Cult-Watch Ministry Publishes Article Exposing Doug Phillips’ Connection to Bill Gothard

Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. is about to release the Spring 2007 edition of their Journal. The lead story for the Journal is an exposé about Doug Phillips entitled Who Will Be The First in the Kingdom?

MCOI’s practice is to post their articles in pdf format on their web site approximately three months after they mail out their Journal to subscribers. If you don’t already receive the MCOI Journal you can contact them and request to be added to the mailing list. They are a faith ministry and you may want to consider sending them a donation or perhaps supporting them on a regular basis.

Doug Phillips with Bill GothardMidwest Christian Outreach’s focus is “evangelizing and ministering to the victims of cults and spiritually abusive groups.” For over ten years, they’ve written extensively exposing Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other cultic and abusive religious groups, including Bill Gothard. Needless to say I completely concur that an exposé on Doug Phillips seems to be in order. In his article, Don also addresses some of the teachings of Bill Gothard (Don has written an entire book exposing Gothardism). This is entirely appropriate as Doug Phillips has been greatly influenced by Gothardism. Among other things, this includes Doug’s views on authority, Patriarchy, and courtship.

The author of the article and President of MCOI, Don Veinot, has given permission for me to post some quotes from his article. It’s a lengthy article, so in order to appreciate these quotes in the context of the full article I recommend ordering the Journal from MCOI.

Who Will Be First in the Kingdom?

As most of our readers know, the mission of MCOI is to look at the teachings and claims of popular movements and individuals inside the church as well as the cults, false religions, and false teachers outside of it. This mission arises from Paul’s mandate to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28-31 to guard the flock from false teachers who would creep into the church from the outside and from false teachers who arise from within. If they utilize Scripture to support their teachings, we try to determine how they use it, and whether or not they abuse it…

Evangelicals would be generally opposed to using cultic material containing extra-biblical, unbiblical and, at times, outright heretical teachings in our churches’ services, Bible studies or Sunday school classes. That is a good thing, but many churches do not have as good a track record when it comes to recognizing false teachers who arise from within. We tend to have a “black-hat” vs. “white-hat” mentality in this area: Cults, false religions, and false teachers outside the church are the black hats—the bad guys; and we can just tell our people to stay away from them. Evangelicals, on the other hand, are the good guys with the white hats; and what we believe is orthodox. As a result, however, many believers are not prepared to challenge and help cultists outside our doors or to evaluate false teachers or teachings within the church. Discernment, along with a good understanding of the essential, basic doctrinal teachings of the faith, generally is not taught in any depth in many churches. Due to this deficit, and because we tend to view Evangelicals as the “white-hat” crowd, there is a great deal of difficulty evaluating the teachings of teachers and groups who have a fairly orthodox statement of faith and are viewed as being on “our team.”

We ran into this problem when we first began looking at the teachings of Bill Gothard and the Institute in Basic Life Principles in the 1990s. It isn’t his Statement of Faith in essential orthodoxy that is problematic; it is his additions, mis-/re-definitions, and other claims that moves him into “false teacher” category. He presents his teachings as “non-optional” truths that should be accepted by all. Many Christians are completely blind to the problem, which continues to result in division within churches and separation of family members. Many of his followers believe his allegations that all true Christians should unquestioningly follow all of his teachings, rules, and principles for living. After all, if his prescriptions are “non-optional,” are they not just suggestions, but rather commandments? Why do his followers seem to believe failing to obey his ironclad “spiritual laws” will incur the wrath of God? And who wants that? Those who question his teachings are viewed as spiritually inferior and even their status as Christians can be seriously doubted by Gothard’s hard-core followers. The peer pressure on those inside is oppressive, and independent thinking is strongly discouraged which has resulted in the painful devastation of many families and individuals within “Gothardism.” It turns out to be a very cult-like situation for many Christians who are just trying to please God and happen to get caught up with a false teacher.

The Courtship of “Edie’s” Father
Many times false teachers have a Bible verse, or collection of Bible verses, which makes their view sound not only plausible, but also mandated from the very mouth of God! Let’s take courtship, for example. Courtship as defined in these circles is winning the heart of the father who will assist the future son-in-law in bringing about the marriage to the young woman in whom a young man is interested. The idea is strongly conveyed that this sort of courtship or betrothal is found in the pages of Holy Writ and is, therefore, God’s mind and will on the matter. Well, is this concept taught in Scripture? It doesn’t really matter; for if the inspired teacher makes the assertion, then it must be true. Even if an example of this “courtship of ‘Edie’s’ father” was found in Scripture, does that mean it is God’s way for it to be done? Isn’t it true that not everything found in the Bible represents God’s will on a particular matter at all or, perhaps, does not hold true for all time and every situation? A few years ago, Ron Henzel, MCOI’s Senior Researcher, came across a satire of this methodology:

Top 10 Biblical Ways to Acquire a Wife
10. Find a prostitute and marry her. (Hosea 1:1-3)
9. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. (Ruth 4:5-10)
8. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she’s yours. (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)
7. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. (Judges 21:19-25)
6. Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law’s enemies and get his daughter for a wife. (I Samuel 18:27)
5. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. (Esther 2:3-4)
4. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock. (Exodus 2:16-21)
3. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, “I have seen a woman; now get her for me.” If your parents question your decision, simply say, “Get her for me. She’s the one for me.” (Judges 14:1-3)
2. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman’s hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That’s right. Fourteen years of toil for a woman. (Genesis 29:15-30)
1. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib. (Genesis 2:19-24)

We can’t imagine the 200 foreskins idea will actually fly in Twenty-First-Century America. Moreover, grabbing a POW doesn’t sound very practical either. Of course, this is a satire demonstrating how virtually anything can be made to sound right and biblical. First, we start with the false assumption that if something is recorded in the Bible, then it is God’s will on the matter. Next, we abandon the context of the passages and/or the overall context of biblical revelation in order to support our contention. Further, if we add the idea, preferably by implication, that true, obedient Christians will embrace and put into practice (without question) what we have set forth, we can impose our idea while effectively squelching any dissent…

Catching the Vision … Forum
Several years ago, we noticed Doug Phillips of Vision Forum was a speaker at one of Bill Gothard’s conferences. Of course, not everyone who speaks there is aware of Gothard’s false teaching on authority, circumcision, etc. Since then, however, we have received requests for info about Vision Forum via e-mail, regular mail, and phone calls. Suddenly, churches are having divisions and splits erupting as Vision Forum advocates insist that Sunday schools and youth groups be disbanded, and all church functions become all-family events. Anything else is being called unbiblical. Christian parents who do not home school their children are leaving some churches, because the Vision Forum home-schoolers are looking down on them and referring to them as “Canaanites.” We are well aware that followers can distort the teachings of a leader or organization, and they can do and say things that were never intended to be promoted. However, Vision Forum is growing in influence; and with so many requests for information about them, we decided we should probably look at their material that is available to the public. I started with their web site.

At first glance, Vision Forum’s web site looks more like a web site about American patriotism than anything about Christianity. As I read through the opening page, I came across this statement: “Vision Forum Calls for American Christians to Remember the Mighty Deeds of God at the Quadricentennial of Our Founding as Nation.” Well, I am an American patriot, and I do believe God has done some great works in this nation. However, is there a theme here? Is Christianity supposed to be evaluated mostly through the grid of patriotic Americanism? Certainly, this is not stated and may not be intended, but isn’t that how it comes across?

There didn’t seem to be a readily accessible Statement of Faith on the site, so I emailed Doug Phillips to request one. I received a response from Doug’s personal assistant, Bob Renaud, with a link to the Statement of Faith. After looking over this portion of the web site, I e-mailed Bob with several questions:

– Does one have to affirm Calvinism in order to be viewed as a believer?
– If a church holds to dispensational theology rather than reformed theology, would you consider it a Christian church or a false church?
– As you talk about a church teaching the “whole revelation of God,” would that mean that to be considered a Christian Church they would have to agree with your view of patriarchy?
– There are several forms of church government practiced, all claiming to be the biblical form. Are there any that you would regard as not biblical and if a church uses that form of government are they considered to be not a Christian church?

I have sent these questions via e-mail on January 6 and January 25, 2007; and so far, I have not received a response. This increases our concerns rather than lessening them. Is it intentional or do they realize that the language in this section of the web site comes across as implying that if one doesn’t agree with Vision Forum’s position, they are at the very least in rebellion to God’s revealed will?…

There are many things within the writings of Vision Forum which are good and biblical. They, like MCOI and many others, see the Church has not been strong in Christo-centric (Christ-centered) teaching for several hundred years, and false world views have captured the imaginations and minds of Western culture and even many in the Church. But as is so often the case, the more reasonable positions they take serve to draw in concerned Christians, and the very problematic teachings are added on top. Although there are constant assurances that women are equal before God, there are also constant reminders that her mind is the least important aspect of who she is and something which must daily be set aside. This is demeaning, and it is an absolute tragedy if a woman becomes truly convinced of this! Does this view ultimately accuse God of making a mistake? Why would He create women with a mind that they constantly have to work at not using?

A Patriarchal Gospel
Is patriarchy, as defined by Vision Forum, part of the “grand sweep of revelation” which Scripture requires to be believed, lived and taught in order to be faithful to Christ? Does Vision Forum practice patriarchy as it was practiced in Old Testament times, for we find no instruction on it in the New Testament? Are those who disagree with Vision Forum truly rebellious believers? These answers have to be “no.” Vision Forum asserts that patriarchy is “Gospel-centered doctrine.” If Vision Forum’s claim about the practice of patriarchy being “Gospel-centered doctrine” is true; then according to this thinking, if one rejects the Vision Forum view, one is rejecting the very Gospel!

It is true the patriarchs were rulers. Not all males were patriarchs, nor did they have the opportunity to become patriarchs. Patriarchs were tribal chieftains. The patriarchal father would typically pass his position of patriarch to his firstborn son. We have instances in Scripture where the family headship was passed to the second born, but the effect was the same. All of the relatives became, in effect, his servants and property. We see an example of this in Genesis 27 when Jacob deceived Isaac into giving him the patriarchal blessing that naturally would have been passed on to his firstborn brother, Esau. The result and full import of what this meant is spelled out by Isaac in Genesis 27:37:

But Isaac replied to Esau, “Behold, I have made him your master, and all his relatives I have given to him as servants; and with grain and new wine I have sustained him. Now as for you then, what can I do, my son?” (NASB)

Sorrowfully, Isaac let Esau know that his hands were tied. The mantle of rulership had been passed on and now all of Jacob’s relatives, aunts, uncles, brother’s sisters, cousins, etc., including Esau, are to be Jacob’s slaves, Jacob’s property. The point is Vision Forum isn’t going far enough if their objective is to embrace Old Testament patriarchy! If they want patriarchy, they cannot simply pick and choose which elements they wish to leave out. Are tribal fiefdoms really supposed to be the pattern for the Church? Forget about wives submitting to husbands—all our relatives have to submit to Uncle Ned!

We find nothing in the Old or New Testament setting up any system of “Christian patriarchy,” nor making patriarchy “Gospel-centered.” If in order to be faithful to Christ we are required to believe, teach and live patriarchy as it was practiced in Scripture; then all brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., would have to submit themselves to the rulership of whomever son the patriarchal father designated as the new patriarch! Simply because a concept can be found in Scripture, does not mean it is ordained by God. And even if something was ordained by God for a certain place or time, that fact does not mandate the same for all eras and times. We have to discern and rightly divide (2 Tim.2:15) when we read Scripture…

The Israelites were allowed to practice polygamy and own slaves. Even though God did not command Israel to practice polygamy or own slaves, He allowed and regulated both. Are these practices mandated or even encouraged today?…

“Submit to One Another”
Most often at the core of these distorted authoritarian teachings is an unbiblical view of leadership. The Scriptures are clear that we are to submit to authority in such passages as Romans 13:1; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13 and Ephesians 5. But what does that mean?

The biblical patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—had been called out of paganism, and so they continued practicing certain pagan customs. God didn’t change everything all at once. Their view of authority was a rather harsh top down structure. The one at the top was the boss, and all the rest were underlings—basically his servants. The disciples still harbored a similar view, and on several occasions were arguing over who would end up at the top of the authority structure. Who would sit at the right or left hand of Jesus? Jesus set them straight, however, and turned the authority structure on its head…

Christian authority is not merely a circumstance of birth order or gender, which bestows a position of power in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Christ, who as God, is the only rightful heir of all “authority” (Matt.28:18) demonstrated by His sacrificial life on how Christian authority is to be attained and wielded. Authority is earned by sacrificial living. We are all to focus on serving those around us. It also means that the higher one ascends to a position of leadership in the church, the more accountable they become to a larger number of people. Those who are truly leaders in a biblical sense live in glass houses, and everyone around them has Windex! It also means that those who follow do so because they are able to observe and trust those who lead (1 Thess. 1:5)…

The world around us is still mostly ordered in a top down structure. We in the western world enjoy more political equality and freedom than most, but authoritarian leadership as a concept is not dead. Our political leaders may claim it is their desire to “serve the people,” but we mostly see them jockeying for positions of good-old-fashioned power. The Church has some of these same problems. Many people seem to desire to be freed from responsibility by being simply “told what to do.” It eliminates the need to have a personal relationship with God and to diligently practice biblical discernment. And although we are aware of the many true servant/leaders in the Church, there seems also to be no shortage of “leaders” who are more than happy to rule like little kings. This type of leader becomes the mediator for his followers, and the followers simply have to hear and obey. God becomes merely the “big stick” the leader uses to keep everyone in line…

Christian leadership is about serving others—it is about servanthood. Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life” for all of us. Why don’t we get this? His headship over us is not overbearing or abusive—that is how the pagans understand authority! He loves us and wants what is best for us. He is gentle and humble in heart; His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:29-30). In the same way, as husbands are as the head in order to serve their wives, the wives willingly serve and follow their husbands. In good marriages, the husband is not threatened by his wife; and he builds into what she is doing. He would thank God for her mind, not only for her own development, but also as a great asset to him and to the family! In turn, there is not much she would not willingly do for him. Marriage is not meant to be a power struggle…

If all of us were busy considering others better than ourselves and serving each other in love, then the power struggles would end not only in gender issues but also in all personal relationships within the body.

Why is the pagan top-down view of authority promoted by Vision Forum so pervasive that it is present in most paragraphs in their “Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy?” Even in Old Testament times, a man was wise who did not oppress his wife, but partnered with her for the good of the family…

There probably are many things Vision Forum does well. However, why would they allow this unbiblical and harmful authoritarian core or foundation, which as a result, eclipses whatever good things they may do? Don’t they realize that as they thrust their pagan and unbiblical view of authority on their followers, it will create stress and schisms on family relationships, relationships with friends and splits in churches? A refocus on biblical leadership and serving as Jesus Christ served is what is needed.

In recent weeks I’ve been giving much thought to the subject of Patriarchy, or as Doug Phillips and others call it, “Biblical Patriarchy.” This article by Midwest Christian Outreach only challenged me to more carefully examine a number of assumptions that I had long held about Patriarchy. Now I’m of the opinion that a great deal of it isn’t very biblical at all, nor is it “Gospel.”

In the near future, I hope to write some articles exposing why Patriarchy, according to Doug Phillips’ Tenets Of Biblical Patriarchy, has a number of serious flaws. I believe that Doug’s views on Patriarchy played a major role in his “pastoral counsel” to Mark and me, and that “counsel” was injurious to our marriage. I also now see how his views of Patriarchy played a direct role in his “excommunication” of us as well.

441 Responses to “Cult-Watch Ministry Publishes Article Exposing Doug Phillips’ Connection to Bill Gothard”

  1. Jen Says:

    Mike, the goal of the student is to be like the teacher; I’m almost there!

  2. Jen Says:

    Cindy, check this out.

  3. K. Says:

    OOHHHHH maybe he is like some of us who are concerned abouat posting pictures of our kids on websites! There are flakes out there, people! (and I am not talking frosted!)

  4. justice Prima Says:

    Cynthia, I agree with David. Paul does not agree with the practice of baptising of the dead. Read the passage making a note of pronoun use. See where he switches from first person to second? It’s obvious when you track Pauls’ pronounds that baptism for the dead is certainly not HIS practice. It’s kind of like when we were discussing slavery and I was using the arguments of the pro-slavery crowd and pointing out that they were inconsistant. Somebody else misunderstood what I was doing.

    And from this distance, honestly, no I don’t know which of the ‘church fathers’ really had the Holy Spirit and which were just fooling themselves, though I can get a good idea by comparing what they taught to what the Bible says. I do know that the Bible says of itself that ALL scripture is inspired by [breathed out] God. I have no reason to believe that the post biblical church fathers were infallible.
    You claim that David ignores first century Christianity, but he doesn’t. First century christianity is the Bible. The church fathers are second century.

    I can support my belief in the infallibility of scripture by looking at the amazing way God has protected its transmission. We have older copies, closer to the original autographs, of the Bible than any other ancient document, including the Iliad, Homer, or those ‘early church fathers.’ The documentation for the church fathers is much more sketchy and unreliable. Relying on them for doctrine is relying on human error and shifting sand. You can pick and choose your doctrines because they contradict each other. They are fascinating and valuable historically, and they have the same religious value to me that hymns do- check the doctrine carefully by comparing it to the Bible.

    and in the Bible you won’t find any biblical record of infant baptism.

  5. Cynthia Gee Says:

    JP, I don’t see the eary church fathers as infallible, not at all.
    They got some things wrong, certainly, but they were Christians, and they had been taught either by the Apostles themselves or by men who HAD been taught by the Apostles, AND, several of these men said that the church at the time of the Apostles practiced infant baptism.
    Their witness, if not their theology, is certainly reliable, and if they write that a certain practice, such as infant baptism, HAD been practiced in the Church since the very beginning, I think I’m going to believe them, rather than try to explain away their witness, Acts 16:15, 1Cr 1:16, Acts 18:8, 1Cr 10:1-2, etc, as well as 1600 years of continuous Christian practice, based on the theology of equally fallible men who came along only 400 years ago and never knew the Apostles at all.

  6. Concerned Says:

    Cindy said..

    It is the methodical exclusion of “people of lesser value” or limited resources based on non-Biblical preferred standards for whom I advocate. (A parent/family on the brink of poverty, a family with few internal support systems, or perhaps a family that cannot handle additional stress due to acute or chronic illness may not be capable of approaching Doug’s litmus test of family.)

    This has been my train of thought also.

    Have you ever been to a third world country? A place where women you daughters age live on the street with their babies? A place where orphans are seen darting in and out of traffic begging for money so the little siblings in their care can have a scrap to eat and live another day?

    I have. I have seen children who are toddlers living on their own. In many of these countries you will find education is only for the rich. The poor are forever locked in a system of no education and poverty. They are sick, diseased, dying, and hopeless to change their generation or the future generations.

    Our government schools are far from perfect. I love homeschooling and know that it is right four our family. Yet, who am I to deny those of lesser means the chance to further themselves?? Who am I to deny those who want to learn to read and write the opportunity?

    I believe it is true that the Church grows stronger with persecution. Here in America we face very little real persecution for our faith. I am sure Christians in China would find it laughable that we think are government schools are indoctrinating children. They know that their children are being brainwashed,, yet they send them to school and the church is growing.Their faith is growing. They are not living in fear but in faith.

    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were being trained in Babylonian education and they did not lose their faith. God is sovereign and He can and will do as He pleases. He allowed those young Hebrew boys to go to the heathen schools and He just may be calling some Christian children to our public school system.

  7. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “This has been my train of thought also.”

    Mine too. People in those countries have all they can do to keep food on the table. The idea of SAHMs vs. women working vs. families starving to death, public school vs. homeschool vs. no school at all, modest dresses vs. pants vs. the inablity to clothe one’s family in anything, sort of shows just how silly and how EVIL these non-Biblical standards are. Anyone who adds man-made standards to Christianity is wrong, and they are damnably wrong if those standards are unachievable by the poorest of the poor, and thus relegate them to some sort of second-rate Christian status.

  8. Mike Says:

    JEN: I was wondering when to ask you this: what is the definition of “unclean” in the NT?

    Now that I’ve had some fun with you in here, I will answer this question privately.

  9. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Mike, I’d like to hear your views on that too…

  10. David M Zuniga Says:


    Yes; I live about 1.7 miles (as the crow flies) from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. I used to go across the river quite often, until the drug cartel shootings and kidnappings reached epidemic proportions (about 4 years ago).

    We used to help out as we could at Casa Hogar Elim (an orphanage) and pretty much all my life I’ve had friends who really appreciate anything we can give them (clothes, money, appliances, furniture) because their annual income is much less than I make in a week. But they have been some of the best friends I have ever had.

    Your straw man (in logic, “argument from exception”) is decidedly unimpressive, Cynthia. I was not talking about 3rd-world families, or welfare mothers: I was addressing the millions of Christian 2-parent families that still put their kids on the yellow bus because they like the lifestyle they’ve got (two new cars, big house, lots of credit cards, two jobs, lots of restaurant meals, etc) better than teaching their children when they rise up, and when they walk by the way, and in all that they do — just like real life, in preparation for real life when the child leaves the home.

    The one who argues a fallacious general principle based on the exceptions is one who has no support for her argument. For the AVERAGE AMERICAN FAMILY, the government schools are NOT economically mandatory, but elective; yet even though they are morally, ethically, and spiritually destructive to the children, parents still abdicate, for financial and lifestyle reasons.

    If the shoe doesn’t fit, then don’t wear it, or worry about it. I’m not talking about the poor or the single-parent household; I was speaking to those who can very easily train up their own kids, but argue “the Lord led me to send them to Pharaoh’s training center, instead”.

    That puppy won’t hunt.

  11. Jen Says:

    Cynthia, I was trying to stay out of this baptism question, but I just have one burning question for you: Why do you think Paul and the other apostles had to write so many epistles? Do you think that maybe there was a problem with false teaching in the first century church? And if so, do you think that it is possible that your lack of Scriptural support for your position could also have been just one of many false teachings in the early church? (Sorry, that was more than one question!)

  12. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Certainly there was a problem with false teaching in the first century church. There were many false doctrines which arose in the early church, which Paul addressed in his epistles. But infant baptism was NOT addressed in Paul’s epistles, or in the writings of the other apostles, let alone condemned as a false doctrine, though we know from the writings of churchmen of the time that infant baptism was practiced “from the very beginning”.
    If infant baptism had been a false doctrine, Paul or some other orthodox Christian teacher would have condemned it as such, but they did not; on the other hand, proponents the various early church heresies almost always DID.
    Add this to the fact that infant baptism continued to be practiced by all orthodox Christians from the time of the Apostles right up until the Reformation, and the idea that infant baptism was simply a false teaching of the early church just doesn’t hold water.

  13. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Your straw man (in logic, “argument from exception”) is decidedly unimpressive, Cynthia. I was not talking about 3rd-world families, or welfare mothers:

    David, how did I get dragged into this?

  14. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Oh, wait a minute, David, I see what you’re saying. You’re referring to my statement,
    “The idea of SAHMs vs. women working vs. families starving to death, public school vs. homeschool vs. no school at all, modest dresses vs. pants vs. …”

    What I mean is, if you make these things a matter of FAITH, and say that it’s a SIN to send kids to public school, or a SIN for women to work outside the home, the fact that there are families who can’t help but live in such “sin” gives the lie to your whole argument. There isn’t one kind of Christianity for “average (read, spoilt rich) American families” and another for poor people, here or in third world countries. God’s common denominator IS the poor, that’s why He became one of them. There is only one Jesus, and He became lowest of all, thus including the poor and everyone “above” them in Himself.

  15. David M Zuniga Says:

    Way to make your point, Cynthia.

    Yes, the poor and downtrodden Jesus Christ would have gone to the godless American government schools (because they’re the only thing He could afford, being homeless and all) and He would have practiced putting a condom on a banana…

    Are you sick yet, Cynthia?

    No…because this is NOT sin, according to Cynthia!

    Your patronising, pathetic defense of the indefensible posits that it’s not sin to send your kids to government schools…where they’re trained that God is (for all intents) immaterial to life, but that Charles Darwin’s godless (and scientifically insupportable) theory is ytour new religion, and WILL be taught and assumed as gospel!

    But that’s not sin. Not really. That’s just the kind of education we should offer the stupid poor, because that’s all they can afford, and we should give them a handout…even if it does make us a bit sick to our stomach. It’s certainly good enough for the poor, right Cynthia!?

    The government training centers are NOT sin, according to Cynthia.

    Sexual perversion is now taught as a viable alternative lifestyle in the government institutions; it is NOT to be condemned as Paul does in Romans 1, for it is NOT sin, according to I Cynthia 3:44ff.

    The murder of unborn Americans, defended on most government-school campuses? You CANNOT preach against this on the government-school campus, either. According to II Cynthia 16:12, neither fornication nor sexual perversion is sin, as long as children are shown how to properly engage in it “safely”.

    God, have mercy.

  16. David M Zuniga Says:

    I promise, that is the last salvo I will launch at those who defend Christian abdication to their local SICK (State Indoctrination Center for Kids).

    The fact that we should even need to have this discussion in the Church today, speaks volumes for the condition of the Church in America. The levels of self-deception, illogic, and amoral rationalisation is AMAZING.

    Still not convinced that you should NEVER send your kids to your local SICK? Buy a copy of Dr. Bruce Shortt’s “The Harsh Truth About Public Schools” (available at and many other booksellers). I promise you will not make it through that book without feeling nauseous that you ever (for any reason other than ignorance) defended Christians sending their kids to SICK.

  17. Cynthia Gee Says:

    David, I never said any of these things.
    I’m going to be bluntly honest here, and I mean this in the best sort of way, but, you are making very little sense in this last comment. You are arguing with your emotions, not your head, and while I honestly don’t want to offend, the frenetic tenor of this last posting reminds me of a smoker defending his right to light up, or an alcoholic who’s been asked to go on the wagon. The plain truth is , you hate the government, and whenever govenment and public schools become the topic of conversation, you feel threatened and begin to throw logic, commonsense, and your good manners out of the window. Your hatred of the government is in danger of RULING you, David, and it’s not good for a Christian to be ruled by anything other than Jesus Christ.

  18. David M Zuniga Says:



    Let’s see your syllogism here:

    A) David doesn’t like grown ups at the public school showing kids how to put condoms on bananas; and

    B) David doesn’t like grown ups at the public school teaching Christian kids that sexual perversion is a viable lifestyle; doesn’t like it that those grown-ups defend the pervert’s right to live with his fist in God’s face (and in other places) but deny the Christian’s right to publicly call this a sin; and

    C) David doesn’t like grown ups teaching a scientifically unsupportable, totally discredited theory of origins as the “fact” of human origins, earth science, and most other science (including sociology)…


    David hates government!

    You must have taken 12th grade Public School Logic!! 🙂

  19. David M Zuniga Says:

    (Oooops! Forgot to use my nifty new acronym….)

    Gee, Cynthia…you must have taken 12th Grade SICK Logic!

  20. David M Zuniga Says:

    See, Cynthia?

    I never said any of those perverse things were SIN. I just said they are SICK, which is what you get when you send your kids to the local SICK to train them up in the way they should go.

    But I agree, it’s certainly OK for poor kids, and for kids of single mothers to send their kids to SICK, and for us to pay for it. That’s not sin at all; it’s good Christian mercy! 🙂

  21. Pape Blastus XVII Says:

    David, my child:

    You “promised” three posts ago that you would desist these vile, hatred-spewing posts about government schools, yet you have continued in your vitriol!

    Do you hate government so much, my son?

    I will wihhold my hand of censure, and not issue an anathema just yet. But you shall say 15 Hail Darwins, and read 9 NAMBLA pamphlets as your penance.

    I have spoken.

    Let it be so, in SICK as it is in Heaven.

  22. Concerned Says:

    So David what is your solution? What is your real life honest to goodness solution here?

    How do your beliefs play out in a practical way..??

    Sincerely Curious here..

  23. David M Zuniga Says:

    “My” solution is that the Church must be the Church. Fortunately, I am a longtime friend of the author of the book I just mentioned.

    I didn’t plug Dr. Shortt’s book because he is my friend, but because it’s the best “wake up call” to the Church regarding this particular issue: parents abdicating their responsibilities to raise up their own kids. My “real life honest-to-goodness solution” is for parents to do what Scripture says, even if it seems difficult by the selfish standards of today.

    If Americans spent half the time, energy, passion, and money that they spend assuring that the government can’t take our guns — fighting for their right to have the government not take their kids — we would not be in the cesspool that we are in as a civilisation today.

    There is no easy pill, “Concerned”, so single one-size-fits-all “solution”, as you call it. The very fact that you even see children as a “problem” needing a “solution” should help you re-frame the issue in your own mind, rather than putting it off on your brother to hand you a “solution”.

    Raise your children in Christ, Who is the Sole Solution to this fallen world in all its manifestations. If mankind could raise up his own children in REAL LIFE (teaching them to be moral, ethical, honest, diligent, skillful, et al) for millennia before the invention of the American SICK*, then surely we can still find the “solution” where our forefathers found it.


    *”SICK” is a handy acronym for your neighborhood government school, or “State Indoctrination Center for Children”.

  24. Concerned Says:

    David said..

    There is no easy pill, “Concerned”, so single one-size-fits-all “solution”, as you call it. The very fact that you even see children as a “problem” needing a “solution” should help you re-frame the issue in your own mind, rather than putting it off on your brother to hand you a “solution”

    WHOA! I never said children were a problem. I never said my children were a problem.

    You were speaking of Government schools. I am simply curious as to how you would resolve the “problem” of government schools.

    I was hoping you had a solution. You see it is complex and there are a plethora of materials out there extrapolating the problems of public schooling. However, there are very few solutions floating about.. and you know what they say. If you aren’t part of the solution…

  25. David M Zuniga Says:

    D’accord, “Concerned”,

    As Bruce Shortt has said many times since writing his book, there are a plethora of solutions! Obviously, we hope to be one of those with our STIRLING online solution sometime in the future; our price point will be (God willing) about $1200/yr and if a local church wants to support single moms, they can do that at that time.

    Today, they can go to Alpha Omaga Publications ( and for about $1200/yr, a church can provide a fully accredited Christian education with full-time online support from Christian teachers. All the local church needs to provide is a clean, safe room for the kids to work from, and some supervision (a great ministry for the retirees of the church).

    As for the 3rd World kids: go to and look under “child development”, if you or your church wants to sponsor a child or children (food, clothing, and Christian education).

    Yes, we are working on being part of the solution to the problem of Christian parents’ abdication!

  26. David M Zuniga Says:


    Should have been Alpha Omega, obviously.

  27. ReformedCalvinist Says:

    “I am interested. Can you point me in the direction of these “interesting” teachings?”

    Sorry for seeming rude, I didn’t see that you’d spelled out your blogsite until after I’d mentioned how I didn’t find it.

    Seriously, I’m interested in reading what the church fathers said about infant baptism and hoping you will direct me to a specific site.

    As far as church fathers go, I give a lot of weight to the beliefs they all held in common, but I can’t bring myself to go all the way in embracing their every doctrine. For instance, it appears to have been pretty much universally held from the earliest times that Jesus was the only child ever to reside in Mary’s womb, and that he left her hi,men intact when he exited it.

    While I can’t prove this doctrine absolutely wrong from Scripture, it just doesn’t make sense and one would never get this idea from just reading the NT unless he was told ahead of time that “brother” and “sister” don’t really mean “sibling.”

    Kind of like the millions of years that so many Christians ascribe to the days of Creation. I just can’t find them anywhere in the Bible, and instead I find every indication of the opposite.

    I sign myself ReformedCalvinist because I used to be a 4½ point Calvinist, but I reformed.

  28. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Reformed, most of those sites aren’t “sites” as such, they’re books, containing writings of the AnteNicene fathers. I’ll try to find the materials for you online.

  29. David M Zuniga Says:


    I hope you saw the larger principle I was trying to bring across, even if I did it in a ham-fisted way?

    I have the biggest burr in my saddle over the ‘Reformed’ camp only because it’s the most recent man-made system under which I abided for years. I was just as rough on the Southern Baptist follies after I became sick of them…and on the Pentecostal zoo after I found my way out of it…and on the Vatican Vampire after I escaped her claws!

    The ‘Reformed Faith’, isn’t.

    Isn’t “reformed”, I mean; they love to haul the Old Testament priesthood, circumcision, etc over into the gospel, and tack it on as a “Newest Covenant”, alongside wetting the babies and calling it “Christian baptism”, and pouring Chardonnay into the Tippy-cups and calling it “the Lord’s Supper”.

    These are rites of Rome, and yes, of some of your early “Church Fathers.” But we are still one Church DESPITE the myriad heresies and traditions of many of these men, not BECAUSE of them!

    Thus it is irony (of the first order) to see a group within the Church referring to itself as “Reformed” (present perfect indicative) when the very thing that continues to split the body of Christ precisely among His more serious, studious followers — is their refusal to REFORM!

    No matter how comfortable, or venerated, or widely practiced, or of hoary vintage — if a belief or practice is either not in the New Testament, or is the OPPOSITE of what is shown in the New Testament as regulative or at least normative — then it is modern-day Judaizing and legalism.

    It is another gospel, and Paul said “let them be anathema.”

    And if Paul the apostle is not authoritative enough for you, Pape Blastus XVII (my preferred patristic) has said “let them be anathema”, as well — and that settles it.

  30. ReformedCalvinist Says:

    Okay, I probably found what you’re looking for:,baptized#highlight

    In fact, Schaff gives no evidence that Polycarp was baptized before he repented of and forsook his sins. Only that he “must have been baptized in early youth.”

    I suspected as much.

  31. David M Zuniga Says:


    I think we’ve finally “argued through” as far and as fruitfully as we can, the issue of baptism:

    A) as it appeared in pre-Christian, Pagan practices;
    B) as it was employed by the Holy Spirit in the “baptism of John” (per the NT record);
    C) as it was practiced by some “Church Fathers” in the early Church, syncretising earlier Pagan practices; and
    D) as Luther, Calvin, and their cohorts used it to split the Christian Church in the (halfway-) “Reformation”.

    I have asserted that a fair reading of ancient sources will show that these ‘Magisterial Reformers’ stood against three fronts in their “Reformation”:

    1) the Roman Catholic institution that had gained (on pain of death) the ‘allegiance’ of most of Europe;
    2) mere Christians that sought full reform, including an end to pre-Christian (Pagan) infant ablution rites that Rome claimed was equal to the ‘baptism of John’ (NT baptism of believers); and
    3) a number of flaky “leaders” with a variety of heretical beliefs but who also happened to not like Paedopapist infant-wetting being called Christian baptism.

    I appreciate your standing as my worthy, indefatiguable “opponent” in this argument because as I said:

    A) the Paedopapist position is a far more egregious, painful, damaging, centuries-long extrabiblical legalism than anything of which Doug Phillips stands accused; and

    B) although most in the ‘Reformed Faith’ stand for the Paedopapist rites, Doug Phillips stands for the faithful exegesis of the New Testament, even though it places him against most ‘Reformed’ practicioners and apologetes.

    Again, thanks for being a good sport and having a Berean spirit. I have definitely hoped to make you dig, but have not meant to give offence.


    N.B.: This is dangerous water for those who are babes (or weak) in their faith!

    As I’ve mentioned several times before: ancient Pagan ideas that carried over into the early Church were not limited to washing with water (‘baptism’), that John the Baptist transformed forever with the baptism of Jesus Christ.

    I’m happy to know that several of you in this group have ordered Frank Viola’s “Pagan Christianity: The Origins of Our Modern Church Practices”. I think that reforming our lives, our Church, and our civilisation for the glory of Christ our King demands that we always be ready to pare away the accretions of tradition in favor of gospel truth.

    This will not only result in a firmer faith; it will result in God’s glory in His Church, rather than a homocentric amusement-park on the Lord’s day all across America. Since our pictures of Lord’s day activities (worship, fellowship, et al) are largely derived from Hollywood (just think how much of what you really think about “Sunday go to meetin’ comes from Hollywood depiction!), we really do have a lot of work to do.

    We can thank God for the “home-schooling”* movement, and for the Internet, and for computer technology; as never before, the faithful Christ-follower can now test things to discover their Scriptural veracity, rather than taking the word of the priest or ‘preacher’.

    Notice that the Bereans are COMMENDED, not censured, for testing what they were taught? We should all be of the same mind as those Bereans.

    Yet, as you begin to see that almost everything the institutional Church does today harks back to pre-Christian pagan practice, you may have your entire faith shaken. If you intend to dig, you must do so prayerfully, and with your faith firmly rooted in God’s Word.

    Today, it’s easy to go online (or the library), dig into the early sources, and see the pre-Christian roots of so much of what we do on Sundays “at church”. If your faith is thin (or only in mankind) then such digging can shake your faith in Jesus Christ. Beware!

    There’s a fellow named Greg who maintains a website called “Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth”. Greg posits that God, Christ, and the Bible are all figments of active imaginations.

    Greg is an agnostic who has decided to take the other side in “Pascal’s Wager”: that belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ is one’s safest bet for all eternity.

    Even if I am willing to search pre-Christian history and myths to see the parallels and syncretism of the early Church (especially after Constantine), my basic faith about God, man, and meaning is unshaken because faith is….well, FAITH.

    If one has to go so far as the “ontological proofs” or (in today’s marketplace) “Intelligent Design” to add human grounds to our ‘faith’, then we haven’t a faith at all, do we? Instead, we take the field of God’s enemies using the enemies’ weapons…and expect to “win”, even though mankind cannot impart faith to his fellow man!

    I say all of that to say that this group and Doug Phillips are co-belligerents against a common enemy, at the most fundamental level. In having faith in Christ (rather than makind, or works, or chaos and “nothing after death”), we can be branded as cosmic scaredy-cats…hoping to attain eternal life instead of eternal death, as ‘Greg the myth-buster’ likes to believe.

    But even from Greg’s purely pragmatic approach, he is fored to admit that at the epistemological root of the matter, he doesn’t know a whit more than I do about the REAL deal. He is guessing, without faith in God; I am believing, with faith in God. If we just can’t know anyway, my position is as valid and truthful as his!

    Dr. Alvin Plantinga has used this offense (defense?) for years, to soundly beat atheists in debates.

    Even if Greg is right (I have no doubt whatsoever that he’s not, but…) I have nothing to lose in this life. Nor does my neighbor, for unlike the Calvinian I will not kill my neighbor for his beliefs even if they are opposite mine.

    If Greg is wrong, then he has everything to lose for all eternity. We can feel sorry for Greg while still thinking it perfectly fair that God gives Greg the freedom to disbelieve, and to pay a price for it.

    For any who have the interest in digging into the Pagan roots of Christian customs and traditions, be aware of the enemy’s end-game in such inquiry, before you go there. I’m not dissuading you from study; only warning you that those be waters “deep enough for the elephant to wade”.

  32. David M Zuniga Says:

    *”Home schooling” is oxymoronic; viz:

    Home is God’s venue for life, for the young and the old (i.e., learning never ends in the family…at home, in the shop, or field, or marketplace). In the Christian framework, home is where children are trained to serve God and glorify Him in all they do.

    School is an Egypto-Greco-Roman category; a collective where clerks, priests, bureaucrats, and future citizens were forged for purposes of the Pharaoh or the State.

    Q.E.D., the term is oxymoronic.

    Although it’s a handy, short moniker for what we do, it’s silly and counterproductive to use the oxymoron home schooling; I wish more folk would disabuse themselves of it.

    “So what do I call it then, when I teach my kids rather than have the State or some other collective institution teach them?” Well, how about life in Christ? Isn’t that what it is?
    (Do you say, “Oh, don’t bother Grandfather right now; he’s doing his homeschooling in his study!”?)

    For the Christian, life takes place at home, in the shop, field, marketplace… wherever; but not in a peer-segregated school, for God’s sake! I defy you to find the place where the training begins, if not the cradle.

    Or where it ends, if not the grave.


    (Yes, I’ve posted this several times; all teachers appreciate the value of repetition in cementing new ideas.)

  33. ReformedCalvinist Says:

    Get back to work.
    See you on the weekend.

  34. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “Again, thanks for being a good sport and having a Berean spirit. I have definitely hoped to make you dig, but have not meant to give offence.”

    Wellll…….. you did offend me this morning David, but that’s OK.


    As for making me dig, I thank you for that. I tend to get lazy, and these sorts of discussions move me to get up off of my intellectual duff and study and do research. I see that I’m going to have to dig out the works of the anteNicene fathers and write up a treatise on infant baptism in the early church.

    (and BTW, Reformed C, that was a good link, but not what I was using at all. I’ll try to find some online sources for the examples which I sited regarding Polycarp et al, but that may take some time. Till then, you might want to get hold of some good translations of the writings of the AnteNicene fathers and dig into them. They’re fascinating stuff. )

  35. Eric Says:

    For a radio interview with Don Venoit on the subject of Bill Gothard visit You will find it archived under “Hour 2” on 9/30/03. The interview begins at 7 minutes 58 seconds (7:58) and continues through the remainder of the hour.

  36. Mike Says:

    Sheesh, folks! Ix-nay on the ax-tay stuff, will ya? Every time one of you utters the word, we are immediately treated to several more renditions of *War and Peace* — in slow-motion.

    A little off-topic stuff is fine, but sheesh with jelly on toast! Just click on David’s name and go argue this stuff over there — please.

    This blog has a focus, and it’s not right for us to continually get off on long, involved debates of other stuff that take us far afield. We want people to find the truth and seek resolution in the matter before us — and I fear that many just give up and wander off in frustration after the endless repetitions of the same points that have nothing to do with why we are supposed to be here.

    Jen, I know I am not “in charge,” and this is just a request from a concerned participant. Whether it’s egalitarianism or taxes or baptism or fuzzy duckies and peach pies — a little is fine, but after a while, we completely lose track of the purpose of the blog.

    And PLEASE, David — I like you and all — but PLEASE do not use this post of mine as yet another launching point for several more rants on the exact same points.

    But my puns STAY, by yiminy!

  37. Pape Blastus XVII Says:


    Sorry, but this is NOT your blog, bro. You don’t make the rules.

    So let’s move on…we were discussing legalsim and wierdness; Gothard-style, and Phillips-style. I would like to put another, MUCH larger group into the running for the nation’s most egregious, tight-shoed legalists: the teetotaling anti-wine crowd.

    This group of Christians would have barred Jesus Christ Himself from fellowship, and put him into “alcohol counseling”, for goodness’ sakes. They run a zoological version of “Sunday services” that has almost nothing at all in common with the meetings of the Church described in the NT, and they bar the saints from engaging in the memorial that Christ Himself instituted. Either that, or they hold a “communion sacrament” about 4x per year with a thimble of grape juice and a tiny oyster cracker.

    In other words, they make a mockery of Christ’s body and blood, with their amusement-park religious rites, and their legalist ban against wine!

    I understand why thin-minded people who cannot handle nuance, moderation, or the English language would have a problem with “demon likker”. But we can look at the “drinking problem” compared with the very different issue of Christ’s memorial using wine, and do it all while staying on Biblically defensible ground. Distinguo:

    WINE was a staple drink in the ancient world, and still is in much of the Mediterranean basin at least — including for fairly young children (not infants or toddlers, uou Paedopapists!). But more than that: as Scripture says, “a LITTLE wine is good for the stomach”, and medical studies on heart health, etc bear that out. Wine is good for you; just 3-5 oz. per day for the average adult male has salutary health effect.

    WINE is also the drink that we are to take in our memorial meals, “the Lord’s supper”. I recommend Vernard Eller’s, “The Lord’s Supper is Not a Sacrament”, http://www.searchingtogether.o…..munion.htm and as you see from that article, the “communion sacrament” that mocks the Lord’s memorial meal with a silly Pagan-Papist ’snack’ does more harm than good. The Lord’s Supper is to be a SUPPER, and a part of it is the memorial AFTER the meal, as Christ instituted it: a rich, memory-filled breaking of the bread and drinking of the wine to commemorate his body and blood given for us for salvation and eternal life.

    As you see, such a faithful observance of Christ’s memorial cannot be done by 1200 people (or even 200 people) gathered in a high-tech “worship center” pagan basilica. It requires the Church to return to our NT roots: meeting in homes and other small, organic, accountable, mutually submissive venues where everyone knows the other, and where the brethren do not at all lord it over “their” flock, but rather SERVE in meekness of spirit, with the gifts the Lord has given them.

    I also HIGHLY recommend anything written by Frank Viola, but especially “Pagan Christianity: The Origins of our Modern Church Practices.”

    We have a LONG way to go to return to our first love. One of our structural reforms must be leaving off the imperialism and hubris of “the Reformed Faith” with its wizened lawyers and uber-professors; another is leaving off the silliness of Baptist and other teetotaler ideas that mock the King of Heaven by painting Him as an “alcoholic”. For shame!

    I do NOT mean to suggest that hard liquor, beer, etc fall into the same category as wine; they do not. One can find not the least Biblical warrant for drinking “hard stuff” or beer, but as with any other food or drink, if a person wanted to do so in moderation (not unto drunkenness) then he does not sin.

    In the same vein, I do not say that drinking wine is “always OK, in any amount”. Drunkenness IS sin; this much is clear from Scripture. One can certainly get drunk on wine, too, and that is sin (according to Scripture).

    I find it fascinating that with respect to harming oneself and others, the teetotaler religions (Islam, Southern Baptist, many Pentecostals) always harp on the drunkard.

    Yes, he does indeed do a great deal of social damage. But why do these religious legalists not harp on the glutton, who does as much health and financial damage as the drunkard; who costs his family greatly when he dies from heart attack, stroke, diabetes, etc (lack of controlling his mouth-gate)?

  38. Pape Blastus XVII Says:

    Oooops! I forgot to add my final line:

    I have spoken.

    (There. But it was not a mistake; I am infallible.)

  39. Papal Nuncio to Pape Blastus XVII Says:

    His Holiness would like to offer another correction to His post. This is the proper link for the excellent article concerning the Lord’s Supper:

    (The bad link in His Holiness’ first posting was NOT a mistake; rather, it was the fault of the Internet, or Satan, or someone else. His Holiness is, as you know, infallible.

    On another matter of concern to the Holy See:

    Limbo has been re-opened by order of the Pape, who is extremely perturbed by the childish, rash action of Pope Joe Ratzinger, who announced recently that Limbo was being shut down. This was a cruel prank, done without the consent of His Holiness Pape Blastus XVII.)

  40. Jen Says:

    Pape Blastus, as pope, it’s not your blog either! So Mike’s request stands! A little off topic stuff on an old article is fine, but I am trying to focus the discussions a bit more. As you choose your topics, they should have something to do with the purpose of this blog, which is Doug Phillips. I allowed this one because you prefaced it with “legalism,” which is a topic which greatly affects Doug, you are correct. However, my guess would be that Doug agrees with your stance on alcohol.

    I think you’re “spot on” regarding communion, but let’s not turn this into another theological debate. There are many varying views on this here and it probably wouldn’t be profitable to discuss it fully here. If the pope would like to encourage Reformed men to reform, that is great! But this is not an occasion to tear down our brothers and sisters in Christ, so let’s be careful in what we say here.

    We do enjoy the pope’s sense of humor, though!

  41. Papal Nuncio to Pape Blastus XVII Says:

    Mrs. Epstein,

    His Holiness has authorized me to authorize you to remove all of these last posts, beginning with his elucidation on matters of the Lord’s Supper.

    His Holiness agrees that it is fine to let most Christians take just a grape-juice snack instead, and to keep most Christian discussion focused on Mr. Phillips. (Let him be anathema!)

  42. Papal Nuncio to Pape Blastus XVII Says:

    His Holiness would also like to comment that he is not unique; that most people along Interstate 95 from about Quartzsite to San Luis has a good sense of Yuma.

  43. Mike Says:

    Jen —
    He couldn’t shut his pie-hole if his life depended on it. Please help him.

  44. T. Reformed Says:

    David Zuniga,

    I regret not having weighed in on this much sooner. In retrospect I really should have. The reason I hadn’t is because I believe that men like you are better left ignored. Attention is what you crave, and once you have the attention it just “validates” you and you never go away. I think we’ve certainly seen much evidence of that in your case

    Quite frankly I consider you to be far more entertaining and amusing than a source of credible information, much like a court jester who rants and raves like a madman. Eventually though everyone tires of it and it no longer brings amusement. No one takes a jester seriously, and I haven’t taken you seriously either. This is why I’ve largely ignored you. I’d also assumed that no one would take you seriously. However, that might not necessarily be entirely the case. There may be a small handful of naive people who may actually be led astray by your incessant rantings and slanders against the Reformed church fathers. Thus, this brief post.

    Your contempt for all things Reformed is apparent, and without equal. Even the Roman Catholic Anti-Reformers were never guilty of making the kinds of outrageous slanders that you have.

    The Reformed faith and the Reformation are not without their faults. they were movements led by fallible men. The work of Reformation is a progressive effort, and the very motto of the Reformation demonstrates that: “Eclessia reformata, semper reformandum.” The church reformed, always reforming. We have not arrived. Until Christ returns that is always room for reforming, and no person of Reformed faith would deny it.

    No doubt the early Reformed fathers made many mistakes. However, your slanders against the Reformers, accusing them of being “murderers,” etc. and killing hundreds if not thousands of Anabaptists is without merit.

    What have you repeatedly cited as primary source of an alleged credible historical source to support your outrageous allegations? The Martyrs Mirror. Yet, it is not just scholars of Reformed faith who have challenged Martyrs Mirror as seriously lacking as an historic reference, and certainly many Catholic scholars have challenged it (Martyrs Mirror is primarily an indictment against Catholics, not the Reformers). Even many Anabaptists have questioned the reliability of this work:

    “Of course, the masterly work of van Braght is neither complete nor without error. He did not do scholarly work in the method of modern historiography, and too often he uncritically inserted accounts without checking them. There are mistakes, both in the names of the martyrs and in the dates of their execution. Some martyrs are named twice. The question has arisen whether van Braght may have falsified history.”
    Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia

    Even if this were a credible historic reference work (and it’s not), Van Braght at least doesn’t attempt to lay the blame for the death and persecution of hundreds of Anabaptist martyrs at the feet of the Reformers, as you have.

    Mr. Zuniga, if I considered your opinion on anything to be worthy of consideration, I’d now ask you to withdraw your outrageous slanders and apologize for them. My posting this comment, however, isn’t for your benefit at all, but rather for the benefit of those few naive souls who might be led away by your rantings.

  45. CynthiaGee Says:

    T. Reformed, with all due respect, both you and Mr. Zuniga should try to be bit more charitable to one another –Reformed, Catholic, or Anabaptist, all who believe on Jesus as the Christ and maintain that God has raised Him from the dead are brothers.
    But, Mr. Zuniga is right, in that the Calvinists did murder hundreds and hundreds of Anabaptists and other dissenters, as did the Catholics. Keep in mind that those were bloody times, and the Anabaptists killed their share as well, until they decided that non-resistance was a better way to go (and then they went overboard in the other direction.)

    That just goes to show that, as you point out, we ARE reformed and reforming — “ain’t none of us got it right” — we are all still disciples following our one Teacher. There is NO NEW REVELATION, not Calvin’s, not Menno Simon’s, not anybody’s. Jesus is the final Word, the last and greatest Teacher. All of us, and even the Apostles and saints in heaven are and ever will be His students, and His alone.

  46. T. Reformed Says:

    “But, Mr. Zuniga is right, in that the Calvinists did murder hundreds and hundreds of Anabaptists and other dissenters…”

    And where is the credible evidence to support this? Cynthia, I’m not going to just take your word for this anymore than I’m going to take Zuniga’s word for it. Please direct me to some credible (and I stress credible) evidence, not works of fiction and highly embellished “stories” masquerading as history.

  47. CynthiaGee Says:

    That’s going to take some doing — not everything in print is available on the net, but I’ll try to get you some sources. Meanwhile, you might try the history section of the library at your local college or university.

  48. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    No problem. But for the record, PLEASE don’t lump me in with fellows like Jenkins, who advise persecuting our fellow Christians simply because of errors in their doctrine. Christianity propagated at swordpoint is anti-Christianity.

    Cynthia, I’m just getting this stuff from the 1929 Book of Common Prayer that we use for worship on the Lord’s Day. Here’s a portion from the Order of the Administration of Holy Communion that we read this morning:

    We beseech thee also, so to direct and dispose the hearts of all Christian Rulers, that they may truly and impartially administer justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion, and virtue.

    That was written by the English Reformer Thomas Cranmer.

    The English Reformers (Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley) were the only Reformers in the Magisterial Reformation to be martyred for their beliefs by Rome. You can read about that in any Banner of Truth publication. Think about that next time you say Anglicans were just closet papists.

    Archbishop Cranmer married the daughter of a Lutheran theologian, and tried to have the Genevan Church and Calvin meet with him (as he was the Archbishop of Canterbury) to form a church council to counter Trent, but historical works I’ve read say it was intercepted and the project of a Protestant ecumenical council -thwarted. The early Anglican clergy, post-Reformation, were trained in Geneva by Calvin and Beza.

    It’s not that I want to persecute other Christians, or am a Romanist. Far from it. However, when the civil magistrate tolerates heresy in their land, they are not “impartially administering justice” or working for the “maintaince of thy true religion and virtue”, as the BCP says, but are doing just the opposite. Heresy is not Christianity. The two are not friends, but enemies.

    Ok, that’s all I’m going to say about this. E-mail me privately if you wish to keep the discussion going, but I just wanted to publicly clarify my position, as I might have failed in doing so. Thanks to Jen for allowing me to comment here.

  49. Lin Says:

    “I’m just getting this stuff from the 1929 Book of Common Prayer that we use for worship on the Lord’s Day. Here’s a portion from the Order of the Administration of Holy Communion that we read this morning:..”

    Which is why scripture is always best.

    “However, when the civil magistrate tolerates heresy in their land, they are not “impartially administering justice” or working for the “maintaince of thy true religion and virtue”, as the BCP says, but are doing just the opposite. Heresy is not Christianity. The two are not friends, but enemies.”

    Boy, I need an interpreter to apply this. How do you square this with 1 Corin 5 which tells us not to judge the world but only those within the church. Do you really believe the civil authorities should punish for heresy against Christianity? Please tell me I am misunderstanding you.

  50. T. Reformed Says:

    Cynthia, I’ll try and wait patiently for you to provide those credible resources. Please know, however, that I won’t follow your suggestion to head down to the local municipal library or the local University library either.

    I’ve already had considerable experience in personal frustration with how poorly stocked they, are and how ignorant and unhelpful my librarians are. If we had any competent librarians, and if there were any credible historical works that clearly demonstrate that the magisterial Reformers, as Zuniga has alleged, “murdered hundreds and thousands of Anabaptists,” then a competent librarian could research that and easily arrange to get it for me through inter-library loan. However, I have no competent librarians that I can look to.

    Secondly, I believe that I’d just be sending them on a fool’s errand anyway. I’m not aware of any credible historic works that plainly show that the magesterial Reformers murdered hundreds and thousands of peaceful Anabaptists. Zuniga has only cited a source that even many Anabaptist doubt it’s credibility.

    Cynthia, I’d rather not see you take upon yourself the burden of trying to prove Zuniga’s point. The burden is entirely his, not yours. I think that at the very least he’s grossly exaggerated a tiny handful of unfortunate historic events. At worst his slanders against the magesterial Reformers are something that he’s fabricated out of whole cloth. This wouldn’t be the first time he’s done that here.

  51. T. Reformed Says:

    “Please tell me I am misunderstanding you.”

    I hope I’m misunderstanding you too, Mr. Jenkins.

    I’d hate to think that you’d believe that the civil magistrate is scripturally authorized, let alone in any way competent, to be the grand arbiter and judge of heresies and heretics.

  52. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    No, I don’t think that. When has the civil magistrate been right about what constitutes heresy? As early as Constantine, Arianism was deemed tolerable, as Rushdoony pointed out, because it allowed for statism.

    My views here aren’t exclusive to one particular Reformed document, or just to Anglicanism. To quote from the Westminster Confession, Chapter XXIII:

    The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven: yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed.

    I believe the catholic church decides what is heresy (as they hold the keys of excommunication), and the civil magistrate is obligated to suppress, by all lawful means, that which the church has found anathema throughout the land. That’s what Luther and Calvin did, and that’s why Zuniga is so embittered toward orthodox Protestants. They didn’t allow heretics to run free in their lands.

    Somehow I don’t think Rick Warren’s CNN appearances were what the Puritans had in mind, either.

  53. Bryan Says:

    “To quote from the Westminster Confession, Chapter XXIII:

    “The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven: yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed.”

    Knowing that creeds and confessions are no substitute for Scripture, and knowing that some of them contain error (including the WCF), can anyone show where the above referenced section of the WCF is supported by the Scriptures?


  54. Lin Says:

    “Somehow I don’t think Rick Warren’s CNN appearances were what the Puritans had in mind, either.”

    What does the ‘Word’ say about such as this?

  55. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Joan wrote:
    “While I find some of these random asides interesting and informative, wouldn’t it make more sense for us to keep our comments at least somewhat related to the topic of Jen’s article?”

    Good idea, Joan.

  56. Micah Gelatt Says:

    I think I counted 23 or so posts in a row that were off-topic.

    Baptism, alcoholic communion (what the…?), the Pope, Limbo, Music…..

    What off-topic topic is next? Has this thread been renamed the Karaoke Thread? Just sit down, and start typing whatever comes to mind?

    Ok..Here goes….. Karaoke Thread Time:

    If someone owns a piece of land, do they own it all the way to the center of the earth?

    Why is it said that an alarm clock is going off when really its coming on?

    If you have a cold hot pocket, is it just a pocket?

    How old are you before it can be said you died of old age?

    If nobody buys a ticket to a movie do they still show it?

    and, last but not least:

    If an African elephant comes to America, is it an African-American elephant?

    Cheers! NOW get back on topic, people ! 🙂

  57. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    Pope whatever said;

    His Holiness agrees that it is fine to let most Christians take just a grape-juice snack instead

    I wonder why so many people turn to Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodoxy? Especially when funnymentalists feel comfortable referring to the Lord’s Supper as “a grape-juice snack”. I mean, isn’t that the faith once delivered if you ever saw it?

  58. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Especially when funnymentalists feel comfortable referring to the Lord’s Supper as “a grape-juice snack”. I mean, isn’t that the faith once delivered if you ever saw it?

    Morgan VEHEMENTLY says: References to the Lords supper as being a grape juice snack are vile, disgusting and blasphemous.

  59. CynthiaGee Says:

    K. Theodore said,
    “I believe the catholic church decides what is heresy (as they hold the keys of excommunication), and the civil magistrate is obligated to suppress, by all lawful means, that which the church has found anathema throughout the land. That’s what Luther and Calvin did, and that’s why Zuniga is so embittered toward orthodox Protestants. They didn’t allow heretics to run free in their lands.”

    Uh, no. The civil magistrate has no jurisdiction over spiritual matters. Such things are the business of God’s heavenly kingdom, not man’s oh-so-falible earthly ones.

    As John Nevin said on his blog, An Inflated Sense of Importance :

    Major premise: The Bible teaches that the civil magistrate “is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Rom. 13:4).

    Minor premise: Jesus also taught the following: “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive me words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John 12:47-48).

    Conclusion: therefore it follows that God’s servants ought not to render temporal judgments and wrath against those whom God is postponing judgment until the last day (see also Rom. 2:5).

    Game over. There is no rebuttal.

    God has commanded civil magistrates to judge murderers, thieves, and other criminals, but has forbidden them to judge heretics. The belief system of heretics will condemn them at the final judgment, but the civil magistrate is simply not a competent judge of religious controversies. The book of Acts illustrates this truth. Again and again the pagan pluralistic government of Rome upheld the religious freedom of Christians, while the theocratic Jews had Christian leaders beaten, arrested and sometimes killed. And as long as the Empire was consistently pluralistic, Christians had nothing to fear. Martyrdom followed when Rome overstepped its bounds by judging sectarian religious questions.

  60. CynthiaGee Says:

    Speaking of theonomy, K. Jenkins, and judging heretics, check this out, from this morning’s Gospel reading:

    Luk 9:51 ¶ And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, Luk 9:52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. Luk 9:53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

    Luk 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw [this], they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
    Luk 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. Luk 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save [them]. And they went to another village.

    I think I recognise that “spirit” that Jesus was talking about. Does anyone else see a resemblence?

  61. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    Bryan, here are the Scriptures the Westminster Confession offers as proof-texts for that portion of that chapter of the confession.

    Isaiah 49:23: And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

    Psalm 122:9: Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.

    Ezra 7:23-28: Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem: And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellers, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

    Leviticus 24:16: And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.

    Deuteronomy 13:5-6 + 12: And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers. If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, etc.

    2 Kings 18:4: He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

    1 Chronicles 13:1-8; 2KI 24:1-25 + 2 Chronicles 34:33: And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.

    2 Chronicles 15:12-13: And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

  62. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    Uh, no. The civil magistrate has no jurisdiction over spiritual matters. Such things are the business of God’s heavenly kingdom, not man’s oh-so-falible earthly ones.

    Cynthia, this all goes back to what I’ve said to Zuniga. This kind of stuff puts you in a church of one. The Reformers taught Sola Scriptura, the Bible as the final authority in all matters of faith -not Solo Scriptura, me and my Bible against history and tradition. They were not radicals, but traditionalists. The Anabaptists were the radicals.

    Once you admit you can depart from historic orthodoxy where it’s convenient, you’ll begin on your pilgrimage to Rhode Island. All roads lead there, they say.

    The fact is, you’re asking me to take your opinion on something like this over and against that of the Puritans, Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, and just about every Protestant confession of faith you can think of, whether Augsburg, Westminster, the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Belgic…you name it. You’re asking me to believe all of the Patristic, Medieval, and Reformation fathers got it all wrong, and that a dispensationalist got it right about this one point.

    I can’t do that. I just don’t have that kind of faith.

  63. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    AH, I forgot what I said I’d do. I’ll only interact with T. Reformed about this; you and I could go back and forth all day, and totally high-jack this thread for the rest of it’s life.

    E-mail me at if you want to further the discussion. And if you feel the urge to plug it, go ahead, I just won’t respond.

    Thanks Jen!

  64. Lin Says:

    Jenkins, You forgot the NT in your list…

  65. CynthiaGee Says:

    Lin said,
    “Jenkins, You forgot the NT in your list…”

    Precisely — not to mention the first 300 years of catholic Church history and tradition.

  66. CynthiaGee Says:

    BTW, in case you wondered, the small “c” in catholic was NOT a typo.

  67. CynthiaGee Says:

    “The fact is, you’re asking me to take your opinion on something like this over and against that of the Puritans, Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, and just about every Protestant confession of faith you can think of, whether Augsburg, Westminster, the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Belgic…you name it.”

    Well, yes, now that you mention it, I am. But it’s not my opinion — it’s straight out of the New Testament.

  68. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    Lin, I was very conscious about avoiding adding, “the New Testament” to the people backing me, and contemplated whether or not I should say that. The issue at hand is the interpretation of the New Testament, not whether or one of us believes the New Testament. I do think the New Testament, and both Peter and Paul, fully back my position, as I know Cynthia does her position.

    It’s like the debate over images. The question is not whether one believes the Second Commandment or not, but rather, what it is saying. I think far too many people fling verses around lightly, and I try and be careful in how I use them.

  69. Lin Says:

    Back on topic: Jen if what Jenkins is writing is anything close to what you were taught at BCA.

    I wonder if you ever heard of the Holy Priesthood there or if they taught that was really just an earthly few.

    If there is ONE reason I am glad you have outed all this false teaching it is so I can be very careful who I vote for in elections.

    You know what is really ironic about this conversation?

    Luther wrote that he longed for a church of true believers. You see, he KNEW that forced participation in the state church by magistrates was not a Body of true believers.

  70. CynthiaGee Says:

    “Luther wrote that he longed for a church of true believers. You see, he KNEW that forced participation in the state church by magistrates was not a Body of true believers.”

    Exactly. And if God had wanted THOSE kind of “believers” he could have made Adam and Eve without free will and saved Himself a whole lot of trouble.

  71. K. Theodore Jenkins Says:

    If there is ONE reason I am glad you have outed all this false teaching it is so I can be very careful who I vote for in elections.

    Lin, do you think this is having your priorities in order? What does that have to do with this? I’m honestly curious.

    You know what is really ironic about this conversation?

    Luther wrote that he longed for a church of true believers. You see, he KNEW that forced participation in the state church by magistrates was not a Body of true believers.

    Miss Lin…I’m not advocating forced participation in anything. And no, BCA does not believe this, as they are Reformed Baptists. They don’t believe in a “Holy Priesthood”, and are independent in regard to church government. They’re the type of congregation that likes to scoff at bishops and the tyrannical robe-wearers while joyfully oppressing others without having to be accountabe to a diocese or presbytery.

    I don’t pull this stuff out of a hat. This is historic Christianity. This is Reformed theology. John Winthrop exiled Roger Williams to Rhode Island for heresy. I’m not advocating torture, forced participation, or anything of the like. This matter was summed up well by ole’ Rousas Rushdoony (not Rush Rushdooney, :-P):

    Liberal, humanistic society is profoundly shocked by the intolerance of Catholicism and Calvinism, because they exacted so heavy a legal penalty in matters of religious aberration (i.e. heresy), which liberalism regards as the realm of the purely personal. But religion is the realm of purely personal faith only to modern man; it was not so to the Council of Chalcedon. That Council would have regarded economics as a private, or at best secular and peripheral, matter and, for its time, accurately so, for the civilization of the day hung on the correct definition of the nature of Christ. From 1933 to 1939, the common cause for concern and discussion in the Western World was, “What will Hitler do?” and, in the United States, another common question was the success or failure of the Roosevelt economic policies. But, according to Gregory of Nyssa, the barbershop conversation towards the end of the fourth century was different:

    “Constantinople is full of mechanics and slaves, who are all of them profound theologians, preaching in the shops and the streets. If you want to chance a piece of silver, he informs you wherein the Son differs from the Father; if you ask the price of a loaf, you are told by way of reply that the Son is inferior to the Father; and if you inquire whether the bath is ready, the answer is that the Son was made out of nothing.”

    Modern man does not recall the grievous errors of the Lincoln assassination trials with the celerity that he does the trial of Servetus. Few are troubled by the ex post facto laws used to convict Nazi war criminals; they were, almost all agree, guilty men. The attitude of the Middle Ages toward the heretic was similar; he was a man who had willfully sinned against God and society, and mercy and pity were misplaced sentiments if applied to him. True mercy required the rigorous protection of the greater body, but he was always given the opportunity to recant and share in the salvation to come.

    ~ Rousas John Rushdoony, The Politics of Guilt and Pity

  72. CynthiaGee Says:

    Yes, Rushdoony said this, and the historic church from the time of Constantine onward practiced this, but they were wrong. You can throw all of the teachings of the Rushdoonys, Calvins, popes, kings and emperors you like up the flagpole of history, but not one of them willl get my salute as long as he denies the words and teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles.
    Anyone who preaches that the civil government has jurisdiction in matters of religion has placed Caesar in the seat of God Himself and is worshipping Antichrist.

  73. Micah Gelatt Says:

    The irony:

    The article above is about how Vision Forum’s beliefs could possibly cause schisms, splits and strife in churches, among believers, and in families.

    The last 30 posts or so pretty much prove the point of the article. This page is rife with strife and caustic tones. If you people desire to talk about this topic thread, then post here. If not, create your own blog.

    Out of respect of the creator of the blog, comments should be on topic, don’t you think?

  74. Lin Says:

    “Anyone who preaches that the civil government has jurisdiction in matters of religion has placed Caesar in the seat of God Himself and is worshipping Antichrist.”

    Amen, sister. What did Jesus say about the Pharisees placing themselves in the Moses seat?

    “Lin, do you think this is having your priorities in order? What does that have to do with this? I’m honestly curious.”

    You are basically advocating a Theocracy. Until this website, I had no idea there were people out there who still believed this sort of thing in Christendom. I am stunned.

    Isaiah 2:22

    “They don’t believe in a “Holy Priesthood”, and are independent in regard to church government.”

    You do not understand Holy Priesthood. You missed it. Study Hebrews and 1 Peter…if you are allowed to read the NT. ;o)

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