Doug Phillips Refuses To Hire Women At Vision Forum

But If Doug Phillips Says He Doesn’t Hire Women, Then What Are All Those Females Doing Working At Vision Forum?

Doug Phillips has a policy against hiring women employees. In fact, he’s privately boasted to various men, “I don’t hire women.” If you ask him why he doesn’t hire women, you’re likely to get a very Bill Gothard-like response about the sin of females being out from under the “umbrella of authority” of their husbands or fathers.

Doug Phillips has often been heard to say, “Your wife is your helpmeet, and not another man’s.” What he means by this is that if a wife, or even a daughter, is employed by “another man,” then she becomes that man’s helpmeet. Doug Phillips has also been heard to say, “Too many problems with having women in the workplace.”

Most people wouldn’t be aware of Doug’s anti-female hiring policies. After all, even though he’s privately quite proud of himself for it, it’s still not something that he’d probably want to advertise.

Doug Phillips knows that women are the primary readers of his Vision Forum catalog, and women place most of the orders from his catalog. Just imagine what might happen if he had a statement in the Vision Forum catalog, “Vision Forum is an all male employee business and does not hire females.”

Even though many of the women who patronize Vision Forum know that Doug Phillips is one of the chief spokesmen for the Patriarchy movement in America today, I seriously doubt that many of them are aware of Doug’s anti-female hiring policies. I think it only reasonable that this become common knowledge.

However, if you ever happen to visit The Vision Forum, don’t expect to see only males working there. In spite of what Doug Phillips privately boasts to various male colleagues and friends, you will regularly see female workers at The Vision Forum. They’re just not thought of by Doug as “employees.” In this way Doug gets to boast to fellow Patriarchs that he doesn’t “hire females,” and yet he still gets the benefit of their very competent labor. With such “straining at a gnat but swallowing a camel” thinking, Doug Phillips epitomizes the very reason why Jesus said, “Woe unto you lawyers.”

So if there are women workers at Vision Forum, but they’re not classified as “employees,” what are they? Some are unpaid volunteers. Others, however, are paid. They’re probably just not paid directly. Doug probably pays their husbands for their wives’ and daughters’ labor, or he makes some other arrangements so that he doesn’t have to pay them directly. That way Doug gets to say that he doesn’t hire women. This is just another expression of Doug’s Phariseeism — his Gothardite hyper-patriarchy.

Being a Pharisee can be challenging. It’s hard juggling all those legalistic balls and not dropping any. It becomes especially hard when Doug suddenly finds himself needing a bunch of additional workers. For Vision Forum, this happens very predictably, every year. Vision Forum’s busiest time of year is the Christmas season. Doug himself doesn’t celebrate Christmas. In fact, he disdains Christmas. He calls it a “Catholic holiday.” Doug hates Catholics in some ways even more than he hates pagans, atheists and feminists. When we were members of Boerne Christian Assembly we often heard Doug express his contempt for Catholics. This has never dissuaded him, though, from going all out in promoting this “Catholic holiday,” at least in the commercial sense.

Christmas for Doug isn’t a time to celebrate our Savior’s birth, but it is a time to celebrate other things, like, for instance, being able to rake in a big pile of cash. Christmas is big business, and in order to make that big business flow smoothly, and keep those shipments flying out the door, Doug has to hire a lot of extra help. Where does he get that help from? I’ll share that part a little later.

Several years ago I noticed the very obvious need that Doug had for additional workers to cover the Christmas season. Just like any other retail mail order business, Vision Forum’s Christmas-season business suddenly skyrockets, starting immediately after Thanksgiving. I wasn’t impressed at all with how Doug was addressing that short-term labor need. In fact, it appeared to me that the way that he went about addressing that labor need was a public image disaster just waiting to happen. So I made a suggestion to him: Organize home school families in the San Antonio area to come in and cover the short-term need. To me this made perfect sense. It would be a true win-win, and just about any of the work that needed doing could be easily accomplished by some home school families.

Doug is supposedly a big proponent of internships, cottage industry, family businesses and entrepreneurialism. He even offers an Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. What better way for Doug to promote his entrepreneurial internship vision than to hire home school kids and offer them a seasonal internship program at Vision Forum? In some cases it might be wise to also hire some moms, so that they could also supervise the kids.

To me it seemed like a great idea, but Doug hated it. Why did Doug hate it? For the same reason he hates having women employees. In Doug’s Gothardite Patriarchal view, females should never be out from under the “umbrella of authority” of their husbands; or if they don’t have a husband, then out from under the “authority umbrella” of their fathers. Hiring home school kids, supervised by their mothers, apparently violates this Gothard/Phillips principle. Doug preaches that it is a sin for a female to work outside the home, because in doing so she’s coming out from under the authority of her “head.” “Wives and daughters shouldn’t leave the home to be under the authority of another man. Females must remain under the authority of their husbands or fathers.” Doug could have hired just home school boys and then hired a home school dad to supervise them, but he wouldn’t consider doing even that.

So what about those women who do work at Vision Forum? Why, in Doug’s view, are they not out from under their “authority umbrellas”? Apparently the reason why is because some of them are probably just unpaid volunteers. It’s not clear to me why that logically should make any difference, but apparently it’s logical in Doug’s mind. Even the Phillips’ family nannies, maids, and maintenance workers are often unpaid volunteers. Several young ladies have worked in the Phillips’ home for many years, unpaid. From all accounts, most of these young ladies are anything but financially well off. Sometimes, though, Doug does pay their travel expenses to send them on a Faith and Freedom Tour with him and his family, so they can take care of his children there as well.

One poor family has the mother, daughter, and son all volunteering at the Phillips’ home on a regular basis. Doug appears more than pleased to daily “oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy” (Deut 24:14) and have them come out from under their “authority umbrella” to come and help raise Doug’s children. There are also other women who work for Doug as unpaid volunteers. They do so at Vision Forum’s facilities. Just like with his unpaid poor nannies and maids, Doug sees no inconsistencies between what he preaches and what he practices.

Some of the other women who work at Vision Forum are the wives and daughters of male Vision Forum employees. Rather than legally hiring the women, Doug probably pays their husbands or fathers for the time that they work there. In Doug’s mind, those women don’t work for him — they’re working for their husbands or fathers, who in turn work for Doug. In order for that to make any sense, the first thing you’ll have to do is disregard the fact that most, if not all of those women, aren’t working for their husbands or fathers at all. In most cases their husbands or fathers don’t supervise them at all. In most, if not all cases, those women are clear on the opposite side of the building and their husbands or fathers may not see them at all, but perhaps at the lunch break.

Back now to the “Catholic holiday” season. How does Doug cope with the sudden demand for additional labor? He hires employees through a Temporary Agency. Does Doug get to tell the Temp Agency to only send him male workers? No, that would be job discrimination. Doug could get into big trouble for that. Does he get to tell the Temp Agency, “I don’t want any Catholics or pagans. We’re a Christian business, so I only want Baptists”? No, again, that would job discrimination. Doug could get into trouble, so he doesn’t do that.

Christmas season at Vision Forum is truly a sight to behold. The warehouse is full of foul-mouthed, scantily-clad, non-Christian males and females processing orders for this so-called family-friendly Christian business. Break times and lunch time are an even more disturbing sight. Many of the temp workers go out into the alley in back of Vision Forum’s building to puff their cigarettes. After a few weeks, the alley literally piles up with cigarette butts and even empty beer bottles.

To me it’s very sad that Doug never took my advice about hiring home school kids instead of temps from a Temp Agency. Perhaps he rejected the idea only because it came from a woman? I don’t know. What I do know is that this is just another one of the many examples of Doug Phillips’ hypocrisy.

A Father’s Day Poem

by Doug Phillips

The Patriarch

More noble than the valiant deeds of shining knights of yore,
More powerful than earthly plights that make the rich man poor,
More kingly than a royal throne or a lion with his pride,
Is he whose babes sleep well at night sure Daddy will provide.

There is a spirit in this land and Jezebel’s her name.
She’s calling you to leave your home for power, fun, and fame.
She wants your wife, your children too — she’ll never compromise,
Until your house is torn in two by listening to her lies.

But though a hundred thousand million men may fall prey to her lures,
And wives en masse leave home in search of “more fulfilling” chores,
Though preachers praise, and friends embrace, her pagan plan of death,
Stand strong and quit you like a man with every blessed breath.

Stand strong and rise, O man of God, to meet this noble call,
The battle is not new you see, it’s been here since the Fall.

Your wife is your helpmeet, my friend, and not another man’s,
So care for her and keep her far from Mistress Jezi’s plans.
Protect, provide, and give to her your undivided life,
This is the dear one of your youth, your precious bride, your wife.

And rally to those tiny ones who trust you for their care —
A lifetime spent discipling them’s a lifetime pure and rare.
For when they put their hand in yours and know a Daddy’s love,
You’re showing them a picture of the Father from above.

Look not toward worldly goal or gain, or for your liberty,
Look only into their sweet eyes to find your ministry.
Devote your heart and sacrifice and make your manly mark —
There is none so great as he who finds his call as patriarch.

Posted by Doug Phillips on June 19, 2005

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440 Responses to “Doug Phillips Refuses To Hire Women At Vision Forum”

  1. Bryan Says:

    For the folks who don’t believe the Epsteins and don’t like some of the tone here:

    Let’s step back and look at the big picture. The Epsteins maintain that they have basically been spiritually raped by Doug Phillips.

    I’ll state it again so that it can sink in: The Epsteins maintain that they have basically been spiritually raped by Doug Phillips.

    I will grant that that makes NO EXCUSE for sarcasm, etc., but it seems to me that the Doug defenders who come here who “aren’t sure” of what the truth really is, and haven’t taken the time and effort to read all of the information and documentation at the top left hand side of this blog (“Begin Here”) should stop telling the Epsteins how to act.

    The Epsteins know how to act. They have admitted on thier blogs that they are imperfect people and have made mistakes and have sinned.

    What the Epstein detractors are missing is the pride and arrogance of Doug Phillips, and the fact that the Epsteins have a biblical duty to warn the brethren of this alleged spiritual rapist.

    Yes, there is probably some bitterness. I’ve never been spritually abused, but some of the posters to this blog have, and I am sure they can testify (and have) as to the emotional wounds they have endured.

    So, please have some grace towards the Epsteins, and do your homework. You might learn that Doug Phillips is not the paragon of virtue that he makes himself out to be. Yet you have the Epsteins, who have admitted on their blogs that they have sinned and have made mistakes, as opposed to the untouchable man in the castle who hides behind lawyers and staff and anonymous blogs (“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”)

    As a longtime Vision Forum/Doug Phillips supporter, I was aghast to find out about this. I was tempted to dismiss Jen’s account out of hand until I started reading ALL of the documentation.

    So, please do your due diligence. And please pray for Doug, that he would stop hiding and be the bigger man and show some humility and grace towards the Epsteins, per Galatians 6:1. (“Gentleness”)

    Again, for the record, I am NOT excusing any sinning here by any bloggers. But some of you “critics” are “straining at knats and swallowing camels”.

    If, after you’ve reviewed ALL of the documentation, you don’t arrive at the same conclusion that many of us here have, that’s your perogative. But please save your pious “hand-wringing” about the tone here until you’ve done your homework. And if you think my tone is sarcastic, I’m sorry about that. I’m angry that one of my longtime heroes seems to have spritually raped (allegedly-I don’t want to be sued by a fellow Christian!) a family who was entrusted to his care. So strain at my gnat, but don’t swallow the camel.

    Oh, and lest you think it’s limited to the Epsteins, you might want to do the research on the “Raising the Allosaur” DVD –see dinodeception.com . If that’s too unreliable for you, then check out Greg Bahnsen’s article .

    And there are others as well. Be Bereans. Check to see whether or not these things are true. CHeck to see if there’s a pattern of arrogance and deception. In my opinion, “I dont know if it’s true or not, but … blah blah blah” is a cop-out. It tells me you’re either too lazy or too scared to do the research yourself.

    Third time:
    The Epsteins maintain that they have basically been spiritually raped by Doug Phillips.

    As I understand it, this blog is to serve as a warning to the Body of Christ, and a plea to Doug Phillips to repent.

    Jen and Mark, if this is not the case, then please correct me and I will apologize to Doug Phillips for besmirching his good name on this blog.

  2. Corrie Says:

    Definition of snob:

    a person with an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth who seeks to associate with social superiors and dislikes people or activities that are considered lower class; a person who believes their tastes in a certain area are superior to those of other people

  3. Corrie Says:

    truewomanhood.wordpress.com

    There is some good discussion concerning women working and the recent Kevin Swanson podcast with the Botkin girls. You really need to listen to the podcast.

    Also, as Spunky has already pointed out in this thread that women work for VF, she has also discovered that Kevin Swanson’s ministry has women working for him but they are on loan from their fathers.

    I have to wonder why a father can’t loan his daughter out to Walmart or Dairy Queen if other fathers can loan their daughters out to VF and other ministries who teach it is sin for a daughter to work for another man and that she should not be working alongside other men as their equals?

    You see, when we start going beyond scripture in what it teaches it is IMPOSSIBLE to be consistent and it just showcases the hypocrisy in this extra-biblical systems.

    I don’t know if I would like my daughter spending all her time working for another family, taking care of another person’s children, especially without pay all the while they write against working women and how they should not be working for another man.

  4. Corrie Says:

    truewomanhood.wordpress.com

    There is some good discussion concerning women working and the recent Kevin Swanson podcast with the Botkin girls. You really need to listen to the podcast.

    They excuse by saying that it is hard to apply their rules in this modern economy!

    I wouldn’t think it would be that hard. Just do NOT hire women! It seems pretty easy to me.

    Also, as Spunky has already pointed out in this thread that women work for VF, she has also discovered that Kevin Swanson’s ministry has women working for him but they are on loan from their fathers.

    I have to wonder why a father can’t loan his daughter out to Walmart or Dairy Queen if other fathers can loan their daughters out to VF and other ministries who teach it is sin for a daughter to work for another man and that she should not be working alongside other men as their equals?

    You see, when we start going beyond scripture in what it teaches it is IMPOSSIBLE to be consistent and it just showcases the hypocrisy in this extra-biblical systems.

    I don’t know if I would like my daughter spending all her time working for another family, taking care of another person’s children, especially without pay all the while they write against working women and how they should not be working for another man.

  5. Bryan Says:

    One more for the detractors here.

    See if your thinking lines up with this article:

    Free Speech Is Unfair To Losers

    One quote from the article:

    “When people become afraid of following a thought to its logical conclusion, they can no longer think.”

  6. Spunky Says:

    Thanks for your reply Mrs. H.

    You said, “am cautious when it comes to Doug Phillip’s ministry for one reason; Vision Forum’s heavy reliance upon the Old Testament. To me there is not a good balance of Old Testament/New Testament.

    That is the only opinion I have at the moment. I do not have the time nor the desire to research and gather information on the other aspects of his ministry because I am not affected by it in any way. To become caught up in all of this is not what the Lord wants for me right now. I am focused on other things that are just as important.

    I hope that answers your questions!

    I stumbled upon this blog after Googling “Doug Phillips” to gather information about him as I was going to be hearing him speak. I became alarmed by the content of this blog, and have since made my concerns known.”

    It doesn’t answer my questions, but since you admit no apparent interest in hearing more about the ministry of a man you plan to hear speak due to other contraints on your time, I’ll let it stand and move on.

    You said in another comment,

    “If the Epsteins want this blog to be taken seriously, and to bring glory to God, why did they not correct their daughter when she made her derogatory statement about this gentleman? NO ONE corrected her!”

    You have articulated my exact predicament with Doug Phillips. I have taken his teaching seriously as a man who desires to bring glory to God. But then I began to ask,

    Where are the men holding Doug Phillips accountable his response to the excommunication?

    Where are the men holding Doug Phillips accountable for the “anonymous Supreme Court justice” accusations toward a fellow employee and previous friend of Doug Phillips, David Linton? Without the name of the justice this is unadulterated gossip by a witness who refuses to identify himself. The Vision Forum website calls such behavior “talebearing” and against the word of God.
    Why isn’t anyone holding Doug Phillips accountable for an anonymous church website with no elders listed, no contact information, and no email?

    Where are the men holding Doug Phillips accountable for using women in the workplace along side men?

    Where are the men holding Doug Phillips accountable for contracting with a company that allows women to be the public representation of his ministry devoted to the rebuilding of the family, Patriarchy, and the Dominion Mandate?

    Where are the men holding Doug Phillips accountable for quoting from documents but not providing the originals for verification?

    Where are the men holding Doug Phillips accountable for altering documents he is quoting from and potentially changing the intent of the authors?

    Where are the men holding Doug Phillips accountable for the anonymous website Still Fed UP? There is no way to validate that Doug Phillips is NOT involved in any way with that site. Unless Vision Forum repudiates that site and releases the names of its authors (if they know them) we cannot with certainty say that Doug Phillips is not involved.

    In short, why isn’t anyone holding Doug Phillips accountable for his response to this situation?

    So your frustration with the response of the Epsteins is echoed in my frustration as a supporter of Doug Phillips. Like Natasha’s actions, Doug Phillips actions don’t appear to be above reproach and becoming a man of God, an elder, an a leader in the homeschool community.

    And like you rightly asked about her parents willingness to hold her accountable, I ask…

    Where are the MEN holding Doug Phillips accountable?

    They are SILENT.

    And because they are silent, this blog exists. There is no where else to appeal the concerns many have with Vision Forum and Doug Phillips. I have tried to express my concerns privately. Dialogue was shut down. There is no place for comments on the blog of Doug Phillips, their church website, or the anonymous blogs that represent them. So like it or not, this is the only place people have to express their concerns.

    So Mrs. H, revising your question above, I ask

    If Doug Phillips wants his ministry to be taken seriously and bring glory to God, where are the MEN who are holding Doug Phillips accountable for his response to this situation?

    The silence of Vision Forum men in response to Doug Phillips response, speaks volumes to this homeschooling mother of 6 who has met him personally, heard him speak, bought hundreds of dollars worth of his materials, and publically and privately endorsed his ministry.

    Until the real men of courage within Vision Forum decide to speak and allow their supporters to ask valid questions, this blog will continue to exist and increase in readership.

  7. Jean Says:

    Corrie,

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Botkin interview. I encourage others to go listen (but wait 30 minutes after eating). After listening to it myself, I have some comments.

    First, it was no “interview,” it was a book promo spot…lots of leading questions with pat answers. Didn’t sound genuine at all to me.

    Swanson asked the Botkin girls (ages 18 and 20) how their “vision prepares them for when they grow up, when the get married, when they have children.” Key words are “grow up.” These are young ladies, not grown ups! They are not remotely qualified to offer advice on how to be a wife and mother.

    His questions (and their vision) also assume there will be a marriage and that there will be children. Should either of these young women even find suitable mates that pass father’s approval, will there be supreme disappointment if the proper number of children are not forthcoming? So much of the worth of the woman is tied up with childbearing in this vision.

    Swanson also asks the girls why folks should buy their book. The girls answer by stating that young women today have a huge amount of influence. That really didn’t make sense to me. Swanson then adds that this book will have economic and social consequences. I would agree, but would go further to say that it will have a positive consequence on the Botkin bank account and a negative consequence on society.

    If the info in their book is so important, and the message of their video is so important, why do they not make them available free of charge? This is another example of those in the patriarchy camp turning a twisted biblical interpretation into a family fortune. And there are so many unsuspecting families that will scrape together pennies to have the latest thing to insure family success. They’d be better to dust off their bibles and dig in.

    Also, I thought patriarchists frowned upon peers teaching peers. The Botkin sisters really want lots of young girls to buy their book. Hmmmm. I detect some hypocrisy.

    Have a pleasant day,

    Jean

  8. Red Ink Says:

    Praying for Revealing:

    I can’t find the Nazi comment – so maybe it wasn’t explicit and just an unfair reductio on my part – so I’ll go ahead and apologize for perpetuating that little gem without evidence. It’s likely – though I haven’t looked exhaustively – that I made it up. I’m given to hyperbole – something none of you would probably know but my friends have all gotten used to. I was sloppy and I’m sorry.

    The Salem Witch Trials thing did rub me the wrong way. Sorry if being lumped in with a bunch of murderous tyrants got me all flustered. It’s just that I’m not a big fan of killing women and infants, and it’s not pleasant to be told that my theology will lead there. It strikes me as name-calling, and not really a very good argument in the first place.

    You said:

    “I didn’t “grin” when I read that. I cringed. When you enter someone’s blog, wielding your sword, don’t be surprised if others pull out their shields in self-defense.”

    I came in, and offered a helpful comment about spell-checking. My schtick about underlining lies was in no way meant to be an attack. Both sides have tossed around accusations of lies. I let myself dream – if only for a second – that some magical program could do all of the difficult work for me.

    That it made you cringe is unfortunate, but not surprising to me. You also seem to think I’m a Doug Supporter, and lump me in with a group that, as far as I can tell, is comprised mostly of his mindless sycophants (if they do indeed exist). Given those assumptions, it’s easy to read what I said the wrong way. If I had thought more carefully about my audience, I would have phrased it much differently. Sorry again for being sloppy.

    For the record:

    1. My parents aren’t Christian, I was government schooled, and the only contact I’ve ever had with Vision Forum was a single flip through one of their catalogs once. I glibly wrote it off as American Homeschool Kitsch.

    2. If Doug Phillips were deposed, defrocked, defenestrated, or any other some such tomorrow, it wouldn’t wound my pride in the slightest. I have no emotion invested in the man, outside of a concern for the greater church.

    3. Far from being one of Jen’s accusers, I have found her to be pleasant and fun to talk to. She’s even shot some of my jokes back at me, and I find a sense of humor in these types of situations admirable and necessary. My beef with her is theological. We can sort that out on blogs just fine.

    4. I could respond point-by-point to your MO comment, but the fact that I didn’t begin my first comment talking about Doug, tried manfully not to accuse but merely to ask questions, am responding to you know and have tried to respond in the past (but may have missed a few questions in the billion comments), am not now avoiding the questions but answering you directly, have engaged with those who have charged me with informal fallacies on the basis of the merit of those accusations, have never said I was persecuted but merely said I’ve been called a few unkind things, stayed for more than three days, never had a blog to take down, never said I was leaving, never had to avoid posting in order to keep some previous promise, and have appreciated Lucy’s presence but didn’t ever accuse anybody here of not understanding a principle tenant of our faith, should make the whole MO thing moot to begin with. Besides, I hate lists and run-on-sentences.

    Bryan,

    Yes, I got upset when I was compared to the rabble-rousers of Salem. Some of the other comments, even today, strike me as crazed and unChristian for no good reason at all. I would think, though, that choosing to sleep on it rather than post hastily (which, oftentimes, resulted in me forgoing posting a comment at all) would be commendable, rather than grounds for lumping me in with over-emotional reactionary Dougites.

    I’ve read everything Jen has written on this blog, most of it multiple times. I’ve read SFU, Mrs Bino, Ultimate Truth, and all of the documents produced by BCA on their sites. I’ve done my homework. I’ve gone to summer school, even, and am applying for a graduate degree in Epsteinology. I’d also like to think I’ve extended the Epsteins some grace, and I tried to ask more questions than point fingers.

    It also seems to me that, under normal circumstances, if somebody said “I’m offended,” most Christians in daily life would apologize and remedy the situation immediately. When that has happened here, often people have rushed their own defenses. I don’t understand this behavior.

    You’re probably not addressing me specifically (or maybe not even generally) in your post, but my position all along has not been one of placing blame, but objecting to the whole notion of conducting this type of church business on a blog. I still have the same problems with it. Rather than confusing my gnats and camels, I’ve maintained that the tendency to misbehavior on blogs is one of the best proofs of it being a poor forum for ecclesiastical business. Face to face, people are civil, misunderstandings are easier to work out, and the audience can be controlled.

    Now, I’ve munched up a lot of words in a very off-topic way. I’ve said my piece. For the record, I’m sure everybody at Vision Forum is glad young ladies are there, regardless of how consistent it is with the theology.

    Can you imagine a packing and shipping room full of sweaty teenage boys? Two words.

    Locker room.

  9. Mrs. H Says:

    Spunky said: It doesn’t answer my questions, but since you admit no apparent interest in hearing more about the ministry of a man you plan to hear speak due to other constraints on your time, I’ll let it stand and move on.

    I never did hear him speak. I went to other speakers that benefited me more due to the content of their messages. Sorry I didn’t say that before! Please forgive me.

    Spunky, I have thought a lot about the position you find yourself in. I can only answer as to what I would do in your situation. If I had such questions about someone’s ministry (In short, why isn’t anyone holding Doug Phillips accountable for his response to this situation?) I would simply not buy from them anymore, not go to their website and not listen to their teachings.

    This happened to me awhile back with a homeschool ministry I just loved and benefited from. I noticed a shift in their priorities and their doctrine, and it bothered me enough that I ‘quit them’. I just stopped listening, buying or supporting them.

    You have also said: I am asking not as one who seeks to challenge your thoughts or opinions, but I genuinely desire to know how his actions and those of Vision Forum are perceived by others.

    You have also questioned how I feel about Doug’s stance on women working and attending college.

    I assume you are asking/investigating to aid in make decisions for your own family and their future. I will tell you that although I have gleaned much help and direction from homeschool support groups and ministries, all the decisions about college for our daughter, her working outside the home, my working outside the home, etc. will be determined by my husband, myself and the Word of God. Vision Forum has no sway on what we will do in the future, but God certainly does!

    I still have not looked through all the posts on this site concerning Doug Phillips. There is so much here, I don’t know that I could find the time to go through it all and still do the things I am supposed to do as wife and mother! I know that irks people here. I am going to make the attempt to read through some of it.

  10. Spunky Says:

    Tenets of Patriarchy #25.

    25. Fathers need to exercise discernment in the choices they make for their families and not simply drift with the cultural tide. Egalitarian feminism is an enemy of God and of biblical truth, but the need for care goes beyond this threat. The values of modern society are often at odds with those that accompany a biblical worldview. For example, fathers need self-consciously to resist the values of individualism at the expense of community, efficiency at the expense of relationships, and material well-being at the expense of spiritual progress. The world and the worldly church will cheer many choices that are detrimental to family sanctification. (Rom. 12:2; 1 Jn. 2:15)

    To the men of Vision Forum I ask, is using women in the warehouse beside men and allowing women to be a public representation of Vision Forum through accepting orders on the phone, more consistent with a biblical worldview or the modern values of a society which are “detrimental to the family sancitifcation.”

    The worldly accountants may cheer the resourcefulness and economic benefit of using women in the workplace, but what do the elders of Boerne Christian assembly say?

  11. T. Reformed Says:

    K says, “DP has no control over who works at a ‘call center’ or a temp agency. Most women do these jobs and not men. He cannot tell a temp agency or a call center only “women can work” and he knows this”.

    That’s exactly the problem, K. Why won’t you see the problem? Is it because you refuse to see? That’s no different from the spiritual blindness that Doug Phillips suffers from. That’s exactly how hypocrites become hypocrites. They harden their hearts, live in denial and turn a blind eye to their own mendacity.

    If wouldn’t bother me in the least if Phillips wanted to outsource his call center or all of his temporary labor needs. Let him outsource everything. I could care less. Lot’s of Christian businesses outsource. That’s not the issue.

    What bothers me is all this pietistic self-righteous Patriarchal Gothardism. What bothers me is that he says he doesn’t hire women, when he obviously does. Outsourcing it doesn’t mean that he’s not hiring women. He obviously is hiring women, as well as non-Christian women (and men). He could easily stop being a hypocrite by not outsourcing any more and bring it all inhouse and hiring only males.

    K, this whole thing is every bit as absurd is if Phillips were to say, “Vision Forum is a Christian business and we only hire Christians.” But then he outsources his call center to some company in India. Not only will none of those phone answerers be Christians, they’ll probably all be Hindus. In such an arrangement the fact would be that Phillips has “hired” pagan idolaters. Would it not be utter hypocrisy for him to continue saying, “Vision Forum is a Christian business and we only hire Christians”? Of course it would.

    Your defense that Phillips “has no control over who works at a call center” is absurd. He most certainly does have control. He exercises that control when he decides to outsource it in the first place, rather than hiring his own inhouse people.

    K, continue living in denial about the obvious, but the rest of us can plainly see what an utter hypocrite Doug Phillips is.

  12. Spunky Says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply Mrs. H. I will conisder your thoughts.

    One point of clarification you said, “You have also questioned how I feel about Doug’s stance on women working and attending college.

    I assume you are asking/investigating to aid in make decisions for your own family and their future. I will tell you that although I have gleaned much help and direction from homeschool support groups and ministries, all the decisions about college for our daughter, her working outside the home, my working outside the home, etc. will be determined by my husband, myself and the Word of God. Vision Forum has no sway on what we will do in the future, but God certainly does!

    I’m not typically in the habit of asking stangers their opinion on such matters, and I don’t recall doing so here. Perhaps you have me confused with someone else? (It’s easy to confuse people here.) However, like you, such decisions are made with my husband with the Word of God in our hand.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful reply.

  13. Mrs. H Says:

    Spunky said: I’m not typically in the habit of asking stangers their opinion on such matters, and I don’t recall doing so here. Perhaps you have me confused with someone else? (It’s easy to confuse people here.) However, like you, such decisions are made with my husband with the Word of God in our hand.

    Sorry Spunky, I must have confused you with someone else. I went back and looked and could not find where you had made that comment. Lots has been said here! Please forgive me.

  14. Praying For Revealing Says:

    Red Ink says, “I can’t find the Nazi comment” That’s because it doesn’t exist. Thanks for apologizing and admitting you made it up. Why then are you now falling back on the allegation that you were also accused of “witch-burning”? I asked you before if there was any evidence for that too? Where’s the evidence? Half an apology is really more like an excuse.

    I’ll accept your explanation about the spell-checker/lie-checker. However, you should accept me at my word when I tell you that I perceived not just that comment, but many of your comments, as provocative, accusatory and inflammatory.

    When you take as many swipes as you have, and especially when you openly defend and take sides with others who have consistently and repeatedly done far worse (Lucy, K, etc.), then don’t then try and play the part of the innocent, well intentioned, circumspect but misunderstood guy (I’ll have to add that one to the M.O. list).

    Thanks, however, for setting us all straight that you’re not a Doug sycophant. I’ll take you at your word on that.

    I also agree that the blogosphere is far from the ideal venue for resolving conflicts. Others too have raised this same objection. What would you propose as an alternative? What others have proposed is, “Just let it go. Take it down. Just move on. Forgive.” Blah, blah, blah. That, of course, isn’t conflict resolution. That’s just sweeping it under the rug. Living in denial. Pretending there isn’t a problem, when there obviously is.

    Until you or someone else can come up with something better, I’ll continue supporting the Epsteins in their blogging. It’s probably far from perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than anything else that I’ve heard proposed.

  15. CynthiaGee Says:

    K says, “DP has no control over who works at a ‘call center’ or a temp agency. Most women do these jobs and not men. He cannot tell a temp agency or a call center only “women can work” and he knows this”.”

    Then, WHY IS HE USING THE TEMP AGENCY????
    Nobody is twisting his arm, unless you care to anthropomorphize Avarice.

    Then again, maybe it doesn’t bother Doug to use THESE women. Think about it — Doug believes in predestination and limited atonement, doesn’t he? Maybe he thinks that most of these women and their families are going to Hell anyway, so it doesn’t make any difference if they work. He could rationalize this further by reasoning that exposure to the VisionForum materials will serve to facilitate the salvation of those women who are predestined to go to Heaven, while justifying the damnation of those who are Hellbound, since both will have been exposed to his “gospel”.

  16. Mrs. H Says:

    Jen wrote:

    Doug Phillips has a policy against hiring women employees.

    In Doug’s Gothardite Patriarchal view, females should never be out from under the “umbrella of authority” of their husbands; or if they don’t have a husband, then out from under the “authority umbrella” of their fathers.

    One poor family has the mother, daughter, and son all volunteering at the Phillips’ home on a regular basis.

    Some of the other women who work at Vision Forum are the wives and daughters of male Vision Forum employees. Rather than legally hiring the women, Doug probably pays their husbands or fathers for the time that they work there.

    Christmas season at Vision Forum is truly a sight to behold. The warehouse is full of foul-mouthed, scantily-clad, non-Christian males and females processing orders for this so-called family-friendly Christian business. Break times and lunch time are an even more disturbing sight. Many of the temp workers go out into the alley in back of Vision Forum’s building to puff their cigarettes. After a few weeks, the alley literally piles up with cigarette butts and even empty beer bottles.

    Can someone please direct me to the concrete evidence of these claims?

    Thanks

  17. David M Zuniga Says:

    “Red Ink”,

    In the spirit of fairness, given your mass excoriation… your “principle tenant” should have been “principal tenet”.

    Here are some good spelling rules for Christian bloggers, who seem to love to misspell certain words and mis-apply others:

    1) “I felt lead by God” only makes sense if God drops a big fishing weight on your head. Say “I felt LED by God” if you want to make sense.

    2) “The tenants of Scripture” might refer to all those folks that pay rent so they can live in the pages of God’s Word. “The TENETS of Scripture” are the principles or fundamental beliefs contained therein.

    3) Now to segue to your faux pas. A *principle* is a tenet, whereas a *principal* is first, highest, or foremost in rank, importance, or degree.

    Q.E.D.: “principle tenant” is either a redundancy or a double misspelling.

  18. David M Zuniga Says:

    “Red Ink”,

    I find your term, “ecclesiastical business” intriguing. Perhaps one of the better oxymorons I’ve seen so far on this blog.

    I’ve mentioned Frank Viola’s books several times, but I think the subject of this thread is so fitting for the “ecclesiastical business” discussion. In “Pagan Christianity”, the author goes down the list of almost every aspect of the way the West has “done church” over the centuries, and tracks all these traditions back to their pagan roots, suggesting that we must reform our praxis.

    In “Rethinking the Wineskin”, Viola allows us to re-think each aspect of “doing church” (or to use your very accurate term, “ecclesiastical business”) and shows us how the New Testament church carried on in that respect.

    In “The Untold Story of the New Testament”, the author shows how the Bible can come back to life, and the pieces can fit, when you re-bind your Bible in the chronological order in which the books were written. The hop-scotch hodgepodge way in which we have our Bibles bound, is likely one major reason that so many people have such difficulty making sense of the Scriptures, and/or following the course of the early Church so as not to repeat mistakes.

    I couldn’t disagree with you more, incidentally, that such “business” is better handled in an ad hoc, real-time manner. Many/most of the difficulties in the early Church were addressed, mediated, and resolved by letter and messenger, if the New Testament is to be believed. People had time to ruminate, test, pray, and respond by word and deed.

    The same holds true in the blogosphere, IF a blogger is deliberate and prayerful, rather than hasty and snide. (That I often tend to the latter, does not negate the principle.)

    Were it not for this Internet medium, the body of Christ would have a much, much harder time coming to grips with the hoary-headed traditions and follies of “ecclesiastical business” that have accrued as a cancer over the millennia. We would neither have the facility for such conversations, nor the mammoth research resources and engines, nor the way to find one another in a crowd.

    The blogosphere is a gift from God: not to be abused, certainly; but not to be discounted or cursed, either. Issues like this one (women in the workplace) must be assessed according to the ACTUAL WORDS of the New Testament, IN CONTEXT.

    Upon doing that, one sees that 95% of what the evangelical zoo calls “doing church” today, is bullfeathers and moonshine. Doug Phillips may be a poster-boy for a few excesses, but he is far from the only, or the worst, practicioner of unbiblical hogswallop traveling under the banner of New Testament Christianity.

  19. Corrie Says:

    “It also seems to me that, under normal circumstances, if somebody said “I’m offended,” most Christians in daily life would apologize and remedy the situation immediately. When that has happened here, often people have rushed their own defenses. I don’t understand this behavior.”

    Redink,

    I think this is a very good point and only if people would do more of that.

    I can’t help but think that if this sort of thing happened from the beginning going in BOTH directions that this website would have been completely unnecessary. I do think that Jen and Mark tried to apologize and clear up any offenses from what I can tell.

    Personally, I have no problem for apologizing when someone tells me that I have offended them but when they come out swinging making unfounded accusations and emoting instead of discussing, I really don’t know how to logically deal with that sort of thing. I have been taught to think with my head and not with my feelings. If I think someone is angry or bitter, I ask. If they tell me they are not, it would be VERY rude of me to insist they were, especially when I have absolutely NO evidence to that they are lying. And to keep on calling them names in spite of what they have told me is completely uncomprehendable. Rationally speaking, we can’t base these kinds of judgments on our own “feelings” or how we “feel” when we read some of these posts. We MUST give the other person the benefit of the doubt.

    I also cannot, in good conscience, apologize for something I know is not true. I also have a hard time dealing with someone who thinks they can make all sorts of judgments and then gets offended when they are called for an account.

    The scripture tells us not to be easily offended and to give the benefit of the doubt. How far must we go to appease those who sensibilities are offended by everything but their own wrong behavior?

    Anyone who knows me knows that I will admit when I have been nasty and that I truly feel badly when I hurt someone. I am not above losing it. I also don’t think I am better than others and I don’t get offended by heated debate or sarcasm. I am also not intimidated when someone is angry about something. Does that characterize them as an angry person? No. That is silly. NO more than crying over something at the appropriate time characterizes them as a sad person.

    I just had a big laugh reading David Z’s post to Lynn where he tells her her shoes are too tight! Lynn didn’t take it as an attack at all. I like when we can say things, disagree with each other, shake hands and go away thinking the best of each other.

    I have searched for the inferences that you were likened to the witch burners but I cannot find them still. I am truly sorry that you are offended. I have enjoyed my interaction with you and your sense of humor.

  20. Corrie Says:

    I must have missed it. Where did “K” post about temp agencies? I looked for it but all I found were a discussion between Spunky and Alias2? It seems like I am missing some posts.

  21. Mark Epstein Says:

    Okay, I know who said it first, but since when did Phillips “outsource” his call center? Can someone verify that for me? I think someone is making a rather large assumption here. I know some of the young BCA ladies that used to work the catalog calls on the premises of VF, which is why I’m asking the question in the first sentence.

  22. Jean Says:

    Mrs. H,

    Regarding Jen’s statement: “Some of the other women who work at Vision Forum are the wives and daughters of male Vision Forum employees. Rather than legally hiring the women, Doug probably pays their husbands or fathers for the time that they work there.”

    I can personally offer my experience when visiting the VF store in San Antonio on half a dozen occasions. Once I was told by the woman at the register that she was a volunteer. Another time, the young man (age 13) who packed my Henty books said that he liked helping out. Neither made me think they were employees and I never saw a dad out front (maybe they were in the warehouse). In fact, I then assumed that VF was an extension of BCA and that BCA folks ran the show for the benefit of all. I really thought it was like a commune kind of thing, only the people didn’t all live together, they just kept the church business running. The Amish sell furniture, the Mennonites sell cookies, the BCA-ers sell patriarchy.

    I now see the much bigger picture (there are so many moving parts to consider with BCA, VF, VFM, NCFIC, SAICFF, and maybe more). And because the common thread through it all is DP, I have spent much time filtering his teachings through scripture. Because so much of what I have examined falls so short of anything biblical, I cannot support any of the DP things. And that was all I did at first, kind of like a quiet, personal boycott if you will.

    Then homeschool friends and families at church began to soak up and promote DP teachings and solicit attendance at DP events and I just could not remain quiet. These are my friends that I love dearly and they were/are being deceived. I was/am obligated to share what I had learned by examining scripture. Some were offended, some were grateful.

    Have a pleasant day,

    Jean

  23. Mark Epstein Says:

    One other note: As far as I know, Phillips only hired temporary personnel during CHRISTMAS – a holiday Doug and his family do not celebrate. These “temps” only worked in the warehouse area to my knowledge.

  24. CynthiaGee Says:

    K, I repeat, if “DP has no control over who works at a ‘call center’ or a temp agency” WHY IS HE USING THE CALL CENTER OR TEMP AGENCY?

    HOW does he justify it?

    This, by the way, is NOT an “attack” and I’m not calling names.

    It is a QUESTION, and a legitimate one.

  25. Mrs. H Says:

    Jean,

    So there are women volunteers, and young men volunteering there. Do you know if Doug was paying her husband or the young man’s father?

    I see nothing wrong with women volunteering there, and I hope someday that my son has the opportunity to volunteer at a place of employement for the experience he will gain.

    I still need concrete evidence that “some of the other women who work at Vision Forum are the wives and daughters of male Vision Forum employees.” and that, “Rather than legally hiring the women, Doug probably pays their husbands or fathers for the time that they work there.”

    Thanks

  26. Bryan Says:

    RedInk wrote:

    “…[blogs are a] poor forum for ecclesiastical business. Face to face, people are civil, misunderstandings are easier to work out…”

    I agree. Unfortunately, Doug will NOT meet with the Epsteins to facilitate reconciliation. Even with third party intermediaries, he hides from the Epsteins. They have tried and tried, and all they get is “You’re excommunicated-repent of general and non-specific sins you have committed. There is nothing else to discuss.” So how does one reconcile with a Christian who refuses to meet? Further, how does one “submit” to an elder, supposedly in authority, that spritually abuses them instead of loving them and gently restoring them?

    So, the way I see it, here on this blog we have the 21st century version of “telling it to the church” per Matthew 18:17.

    And no, I was not specifically or even generally referring to you, RedInk. I am referring to others who come here and post about Jen and the tone here while ignoring the elephant in the room (or camel, as the case may be!) of the spiritual abuser (allegedly) . That is what I mean by straining at gnats (not knats, per my earlier misspelling) and swallowing camels. And if I am twisting scripture to make my point, sorry about that. 🙂 Instead, please focus on the spiritual abuse by an unaccountable elder whose church website has no address, no phone number, no e-mail, and no outside accountability to another ecclesiastical church body. Excommunicates people in absentia. Blabs personal pre-conversion sin (shared in pastoral confidence) with the entire church body. Refuses to protect a wife and children from an explosively angry husband and father. Only is around 1 or 2 Sundays per month due to a heavy speaking schedule and therefore cannot commit proper time and attention to shepherding a hurting family. Hides behind staff and blogs. Issues vague ad hominem “responses”. And on, and on, and on.

    If it walks like a cult, and talks like a cult, and looks like a cult, then perhaps they are serving grape Kool-Aid at the Lord’s Table.

  27. Lynn Says:

    Red Ink, I read your first comment of length in this thread:

    https://jensgems.wordpress.com/2007/04/29/vision-forum-culture-of-deception-by-doug-phillips-example/#comment-2014

    Back then, I got a bit wound up at your comments about tending to trust BCA, councils, etc., not Mark and Jen, and you hadn’t considered the documentation which is known to have come from BCA regarding this matter. There are some pretty nasty-wasty problems in those documents.

    So I said you reminded me of headed back to pre-Reformation days.

    Corrie chimed in and said don’t forget the Salem Witch trials. Innocent people were put to death by these councils, etc., etc..

    She wasn’t saying YOU were like that. And while the Salem Witch trials were brought up, it was simply to point out that we shouldn’t place absolute trust in human authority. Evaluating truth claims lies elsewhere, and the source of our authority is not in a human institution.

    I have calmed down since our initial exchanges. I can see that you lamented the Epsteins speaking out about this on the blogosphere (which I disagree with), and that your tendency was to trust established authorities.

    But Corrie’s comment IN NO WAY compared you to those who conducted the Salem Witch trials, and I have yet to find a Nazi comment. If I ever said anything like that to you, I would like to know so I can ask forgiveness.

  28. Mrs. H Says:

    I am waiting for concrete evidence of the claims that Mrs. Epstein has made on this post (see above 1:15 pm).

    The accusations contained in this blog are too serious for the word of just one person to be the evidence. Can someone direct me to financial papers, a policy, photographs, a web-site or other documentation to substantiate her claims?

    Thanks

  29. Bryan Says:

    Mrs. H:
    Kindly refer to the upper left hand colmn of this blog for “offical documentation”. But you must keep it in context, and that’s why you should read Chapters 1-10 of Jen’s Story (Same location).

    May I respectfully suggest that you read through all of it to see if the claims regarding spiritual abuse could possibly be true, and not worry about how many cigarette butts are piling up in the alleyway behind Vision Forum?

    (Yes, it is somewhat sarcastic. I am sorry about that. I am trying to type it lovingly and gently, with a smile on my face, but it’s hard to communicate that through the keyboard.) 🙂

    Please, please, please read all of it. I was like you–very skeptical. But the details are too hard to invent, and the pride of Doug Phillips is VERY evident (how do I know? It takes one to know one!)

    Blessings,

    Bryan

  30. Mrs. H Says:

    Bryan,

    As soon as someone provides documentation for Mrs. Epstein’s claims on this post, I promise you I will go and read the other posts. No details are too hard to invent! I am being the Berean as I was told to be.

    I began reading the posts you mention, and had so many questions, I felt it would be wrong to drag everyone back there. I will be happy with the proof for the claims here for now. Once received, I will continue reading the other posts.

  31. Bryan Says:

    Mrs. H:

    You might find that if you read the entire story, then read the official documentation, then read all of the blog comments under “Recent Posts” (on the right hand side of this blog) that many of your questions may have already been addressed.

    If you are waiting for Jen to provide you with the documentation of cigarette butts and beer bottles in the alleyway, I can tell you that she is on the road and probably will not get back to you right away on it. So you might want to continue being a Berean while you are waiting for her to produce the “alleyway evidence” (which I would consider to be a “gnat” compared to the “camel” of spiritual abuse). But you are an adult and can make wise decisions for yourself without me telling you what to do. 🙂

    Blessings,

    Bryan

  32. Mrs. H Says:

    Bryan and others,

    I have begun to read the “Official Documentation” found in the left hand column. I cannot open the following documents: Jen’s Repentance Letter, Jen’s “Defense” and Doug Refuses to Forgive. Can anyone offer assistance?

    Thank you

  33. Jean Says:

    Mrs. H,

    There is a video that shows folks working in the VF warehouse. Looks like all young people (boys and girls) to me. I couldn’t pick out any grown ups. In the link below, ou’ll have to scroll down to the very last video from the local news.

    I’ve personally only seen women volunteers at VF. I always guessed the men were in a back office or warehouse or something. One time, the young man (13) used the register phone to call his dad with a credit card question. I don’t know where his dad physically was, but he answered the question for his son.

    http://www.visionforum.com/hottopics/multimedia/

    When it comes to proof for some of Jen’s claims in this particular article, proof may not be possible. She has shared some of her personal experience and eye-witness observations as an ex-BCA member who was up close and personal with the workings of VF for a lot of years. She’s not perfect, but she’s honest.

    Considering her thoroughness and documentation on other points throughout this whole discussion, I can allow the occasional “take my word for it” threads. In my very first post to this article, though, I expressed my opinion:

    “Jen, there is quite a bit of speculation in this article, though. It would be more credible with facts about how VF employees are paid (or not), some specific DP teachings on Christmas and Catholicism, and documentation or collaboration of unpaid household servants. I would like something more concrete on these points.”

    It is not likely that Jen has access to payroll documentation, or even proof that servants are unpaid. I know that DP has servants, I’ve seen them on the grounds at his Hollywood Park home. But surely there is, floating around somewhere, something that fleshes out DP’s teachings on Christmas and Catholicism. That’s a biggee for me. I want to be able to evaluate that on my own.

    Have a pleasant day,

    Jean

  34. Corrie Says:

    Red Ink,

    I found the reference to Salem Witch Trials and I am the culprit! 🙂 I kind of thought I was but I do not remember ever referring to you as a witch burner so I thought maybe that someone else said that to you.

    I will first show you my initial statement to one of the points you made and then I will follow it up with an excerpt from your response to me. As you will see I clearly was pointing out that just because a vote to discipline someone is unanimous, does not make it a correct judgment. You seemed to have agreed with my point at the time and I could find no post of yours where you were offended or took it personally.

    “Corrie Says: 
May 4th, 2007 at 2:48 pm

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

    Redink,
    I appreciated several points you made concerning this discussion.
    Concerning your above statement, I think of the Salem Witch Trials. I am not trying to be funny, either. There is a definite phenomenon that took place and still takes place. There were many respectable and credible people and people in positions of authority in the church who voted to put INNOCENT people to death. If you have ever studied this, you will see how this hysteria spreaded very fast and soon got out of control.
    I don’t give much credence to “credible” people anymore. I have known too many credible people who have been willingly or unwillingly deceived by unfounded accusations and even hysteria. I have seen the “herd” mentality exercised way too often. It is like a domino effect. Who wants to stand up and question a well-respected leader and stick out like a sore thumb and risk being treated like many others they have seen who dared to question. Who wants to blow the chance to belong to such an elite group? Do you know that some people actually move their whole families and give up their jobs and lives to move down there and be a part of it? Does that not send a red flag?
    I don’t know how you can say it hasn’t been debated much? That is the whole problem. The Epsteins have claimed they were excommunicated without even being present or told the specific sins they were being excommunicated from.
    Whatever happened, I am not impressed by the claim that there was 100% agreement and that people with authority are lining up to support this. That doesn’t prove anything, especially when we look at the historical record and at real life examples of corruption and abuse of authority.
    All it takes is one smooth talker, with great power and charisma and a lot of pull to CONvince people to believe their version of the story and ignore any other version.”

    Redink’s response to my thoughts on the Salem Witch trials:

    “As for the Salem Witch trials, you’re all right – the argumentum ad populum (I hate Latin names for these things – it’s INFORMAL logic, and Latin seems stuffy to me) does tend to reduct like that. But you know, ad populum reminds me of a few other things, like democracy, the US Judicial system, elder election standards, the ratification of the Nicene Creed…”

  35. Bryan Says:

    Mrs. H:

    I was just able to open up all three documents with no problem.

    They are all Adobe Acrobat documents. Do you have Adobe Acrobat on your computer? If not, it is a free program that will enable you to open and read the scanned documents. I think there is a a free version and a pay version; just get the free version (obviously).

    http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/

    Hope this helps!

    Blessings,

    Bryan

  36. Jean Says:

    Mrs. H,

    I was able to access those documents that are giving you trouble, but BOY did they take a l-o-n-g time to load and I’ve got high speed cable. Keep trying!

    Have a pleasant day,

    Jean

  37. Mrs. H Says:

    Jean,

    Thanks! I watched the video and saw the young woman working in the warehouse.

    All I need now is documentation of some sort proving that, “Doug Phillips has a policy against hiring women employees” and that that young woman was indeed a hired employee.

    Again, when you make serious accusations like these, you HAVE to be willing and able to prove them true.

    Thanks.

  38. Mrs. H Says:

    Thanks Bryan and Jean, I’ll keep trying with the documents.

  39. Spunky Says:

    Mrs. H. I cannot vouch for the claims of women working in scantily clad clothing while in the warehouse. However, here is a film clip which shows a young female worker in a denim skirt working in the warehouse of Vision Forum along side a male worker.

    A young lady working along side a male is in direct conflict with the Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy as written on the Vision Forum website.

    Tenet #14 states,

    “While unmarried women may have more flexibility in applying the principle that women were created for a domestic calling, it is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work alongside men as their functional equals in public spheres of dominion (industry, commerce, civil government, the military, etc.). The exceptional circumstance (singleness) ought not redefine the ordinary, God-ordained social roles of men and women as created. (Gen. 2:18ff.; Josh. 1:14; Jdg. 4; Acts 16:14)”

    There is no compelling reason Doug Phillips must place a woman in the role of merchandise fulfillment for his company whether it is paid or not.

    This young lady is doing manual labor in a warehouse along side a young man. They are essentially doing the same work in the public sphere. Ironically, the tape mentions that they are packing “tea gloves.” That’s because Doug Phillips believes women ought to be doing feminine things. Do you think those gloves will be useful in her work in the warehouse? Does her presence doing manual labor along side a young male conflict with the message of Doug Phillips and his Tenets of Patriarchy?

    If Doug Phillips needs the extra help in a emergency situation, it would be better for his own wife to fulfill the role as a proper helpmeet to her husband and and let the young lady volunteer to watch his children. To me, that would seem to be the wisest scenario for one who seeks to honor the Tenets of Patriarchy and still fulfill his orders in a God honoring way. If that solution is not practical to the Phillips family, they ought to hire young men to do the work necessary to fulfill orders.

    Some may claim that “Christian liberty” allows for the use of women in some volunteer roles.

    Doug Phillips also answers that in his Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy. Quoting from Tenet #26

    26. While God’s truth is unchanging, the specific application of that truth may vary depending on facts and circumstances unique to each believer. Also, those who are further along in sanctification will see some issues more clearly than those who are less mature. For these reasons great charity must be maintained between believers who have differences of application, and liberty of application must be respected. However, an appeal to the doctrine of Christian liberty must never be used in an effort simply to avoid submitting to what Scripture plainly teaches. Believers should also bear in mind that things which are lawful may not be expedient if the goal is personal and family holiness. The biblical rule in judging behavior is charity toward others, strictness toward oneself. (Gal. 5:2-3 with Acts 16:3; Phil. 3:15; Rom. 12:10; 1 Cor. 1:10; 6:12; 9:27; 10:23; Gal. 5:13)

    As the one who has helped to write the Tenets of Patriarchy, one could rightly assume Doug Phillips to be quite far along in the sanctification process. Therefore, he should be strictest upon himself in its application. Clearly, we see Doug Phillips has taken great liberty in how he interprets the role of the female in the workplace. For he has allowed a young lady who is not his wife or daughter to work in his business benefitting his organization instead of the estate of her own father. So Doug’s success appears to be built in part at the expense of another man’s estate.

    Here’s the link
    http://www.visionforum.com/hottopics/multimedia/

    (Again scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see the link which says, Vision Forum in the News.)

  40. Bryan Says:

    Mrs. H:

    I can’t speak for Jen or anyone else, but I suspect that there is no official documentation that DP has a policy of not hiring female employees. After all, that would be discrimination, and would be a violating of federal law. Even though DP may have evidently violated Texas law by sharing confidential pastoral information, I hardly think that he is so ignorant as to flagrantly violate the labor laws of the US and Texas, being the good attorney that he is (“Esq.”).

    So, you might just have to take Jen’s word for it. If that “blows you out of the water”, so to speak, in spite of all the mountains of evidence regarding DP’s alleged spiritual abuse of the Epsteins, so be it.

    but I’ll let Jen and/or Mark make the final word, as my comments are pure speculation.

    Blessings, 🙂

    Bryan

  41. How One Can Tell a Phillips Supporter is Posting a Comment « ULTIMATE TRUTH Says:

    […] One Can Tell a Phillips Supporter is Posting a Comment Praying for Revealing wrote a post yesterday on the latest thread at Jen’s Gems that details how to identify the […]

  42. Jean Says:

    Spunky,

    I agree that tenets 14 and 26 are not being followed by DP and his management of VF. I am especially bothered by the last sentence of tenet #26:

    “The biblical rule in judging behavior is charity toward others, strictness toward oneself.”

    I would like to see DP practice what he preaches. He is lacking in charity toward others, and is equally lacking in strictness toward oneself. He keeps a pretense of charity while others do his dirty work, and he allows himself all kinds of loopholes in restrictions that he otherwise expects others to keep. I think the gig is almost up as the man behind the curtain is revealed more and more every week.

    Have a pleasant day,

    Jean

  43. Corrie Says:

    “I can’t speak for Jen or anyone else, but I suspect that there is no official documentation that DP has a policy of not hiring female employees. After all, that would be discrimination, and would be a violating of federal law. ”

    Bryan,

    If you listen to the Botkin girls and read the tenets of Patriarchy concerning women working, it would seem that this is more than enough proof that Doug has a policy based on scripture of not hiring women to work in his warehouse.

    I just can’t make the two jive. If he teaches that the Bible says that a woman shouldn’t work alongside a man in commerce and that she should be at home and then the Botkin girls talk about the evils of working women and Kevin Swanson basically implies that working women are paid prostitutes who will end up with 3 abortions and they are causing the birth dearth in South Korea and other nations, then it would seem that Doug does have a policy against women working for him.

    Maybe I am not understanding Trish’s question or what she wants proved? It seems to me that Spunky has just quoted this proof in the Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy and Trish can listen to that podcast and hear what they really think of working women.

    Am I misunderstanding what she means by a policy?

  44. Bryan Says:

    Corrie:

    Maybe it only applies to Christian young women, and heathen young women are exempt from the laws of (New) Israel.

    🙂

    This way, the male Christian young men working with the “scantily-clad” heathen young women can witness to them in the alleyway while they are on their smoke breaks.

    All for the advancement of the Kingdom!

  45. Red Ink Says:

    Corrie:

    You’re swell. You were the author of the original Witch Trials reference, but I don’t hold it against you. I agree with most of the kind words that have been said about you in the comment threads.

    I have more to say here, but I feel like I’m beating a dead horse. Needless to say, I’ve brought up the name calling not because I was bitter, but as an illustration as to the tone of this blog. It should stand to further my point that somebody as pleasant as you would get me, initially, so hot and bothered.

    You’re apology is appreciated and accepted.

    Praying for Revealing:

    Can you add “Just too exhausted to keep up” to your MO list for me? I don’t want to find your references. It takes a lot of time for me, and it’s honestly not terribly important to me. I will grant that in all cases I exaggerated and/or fabricated insults. That still doesn’t change the fact that I’ve got a thick skin and some words sure did poke through them. The specific words are in question, but the effect is my whole point.

    Now, in the same breath, I’m going to just casually mention that I’d be interested to see which comments of mine you found to be inflammatory. If you don’t wanna, well, fair is fair and I understand. I’m honestly just curious – I’ve tried to be so civil here that I irritate even myself – so it would be really helpful for me in understanding how to conduct myself on this blog.

    As for my commiseration with Lucy, K, and the gang, I stand by them. I don’t think they were sinless here, nor do I think they argued as logically as others here. I think it would have been helpful if, instead of invoking some fancy fallacy names and disregarding them, people had more often tried to see some of the points they were making. A fallacy simply means the reasoning is faulty. It doesn’t mean the conclusion is false. They were often dead on in my book, despite being abrasive and less logically rigorous. Oftentimes, people would respond to them with “Are you kidding? Are you blind?” Because I like to not assume that people are morons, I would think that this type of reaction suggests misunderstanding on the part of the reader instead of a head full of rocks on the part of the author.

    And I do not excuse their abrasiveness. I lump it into the whole “the Internet tempts good people to misbehave” tirade I’m on. I’m thinking of getting a superhero leotard with that printed on the front. Or, at the very least, a cape.

    And finally to Bryan and to PfR:

    I see what is happening here as pseudo-judicial. In terms of Matthew 18, “tell it to the church” should be a formal step resulting in repentance or discipline. I do not believe blogs serve this purpose well, if at all.

    Jen was actually the reason I started getting concerned over what I call “blog justice.” Back circa the Vance/Sproul/Dick hubbub, some information surfaced about a certain young man, and I found the whole thing reprehensible. Not that it should not have been uncovered, not that certain consequences should not have been the result, but because this young man’s sins had now been plastered in very public fashion all over the web. There was no vehicle for correction, discipline, repentance, restoration, or anything like that anymore. His sin was used as a stick and many stood around and smacked his father in the head with it. I could write a book about all of this, and what I think about it, but suffice it to say that I would have preferred elders, rather than Blogspot servers, be dealing with his sins.

    I don’t have answers for your questions, and I know that is exactly your point. However, I note that you both agree with me and only support this method until a better one comes along. I’m suggesting that blogs are not even a viable solution. I cannot imagine one single attribute of a biblical trial that is emulated even poorly by a blog.

    Unless, of course, you count a trial by jury. But the jury is tainted – there are no rules of evidence, jurors are not screened for bias (heck, we don’t even know WHO the jury is — could be as many heathen as Christians), there’s no procedure or order in deliberation, no final verdict passed, no closure, no NOTHING.

    It’s not even a square peg in a round hole – it’s a firecracker in a bellybutton.

    Before I’m misunderstood, I believe that blogs are useful things. I think they’re good for theology and exchanging thought. Thus, much of Jen’s blog is now much more palatable to me. But, a “better than nothing” trail, verdict, and execution of Doug Phillips is at its heart.

    So my answer is “I dunno. Find a better way. A blog isn’t merely undesirable. It’s unbiblical.”

  46. Corrie Says:

    Bryan,

    No temptation has seized me except that which is common to men. And God is faithful and He will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I can bear……..

    I am really trying to behave myself and you are making it difficult for me. 🙂 I can hear the Sarcasm Borg in my mind: Resistance is futile

    So, I will tell a real life story. When I first became a Christian, it was like a whole new world. I was 23. I joined a college and career age group. (I was both going to college and I had a very nice career.) This is where I learned about missionary dating. I thought that some of these guys were joking but they were not. They would bring some unsaved girls to these meetings and then go out to “Happy Hour” with them afterwards.

    Having been in the world, I was shocked. Not only because it was hard to pull the wool over my eyes as far as intentions go but also having just been set free from all the bondage of a life of sin and debauchery, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing them tell me. Of course, more times than not, the men with the “pure” intentions of witnessing to these unsaved girls would be pulled “down” by them into drunkenness and fornication. At least, that is the story they gave.

    I have another story about a Christian man who would go to strip clubs with the guys after work not only to witness to his buddies but also to the strippers who would sit down with him at his table and chat. He was only going so he could witness.

  47. Bryan Says:

    Corrie:

    I’m—shocked–SHOCKED!! You mean to tell me that godly young men would succumb to the temptations of the flesh?!!

    GASP!!!!

    (And to think that all along it was only us older, more mature Christian men). 🙂

    “And that, son, is why you don’t store the matches next to the gunpowder.”

  48. Corrie Says:

    ““While unmarried women may have more flexibility in applying the principle that women were created for a domestic calling, it is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work alongside men as their functional equals in public spheres of dominion (industry, commerce, civil government, the military, etc.). The exceptional circumstance (singleness) ought not redefine the ordinary, God-ordained social roles of men and women as created. (Gen. 2:18ff.; Josh. 1:14; Jdg. 4; Acts 16:14)””

    I am a bit confused. Is he using Judges 4 to say that Deborah is an example of a God-ordained social role for women? And is he also using Acts 16:14 to say that women like Lydia who had her own business and ran her own household and even had her own servants and opened HER home up to the church is one of the possible roles God had created women for?

    I would think that these two women would run counter to the message that these tenets are sending?

  49. David M Zuniga Says:

    Bryan,

    You bring up a very valuable point. I have a couple of 8 lb. jugs of Accurate 2520 along with other reloading stuff, just beneath a microwave in my little rural office. Man, if that microwave made a big enough sparky-deal, this whole place could go BOOM!

    [snip: tax honesty for illegal aliens, characteristically stupid jokes, general windiness]

    Now, this has nothing at all to do with scantily-clad hustlers working in the back rooms of the Vision Forum; and it has nothing to do with the illegal aliens working at Doug Phillips’ Hollywood Park home. But you may have saved my life, Bryan. Thanks!

  50. Red Ink Says:

    Lynn-

    I got the huffiest over your comments. There’s probably a couple thousand words I wrote in response to you that I never posted. We both got pretty worked up. I appreciate your thoughts. I’m sorry for offending you when I did. It was certainly never my intent. I’m pretty sure we can all move on.

    All –

    You’ll note above that I’ve retracted all of the Nazi and witch stuff, but am still digging my heels in on the point that some pretty unkind things can be tossed around on this blog. I appreciate the apologies. I really do. I’d kinda like to drop it all. I didn’t come back to be a victim. But really, I’d rather things be on topic than about my wounded feelings.

    David –

    I’m going to try to read those books. Sounds like we’re coming from two different paradigms; I’m practically Anglican, sympathetic to Catholics and the Eastern church, and so high church sometimes I look down and feel a bit queasy. I’ve gathered that you are not those things. I’ve found that paradigm gaps are difficult to bridge – which is why we need charity – but your comments are helpful because I can at least try to understand why my points aren’t immediately evident to all here. They sure are to me.

    By the way, I’m also viciously libertarian, and your occasional forays into tax law make me feel all warm and tingly. Maybe we aren’t so different after all.

    Thanks for the spell check. Ever since I took Anglo Saxon, I’ve doubted I could spell my way out of a 2nd grade spelling bee. For reals. Knat / gnat, Bryan? BLAME BEOWULF.

    R.

  51. Hutch Says:

    Corrie Wrote: “I can’t speak for Jen or anyone else, but I suspect that there is no official documentation that DP has a policy of not hiring female employees. After all, that would be discrimination, and would be a violating of federal law. ”

    You are right. The point is not that there has to be a written policy in Doug Phillips employee handbook or business charter saying that Vision Forum does not hire women. Nobody ever said that Doug Phillips is a fool, just a false teacher and a hypocritic in living out his false teachings. Doug is an attorney so he knows that he cannot have a written document stating that Vision Forum does not hire women.

    The documentation and links provided clearly shows what Doug Phillips teaches and how he violates what he teaches. It is so plain and easy to see that there really is no credible debate. The only way that someone could not see the hypocrisy is if one just willfully decides to not see it. The proof is contained above.

  52. Spunky Says:

    Quoting from the Botkin’s book “So Much More” published by Vision Forum, Inc. on page 116.

    “The idea of women going out into the sphere of public industry, to compete with men for jobs in pursuit of “their true potential” public recognition, pretige, self-fulfillment, and of course, the paycheck,” (footnote 72) was pushed by God-hating Marxists who wanted to keep women out of her natural element, tear apart the family, and destroy
    Christianity. If we really want to put and end to this, we should recognize that accepting and pursuing the mode of life perpetuates the feminist agenda and extends the curse on our society and economy even further. Christian women should be taking an active stand against this.

    We should not be asking ourselves, “How unbiblical is it for a woman to get a career?” or “In what circumstances would it be permissable?” These questions amount to “How close can I get to the fire without getting burned?” or “How far away can I get from God’s perfect will without crossing the line into technicalities of sinning?” Isn’t this kind of “testing the limits” the course of passive rebellion in itself?”

    Rather, we should be asking, “How can I run further and further from the fire into the realm of greater godliness?”

    Remember Doug Phillips should be strictest upon himself in the application of the Tenets of Patriarchy. The above quote is taken from two young ladies, 18 20. Surely, Doug Phillips must see things even more clearly than the young ladies whose book he published.

    However, for Doug Phillips the contractual use of women in call centers, and “volunteers” at book tables, and women in the warehouse (paid or volunteer), all appear to be answering the question of “How best can I bolster Vision Forum’s bottom line?”

    The Botkin girls suggest that Christian women should take a stand and not perpetuate the feminist agenda.

    So I must ask where is Geoff Botkin, his daughters, and the courageous men of Vision Forum who are willing to hold Doug Phillips accountable for allowing a woman to be video taped working in a warehouse doing manual labor?

    Geoff Botkin’s daughter’s rhetorically asked in the podcast with Kevin Swanson, why would a woman want to go help some boss in an organization, when she can work for her own father?

    In light of their book and those words I must ask,

    “Why would he allow the wealth of his estate to increase at the expense of another man’s helpmeet?”

    Further, Will Geoff Botkin hold Doug Phillips accountable for allowing women to take orders for his daughters’ book “So Much More” at call-centers where women work alongside men in the public sphere of commerce?

    And as young ladies, will the Botkin girls take a courageous stand against feminism and ask Doug Phillips to end his agreement with the call center and bring it back to the men of Vision Forum? Doing any less, makes the book and its sales appear more important than the bold message they seek to procalim.

  53. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Good evening, Mrs. H,

    I’ve briefly viewed this list of comments since I posted here this morning, and did not note any that addressed me. Since you made a statement about several of my comments, I asked you to please correpsond so that we might come to some agreement with one another.

    I’ve admitted to my “attack” of patriarchy, etc. by citing the applicable definition of strong criticism. I may have missed it, but I asked that you reply to explain whether you believe or feel that Scripture does not support “strong crtiticism” of false teachers and Pharisees. You’ve used the word “attack” as a pejorative in an attempt to cast me as a “MURDERER” per your citiation of Matthew 5:21-22, but you have not made yourself available to defend your charge. I’m willing to face my accusers and I would expect the same courtesy.

    I will publically or privately defend the strong criticism I have offered, unless the process does not afford a spirit of mutual respect. To do so, per my estimation, would be to answer a fool in his folly. Stated differently, I will not participate in a debate of futility if my presuppostions cannot be honored.

    I did note that you asked for information to substantiate Jen’s account of her story so as to satisfy your credulity. I assert that unless you are willing to hold a reasonable degree of respect and sympathy/empathy for the Epsteins and those like her, you will not find any evidence to your satisfaction. Further, if you cannot offer Jen or people like her grace and respect in this manner, you are guilty of violating many Scriptures yourself.

    I await your response. I invite you to contact me via my website by clicking on my name, also reviewing the documentation that I have provided in support of my own claims. The article entitled “New Cults of Christianity” listed on the left side bar as well as all the information concerning cultic behaviors and characteristics of a cult leader would also be of interest to you. I offer that information to you as support of my arguents and “attacks” directed at Doug Phillips’ cultic system.

    I would at least like the opportunity to agree to disagree with you, since you made this a personal criticism by citing my specific comments. I look forward to your reply.

  54. Spunky Says:

    Sorry I forgot to close the italics. The Botkins quote ends with the sentence

    “Rather, we should be asking, “How can I run further and further from the fire into the realm of greater godliness?”

    Everything after that is my own writing.

  55. Mrs. H Says:

    Spunky,

    I saw the clip. There is a young woman working in the warehouse. We do not know whether she is an employee or not.

    Maybe there was the possibility of this young girl being on the nightly news, and Doug offered the chance for her to be there packing boxes so she could be a part of the fun of being on TV.

    Do you see the speculation? We just don’t know. One cannot accuse someone of something on speculation. That is why I am asking for some proof of what Mrs. Epstein alleges in this post. She clearly states as her first sentence: Doug Phillips has a policy against hiring women employees. Can she prove that allegation?

    In a court of law, one would not be allowed to try someone on speculative evidence. The evidence has to be proven. It’s the way the court system works. Just going by what one person says is not admissible. There must be evidence to convict someone.

    Doug is being convicted of several things here. I just want to see the evidence and not go by one person’s claims.

    From Tenet 14:
    “While unmarried women may have more flexibility in applying the principle that women were created for a domestic calling, it is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work alongside men as their functional equals in public spheres of dominion (industry, commerce, civil government, the military, etc.).

    It says right there Spunky, women have “flexibility” in applying the principle that they were created for domestic calling. It also says that, “it is not the ordinary and fitting role of women to work alongside men”, nowhere does it say “women will absolutely not work alongside men.” This sounds like a conviction…a tenet (A tenet is any opinion, principle, dogma or doctrine which a person or group believes or maintains), not an absolute command that must be strictly adhered to.

    Doug probably knows that he is ‘in’ the world, but not ‘o’f the world, and as such, will have to deal with things ‘in’ the world, such as women in the workplace, but he is certainly allowed to have his opinion on that, isn’t he?

  56. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Good evening, K.

    I read your comments from earlier today, and I would like to appeal to you to be perfectly honest with me. You have maintained that you are very innocent in your participation here, but I believe that you do so by the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law. Concerning the Chris Ortiz email and the four of five questions that you directed towards me, never providing your email address to allow me to respond, you remained strangely (WEIRDLY) secretive about your purpose. I still don’t understand why you didn’t just say “You shouldn’t be discussing a man’s actions without giving him an opportunity to respond. Either you contact Chris Ortiz or I will.”

    That is in effect what you said and did, and that purpose was completley honorable. However, your behavior suggested to me that you desired to maintain the appearance of innocence and passivity almost compulsively and deceptively. In doing so, you demonstrated classic passive-aggressive behavior. I don’t think you realized just how strange your comments here and to me via email conveyed passive-aggressiveness. This is also conveyed through your lurking, stating that you will not comment here because this forum is so offensive, but then you do comment. I for one, am pleased that you do continue to read and post here, but your equivocal statements also demonstrate a passive-aggressive approach to these matters.

    Today, I noted your comment about Doug’s lack of authority to dictate the sex of people hired via a temp agency to work at Vison Forum. This was also very passive-aggressive in that it addressed a point that was not central to the issue. It was a little hit and run comment meant to convey the connotation that those who made the original argument had done so illogically. It completely avoided the whole central issue that if Doug felt so strongly that women shouldn’t work outside the home, he would not ask ANY woman to work. He would say, “As for me and my shipping department, we will serve the Lord. We will not bait more women into breaking the tenets, either saved or unsaved.” You choose to swallow that camel to strain the gnat of the your comment that Doug can’t run the temp agency.

    So rather than answer the excellent arguments offered by Jen and Spunky especially, you sought to pop in and make a comment that seems passive to you and not all that confrontative. You were however displaying quite a bit of aggression by not opening yourself to honest discussion of the topic. You are not terribly willing to stretch yourself to risk learning something that may not make you very happy, as Spunky has done. Spunky, in her desire to seek the truth has extended herself and her credulity to honestly ask very disturbing questions about a ministry she supported to risk learning truth, however disturbing the truth may be.

    I would like to enjoy an honest debate of these things, K, but you make that very difficult. As Corrie said, it is like nailing jello to the wall. Show some substance.

  57. Spunky Says:

    Mrs. H. I agree that SHE has the flexibility but Doug does not. He is heldest by his own admission to the STRICTEST standard as a business man and elder at Boerne Christian Assembly. So while others may allow for libery as a Godly man far along in the sanctification process his standard must be blameless and and because he is a pastor he must set a high standard and example to the flock. As a man who preaches that a woman’s work is in the domain of home, his example in the video preaches something very conflicting with that message.

    To be above reproach and held to the strictest standard he cannot even give the appearance that he hires a woman to do a man’s job in the sphere of commerce. Nor can he give the appearance of impropriety by allowing a young lady to work alongside a young man. This video fails that test. So whether or not he allowed her there for “fun” or “pay” is irrelevant. It is not above reproach to promote his business and permit a woman to be video taped doing manual labor alongside another man.

    Remember he must be held to the STRICTEST standard as the author of the tenets. Christian liberty for the young lady, the HIGHEST standard for Doug Phillips. And he should be the one applying the stricter standard. So while I may give him liberty as a Christian, his tenets don’t allow such him to grant such liberty to himself.

    Interstingly, I just called the toll free number again. After a tape recorded message, the call was received by a woman named Sharee. She informed me that her paid position is that of a call center employee in PARTNERSHIP with Vision Forum. While she would not give me the name of her employer, she said they were a Christian ministry that partners with Vision Forum and that they are in a separate location. The reason for the partnership I was told was so that Vision Forum could take orders 24 hours a day.

    So Vision Forum is partnering with a company that hires women so that they can work through the night keeping the economy working and orders coming in. Clearly, keeping women working through the night along side men is NOT a good idea.

    I ask you Mrs. H. where are the men of Vision Forum who are holding Doug Phillips accountable for contracting with a company that allows women to work through the night taking orders for Vision Forum along side men?

    Does flexibility in standards permit a leader and elder to enter into such agreeements? I submit to you that the appearance of men working alongside women through the night is not above reproach and unbecoming a Christian ministry such as Vision Forum. What do you think?

  58. Jen’s Gems - Exposing Doug Phillips’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny Doug Phillips’ Parallel Universe of Reformed Legalism « Says:

    […] than to repackage legalism as “Reformed theology.” As one of my commenters, “T. Reformed” put it recently: The very cornerstone of the Reformed faith are the doctrines of grace, […]

  59. Mrs. H Says:

    Spunky,

    The paragraph before the tenets states:

    This document, drafted by Phil Lancaster, with the advice and counsel of others, is offered in an attempt to clarify what we mean by “biblical patriarchy.” We view this as an accurate working document, and invite feedback from anyone as we attempt to improve this statement over time.

    I am not making excuses for what you see as a glaring discrepancy (I am working through what I think), but it does say it is a working document, and they will attempt to improve it over time. To me that states they know there may be changes or errors that need to be worked through. Perhaps this is one.

    It also states that they welcome feedback…perhaps you should contact them?

  60. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    In reading these recent posts, I would again like to draw attention to the focus of many to the Spirit and the Letter of the Law.

    Many here have started in our relationships with Doug Phillips and Vision Forum in a spirit of love and mutual respect. Either by participation at BCA or to the more indirect interractions with VF via correspondence and phone calls, we started out in this spirit. We extended much grace and forbearance, while still holding true to our convictions by asking the tough questions of VF and Doug. It was clear that this was not socially acceptable because those attempts to open up dialogue were either rudely ignored or met with open aggression on Doug’s or VF’s behalf. No one was able to hold Doug Phillips or his camp accountable for their behavior, and it has gone unaddressed with the population of people who support them.

    To add further insult to injury, men like Chris Oritz, in his duty to Doug have used their legitimacy of the organizations whom they represent to not only voice support of Doug, but they extend the matter to public defamation of the Epsteins. Doug Phillips and VF who bear a greater responsibility to answer for their behavior per Scripture, rather than ignore the comments of one woman chose not to ignore her but to attack. They have even threatened a lawsuit, but this is their common practice.

    Most people do not approach this with a clean slate. I find it interesting then, when people voice their distain of the angry tone of many of the comments here, they fail to offer the contributors of the forum a fair hearing. As a participant here, the letter of the law is waived in front of me by some, without any comment or tone of common respect, grace or mercy. Pettitions for grace, empathy and forbearance (the spirit of the law of love) that I made to Mrs. Hendry for example go largely unaddressed. Yet I am held hard and fast to the letter of the law. Why not hold Doug, the party with the greater weight of responsibility to make himself accountable for his aggression and his anger and his outright sins to the letter of the law also? Why does he get a heavy portion extra consideration and love and respect, while I am afforded so little?

  61. Spunky Says:

    Mrs. H.

    All attempts to dialgoue with Vision Forum have been shut down after an initial exchange with Mr. Gobart. There is no other place for questions. So that is why I am posting my concerns here.

    This is NOT an attack against Doug Phillips. My motivation is to know if the ministries and men I support are credible and true. I have supported Doug Phillips for many years and would consider continuing to do so, but these glaring inconsistencies makes me continue to wonder exactly WHO is holding Doug Phillips accountable? WHO am I supposed to contact?

    Who are the elders of BCA that we can contact if we have a question about Doug Phillip’s ministry? Who are the men of Vision Forum who are holding him accountable for such business decisions? Until those names are known and they begin to answer legitimate concerns from those that have supported them, the credibility of Vision Forum will continue to be under scrutiny and Jen’s Gems will continue.

  62. Mrs. H Says:

    Spunky,

    Can you show me where Doug Phillips states this:

    He is held by his own admission to the STRICTEST standard as a business man and elder at Boerne Christian Assembly.

    You also state: So while others may allow for libery as a Godly man far along in the sanctification process his standard must be blameless and and because he is a pastor he must set a high standard and example to the flock.

    Spunky, Doug is human. He is fallible and sinful. Surely he knows that. How can he possibly be blameless? I agree as a pastor he must set a high standard and example, but by grace we must forgive any faults. God has forgiven each of us so much…His forgiveness knows no bounds! Should we not be forgiving too?

  63. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Said of VF and those who drafted the “tenets.”: It also states that they welcome feedback…perhaps you should contact them?

    They say that they welcome feedback. They welcome feedback, but they only welcome the feedback that supports them and offers them maudlin praise.

    I offer the situation between SCCCS as an example of this. Please visit my website to read the scenario and feel free to email P, Andrew Sandlin or David Bahnsen for their corroboration. http://www.undermuchgrace.com/view/?pageID=342784 I have links to additional documentation on my site. While you are there, anyone interested can also click on the brief synopsis of the Joe Taylor lawsuit and the threatened lawsuit against the Homeschooling family (the Epsteins). These are the three examples that I know about, from the statements of the people who are not afraid to speak out against Doug’s threats. How many more people are there who are so fearful of a lawsuit that they cannot speak up?

    Go to my links page and click on the links to the Sharper Iron website where they were criticized and countered by VF to denounce their articles on the FBFI rejection of the tenets and other articles questioning Doug’s patriarchy. They did not welcome feedback from these good men. They defended themselves against it with propaganda and accusations.

    They can say that they welcome feedback, but this statement is grossly misleading and grossly incomplete. They welcome feedback from those who agree with them. They retaliate aggressively against anyone who even informally opposes their opinion. This is a matter of record.

  64. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    On nailing jello to the wall (great analogy, Corrie!):

    People want to talk chaper and verse, where it says exactly and in that very wording on which page and in which document….

    Why is it that so many approach this website with a “prove it to me attitude” while Doug Phillips gets nothing but humble respect?

    Where did we learn all of this legalism?

  65. Morgan Farmer Says:

    “Spunky, Doug is human. He is fallible and sinful. Surely he knows that. How can he possibly be blameless? I agree as a pastor he must set a high standard and example, but by grace we must forgive any faults. God has forgiven each of us so much…His forgiveness knows no bounds! Should we not be forgiving too?”

    Please Mrs. H…honey you just frustrate the dickens out of me…( no sarcasm lest I am accused of being a total meanie here…just frustrated …… )
    Again…..
    Hey we are all for forgiveness here…but what about a pastors’ accountability to shepherd his flock and to preach the WORD? and not some idea that some people thought would be a good idea…ie: patriarchy.

    Doug Phillips does not appear to me to be accountable to anyone other than himself…a very dangerous place to be for a pastor….

    again….accountable…accountability….Doug exhibits none of these that I can see…..if I am wrong Corrie & Cynthia will take me to task!!!!

    Best, Morgan
    (pulling hair out and racing to the world of domain infrastructure, visio and knowledge template requirements…) gaaaaaaaah!!!!!

  66. Mrs. H Says:

    Why is it that so many approach this website with a “prove it to me attitude” while Doug Phillips gets nothing but humble respect?

    This web-site accuses Doug Phillips of many things, and if we just blindly believed it all without proof, we would be fools.

    I respect Doug Phillips because he does not have a web-site accusing the Epsteins of many things.

  67. Mrs. H Says:

    Morgan,

    Sorry to frustrate you. I am still working through my thoughts on Doug Phillips, but will not accuse or condemn until I know all the facts. I am working on it! There is a lot to wade through.

    Trish

  68. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Mrs H wrote: I agree as a pastor he must set a high standard and example, but by grace we must forgive any faults. God has forgiven each of us so much…His forgiveness knows no bounds! Should we not be forgiving too?

    We can forgive him after he answers to the charges of the sin. I wrote a bit yesterday about this, paraphrasing Rushdoony on the matter. For those who wish to approach criticism of Doug with a litigious spirit and offer Doug unquestioned forgiveness, consider this:

    Violation of the law must be reviewed to determine whether or not justice was served. The accused must show himself accountable, and he also has the right to face his accuser in a setting that preserves the basic rights and dignity of both parties. Doug has vehemently refused any attempt to show himself accountable, choosing to perpetuate propaganda instead.

    Sentencing or seeking retrobution or forgiveness is offered in a higher court. It is a separate event from the determination of justice. Jesus said that those who fail to repent should not be offered a free pass and are not above criticism.

    Luke 17
    1Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!

    2It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

    3Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

    4And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

    We will forgive him seventy times seven if he repents. The “strong criticism” will cease if he will remotely show himself accountable or accessible to permit anything remotely like a rebuke.

    The rebukes will stop if Doug asks forgiveness, but he will not show up to the mediation or the court or even answer an email or take a phone call. Depending what kind of attempt you make to confront him, you just may get a nasty threat letter from his attorney for your efforts.

  69. Spunky Says:

    Mrs. H I’d like to tackle your last comment first,

    You said “I respect Doug Phillips because he does not have a web-site accusing the Epsteins of many things.”

    I have asked if you needed the links to the sites that do exactly that and you said you were too busy with other things to do such research. But here you state without equivocation that he does not have a web-site accusing the Epsteins of many things. So I ask you again, would you like to the links? Otherwise you can look google Mrs. Binoculars which is published by Matt Chancey, and called an “independent investigation” and linked to by Doug Phillips on the Vision Forum website. There are others but that should keep you busy for a little while.

  70. Spunky Says:

    As far as Doug Phillips being held to the strictest standard. That was taken from the last Tenet of Patriarchy #26 which said, “The biblical rule in judging behavior is charity toward others, strictness toward oneself. ”

    As far as being blameless, I don’t expect Doug Phillips to be SINLESS but a requirement for elder is that he be blameless other translations use “above reproach.”

    Here is the commonly accepted definition I have heard for “above reproach” or “blameless”

    Drawing from 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7 to be “above reproach” means that there is nothing in his life that would justify a legitimate accusation of wrong doing or allow for someone to question his character.

    To me, that means all legitimate questions about character and behavior are handled expediently and in proper biblical order. If repentance is necessary it is done quickly so as to ensure that the elder’s reputation or testimony before the unbelieving world is not compromised with persistent, but legitimate accusations of misconduct. A good testimony with the outside world is also one of the qualifcations for elder.

  71. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Here are a few links to facilitate your research. Spunky, also pressed for time and with other responibilities that I would assume differ little from your own researched these topics. Please take advangage of them and show yourself responsible to the statments you so strongly made.

    **From DINODECEPTION.com (Summary article and website documenting Phillips’ misrepresenting claims of a dinosaur discovery for a Vision Forum video now pulled from distribution and sale)

    **Article at SharperIron.com Questioning the Integrated Church Movement

    **FBFI 06 Resolution Denounces Integrated Church Movement

    P. Andrew Sandlin Says:

    June 11th, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    It is encouraging to see more sites calling these ecclesial tyrants publicly to account. There is room for reasonable disagreement in the church, of course, and many divisive church issues won’t — and shouldn’t — be settled this side of Heaven.

    But certain men like Phillips have a history of ecclesial bullying and autocracy. David Bahnsen and I experienced first-hand his and his boy-staff’s bullying when we publicly exposed his erroneous statement uttered about a conference hosted by the Southern California Center for Christian Studies that both David and I attended and supported.

    Phillips wrote that a true apologetic presuppositionalist (like Bahnsen’s late father Greg) must be a third-party supporter (as in Phillips’ own father’s Constitution Party) and that SCCCS was betraying its legacy by not endorsing third parties.

    When David responded publicly that his father was a true apologetic presuppositionalist and a dedicated Republican his entire life, calling Phillips to account for his misleading comments, Phillips threatened to sue the Study Center.

    One of the SCCCS trustees, a godly and patient man, asked us to remove David’s response to Phillips so that the matter could be privately settled, a course on which Phillips had agreed.

    No sooner had Bahnsen’s exposé of Phillips been removed than he lost interest in pursuing the matter and simply slammed the door in the face of this godly trustee, who sadly acknowledged to Bahnsen and me, “You and David were right about Phillips.”

    Make no mistake: I respect principled third-party supporters.

    I have no respect for Phillips, in my opinion an unprincipled and unethical man.

    Too many churchmen refuse to speak out against such tyranny; thank God for the faithful few who stand with God’s law-word against such ubiquitous evils.

    Link to: Sandlin’s blog discussion

    Link to: David Bahnsen’s account

  72. Mrs. H Says:

    Spunky,

    I would like the links only if they are sites that are authored by Doug Phillips.

  73. Corrie Says:

    “Mrs H wrote: I agree as a pastor he must set a high standard and example, but by grace we must forgive any faults. God has forgiven each of us so much…His forgiveness knows no bounds! Should we not be forgiving too?

    Apparently, those at BCA have bounds on some sins that they just cannot leave alone in the depths of the sea where God has already cast them.

    How much more should we forgive the preconversion sins of others!!! But the example set by those in leadership at BCA was to rail against Jen for a sin committed LONG before she attended BCA and before she knew Christ as her savior.

    Christ not only paid the price for her sin but he now gets to be re-crucified for it on a daily basis just like a Catholic mass while the priest gets to decide what is required for Jen’s penance to get herself out of purgatory and back into favor with God and man.

    I say just sew a scarlet “A” on every piece of her clothing and get it over with.

    Not only that, we all get to rub Jen’s nose in it like she was a naughty puppy who just took a dump on our new carpet.

    As if she hasn’t suffered enough. As if the consequences were not enough. We must finish the job and make sure she KNOWS how very naughty she is because she has committed the unpardonable sin that is impossible to forgive.

    And how long may we use her sin against her? As long as we feel it will benefit us and our cause.

    I can’t imagine how a person who claims to believe in the doctrines of grace can even justify the use of pre-conversion sins but it was done.

    We are dead in our trespasses. We are in bondage to our sinful nature. Surely they understand that sinners cannot NOT sin?

    And add to that the fact that Mark pleaded with their pastor to NOT tell the whole world what Christ had long ago forgiven and was of NO consequence to the excommunication. Add to that the fact that Jen had written at least two letters stating that she was repentant and asking for forgiveness.

    I totally believe in forgiveness but it seems like we don’t understand what that truly means.

  74. Spunky Says:

    That is a problem Mrs. H. He links to sites and publishes sites but will NOT sign anything with his name. His church website Boerne fails to give his name as pastor or the names of any elders yet the site allows for a defense of this Doug Phillips using quotes without documents for verifcation. Yet, he quotes partial statements from various sources and does not support them with verifying information to ensure that the changes did not alter the original authors intent.

    Vision Forum also has a “hidden” webpage that has language that is unbecoming an elder or Christian businessman. But again Doug Phillips does not sign the documents or claim authorship. The most grievious portion to me is that Doug Phillips allows an “anonymous Supreme Court justice” to make an accusation against a former friend without any documentation. Here is one quote from the unauthored but hosted by Vision Forum webpage,

    The title of the page says, “Epstein Co-conspirator Fired by Supreme Court Justice from Position of Public Trust for Assisting Jennifer Epstein. Supreme Court Justice Describes Epstein Conspiracy as “Vile Scheme.”

    One paragraph in the text reads…

    “To assist them in the Jennifer Epstein/Ministry Watchman cabal to harm men and ministries, the co-conspirators looked to a young attorney serving a state Supreme Court Justice in a position of confidentiality and public trust. The young attorney was David Linton, an individual who may have had personal belligerence towards Ligonier Ministries, the Highlands Study Center and Vision Forum — all objects of Jennifer Epstein’s personal and public smear campaign. Evidence of Epstein’s collaboration with Linton was brought to our attention by the Supreme Court Justice himself who personally caught his employee in lies and discovered him misappropriating state property for the purpose of aiding and abetting Jennifer Epstein.”

    Does he name the Supreme Court Justice? NO.

    Does he provide documentation for his allegation? NO.

    The unsigned websites give Doug Phillips “plausible deniability.” Plausible deniability is a popular politcal maneuver, but is not acceptable for a elder and Christian leader.

    The very fact that Doug Phillips refuses to sign his name to any document used on those webpages, causes me as a supporter great concern. Doug calls men to courageous leadership, honor, and valor. He calls men to face adversitey and “take the bullet” for women and children. But without his signature, it appears Doug Phillips is doing everything he can to dodge the bullet and escape any accountability for what is written on the Vision Forum or BCA sites.

    I thank you for your persistance in asking questions Mrs. H. But I cannot give you what Doug Phillips refuses to provide, and that is accountability for his words and actions.

    why I say that his behavior in

  75. Mrs. H Says:

    Spunky,

    Where on the Vision Forum web-site is the link to Mrs. Binoculars? I have not seen it.

    Thanks


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