they are allowed to legally serve is a request for mediation, so Joe chose this method.

    Joe’s request for mediation is NOT a legal document in and of itself, but it is a request to go to take legal action.

    On the other hand, the legal affidavit that the process server signed and had notarized IS a legal document. That means that it is the legal equivalent of a court witness. The process server would be in BIG trouble if he didn’t tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in this document. He could go to jail if he lies. That is why it is an important document.

  71. Red Ink Says:

    Joan Hathcote Says:

    I addressed this question to Lucy, originally (twice!), but she’s apparently busy with other things, so I’m going to ask any of Jen’s detractors here (especially those who think she’s doing wrong by this blog) if they’d be willing to address the following:

    Do you think that it is always wrong to speak out against leaders who have wronged us? At what point would it be OK for Jen to share her story? What would she need to do (in your book) to prove that, in telling what happened to her, she’s reached the place where she’s not harboring sin?

    Do you think there’s EVER a place for someone with serious concerns about a Christian leader to share that information with the larger body of Christ?

    With the tremendous amount of traffic here, I’m sure this question is in danger of getting lost in the shuffle, but certainly ONE of Jen’s detractors could provide an answer?

    Joan,

    The primary problem for me is the medium the Epstein’s are using. I don’t think blogs are the place to expose “Ecclesiastical Tyranny.” I’ve been following this wave of blog justice very closely – from Metzler to Vance to MW and now to here – from the very beginning. I’ve never been convinced of the legitimacy of the method.

    I do understand the rub. With Vance, the problem was accountability – how do we punish a parachurch organization? The Epsteins have at least cast their situation in the same light: independent church, tyrannical autonomous elder with legions of yes-men rushing to please him, no recourse to higher powers. “Take it to the church,” in these situations, has become “take it to First Blogspist.”

    Most of my concerns about this Blog Trial are similar to the Epstein’s complaints about their own excommunication. It occurs in absentia (even if Doug’s been invited, he’s not here). The jury – and you can see it here – is misinformed, often irrational, and terribly polarized. There aren’t any breaks anywhere. It’s jury by mob rule, even if “evidence” is posted. Misinformation quickly turns to “fact,” and there is little room for discretion or protection of the principals on both sides.

    I could go on and on forever. All I know is I would never want to be subject to trial-by-blog. Substance and proximity seem to help us all behave better, and most certainly aid in the process of forgiveness and restoration.

    To answer your questions specifically:

    1. I do not think it is always wrong to speak out against leaders who have wronged us. However, it’s sticky. I believe authority is established by God and a very good thing, and I believe that we as Protestants (moreover, as Americans) are quick to cry foul whenever we disagree with those authorities. If we always agreed with authority, why would be ever be encouraged to submit to it?

    And, of course, the “speaking out” must be done correctly, under new authority and accountability, and be done in a responsible, controlled, and sober manner. I do realize that this calls much of the Reformation into question. I have no easy answers for this, but I’d rather leaders be deposed peacefully than have a French-Revoltuion-via-Blog going on in the church.

    2. I must confess I don’t know when it would be Ok for Jen to share her story. I would hope that she could quietly amass a case, gain the backing of a church, ANY CHURCH, and keep this off of the Internet. The sharing of her story has caused division, and not the good pruning kind. Doug is still around. People are flustered, upset and angry. The polarization here, if it means anything to me, means that the answers aren’t clear. I can’t imagine what all of this could practically accomplish anyways.

    3. I don’t think she could ever prove that she is not harboring sin to me. You can’t footnote and notarize that stuff. It’s not a failing in her, but a failing of the medium. I would need to see fruit – lots of it – to think she was over all of this, and fruit just doesn’t grow off of phone lines and monitors. This is one reason why the excommunication actually holds sway for me: I didn’t go to church with her AND Doug for five years. I tend to trust elders, deacons, and unanimous church body decisions over a few scanned documents that at times actually strike me as quite sassy.

    4. “The larger body” used to be church councils. We don’t get that any more. Still, I don’t believe the way to share things with “the larger body” is via the Internet. I think, given Paul’s overall point in 1 Cor 6, that the fact that unbelievers can see this gives it the potential to do a lot more harm than good. I see more sarcasm than soft answers, more insults than charity. By WHAT is the world to know that we are Christ’s disciples? Our interminable blog comments and scathing wit toward those with whom we disagree?

    I hope I answered your questions, or at least began to. I could write a book about what I think about this whole mess, and it’s hard for me not to go off on 2000 word tangents as I write. I’m sorry I’ve written so much here, but you asked some big questions.

    Needless to say, I take ANYTHING I read on the internet with a healthy dose of skepticism. What doesn’t seem to be debated much (so I’m inclined to believe it) is the fact that one day, quite a while ago now, a bunch of people got together – people who knew the Epsteins and had for years, many intimately – and decided they should be excommunicated. They did this unanimously. Other people who have authority – and who initially strike me (just like they struck the Epsteins) as credible – are lining up to support this excommunication. It’s going to take more than some scans of Jen’s emails, in my mind, to discredit that event.

  72. Jonathan Says:

    “What doesn’t seem to be debated much (so I’m inclined to believe it) is the fact that one day, quite a while ago now, a bunch of people got together – people who knew the Epsteins and had for years, many intimately – and decided they should be excommunicated. They did this unanimously. Other people who have authority – and who initially strike me (just like they struck the Epsteins) as credible – are lining up to support this excommunication”

    so you believe the Epsteins received a fair trial?

  73. Lynn Says:

    “And, of course, the “speaking out” must be done correctly, under new authority and accountability, and be done in a responsible, controlled, and sober manner. I do realize that this calls much of the Reformation into question.”

    Funny thing about that is, I think this blog, with the exception of a couple disagreements I have had with it, is being done in far more of a controlled and sober manner, than, say, mrsbinoculars.com. And I agree with you, what you said calls much of the Reformation to question — ESPECIALLY the necessity of speaking out being under new authority. The final authority is Jesus Christ, and His Holy Word, and those are NOT “new” authorities. I detect a return to a Roman Catholic view of the church in that remark, and I couldn’t let that pass.

    “The sharing of her story has caused division, and not the good pruning kind.”

    I disagree. Of course it is divisive, but there is proper divisiveness, and wrong divisiveness. Paul caused great divisiveness in his day among the Jews, too, and they remained around.

    “I didn’t go to church with her AND Doug for five years. I tend to trust elders, deacons, and unanimous church body decisions over a few scanned documents that at times actually strike me as quite sassy.”

    What about the breach of clergy privilege, in those documents, and the advice that if her children were being physically injured by her husband, that she was only to appeal it? You think this is good practice and council? How conveniently you neglect that VF employees voted the way their boss wanted them to, and that Mark and Jen couldn’t face their accusers.

    ““The larger body” used to be church councils. We don’t get that any more. Still, I don’t believe the way to share things with “the larger body” is via the Internet.”

    It seems everybody is forgetting Doug could have stopped this a long time ago, if he had wanted to.

    “What doesn’t seem to be debated much (so I’m inclined to believe it) is the fact that one day, quite a while ago now, a bunch of people got together – people who knew the Epsteins and had for years, many intimately – and decided they should be excommunicated. They did this unanimously. Other people who have authority – and who initially strike me (just like they struck the Epsteins) as credible – are lining up to support this excommunication. It’s going to take more than some scans of Jen’s emails, in my mind, to discredit that event.”

    Everybody believes the event happened. And what BCA hasn’t answered is why it was legal for them to read counseling notes and breach clergy privilege without permission, and to have VF employees vote with what their boss and pastor was proposing, without the presence of the Epsteins at their trial. And the other churches have not answered why they think breaching clergy privilege is legal, either.

    You are blowing off the primary documents as though they didn’t contain information pertinent to this discussion, and you are speaking as though numbers make the matter right, in the cursory glance at things. You are well on the way to argumentum ad populum. I found so much in your writings that is contra the Reformation I am floored — one of them being the insinuation that Jen publishing this information to disseminate it, is to be considered a bad thing. I think of all the book and Bible burning and other methods of censorship that happened during the Reformation, and your points strike me as the first step in that general direction. YUCK!!!

  74. Corrie Says:

    “What doesn’t seem to be debated much (so I’m inclined to believe it) is the fact that one day, quite a while ago now, a bunch of people got together – people who knew the Epsteins and had for years, many intimately – and decided they should be excommunicated. They did this unanimously. Other people who have authority – and who initially strike me (just like they struck the Epsteins) as credible – are lining up to support this excommunication. It’s going to take more than some scans of Jen’s emails, in my mind, to discredit that event.”

    Redink,

    I appreciated several points you made concerning this discussion.

    Concerning your above statement, I think of the Salem Witch Trials. I am not trying to be funny, either. There is a definite phenomenon that took place and still takes place. There were many respectable and credible people and people in positions of authority in the church who voted to put INNOCENT people to death. If you have ever studied this, you will see how this hysteria spreaded very fast and soon got out of control.

    I don’t give much credence to “credible” people anymore. I have known too many credible people who have been willingly or unwillingly deceived by unfounded accusations and even hysteria. I have seen the “herd” mentality exercised way too often. It is like a domino effect. Who wants to stand up and question a well-respected leader and stick out like a sore thumb and risk being treated like many others they have seen who dared to question. Who wants to blow the chance to belong to such an elite group? Do you know that some people actually move their whole families and give up their jobs and lives to move down there and be a part of it? Does that not send a red flag?

    I don’t know how you can say it hasn’t been debated much? That is the whole problem. The Epsteins have claimed they were excommunicated without even being present or told the specific sins they were being excommunicated from.

    Whatever happened, I am not impressed by the claim that there was 100% agreement and that people with authority are lining up to support this. That doesn’t prove anything, especially when we look at the historical record and at real life examples of corruption and abuse of authority.

    All it takes is one smooth talker, with great power and charisma and a lot of pull to CONvince people to believe their version of the story and ignore any other version.


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