How Patriarchy Itself is the Slippery Slope that Led Doug Phillips to Serious Sin With Another Woman

Speculation is running rampant right now regarding Doug Phillips’ recent admission of a lengthy, inappropriate relationship resulting in “serious sin” with another woman.  Doug Phillips claims that he behaved without proper accountability, but how much do we really need someone else to hold our hands to keep us from “serious sin” in life?  Is Doug Phillips really going to place the blame for his “serious sin” upon the shoulders of dozens and dozens of men who do hold him accountable each and every day of his life?  In his statement of repentance, does he truly take responsibility or is this yet another deflection?

Let’s take a look at Doug’s daily life and see how this could possibly happen.  Is it possible that the lifestyle and rules of patriarchy itself are exactly why Doug Phillips found himself on a slippery slope from which there was no return?  Does patriarchy in fact encourage this kind of temptation?  I believe it does and it did, in Doug Phillips’ case.

First, let’s go to work with Doug Phillips.  Vision Forum’s offices and warehouse are located smack in the middle of San Antonio, TX.  The men who are employed there all hold to Doug Phillips’ strict views and rules of patriarchy.  Any women who work at Vision Forum come to work with their husbands, fathers, or brothers.  There are no unrelated women working there.  There are a dozen or so men surrounding Doug and his office at any given moment.  To reach Doug’s office, one must pass by several other men’s offices.  It is practically impossible for any inappropriate relationship to take place at Vision Forum, and knowing Doug Phillips’ extremely high standards against sexual sin, this simply wouldn’t not happen at the office.

Doug Phillips attends dozens of homeschool conferences, and hosts many fabulous homeschool events put on by Vision Forum.  His family attends nearly event with him, and if his whole family does not go, at least some of his children are always with him at these events.  Doug Phillips is also always surrounded by his Vision Forum interns and staff at each and every one of these events and conferences.  I cannot for the life of me envision Doug looking at another woman while attending these events, and he is never left alone, so I think we can cross this off our list as well.

How about doing errands around town?  Not likely and not often.  Doug Phillips would have absolutely zero interest in the “worldly” woman, so I do not believe that would ever happen.

Counseling?  Doug Phillips was always very careful never to counsel a woman alone.  I am sure that he continued that rule.

So where does that leave us?  I can think of only one situation and it is not only plausible but also nearly inevitable in many patriarchal families.  Patriarchy itself lends itself to this situation.  Large families require a huge amount of work.  Many mothers within patriarchy are worn to a frazzle and if they can afford it, they seek extra help.  There are many types of help available but the most prevalent type is to hire a nanny, another young lady within the patriarchy movement who holds all the ideals of patriarchy, but is patiently waiting to get married, so she “serves” her father by serving another man and his family, taking care of his children.

In “The Return of the Daughters,” a young lady states that she cannot serve in her father’s business so she serves God and her father by serving others in the community (“community” is a codeword for those who belong to Doug Phillips’ church).  The way that she serves the “community” is to be a nanny for Doug Phillips’ eight children.  She is not the only nanny that the Phillips family has employed over the years, but she was featured in this documentary.

Let’s look at the type of “nanny” the Phillips family would employ.

Natasha Phillips GirlsDresses modestly (long, full dresses


Obeys her parents, even as an adult

Obeys her elders (at church)

Courtship only (no dating or relationships with men)

Gentle, quiet spirit



Has no opinions in her own right

Does not go to college

Good with children

Cooks and cleans

Loves God

Now, this is not your typical 13-year-old babysitter.  This nanny is often a full-time position for a young woman in her late teens or twenties.  This young woman, who most certainly has natural hormones for this age, has no outlet for relationships with men.  This young woman, under the encouragement of her father, idolizes Doug Phillips.  This young woman is the epitome of everything Doug Phillips preaches.  She is the standard that all other young patriarchal ladies wish to aspire to.  And this young woman does so with the full blessing of her father.

And she spends most of her time with the Phillips family.  She is there while Doug is at work.  She is often there when Doug is at home.  She will even spend the night there sometimes.  She is there when the family travels to homeschool conferences and Vision Forum events, where Doug has the opportunity to watch her perform her duties in a fashion that makes Doug Phillips very proud.  She even goes on family vacations with the Phillips, occasionally, to help with the tremendous amount of work of taking care of eight children.  She is like a second mother to the Phillips’ children.

Is it any wonder that she also becomes like a second wife to Doug Phillips as well?  Here is this young woman, in her twenties, beautiful inside and outside, blindly obedient to everything she is told to do, never questioning, and absolutely idolizing this man in his forties.  If this young woman spends several years practically living with the Phillips’ family, are we really so surprised that a lengthy, inappropropriate relationship develops between these two that eventually leads to serious sin?

Patriarchy itself, with all its rules and legalism, is such a heavy burden on a large family that they absolutely do need extra help.  The kind of help that leads to such a slippery slope, however, goes against everything Doug Phillips preaches.  Perhaps we need to go back to square one and decide if this was such a good idea.

I do not blame Doug.  I do not blame this woman. I am not saying that I know who the woman is, but if anyone knows anything different from what I have presented here, I will retract my thoughts.

This is not about needing more accountability in life.  Doug Phillips has more men to keep him accountable than does the president of the United States.  This is not about needing more rules in life.  Rules do not change our heart.  This is about having a change of heart.  This is about coming to realize that keeping a long list of rules just doesn’t work.  No one can perfectly keep a long list of rules and God does not intend for us to do so.

In the Bible, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the “patriarchs.”  Look at what happened to Abraham when Sarah’s household help was called upon to help progenate Abraham’s descendants.  Look at what happened when Jacob’s wives, Leah and Rachel, couldn’t get along and asked their household help to help progenate their families as well.  Perhaps, in the true sense of patriarchy, this is just a natural extension of patriarchy.

Or, perhaps, we need to reevaluate the value of patriarchy to begin with.


122 Responses to “How Patriarchy Itself is the Slippery Slope that Led Doug Phillips to Serious Sin With Another Woman”

  1. Dying to know Says:

    No details of what forced his confession yet???

  2. Jason Says:

    A great article Jen, it made sense to someone like me who had never heard of this man until a month ago. I am amazed that there are preachers still insisting that women abstain from higher education. In addition to all the points you have made, I think it is also time for churches to reconsider what they teach about sex & forgiveness. On one hand we say that all sin is equal, but on the other hand we are far less forgiving of sexual indiscretion than of lying, overeating, selfishness, and other sins we actually brag about in subtle ways. In many churches murder is even more easily forgiven than adultery. But in this case it sounds like Mr. Doug will be getting a taste of his own medicine, so maybe he will learn this lesson, and something good will have come out of this.

    Very observant of you to catch the “accountability” cop-out. I missed that one, but will be watching for it in future admissions of wrong-doing by politicians and preachers alike.

    This would also be a good time for the church to reevaluate it’s stances on sexuality in general, since the ancient Hebrews, didn’t see the Adam-Eve example of heterosexual monogamy as binding on their own sexuality, nor did Torah, but we think we can bind it on others. The fact that we selectively apply our ideal of lifetime monogamy to women more than in judgement of men is another line of evidence that we are pretty messed up in this department.

  3. Leslie Says:

    Did you notice Doug posted an article called “True Repentance: A key to family blessings” on October 1.

  4. LAS Says:

    Hi Jen,
    I followed your story back when you were posting and hope you are doing well. I’ve always enjoyed your writing-style, intelligence and emphasis on the pitfalls of legalism.

    How could a father get away with an affair with the nanny in a patriarchal family? Wouldn’t the wife and/or children be there all the time? Wouldn’t the wife (& others) see the way her husband and the nanny interacted together and get suspicious early on? How could this go on long-term?

    I would really like to hear your insights into this as you understand the culture there much more than I do.

    Also, why would Doug have “zero interest in a worldly woman?”


    • Jen Says:

      LAS, the Phillips live in a 6000 square foot home. It is easy to get lost and it is easy to be on one side of the house while others on the other side. Sometimes, Beall would take some children to the store, while others stayed at home. There are multiple possible scenarios here. I suppose that if they wanted to keep this secret, they could have. Or it is possible that others thought so highly of Doug that they never would have believed this would happen so even if the clues were there, they wouldn’t have believed it.

      One time, I saw a woman wearing pants come to a homeschool seminar. When I saw Doug’s look of utter disdain toward her, I realized how deep his judgmentalism against women outside patriarchy truly is. I have seen it time and time again. We were really a “separatist” movement. We separated ourselves from the rest of the world and really thought we had “made it” in the holiness phase of life, whereas NO ONE else had. It was truly an atmosphere of thinking that everyone who toed the patriarchy line was far above everyone else in the world.

      Therefore, Doug would never look at a “worldly” woman because he was too busy setting up his own perfect little world.

      • Anna Says:

        And don’t forget, he admitted to an “emotional” affair in which he did not “know” her in the biblical sense. Simply put this probably meant he took advantage of her emotionally, encouraging an attachment borne of flattery and idolization. They were probably spending too much time talking about personal things, confiding in each other, gazing at each other affectionately. This could easily go on even in front of the children for a long time without him being called on it.

        I wonder what finally got him busted. Purely a guilty conscience? With all I’ve seen and read about him, I doubt it.

      • Sarah Pressler Says:

        HAHAHA I experienced this when I wore pants to church. Stepped inside his home in pants on a Sunday. 42 weeks preggers with Hannah and he just looked me up and down with glaring disapproval. As soon as he realized how judgmental he was being, he changed his expression and smiled at me. I almost LAUGHED at him but quickly turned away… it was SO telling. I’m not sure why I stuck around so long… In hindsight, I think it was a mixture of morbid curiosity, genuine need for fellowship, and strong internal desire to find the exact opposite of the dysfunctional family life I was enduring. Yadda Yadda… I wore pants to Doug’s church. And lived to tell about it. LOL

  5. Which Vision Forum Did Doug Phillips Resign From? Says:

    […] Jen’s Gems: How Patriarchy Itself Is the Slippery Slope that Led Doug Phillips to Serious Sin with Another Woman […]

  6. Doug Phillips Resigns from Vision Forum, Cites Affair Says:

    […] How Patriarchy Itself Is the Slippery Slope that Led Doug Phillips to Serious Sin with Another Woman […]

  7. Tommy Says:

    Jen, what you are saying is an absolutely probable scenario. I cannot imagine somebody in Doug’s position to go out and start extramarital relationships outside his family. He is too firm in his views for that. But temptation from within – very likely. H owever, I fear that he will have to take back some of the things he said, especially about “knowing” the woman. This sounds too much like Ted Haggard maintaining that he met his masseur only once and remaining passive throughout the encounter. And I never believed President Clinton when he said he only inhaled. The best thing we can do is pray for him and his family and his church and the organization. Thanks again for your thoughts.

    • Jen Says:

      Yes, Tommy, we should all pray for him, and all involved.

    • Gertrude M. Bell Says:

      A woman, or man, outside of the VF inner circle would not be subject to the kind of control he would have over those in his inner circle. They would not be subject to the daily reinforcement of his dogma. The best victim would be someone conveniently close, who had ultimate trust in him. Submission is the quality most admired by these jerks. Find the ultimately submissive male or female and there you will find his victim.

  8. Jackie C. Says:

    You are a good detective – nice elimination and good info for outsiders. I’m too much a cynic of powerful men to believe there’s not more to the story too. What I will call you on though is saying it wouldn’t be Doug’s fault if he was involved with a nanny (if I understood you right). That would be an abuse of power and if it was sexual, whether by words or actions, it would be clergy sexual abuse. At thw least clergy power abuse and she’s a victim. I hope whoever the woman was, because as you point out she had to be a church or ministry member, she gets help. All I can feel for her is pity. The guilt she must be feeling now yet she is the victim.

    I know this system sets it all up but so do medical services and therapy relationships. People with power over others have to admit when they fail and let the victim be freed publicly. If he was really sorry, he’d make sure to take all the blame and admit the power abuse. Somewhere there’s a young woman sitting with a broken heart thinking her life is ruined and she is a terrible sinner and a betrayer of trust.

    • Jackie C. Says:

      I realize you said “blame” not fault. But it still applies. I’ll blame him. He’s most likely an abuser. If he never comes into contact with outside women or would consider one, then she’s in the ministry and he has the power. It’s why ministers don’t date parishners. Just not done.

      • Jen Says:

        Jackie, the reason I do not “blame” Doug is that I think any one of us would have been similarly tempted in the same situation. I don’t “blame” Doug as in I don’t judge him. We are all sinners. None of us are perfect. And none of us are expected to be perfect, unless we set ourselves up to be pretend to be perfect, to be performance oriented.

      • Jackie C. Says:

        Would you phrase this the same way if you found out he was beating his children or his wife? This wasn’t an affair. This was abuse. Two different situations.

    • Jen Says:

      Jackie, sure it is Doug’s fault. It is absolutely and 100% Doug’s fault. I am saying that in that particular situation, anyone would be tempted, especially long-term.

      Yes, the young woman needs much love and help and prayers. And more. I will address that soon.

      • Jackie C. Says:

        To me this is like saying any parent would be tempted to rape a woman who was wearing a short skirt or break the arm of a child who was mouthy. It took me awhile to understand the conceptm of clergy sexual.abuse. My retreat center used to host a national retreat for women survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Hearing their stories and educating myself on the issue took me from the “affair” view of it to understanding how it’s abuse. You may be familiar with the work of Marie Fortune.

        • Jen Says:

          I am not saying Doug is not wrong. Not at all. He certainly is. However, the situation easily lends itself to such results.

      • Jackie C. Says:

        That was supposed to be man tempted to rape and parent to break.

  9. sunshinemary Says:

    You seem to be under the impression that only patriarchal men can fall prey to sexual temptation.

    Men from any and all belief systems give in to sexual temptation all the time. It doesn’t matter if they are atheists or Christians, egalitarians or complementarians, patriarchalists or feminists. Eliminating patriarchal family structures would do exactly zero to influence the rate of adultery.

    • Jen Says:

      Sunshinemary, no, I realize that sexual temptation crosses every line imaginable. In this particular case, patriarchy encourages single young women in their twenties to be full-time nannies for other large homeschool families. That can be inviting temptation right into your home, which goes against everything patriarchy stands for. That is my only point here.

    • Jackie C. Says:

      But it would protect a lot of young women. Kind of like two-deep leadership in youth settings and therapists losing their licenses if they have sex with a patient.

  10. astrid Says:

    and then there is the entirely more plausible (to me anyways) option that Doug did not have an affair with a woman at all, but rather a man. That couldn’t be confessed though. Having an affair with a woman is an acceptable stumble. But all Doug’s manly romps through sweaty jungles and his hyper-masculinism combined with his deep derision towards women and the logistical difficulties of getting time alone with a woman – these do not exist for him with men.

    • Jen Says:

      Astrid, one of the reasons I wrote this particular article is to put to rest those rumors. I do not believe this is what happened at all.

  11. Sara Says:

    @Jen, I’m not sure if you are taking a random guess at who the woman is in question, or if you simply enjoy accusing people with no proof to back up your accusation. Either way, it would be obviously more logical to hold you thoughts on the woman’s name until you had…well…any teeny tiny bit of proof.

    • Jen Says:

      Sara, neither. There were all sorts of rumors going around and I felt that telling some of the truth was better than the rumors that were flying around out there. I did not name names, and I will not do so, but if we do not identify the root cause, then this is bound to happen over and over again.

    • Woman Says:

      I agree. No need to name names. In fact, it would be uncharitable to do so.
      “His law is love and His gospel is peace. ”

      Thoughtful article otherwise. Let’s pray instead of conspire. 🙂

  12. Ruth Says:

    “No one can perfectly keep a long list of rules and God does not intend for us to do so.” Hallelujah! Thank God that He provided another way.

    I would suggest that this sort of thing is not just the result of subscribing to the philosophy of patriarchy, but of any one ‘christian’ holding themselves above another. In that context, accountability is not about surrounding yourself with “yes men”. True accountability happens when we are in real, honest relationship with those we treat as equals in Christ.

    • Jen Says:

      Ruth, do we really need “accountability,” someone to hold our hand, if our motivation is simply love?

      • Ruth Says:

        Jen, you are absolutely right! If accountability is only someone holding our hand in an attempt to regulate or control our behaviour, then it’s worthless. I think that part of the problem is that some people have isolated ‘accountability’ from it’s true context of whole relationship (being motivated by love). It has then lost its value and become just another performance indicator.

        I guess what I was thinking about were the genuine relationships in my life where I am allowed to be myself – where I know and am known. In that place, our love for each other sometimes motivates us to question words or behaviours which are not consistent with who we really are (who we are ‘known’ to be). This is what I would call accountability.

        I suspect none of us will ever be beyond the temptation of self-deception and so we feel safe and truly loved. And this happens in the context of whole relationship which also includes plenty of encouragement, praise and care.

        In contrast, I have seen many examples of ‘christian leaders’ just removing anyone around them who questions or challenges their way of thinking or operating. They make sure they are surrounded only by those who will agree with everything they do and then they claim to be accountable. But in reality they will allow no-one to speak into their lives! No wonder ‘accountability’ has got such a bad rap in recent times 😛

        • Jen Says:

          Ruth, for many years, we began the service every Sunday with these words: “We believe in a plurality of elders …” but as I looked around, I only saw one — Doug Phillips. As people began to question that over the years, Doug would say that he was waiting for someone who was 100% in agreement with him in every way. Rather than surrounding himself with “yes” men, Doug merely groomed dozens of “yes” men with his internship program through Vision Forum. While there were many fabulous aspects to the intern program, there was no room for independent thinking in any way whatsoever.

          No, “accountability” to Doug Phillips is simply grooming “yes” men.

      • Eileen Says:

        Jen Says:
        November 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm
        Ruth, for many years, we began the service every Sunday with these words: “We believe in a plurality of elders …” but as I looked around, I only saw one — Doug Phillips. As people began to question that over the years, Doug would say that he was waiting for someone who was 100% in agreement with him in every way. Rather than surrounding himself with “yes” men, Doug merely groomed dozens of “yes” men with his internship program through Vision Forum. While there were many fabulous aspects to the intern program, there was no room for independent thinking in any way whatsoever.

        No, “accountability” to Doug Phillips is simply grooming “yes” men.

        Yes………I have seen that myself Jen, unfortunately. The only one Doug is accountable is himself and you DO NOT hold him accountable period or you are met with problems, as you have found. We have not only found this, but prideful, arrogant, and he submits to no one……..absolutely no one. The more I see, the more we see, the more our friends have seen/experienced, Doug is a dictator and leader of a cult. He has formed himself a cult and I have compared him to one recent famous politician in DC as well (wouldn’t he be SO thrilled lol). Some things remind me of Hitler. Sadly it used to surprise me but it doesn’t anymore. I am truly surprised that BCA got so big and people ALLOWED Doug not to be held accountable and get by with this stuff, including being bullied. I am also hearing from the children that were raised in BCA, there is/was TONS of rebellion. Are you seeing that as well?

        • Jen Says:

          Eileen, yes, the children of patriarchy are not turning out the way Doug predicted. It is very sad, but when you value rules above relationship, you lose the relationship.

      • Ruth Says:

        Jen, I’ve continued to ponder your question as well as my attempt to share what was in my heart. This morning I came across the quote below and I realised that ‘accountability’ was the wrong word to describe what I was talking about – which was relationship, pure and simple 🙂

        “Surprisingly, no Scripture assigns believers or leaders to provide accountability for each other. That is reserved for God alone. We are told to encourage each other and though that means at times we might have to confront or admonish, it does not mean we hold each other accountable.”

  13. Public notice: Douglas Phillips is not God’s wounded soldier, and we are not shooting our wounded | Biblical Personhood Says:

    […] No, Doug is not a wounded soldier of God. He is an enemy masquerading as one of God’s soldiers, making a profit peddling his wares** and meanwhile wounding God’s people and leading them astray. He admitted right now – and admit is not synonymous with repentance – to a tiny bit of behaviour unbecoming to a soldier of God. Having an emotional affair, if that is what he did, is hypocritical considering his rules about courtship, and I may even listen to those who say his message will make affairs more likely. […]

  14. Submitting to corrupted authority | Sunshine Mary Says:

    […] In How Patriarchy Itself is the Slippery Slope that Led Doug Phillips to Serious Sin With Another Woma…, blogger Jen writes: […]

  15. Ken Says:

    Hi Jen,
    I found your blog today after my wife told me about the Doug Phillips latest issues. I new nothing about either of you up to today, but read each of your “Beginnings” blog posts with interest.

    Certainly I feel for you and the unfortunate situation you have been though. I have experienced being part of a close knit church trying to model itself after an Acts and Pauline ideals, and part of larger churches, and neither of these models, not any other church is equipped to deal with your particular needs of that time.

    You mention Mark’s anger and some wondering about being Bipolar … you speak in terms of your trying to be a godlyand submissive wife… and no reader can know exactly the truth of your situation, but we do understand and can accept your perspective.

    You entered Phillips’ life by choice in choosing his church. He tries to screen to keep troublemakers out of his church, and yet he and his congregation willingly took you in and tried to minister to you.

    You should realize by now that your needs at that time were extremely difficult with no easy answer, yet you pressed and kept pressing for answers from Phillips who by now you should know could not give them to you. Not because answers do not exist, but because either you, or Mark, or both, were unwilling to change to do the things you already knew you needed to do to solve your marriage issues.

    I am not trying to put you down or condemn you in any way. You certainly had what seemed like an impossible situation going on, and you looked for help from your church and your minister. I get that. What I do not get is that your expectations for what he and the church could do for you may have been legitimate long ago, but now 7 years later you know better. .

    Why keep attacking a fellow believer because he did not solve your issues like you wanted him to? He could not solve them… they were an impossible test and a difficult burden you gave him and his wife… yet they tried. They did what they thought was best for you and Mark, and at any time you two could have left the church and moved to another body of believers who you felt could better minister to you.

    Instead, you kept asking for more and got excommunicated. Still you tried to justify yourself and to get back in with the church? Why? Is this more about justifying yourself and your behavior… or destroying someone who tried to help you, no matter how wrong he was in his approach?

    Your conclusion that Biblical husband led families is the problem is so off base. Please, for the sake of the body of Christ, stop now that you appear to have won. You have been proven right, that Phillips is not a perfect man… that he sins… and maybe he sinned against you, although from everything I have read I have not seen anything that would suggest that. Just take down your blog and acknowledge that the biggest mistake Phillips made was getting involved in martial issues with two hard headed people. Although you must admit he was quite reluctant to get involved in any way at all, but you kept pressing and wishing he made himself even more available to you and your extraordinary needs.

    I may not agree with Philips on many things, but it is unprofitable and unbecoming to leave up your posts up from 7 years ago all in the name of benefiting Christianity. Anyone who has spent any time in the family of God knows that there are many types of churches, many who desire to do church Biblically and fall into legalism, or some other form of overemphasizing one truth at the expense of another. But it is time for you to close down your blog concerning Phillips and if God wants to attack him and his ministry in other ways… so be it. But you should be done, forgive him, and move on with your life.

    With all my love, and caring for you and the whole body of Christ,


    • Jen Says:

      Dear Ken, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am sure that you feel you are seeing this from an objective perspective, but I think there is far more going on here than meets your eye.

      First, when we first started attending BCA, there was virtually no legalism. That grew over time.

      This was during a time in our marriage when things were going really well, so we did not go to church looking for help. But the more patriarchy was preached, the worse things got at home. If I cannot go to my pastor for help with my marriage, who can I go do? I had already poured out my heart to God for years. I believe that God uses people.

      Apparently you have never experienced the blessings of being in such a tight-knit community that you cannot even imagine leaving because they are your family. It is not like your average church where you can just pick up and go somewhere else. The bonds of relationship held us tight, as it should be.

      I am not here to attack Doug Phillips. I kept my blog up all those years, silently after I initially told my story, because Doug Phillips continued to abuse people. If there was a dangerous criminal who lived on your street, would you warn your neighbors? Would you warn your new neighbors? Or would you just let them find out the hard way? Because of the level of abuse, I felt it was my duty to warn people. And so, my blog remains as long as the abuse continues. And I will know when Doug Phillips truly has a change of heart.

      I do thank you for your thoughts, though, and understand that there is more than one way to look at this.

      • Ken Says:

        I guess I would need to read much more than just your early Beginnings blog posts to understand … but this veteran of many different models for churches, and having been an elder, and leader of other campaigns to “right the wrongs within the church and church body… I know it is hard to imagine that you may be overstating your case. It is part of the dynamics of a church fight that mistakes, poor judgment, and fringe scriptural views are considered “abuse.”

        There certainly was nothing I read in your opening posts that show any abuse whatsoever. You made me feel sorry for the poor pastor who had to deal with your situation, while blaming him for something that you can in no way know for sure. Your whole premise is that Mark changed because of going to a church that taught patriarchal leadership, yet Mark may have changed even if he had not gone to such a church. His responsibility was to “Love His wife as Christ loved the Church” and he fell far short of this ideal. But to blame the pastor and the church for a husband’s behavior is so wrong… and yet that seems to be the heart of your fight.

        Personal growth comes from accepting personal responsibility. I can understand how you and Mark being young and coming from a military overseas environment, could throw yourself into a community church in search of the connections and leadership you felt you needed, but now you are much older and wiser. More mature in the Lord. You must realize that no matter how badly you wanted a “community of believers” to surround you, that such a church and pastor cannot be held responsible to meet the unique needs that you had as a couple. One of the reasons that Phillips has a church is because people like you CHOOSE to be part of it. Some want this type of leadership and must know it will be imperfect

        The only responsibility that Doug Phillips and the church had to you was to try to help. You plead for help… they tried ad made a mess of things. Understood. But to blame and keep blaming, accusing and holding onto this seems unfair to this consultant who is fully trained in the church and God’s Word.

        Only you can search the mind of the Lord and see if He is the one truly desiring your continued “watchman” role, or if it is time to let this go. I found in my crusades that it was only after I gave up my role within the process of being the watchman that I realized that I may have been right, but there was so much wrong that went into justifying my position, that it was no longer helpful to the body of Christ. That those I thought were so off base were brothers in Christ, and we simply disagreed as to how God would be best served in their behavior and ministry. All on the same team… even if we disagree significantly.

        Perhaps you can give me three things that Phillips has done that is so wrong? Could not find this in your opening posts. Nothing evil… nothing sinful… even if you felt he was wrong and was not listening to you.

        Give yourself some room for reflection and some grace for your old pastor. He was not some meddling guy trying to fix you and Mark… you used him to try to “fix” you both and he was not the fix or cure. Give him the credit for trying, and trying to be Biblical about it, and realize that no matter what he had done things would have ended badly… unless he had sided with you? Still badly… and that was not his fault.

        As far as husband leadership… I am a big believer in having pastors teach it just as the scriptures do. I do not understand this “serve my father” stuff from daughters… but certainly I understand and appreciate my wife’s full commitment to submission to God and in turn to her husband. This is not patriarchal… it is God’s design. To make a Christian man “the boss” or to expect that he will be comfortable leading his family in worship, and do it, are both outside of what the Bible teaches.

        Truth in balance with the others of God’s truths… this is effective Christianity. And only you can decide if God’s desire that you not speak ill of others, especially those in the body of Christ, is outweighed by anything the scriptures teaches that makes you a watchman over Doug Phillips or churches who desire to model families after a more patriarchal model. But I had a nanny, and many other families do too… Having a nanny has nothing to do with a patriarchal family and neither does adultery.

        Thanks for your response and I wish you the best and you seek to love and serve our Lord! ken

        • Jen Says:

          Ken, I’m left wondering if you have actually read my story. The part about Doug Phillips’ lack of help in our marriage is a very minor part of what this blog is about.

          May I ask you to read my story first, and then perhaps we would be able to have a better conversation? It is really all laid out here in great detail.

          I appreciate your interest here, and would love to discuss it further with you, but I think it would be helpful if you knew the background a bit better first. Thanks!

      • Eileen Says:

        I am not here to attack Doug Phillips. I kept my blog up all those years, silently after I initially told my story, because Doug Phillips continued to abuse people. If there was a dangerous criminal who lived on your street, would you warn your neighbors? Would you warn your new neighbors? Or would you just let them find out the hard way? Because of the level of abuse, I felt it was my duty to warn people. And so, my blog remains as long as the abuse continues. And I will know when Doug Phillips truly has a change of heart.

        w/o naming names, can you detail the types of abuse that you saw (other than your experience)? what about you guys? Your children?

        • Jen Says:

          Generically, because I do not want Doug to know who has spoken to me, I know about families that were torn apart, I know of businesses that were ruined, careers that were destroyed, and relationships with churches that were unnecessarily ruined. There were also many legal threats and many instances of intimidation by “men in black.”

          My children, many years later, are still devastated and hurt by the whole thing.

    • Jackie C. Says:

      Ken, I find it interesting that you know nothing of either Jen or Phillips yet you assume much by saying her behavior is inappropriate. You assume you understand the whole story. You assume your reading of the situation is accurate, and you assume your worldview is not blinding you or encouraging you to write in a way that is both inappropriate and unbecoming. Your worldview has enouraged you to believe that you are an authority on this type of situation. Yet it is your very background and life experiences that prohibit you from seeing the truth. How many women have you shared heartbreak with as they tell you the stories of clergy power abuse or clergy sexual abuse? I too have only read a portion of Jen’s story, but I see all the little things you ignored. Her story rings with the truth of so many other stories I have heard in the last 20 years that it isdifficult to doubt. The very fact that she was reluctant to leave the church is a truth teller in itself.

      Jesus taught us to look beyond ourselves and the world as we know it. Isnt that the very reason he brought women into the circle? Who first believes of Jesus’ resurrection and goes on to tell the story? Women. Who sits at his feet while her sister works and is told she had chosen well? A woman. Who reaches out in faith knowing just the touch of his robe will heal her? A woman. And I could go on. Then there’s the men he ate with and the thief on the cross who believed. The last shall be first so I would suggest that before you decide to lecture a woman you step out of your worldview and look around you.

    • CPM Says:

      Wow Ken, allow me to take your very lengthy post and simplify it here:

      Jen: Look, the Emperor, (who btw, has decreed throughout the land his message of modesty) is not wearing any clothes!

      Ken: Oh Jen, quit being such a child (substitute woman if you are so inclined). Don’t you think it childish and unrealistic to expect the Emperor to be wearing clothes?

      The End

      • Jen Says:

        CPM, great interpretation!

      • Someone Says:

        I heartily agree… and I don’t abide by TACL (tight assed church lady) standards at all anymore… so I’m gonna say… Ken, shut up … obviously women standing up and boldly speaking the truth is a threat to your sad little world of ego and arrogance. So… here’s a quarter…call someone who cares.

    • David Says:

      Amen brother.

    • Annie Says:

      Jen, Don’t you dare take down one page of this blog. I somehow landed on this site a couple of years ago and thought “this poor lady is really wounded, but give it a rest.” Now I see that you are totally justified and you have been the Watchman on the Wall, so to speak, warning the rest of us. Keep it up. I live in the vicinity of VF and always felt kind of weird buying stuff from their website. I too have peripherally seen families torn apart, faith rejected and hearts broken by patriarchy. We left a home-fellowship type church after we were given horrible advice on disciplining our children and when it started to go down the “women will be silent” path. Ugh. I’ve never been able to put my finger on what it was that made me need to get out of there, but now I know it was the Holy Spirit’s discernment.

    • Pat Says:

      If the church is not the place for people with ‘extraordinary needs’ then I don’t know where is! And any church which washes their hands of someone because they have such needs probably needs to go and look at the type of people Jesus associated with. And read James.

  16. HoosierHillbilly Says:


    I had not heard of this whole matter until recently. I will have to look a bit more into the backstory here…but one thing I am particularly confused about are your last two paragraphs.

    I get the connection of the “patriarchs” with sleeping with multiple women and the problems that it raised. But is there a chance you could clairfy what “Perhaps, in the true sense of patriarchy, this is just a natural extension of patriarchy” means? I realize I am a bit slower than most at untangling lessons from Biblical history to modernity, but any clarification would be greatly appreciated.



    • Jen Says:

      Hoosier, there is a section here on the Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy. I think I need to update it, but it shows how far from Scripture these tenets truly are. What you are asking me would take about twenty articles to answer, but perhaps that is exactly what needs to happen.

  17. Todd Abell Says:

    Here’s an opportunity for repentance – speculate on who might be involved in this unfortunate situation. Assign motives and blame without any firsthand knowledge of the truth. Jen, the burden of proof is not on someone who can prove you wrong – better to retract now than to act like everyone else’s silence proves you right. This is poor logic and even worse ethics.

    As SunshineMary points out, men from many worldviews fall into various types of temptation – not because of their worldview but despite it. Thankfully, the truth of the Christian worldview isn’t determined by our ability to perfectly demonstrate it – each of us is sinful. Further, it is just plain silly to project the sins of the OT patriarchs onto contemporary teaching about how family relationships should work – just because both include leadership from fathers. From Genesis forward, God’s design has always been one man and one woman. I don’t see how any accurate teaching on patriarchy could so much as imply anything else. Vision Forum’s page about it certainly doesn’t. As for how far the tenets are from scripture, each of them cites multiple scripture references interpreted through systematic (both local and macro contexts) theology.

    Even if an opportunity was created by Doug’s living arrangements (still speculation remember) – the situation represents only a series of lifestyle and value choices that might be supportive of patriarchical living, but are not dictated by it (I know several families at least as big as the Phillips’ that don’t employ a nanny of any variety). To make the case that patriarchy is to blame, one would need to show a propensity of men in this lifestyle having the problem – good luck with that. One man’s situation (even a high profile one) doesn’t make a majority.

    Of course, Doug and the woman involved are to blame for the situation as much as they knew that (actively or passively) they had moved outside of the bounds of an appropriate relationship. I do agree that accountability (while helpful) is not the issue either. If anyone trusts that to the exclusion of remaining sensitive to the prompting of their conscience, they are already in trouble.

    So, please stop trying to “shoot the message” because the messenger stumbled. And also give him this much – he has subjected himself to the same type of authority that he calls others to follow. Regardless of how this matter came to light, he has confessed and shown every outward sign of public and private repentance. None of us should try to be the Holy Spirit as to how well he does this.

    • Jackie C. Says:

      Until he admits it was an abuse of power then he has not confessed. Unless the woman was outside his church, ministry or business, which is unlikely, it’s clergy sexual abuse. Look it up.

      • Todd Abell Says:

        I think you presume too much. If he hasn’t confessed it, how can you “know” that it is an abuse of power? And for that matter, Doug owes none of us any confession beyond whatever assurance he wants to offer his constituency and the public. His sin was private. Scriptural discipline calls only for thorough confession/repentance and restoration of those affected – that’s not us. Further, I would caution each of you about the confidence you place in the deductive “reasoning” you are using. Thinking about it is presumption (conceit). Lacking details from an informed trustworthy source, discussion of it is nothing short of gossip (back-biting). What god pleasing purpose do you hope to meet with any of it? Do you stand ready to account for every idle word?

        Seeing that you don’t trust Doug, then trust those around him to set things right. If it still isn’t now, it will be in eternity.

        • Jen Says:

          Apparently you have not read my blog, Todd, or you would not say such things. I have every reason in the world to not trust those around him either.

        • Todd Abell Says:

          In fact, I read your blog many months ago. But I did more than that. When faced with the grievous accusations that you make about Doug Phillips and those around him, I looked to other sources via the web and whatever contacts I could find. The short version of the story is you do need healing but have rejected help toward that end when it was offered. Instead you hope to find it by further vilifying Doug, his associates, his church, etc. I’m sure that mistakes have been made – I believe every candid elder will tell you that church government – especially discipline – is never easy. Just please realize that you are not going to change most people’s minds – let alone do true justice to any of these situations – through conjecture and half truths.

          Everyone else – including myself – should examine themselves. We should question our motives when we want to know more than is needed. It is heartbreaking enough to understand the nature of the current situation that Doug and his family are in. Lord help us when we are tempted to give ear to sordid details – regardless of the implications they might bring.

        • Jen Says:

          Todd, good! Then you should be able to tell me exactly what sin I need to repent from!

      • Jackie C. Says:

        Todd, you ask how I can know it is clergy sexual abuse. It is true I am making an assumption that she is in some way connected to his church or his ministry. In the same way you assumed she is not by assigning equal blame to her. Do you understand that if she is connected in any way to his church or ministry, that is the same as rape if there’s sex or power abuse if it is a “romantic” relationship? Either way it is clergy sexual abuse. There is no consenting when he is in a position of power. It is true he owes none of us a confession but he chose to be a public figure. When it gets out who this person is, she (or he) will be equally blamed even if it was clergy sexual abuse because of the way he has publicly framed the story. Then he does owe society the truth. There is a reason we have registered sex offenders.

        • Todd Abell Says:

          With all due respect, please cite book, chapter, and verse. While I understand the problem you are describing, each of us remains accountable for our actions – regardless of how innocent, even virtuous a temptation might first seem. That is, if the woman in this situation is young and in a subordinate position, she is no less accountable for what she has done. If this is in fact the case (you still don’t “know” that and don’t need to), I agree that Doug’s part in it is more grievous. But that doesn’t mean that he set out to take advantage of anyone or his situation – just that he should have guarded himself more carefully and he has said that himself.

          I’m not making any assumptions. I’m merely pointing out that you should have far more productive uses of your time than spitballing about what might have happened and what that would mean.

          It has been made clear to me through situations in local churches (not high profile) that healing through church discipline works the best when sin is thoroughly addressed, but the conversation is not belabored. You risk greater injury to those in the body (including yourself) if you continue to speculate. I hope you enjoy a local fellowship that can abide and worship together in peace because of such discipline. If you do, treasure it. If you don’t, prayerfully seek and work toward it. Blessings.

      • Jackie C. Says:

        Todd, please cite book, chapter and verse? You mean about clergy sexual abuse? Since most mainline denominations have policies and trainings about clergy sexual abuse, your lack of knowledge is infortunate but look up anything by Marie Fortune. She’s a good place to start. Most of us out here in the real world acknowledge that positions with power relationships require certain ethical standards and an acknowledgment that the other does not have the same power to say no. It’s no different than a therapist having a romantic relationship with a client. Clergy are often seen as a direct line to God by their parishners and that is often encouraged. So no, a girl who is in a subordinate position does not have the same power to say no and is not guilty. Neither does a woman or a man. I’m surprised your church is not aware of these ethical standards. When I get home I can look up some websites that will help you further your education. In my denomination a minister in this situation (if the other man or woman is a member or employee in any way) would most likely lose his credentials. But then does Phillips have any credentials?

      • Jackie C. Says:

        So as I suspected! He has no credentials or qualifications.

    • Jen Says:

      Todd, I can tack on verses to end of every sentence just as well as the next guy, but it doesn’t make them good, sound biblical exegesis.

      I am not blaming patriarchy itself, but the legalism that makes up patriarchy. Legalism, any list of laws or rules, does not keep us from wrong-doing. Only the love of God in our hearts does that.

      • Todd Abell Says:

        The references cited for each of the points are not tacked on but bring relevant context in the form of the issues that the audiences were facing, their history, earlier writings, etc. The bottom line through it all is that men are accountable for how they have influenced those within their respective spheres – most notably their families. For this to work, both men and women must assume subjective roles depending on their office. Scripture warns sternly for any who lord their position over those who have entrusted their care to them.

        Of course, each of us should condemn both abuse of power and the leading astray of little ones into legalism over truth and sacrificial love. The problem is you see legalism as the essence of patriarchy and its not. Any good leader whether “king” of a country or a home must lead sacrificially to be truly good. I just don’t see Doug Phillips’ teaching about familial roles in conflict with this truth or its outer workings. Again, subjective roles must be assumed for this to work.

        • Jen Says:

          Todd: “Scripture warns sternly for any who lord their position over those who have entrusted their care to them.” Yes, that is exactly what this whole blog is about. Have you read my story, or just the most recent articles?

      • nettie Says:

        In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
        But he who restrains his lips is wise.
        Proverbs 10:19
        Todd, I wonder, in some ways, if this is what you are saying, and I agree 100%.
        All of these conjectures and assumptions are NOT aiding in any way the situation. All of the presuppositions that are being made are awful.
        And, Jen, you did name a possibly innocent girl. You ought not to have done that. Even if you weren’t saying she was the one, the name shouldn’t have been stated. This is a serious lack of discretion. I have read your entire story, as Todd has. So please don’t say that I am saying things not having read the whole thing.
        I agree with Ken as well, that this blog should be taken down, as it seemingly now only makes conjectures and continues to pour salt on open wounds.
        I am not sure what you are trying or hoping to do in these recent posts, but your lack of discretion and your assumptions are straight up sin, and, as Todd has stated earlier, are wonderful opportunities for repentance in and of themselves.

      • Jen Says:

        Nettie, yes, that was a quote from ONE of the Phillips’ nannies. They had many nannies over the years. The picture is of another one of their nannies (who happens to be my daughter). I can guarantee you it wasn’t my daughter! That was the only quote from one of the many nannies that I found, and it was from a public documentary.

    • CPM Says:

      “So, please stop trying to “shoot the message” because the messenger stumbled.”

      Oh please, give me and everyone else here with a brain a break! We all know that if this was happening to someone like Rob Bell, the first thing out of your mouth (and others of your ilk) would be to blame the fall on his so called “false doctrine” or some such nonsense…

  18. Eileen Says:

    did these young ladies who were “serving as nannies” get paid or did they do it for free?

  19. Corine Says:

    How do we know that it is not an old friend? Like a phone / email reconnection with an old love interest. That certainly happens a lot in this day of FB & email .

    • Jen Says:

      Corine, while that is certainly a possibility, I think it is highly improbable for several reasons. First, the life Doug had before he married Beall was in Virginia, not Texas. Knowing his traveling lifestyle, he was always with a dozen men or so every time he traveled, and he always takes at least one kid with him. There would be ZERO opportunity for anything to happen while traveling. Second, the only logical possibility is that this came from someone he spent a lot of time with on a regular basis that no one would ever have questioned. This had to happen in his own home. There is no other possibility that I can even imagine.

  20. Eileen Says:

    interesting development from another message board. Seems as if lots of photos are disappearing from the VF websites and blogs. Wonder what Doug is trying to hide??????:

    I just read Libby Anne’s blog about Phillips. She writes:

    And do you know what pictures are disappearing off of the Vision Forum sites? Those of the young adult daughters of Phillips’ colleagues and friends. If it turns out that Phillips conducted his affair with one of those young woman, what does that say of the reliability of the system he spent his life building, the system he convinced so many Christian homeschooling parents was the godly solution to a dangerous world?

    You can read the complete blog here:

    • Jen Says:

      Eileen, I wondered if that would happen. I’m thinking a major blog clean-up project is in order now.

      How interesting that these young women’s pictures are disappearing. I’m sure it had nothing to do with my article about nannies. 🙂

      • Maxwell Says:

        I was not surprised by the fact that the photos are disappearing. I remember long ago, how comments posted here led to direct changes to the VF web site and the magical creation of the BCA web site — which hadn’t been updated since, until a couple of days ago when, after comments left here regarding DP still being listed as an elder, led to the removal of his name from the list of elders. Doug’s name was also removed from “Doug’s Blog” after comments here. Seems Doug isn’t very thorough/consistent and is very sensitive to having “issues” pointed out — which is one of the items that led me to believe (long ago) that DP has no credibility and is trying to cover up any and all criticism.

        Wonder how long it will be before the “Still Fed Up” site comes down as it’s existence, given the current circumstances, makes him look even more like a fool. I see that disappeared sometime after 09/08/2009… oddly enough, that domain name is available.

        • Jen Says:

          Maxwell, for an organization who believes women basically have nothing of value to offer, Vision Forum sure did seem to jump through hoops every time I posted something on my blog! Should I keep giving them my free consultation services? 🙂

    • Eileen Says:

      isn’t “Still fed up” and Mr. Binoculars one in the same: Mr. Matt Chancey?

      • Jen Says:

        Eileen, I don’t think so. Matt Chancey was definitely the mastermind behind Mrs. Binoculars, which I believe he just let expire.

        However, Still Fed Up seemed to be written by a couple local guys from Vision Forum/BCA.

  21. The Resignation of Doug Phillips | Why Not Train A Child? Says:

    […] Heavy Burden of Doug Phillips’ Legalism Leads to His Resignation From Vision Forum and How Patriarchy Itself is the Slippery Slope that Led Doug Phillips to Serious Sin With Another Woman by Jen at Jen’s […]

  22. Someone Says:

    It is true we can’t know who it was and should be careful not to name names. It could have been any number of young women. I have friends in the SA area who have filled me in on how that crew operates. Apparently his wife has had a whole bunch of “ladies in waiting” from their church, in and out over the years. They think it’s a privilege to serve such an “important” family. (side note, how hard can homeschooling be when you have a bunch of little maids running around doing all your work for you?)

    • Sarah Pressler Says:

      HAHA I always thought this too! How hard can it be to “raise” 8 kids when you’ve hoarded all the available help?? Most other moms-of-many were struggling just to find the energy to brush their teeth … and Beall was having bible studies revolving around how to organize a home… It was – surreal – to say the least….

    • noturniptruck Says:

      same goes for Ms. Snooty Tooty Stuck up Jennie Chancey. She’s pushing being a SAHD, homeschool mother….meanwhile in Africa, they have maids, cooks, nannies etc. I guess dealing with Matt is all she can handle, lol. Obviously this type of treatment only happens if you are worshiped and VF royalty. Meanwhile………for the common folk………..

  23. Common To Every Man | Half Empty: Confessions Of A Pessimist Says:

    […] was announced. She’s also speculated on his future finances, questioned his politics, and insinuated his affair must have been with a nanny. To get an idea of where Fishburne is coming from, she claims on her blog that she and her family […]

  24. Geoff Says:

    @Maxwell: “Wonder how long it will be before the “Still Fed Up” site comes down as it’s existence, given the current circumstances, makes him look even more like a fool.” Doug really does pay attention to these blogs, doesn’t he? now shows this: “This blog is open to invited readers only” Doug needs to do so much housecleaning and your blog, Jen, is doing a fine job of helping him with that.

    Since he’s paying such close attention, maybe you should draft an article dedicated just especially for that purpose. Something along the lines of, “Hide The Evidence: Top 100 Transgressions Doug Phillips Needs To Make Disappear.”

    Comments I’ve recently seen indicate that some of Doug Phillips’ transgressions are likely criminal. So maybe another helpful article would be, “How Doug Phillips Can Quickly Liquidate All His Assets and Move To a Non-Extraditable Country While Pretending To Be a Missionary.”

    Am I helping Doug out too much at this point? Probably not. I’m confident he’s already seriously considering it as a way of salvaging his devastated image and avoiding the long arm of the law. There’s good money in being a missionary. Just ask his brother, Brad Phillips.

    • Jackie C. Says:

      So financial mismanagement? Or embezzlement as we say in the real world? Did I read somewhere about the ministry buying something from the inc. for $600,000+? I can guess donors would forgive an “emotional affair” more quickly than misuse of funds.

    • Monique Says:

      This is the first that I’ve heard this story about Brad Phillips and I’ve been following the VF issues for a while. Why isn’t this better known? It’s just horrible.

    • Jen Says:

      I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this comment! There is too much truth to all of it to be funny, but it is really funny! Geoff, if you write up a list of the “Top 100 Transgressions Doug Phillips Needs to Make Disappear,” I would be glad to post them here!

  25. UnderPatriarch Says:

    For anyone who wants to learn from Doug’s bad example, instead of simply gloating or grieving, may I suggest:

    ‘Rules’ are out of style at the moment, but they’re actually a good thing. Of course rules don’t make the heart good, and if your heart’s not good, you’ll find a way around the rules. But when your heart IS good, you WILL make rules. For yourself! I won’t judge Doug’s heart, though I suspect it’s no worse than most Christian men’s. But if the situation was as you’ve described, he did miss some pretty obvious rules for the man of the house:

    1. I will never be alone with the nanny.
    2. I will never exchange any communication with the nanny without my wife’s full knowledge.
    3. I will never let the nanny do anything I could do.
    4. I won’t hire a nanny unless I’m already doing everything possible to lessen her load myself. If I’m too busy to help my wife with household tasks, I’m too busy.

    No. 1 & 2 alone will prevent an affair of any sort. The others are only if you want to be a true, self-sacrificing, from-the-heart patriarch.

    Rules are good and indeed necessary IF they come OUT of the heart.

    • Jen Says:

      Under Patriarch, those are very good rules — for those who need rules.

      For those who live by love instead, LOVE itself would put the needs of others before our own selfish desires. 🙂

      • UnderPatriarch Says:

        You need to choose between love and rules? I don’t think so. Everyone makes rules. Everyone needs to. “I’ll do that” or “I won’t do that.” Necessary and unavoidable.
        But are your rules loving? Are they Biblical? Are you really living them or just saying? Are you judging other people by extra-Scriptural rules? Do you think you’re better because you have rules?
        Love makes rules. Rules can be misused but sin, not rules, are the problem.

        • Jen Says:

          UnderPatriarch, let me explain what I mean. Are you married? For the sake of ease here, I will assume that you are a man.

          Do you need a long list of rules to make your marriage work? Or is it held together with the bonds of love? Do you need someone to TELL you not to cheat on your wife? Or do you keep yourself pure simply because you LOVE your wife? Do you need a list of rules to tell you to be kind, and patient, and courteous, and adoring, and all the little things you do for your wife? Or do you do those things simply because you love her?

          I contend that if our focus is purely LOVE, not RULES, that our behavior will reflect that love.

      • UnderPatriarch Says:

        You can change the illustration but the point is the same: we need both. We can’t avoid it. The bonds of love that hold my marriage together make me eager to know what rules I need. Without rules, love is just a feeling. I need love to make me WANT the rules, I ultimately need the Spirit to be able to KEEP the rules.
        I know ‘rules’ are currently unpopular, and ‘a long list of rules’ is like a swearword.
        Rules don’t produce love: that’s backwards. But since I love my wife I do indeed want the rules to know HOW to love her. Because my heart is deceitful, I need to be told what kindness and patience and purity and affection look like, in my marriage to her. I’m not particular about the length of the list. I want as many as it takes to be truly loving as God expects. I’m sure Doug thought he did love his wife. But his failure to keep the above rules makes it clear that his love was not enough.
        For Christ Himself, loving means keeping rules. John 14:15. Don’t force us to choose.

  26. T.W. Eston Says:

    Let me pitch in and help start that top 100 list off. Probably at the top of the list should be:

    1) Confess.

    Like, as in, really confess. Confess like a Christian man, not an attorney. Phillips’ Clarification On Repentance is as much of a sham as his Statement Of Resignation.

    “Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman.”

    “Inappropriate physical component” is as evasive as “While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.”

    2) Repent.

    Big problem for Doug here: You can’t get to #2 until you’ve covered #1. You can’t repent until you’ve correctly identified the full extent of the sin and confessed to every bit of it. He would have been so much better off to have just resigned and said, “I have grievously sinned and need to step down from the ministry for a time of quiet reflection and contrition.” Rather than doing that he just plays word games in an effort to salvage his own reputation. “Please pray for the Phillips family, the Board, and the men who have made up the staff of Vision Forum Ministries.” Once again he fails to make any comment, or so much as ask for prayer for, the young lady he’s sin with and against.

    This story is crying out for the victim(s) to tell their side of it.

    • Jen Says:

      I don’t know, TW, those are fairly novel ideas! Do you think Doug will go for them if we post them on my blog? But considering that he always does seem to take my advice, it’s certainly worth a try!

      Maybe we should amend it like this:

      1. Publicly confess ALL wrongs that have impacted the community as a whole. His actions toward this young woman are not the only “serious sin” Doug Phillips has committed.

      2. Repent by demonstrating a change of heart, not slick words, in every circumstance of wronging others.

      4. Make amends where necessary.

      3. Put others first.

  27. Mary Stephens Says:

    Jen, this is not meant to be a confrontational comment. You may have hit the nail on head and certainly a nanny could/would be an obvious source of temptation and extremely vulnerable in this specific type of “community”. No doubt about that.

    However, as to Doug Phillips’ “accountability” to his men, I differ a little on that with you. I realize that you know a lot more about that than I possibly could due to your experiences, but – I have found a video online of the presentation of the “Mother of the Year” award to Michelle Duggar in 2010 (it will probably disappear if this is spread). I was…well, revolted, but not terribly shocked…to see Mr. Phillips’ behavior towards Michelle on stage during the presentation. He kissed her hand and her cheek (while caressing her other cheek), caressed her hair and allowed his hand to rest on her shoulder. The whole thing was rather nauseating, and Jim Bob Duggar’s reaction to the situation was quite obvious to the viewer who is aware of his strong views on protecting his wife and daughters (for better or for worse). After the last “move” on Mr. Phillips’ part, Jim Bob put both his hands on Michelle’s shoulders and kept them there almost constantly throughout the remainder of the presentation. As the two couples moved away from the microphones to sit down Jim Bob made sure that he stayed between Michelle and Doug, even making a somewhat awkward movement to accomplish this. Mere coincidence? Maybe.

    My point, though, is that if Mr. Phillips was that physically “affectionate” to Michelle Duggar on a platform in front of Beall, Jim Bob, a large audience of his faithful followers, cameras and the leaders of Vision Forum, I personally think that there is too much scope for the imagination for us to figure out what happened, where and how. Honestly, if he could get away with that kind of public tomfoolery with another man’s wife (call it chivalry, or whatever he may), I wonder how far into “secret” he would have to go to pull this off. If no one called him down on that situation, it’s likely he could get away with other things in other situations. With cell phones and computers the opportunities for long-term, secret relationships are rampant. This is assuming he’s telling the basic truth as regards the nature of the relationship, of course.

    Here is the link to the video (if wordpress allows links to be published in comments):

    I’m “starting” at the 5:18 mark because the introduction is just blather. This is the point at which the Duggars are called to the stage and the part I refer to begins.

    I still agree that your suggestion is entirely possible. I just wanted to point out that despite all the so-called accountability, there was apparently a lot of room for trouble. While I don’t agree with all of your views and conclusions, I totally agree that rules and more rules and more accountability will never resolve these problems.

    John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. [Not “if ye have rules one toward another”. 🙂 ]

    • Mary Stephens Says:

      Oops. WordPress didn’t pick up the time on the link, but at least it posted it. If you want to skip the first part, run it forward to about 5:00.

    • Jackie C. Says:

      It looks like Michelle is trying to pull away from him and he’s holding her close. This is not the way an award is presented – how phony and awkward. And now that he’s admitted it was physical and it took place over years, it seems apparent you’re right. Others had to know and covered it up. But then no big surprise there. Men have been doing that for powerful men forever. Shame on them for not protecting the girl she was and the woman she became.

      • Jackie C. Says:

        Sorry. I had it wrong. That is his wife pulling away from him (the entire video finally loaded – don’t watch 19 Kids so didn’t know). Just watching body language though his wife is mad at him about something!

    • DesiringToDiscern Says:

      Doug and Beall are in the audience too. (third row at about 11:11 mark) near center. 🙂

  28. LL Says:

    First-time reader and commenter, and just for the record, also a long-time atheist (got to this site via link from a Patheos site).

    My mother has been a decades-long member of a Southern Baptist church (in Oklahoma) that adheres to the general philosophy you’re talking about: women (esp. wives) should be submissive, men are in charge, church schooling is preferred (but if you can’t afford that, you homeschool), etc., so I’m somewhat familiar with the sub-culture.

    I always found it really quite creepy, but not being a member, I was mostly just disinterested. I figured everybody involved was in it voluntarily, it wasn’t like a cult thing, so whatever, I need never worry about it. But reading about this latest scandal (one of many I was not aware of until fairly recently), it occurs to me (because I’m slow, obviously) that the “leaders” of this movement or whatever have got quite a scam going. People yap about Scientology and how awful it is, but I’m not seeing how this is much different.

    A seemingly endless supply of labor (female labor at that, so of course that means it’s not worth paying for, since every female should be overjoyed to clean and take care of children), and, conveniently, a supply of easily manipulated and intimidated young women to take advantage of in other ways, if you’re so inclined. And many men seem so inclined. So these scandals should really be no surprise. Esp. in an atmosphere in which the women get blamed for everything, even their own abuse. From the outside, it looks exactly like a cult. A really lucrative cult.

  29. Sarah C. Says:

    Would you mind letting me know where/when the above photo of the young woman holding the little girls was taken? You may email me privately if you’d rather not post the answer publicly. Thank you so much.

  30. Setting the Boundaries | anthonybsusan Says:

    […] that Doug Phillips of Vision Forum had a long-term affair, likely with a much younger woman who worked for his family without pay, have revived crucial interest in Christian patriarchy’s attitude […]

  31. Setting the Boundaries | H . A Says:

    […] that Doug Phillips of Vision Forum had a long-term affair, likely with a much younger woman who worked for his family without pay, have revived crucial interest in Christian patriarchy’s attitude […]

  32. Setting the Boundaries | Homeschoolers Anonymous Says:

    […] that Doug Phillips of Vision Forum had a long-term affair, likely with a much younger woman who worked for his family without pay, have revived crucial interest in Christian patriarchy’s attitude […]

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