The Christian Post: “Christian Family Ministry Leader Doug Phillips Resigns After Admitting to ‘Inappropriate Relationship'”

The Christian Post weighs in:

The leader of a conservative Christian family organization has resigned from the non-profit after admitting to having an affair, however, he will still maintain ownership of the related for-profit company.

Doug Phillips, whose organization Vision Forum advocates for “Biblical patriarchy,” admitted to having committed a “serious sin” and claimed that he had confessed it his “wife and family, [his] local church, and the board of Vision Forum Ministries.”

“I engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman. While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate,” wrote Phillips.

Despite the fact that Phillips asserted that he would no longer be “giving speeches or running conferences at this time of my life under the banner of VFI or VFM” and leading “a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier,” he also explained that he had not completely divorced himself from influence within the organization.

“I retain ownership of Vision Forum, Inc,” he wrote on the organization’s blog on November 6.

 

To read the rest of the article, which quotes one supporter and one ex-supporter, here is the rest of the article.

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6 Responses to “The Christian Post: “Christian Family Ministry Leader Doug Phillips Resigns After Admitting to ‘Inappropriate Relationship'””

  1. T.W. Eston Says:

    Heather at http://becomingworldly.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/we-all-sin-a-15-step-path-to-forgiveness-for-doug-phillips/ has succinctly laid out a brilliant action plan for Doug Phillips for how he can be quickly restored to the ministry, picking right up where he let off. Rinse, lather, repeat. Her insight is so uncanny that it seems she’s reading directly out of Doug’s playbook.

    Fifteen Steps to Forgiveness for Authoritarian Christian Leaders:

    1.) Man gets caught with pants down

    2.) Man denies it or provides excuses and pretends like everything is fine

    3) Man is forced by elders/leaders/media/angry mob of former minions to fess up

    4.) Man gives scripted apology admitting the bare minimum of what he did

    5.) Man acts “chastened” and “humbled,” invokes his shame and regret at bringing shame on his family

    6.) Man expresses how hard this is on him and his family, hoping to use the real and honest sympathy of listeners to get off easy

    7.) Man indicates that he is being forgiven by his family and that you should forgive him too because “we all fall short”

    8.) Man goes into semi-hiding for a bit, strategically releasing things that not-too-subtly serve as “proof” that he is hard at work improving himself and restoring relations with his family

    9.) Man has his acolytes/minions/political and social circle defend his sullied reputation, calling anyone who mentions his indiscretion “bitter,” “spiteful,” having an “evil heart” and engaging in “casting stones”

    10.) Man waits until anger at his behavior subsides, then finds an external source to tell his side of the story to, complete with a touching redemption narrative and supportive quotes from his relatives

    11.) Man finds or continues a lower level job within his field and publicizes how happy and “humbled” working at it is making him

    12.) Man resumes his old station or another one of similar stature, claiming greater wisdom from the whole experience and being “called to lead” once again

    13.) Man accuses anyone mentioning his “fall” of not exhibiting proper forgiveness of sinners like Jesus instructs us to do

    14.) Man is slightly more careful not to get caught doing whatever it was he did before

    15.) Man uses his “everyman” status as a “fellow sinner who has seen the grace of God” to sell more stuff, people buy it, and he gets older and richer

  2. T.W. Eston Says:

    Last Sunday Scott Brown preached a sermon at his church that seems to have been largely motivated by the “public sin”, as he calls it in his sermon, of Doug Phillips. I was expecting Doug Phillips’ close friend Scott Brown to shift blame, as Kevin Swanson did. But Brown doesn’t do that. Brown uses Doug as an object lesson in how not to live. Brown also makes it plain that Doug did not fall into sin but that he “cultivated” sin in his life by a series of compromise after compromise. I don’t know much about Scott Brown. He may be just as much of a hypocrite as Doug Phillips for all I know. But this sermon is spot on.

    The Smell of Apostasy, Isaiah 5:8-30
    Scott T Brown
    sermonaudio.com

    39:37 — “One of my dear friends has fallen into a great sin. And there are many people that say, ‘Oh, that could have been me.’ But the truth is I hope not, because one falls into that kind of sin after many, many small compromises long before. No one just immediately falls into that sin. They fall because they have been falling. My friend Paul Washer says, ‘You don’t fall into sin. You slide into it.’ Because every public sin is a private sin beforehand. I was telling our interns the other day that I could take everything I’ve done over forty years and destroy it in one second. All I would have to do is kiss a girl and in one second it would all be over. Everything. It would all be burnt to the ground. But let me just make this point. You do not kiss a girl without doing many other things beforehand. You do not fall into sin. You slide. You make one compromise after another. Every public sin is a private sin for a very long time before… Brothers, mortify, expunge, every vestige of lust that would inflame it… But you would not do it [immorality] if you did not cultivate it. So do not cultivate it… Please do not burn everything to the ground. Please do not destroy everything that you’ve worked for your entire life. Everything you’ve ever done will be compromised and everything you’ve ever done will be burned to the ground.”

    • Jen Says:

      Good for Scott Brown! I do not always agree with him, but he is DEAD on here! This has been gradually growing over many years, and there were many opportunities to flee in the opposite direction, but Doug Phillips chose not to.

      This reminds me of another occasion where a girl at BCA got pregnant out of wedlock. When Doug brought her before the church to “confess her sin,” her father said something about the “devil sneaking in.” The slippery slope that led to her situation was never addressed and that was the last we ever heard about her “sin.” The father was never named and after that one day of “confession,” she was welcomed with open arms by all.

      It was a very different response to her than it was to me. And very suspect as well.

  3. T.W. Eston Says:

    Jen, I just left a comment on Doug Wilson’s blog, which I’ll share here. It concludes with the quote from Scott Brown’s sermon that I’ve already posted here, above. In his article Doug WIlson criticizes “gleeful” bloggers and commenters. This is similar language to the reactions of Kevin Swanson and James and Stacey McDonald. At this junction though it seems that Doug Phillips has precious few Christian leaders and pastors who’ve been willing to stand with him. Even Doug Wilson isn’t showing any real support, just condemnation for those who would be pleased that Doug Phillips is finally being held accountable, at least in some small measure.

    Pastor Wilson, I’ve seen some of the gleeful comments too, and they disturb me. They are sinful, no doubt. But does that sin, in and of itself, necessarily identify them as “enemies of the Lord”? You go too far in committing the same sin of judgmentalism found in those you seek to condemn. Why not just issue a pastoral call for the gleeful to repent, without assuming they are God’s enemies? I fear you evidence a similar legalism, and hastiness to condemn, as Doug Phillips has shown.

    Many have commented that Bourne Christian Assembly, the church founded by Doug Phillips, is a cult. One indication I would look to in a cult is how much control do the pastors/elders/deacons exercise over their members, such as how tightly do they control the flow of information to and between members and from the inside to the outside world. We’re only learning now that Doug Phillips resigned as elder/pastor of Bourne Christian Assembly in February 2013. That in itself should have been significant news, but word of that never leaked out. That’s some impressive people control! Only a handful of people outside BCA knew of Doug Phillips’ resignation in February 2013. It included Voddie Baucham and Scott Brown. Maybe one or two others. Other than that his resignation was very hush hush. Why the secrecy? The fact is Doug Phillips has been trying hard to clamp the lid on a scandal that’s been boiling up for some months. Eventually he could control it no longer and had no choice to out himself in an effort to minimize the damage.

    Voddie and Scott started distancing themselves from Doug even some months prior to that resignation in February, as have some of his other close associates. Would they have done so had Doug Phillips genuinely, convincingly repented when he stepped down as elder in February? Unlikely. Had there been genuine repentance it could have all been handled “in house” and privately. Repentance means we not just acknowledge the sin, but that we stop sinning. What many commenters here are assuming is that Doug Phillips can be trusted to have repented solely on the basis that he says he repented. But some of his closest associates, men in the know, aren’t convinced and long before his Oct 31 VFM resignation pulled away from him.

    They have known of Doug’s infidelity for quite some time. Most chose not to cover for him but just quietly distanced themselves. Now that Doug Phillips has outed himself (or rather been compelled to out himself), many of his faithful patrons/customers are defending him, as is evidenced by some of the comments right here (not saying such comments here come from Vision Forum patrons, but merely that they evidence the same bias). But a few of his closest former associates, in the know, aren’t doing the same.


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