Little Bear Wheeler Caves In To Doug Phillips’ Scare Tactics

Epsteins Grateful For Richard Little Bear Wheeler, But Disappointed

By: Mark Epstein

Immediately after our “excommunication” from Boerne Christian Assembly, we began attending Living Water Fellowship. LWF is pastored by Richard “Little Bear” Wheeler. Little Bear is also a prominent home school leader and had a long standing friendship with Doug Phillips and business relationship with The Vision Forum.

Living Water Fellowship has long been considered to be part of the informal alliance among four churches in the area, one of them being BCA. These four churches were known to us all as “the community.” In spite of our “excommunication,” we were openly welcomed at LWF, whose elders made it known to us that they weren’t in agreement with Doug Phillips over our “excommunication” and that they desired to see it overturned and our relations with BCA restored. Little Bear went so far as to tell us that he saw many similarities between our “excommunication” and the Salem Witch Trials. LWF wasn’t the only church in the community that had serious misgivings about our “excommunication,” and for a time our “excommunication” threatened to cause a split in the community, and in some respects it did cause a split.

Little Bear asked us to remain at LWF for at least six months while he and the LWF elders worked behind the scenes on our behalf. Though we had a number of theological differences with the teaching and worship there (LWF is Arminian and very Charismatic, if not Pentecostal), we kept our theological differences to ourselves and remained there in hopes that Little Bear would be successful in his reconciliation attempts. We stayed for those six months. But even after our departure we remained in contact with Little Bear and Al, and they continued in their reconciliation attempts for a total of fourteen months.

Elders Richard “Little Bear” Wheeler and Al Mendenhall sacrificially invested a great deal of time and energy in their attempts to work through the Doug Phillips’ orchestrated Star Chamber excommunication, including examining any available records. Little Bear and Al attempted repeatedly to set up meetings with Doug about our “excommunication.” Doug evaded all such attempts. Ultimately, it became apparent that Doug would never agree to speak with them about it. Doug had communicated his message loud and clear: The subject isn’t open to discussion.

In March 2006, Al Mendenhall asked me to quit copying him and Little Bear on my correspondence with Doug Phillips because Little Bear wanted to pursue restoring his personal relationship with Doug. That couldn’t be done if there was any appearance that the LWF elders continued siding with the Epsteins. We were informed that because of Doug’s position on the matter, the relationship between Little Bear and Doug had become quite strained. Doug was extremely displeased that Little Bear had welcomed us to his church with open arms, and even less pleased that the LWF elders had worked diligently for fourteen months to reason with Doug. Little Bear’s personal relationship with Doug Phillips had been not only completely cut off by Doug, but Doug had even become adversarial toward Little Bear, as evidenced by his refusal to even speak with Little Bear when they led a Father-Son retreat together in August 2005.

In spite of Little Bear and Al’s inability to broker reconciliation between Doug and the Epsteins, had Living Water Fellowship been a church that we felt ourselves in accord with, we probably would have remained there. However, because of the Charismatic worship and the Arminian theology (as well as some other serious theological differences), we just didn’t see how we could remain long term. So we left for good at the end of August 2005. However, we did remain in regular contact with Little Bear and Al after our departure. It was important to us to depart peacefully, and we did. We were grateful for the kindness and pastoral care they’d shown us.

My own attempts to contact Doug Phillips were met with a response that I would not be permitted contact with Doug, and that any communication must be only with Doug’s attorney, Don Hart. Needless to say, coming from a so-called “pastor,” this is a very strange and unusual demand. Don Hart is Vision Forum’s attorney and a Vision Forum board member. Don Hart isn’t even Boerne Christian Assembly’s attorney. Nevertheless, I complied with Doug’s edict. When I wrote my July 2006 letter to Don Hart, which asked Phillips and BCA for the specifics of our alleged excommunicable sins, because of Al’s earlier request, none of the LWF elders were given a copy of that letter. I asked for this list of sins so that we could come to a clear understanding of what specific sins we were allegedly guilty. I’ve always held that if we were indeed guilty that we should and would repent. Despite contacting Don Hart and receiving his assurance that he would speak with Doug about the letter, we never heard from Phillips, or BCA, nor did we receive a reply from Don Hart.

In November 2006, Jen and I had lunch with Al Mendenhall to obtain the return of some papers related to our excommunication. During lunch, Al told us that the leadership of Living Water Fellowship finally met with Doug Phillips and his so-called “leadership team,” which is now calling itself a “session” — a very Presbyterian term for a Baptist church (“session” is used to give the appearance of a plurality of elders, when in fact Doug was the only elder, and an unordained one at that). Al emphasized that Doug Phillips made it perfectly clear that he felt Al and Little Bear had violated the letter of the law by taking us in when Doug had declared us to be “heathens and publicans.” In return, Al and Little Bear made it clear to Doug that if Doug ever excommunicated anyone else at BCA, that Living Water would do the same thing all over again, taking them in and loving them in their sin, attempting to restore them to both God and man.

Despite Doug’s accusation that Al and Little Bear had violated the letter of the law, Al sincerely believed they had followed the spirit of God’s law, which is actually comprised of God’s grace and Christ’s atoning work on the cross, which Christ made clear during His earthly ministry when confronting the Pharisees and their graceless interpretation of God’s Law. On the other hand, not only do Doug’s words to Al and Little Bear stand as an indictment of Doug for legalism on steroids, his actions in our unjust excommunication and the vile and vicious actions of his proxies (e.g. Matt Chancey and the Still Fed Up boys) also indict Phillips for legalism as well; the combination of those words and actions serve to demonstrate Doug’s hyper-legalistic view of Holy Scripture. Doug’s view of Scripture is the root of the problem. Doug misused Scripture to justify ravaging and betraying sheep instead of loving, feeding, and caring for us.

Almost immediately after we began to tell our story a number of folks began to contact Jen offline inquiring as to the name of the church that took us in. Some already knew it was LWF, and others accurately guessed that it was LWF. Many others have also contacted Jen to offer their prayers and words of support. Jen has received numerous emails from people who have their own “Doug Phillips stories” of abuse and harassment. As much as we’d like to see these people step forward and tell their own stories, they’ve made it plain that they’re afraid to. Phillips’ treatment of Little Bear Wheeler only serves as a confirmation for their fears.

It seems a contradiction to some that there are those who support the Epsteins, but that they do so silently. On the other hand, it has never ceases to amaze me that many publicly vocal people have demanded transparency from the Epsteins (documentation, naming names, etc.), but have simultaneously found it quite acceptable for Phillips and his proxies to remain anonymous; to engage in ad hominem attacks; to fail to provide specifics; to avoid placing any source documents on the web (despite the claim they were actually referencing these documents); and to refuse to accept comments on their blogs so that they can be questioned about their allegations. Oddly enough, such behavior displays a wanton disregard for the biblical admonitions concerning the higher degree of responsibility associated with those who teach. However, in the upside down world of hyper-patriarchs and hyper-legalism this pattern actually does make perfect sense. Hyper-patriarchs and hyper-legalists are all about hypocrisy and double standards.

Despite a desire to leave Living Water Fellowship and its leadership out of the discussion, we finally made a decision to go ahead with an article about Living Water Fellowship’s involvement in our excommunication. When Jen did write her article, she took great pains to demonstrate the difference between the unaccountable Phillips at BCA and the plurality of elders LWF enjoys. Though we do have some significant theological differences we, nevertheless, do consider Little Bear and Al and LWF true brethren in Christ. Contrary to BCA, we see no evidence at LWF of cultish hero-worship.

Imagine our surprise, then, when Little Bear’s Living Water Fellowship placed a statement on their website declaring that our email to homeschool leaders in America contained “inaccuracies” and “misleading information,” and that it “discredits its authors.” Since we have taken great pains to be factually honest and accurate in everything that we have reported and commented on regarding Doug Phillips, we were eager to correct any possible mistakes we might have made. We had also spent a great deal of time on the phone with both Little Bear and Al during the writing of our story to make sure that we had every facet of LWF’s side of the story completely accurate. So we were determined to do whatever was necessary to go about setting any “misleading information” straight.

Another issue that startled us was LWF’s statement that “The pastors of Living Water Fellowship desire that it be known that no issue exists between Living Water Fellowship, Boerne Christian Assembly or its leadership.” Although it is true that there were not as many problems among the congregants of the entire four-church community as there were between the leaders of BCA and LWF, our excommunication ultimately split the entire community. There were several churches that formed from the original BCA fellowship. These were friendly multiplications of the body of the Christ and we often fellowshipped together. At the time of our excommunication, there were four churches in what we called “the community.” We would often get together for all day picnics/potlucks and most baby showers and bridal showers and weddings were four-church affairs. In fact, the week after we were excommunicated, there was a community baby shower. Little Bear asked Jen not to attend the shower so as not to cause division at that time. Unfortunately, that was the last community-wide event, as far as we are aware. Doug Phillips asked the other churches to honor his excommunication of us and that split the community grievously.

Furthermore, one of the larger issues between Phillips and Wheeler was Little Bear’s dressing down of Doug Phillips over the phone not long after we began attending Living Water Fellowship. Little Bear’s first attempt to talk to Doug about our excommunication resulted in many hurtful words between the two of them. Little Bear talked to us constantly about God’s love and loving one another. LWF’s motto is “In honor, preferring one another,” and Little Bear truly sought to live that out. He could not possibly justify “shunning” in light of that Scripture and he made it very plain to Doug how he felt about BCA’s dealings with us. Additionally, Little Bear personally told me that he was genuinely concerned he would lose his ministry to financial ruin if his name was dragged into the public dispute between Phillips/BCA and the Epsteins that erupted when Doug’s shills outed the “Jacksons” in November 2006. Our concerns for Little Bear were one of the main reasons why we tried to tell our story anonymously. We didn’t want to see Little Bear get dragged into it if that could be avoided. As we understand it, Ministry Watchman agreed to not bring Little Bear’s name into it.

Little Bear did have good reason to worry. For years, he derived substantial financial gains from his relationship with Doug and Vision Forum. The loss of that relationship would cost Little Bear many thousands of dollars. Apparently this was not the first time Little Bear felt his ministry was threatened by Doug Phillips either, and he knew full well how tenuous his relationship with Doug was. Thus, LWF posted a statement which allows for the inference or appearance of mutual agreement and friendly relations with the leadership of BCA. Unfortunately, this is disingenuous and it shows that Little Bear Wheeler has misrepresented the facts in this matter.

As Jen has noted in her posts, Doug Phillips resorts to a fairly standard play book: Demand the name of his perceived opponent’s ecclesiastical authority, threaten the opponent with church discipline, threaten the opponent with a secular lawsuit, threaten the opponent with the loss of their job through proxies, viciously attack the opponent with false ecclesiastical and secular charges, and smear the reputation of your opponent using any and all means available, including logical fallacies. And who are Doug’s opponents? Anyone who disagrees with him for any reason, or anyone who fails to obey his dictates (such as shunning the Epsteins). Needless to say, it is not too far fetched at all to think Doug Phillips could engage in the financial ruin of Little Bear Wheeler if Little Bear publicly took sides with the Epsteins. It’s bad enough to disagree with Doug in private, but it’s quite another thing to defy Doug publicly — as our readers have witnessed.

Al called me on April 26, 2007, just after Vision Forum and LWF released their public statements about this situation. Al invited me to lunch with him and Little Bear. In several subsequent phone calls, as we were attempting to set up a date to meet, Al kept using the word “restoration” in reference to what LWF was trying to accomplish between the two churches’ leaders. Of course, as the word “restoration” conveys, something obviously bad had to have happened to bring about a need for restoration. In the case at hand, it was a restoration of the personal relationship between Doug Phillips and Little Bear Wheeler, which was damaged when Doug “dressed down” Little Bear on the phone because Little Bear refused to shun us in accordance with Phillips’ demands, and which was obviously not restored in the least by this date; and the relationship between the “leadership team/session” at BCA and the elders at LWF, which was damaged as a result of Little Bear and LWF’s leaders taking in “excommunicants.” Both of these relationships were strained to the point of being completely severed during the prior two years. When I pressed Al to clarify why he said no issue exists between their two leaderships, he evaded answering any of my questions about the rift between Doug and Little Bear personally, and the rift between the elders at LWF and the “leadership” at BCA. He simply refused to talk about it. To state that no issue exists between them is ludicrous.

Al and I talked on the phone several times in the next few days, attempting to set up a lunch date. During those phone calls, Al repeatedly raised the issue of our websites. He made it perfectly clear that he thought they should be taken down. However, as I explained to Al, we already did that once for the purpose of laying the groundwork toward seeking reconciliation, all to no avail. I repeatedly pressed Al for the specifics of the “inaccuracies” and “misleading information” that he and Little Bear had alleged that we were guilty of. Al repeatedly dodged my questions about these details and refused to give me a straight answer, or even just one example. Furthermore, I told Al that Doug Phillips had his last chance to be reconciled outside of a full public apology, and public lifting of the excommunication, and that there was certainly a lot more that we needed to write about.

As Jen has asserted before, the answer to Phillips’ dilemma is simple: Doug Phillips — a man that threatens professing Christians with unjust and unbiblical lawsuits and church discipline, and who evidently is responsible for creating the fear factor in Little Bear Wheeler — simply needs to repent of his gross ecclesiastical tyranny and the aberrant behavior of his proxies which he has sanctioned. Moreover, Phillips owes Little Bear and the leadership of LWF an apology for the fear that Little Bear suffered when he thought Mantle Ministries would be financially ruined because he previously sided with the Epsteins. Al Mendenhall personally told me Little Bear feared losing his business when we spoke shortly after Phillips’ proxies outed Jared and Mary Jackson. Therefore, it is little wonder to me that Little Bear willingly posts a statement on his church website that he refuses to back up with any specifics of “inaccuracies” and “misleading information.”

When Al and Little Bear realized that we were not going to take down our blogs again, the invitation for lunch with Al and Little Bear was suddenly withdrawn, almost as suddenly as Little Bear’s renewed interest in developing a relationship with Doug again or, should I say, Doug’s renewed interest in developing a relationship with Little Bear. After Jen wrote an article exposing Doug’s wicked treatment of Little Bear, it didn’t take long for Doug to (presumbly) contact Little Bear and profess a desire to restore their relationship. Again, if there was no known problem between them, why the need for restoration? Little Bear was forced into making a decision at that point: continue to support the Epsteins, or attempt to recoup some of that financial loss he suffered at the hands of Doug Phillips when Doug turned on him and shunned him when Little Bear did the right thing before God. It became readily apparent that Little Bear thought he could get back into Doug’s good graces by being the one person to convince us to take down our blogs. When Al and Little Bear failed to keep us quiet about Doug’s ecclesiastical tyranny, they suddenly wanted nothing to do with us again.

I fully appreciate Little Bear’s desire to have his relationship “restored” to Doug Phillips, as we, too, have had the same desire. However, I’m deeply disappointed to see that Little Bear has placed his financial interests over the very biblical principles that he had previously stood for. For the many who have yet to come forward and tell their own stories of Doug Phillips’ threats (others besides Little Bear have had their financial interests threatened, and worse), I fully understand their reluctance. However, it nonetheless is a sad state of affairs when we come to a point of fearing a man more than we fear God.

For those who want to now raise the Matthew 18 objection, let me assure you we took steps to privately confront Little Bear and Al Mendenhall, the LWF leadership’s “point man,” on the issue of their public statement, via email and snail mail. Below is the text of the email and letters sent to both men, along with the July 2006 letter to Phillips’ attorney, Don Hart. Although Al accepted delivery of the certified mail containing the letter, Little Bear “refused” delivery of the letter. It would appear Little Bear is learning much from Doug Phillips’ evasion techniques, which is tragic indeed.

May 3, 2007

Dear Little Bear and Al,

This is a follow-up email to Al’s and my conversation this morning. Since you’ve told me you don’t read our websites, I am attaching the July 2006 letter that Jen and I sent to Doug’s attorney, Don Hart. This letter was written long before we wrote one word about the Ligonier lawsuit targeting Frank Vance. Moreover, as you can clearly see from the letter, we were willing to submit to Doug despite his malicious treatment of us. However, once Doug and Don Hart refused to answer us, it became obvious Doug was not interested in our repentance or reconciliation.

Just so we all understand what is at issue, let me summarize what I was attempting to convey to you, Al.

We sincerely want to know what “inacurracies” and “misleading information” was contained in our email to the homeschool leaders. If we know what is wrong, we are more than willing to correct it. Yet, it is important we do not speak in generalities. Jen and I do not do this on our blogs; we attempt to be precise and painstakingly honest in what we write, and we will not write anything we cannot document. Unfortunately, this is not true of Doug and, just as with Doug, we cannot repent of generalities. Doug refuses to provide specifics. For example, Doug says Jen must repent of her rebellion, but he provides no examples of rebellion. As Jen has repeatedly noted, an accusation of sin by an elder or any believer should be something along these lines: “Jen, on such and such a date, you displayed a rebellious spirit (or committed the sin of rebellion) when you did such and such.” Specific sins need specific repentance, but generalized unsubstantiated accusations of sin cannot be repented of. Does God forgive generalized confessions of sin? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) is a call to confess specific sins that we have committed against specific people, or against God Himself. God’s Son shed his blood to cover sin and God wants a believer’s heart to be tender enough to acknowledge specific sin against Him and our fellow man, as well as being willing to confess sin and repent when confronted by other believers for specific sin (Matthew 18).

Another issue we have with your public statement is the line that could be construed to infer that there are no issues between the BCA and LWF leadership. Al, you related to me today that what you really meant to say in your public statement is that while the LWF elders have nothing personally against Doug Phillips or any other leadership at BCA, that Doug Phillips does have issues with the LWF elders and his perception of how the LWF elders handled our excommunication. If that is so, I think the statement needs to include something that fully explains the need for Doug’s recent request for a “restoration process” between the BCA and LWF leaderships. If Doug has issues with the LWF leadership, then I think it is only honest of the LWF leadership to make this clear in their public statement. Obviously, there is a rift between you two or Doug wouldn’t be now be seeking “restoration” of your relationship.

Al, before we were cut off, I heard you say that someone told you Natasha flipped-off the Vision Forum employees on Saturday, April 21, 2007. I spoke with Natasha shortly after our call was inadvertently terminated, and she denies using profanity or flipping off anyone that day. I believe her and I do not believe her accusers. Phillips has multiple lies posted on his church blog, all of which we will be dealing with in the future. Gentlemen, please ask yourself this question as dispassionately as you are able: Why didn’t Doug or his attorney respond to our July 2006 letter? We waited until November 26, 2006, for an answer. We even called Don Hart six weeks after sending the letter to see if we were going to receive a response. Don Hart stated he had failed to give Doug the letter, even though they spoke together at the same conference only a few days after receiving our letter. Therefore, we graciously offered Don another two weeks to respond since our phone conversation took place during the time Doug puts his catalog together. Little Bear, Al, we leaned over backwards, yet Doug still just blew us off.

Little Bear, Al, I think the two of you need to step back and look at what is the real issue here — Doug’s pride. When Doug humbles himself, perhaps we can be reconciled. However, just so you know up front, this will not happen until Doug repents for his gross violations of the biblical standards required of a pastor and teacher. His unjust, unbiblical, and malicious excommunication of the Epsteins and the vengeful reading of Jen’s pre-conversion sins must be publicly repented of by Phillips, his deacons (including Bob Sarratt), and the BCA congregants. If Doug humbles himself, the Lord will lift him up. If Doug does not humble himself, I am sure the Lord will deal with him accordingly.

As far as any perception that I may have unwittingly given you of an “ultimatum,” I apologize if I came across in that manner, Al. Will you please forgive me? That wasn’t my intention, and I’ll be more careful in my dealings with you to not come across that way. As I’m sure you know, this whole process has been incredibly frustrating for us. Two years have come and gone and we’ve been unable to make any headway. We’ve done our best to be patient, but it hasn’t been easy, and I’m sure there have been times where our patience has been worn thin. Would it be possible for either of you to respond by this coming Monday, May 7, 2007, with the specifics of the inaccuracies and misleading information contained in our email?

Lastly, it is far past the time for Doug to display some biblical behavior. He supposedly is an elder. Therefore, Jen and I expect him to meet the biblical standards of eldership (1 Tim 3) and take responsibility for his egregious behavior. Gentlemen, Doug Phillips abused the sheep. He is accountable for his behavior not only when he is supposed to be ministering to the sheep, but in his personal life as well. He is an elder and he must meet a higher standard of conduct in this life. The evidence clearly shows that he’s fallen far short of that.

We look forward to your reply.

In His Love,

Mark Epstein

We’re surprised by what Little Bear has done. We’re surprised by this sudden reversal because not only does it demonstrate a lack of honesty on his part, it also demonstrates a lack of wisdom. Little Bear is as aware as anyone about Doug’s propensity of turning on his own friends should they ever disagree with him. Doug takes disagreement very personally, and he doesn’t just take it quietly. He retaliates with anything he can find to hold over you. If it involves a friendship, then he’ll terminate it and even shun you. If it includes a business relationship, he’ll terminate it. Little Bear should know that if Doug did it to him before, he might find reason to do it again. From here on out, Little Bear will have to work very hard to always be in agreement with Doug about everything. Little Bear has caved in and Doug knows it and he’ll no doubt use it against Little Bear again.

Despite the untruthful and highly misleading nature of Living Water Fellowship’s public statement, we will forever be grateful for the season we spent at Living Water Fellowship under the loving leadership of Richard “Little Bear” Wheeler, Al Mendenhall, Michael Bakke, and Doug Swanson. Their original willingness to stand for truth and principle will always be an inspiring memory of godly men relying on God and His Holy Spirit. Their willingness to patiently sacrifice their personal time and invest a godly love in a marriage on the verge of divorce stands in stark contrast to the abusive manner in which Doug Phillips chose to exacerbate the comparatively minor problems affecting our marriage in October 2001.

Doug Phillips had a marvelous God-given opportunity to impact our marriage for God’s glory. Instead he chose to betray us and squander the opportunity in the most shameful manner.

Advertisements

658 Responses to “Little Bear Wheeler Caves In To Doug Phillips’ Scare Tactics”

  1. Corrie Says:

    “(Go ahead Mike, whine away! Get the pitchfork! Flirt to your heart’s content! I won’t bother you very often.)”

    David,

    Mike, a flirt? LOL You have GOT to be kidding? You do NOT know him if you think that. When I think of Mike, I don’t think of the word “flirt”. That isn’t even in the top 10 things.

  2. Corrie Says:

    Here is a comment from Lucy from one of the articles:

    “Lucy Says:
    May 14th, 2007 at 8:09 am
    Cynthia, I understand what you’re saying, but I still think it’s a risk not worth taking.

    …and I know for a fact that there are several non-Christians reading this sit.[sic]”

  3. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Hmmm… I wonder. Could “Tara” possibly be Lucy’s daughter or daughter in law? If Lucy belongs to HyperP church, that would explain why her children, if any, might be unbelievers.
    My own daughters pretty much “lost their religion” for a while, after seeing the goings on in some of the churches down in Florida.

  4. Mark Epstein Says:

    All,

    I’ve been gone for a week, and I see this comment thread has taken on a life of its own. Not that that’s bad, mind you, I just thought the Little Bear article would spark a great discussion. 🙂 I guess it did, but not in the way I imagined.

    I really enjoyed Jen’s thoughts on speaking with Christ when we speak to each other in these threads, and I would like to echo the statement about using aliases. The “boys in a man’s world” over at SFU do not have the COURAGE to post using their real names. If Doug is so correct and their position so righteous, you would think these individuals would want the world to know them by name. Alas, it seems their use of aliases (and aliases in general) are becoming the last refuge of COWARDS in the blogosphere. (Note: This does not apply to those using obvious aliases that we are all aware of and have fun with, e.g. Dave Z’s usage.)

    As far as “Tara’s” identity is concerned, I find the name interesting in and of itself. We can only pray that the heresies spoken by those in the hyper-patriarchy camp will also be Gone with the Wind in the near future.

  5. Mark Epstein Says:

    All,

    I often hear complaints about stereotypical humor. Needless to say, the federal workplace has banned all humor that could be construed as being anti-“this or that group.” (By the way, in the world of the feds, perception IS reality.)

    With that said, Lin’s comment below is a hoot! Not only is the description of the New York Jews who are permanently “snow birding” in Florida spot on, but I love the white T-shirt over the “wife beater” visual. 🙂 Too funny.

    Lin said: As to dressing and culture. I have another great idea. I used to spend quite a bit of time in South Florida so I know there is a real need there. Let’s send Mike down there to witness to the geriatric Jewish population.

    To be culturally relevant, Mike will need some wing tips, black wool socks, knee length seer sucker shorts that are high waisted and a black belt. Cabana shirts are ok but mostly he will need a large supply of white, short-sleeve dress shirts worn over a wife beater. You will fit right in…even on the beach. We can even get you one of the metal detector thingies to find treasures in the sand.

  6. Mark Epstein Says:

    Tara said: “You think you’re doing the world a favor by ‘warning’ them about Doug Phillips, but you’re actually GIVING traffic to his website, and making yourselves look ridiculous in the process. Please, people, think it through.”

    You’re kidding, aren’t you Tara? Unless Phillips has changed his moniker to “Mr. Discount,” I don’t think Vision Forum’s website is doing remarkably well – unless you’re referencing the anti-Epstein posts contained therein.

  7. Morgan Farmer Says:

    All,

    I am so sorry the perez hilton link upset everyone…its was just getting wayyy too serious and I was trying to inject some humour here!!!. No offense was intended…..

    Best, Morgan

  8. Lin Says:

    “I just thought the Little Bear article would spark a great discussion”

    Mark, I had never heard of Little Bear until this blog so I cannot speak to any disappointment in his behavior. However, the last few years I have seen so many supposed men of God (elders/teacherws/preachers) compromising, lying, not living what they teach, etc., that I am no longer surprised. The worldly system of Babylon is a snare of which I have personal experience, unfortuantly.

    I have been told personally by well known mega church pastors that unity is more important than doctrinal truth. That is how one builds mega churches, ya know. I have heard one well known evangelist say that some can get to heaven without knowing Jesus if God so wills it. (Then why the Cross?) I have seen a minister of well a known church be outed by his own son for pedophila. With the son saying that his father is not qualifed for ministry…yet the church ignored this and kept him on until the public outcry and D.A.’s office disagreed. I have witnessed quite a few pastors negotiating 6 figure compensation packages and complaining that duties with the congregation interfere with book writing. I have heard countless sermons detailing the roles of women and men but very few on the importance of sanctification for both. One would think they have been reading the Talmud! I have also heard countless sermons on Grace but few on the Wrath of God. I have sat through many ‘leadership’ conferences for Christians but have heard very few teach on true servanthood. I have seen quite a few ministers make their ‘doctrinal’ position an idol. They talk more about Calvin than they do Jesus!

    Oh, I could go on and on. But, the point is that we put mere men on pedestals and set ourselves up for disappointment. We only have one recourse: Scripture. Alone with the Holy Spirit.

    We will continue to be disappointed by Christian leaders because Grace is cheap these days. Doug Phillips does not fear God as we have seen displayed in his behavior. Does Little Bear fear Doug more than God? I can tell you there was a time I did fear man (losing worldly position and wealth) more than ‘God so I can understand how this happens.

    Oh, I have personally seen the rationalizations that ministers put forth on ignoring truths. So I am well aware of how that works. The most important thing about this blog seems to me, is that people take off their ‘filters’ of Patriarchy and their pet ‘systems’ and read scripture in context. NEVER READ A BIBLE VERSE. More evil has been done in the name of proof texting!

    Forget roles! Forget Patriarchy! Forget anything that causes us to not magnify the Name of Jesus. (Patriarchy does NOT magnify Jesus…they are just mere men… some of whom we love and respect…but they are NOT Christ)

    (Some of you are gasping for air…in shock of my words)

    If I really love Jesus, am growing in Holiness and follow Him, then I will be a godly mother and wife. I don’t need a ‘system’ for that. I need His Word.

    The more I study scripture, the more I know that I really know very little! But until we take Peter’s inspired Words seriously and understand that we are a Holy Priesthood (men and women), that as in Hebrews, the veil was torn in two so we could all go directly to our High Priest(men and women)…we will all continue to fall into snares with disappointing leaders.

    This means we all should be Bereans with ANY teaching that we recieve. Jesus Christ transcends it all.

    BTW: I apologize if I offended anyone with my remarks about South Florida. I was just thinking about all the nose piercings I have seen in the name of relevance and well…..you know…we can carry that theme to extreme….I did not mean to offend anyone at all! Good thing I do not work for the Feds!

  9. Morgan Farmer Says:

    Lin said: As to dressing and culture. I have another great idea. I used to spend quite a bit of time in South Florida so I know there is a real need there. Let’s send Mike down there to witness to the geriatric Jewish population.

    Morgan (one of near geriatric jewish people) says:
    “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA ROTFLOL” toooo cute…really…

    Mike you can find them at the ‘kosher delis’ eating their bagel & lox with cream cheese in the morning.

    Anyone for a nice coffee?

  10. mercyme Says:

    May I apply for the token prairie muffin role? I fit it well. I fit it so well, that when we hung out with the Plain Folk, the ladies asked if they could sew me an apron dress. And I let them.

    Yup, someone mentioned that they had not heard of someone doing that…..dressing to fit in with the Amish in order to witness. We attempt it. Yearly, for a month or two.

    To be honest, it did not begin that way. It just began as an adventure to find affordable property. The people we met
    were friendly and had a life style that enamored us. We fell for it but did not move there full time. Our part time visits over the years enabled us to examine the culture/religion/tradition more thoroughly without being consumed by it.

    We thought that perhaps it would be a good idea to continue enjoying the friendships in hope that we could spread a bit of grace around the legalistic dumping ground. Legalism of so many varieties too. In such a small population, there were more than a half dozen varieties of legalism, all vying for the King place. All claiming the Truth. Now, up on the hill near our place, is a family that I believe is in burkas. Have not met them yet.

    So, eventually, I took off the head covering because I did not want to represent that theology. I wanted to say NO no no. That stuff you do is not ok, you are demanding Christ plus Life Style. Holiness became an issue of car vs. horse and buggy. The head covering and dress are the uniform for the theology.

    Fashion sense has always been a bit difficult for me. It matters not to DH because he keeps it simple: dress jeans and work jeans. But he wanted me to wear dresses only. I did that for a bit more than a decade. Someone mentioned the difference in the male/female dress and how it relates to the culture and keeps the woman looking plenty strange. Yup. So true. The men could go to the store and not be noticed as different. Not so the women. That plain outfit attracts a lot of attention. It means that you are accepting that theology.

    But the stuff about fitting into the southern CA culture…..I don’t do that too well. I am trying now to do better. But crud, I am over 50 and really don’t really care what’s the style now. I don’t think I need to wear those skin type tops that so many think are attractive. And what would I wish to attract anyway?

    Perhaps I needed missionary training in cross-cultural dillemas before traipsing through two extremes every year.
    After all, southern CA and the Plain folk are quite far apart.

    All in all, though, on many occasions I have been blessed to be able to sustain relationships with families who are not going to get out of their hollow very often. Seven years of it now, and I’ve only been blasted by one plain lady for my attire. Funny thing, I told her that for my culture I was very plain. Can’t please them all.

    I am confused. I probably cannot visit some of them without at least the Prairie Muffin attire. I can manage that quite easily, but what about if other city folk visit me who won’t do that? What’s the best option? What if we decide to live there for longer than a month or two? Do I do the Prairie Muffin thing even when I tire of it? Do I do that even though it’s not my conviction?

    Is it one one of those Paul things? 1 Cor 9:22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak,. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

    One of my questions is about this all things to all men stuff: For what purpose did he do that and for how long?
    For one thing, I do not have much influence there, being a woman, in the patriarchal camp. I probably already have a reputation for not being submissive enough. Don’t we all? And then, when does teaching about the truth come in? I can’t do it. I can just be me, and hang out in my prarie muffin dress and visit my friends and communicate love and blessings by just talking about how to can salsa.

    Perhaps I should start a retro-prairie-muffin-dress e-bay business and cater to the Plain folk…..ha they don’t have computers…..

  11. Corrie Says:

    Mark,

    I think Little Bear is in between a rock and a hard place. I know all too well the fear of man and wanting to take the path of least resistance. Who wants to make waves? All these people are so interconnected that they have their own little sub-culture. Most people wouldn’t even understand most of this extra-biblical gobbley-gook taught under the guise of “biblical patriarchy”. I have seen Little Bear speak a few times and I always enjoyed him. I bought a lot of stuff from his booth, especially for my boys. I never got the sense that he had myopia concerning patriarchy like I get the sense of some other guys who eat, breath, walk, talk patriarchy every chance they get. It seems they can turn a simple news piece into an expose on feminism and an essay on patriarchy even if it has nothing to do with either topic.

    In essence, they see a ghost behind every bush. They make problems where there are none. And the people that really get hurt from this movement are the literally poor little peons who just want to please God and do (what they were told) the right thing according to His word.

    They can’t understand that people have wonderful marriages without ever hearing about their doctrine of patriarchy. It doesn’t follow their formula. They can’t understand that children are turning out and following God when they have not followed their narrowly prescribed dogma.

  12. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “I think Little Bear is in between a rock and a hard place.”

    Yup, I’d agree. And think about it: should anything claiming to be Christian ever catch people “between a rock and a hard place” ?
    If fellow whose business is ministry finds that he to choose between pleasing his peers – ie, his fellow ministers — and doing the right thing and thus pleasing God, that’s a pretty sure sign that those fellow ministers and God are at cross-purposes.

  13. Brandon Giromini Says:

    “Perhaps I should start a retro-prairie-muffin-dress e-bay business and cater to the Plain folk…..ha they don’t have computers…..”

    Hey mercyme, I might buy one, I’m not too proud for the occassional calico.

  14. Elizabeth Giromini Says:

    Opps, that should have been under my name. Jen, if you have a moment and the desire to you could fix it, it would be much appreciated.

  15. scott Says:

    Corrie, I agree the Botkin promo video left me a little shocked as well. First they put their personal views and life decisions on the same level as scripture,SCARY & arrogant.
    Then they refer to “stay home daughters” as the biblical model which means everyone outside of their cult is in sin. I can’t imagine marrying such a bizarre and non-thinking “stepford daughter”. Good thing there aren’t as many women on this course as the Botkins like to infer. Perhaps they really believe their little plan for humanity is taking root, they are delusional. Anywhere outside of their little world it’s extraordinarily rare. God’s word says Children are to obey their parents, it is pretty clear we are supposed to grow up. Adults are to honor their parents for life, but obey them for life ? NOPE, it’s just not in scripture. Neither is the whole stay home daughter plan. These people are by scriptural definition FALSE TEACHERS, spreading false doctrine. The Doug markets this false teaching and yet he & his independent pansy investigators call Jen & Mark Ephstein liars. I just thought of another similarity between Jim Jones and THE DOUG, Jim Jones liked to accuse people that had exposed his lies of all sorts of sin. Called them liars, tools of the devil etc.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a stay home mom, that is what I want someday if blessed with children but for a young woman to be pushed into a certain lifestyle because of her parents false doctrine is sad. I’m praying this video has very limited exposure. The Christian community just doesn’t need this. Personal Bible study is the answer. TRUE Biblical wisdom shatters lies every time.

  16. Mark Epstein Says:

    Corrie said: “Most people wouldn’t even understand most of this extra-biblical gobbley-gook taught under the guise of ‘biblical patriarchy.’”

    Cynthia said: “If fellow whose business is ministry finds that he to choose between pleasing his peers…that’s a pretty sure sign that those fellow ministers and God are at cross-purposes.”

    Scott said: “…the Botkin promo video left me a little shocked as well. First they put their personal views and life decisions on the same level as scripture,SCARY & arrogant…[t]hese people are by scriptural definition FALSE TEACHERS…Jim Jones liked to accuse people that had exposed his lies of all sorts of sin. Called them liars, tools of the devil etc….TRUE Biblical wisdom shatters lies every time.”

    All of your insights and comments are spot on and deserved repeating.

  17. David M Zuniga Says:

    Whoa! Brandon Giromini secretly likes to wear ‘prairie muffin’ calico dresses!

    I can just see the VF apologists running with THAT one! 🙂

  18. Corrie Says:

    Cynthia,

    Exactly. If I find myself between a rock and a hard place it is always a BIG RED FLAG that something is not right. If we ever find ourselves having to placate man instead of doing what is right, then we are not in the will of God.

    Scott,

    I agree with your thoughts on the whole “VISIONary Daughters” thing. Funny how they adopt Phillips’ name for his ministry? I can’t way to see what happens in 10 or 15 years after this social experiment takes root. The polygamists keep their daughters at home, too, and it makes it easier for them to accept their lifestyle. Keeping one’s daughter to himself is not a sign of living the Christian life nor should anyone be putting a “Bible” stamp of approval on it. And, I don’t understand any father who would expect that his dreams, desires, wants, needs should be his daughter’s highest calling to fulfill and that she would eschew any of her own dreams, desires, wants, needs and LEADING OF THE LORD and making her father’s her own.

    Where is this concept even found in scripture? I can’t find ONE verse that instructs this. 1 Cor. 7 tells us that an unmarried woman is FREE to devote herself to the Lord NOT to her father. What if the Lord is leading a single woman to follow Him and His will for her life and not her father’s will for her life? Or, is God’s will for a woman’s life always the will of her earthly father? I am sure we can find scripture that shows us that God’s plans are many times at odds with an earthly father or mother’s plans.

    And, where is the mother in all of this? Scripture makes no distinction between the father’s authority and the mother’s authority nor does it many any distinction between a child’s duty to father or mother. If a daughter is at home, why is she described as serving her father but not also serving her mother?

    I know, it is the whole need to be patriarchal but that isn’t biblical.

  19. Corrie Says:

    And, for ONCE, I would like someone to engage me with the scriptures that prove me wrong in my above assertions without resorting to calling me an angry feministic lesbian.

    Let us just pretend that we get the “angry feministic lesbian” out on the table so we can just deal with the substance of my argument. Provide for me the scriptures telling us where the daughter is to serve her father and give up all her dreams, desires, wants, wishes and maker her father’s desires her own. We have already seen how the Botkin girls take a Proverbs written to a “son” to give *his* father *his* heart and somehow they have made that into a doctrine for girls and girls alone. They have prooftexted with that verse and I hardly think the verse carries any connotation of a daughter giving up her self and adopting all the wants of her father.

    After all, isn’t a father supposed to empty himself of all self and serve the members in his family? Why does it seem backwards in patriarchal teachings.

  20. Jen Says:

    Corrie, thank you for calling people to refute you only with Scripture. I remember when I said that once and I thought I was safe. No one said anything to me for the next six months — until Mike came along!

    But, in answer to your specific questions, that is exactly the article that will be up here tomorrow, Lord willing. I will show you what Scriptures Doug uses to support these positions. Then we will take a look at what the Bible really says. I think you’re going to LOVE this article!

  21. Happymom4 Says:

    I get amused at ya’ll talking about Mennonites (ie “plain folks”) and their calico dresses and their lack of computers and internet access.

    Hello–I am Mennonite, and I probably dress in such a way as that you’d all call me a “Prarie Muffin” too. Although I sincerely always try to be neat, tidy, and clean, and I certainly don’t look like someone “off the street. I even got complimented in Russia by the court interpreter when we showed for court to adopt our daughter–and court in Russia is considered a dress affair. Hmmm. (Nope, no “pantalets or bloomers” on me though–maybe that makes the diff?!)

    So I can hear you asking, Why is a Mennonite hanging out here? Because, I once was part of a very abusive and controlling church and excommunicated from it. That was over 6 years ago, and while we walked through many long and hard and lonely valleys, God did bring us through out to the other side–How I praise Him for that! I’m still wanting to understand and grow personally in Him though, and while we are happily attending another Mennonite church and becoming closer and closer to feeling one with it, (after attending for 3 years) we are still being very cautious, weighing all things against the Word of God, taking our time and really trying to listen and hear from God. I’m learning a lot from the discussions on here, so yeah. Take this seriously–you really do have a Mennonite wearing calicos and denims and poly/cottons and socks with her sandals (NOT because I have to, but because it’s more comfortable–LOL!) on here. Just so you know. 😉

    Oh yeah–and one more reason I’m here?? Because Mr. P. basically sent me here a long time ago by blogging about his attackers and so being the curious person I am, I went and looked. (Google is SO nice!) I’d have not known anything had he held his peace. . . . and somehow . . .given some of the concerns I’d been having myself about his increasingly rad literature (like the Botkin’s girl book), I stayed . . . .

  22. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Isn’t it interesting that all the patriarchy leaning crowd has is argumentum ad hominem and ad hominem abusive to support themselves. My friend in MD (homeschooling mother of seven and mother to the little girl who doubted Noah’s flood) was called an “unrepentant feminist” but they couldn’t come up with a good Scripture to nail her with. They relied on a papal statement which said she was guily of the “sin of sedition.” This may be my redundant statement here on this site, because it comes to my mind so often when reading this stuff. It is human nature to rise to your own defense and to abuse those who threaten you. We are called out from this, though. We are called to love our enemies and to pray for those who misuse us, and we have even higher standards of conduct for dealing with our Christian bretheren (global sense of course including sisters as well, but God forbid we don’t make the distinction).

    I find it interesting, also, to consider how many of the men who advocate these things are sons of greater men and/or physically of smaller stature. It makes one wonder about power motives and Napoleonic complexes and small-man syndrome. Throughout history, how many tyrannts are also of smaller physical stature or the sons of very accomplished men? Who is attracted to their movements or ideologies? When there is power to be taken away from one group (the seeds of dehumanization) there is power to be gained by someone else. Power, by such people is perceived as finite: there is a limited amount to go around. If someone gains power, that means that the power oriented somehow have less. Or for example, if someone has a voice and a forum on the internet, somehow, their competitors will have less? Ah. Think about it. Perhaps it’s wrong, but what if it’s right?

    Concerning Connie’s comments about Scriptures:

    Off the top of my head, the only reference that I can think of is that one frequently referred to by Bible haters. I can’t remember the specific reference, but after a victory in battle, Jephthah vows to sacrifice the first thing to come towards him when he returned. It’s in JUDGES 11. To fulfill the vow, though it seems to be throught the cooperation and freely chosen intervention of the daughter, she retreats to the mountain for several months, then lives as a virgin for the rest of her days.

    The next passage comes from Matthew 10: 35 For I am come TO SET MAN AT A VARIANCE against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

    (In my situation, my mother told me what to do {often denied that real events had occured}, and I had no choice but to do what this very fearful, controlling and manipulative woman wanted. I did not submit out of love and could not see options due to fear. In my marriage, both fearful and jealous mothers sought to interfere. At least while married, I could rely on “leave and cleave.” Hallelujiah!
    I have problems where the parents are presupposed to be straight-up, healthy Christians. My family of origin was far from that. What of the patriarchal families that look good outwardly but are themselves a den of vipers? Under the practice of Doug’s patriarchy, the subordinate members never have a chance of freeing themselves from the demi-tyrannt. Daughters must be assigned to another smaller tyrrant selected by their tyrannt father, and how healthy do you think he will be if the father likes him? What if a suitable suitor is never found because the father is reluctant to find one due to ulterior motive to keep the daughter at home. With a rigid application of strict procedures, there is no grace to break free and find grace. This sets up an environment that Lalich calls “bounded choice” where it appears that there is freedom, but any choice outside of what is expected will be so severely punished that it is never really a choice but has the appearance of one. Lifton suggests that totalistic systems develop from bad childhood experiences and we gravitate to them because we seek to resolve the problems of the past as adults. It is a self-replicating cycle, and to entrench women helplessly within such a harmful one as if it was the true Biblical model, we are damning them. For some, it may not be harmful and for others, it could be devistation. If you grew up in a good system, you would think it was ludicrous. I grew up in a bad one. )

    I also think of the story of SAMSON IN JUDGES 14 where he outright defies the will of him parents and says, “Get me this woman.” Samson suffered greatly because of this choice. That however, like the Proverbs passages cited by the the Botkins, refers to a son and not a daughter.

  23. Jen Says:

    Scott, thanks for posting that link to the Botkin sisters’ site. I finally had time to look at that promo. That was a little hard for me to watch, emotionally, because those are our old friends, people who are shunning us. If you want to know what BCA is like, just watch that video. It is called “Visionary” because Doug is selling it. Doug and Geoff Botkin are pretty tight these days. Besides working for Doug, Geoff is an elder-in-training at BCA. I think he will be a full elder when he is in 100% agreement with Doug on everything. No kidding.

    One of those girls was Natasha’s best friend and Doug’s free nanny. What do girls do between childhood and marriage? If their father doesn’t have enough to keep them busy, they “serve” big families, especially the important ones. Notice what you see them doing in the promo. Cooking, cleaning, and child-care. “This life is exciting!” I guess if that’s your highest expectations in life, it is. There is NOTHING wrong with doing those things, but there will be plenty of time to do so when a girl is married and has her own family. I am all for training girls to do all these things before they get married, but it should not be a full time job for them, unless they choose to do so.

    This is a time period in one’s life when I notice two things in particular: your brain is like a sponge and it is very easy to learn; and you think you are invincible — you can dream big, take more risks than those with families, and have seemingly abundant energy. Oh, what great things could be accomplished during that time in life!

    Corrie asked where the mothers were. At home. Cooking, cleaning, child-care, homeschooling. Where all good Titus 2 moms are.

  24. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Concerning Titus 2: I was reading the Geneva Bible the other day (the Bible that the Puritains used) which says women should WORK WHILE THEY ARE AT HOME to not become gadders. It was an admonishment to keep busy. A footnote refers to 2nd Timothy which speaks of keeping the young widows busy so that they would also not be gadders. It is a gross misinterpretation of the context of the text to say that a woman should find her only employ within the home setting rather than a warning against idleness.

    This overfocus on Titus 2 was not a major focus in my growing up. Not to say that interpretation of Scripture is an easy task within our very different culture, but as someone who was not preoccupied with Titus 2, this one always seemed like a no-brainer. I was raised with more emphasis on the Spirit of the Law as the guide for conduct within the bounds of our cultural standards without a dump truck load of legalism that focused on outward appearances. I thank God for it, for far greater emphasis was placed on learning to evaluate people’s words. Did they do as Paul did and tell people to follow both his words and his example?

    With some perspective and distance and free thought (away from the Dougite standard) that people who have been entrenched in this way of thinking will see how Dougite patriarchy obsures vision. Remove the legalistic lenses, and you can see both the word and deed work in concert. It is a very insidious trap to fall into the love of an idylic system that seems to have infallible cornerstones, and then love the system far more than the elements that the system represents. The ugly flip-side of it is the hatred and complete intolerance of anything that opposes or differs from the beloved system. It is the way of all man-made utopias, and the cost to maintain them runs very high.

  25. Pape Blastus XVII Says:

    Cindy Kunsman,

    You are shameless, my child!

    You said, “…but they couldn’t come up with a good Scripture to nail her with. They relied on a papal statement which said…”.

    I categorically deny ever having made this statement, my evil child! All papal statements in all ‘Reformed’ camps must come from my Holy See, and from no other origin!

    But since I expect that you acted in ignorance and haste: (please kneel…):

    Cindy, te absolvo pro bono publico de profanum vulgus.

    I have spoken.

    Let it be so.

    (You may rise, child.)

    **********
    (Papal decree Blastus XVII 1062007 Kunsmanis ex cathedra)

  26. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Happymom4,

    I grew up in Amish and Mennonite PA Dutch country and I’m curious now. I learned much from both communities and love them both dearly. Mennonites frequently attended revival meetings and church services and natural health venues, and I would see the same faces and made many friends. (I love the PA Dutch so much that I married one! The best cookbooks are Mennonite, too , in my opinion.)

    Is it your opinion that most people confuse the two separate groups?

  27. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Jen wrote:”One of those girls was Natasha’s best friend and Doug’s free nanny. What do girls do between childhood and marriage? If their father doesn’t have enough to keep them busy, they “serve” big families, especially the important ones. Notice what you see them doing in the promo.”

    This is classic cult behavior. The Florida Five (the ’70s shepherding/disciplship) group was huge on this before they disbanded and recanted (but so much indoctrination took place no one could get free of the practice, or they chose to maintain it). Serve the community, but it is not equitable to all within it. Classic, classic stuff.

    I remember one month, a model family’s mother died, but the mother herself did not attend there. Leadership devoted half of a church service to bereavement and had the family up on the platform. Just two weeks later, I found out at the hospice I worked at that one of the nurses aides who attended the church lost her father. She was poor (working 2 jobs) and with the demands of her dying father did not participate at church as much as she would have liked. (Or the church would have liked?) One of my “sins of the sons of Korah” was to bring to the pastor’s attention that nothing had been done for her and could we send at least a fruit basket or something? The pastor (very contrite with me at the time) did send a note card and sent her a basket. It was only one of the inequitable “caring for one another/they will know us by our love for one another” situations that I happened to know about. (tip of the iceberg?) The elders during the last month that I attended (pastor never played the bad guy but had elders that acted like bulldogs) were very critical of me for suggesting that they did not treat everyone equitably, then told me that it was the bereaved girl’s own fault for getting “missed” for not “reporting her situation” to a homegroup leader. This is swallowing a camel and straining a gnat. It always serves to protect the persona of the precious few at the expense and shame of the dregs. It shows great honor of the system at the expense of those whom they supposedly serve.

  28. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Oh Pape B:

    I no longer associated with those false teachers at the time of the weilding against my beloved sister. They were and are publicans to me lest they recant, repent and make great restitution. My sister no longer recognizes these authorities and gives no ear to them now either!

    If at any time, they do approach her (they avoid me like the plagued and unclean), she has avowed only to entertain their musings on the red letters only.

  29. Papal Nuncio to Pape Blastus XVII Says:

    (Please, madam, take care! The absolution is official but the Papal audience is over! You were not given leave to respond!! A simple “Thank you, Your Holiness, would have been allowed. He is gone now, and you missed the opportunity to kiss the ring; but you may kiss the floor…)

    (Next?)

  30. Happymom4 Says:

    Cindy K. asks:
    Is it your opinion that most people confuse the two separate groups?
    ****************
    In a word, Yes. I’ve actually had people tell me I’m Amish, and then get very upset when I deny that. I had one person get very verbal with me because I used my cell phone–he had the nerve to tell me I wasn’t allowed to use a phone! 😉 Personally, because of the very bad rep that the Amish in our part of the country have, I really don’t care to be associated with them as a group, even though I believe there probably are some very good people among them.

  31. Lin Says:

    I have a question:

    Do these ‘daughters’ have to serve their brothers while at home? Also, what becomes of these daughters if their fathers die while they are young?

  32. Jen Says:

    Lin, although it is not emphasized as much as serving the fathers, yes, the daughters do serve their brothers in many cases.

    I don’t know what would become of them if the father died. I would have to assume that if they were in BCA, the church would take care of them. Not all churches feel that way, though.

  33. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Corrie and Patty and Sara:

    In case you missed my post under the new heading, here’s a link to two articles on the cultic aspects of patriarchy. Corrie, I sent an email to you via your blog link, but in case you missed it, check. Also, you can reach me at this new website, I guess. It’s a cheapy freebie site.
    http://www.ourchurch.com/member/u/UnderMuchGrace/

  34. Lin Says:

    “If at any time, they do approach her (they avoid me like the plagued and unclean), she has avowed only to entertain their musings on the red letters only.”

    You go, girl.

    “Lin, although it is not emphasized as much as serving the fathers, yes, the daughters do serve their brothers in many cases.”

    I am having flashbacks of childhood. Of course, my mom taught my brothers how to do household chores, cook and laundry, too. They needed those skills for college and living alone after…and in marriage! (There is nothing sexier than a man cleaning a toilet just because he loves you and wants to help out…am I allowed to say that here??)

    Just thinking of my brother’s and my relationship during those days…him constantly teasing me…pulling pranks, etc., if I had to serve him…it would be starched underwear and burned toast everyday!

  35. Jen Says:

    Lin: “(There is nothing sexier than a man cleaning a toilet just because he loves you and wants to help out…am I allowed to say that here??)”

    Lin, I think you have expressed one of the more important points here — that of someone choosing to do something for someone else because they love them, rather than delineating our roles based upon some arbitrary line drawn in culture, or drawn in extrabiblical teachings, or whatever. Thanks, Lin, for that very appropriate word picture!

  36. Cynthia Gee Says:

    Cindy, I LOVED your article…..

  37. Patty Says:

    Cindy,
    Wow ‘small man syndrome,napoleonic syndrome…’
    AWESOME. A woman who thinks!!! COOL.

    Your right on track!! Ever notice how cult churches at least within the abhorrent christian circles are incredibly anti -intellectual and tend to be averse to any psychological evaluations ,intervention or assessments.? Funny how the real truth comes out when people find themselves in front of their doctor or nurse or therapist,or a judge . Then they go right back to their same phony posturing when they are back in their church on sunday.

    I get tired of the feminist movement being blamed for everything. If were that much of a threat why don’t men just step up to the plate and keep up with us?

    I think alot of men get messed up somehow by bad parenting from their mothers ,or wives in bad marraiges.

    If you study domestic violence and victimization of women for years its always been the woman who has been blamed but studies have shown its actually the opposite. It’s predation by men and they actually CHOOSE women who are gullable,uneducated and simple because they are an easy target. They usually have been abused and have low self esteem ( and don’t anyone please start in with as christians we don’t need self esteem because we are in Christ…blahh blahh.blah)

    Well…., extreme patriarchy will no doubt keep the simple women in mass and in a dependent position-ripe for the taking by the bad guys and bad shepherds.

  38. Patty Says:

    And one more thought,
    For those men out there who say “Women need to be protected and I will teach her”. Fine. Maybe.. If you are single and marry with that attitude be prepared to assume a parental role with your wife. ( or vice-versa) Your not fooling me because I will see it. Thats not a marraige. You will have one eventually… in about 7- 10 years IF she catches up with you. Your not my role model.
    Any decent pastor knows he is not to create dependent sheep. We CO-LABOR with Christ and each other. It is interdependent.

  39. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Patty,

    You’re cool. You’re also the only person to respond to the Napoleonic complex comment. Knowing Howard Phillips (not really all that well but well enough to get a strong and favorable impression of his personal command and presence), he is a very difficult act to follow. In my conversation with Doug, now about eight years ago, Doug mentioned to us (husband and me) that his father read every major newspaper and the Bible every morning. Howard took him along to meet all the Republican movers and shakers, then on to the Tax Payers turned Constitution party people. It set a very high precedent for Doug, I would imagine.

    Fideism and the whole “anti-intellectual” thing breeds cults. My mother (still deep in Pentecost) has chastised me to no end for having “no faith” and “selling out to intellegence” which she views as a hindrance to true faith. It isn’t faith, it’s hypnosis. Not that there aren’t good medical applications for hypnosis, but the Word calls us to study and discernment, not incredulity. As the quote from “Through the Looking Glass” from the queen who believes seven impossible things before breakfast?

    You’ve got to go to my website and read the “New Cults of Christianinty” article. Sounds like we could have collaborated to write it.

  40. Cynthia Gee Says:

    “Fideism and the whole “anti-intellectual” thing breeds cults. My mother (still deep in Pentecost) has chastised me to no end for having “no faith” and “selling out to intellegence” which she views as a hindrance to true faith.”

    Generally, churches who are anti intellectual are afraid. They are afraid of the truth, because their take on theology will not stand up to inspection in the plain clear light of day.
    This is the BIGGEST reason why the HyperP churches insist upon homeschooling their children (and, especially, why they stress the importance of keeping their daughters ignorant.) They do not stress homeshooling because they are afraid of their children being contaminated by the world — this is made obvious by the fact that the HyperPs also condemn Christian schools. HyperPs stress homeschooling because they are afraid of their children being “contaminated” by the TRUTH, because should their kids learn to read the Bible as it is written and history as it actually happenned, without the HyperP filters, the whole cultic house of cards would soon come tumbling down.
    HyperPatriarchy is afraid of ALL outside education because it is afraid of the truth, and it is afraid of truth because it is based in lies.

    Cindy, in your article you asked this question:
    How do we assess a church or other group with seemingly orthodox theological doctrine that employs subtle deception and manipulation to coercively indoctrinate members as a means to accomplish the justifiable end of preaching the Gospel?

    Easy. If a Church or a pastor is LYING –using deception– to manipulate members, then they are of the Devil, and you stay away from them.
    It’s that simple.

  41. Patty Says:

    The problem with pentecostals ( and I consider myself one experientally) is that for those deeply involved to the point of exclusion of others in the christian faith is that their whole intent and experience is that they become so one and in tune with the Holy Spirit ( ‘walking in the spirit’) that they no longer need the written word of God. ( Copeland and Haggin are notorious for teaching this) I recently heard someone in a PCA church teaching systematic theology talk about that and it wasn’t pretty. I was cringing inside because I believe she is right.
    Thats why pentecostals and charasmatics get so off track alot of the time in their theology. ( Gordon Fee is about the only one I can listen to as of late) Ex. 2 Peter 1: 19-21 “we have also a more sure word of prophecy….” Peter was saying here that even though he personally witnessed the Lord glorified on the Mount of Transfiguration that that experience was not superior to the written scripture the “more sure word of prophecy”.
    Also remember scripture is not all about us,but all about Jesus, John 5: 39 and Psalm 138: 2 …. ” though has magnified they word above thy name.”
    Objective wriiten truth should overide subjective experience and at best they should agree when determining truth about God’s leading. For months I kept getting tested about a particular situation,… the subjective experience is there but it is not validated by objective truth so I have tossed it out . Praise the Lord you are married. As you are strong with two. Both of you ‘Cindy’s’ have alot of wisdom and you need to share it. Try reading some of the PCA blogs and some of the reformed charasmatic blogs and get involved when these topics come up as there are alot of people who need to hear your views. The ’emergent church’ also when they keep rehashing about ‘New Wine’… ( regurgitated later rain) Actually there HAVE to be alot of survivors out there from the ‘shepherding movement era’ but I’m not sure where alot of them have gone. All of this stuff is easy to spot once ‘you’ve been there done that’ its trying to communicate to others thats difficult.

  42. Patty Says:

    Another thought:
    I heard a biblical scholar from ‘ACADEMY for CHRISTIAN THOUGHT’ talk about how centuries ago persons involved in ministry started to seperate themselves from the social and natural sciences to devote themselves totally to reading the scripture only and how we can see the effects of where that has lead us today. In other words alot of people in pulpits know SQUAT about those topics because they have diverged themselves from it.
    He talked about some of the new areas of research in neurotheology and recommended a book called ‘Minding God’ by Gregory Peterson its a book written by a christian about theology and the cognitive sciences.
    Thats why in the ‘multitude of counselors there is safety’…so we don’t swallow hook line and sinker everything ONE person says in the pulpit. From those who are bad teachers its just all rehashed information anyway.
    Praise the Lord for those who think .

  43. David M Zuniga Says:

    Patty,

    “…see the effects of where that has lead [sic] us today” should be, “…see the effects of where that has led us today.”

    ‘Led’ is correct (perfect tense); “lead” is a heavy metal, or the present imperfect of “led”.

    People VERY commonly say “I felt lead by God” but they should excise the “a”. The only time you should use that spelling is when you’re cast as the villain in an old Western movie. Having lost the gunfight, you say, “I felt lead, by God!” as you collapse to your knees with blood spilling from the corner of your mouth! 🙂

  44. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Speaking of “Scare Tactics”

    I’ve been corresponding with Chris Ortiz at the Chalcedon Foundation about reconsidering Chalcedon’s nasty comments on their blogs about the Epsteins, but also because of their relentless support of Doug Phillips (a matter of my concern prior to my knowledge of the Epsteins). When Ortiz saw that I copied my reply to his correpsondence to Jen, he stated that he would no longer correspond with me.

    I responded by posting my open letter to the Chalcedon Foundation (directed to him per his instruction) on my website to encourage others to do likewise. What do you know? I received another email from Ortiz, riddled with his own attempt to blame me and justify himself. I posted this as an addendum today, addressing this email that he sent to me. The following is posted on my website for those who are interested.

    DAMAGE CONTROL EMAIL

    UPDATE: 20Jun07
    After posting this open letter online, I did hear back from Chris Ortiz in a “damage control” email, thanking my husband and me for our years of support, among other things. Because of Chris Ortiz has concerns about privacy concerning these matters, and because the letter does not portray him favorably, I do not post it here. (Contact him for a copy.)

    I will however include this excerpt from that letter:

    “I have no intention of attacking either you or the Epsteins.”

    (Seems like a thinly veiled insinuation that he has considered attack or warns me that he can attack me, doesn’t it?)

    ~~~~~
    This is a lovely example of how The Doug and his high-powered croanies do business.

    I don’t know if any of you saw the first statement that Chris made on the Chalcedon blog. Apparently, Chris said that a friend of Doug’s appealed to him to remove it.

    ~~~~~~
    Chalcedon Blog

    Monday, May 07, 2007
    In Defense of Doug Phillips
    A letter is circulating within the isolated halls of the Christian homeschooling blogosphere that represents an appeal to the homeschooling community of both individuals and organizations to disassociate themselves from the “ecclesiastical tyranny,” and other assorted evils, of Doug Phillips, founder and president of Vision Forum.

    I am responding to this letter only because the appeal is made to associated organizations that might “give him a platform from which he can promote his views.” The writer seeks to “protect the Christian homeschool movement” by isolating and relegating Doug Phillips “to the outer fringes where he properly belongs, and where he can do little harm.”

    For a good many years, the Chalcedon Foundation, and the Rushdoony family, have enjoyed a mutually edifying friendship with Doug, his personal family, his father (Howard), and many of the fine staff at Vision Forum. Doug Phillips was a featured speaker in 2005 at our 40th anniversary conference and is a vocal endorser of the ministry of R. J. Rushdoony. Granted, I’ve rarely met Christian leaders that agree on every point, but the calling for Doug’s isolation is an unjust and immoral appeal. It lacks a Biblical basis, and despite the author’s denial, reeks of a personal vendetta.

    The author of the letter is a woman by the name of Jennifer Epstein. Her and her husband Mark have both hosted and participated in a number of web sites focusing on Doug Phillips and Vision Forum (See Jen’s Gems, Ministry Watchman, and Ultimate Truth). The word count dedicated to “exposing” Doug Phillips is enormous.

    Mrs. Epstein extensively details the problematic relationship with Doug Phillips at her blog, “Jen’s Gems: Exposing Doug Phillips’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny” — a rather odd title for a blog. I’m not sure how the “Jen’s Gems” part fits with “exposing ecclesiastical tyranny.” How is public exposure of a Christian leader a gem?

    The account of the Epsteins and Doug Phillips is too detailed to cover here. Although that history is needed to understand the full context of any events, only Jennifer Epstein has taken the time to type it out. Doug has not. Therefore, the story is one-sided, and for that reason, no responsible Christian should respectfully adhere to her admonishment to dissolve a working relationship with Doug Phillips and Vision Forum.

    The local church in which the Epsteins encountered Doug, and where Doug serves as an elder, did release a few official statements regarding the Epstein controversy. You can read them here. This is a disappointing and obviously painful history for all parties involved, but the efforts being made by the Epsteins to discredit Doug Phillips are irresponsible, in my opinion.

    Let me say at the outset that I have no doubt that the Epsteins have experienced great personal pain brought on by themselves and possibly by the actions and treatment of others. Because we are not privy to both sides, we cannot make a judgment as to the nature of their case. We also shouldn’t need to. This is a private ecclesiastical matter that should not be burning up the blogosphere. That’s where I have a problem.

    The Epsteins struggled severely for a good many years due to an act of adultery on the part of Jennifer Epstein that led to the birth of a child that they put up for adoption. This transgression occurred prior to the Epsteins becoming Christians, and Jennifer regularly insists that her sin is off limits for consideration by her husband, Mark, or anyone else that might criticize her. Christ has forgiven her, and so should everyone else. Fair enough.

    However, years of anger had built up in Mark Epstein, and their marriage deteriorated to the threshold of divorce. Jennifer viewed the problem as primarily Mark’s anger over her past adultery. This is not surprising. Such a thing is no cakewalk for a man, as the Scriptures declare:

    For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, thou that givest many gifts. ~ Proverbs 6:34-35

    I have a very close Christian friend whose marriage finally ended in divorce for the very same reasons. His wife committed adultery with the worship leader of their local church. She repented of it, but he could never forget about it. This affected him emotionally, and soon others would accuse him of being bi-polar and in need of medication for his seasons of anger toward his wife.

    Anger, like pain, is the indication that something is terribly wrong. Anger doesn’t linger, or increase, if there’s nothing to be angry about. It’s likely, with the Epsteins, that Mark was experiencing the lack of justice or restitution for the sins committed against him. Like my friend, asking him to forgive and forget was a tall order.

    This is why God permits divorce for adultery. The “excommunication” is part of the restoration process for the offended spouse. Mark was not able to experience this. He continued to live with the woman that caused his personal pain. This only encouraged his imagination to replay his wife’s adultery. Giving birth to the child must have significantly compounded Mark’s heartache. But Jennifer decries anyone that mentions the “sin” which she committed before she became a Christian. Practically, this is an unreasonable request when it becomes the source of later tension that itself becomes the source of a local church conflict. You reap what you sow.

    The season of their greatest struggle was spent at Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA), the home church of Doug and Beall Phillips. Jennifer provides a detailed account of her version of the transpiring events that prompted her campaign to “expose” Doug Phillips. The leaders at BCA emphatically deny these allegations, and two other churches provide their confirmations that seriously question the Epsteins’ allegations. Despite this, the Epsteins continue to defame the names of Doug and Beall Phillips as well as the ministries of Vision Forum and the associated National Center for Family-Integrated Churches.

    Much of the accusation — as the title of Jennifer’s web site implies — is focused upon what Epstein describes as “ecclesiastical (and patriarchal) tyranny,” i.e. the oppression of women within the Christian home, and the suppression of Mrs. Epstein within the church. In one sense, Doug is absorbing the general criticism of all patriarchy adherents. This is hardly justified. The theological discussion of patriarchy should be engaged in a different forum by someone other than Jennifer Epstein.

    As to the personal allegations, the evidence is circumstantial. Phillips denies these accusations, but he has not sought to publicly defame the Epsteins. He’s also not written a response to every detail of Jennifer’s account. I think this is wise. Since Doug is the face of Vision Forum, and the Epsteins intend to tarnish both, Doug must respond to this as any sizable organization would — with official statements. The more the Epsteins drone on about Doug on their respective blogs, the more this appears to be a personal vendetta. I cannot see what good they hope to obtain by this method.

    Again, I am only responding for the sake of those few readers of this blog that are also familiar with Doug Phillips and Vision Forum. You are probably aware of the extended friendship between Chalcedon and Vision Forum. They have done much to introduce a great many to the work of R. J. Rushdoony. We know Doug. We don’t know the Epsteins. So, when I became aware of the intent of the Epstein’s letter, I felt it necessary to say something in response.

    I’m sure the testimony of Mrs. Epstein regarding the painful path of her marriage is valid and her feelings real. I hope that she understands that regardless of Christ’s forgiveness, there is often a harvest for seed we’ve sown. I admire their attempts at making their marriage work, and I genuinely hope they can find the peace they’re looking for. I would caution them from redirecting their pain and bitterness from themselves to Doug Phillips. You cannot blame him for your history. Remember, none of this would have developed had the initial transgression not been committed. To lay their present burden at the doorstep of Doug Phillips is an unjust balance — something the Lord hates (Prov. 11:1).

    The damage is done. She has sent out her letter and posted all the details on her web site. She has admonished Christian organizations like Chalcedon to disassociate themselves from Doug Phillips because of her personal encounter with him. This is faulty reasoning. The two things are not connected. She knows this. Therefore, to make it sound less personal, she has expanded the tarnishing of Doug Phillips by introducing other accusations.

    She accuses Doug of being “insensitive and callous” regarding an article he wrote after the Virginia Tech shooting in which he suggested that students should be permitted to carry guns. She brings up an internal dispute about the veracity of a documentary entitled “Raising the Allosaur.” She accuses Phillips of being a closet racist because of his endorsement of the writings of R. L. Dabney. (Well, that would put a great many of us in the same light. I love Dabney).

    Do you see the problem here? These are important issues, but they are also disputes over doctrine or debates over social positions such as slavery or the second amendment. They hardly warrant the sort of defamation campaign the Epsteins are presently pushing.

    Therefore, there is no other conclusion than that the Epsteins are doing this for personal reasons. To say this has to do with protecting the reputation of homeschooling in general is beyond disingenuous. At one point in her letter she mentions the indelible issue of her adultery; that subject we’re all supposed to forget about:

    Without any due process whatsoever, Doug Phillips unjustly excommunicated us for sins that we’d already repented of, as well as sins for which there wasn’t a shred of evidence to support. In fact, one of Doug’s charges against Jen was over a sin that she had committed years before she had even become a Christian, and years after she had repented of that sin! The Lord Jesus forgave her of that sin over seventeen years ago, but apparently Doug Phillips’ standards of forgiveness are far higher than the Lord’s.

    This one was hard to swallow. The prose makes it sound as if Mark is making this statement, but if you read Jennifer’s whole account regarding her own marital strife, Mark was the one who struggled most with “forgiving” her:

    “Mark continued to grow increasingly angry, threatening divorce almost daily, until one day it seemed as if it would become a reality. Retiring from 20 years in the Army, he had a job offer in another state and decided to leave us for good.”

    “Things were becoming so bad at home, however, as the emotional abuse escalated to new heights and we began fearing for our physical safety, that I decided to formally approach Mark in March 2004 in the spirit of Matthew 18 as well, pleading with him to repent from his anger and to turn his heart toward his family again.”

    For years his deep resentment resulted in constant anger, threats of divorce, and finally endangerment. However, this letter makes it sound as if Mark is bewildered at how Doug can’t seem to find forgiveness for Jennifer’s 17 year-old act of adultery: “The Lord Jesus forgave her of that sin over seventeen years ago, but apparently Doug Phillips’ standards of forgiveness are far higher than the Lord’s.” Are they kidding?

    Folks, this is a private conflict that one party has decided to make public. And, if the principle of forgiveness is supposed to reign here, then why doesn’t Jennifer follow her own standard? If she can criticize her own husband for not forgiving her past sin, and she can criticize Doug for the same, then why can’t she simply release Doug as well and move on with her life?

    She doesn’t want to. She wants justice! That’s what her husband sought all those many years. He was sinned against, and there seemed to be no penalty. Jennifer simply let her adultery and illegitimate child be washed away in the blood of Jesus and the adoption agency. Mark would have to forgive as Christ forgave. He struggled with that. There was no justice for him.

    Yet, she will have her day of justice against Doug Phillips — even if she has to ruin his life’s work to do it. She claims she has sought reconciliation through proper channels on two different occasions. That’s well and good. In both instances, she says, Doug refused their offers of reconciliation. That’s also well and good. Then she says, “We’re not motivated by vengeance. We’re motivated by a genuine concern for the well being of the Christian home school movement.”

    This logic does not follow. How does one go from failure to personally reconcile over a serious ecclesiastical matter to warning the public about a man’s beliefs about patriarchy, the second amendment, and reading an old Southern theologian that endorsed slavery? How does one make such a leap? Her personal conflict with Doug Phillips does not warrant a public defamation of his ministry.

    The Epsteins want justice — plain and simple. They claim they’re following the Scriptures in approaching Doug Phillips. Now, Doug has left them with no recourse. They are going to a higher authority, i.e. the public! They should be going to God. It’s not their responsibility to extract this justice by their own hand. They are seeking penalties by defaming the Phillips’ name and hindering the work of Vision Forum. If you read their personal account, you’ll see the motivation is highly personal. Jennifer Epstein states the purpose for her letter to homeschoolers regarding Doug Phillips by writing:

    “It’s vital that the most prominent of our home school leadership be men and women of impeccable reputation and strong moral character. We’re* very concerned that one of the most prominent of our home education leaders runs the risk of causing the entire home school movement great damage.”

    I would agree. Impeccable reputation and strong moral character are vital. However, does this not assume that she is both an example of such an impeccable reputation and a clear judge of that same quality in others? She herself states that she is a part of the “home school leadership”:

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

    *Notice the change from second to first person in this last paragraph. Although the letter is signed by “Mark and Jennifer Epstein,” it’s obviously her letter.

    I don’t think a woman suffering years from a crumbling marriage brought on by her own immorality, and facing church discipline, is an example of impeccable reputation and strong moral character. Therefore, she is on very weak ground to be spreading her side of the BCA controversy all over the internet. After all, I found out about this letter on a secular web site that regularly condemns Christian conservatives. These are sites that already war against homeschooling and regularly have men like Doug Phillips in their crosshairs. Mrs. Epstein has made a bold step in making these matters public. She better hope she’s right. The heavenly reciprocity may not be to her liking.

    posted by Chris Ortiz at 5:02 PM

  45. CynthiaGee Says:

    Chris asks,
    ” How does one go from failure to personally reconcile over a serious ecclesiastical matter to warning the public about a man’s beliefs about patriarchy, the second amendment, and reading an old Southern theologian that endorsed slavery? ”

    OH, the irony! Chris, perhaps Doug and the other neoConfederate sympathizing dominionists are finally reaping the harvest that THEY have sown!
    They picked the wrong family to push around — instead of just quietly disappearing, Jen and Mark went public, shouted the news of Doug’s unforgiving actions from the housetops. One thing led to another, and one by one the skeletons have come marching out of the Dominionist closet to parade across Blogdom, and now people are recognising the hyperpatriarchs’ racist, pseudo-religious political movement for what it is : a racist, pseudo-religious political movement!

  46. CynthiaGee Says:

    BTW, Cindy, I do realize that YOU posted Chris’s letter here, but just in case Chris is reading, I addessed my comment to him directly.

  47. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Cynthia,

    My husband said you are a true polemisist (sp?). (A high complement from him!)

  48. CynthiaGee Says:

    LOL!!! Thank you (I think…..)!

  49. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Cynthia,

    Write to Chris directly. Maybe you can get a non-threat threat, too.

    He did say that he didn’t want people who were critics of Chalcedon to get information from his private response to me because it’s bad for theonomy and Reconstructionism. I don’t get any of that, since the bad press really points at the personal relationship between Phillips and him. So keep that in mind if you want to write to him directly. He’s sensitive about perhaps revealing his “open book.” What gets me is that a few kind words could have played me and placated me, but he must make these poorly considered statements, both public and private. And now I’m all the more polemic!

    So far as I know, he hasn’t corresponded with Jen personally at all, so her non-threat threat came vicariously.

  50. CynthiaGee Says:

    Hmmph… Chris Ortiz can say all the kind words he wants, but if public scrutiny, truth-telling, and the plain light of day “is bad for theonomy and Reconstructionism”, or anything else, that proves to me that I’m correct in criticizing and opposing it.
    God is truth, in Him there is no falsehood at all, and if a thing is adversely affected by truthful public exposure, chances are that it’s something that Christians hadn’t ought to be messing with anyway.

  51. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Cynthia Gee writes: God is truth, in Him there is no falsehood at all, and if a thing is adversely affected by truthful public exposure, chances are that it’s something that Christians hadn’t ought to be messing with anyway.

    This was my undergirding thought when I copied my correspondence to Jen. I assumed that both Chris and I wanted to get to the truth so that God could work repentance and reconcilliation. It’s obvious now why I was confused by his protest to the cc to Jen. And then we are painted as vile gossips?

  52. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Cynthia Gee: LOL!!! Thank you (I think…..)!

    He married me, so it’s all good. LOL!!!

    I’m so glad that you post here!

  53. CynthiaGee Says:

    I’m glad you post here, too, Cindy, your posts are welll researched and well written, and your’e just a bit of a wiseguy – I like that.
    As for me, maybe I should post under the pseudonym,
    “PA Pole(mi)Cat”, LOL….

  54. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Don’t hate us, Mike!

  55. Mike Says:

    “Don’t hate us, Mike!”

    I love mankind. It’s just people I can’t stand. LOL!

  56. Rob Says:

    I was wondering why Little Bear was no longer in the Vision Forum catalogs. I guess this explains why.

  57. The Vision Forum: Patriarchy Weirdness Exposed | Accountability In Ministry Says:

    […] factor about Patriarchy, at least with the leadership of the movement. For example, one of the commenters on Jen’s Gems made mention of some weird goings on at The Vision Forum’s annual Father […]


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: