Yet Another Doug Phillips Sex Scandal

A Unique Case of Clergy Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment

This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. The names of the guilty have not.

For several years I’ve been hearing rumors of clergy sexual abuse at Boerne Christian Assembly. Those rumors, if true, would prove far worse in their ramifications than Doug Phillips’ so-called “extra-marital affair” that resulted in his resignation from Vision Forum Ministries. I say “so-called” because, although many have termed it that, including the Press, in point of fact it was a classic case of clergy sexual abuse. The name of the young lady victim should remain confidential with those who know her, and unknown to those who don’t.

However, the name of the woman who is the subject of this particular story will be divulged herein, since she is guilty. Likewise the name of Doug Phillips is disclosed herein since he is directly responsible for all the sexual abuse, as well as the sexual harassment, that took place at Boerne Christian Assembly. In anticipation of the Matthew 18 Police, yes, numerous BCA families did everything possible to follow the dictates of Matthew 18:15-17 to put an end to the rampant sexual abuse and sexual harassment in their midst.

Bob and Cathy Johnson recently emailed me a lengthy and detailed narrative of the years-long unimpeded sexual exploits of Jennifer Grady at Boerne Christian Assembly. Their narrative completely confirms the shocking rumors I have long heard. Upon reviewing their narrative I arranged a phone interview to clarify some key points of their story and to discuss the specifics of how they wanted their story told.

In writing the Johnson’s story I realized that many people would be shaking their heads in disbelief while muttering, “Why didn’t those people just get out of there? What held them back? Have they all lost their minds?” Those are questions that don’t get asked by anyone who’s ever been in a religious sociological cult. They can easily relate to the Johnson’s story. For those that haven’t been in a cult before it will require some explaining. As such, this will be a two part article. This first part focuses on sexual abuse and sexual harassment at Boerne Christian Assembly, as well as the actions Doug Phillips took that ensured it would continue long term. The second part, which will be posted later in the week, focuses on the other clergy abuses perpetrated by Doug Phillips — emotional, psychological, and spiritual — that enabled him to create an environment ripe for sexual abuse and sexual harassment. The second part will also show why Boerne Christian Assembly is not a church but a religious sociological cult.

Any number of current and former BCA members are likely to read this story. This may be difficult for them by bringing up painful old memories. To them I wish to express my deepest sympathies for what you have endured. Most of you have suffered in silence, trying hard to forget the nightmare that is BCA. But you need not suffer in silence, fear, and shame any longer. You too have stories to tell, and friends here who deeply care for you. Each former BCA member has their own vantage point and own unique history. In telling your story you can help others in their recovery, and by doing so you will find it therapeutic for yourself, as well. As any competent therapist knows and would tell you, sharing your story is a vital part of abuse recovery.

To quote from Bob and Cathy Johnson’s narrative:

“What we are about to share further supports T.W. Eston’s ending to his article stating this is only the tip of the ice burg. Well here is another huge chunk we will drop in the sea and expose. This is related in many ways to Doug’s ‘romantic and affectionate relationship with another woman other than his wife.’ It also shows an abusive pattern in the way he treated Jen Epstein, Joe Taylor and countless others including those of us who are now sharing our stories.

“Our purpose in sharing is not to gossip, nor to try to ruin Doug Phillips, but to make sure that Doug is held accountable for all he has done and not think he can only confess to part of his sins and state he is contacting those he has offended to make amends when to our knowledge no one we know he offended has been contacted in any way…

“Unfortunately this man’s actions have been so severe we must bring out our stories in order for Doug to not think he can confess to just part of what he has done to hide his sins.”

The Johnson family became members of BCA in 2007 by signing a document known as “The Covenant.” It stipulates various terms and conditions of BCA membership. According to Doug Phillips’ broad interpretation of The Covenant, “There are only two ways you can leave BCA. You can die or the Elders can agree to transfer you to another church.” If you want to leave BCA to join another church you must first obtain a letter of transfer from Elder Doug Phillips and/or Doug’s sycophant-Elder Bob Sarratt. However, church transfers are seldom granted unless you have a job-related or other necessary reason to move out of state.

Upon arrival at BCA, Jennifer Grady, with her husband and seven children, were warmly received. The family became members and took up an active part in the life of the church. In the fall of 2007 Jennifer’s brother, Michael Billings, was killed in an automobile accident. This was immediately followed by a drastic change in Jennifer’s behavior. She became inappropriately friendly with the men. Jennifer’s behavior stood in stark contrast to all the other BCA women, this in a church where modesty and a decorum of distance between the sexes was expected.

Stan Rogers, father of 18 year-old Joe Rogers, found evidence of an inappropriate romantic relationship going on between Jennifer and Joe late in 2007. He took the matter to the elders of BCA, Doug Phillips and Bob Sarratt. Stan complained repeatedly to Doug and Bob about Jennifer Grady coming on to young Joe. Stan had cause to believe that Joe had succumbed to Jennifer’s seductions and was involved in an adulterous affair with her. From all appearances Doug and Bob took no action.

In the Spring of 2008 Doug Phillips called the BCA men together for, what the men later described as, “a secret members-only camping trip.” Once secured on the private property, the men were informed that all the gates would be locked and no one could leave until Doug said they could. That evening in the cabin Doug spoke cryptically to the men of his doomsday end of the world prognostications. They were each to prepare their families for the resultant societal meltdown. Paranoia of an uncertain future is a common mind control technique used by cult leaders. Things were getting more cultish by the month at BCA.

Stan Rogers and son Joe were not at that secret camping trip. Stan was at home, remotely keeping an eye on Joe, and he had good cause. Stan Rogers was convinced that Joe was being bedded by Jennifer Grady. He’d provided evidence of the affair to Doug and Bob in the form of dozens of emails. Once again, nothing was done by the Elders. In desperation Stan hid a GPS tracking device in his son’s car. Shortly after the conclusion of Doug’s doomsday talk that evening, Stan had tracked his son’s car to the Grady’s tiny home. Stan called Elders Doug Phillips and Bob Sarratt and pleaded with them to meet him at the Grady’s home. Bob agreed to come but Doug dismissed Stan’s pleas for help. Bob Sarratt,  Michael Gobart (Elder in training) and Mr. Grady raced to the Grady home and surrounded the house. Young Joe, in a panic, attempted to sneak out the back window of Jennifer’s bedroom where his father was waiting. Busted! The Elders soon claimed that Jennifer had “repented.” She apologized to the Rogers. However there was no indication of genuine repentance, and this was soon proven by her continuing predations.

Jennifer had morphed into a cougar — a woman who preys on younger men. But she also wasn’t always that particular. Her advances often occurred in the homes of BCA families. Fathers complained to Doug Phillips and Bob Sarratt, but they did nothing about it. This encouraged Jennifer to bring her predations right into the church Sunday morning where she became ever more overt in her intentions. Neither Doug Phillips, Bob Sarratt, or Michael Gobart dissuaded her in any way. Her favorite come-on was, “All great men have many women.” She would touch and caress the men inappropriately, run her hands through their hair, stroke their faces and necks, and rub her body up against theirs. Fathers were outraged and mothers were afraid for their sons.

Within the same time frame that Stan had brought his complaints to Doug, at least seven other fathers also made the same complaints to Doug and Bob about Jennifer’s advances on their respective sons. Neither Doug or Bob did anything about the men’s complaints, other than to warn the men from even speaking to one another about it lest they be brought under “church discipline.”  By that point most of them were eager to leave the church altogether, and some did request letters of transfer, but all were denied and told they would be excommunicated if they attempted to leave. All the men could do at the time was exclude Jennifer from their homes.

JenniferGradyCaptionJennifer Grady should have been the talk of the church as she escalated her seductions with more of the men and boys and became ever more brazen about it. But as is typical of religious sociological cults, no one was permitted to talk or complain about it for fear of being “put under church discipline” as “gossips.” The sin of gossip is frequently preached on at BCA by Doug Phillips as being “one of the most wicked of all sins.”

Jennifer Grady found herself excluded from one home after another. But it’s hard to stop a determined cougar. Jennifer Grady found other ways of accessing the young men — what some might perhaps characterize as “stalking.” For example, she would find out where the Vision Forum Interns, and other young men (all of them BCA members), would have their outings and join them, uninvited. In one case Jennifer showed up at a VF Intern rock climbing/repelling excursion in a skirt. I’m a rock climber myself, so I have no idea how a woman in a skirt can strap on a climbing harness at all, let alone do so without indecently exposing herself. Perhaps that was the whole point. Later at church she showed the pictures of the outing to the young men and stated they were getting a “free show of my legs.” One young man replied in shock, “Mrs. Grady!” Complaints were directed to Doug Phillips but, again, he did nothing about it. The message to Jennifer Grady was loud and clear: she was free to seduce and sexually harass any BCA men.

By this time more than a full year had passed of BCA having to endure Jennifer Grady’s brazen seductions. Fathers, mothers and children had been conditioned by Doug Phillips’ to trust their Elders. Everyone wanted so very much to believe that the Jennifer Grady problem would be taken care of. But as month after month crept by it became more apparent that Doug Phillips would not intervene. Multiple attempts were made by multiple fathers to seek Doug’s intervention. He evaded all such attempts by the fathers to meet with him by subterfuge and failing to show up at church for weeks at a time. In one case he finally did agree to meet with a father, telling him, “I’ll meet with you in four months.” But shortly thereafter the man received a letter informing him that he was under church discipline and would be excommunicated if he didn’t repent. No explanation of what he was to repent of was named.

Early in 2011 a father confronted Doug and Bob and pleaded with them to discipline Jennifer Grady. He was excoriated (in a manner similar to what Peter Bradrick described on a November 27 posting on his Facebook). The father tried again later, this time by appealing to Matthew 18:15-17, saying that the Bible required him to now bring his witnesses, but he was forbidden by Doug to bring any witnesses, thereby preventing the father from confronting Doug with the other fathers. This was the last straw for this father.

It also proved to be the last straw for eight other BCA fathers who had personally witnessed many of Jennifer Grady’s predations. Some of these eight fathers had also been sexually harassed and/or their sons sexually harassed. They had repeatedly complained to Doug, but they were threatened with church discipline, and this only because they had pleaded for protection from a cougar. One by one they just stopped attending BCA without formally announcing their intentions. But after several months of absence they were each threatened with church discipline if they didn’t start attending again. Ultimately the families all left for good, some by announcing their intentions to become members of other churches whether or not they ever received a letter of transfer, some by asking for transfers which they never received, and others just refused to come back again. They are technically, still to this day, considered “Members not in good standing, under church discipline.” They lived for many months under the constant threat of being excommunicated at any time.

BCA was already a small church and the departure of eight families qualified as a significant reduction in the size of the congregation. The lives of each of these “dishonorable covenant-breaking” families (the label given to all who leave BCA without Doug’s permission), from adults to small children, have been devastated emotionally and spiritually. Most of them are still deeply wounded and grieving years after the fact. This is a textbook case of the devastation that so often happens at the hands of a religious sociopathic narcissist.

Like all gifted cult leaders, Doug Phillips is all about image. It, therefore, is completely consistent that this hypocrite of hypocrites would include this photo on the BCA web site. It portrays a kind and benevolent shepherd watching over and guarding his sheep, protecting them from predators — like cougars, for example. Needless to say, Doug Phillips is no shepherd at all. He is, at best, “a hireling” (John 10:13). But even that is too kind. Doug Phillips is a wolf in sheep’s clothing (Matt 7:15), a predator animal who aided and abetted another predator.

Most anyone would have to ask, “But why? Why would Doug Phillips allow that to go on for years? What was his incentive? What did he get out of it?” This is a unique case of clergy sexual abuse and sexual harassment that would necessitate that Doug Phillips be in full-time psychiatric care for months before anyone could really know the answers for sure. At this juncture all anyone can say with any certainty is that Doug Phillips’ conduct is completely consistent with other sociopathic narcissistic abusive cult leaders.

Needless to say there will be much speculation. The first question I would anticipate in the comments below might be “Were Doug Phillips and Jennifer Grady having an affair?” The answer is I don’t know. Plenty of people at BCA were suspicious of that very thing. Flirtation is one thing. But catching two people in the act can be quite a challenge (just look at all the trouble Stan Rogers had to go through to catch his son). The necessary eye witness testimony hasn’t come forward yet. If there was an affair between Doug Phillips and Jennifer Grady, or even just a one night stand, it might have made it impossible for Doug Phillips to ever get rid of her for fear of her publicly exposing him.

The next question I might anticipate is, “Did Jennifer Grady have something on Doug that made it impossible for him to make her leave BCA?” There remains considerable speculation in BCA over that very thing. There’s also been much speculation over the fact that the impoverished Grady family, deep in debt and struggling to pay bills, suddenly and inexplicably enjoyed a dramatic increase in their standard of living. With Doug no longer an Elder, the term “Payoff” can now be spoken of at BCA without fear of Doug’s reprisals. But there may be other reasons than sex and payoffs for why Doug Phillips acquiesced to a cougar remaining while he threatened excommunication against members for leaving. The whys aren’t nearly as important as the whats.

Doug Phillips’ behavior in the Jennifer Grady case stands in stark contrast to his reactions to far less egregious transgressions within the BCA congregation. In other cases Doug never hesitated to accuse any woman of being a “Jezebel”, women who were never guilty of anything even remotely approaching the sins of Jennifer Grady. Jennifer Grady likely had something very damning on Doug Phillips, and perhaps on Doug’s hand-picked yes-men Elders too. That most certainly is the case with Michael Gobart (Elder in training) who made a regular habit of “counseling” Jennifer Grady after church in his Suburban. Quite often they would disappear together down to the river five minutes from the church. Those “counseling sessions” often lasted several hours each, and many at BCA knew it was going on, including Doug Phillips.

In January 2013 another mass exodus occurred when half of the remaining church (approximately ten families) left BCA. Around the same time, the young lady that Doug Phillips had been carrying on a long-term “inappropriate relationship” with also left BCA, as did her family. In February Doug Phillips stepped down as Teaching Elder.

To the best of our knowledge Jennifer Grady remains “a member in good standing” at Boerne Christian Assembly, to this day.


Post Script

For current and former BCA members:
For any who do want to tell your BCA stories, feel free to email me, just as the Johnson family has done. As always, I never divulge the identities of my sources unless they specifically request to be identified. For any current or former BCA members who would like to comment below on the Johnson’s story, if you’re comfortable doing so please let everyone know your BCA membership status (past, current, excommunicated, etc.), and feel free to use an alias if you’re not comfortable using your real name.

For current and former VF employees and Interns:
There is one significant element to this story which I must leave unnamed at this time, and can only allude to. It concerns a key piece of physical evidence that exposes Doug Phillips to significant additional public shame were the contents of it to become widely known. That evidence confirms what some insiders already suspected — Doug Phillips’ clergy sexual abuses had been going on for years even prior to the discovery of that physical evidence in 2007. That evidence first came into the hands of a VF employee who, through reviewing it, found out about Doug Phillips’ “inappropriate relationship” with the young lady. Other important facts are also revealed by that physical evidence. That piece of evidence is now in the hands of someone unknown to me. It might even be in the hands of Jennifer Grady, and if it were it would explain a lot as to why Doug Phillips sacrificed the sheep to save his own skin. One or more VF employees and perhaps one or more VF Interns know exactly of the evidence I now allude to. They are the only ones who know, and who need to know about what I speak of, and they require no further clarification.

I’m now making a formal request to receive either the original or a copy of the original. Please contact me via email (anonymously, if you prefer) and we can make arrangements. Whoever now possesses it should understand that if they were to destroy it, there could be serious legal consequences.

845 Responses to “Yet Another Doug Phillips Sex Scandal”

  1. Scott Says:

    If she wanted to get booted from the villege, uh or “church” she could have just written a letter to the ENTIRE church making a case for the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008. In 2012 she could have worked for Romney, proudly supporting that “evil Morman” candidate. She could have carefully made the case that a vote for the third party canidate helps no one but Obama. If that didn’t work as a last resort she could have handed out flyers at the home schoolers convention challenging Doug Philips to a mud wrestling match. Screaming ” hey sissy boy come on out here without your bodyboobs/ guards and fight like a GIRL” over a BULLhorn.

    Of course being the coward that he is, he would have just hid inside under his wife’s hoop skirt while dealing out little back alley tricks to deal with it. Maybe have that bizarre attorney write another poorly drafted threatening letter. If that failed he could of just called the police and had her thrown off the property by a couple of Female officers. That would certainly shut ” that Jezebel woman ” up. Most certainly there wouldn’t be a blog 8-9 years latter covering his new reality (instead of his vision) and speculating on how his life has become one, very long Hazardous Journey. I mean who in their right mind would be that dedicated ?

    (New readers, you need to ready Jen’s story, the start of all Doug’s problems. One woman he couldn’t bully. )

    Is it just me or is it pretty hilarious that God used a couple of women to knock Doug off his perch, LOL. I just can’t stop cracking up when I think of that. Today I was in a home that has one of those pictures of Christ laughing. I say it and immediately started laughing thinking about this whole thing. I believe God has had enough of the patriarchs.

    I mean you have the VF collapse and the a sovergn Grace litigation, and the whole Google reviews lawsuit where a church ( pastored by the weirdest ex-marine I have ever seen and I know a bunch of marines)
    sued women and lost, big time. Looks to me like “God’s gals” are kicking a lot of patriarch butt lately. That tells me God is sending a signal on all this patriarchal crap and that he has an incredible sense of humor wrapped in his justice.

    You can’t miss God moving in all this and that gives me hope that healing for those injured by these people is God’s business to take care of, and I know he will.

    I sense we will all be shocked by what is coming down the road. God is not mocked. When arrogant men call God’s people “enemies of God” , whores, jezebels etc. that is not something that the Lord takes lightly. It’s attributing God’s property, his redeemed to the enemy and that is a very foolish thing indeed.

  2. PJ Says:

    I have been reading on this scandal for a while now.
    It struck me today, that Michael Billings is more likely to be the son of Jennifer Grady, then her brother. He looks an awful lot like someone else at the center of this mess.
    It makes all the shenanigans that have been going on, make much more sense.

  3. Rich Says:

    My sermon from last Sunday on hypocrisy, with much thanks to Jen and TW for their research.

  4. Sarah Says:

    @Jen Some interesting comment from a current neighbour of Doug Phillips over at Spiritual Sounding board.

  5. A James Says:

    My only involvement with DP/VF was to somehow end up on the mailing list a few years ago and to make an occasional purchase. I do not have the insight and connections that so many of you have. So my comment is very simple and surface level. Over the years of seeing their picture perfect family, there was a creeping bit of jealousy. Even though at times I thought I thought I sensed arrogancy, I would excuse it away thinking “they are just so holy”. Even when it was hard to get my spouse totally involved in the homeschooling, I would nastily think, “I guess you’ll never be a DP” or “you aren’t a VF parent” and end up feeling more desperate than ever to reach an imagined ideal. I tried to watch their latest American History Conference…made it through two sessions, and offically allowed myself to label him “arrogant”. I finally questioned all of these manly men extensive away from home trips and documentaries–reclaiming dominion and leaving the 200 year plan to their wives. Bragging ad nauseum about his family and beloved bride on his blog. I finally said, “no more” just weeks before the public scandal broke loose. Had even dreaded seeing the Christmas magazine.

    All that to say this is the closest I’ve ever been to a cult. And though not in it, I felt touches of the shock, betrayal, and yes a bit of the freedom (including not feeling guilty about going to Amazon to purchase items that were so overpriced in the VF catalogue–just to support such a “wonderful family” :). May our joy and contentment be found only in the Lord and His Word.

    • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

      A James, your comment may be simple, but it’s not “surface level” and I can assure you that in the homeschooling world your sensations were/are nearly universal. And because they were almost universal AND because they were largely unspoken by those who thought they were the only ones, DP and those cut from the same cloth have been able to keep families enslaved and adoring. Like you, we came close enough to singe our clothing but not be burned. I grieve for those whose happiness and peace were lapped up by the flames.

  6. Bbb Says:

    I did not realize I replied as a “reply” with my SAICFF festival post so I will continue it here. Regarding the comment about the rigged festival – I have no way to refute that. I hope it was not the case. But regarding our experience – we have nothing but positive things to say about the speakers, the information, the presentations. They were really top notch and motivational to create good wholesome films. We saw some AMAZING films at the last festival and I felt the winners were worthy. Now don’t get me started about what I think about the messenger, but for us, the festival itself had positive results in our family (our family that attends a regular Southern Baptist church, wears shorts albeit conservativiely, goes to Disney religiously, has a mom and dad ruling as a team w/ one head but a good understanding that we both are worthy of opinions and decisions and not afraid to use them!) The connections we made w/ other filmmakers around the country are people who I am quite sure never met or knew DP personally just based on our coffee bar conversations. We follow their work and I can say without a doubt God used that festival for his glory in spite of VF intentions. (For those who are interested, there is another one in it’s place run by some young guys who just want to get together. Now – I will definitely research them a little more before attending, but their website and other work tells me they are not in this camp as far as I can tell.) Back to the festival – I was definitely turned off by seeing DP always exiting the back way w/ a few guys and never ever making himself accessible. It was weird. Contrast that w/ the Kendricks who ALWAYS made their way around the building greeting people – looking genuinely glad to be there and to talk with you.

    Next question – where does Pat Roy fall in all of this? He seems very approachable as well. I had a nice conversation w/ him and he didn’t run away 🙂 (me being female and all) JPark is such a great series – and does not smell at all of backwoods female oppression – in fact the mom in the story works w/ the dad I think.

    And yet another sidebar – the only VF product I bought that I thought was weird in any way (and I said earlier we mostly bought the toys and adventure books, etc.) was the Amazon journey. The whole first DVD was DP pontificating about I don’t even know what. We turned it off before the first disc ended and never watched the rest. I guess that should have been a clue but I just thought he was boring. Same with the father daughter duet at the festival – um hello – you can’t sing!

    I will pay an undisclosed amount to the person that can fill us in on why the movie Ace Wonder did not show as scheduled at the festival. Does this factor in as well? (I’m just kidding about the $$…but I would REALLY like to know)

    • DesiringToDiscern Says:

      …and why isn’t the movie RETURN TO THE HIDING PLACE available ! Can they get their rights back. That family worked on their film for what.. 17 years, wasn’t it. AND won! Big deal . We want to see that film!! and Ace Wonder. ?????????????????????

    • Traveler Says:

      I’ve never been to the SAICFF and was never interested. I escaped the whole Gothard, ATI, VF, Home Church, Courtship, etc, etc stuff long ago. However my family is still stuck in a lot of it. Some of my family members are involved in film and have been to the SAICFF several times. Last time they attended they were quite frustrated with the event. Knowing that I’m not a big DP fan they didn’t want to gossip, but indicated that the event was definitely not impartial. From what I could gather there was a lot of favoritism going on. I tried to get more details, but other than a sense of disgust, I didn’t get much.

  7. learning Says:

    So I am new to all of this. I am not a christian and went to public schools so my question might be very novice. I don’t understand why there is a formal organization for family integrated churches… it seems like a style preference (to sunday school or not)…I dont understand building a movement around what appears to be a personal preferance. Can someone please shed some light on this issue for me?

    • Jane Says:

      It just makes them feel “holier than thou” by claiming they have found something the rest of Christendom has missed.

      • Jen Says:

        Jane, that is EXACTLY how we felt. We had discovered what all other Christians missed, and we were going to live the perfectly holy life.

      • Traveler Says:

        I don’t think that “holier than thou” is the reason why there is a formal organization. Even being in the middle of the cult mindset, there can be lingering doubt that you’re doing the right thing. However if you can get together with a group of “like minded people” who help you justify and defend your choices, then you feel secure with your beliefs.

        One of the biggest reasons I left the home church before I escaped the homeschool movement is that whole like mindedness thing. I didn’t understand how iron could sharpen iron when their was no friction. In church growing up, there was quit a bit of friction around my parents. We were in a normal church and they wanted to do away with Sunday School, Youth Group, etc. However I thought it was a good thing that we had a community, a church with people who agreed and those who did not. My parents didn’t always get their way and that was good. Even with the friction people mostly got along and grew together.

        Once they left and started the home church all that went away. People who didn’t fit didn’t last. Not that they were kicked out, but there was a lot of pressure to conform. While “holier than thou” was not the cause, it was definitely one of the symptoms.

        • Jen Says:

          Traveler, thanks for sharing that. I think in some cases, it is the cause, while in others, it is the symptom. In either case, it is simply not good.

    • Jen Says:

      Learning, welcome! This formal organization began because there was really no way for Christians who wanted to be in this type of church to find churches like this in their area. Most churches like this were, and many still are, home churches, so most don’t have websites. It was simply word of mouth. This began as a database for people to find one another and churches in their area. From there, it grew and grew and grew into a long list of rules and conferences on how to be different from typical churches. So what began as something good, in my estimation, became a new directory of legalistic churches, for the most part.

      I want you to know that you are very welcome here, Learning, and just because some people have done some things that are not very loving does not mean that that is the life that God wants for those who follow Christ. It is very easy to say that we want nothing to do with certain beliefs because a particular group misuses and abuses their own teachings, but that does not mean the teachings are bad in and of themselves. I know you have not said this, but it is a very common reaction, so I hope you will stick around and find love here. 🙂

      • Learning Says:

        Thanks Jen,

        I find all of this to be very interesting (and sometimes quite alarming), on an academic level. I’m so far removed from this line of thinking that I’ve had to google a lot of vocabulary to understand what is being said. I am not even sure I can say that I know a single person who was homeschooled. I really find it astounding, and sad that there are places in this country where people like Doug Phillips are so powerful and where women are raised to be so vulnerable. It must be very unnerving to be a Christian, and to try to decide which direction to head, and whom to follow, knowing that the bible can be used to justify even the most absurd (in my way of thinking) concepts. Really at any moment a predator could be quoting the bible to seduce, silence and abuse. The more conservative and serious you get, the more vulnerable you are to abuse. I never really considered this, but people have really complicated Christianity, every detail has its own movement, its really overwhelming.

        I do not envy Christians!

  8. Teresa Says:

    I am not surprised by all these revelations. What is done done in darkness will be revealed in the light. Many years ago I bought 2 Doug Phillips tapes from a bargain bin at the local christian book store. They were about raising sons & daughters, I was excited for we have both. I had intended to listen to them but never got around to it, then I would misplace them… this went on for years. I then started watching the Duggars after my husband showed me the 14 kids & pregnant show. I was amazed to see a large family in motion (we only had 4 children at the time, now we have 8) I had read in Above Rubies magazine about super sized families but never seen them. I started to investigate some of the people I saw in this programm and found a lot of encouraging info. There was a time a saw a trailer for documentary that I heard several christian leader do their speech. One was Doug Phillips, now to me he talked quicker & more excitedly than the others ( To me it seemed like he too was hypo) I pointed him out to my husband & how different he seemed. I felt uneasy about the fellow & I couldn’t connect with his message. I didn’t consider it was the Holy Spirit alerting me to the danagers of this man. Only on hindsight to I see God protecting us for the tirrany of this philosophy of men.

    • Teresa Says:

      Teresa here again sorry about the above comments missing words, I am sure you can fill them in as you read. I put it down to tired mum syndrome, seems to a syndrome for nearly every excuse in life these days.
      But seriously I am such a people lonely homeschool mum. We are having a hard time finding a non cult church that truly exemplifies the true gospel message. I live in Australia and I don’t feel the love from believers. You meet a ‘Christian’ in the world & instead of wow sister or brother we are family. It is instead suspicion & the feeling of what do you want from me. Now this is a generalization of course, but the love has grown cold for many, for I have witnessed sin in our church family. (In the past has come from myself too!)
      There is so much pain in the church with broken families, hopes, & dreams that we seen to cling to, that come not from God.
      John Taylor Gatto has some interesting comments & observations from his 30 year experience as a school teacher on how public schools raise us to be hateful, untrusting, cruel, dishonest etc. the very opposite of Christ’s admonition to love one another. So many have been raised in public schools so they act according to the way they have been trained. They bring this worldliness into the church whether as leader or follower & don’t put away the old man with its worldly lusts & put on the new man after Christ Jesus. So we have the legalism not the love & many are snared into sin, manipulated. We are warned to test the spirits whether they be from God & by their fruits you shall know them. I remember David asking God why the wicked prosper, now God rebuked him & explained that it comes to them in the end & in his timing. I have personally witnessed & being a victim of those corrupt professing The Lord Jesus, then to hear & experience first hand that they have being with prostitutes & hurt their families. They try to enslave you again, even though God through Jesus has set us free from the bondage of sin they ensnare you in sin with their traps they lay, wrinkles & spots they are, full of deceitful promises, I know first hand how these leaders work, from painful experience, which they Lord has removed & healed me from. They have been in leadership & those high in leadership have not called them out & stopped doing business with them for love of money & the enemy has corrupted their judgement. Well in the following decades one by one they fell, family’s hurt, some dead, some divorced in shame & exile for their revealed crimes & the days of eating, drinking on the fat of the lambs is over for them. this behavior is repeated decade after decade in the lives of men. Though we have the testimonies of our Lord & others to encourage us against the follies of sin, we are still individuals with a free will & a nature that needs to be yielded daily to God. God is true to his word & puts a stop to it in His time just as he has with Doug. I love all you fellow believers, be of good courage for The Lord is no respecter of persons & let’s the sun & rain fall the good & the evil. As he called out his beloved David whom was a man after God’s own heart, after his sin of converting, murder, adultery, deceitfulness God brought his servant down low & thankfully he humbled his heart. Let us hope Doug & others like him truly have a heart for God & can choose to be humbled like David. We need these examples that men aren’t above God & he rebukes whom he loves. We all have hurt others by our sin & none more than our Heavenly Father…. Oh! How must he long for us to yield unto Him.
      Please pray for our family, for we for our choice to stay true to our convictions have been black sheeped by our multi divorced, divided loyalties families.
      My husband encourages me that God has given me Grace for the day, so as not let myself be robbed by stress over situations that are for me to let God help me with.
      The fiery trails of our faith are cleansing but do hurt.
      Jen thank you for letting me post, you are a brave soul, thank you for trusting God. May you & your family be blessed as you plant seeds of righteousness & truth!

      • Jen Says:

        Teresa, I am glad you are here! I have found many true friends online, and that helps with loneliness, but I had a thought while reading your comments. Perhaps you don’t “feel the love” from other believers simply because they do not know how to love. The best way to find a friend is to be a friend. Demonstrate true love to others and you will be surrounded by love. Do your friends all need to agree with you on every point? When we have that attitude, we are the ones missing out on some wonderful relationships in life! At BCA, separatism was encouraged. I only wanted to be friends with people who lived like I did and had my same beliefs. I was acquaintances with those who had only some beliefs in common, and strangers with those who did not profess Christ.

        One the greatest decisions I ever made in life was to embrace the divorced, the downtrodden, the homeless, the felons, the hurting, the nominal “Christian,” atheists, liberals, drug addicts, and just simply anyone God put in my path. Life is not about loving those who are just like us. Life is about loving everyone God puts in our path. I highly recommend simplifying your beliefs to “Love God” and “Love Others.” The transformation, while difficult, is well worth it. Be the love you wish to feel from others!

        • oneh20 Says:

          I highly recommend simplifying your beliefs to “Love God” and “Love Others.”

          For on those two things hang ALL the law and the prophets… Says Jesus Himself. Its so freeing to get down to that. Then we have those who would argue about love/truth…. But that’s another thread. 😉

          I will say to the person (I’m sorry, I forgot who) that feels people in VF/FIC would be condemning. There is truth to that – for some… but certainly not for all. I’ve been in a wide array of Christian circles over the past four decades and all types think they have something more than the other. That said, you will always find what you are looking for and there are many who are humble and do not think they have the only way… Even in FIC churches.

          There is a temptation when having been hurt by a certain group to lump them all together. I understand that. Its a natural defense. I’ve done it. A few times. But we really have a mix of things. Pride in leadership, pride in the laity, pride in so called spiritual understanding (of many varieties), biblical illiteracy, fear of walking in faith – so much easier to play by rules! And the list goes on – in every circle… In parachurch organizations, in reformed churches, VF/FIC/QF, Word of Faith movement, charismatics, southern baptists, so called modern day prophets, and so on and so forth. Our enemy has never been flesh and blood, however. God has an incredible way of shaking things up in every circle when men or women try and take over. He said He won’t be mocked. And its really loving for Him to expose things like what He has with Doug Phillips… Not so we can look at Doug/VF/FIC… but so we can look at ourselves. Where are we really putting our faith/hope/love/trust? I’m speaking from experience. Its a long story and multi layered, but my today I can truly say trust and faith are in God and God alone. Its too easy to look at DP – much harder to really examine myself. Believe me, if God opened up my heart for all to see I’d be mortified. So what to do? I keep fixing my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith, and like Jen said, Love God – Love others.

        • Teresa Says:

          Thanks Jen great advice, God has given us this important message to love others even those with differing views & your encouragement is a pertinent reminder how important it is to love as Jesus does. My husband is a man who embraces those who do not express only our beliefs, we have learnt this lesson many years ago. God has used our family to reach those whom our christian familly would not generally reach.
          Though our family is not running ‘perfectly’ God brings many opportunities to love others. We were once in the world & have many contacts ( that we did not cast aside because of our beliefs), it wonderful to see my husband have the opportinuty to demonstrate from scpriture & our testimony good council to those God draws to us.
          I am sorry that I gave the impression that we were unloving of those from outside our beliefs. Though I don’t believe in being unequally yoked. My concern over the years was how many non christian ‘friends’ husband has some God has drawn away from us & others are still close. I had peace about this when after I spoke to my husband I gave this concern to God.
          My husband loves to connect to others by speaking to them on the phone. He says hearing their voice lets you connect better. He barely ever texts or emails friends & family, but rather spends the extra money & calls.
          This to me demonstrates the danagers of the written messages that they can be interpreted according to ones experience & world view, ( like the creation v evolution debate). We must be cautious & prayful with others for our views are usually propagandized, for most of us do not know the facts from the whole spectrum of information. We don’t have the time to know it all, but God does, so with the help of the Holy Spirit, the scriptures & prayer we believers have such wonderful light for road we walk.
          Once again thank you for your loving reminder to love, one can’t hear that often enough. With this advice I will examine my heart for I might have issues that I have been blind to.

      • Jackie C. Says:

        Teresa, Jen gives great advice. You talk about not feeling the love from other believers. Jesus didn’t teach us to feel the love. He taught is act in love – he healed, ate with, shared with, gave to, visited with all the hurting around him. Not as in a superior position but from the knowledge that this was his calling.We are called to go out into the world, not nestle in our comfortable communities being fed by the like minded. We will be lonely at times, as perhaps Jesus was. Christian community isn’t about emotional highs and look at how we have the true gospel message. It is about loving the Lord our God and our neighbor as ourself. And our neighbor is anyone we come across, just as it was for the Samaritan. Seek to be Jesus in the world, not to be protected from the world.

        • Teresa Says:

          Thank you Jackie for your great advice. I mean I haven’t felt much love from random christians I have met out in our city, I have experienced a church that I went to that was a decrement ministry, no body would engage us & I left in tears. I have also met wonderful christians at secondhand & charity stores, & we have differences we have become friends.
          I believe God drew us out of the spiritual mess we in so as to teach us that love of God & others is the way.

  9. Patty Joanna Says:

    I was not in any way affiliated with VF, DP or any of the patriarch movement, but i touched the edges of it, and that was bad enough.

    I have a question that I would like as correct an answer to as is possible. Background first: I homeschooled for many years, and saw the VF booth at a few conferences, but not many. The local Christian conference experienced a painful “split” a number of years ago, and apparently, these guys “won.” I never went back. The coming conference, 2014, features Scott Brown and Ken Ham as keynotes. (:::running away fast:::) But truth be told, I am not sure that I know a single homeschooler who attends this conference, or adheres to the VF stuff.

    My question is multipart:

    How many families/people (specify) would you say are involved in the VF “movements”? (You can include homeschooling, the churches, whatever–I don’t know enough to ask the question correctly.)

    If you are involved in homeschooling, what percentage of fellow homeschoolers you know personally are involved with DP/VF? and with Patriarchy in general.

    If you could list the Top 5 Bigshots in the Patriarchy movement, who would they be, and on a scale of 1-5 on the Creepometer, 5 being Most Creepy, who would you list. If you don’t want to do the rankings, that’s OK. It would also help if you listed them in order of number of people reached.

    I know these are not scientific questions. I’m trying to understand the scope of the impact here, the intensity of it within the homeschool community and to identy the names of leaders in the movement and their relative toxicity.

    God be with you all.

    Kind regards,
    Patty Joanna

    (cross-posted at Spiritual Sounding Board)

  10. watchfuleye Says:

    Pay close attention to the comments by “Womanforfreedom”……….who are the Phillips neighbors. Oh my! Now we know WHY Doug wouldn’t hold Jennifer Grady accountable…….

  11. Teresa Says:

    Now that I have finished helping the children with their breakfast & a tidy up, I have examined all your advise more carefully. I am so glad I posted, for all your advise to me personally is so helpful, especially yours Jackie C, once again thank you. By encouraging me it can effect my immediate family & others we have contact with. Please pray for us those of you who are lead to.

  12. My3Sons Says:

    I have been following this story since it first broke. One of the forums I read directed me to Jen’s story. I can’t say, after reading about how unrestrained and how he wasn’t held accountable to anyone, that I was surprised by any of what I read then, or read now about DP. As a homeschooling family, somehow we got the VF catalog mailed to us and I, like so many others I have read, was drawn to the quaintness of their family and the ideals of a strong family unit and such. Having not grown up in a Christian home, I knew I wanted things to be different for my sons and our family as whole. I loved to peruse the catalog and look at all the neat guy toys but there was no way on military income we could ever afford them. Our youngest was enthralled with the huge sword, which we nearly bought for him, though from Little Bear’s booth at a conference we were able to make it to the few years we were in TX. And having read all that is known, and realizing as many others have said that this is likely just the tip of the iceberg, I have been ever grateful for God’s protection over me from getting close to being involved in this stuff aside from just knowing about the VF catalog. I praise God for a husband who knows the Word and readily discusses biblical things with me and helps me understand Scripture better…to avoid being sucked into something as this. And I appreciate those here who are diligent to verify facts and share the truth, not just for those who are IN it and need help to see the truth of the matter, but for those like me who are connected by way of the homeschool community yet not involved in the FIC lifestyle because I am sure there are those who see “homeschool” and lump us all together, as well as for moms like me who struggle to understand the need for some parents to control their adult children, specifically daughters, though it doesn’t seem they are a part of this patriachal movement. This whole issue with DP has given me great insight in this area and I better understand these parents, though I cannot stand in agreement with them. But the brightest light that shines in all this for me is more awareness that clergy abuse is more prevalent than what the average Christian might think or realize. And to be able to instruct my sons of the importance of diligence in leading their future families and knowing whom it is they support in their giving as well as remembering they serve God, not man, is invaluable to me and ultimately to them. This is a sobering reminder that we cannot take our eyes off of Jesus! And I pray all those who have done so and have become “trapped” in the unbiblical teachings perpetrated by DP and others will find their way back to The Truth! My heart aches for Beall and her children, as well as for the unnamed victim in this, and I pray they have the support they each need!

  13. Teresa N Says:

    Could someone answer this question for me. I had ask before but did not get answered,

    What exactly happened or how did Michael Billings die?

    • Jen Says:

      Michael died in a car accident. I think he was texting or something, but I’m not exactly sure.

      • Teresa N Says:

        I am trying to piece everything together, hard to keep up….lol If it was the word of faith movement or the New apostolic reformation, it would be easy.

        Jen, You probably do not know the David Fry family or do you?

        • Jen Says:

          Teresa N, no, I do not know the Fry family, but I have heard their name come up often.

        • Teresa N Says:

          David Fry and his family are wonderful people and I do know them personally because we are from the same state and I would visit the church in WV that the Fry’s went to when I would go home to visit. I moved to Wisconsin in 2008 after getting out of the Charismatic movement. He moved his family to Texas in about 2009 or 2010 to be apart of the home church and the film part of the ministry.

          I am concerned for the family and concerned as to why they have not left that ministry yet. I will just keep praying.

        • EyesWideOpen Says:

          Teresa N why don’t you contact them? They were our closest friends when they arrived at BCA. We’ve tried talking with them since we left to no avail. Perhaps if more people voiced their concerns it would mean more to them?

        • Teresa N Says:

          God opened my eyes to the dangers and the false teaching of the Word of Faith and the NAR. God will have to do it for them as well. I learned the hard way that we can talk to people until we are blue in the face and they will not listen until God moves on their heart about the matter. Truthfully, I would not know how to get a hold of them any longer.

          EyesWideopen, you and I will be in prayer together concerning this matter.

      • dmaxell Says:

        Actually, I thought I read that he had run a stop sign. Thus, Doug’s comment that he was “pulling out of a dangerous intersection.” Ummm, yeah, if you run a stop sign, it’s gonna’ be dangerous! Further, Michael wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Wish I could remember exactly where I saw that info so that I could re-post it.

  14. EyesWideOpen Says:

    Nathaniel Darnell wrote a great article about his surprise death on his website

  15. Some worldview consequences coming from the Patriarchy scandal « Seventy Sevens Says:

    […] comments immediately following this one, including the one related to Young Earth Creationist Kent Hovind, are worth reading from a legal […]

  16. Flora Says:

    My children were almost beyond the ‘schooling’ stage when we came to a Reformed Presbyterian church where ‘home-schooling’ was the norm. I’ve been ‘joining the dots’ lately and understand much that I did not before.

    We were rebuked because our daughters were going to university and some seemed upset that they were committed and spiritually-minded Christians although they had gone to public schools and pursued further education. . I found it all very bizarre because although I had grown up in a conservative Presbyterian back-ground in Scotland, I had never encountered such teaching about women .

    My university educated daughter is now a happy ‘stay -at home’ Mom and when she was considering Home-schooling, I encouraged her to attend the local Home-schooling conference. The woman who was organising it is a member of our church. My daughter immediately informed me that the speaker was Kevin Swanson,that he was affiliated with Vision Forum and that their teaching had caused havoc in their church. I researched for myself and could immediately discern the cult-like tendencies. I contacted the woman who was organising the Conference ,thinking naively that she might not be aware of some of their teaching. She was very angry and accused me of being against ‘Home-schooling’, This is just not true although my husband and I believe that the ‘schooling’ of children should be a parental decision based on the circumstances and needs of the child. We asked if my husband and I could come and speak to this woman and her husband and they refused. We asked if we could meet together with our Pastor and they refused. We are no longer worshiping together and it has been a very painful episode.

    I give this back-ground because I am puzzled that Kevin Swanson is a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and nobody in his denomination seems to speak out about his very strange views and teaching and affiliation with Vision Forum.. Can anyone explain why this is and if his teaching has become acceptable in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church?

    • ExilePastor Says:

      As for the question regarding the OPC: The OPC is a confessional Presbyterian denomination. The Westminster Standards do not really speak to the issue of homeschooling vs public education. Therefore it would be very difficult for a presbytery to bring charges against Swanson on confessional grounds. I do believe the teaching of these men is contrary to the confession with regard to liberty of conscience. However, due to the heavy emphasis upon homeschooling within the OPC it would be nearly impossible to have a trial that convicted them of error. For the record, I am a homeschooling dad, and believe it is a very good option for many parents. Our position is that the church should help parents who homeschool by giving them options that supplement their children’s education. We believe the same about public and private school parents. The truth is no model is without deficiencies and none is prescribed as “God’s way”.

      • Flora Says:

        I wasn’t referring to his views on ‘Home-schooling’ but his endorsement of other Vision Forum values especially regarding the education and role of women, birth-control, Family Integrated Church, “stay at home daughters’ etc He seemed to be very involved with Doug Philips,speaking at the same Conferences etc and has made some outrageous comments on his radio broadcasts. These are easy to research. My concern is that people seem to give him a ‘pass’ because he is an O.P minister. If you research his views and listen to him as I have, you will understand what I am saying. I do know what the O.P,C is supposed to stand for. My husband was a minister in a sister, Presbyterian denomination for many years and is now retired.

        • ExilePastor Says:

          I tried to respond earlier but somehow I messed it up. I can assure you that I have indeed researched Swanson. I have had to deal with him for about 9 years. I thoroughly share all your concerns. I was merely using homeschooling as an example. It is one of the issues I think Swanson could be charged in because he seems to demand that all Christian parents follow this approach. The other issues you bring up are equally important. My main point is that for Swanson to be charged with anything that would get him defrocked, it would have to be anti-confessional not merely extra-confessional. I personally believe this is possible due to his teachings clearly denying the WCF on matters of liberty of conscience. However, it would be a very difficult process. T.W. Heston is correct in the post below that Swanson is loony. This may be too nice. I would say he borders on complete insanity or as we say hear in the south, “He’s as nutty as a squirrel turd.” But being loony is not going to cut it in a Presbyterian court trial. It has to be shown that Swanson is out of accord with the OPC confessional standards and the Book of Church Order. A very complicated scenario would have to occur. If a member of his church was to charge him with heresy or abuse of office his presbytery would be forced to deal with it. If other officers within the presbytery did the same it could occur then as well. A trial with a prosecutor and defense would entail and it would depend on how many presbyters agreed. Then appeals would be sent to the General Assembly. It would be a long and drawn out process. What I am attempting to point out is that while many of us, myself included, are very concerned about this man, we cannot expect the OPC to jettison its disciplinary procedures just to satisfy our concerns. We can only expect them to follow those practices consistently. While never being in the OPC myself I have been involved in such discipline in another Presbyterian denomination. I was the one bringing the charges and interestingly enough, the man charged was akin to Swanson and actually associated with him. My charges were affirmed by the presbytery and the man was convicted. He later left the denomination to escape further discipline and we did not endorse his departure nor did we transfer his credentials. The other presbytery is probably paying for its error of disregarding our discipline by having this man as a member so we left it alone thinking some sins carry their own penance with them so to speak. So, in short, we have the same goal but I am attempting to explain how to reach that goal. I believe the best course of action is for forums like this to publicly expose the man while the Phillips scandal is hot. Anyone in Swanson’s presbytery should get with their pastor, discuss the issues, and try to promote a formal set of charges based upon deviation from the Westminster Confession & Catechisms and OPC Book of Church Order. This is the ONLY WAY TO DISCIPLINE a Presbyterian minister. I hope this helps and clarifies some things.

        • cptruthlover Says:

          Holy cow, that was long.

        • Flora Says:

          Thank you for your response. I do understand all of what you are saying, but I do wonder that no fellow ministers take him aside and warn him that he is doing incredible harm in the the whole ‘body’ and that he is damaging the reputation of the O.P.C. Perhaps an ‘intervention’ is in order but it’s not likely to happen and he is possibly too arrogant to listen.

        • ExilePastor Says:

          I think you probably nailed it when you wrote, “he is possibly too arrogant to listen.” Yeah. I wouldn’t assume that no OPC men have spoken to him. They probably have. But Swanson’s modus operandi would be to merely accuse them of humanism and capitulation to liberalism, denial of the “clear teaching of Scripture”, and probably countering that such men are irresponsible husbands/fathers/men in general. These guys (Swanson, Pearl, Wilson, Phillips, Botkin, et al) have no interest in being corrected. I’ve never known one to even admit to a grammatical error before, let alone acknowledge their heresies, abuses, or lunacy. But I want to reiterate that keeping the fire hot by doing public exposes on forums such as this one, and doing so in light of the Confessional and Scritpural teaching these men are supposed to be holding to, is a way to see some action taken. Bad image is not something that denominational leaders can continue to ignore. They will either discipline the one in error or show themselves to be just as bad by exonerating it. Either one is fine by me. At least then we would know who to reject and who to admire.

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      Flora, I too have wondered why Kevin Swanson hasn’t been brought up on charges in the OPC. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Presbyterian pastor say so many loony things, and on such a regular basis. You mentioned his views on birth control. Here’s something he said on his radio program earlier this year:

      I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery, and they’ve compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.

      Swanson was barraged with angry calls and emails, some from medical doctors, demanding to know what this so-called evidence was. Needless to say he back peddled and took that particular program down from his website. It would be one thing if Swanson were to only rarely do this sort of thing, but outrageous an irresponsible things spew out of his mouth almost every program. He’s an embarrassment to the body of Christ and is mocked and ridiculed by liberals as an example of Christian evangelicalism. He should be a great embarrassment by the OPC, but they just turn a blind eye to him.

      Kevin Swanson and Doug Phillips were close friends and invited one another to speak at each others conferences. Swanson’s only statements to date about Doug Phillips’ sex scandal were in a recent radio show. I listened to the program and was angered by the man’s dishonesty. See Geoff’s comment for his own assessment.

      • Jen Says:

        It sounds like Kevin Swanson draws extreme attention wherever he goes! It is sad that he provides that level of entertainment to the world.

        Has Kevin never heard of a woman’s monthly cycle?

      • ExilePastor Says:

        To Flora and T.W.
        I’m probably going to get myself in trouble by saying this but you guys asked and I feel I have to give you an honest answer, undiplomatic as it may be. Flora asked if the views of Vision Forum etc. are acceptable in the OPC. While I do not think the teachings are acceptable according to the OPC’s standards, I do know for a fact that many of the pastors and congregants of the denomination do hold to this stuff. In fact, I have family who are heavily entrenched and they are members of the OPC and even include OPC pastors. And I am “on the outs” with them due to my taking a stand against it. I am accused of being out of accord with the Bible due to my viewpoint. I am condemned for the way we raise our children, the church we are affiliated with, because my wife works (though that is her desire, not my demand), because I do not require others to homeschool, because we spend much time with unbelievers in evangelism and mercy ministry, and a host of other things. It is a sad state of affairs. So yes, it is a viewpoint you can find in the OPC I am sorry to admit.

        • Flora Says:


          What you have written about the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and your own situation is very depressing. How very sad that the church of Dr Machen and Professor John Murray has changed so much!

          In 1968, John Murray was the speaker at a Youth Conference in Scotland where my husband and I met..( We both had to give our testimonies in front of him – a scarey experience). It struck me that such a Conference would have been condemned by Kevin Swanson and his fellow ‘Family Integrated Church’ advocates and my speaking would have been a further abomination!

          What John Murray says in sermon on Christian Liberty is even more relevant today:

          ” The progress of knowledge, of faith, of edification, and of fellowship within the body of Christ is not to be secured by legislation that prohibits the strong from the exercise of their God-given privileges and liberties, whether this legislation be civil or ecclesiastical. Legislation can never be based upon the conscience of the weak or motivated by consideration for the conscience of the weak. If we once allow such considerations to dictate law enactment or enforcement, then we have removed the ground of law from the sphere of right and wrong to the sphere of erring human judgment. God has given us a norm of right and wrong, and by that norm laws are to be made and enforced. When we in the interests of apparent expediency erect laws or barriers which God has not erected, then we presume to act the role of law-givers. There is one lawgiver. When we observe the hard and fast lines of distinction which God has established for us and refuse to legislate on those matters that in themselves are not wrong, then we promote the interests of Christian ethics. When we violate these lines of distinction we confuse and perplex the whole question of ethics and jeopardize the cause of truth and righteousness. We dare not attempt to be holier than God’s law, and we dare not impose upon the Christian’s conscience what does not have the authority of divine institution.
          The Westminster Theological Journal, Vol. XII, 2, 1950.

  17. cptruthlover Says:

    Yes, that is another instance. Job was also allowed to be sifted. “Have you considered my servant Job?” In both if those instances it is still the same, sifting is going through hard times. Times in which Satan wants the weight of the hardship to break us. In the midst of the hardship we might be tempted to sin by blaming God, turning away, etc. However, God does not tempt. He will not allow the devil to sift us by sending a snare. That is just Satan doing what he does best in the world. Plus, I don’t think D.P. is truly born again, so the enemy has more of a hold. As the Bible states, unbeleivers are “slaves to sin.”

  18. ConfusedNonCalvist Says:

    I’m not a Calvinist but am very familiar with DP and VFM. I only have two questions: Was DP a hyper-Calvinist and how do Calvinist reconcile Adultery? Did God allow Doug to be tempted and he failed, or was Doug never saved since he turned away to immorality?

    • Flora Says:

      I’ll try to answer your question. I would consider myself a Calvinist but I believe in both God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility. It is hard for us to reconcile them but I believe that the Bible clearly teaches both although our finite minds find that hard to grasp.

      God is never the author of sin. The Shorter Catechism taught in sound Presbyterian churches says ,”Sin is any want of conformity unto or transgression of the Law of God”. The Law of God is the Ten commandments ,written on our hearts at creation and given again to Moses on Mount Sinai. I believe that unlike the other laws, given in the Old Testament ,they are still binding today to show us the Holiness of God, convict of sin and as a rule of life for the Believer. We all sin daily in thought,word and deeds . Christ had to die to atone for our sins and to provide for us a righteousness that gives us acceptance with God. We are justified immediately when we put our faith in Christ but sanctification is a process that continues until we die. Christ said ,”If you love me,keep my commandments”. If we love Him we will by His grace attempt to keep His commandments and our desire to please Him is the most clear evidence that we are ‘born again’.

      The Seventh Commandment is ” Thou shalt not Commit adultery” .Christians do break it. David ,the Psalmist did but read Psalm 51 to see how great his repentance and sense that he had sinned against God,was. “”against you and you only have I sinned and done this evil in your sight” Verse 4.

      I hope this makes sense. I’m no theologian but my favourite verse is Ephesians 1: 5-6. “Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will,to the praise of the glory of His grace ,by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” and the marvel of it never ceases to amaze me!

      • Corrine Says:

        Well said, Flora, from a fellow Calvinist. A “true” calvanist would
        realize that he is weak and sinful on his own. We all sin regardless of our belief systems. Please don’t link calvanism with
        this hyper-patriarchy belief system. Some people are both, but many, many Calvinists would strongly disagree with patriarchy.

      • ConfusedNonCalvist Says:

        Hi Flora, still confused. So, Doug would believe that he sinned against God, but I thought he preached that if/when you turn to immortality it means you were ‘never saved’. Can you clarify more?

        • Corrine Says:

          Guess I am not sure about Doug, but Calvinistic
          perspective would not say u can’t sin I u r saved, but that God will continue to draw u back whenever u do fall.

        • Flora Says:

          Sorry, I really don’t know what Doug believed and preached. I take it you mean ‘turn to immorality’. If he persisted in willful and deliberate sin,it would be an evidence that he was never saved. If he is truly repentant and conscious of the damage he has done to the cause of Christ, I believe that God will forgive him.

  19. Just a shadow Says:

    I would definitely put DP in the hyper-Calvinist slot, based on what I heard him teach.

  20. Just a shadow Says:

    My own take? I don’t see evidence that DP loved / loves Jesus. Laws ? Yes. Rules ( for others) ? Yes. Theological debates over minutia? Yes. Victorian era American culture? Yes.

    Jesus? Never heard him preach from the gospels or about Jesus at all.


    Not even once.

    • Corrine Says:

      Have you heard him preach at his church?
      Just curious because I have not & what I have heard has
      Been mostly about History, homeschooling etc. but
      I always just assumed at church he would be
      Preaching through a book of the Bible & would definitely
      Cover the gospel. Curious if that was the case – those of you
      Who heard him in church.

    • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

      We can also confirm this and we did question why we never, ever heard about Jesus Christ nor did we ever go through a New Testament book in the few years we were there either. In fact as our family started discussing we have never even heard Doug’s personal testimony on how he became saved. He only ever spoke of the pastor he so loved and the culture in said pastors home in which he was so impressed with how the young ladies served, etc. etc I believe this was during the same time EyesWideOpen was there and maybe a bit before that too.

      Our children were even questioning all this dominion talk and such and asked what happened to the life of Christ, the love for Christ and the message of the Great Commission. Doug does not celebrate Christmas, thus the children at church never heard the nativity story unless their families quietly celebrated at home (of which some did) and Easter was never celebrated as we heard something to the fact that know one knows for sure it was this day. Point is BCA lost the joy of the Lord and the true Gospel message of Jesus Christ and the fact that Jesus Christ came to save the world and to fulfill the law, not restore us to old Testament law. Oh, sorry though I guess I do need to make a correction- we did hear one thing over and over and over again from the NT- Matthew 18 was used to control the flock to the point that it was so distorted it was grievous. Looking back on it now they used and abused scripture against members to their own advantage.

      • Jen Says:

        Not Fooled Anymore, how could I possibly forget how much Matthew 18 was preached! You are dead on in that whole comment! Nothing has changed since I was there, in the preaching department anyway.

  21. Just a shadow Says:

    Yes, I heard him at church.

    • Corrine Says:

      So he never took a book & worked through it?
      Like Romans, Ephesians? So were his sermons just like a convention speech? So strange. I guess he was not an ordained
      minister but still. This is all so strange.

      • just a shadow Says:

        I heard “sermons” on :
        – The puritans
        -The pilgrims
        – historical figures ( John Calvin, favorite U.S. presidents & others)
        – Pet doctrinal issues ( his views on voting, modesty, hospitality, submission, college, fathers’ duties, career women etc.)
        – The evils of various holidays & evils of the names of various holidays.

        When I was there he preached exclusively out of the Old Testament. I never once heard him preach from the New Testament. Never once did he preach from the gospels. Never once did I hear the gospel presented. I never, ever heard a sermon on Jesus, His life, His work. Never heard anything about the cross or redemption.




        • Corrine Says:

          Just a Shadow,
          I can totally picture that but it still shocks
          me. So glad you got out!

        • Jen Says:

          Yep. Looking back now, I wonder what I was thinking to have not said something about this. I was never very good at being a silent woman!

          I guess you were not there for the political sermons telling us how to vote, and why voting for other candidates was evil?

      • Jen Says:

        Yes, we worked through I&II Samuel, I&II Kings, I&II Chronicles while I was there.

  22. Just a shadow Says:

    His “church”. If you want to call it a “church”.

  23. sad 4 u Says:

    Dear Jen & T.W. You are trying to drum something up by trying to “find victims”. There are people who have experienced hurt of all types inside and outside of all kinds of churches. I was unchurched growing up and experienced horrific, extreme abuse. I now am a reformed church member and am fully aware that there are sinners there. Christ did not come to call the righteous, but sinners. Most of this site is based on silly speculation and gossip. Nothing that you post will change the written Word of God.

    • Jackie C. Says:

      Sad 4 u,
      It is based on exposing spiritual abuse to help others recognize what they have experienced and so they can learn from others. Perhaps you haven’t actually read this post and the comments?

      • Observant Says:

        Sad 4 u

        Sadly I think you are missing the point of all of this. This man was a major speaker and had a huge influence on the home school community. Maybe you were not a home schooler or maybe you are and were not ever influenced by DP. Yes, hurt is everywhere, as is sin.. Unfortunately we live in a fallen world. The purpose of all of this is to help hurting people have a place to seek some answers.Some folks find healing in finding they are not alone and learning of others hurts and hurdles helps them to sort through the whole process to help recover and regain hope.

        If those in the know would just come clean with the whole story, it would most likely end a lot of the speculation. There will be lots of little pieces of the puzzle to fit together as so many other pieces fall into place. Just wish others would speak up and tell their stories to help clarify the missing pieces and to stop some of the really sordid speculation going on out there on the web. If this site upsets you then maybe it is not something you need, but many are needing this right now.

    • Jen Says:

      Sad 4 u, I am sad that there are so many real, hurt people that we do not need to try to find any “victims.” If you had any idea of the stories we know, but have been told in confidence, you would have a completely different opinion, I can assure you. What we would like, however, is to free those people from their prison of fear. Doug Phillips holds no control over these people any more. I hope they can let go of that fear now.

      • Doug Phillips Memes Says:

        Doug Phillips Morpheus
        There has never been a better time than now to come forward and expose Doug Phillips’ tyranny and abuses at BCA and Vision Forum. Being exposed for his marital infidelity and monetary fraud has left him naked under the public eye, and therefore unable to carry out the vengeance he has threatened against anyone who dares to stand up to him. Don’t be afraid of retribution from him, or from God for that matter. You won’t be committing the sin of gossip; you will be doing an invaluably good deed that is pleasing to God by tearing the sheepskin off of this wolf. Don’t be afraid of rejection by the body of Christ. You have many friends (though you don’t yet know them) who are listening and waiting eagerly to minister encouragement and healing to you. Tell the story anonymously through a mediator, if you wish. Just please tell it. It is far too valuable to be kept hidden away.
        Doug Phillips wolf in sheep's clothing

  24. EyesWideOpen Says:

    I’ll concur with that! As Just a Shadow said…in 2.5 years I never once heard the gospel preached. I never heard of any mention of repenting of sins, turning to Christ. We stayed in Genesis for well over one year talking about the “dominion” of the earth. Otherwise, it was topical. Indeed it was annoying (an understatement) when we would see VF selling the sermon from last Sunday. We weren’t members so we didn’t have internet access to the sermons on Sundays that we missed, but apparently it was okay to sell it via VF. Sick and twisted, my friends. Sick and twisted.

    • Half truths abound Says:

      Well, BCA did go through Ephesians a while back, and I’m pretty sure there were some messages in there that addressed the gospel. Whether or not DP gave them, would mean going back and reviewing the tapes. I’m not 100% sure that he did, but I don’t think we should be unfair or go too far with the accusations, otherwise you just look silly if proof is found otherwise. I would suspect, of course, that the messages since the beginning of the situation with the young woman would certainly be affected – which would likely cover the time period the previous commenter said that they were there.

  25. Mick Says:

    We have enjoyed the VF and DP ministries for years. Our favorite is Jonathon Park. I always knew Doug was “trying too hard” on the whole dominion/transfer the culture effort. I never would have attended his church had I lived nearby. But I always apprecited his boldness and challenge against the slide of the culture and biblical Christianity. I was very saddened to hear of his sexual sin.

    What I would say to this blog and its followers, though, is you need to let go of this thing and move on. Way, way too much time has been spent on this. Regarding FICs, I’ve tried them and have known others that exist. They are very, very difficult to make work. I think part of the difficulty stems from “trying too hard,” in other words trying to do perfect church on your own steam. The other problem is that FICs tend to attract malcontents that see the spiritual bogey man around every corner. That clearly was the the DP mistake, and the then the pride and arrogance leading to sexual sins.

    Your trust needs to be in the Lord, not the FIC movement, the homeschool movement or any other conservative movement. Yes, I know the culture stinks and that many churches compromise too much. Too bad. Be in the world but not of it. There’s no heaven on earth and America will fall like everything else on the earth. You too, will fall. DP is not

    • Jackie C. Says:

      Clergy sexual abuse is not a sexual sin. It’s abuse. It’s no different than if he beat up a woman with his fists. Obviously it does need to be discussed because people like you prefer to brush it away as something minor. If the man had had a genuine affair – meaning with a woman his age not of his church or ministry or someone who helped in his household – then you would have a point. But that’s not what happened. Attempting to shame people into shutting their mouths can also be sinful – especially when they are speaking as God has called them to.

    • Graceandmoregrace Says:

      If you have not been in an abusive church like this, you honestly would have a difficult time understanding the depth of hurt caused by the abuse. It’s amazing that my family left our abusive Boerne “sister” church nearly nine years ago, but the pain is still there. We’re still working through many issues. If we hadn’t lived it, I would have had a difficult time understanding. We will get past it and “let go of this thing and move on.” But until then, it is incredibly healing to finally hear so many other voices speaking what we experienced. And yes, our trust needs to be in the Lord alone. I am praying that this will open many eyes and lead us back to a deeper faith in the Lord and His Word.

    • Mike the Law Professor Says:

      Telling people to “let go” and “move on”, especially when information on the VF/Phillips scandal is still coming out and developing, is absurd, demeaning, and indicates something about your character, Mick.

  26. Half truths abound Says:

    That’s not quite accurate folks. I KNOW that a few of the other men did share the gospel at various times, particularly in the Lord’s Table messages. Don’t go to excess in your criticisms.

  27. Not Fooled Anymore Says:

    I do think people are referring to sermons and DP himself who rarely did communion if ever during the times being questioned.

  28. Just a shadow Says:

    I’m telling you what I experienced. I never heard DP EVER preach about Jesus or the gospel or the New Testament or even so much as relate a story from Jesus’ life. EVER. I’m speaking strictly of DP himself. Maybe he did the Sunday I was absent? Maybe. But I stand by my statement that I NEVER heard DP preach the gospel other than a passing comment about ” the gospel of Jesus Christ”. This is not hyperbole of any kind. This was my experience. Maybe yours is different if you attended during a different “era” than I did.

    • Half truths abound Says:

      I’m thinking that there might have been a few… but one would have to go back and get access to the messages, and Lord knows that’s unlikely if one isn’t in good “standing.” Also, it’s too bad that the LT messages weren’t recorded.

      • Just a shadow Says:

        Again, I am telling you MY experience. If yours is different, fine. But with my 2 ears I personally NEVER heard DP say anything about Jesus except in passing. As I said, maybe he preached Jesus on days I wasn’t there or maybe after we left the church. But on the Sundays I was there, I never heard it.

        Are you still at BCA “half truths”?

      • Turkey Says:

        L T messages??

      • Turkey Says:

        Just an outsider here — wouldn’t know who you were anyway– but couldn’t imagine you all would have Larry Tomczak (different scandal) speaking in church, or Lawrence Taylor, either!

      • Corrine Says:

        I guess I still find it concerning that the LT messages are the only time they talk about Jesus. Our pastor brings Jesus into every sermon – old or new testement . Jesus is very clearly seen in the old testement .

        • Half truths abound Says:

          That’s an assumption. It may be true with regards to specific individuals, but it’s not true of everyone. Right now I am thinking specifically of hearing some very precious messages from a dear and tenderhearted brother who surely loves Christ and the gospel. I can think of others as well.

        • cptruthlover Says:

          I’m assuming that’s someone other than Doug?

        • Corrine Says:

          I was referring specifically to DP. I am not judging everyone in the church by DP.

  29. Just a shadow Says:

    So, I’m assuming then, “half – truths” that you ARE still at BCA.

    • Half truths abound Says:

      Don’t assume anything!

      • Not Fooled Anymore Says:

        Half truths,

        Why do you keep avoiding the fact that the messages people are referring to not hearing are not the LT message? They are referring and have been very specific to messages from Doug himself. Answer the questions please as addressed and stop saying LT when that is not what was being discussed here. Just a shadow was referring to sermons and messages and so were the others. He/she has also stated clearly they may not have been there to hear those or may have already left, so why so defensive as others have agreed with Just a shadow on the issue of never hearing Doug himself speak. LT messages were done by others and this is not what they are talking about.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          Thank you. This is exactly the point. Unless the “precious messages from a dear and tender hearted brother” are a reference to DP, then they have ZERO relevance to the discussion at hand. We are not discussing the “dear and tender hearted brother” here. We *are* discussing DP. To say it again: I never heard DP preach from the New Testament, nor did I ever hear him present the gospel, nor did I ever hear *DP* relate stories of Jesus life or even reference Him other than in passing. Regardless of whatever the “dear and tender hearted brother” shared, DP himself, in my hearing, when I was in attendance, on the Sundays I was there, NEVER preached about anything related to JESUS.

        • Half truths abound Says:

          I’m not avoiding it, just trying to call for moderation of assertion. He DID give LT messages at times. Frankly, I think some people are so hurt that they can’t accept any possibility that he might have at one time or another done something good or right. I know a LOT of those people and love and care for them.
          My prayer is for his true repentance and if possible restoration if he is truly saved and I believe that that demands that we stick to known and provable factual statements. I’ve heard messages he’s given for over 10 years and I don’t think we should say he’s never preached a gospel message without a review. For that matter, it almost doesn’t matter. Fruit or lack thereof is more important. I know of unbelievers who could probably fake a pretty good gospel presentation.

  30. Just a shadow Says:

    Frankly, it’s kind of like me coming on here & saying, ” I’ve never seen an *OSTRICH* fly. Nope never. Not ever. ”

    Then “Half truths” posts the following : “Oh, not accurate, don’t go to excess here – I’ve seen plenty of * EAGLES* fly. In fact I can think of several EAGLES that I have seen flying around”.

    Great. Except… We WEREN’T DISCUSSING *eagles*.

    • Jen Says:

      It’s easy enough to prove. Doug sells all his sermons on his business site. Half-truths, please link to the ONE sermon that Doug preached about Jesus. Thanks.

      • Half truths abound Says:

        What I’m saying is that I KNOW I have heard him give Lord’s table messages. None of those were recorded as far as I know.

        • just a shadow Says:

          *Sigh* You are still insisting that *I* heard something that I DID NOT HEAR. Perhaps you heard it.That’s fine. I NEVER heard it and I was there for 4 years. And the “Lord’s Table” messages I heard were all about how BCA held to a “close” communion, not a “closed” one and not an “whosoever will come” communion either. I don’t remember, during my time there, any gospel messages from DP. Others have confirmed that this was their experience as well. So, either you were there on Sundays that none of us were, or you are really, really *wanting* to convince yourself that DP preached the gospel. He didn’t. Did he do “good things”? Of course, all flavors of leaders do that. Otherwise, no one would follow them. What’s that old saying? “You draw more flies with honey than vinegar”? True for those attempting to build a kingdom as well. Hunters know this as well. You gotta feed the deer some “goodies” otherwise you’re going home empty handed. So the fact that a leader does “some good” means absolutely nothing. You can look at any leader in history and find those who were in the inner circle that had “good” done to them by said leader. But how does the leader treat those beneath him? How does he treat those that have no power? Is there discrepancy in how he treats the inner circle and the “masses”? The most important factor is how do they treat others? How do they react when challenged? Do they practice what they preach? Do they KNOW Jesus and do they ACT LIKE THEY KNOW HIM? That is THE question. Not whether they handed out some goodies to those they hope to convince to follow them. Not whether they threw some cool events, scratched the right backs, kissed the babies. Even Jesus says this. There will be many who will say “Lord, Lord…didn’t we do x,y,z in your name? And His reply ( based on how they treated others) will be ” depart from me you workers of INIQUITY, I never knew you.” The fruit. It’s all about the fruit. Fruit trumps the proffered message…every time.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Sorry to butt in but you wrote, “And His reply ( based on how they treated others) will be…” His reply will be based on if He knew them, not on how they treated others. Did they have a relationship? Jesus never told them that they had not done good works (which they were claiming) but that they had no relationship with Him. A real relationship will result in good works. That is the key.

        • Jen Says:

          Andrew, excellent point. What is in the heart will surface eventually.

        • Half truths abound Says:

          just a shadow – you miss my point entirely. First off, I am saying that I “think” that I have heard him give such messages – but they would be in the time period before some of this stuff got really thick. I never said that YOU heard them. Second, you really miss my point which is that I think that anger and disillusionment are clouding judgment in that people are now drifting off into accusations that are going to be hard to prove. I’m not defending him, just saying that let’s stick to what we can confirm. Nail the stuff we know and let God sort out the rest that still needs to be determined.

        • Jen Says:

          Half Truths, nice obfuscation. In other words, you cannot give us one single link to a message where Doug has preached Jesus. I was there from nearly the beginning and I know he NEVER preached about Jesus. I’ve heard from others who were there from the time I left that he never preached about Jesus. I’m thinking at this point that you are not only telling a half truth, but that there is nothing true in this particular assertion at all.

        • Jackie C. Says:

          Half truth abounds,
          You said, “My prayer is for his true repentance and if possible restoration if he is truly saved and I believe that that demands that we stick to known and provable factual statements.”

          Why would his repentance restoration to God demand we stick to known facts? Or do you mean restoration to the ministry? That must be what you mean since his relationship with God has nothing to do with whether or not you actually did hear him preach about Christ. We could say anything at all here and it would not affect his true and actual relationship with God. The only restoration comments here could possibly affect would be his restoration to a position of power. If people had their eyes opened to the fact that he was only preaching law, they might be less likely to believe some public repentence and once again send him money and buy his products.

        • Half truths abound Says:

          Heavens no, not the ministry. No, I mean speaking the truth in love, and avoiding speculation.

        • Jackie C. Says:

          You said restoration depends on our sticking to the facts. What restoration are you speaking of that has anything to do with us?

        • JPGR Says:

          The fact that any differing recollections even exist (“I heard him mention Jesus once…or was that another guy? Or was it during communion?”) is revealing enough.

          Anyone who presumes to preach to Christians, but doesn’t make it abundantly clear that Jesus Chris is the Alpha and the Omega is simply…well…not a Christian. There can really be no dispute about this.

  31. Observer Says:

    Traveler: What is home church? What 150 courtship questions?

    • Traveler Says:

      Before people got all fancy with FICs, NCFIC or anything like that people (at least the ones I knew) circles just called them home churches.

      • Jen Says:

        Traveler, in a way, yes. But home churches had far more autonomy than FIC churches do now.

        • Corrine Says:

          Yes, home churches in themselves are not bad or
          controlling. I grew up in one that was nothing like the DP FIC’s ( even tho it had similarities such as no youth group, Sunday school etc) There wasn’t the set formula, the control , the abuse at all! I still no many in the HC world & if anything
          They have fewer traditions & rules than a traditional church.

        • Jen Says:

          Personally, I still think the home church model (but not the FIC version of it) can be extremely valuable.

        • Corrine Says:

          I agree!

    • steve240 Says:

      One thing I find interesting but sad about “courtship” is that 2 of the couples that Josh Harris wrote about in his “Boy Meets Girl” book are now divorced. Like with a lot of things, it was easy to claim things were such more better till you saw the results. Unfortunately the results aren’t nearly as good as those who promote courtship present.

      • JPGR Says:

        2 out of how many that he wrote about are divorced? Just curious….

        • JPGR Says:

          Related, I have always thought it strange when someone would come out with a book on parenting….while their kids are still young.

        • steve240 Says:


          That is a good question” 2 out of how many he wrote about are divorced.” I would have to take another look at the book to answer the question. I don’t think there were that many couples.

          My big point here is that Josh Harris held these couples up as being exemplary as in doing everything right etc. With of the couples Josh was even commending that one woman ignored some of her feelings and went ahead and married this man anyway. In hindsight maybe this woman shouldn’t have done this.

          I have a blog about Josh Harris’s book on “Kissing Dating Goodbye” and my big point is that Josh Harris is quick to point out the defects he sees with dating but not willing to open all the problems his alternative has created including at the church where he is Sr. Pastor.

          My experience with groups that practice “kissing dating goodbye” and “courtship” is that it teaches singles to AVOID relating with those of the opposite sex vs. LEARNING HOW to relate. I am sure it isn’t that way everywhere but just seems to be what this produces.


        • Jen Says:

          Steve, may I call you “Steve” without the 240? 🙂 Or maybe the “240” means something?

          Yes, the courtship model does tend to leave young people in a position where they do not learn how to relate to appropriately relate to those of the opposite sex. Some will learn from their siblings or parents, some from their future spouse, but many end “retarded” in that area of life, unless they turn to the world to learn, and that is probably not the best option either.

          The interesting difference between Josh Harris and those who have ALWAYS practiced this courtship method is that Josh did indeed learn how to relate to girls while he was a teenager, decided that he had crossed some lines he regretted, BUT he did not miss out on those particular experiences, so to tell others not to participate was a bit extreme.

          It is my opinion that there are some areas in the courtship method that could be applied to modern-day dating to make it a win-win situation for everyone.

        • steve240 Says:

          Related, I have always thought it strange when someone would come out with a book on parenting….while their kids are still young.

          Well Josh Harris wrote his “kissing dating goodbye” book when he was around 20 or so. Thus he was more commenting on his teenage experience so would be questionable just how applicable what he taught was for older singles vs. teenagers like he was.

          It was also more of what worked for him but for whatever reason a lot of people took it to be the way.

      • Jen Says:

        Yes, even Doug’s right-hand financial man, Josh Weans, got divorced after following the courtship process. It was a horrible story.

        • Observer Says:

          When courtship first came out, I thought the idea intriguing but really only within certain confines. If a popular leader proposed it, then his daughters/sons would be very desirable given his popularity.

          But my father was very against it. He came from an Asian culture where this idea (apart from God) was utterly disasterous. The kids were not trusted, and therefore the entire society had the parents did the choosing. And then their sinful agendas flourished. And as divorce is frowned upon people lived in utter misery usually until something cracked.

          The key might be to work within the culture (like Abraham’s servant–Eliazar) and apply some godly principles where God does the choosing. Prayer and humility.

        • JPGR Says:

          Both you and TW Eston seem to be indicating that more articles, apparently with additional revelations, are going to hit.

          Would you be willing to discuss the timing on that?

          Justice needs to be done. And that will only be done, in my opinion, if crimes are exposed.

          In the immediate post-communist world, there were some effective Truth Commissions. Not enough…but a few. That is what is needed here.

        • Jen Says:

          Yes, we are working on more articles, and they do involve crimes. However, some of them need a little more research first, so I will say that we are not holding anything back, but when we have the necessary information, we will publish it. That is why it is important for everyone to tell their stories. Everyone holds a different piece of the puzzle that we are all fitting together now.

        • JPGR Says:

          But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

          Amos 5:24

      • steve240 Says:

        Jen said:

        Jen Says:
        December 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm
        Steve, may I call you “Steve” without the 240? Or maybe the “240″ means something?

        The interesting difference between Josh Harris and those who have ALWAYS practiced this courtship method is that Josh did indeed learn how to relate to girls while he was a teenager, decided that he had crossed some lines he regretted, BUT he did not miss out on those particular experiences, so to tell others not to participate was a bit extreme.

        It is my opinion that there are some areas in the courtship method that could be applied to modern-day dating to make it a win-win situation for everyone.

        You can call me “Steve.” I added the 240 since there are a lot of people named Steve when I first started posting to the SGM Survivors blog.

        We do have similar viewpoints. A shame that many don’t develop social skills with the opposite sex. In all seriousness I sometimes wonder if that is why some seem to push for arranged marriages since many boys and girls don’t learn these skills.

        That certainly has crossed my mind that Josh Harris AFTER learning how to relate to girls THEN decided to kiss dating goodbye being extreme or something wrong with it. Also Josh Harris was probably someone that naturally had these relationship type skills that others (both boys and girls) need to spend some time learning. That is why I think it is a shame that this is doled out as a “one size fits all” approach.

        The title of my blog is “I Kissed Dating Goodbye: Wisdom or Foolishness?” As the name implies I believe it has BOTH wisdom and foolishness. It can have application as you say as long as you separate what works and apply it age appropriately etc. Most that promote it are so conceited that it works that they won’t admit its problems.

        One theory I have heard about Josh Harris is that even though he sees there are problems with IKDG he is reluctant to admit these due to both this book being what brought him to prominence and with how popular all of this is in homeschooling circles and his father being a vendor in that circle.

        • Jen Says:

          Steve, thanks for your reply. Yes, too often authors are reluctant to change their mind because they have something in print. If I were to publish a book, I would go into it thinking I was currently correct in my thinking, but also being willing to change my mind later and either update the book or write a new one. The way Reb and Beverly Bradley handled this was an excellent example, in my book.

        • steve240 Says:


          My guess is that Josh Harris not modifying his views on “kissing dating goodbye” has more to do with his father Greg Harris’s connection with homeschoolers and not wanting to ruffle feathers.

          Another disappointment is that Josh Harris really isn’t clear on what he is “kissing goodbye.” The word “dating” can mean a lot of things. LIstening to more recent messages Harris has given what Harris is more opposed to is short term committed relationships such as teenagers “goiong together.”

          Sadly a lot of people have taken what Josh Harris has written to mean that you are to obstain from any type of “dating.”

          Josh Harris has a blog and I find it disappointing that he hasn’t chosen to use it to make clarifications on his “kissing dating goodbye” philosophy or admit the problems “kissing dating goodbye” has caused.

        • cptruthlover Says:

          I don’t think kissing dating goodbye is the root of all courtship. Courtship widely varies. I agree that casual dating without thoughts to marriage is just opening yourself up for hurt and impurity. However, my son is 17 and he certainly goes out with friends of mixed genders in a group. He has a group of friends that are awesome. He is able to get to know these ladies in a mixed group setting and if he developed a stronger interest in any of them, then we would go from there. But he wouldn’t just ask girls out on dates and be alone with them. And he would need to be at a point in his life where he could get married soon.

        • Jen Says:

          CP, I like the whole group approach here. I did tons of that in high school and it was very healthy for me.

        • Jen Says:

          Or perhaps he wants to give people a little freedom to decide these things for themselves? I would actually give him credit if that were the case!

        • steve240 Says:


          Good discussion about courtship and kissing dating goodbye.

          I would agree that Josh Harris’s books are the “root” of all courtship and that its application varies. At Josh Harris’s church it wasn’t him that started it but Larry Tomczak in a book titled “Straightforward.” What Josh did was “champion” it to where at least for a little while a lot of people embraced it kind of in a “fad.”

          With regard to your comments on singles doing things in groups, I agree with you that this is many times preferable for teenagers to do vs. something one on one with the opposite sex though not all people work well in groups which that practice seems to assume. At the same time I have seen people have major anxiety about doing something as a friend with someone of the opposite sex which isn’t healthy either. As I said before, “dating” can mean a lot of things.

          What I have issues with is when the group approach becomes a legalistic mandate and is imposed on singles of all ages. My thoughts about Josh Harris’s book is that it was designed primarily for teenagers and not older singles. Teenagers need more of the protection and guidance than typically older singles do. That is the issue with applying it with a “one size fits all” mentality especially based on a book someone wrote about what he needed to do as a teenager.

          In Josh Harris’s church you would see this imposed on singles of all ages. Sadly in that same church you would see a lot of older singles that you would think should be married still single and some probably never getting married. One of the older women in that church wrote a book titled “Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?” Sadly she didn’t seem to see any connection between her not getting married and her as a woman in her 20’s and 30’s still being single.

          Jen said:

          Or perhaps he wants to give people a little freedom to decide these things for themselves? I would actually give him credit if that were the case!

          LOL I wish that was the case. Though maybe some changes were made at his church he certainly didn’t go anywhere near that far.

          One thing I am glad to see if people starting to question the philosophy and think for themselves vs. blindly accept it such as this person described:

        • Jen Says:

          Yep, it all boils down to thinking for yourself, and I hope to do a whole series on that here, in the future.

          Let’s see. At 50, I don’t think I need someone watching over my shoulder telling me who I can marry. I can hardly even imagine going through a chaperoned courtship at my age! That would be very awkward and probably enough to scare off any potential suitors!

        • steve240 Says:

          Let’s see. At 50, I don’t think I need someone watching over my shoulder telling me who I can marry. I can hardly even imagine going through a chaperoned courtship at my age! That would be very awkward and probably enough to scare off any potential suitors!

          LOL I imagine not at 50.

          I wouldn’t discount the need for help from friend and family at any age especially with something as important as a decision about marriage but a chaperoned date and requiring you to always do things in groups at age 50 is ludicrous IMO.

          You might find the video and project shown here of interest:

          This is a single woman in her 30’s deciding that she needed to find “god parents” that she could move in with and potential suitors have to go through her adopted “father” since her biological father didn’t understand why his daughter wanted this. There hasn’t been much updates recently not sure where this is going.

          I haven’t watched the whole video for a while but from what I remember the theme was that there was really just one way to do this: a single woman stay with her parents till she gets married and have the father screen potential suitors.

        • Observer Says:

          Interesting. That is what it is with us human types. We love instructions even though there is no “way” to do it. Ruth trusted Naomi and Naomi really took the bull by the horns and found her a husband. Abraham used Eliazar to find Isaac a wife. Jacob fell instantly head of heels for Rachel. Esther won the lottery…. The principle of trusting God should be front and center. There is the Song of Solomon, there is Proverbs, there is Genesis 1. If God wanted us to have explicit instructions, He would have sent them. Reminds me of the some of the Christian manuals/seminars/books on child-raising. Just advice— some good, some bad, some horrendous.

        • Jen Says:

          I do believe it is important to have the whole involved in bringing in a new family member, but each family should decide for themselves what that looks like.

  32. PioneerHomeschooler Says:

    Observer, yes, that’s one sad, sick version. Tragically, there are sets floating around that are even more intrusive and ridiculous than Stacy’s list. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. RUN.

    • Observer Says:

      My impression had been that courtship is: boy meets girl. Boy sees her in some large events. Boy hangs out a little with girl and girls’ parents. Boy and girl talk/chat/giggle a lot about Bible, goals, dreams, struggles and stay away from stupid behavior. Boy and girl go on some nice dates. Boy and girl hang out with boy’s parents. Boy talks to girl’s father. Boy marries girl. Hmmm…. I got it wrong.

      • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

        No, you didn’t get it wrong, you just got it narrow 😉 One of the features of men like DP and Botkin and Gothard is that it’s never enough. Once many Christians had decided that courtship was indeed a model they wanted to follow, then the Patriarchists devised an even “holier” model. But soon many Christians jumped on this bandwagon as well, and the model had to be tightened up to keep the truly righteous trying even harder. (This can be observed in many areas of Christian living…homeschooling, diet, the arts, gender roles, etc.) It’s never the desire of these men to just lead Christians to live out biblical principles faithfully; they have to be out ahead of the pack in every issue, devising more and more bizarre interpretations and practices so as to prove their own spiritual superiority. Many times it happens so slowly that their followers don’t realize they’re frogs in a kettle. Other times, I believe they do realize it but the ties are too strong and there’s too much invested to just walk away.

        I’ve never liked the term “courtship” but there’s nothing wrong with desiring a different model than the serial dating of our modern culture. What’s dangerous is when you let a man define courtship or homeschooling or any aspect of faithful living for you and then give you a formula and/or a list to go by and then evaluate your performance, and therefore your worthiness, by how closely you adhere to his list. It’s distorted, it’s sick, and it’s bearing fruit in keeping with its origins.

        • Observer Says:

          Pioneer: Your first paragraph is very spot on. I would have called what I described as “courtship lite”. All of these movements can just become works righteousness.

          I know that there has been some criticisms here, but some of these discussions are helping me. I do like to rely on works, even though Jesus gave me grace. And it is a good reminder for me.

        • Jen Says:

          Pioneer, yes, it did seem like once we had achieved a certain level of holiness, that there was now “new” areas that needed to be dealt with to become even more holy than everyone else. Doug Phillips seemed to be at the forefront of promoting a “holier than thou” lifestyle that grew perpetually holier year by year. The only problem was that God never required all these “holiness” rules. Very astute observations!

        • Dom Walk Says:

          “the model had to be tightened up to keep the truly righteous trying even harder. (This can be observed in many areas of Christian living…homeschooling, diet, the arts, gender roles, etc.)”

          Great insight. We’ve wondered how much of this continual laying on of burdens was financially-motivated — books, conferences, videos, etc. — and how much was just poor theology. This endlessly changing program du jour is very evident in at least one of Phillips’ fellow-travelers’ churches. Another “benefit” is that it keeps the flock too busy to actually read their bibles thoroughly and thoughtfully.

        • Jen Says:

          I hate to say it’s for the money, but you have to introduce something new in order to get old customers to buy new items.

      • JPGR Says:

        Pioneer, that is truly a brilliant and insightful essay.

  33. Mick Says:

    I’ve read quite a few of the comments on this blog detailing the failure of BCA and DP. I believe just about all of it (nobody’s perfect in recollection and when someone is angry telling a story, they’re going tell it in a way that’s not 100% genuine).
    But I would like to challenge all that are contributing to this blogsite regarding the 1) recording of the sins and errors of BCA and DP; and 2) debating the scriptural basis for some of the tenets taught by BCA/DP or others.

    Get a life! If you found yourself in a bad ministry place, get out. If you fell prey to men (and women) misapplying God’s Word (maliciously or mistakenly) then move on. What I find with commentators on this site (though the folks write well and make good cases) is that you are justifying your anger, victimhood and using it probably as an excuse to taking risks in following God. Take some responsibility for your foolishness and the immaturity in the Lord that willfully placed you in such an abusive ministry.

    What would (does) Jesus think of this extravagant finger pointing blogsite? If He were sitting next to you as you type and you turned to face him, what would His eyes be telling you about your labors?

    How much time have you wasted on these matters when you could have been growing elsewhere and doing something useful for the Kingdom? And don’t tell me exposing BCA/DP is service at this point – it was done a long time ago and to the nth degree. No more discussion is necessary for anyone.

    One last point: follow Christ in liberty and quit obsessing with FIC and other conservative Christian practices. Legalism is right around the corner (if it hasn’t already arrived).

    • T.W. Eston Says:

      “And don’t tell me exposing BCA/DP is service at this point – it was done a long time ago and to the nth degree. No more discussion is necessary for anyone.”

      Mick, I can well appreciate that these stories disturb you. Let me assure you that no one is more disturbed about Doug Phillips than I am. If these articles make you upset or cause you to lose sleep perhaps you should not come here. I certainly won’t be offended. But I hope you’ll remain anyway.

      Let me point out that a person who is ignorant of Doug Phillips’ crimes, and I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt in assuming you’re just ignorant, is in no position to tell me that “no more discussion is necessary”. That’s for me to decide based on what I already know, and what my insider sources continue to tell me.

      I don’t intend to insult you by saying you must be ignorant. Rather, I give you the benefit of the doubt. The only other alternative to your ignorance is to assume that you’re very much in the know of Doug Phillips’ crimes and wish to shout me down so that I don’t post what I’m about to post in my next article. If you are in the know you’d have very good cause to want to shout me down.

      I’ll let you know when I’m done with the Doug Phillips exposés, but I can assure that time has not yet arrived. The trend seems to be that these exposé stories, at least in the near term, will get ever more disturbing. You haven’t heard the worst of it yet.

      • Mick Says:

        TW, thank you for your comments. I know enough about DP’s failures from this site and other Internet sites, to understand the serious fall of the man and great abuse of his ministry authority. I’m also familiar with the VF ministry and the FIC movement. (Disclosure: I’ve left the FIC movement.) But, yes, I only know the DP/BCA failure from a distance, so I have no personal connection or bad experience. So, I realize it’s easy for me to say enough is enough since I have no personal hurt over these matters.

        I’m not trying to shout you down on your expose. From my perspective and experience with disgruntled church members that take to the Internet to rage perceived wrongs (not saying this blogsite isn’t spot-on with the expose of real wrongs), this blogsite seems well overdone. My experience with this sort of thing tells me that folks are caught in a kind of hyper-prosecution of crimes and tend to have lost perspective. They tend to enjoy the anger (even rage) and extensive expose more than they do forgiving and moving on.

        I guess I think this has gone beyond expose and therapy to hatred and condemnation. I don’t think the Lord has allowed anyone here that right. Vengence is mine, says the Lord. What I see here (and I’m also not trying to insult you or anyone else) is the expression of pride. Pride protecting against the shame of willingly being duped by the man and his twisted Scripture renderings. Pride in the detailed prosecution. Pride in not having fallen like DP and the failure at BCA. Remember: but for the Grace of God, there go I. A lot of us could have royally screwed-up like Phillips. True, most of us didn’t also go around preaching arrogantly, controlling and abusing folks in the local church and covering up the sin of others as well as ourselves. But we’re all fallen and really, the guile of our hearts aren’t far from that of DP.

        That’s why I say, give it a rest. You’ve made your point and its quite persuasive – this indeed is a very disturbing, horrible and sad story. Perhaps I haven’t heard the worst of it yet as you state. But so what? Do we not have a steady enough diet of evil that we need to seek out and find more stories to feed on? I really think it’s time to let go and embrace the Forgiver of you and me. It’s time to move on to greater things in Him.

        • Maggie Says:

          Doesn’t the Bible speak of how the watchman has the responsibility to warn others, and if he does not warn them, their death is on his hands? I kind of wish I and others around me had known about these things years ago- might have saved a lot of heartache.

        • Jen Says:

          Maggie, this information about Doug has been up since 2006. Most people chose not to believe it then.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          To Maggie,

          Read that watchman in context. I finally did and then was free of the bondage that so many use those verses for. The message is good but the application to lay on a guilt trip is off base. Not saying we shouldn’t warn folks just that the verse is taken out of context. God bless!

        • Jen Says:

          Mick, in addition to the cathartic value this blog offers those who have been hurt, through reading or writing comments, I continue to hear privately, almost daily, about or from people who say that they are/were sitting on the fence, trying to figure this all out, until they read one certain article. Different articles speak to different people, but some are convinced by one article, while others are convinced by something entirely differently. The cumulative effect is what convinces many, but others go directly to their friends in VF/BCA and verify that what is being said here is indeed the truth. Still others are impacted by those who were close to Doug who are now speaking out. There is not any one thing here that is a real clincher for everyone, and there are still MANY who do not know. We will not beat a dead horse, but we will make sure that Doug Phillips is severely restricted from harming people in such a way ever again. And that takes time to build that case.

        • cptruthlover Says:

          A lot of people have ZERO idea about any of this. I just talked to a friend today who didn’t know and she went to a conference where he was the keynote speaker this last summer. We are in California, so maybe we are just a little slower to hear?

        • Jen Says:

          CP, even in San Antonio, Doug’s hometown, there are a lot of people who don’t know. Sometimes it takes a while for this to make it’s way necessary way around, especially among homeschooling families who may not spend much time online. There are many who are too busy to be online much.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Hi CPTruthLover,

          Where in CA are you? Are you in an FIC? If so, perhaps Jen can give us each other’s emails if you are so inclined… Blessings.

        • cptruthlover Says:

          The only one I know of is far away and disorganized. If you go to the NCFIC directory, you can find ones in your area. We personally are spoiled with fantastic through the Bible teaching, so we can not find a church that matches that. We bring the kids in church with us. But ours are older. Younger children have to go to Sunday School. We have yet to find the perfect balance in a church, but the most important thing to us is verse by verse through the Bible teaching. That and Love! Wish I could help you more, but we are not close to any FIC churches. (We are in Riverside County).

        • oneh20 Says:

          Thanks, CP. 🙂

        • Jackie C. Says:

          Mick, the other part of this is that people who have been abused or traumatized need to tell their story over and over again. That’s where healing happens. It’s not a tell it once and then put it away. That causes festering. They need to be encouraged to tell their stories multiple times. We also know that telling them in the language in which the abuse happened is critical – and no one speaks the language of this culture better than those who have been part of it.

        • Mike Race Says:

          In the hearing of these things it helps to bring me back to reevaluating what I believe based on the totality of the Scriptures. So, besides the helping of others in sharing their pain it also can bring them to re evaluate their beliefs in the light of all of Scripture.

        • Jen Says:

          Mike, that is awesome! I hope to be able to start doing that together here in a little while. I am glad that there is already something good coming out of this.

        • Refugee Says:

          “In the hearing of these things it helps to bring me back to reevaluating what I believe based on the totality of the Scriptures. So, besides the helping of others in sharing their pain it also can bring them to re evaluate their beliefs in the light of all of Scripture.”

          Exactly, Mike. Well stated. That is why I keep coming back. I tend to skim over the hearsay (keywords such as “I heard” or “supposedly”) but am most blessed by those posting here, who sound as if they’re finding their way or have found their way out of the quagmire. It’s like that verse in Corinthians that talks about those who have suffered in the past can draw on their experiences to help those who are suffering now.

          And I’ve been so beaten down in the past, and taught that doubts and problems were caused by my own sinfulness, that it helps to hear from others who experienced the same circumstances.

          I keep running up against ingrained beliefs that are based in the teaching of men, not scripture, and I don’t even know they are there until I read something and a little voice in the back of my head says, “Pay attention. Here is something to re-think. Search the scriptures.”

    • Jen Says:

      Mick, what would Jesus say? He sure seemed to rebuke those Pharisees over and over and over again when they did not repent!

      • Mick Says:

        Jen, I agree with you that he needed to be challenged and think that if Jesus were physically in SA and occasioned DP, his words would have been a harsh rebuke. Regarding your other point about catharsis, I would agree that some is good. What I am concerned about is that what starts out as healthy catharsis ends up like a stuck, broken record (you know, the old vinyl record analogy :-). I know people close to me that have been prosecuting the same emotional abuse crimes for 20 years. And they use it as an excuse for their failure to do something with their lives. Ironically, their hyper-prosecution is even worse abuse than the original crime. I’m just concerned that perhaps some of this is happening on the blogsite here.

        The other thing that concerns me is that I’m not hearing a lot of confession from those abused by him and BCA. If it had been me and my family caught in this sick thing, I think I would eventually have to admit that I was part of the problem (willingly submitting to a Scriptorturer like DP and his accomplices). I guess that’s what I’m not hearing enough of, and perhaps the members are still wanting to believe in the ill-fated, legalistic course of boot-strap Christianity.

        It seems to me that the DP legend lives on (ironically) through this blogsite. All these people so focused on him. As if he really merits it.

      • Mykl Says:

        There are a lot of hurting people writing on this blog, and a lot more reading it, I’m sure. But for two reasons I think they are not representative of the total VF legacy. 1. All the VF sort of people I know, maybe a couple dozen at most, are balanced, humble, godly parents who learned from VF materials and grew through their tours and conferences. That may not be a statistically significant sample, but it’s significant to me. 🙂 2. Those balanced, humble, godly parents people are very unlikely to get on here at all. From a distance, everything about this website looks like Bitterness and Gossip. The subtitle of the site, the titles of most articles, the mocking pictures… anyone who doesn’t have time for gossip and resentment will simply bounce away. Up close, I find that there is a fair amount of bitterness and gossip and sarcasm. There’s a fair amount of good balanced thinking too, but you need to really search for it. If it weren’t for my wife’s passionate following of this blog, I wouldn’t be here.

        The take-away for me and (I suspect) most of the people who aren’t on here is: DON’T FOLLOW MEN! Don’t follow ideologies. Don’t follow movements. Learn from them, but don’t follow them. To me it looks like a number of folks who (for reasons I don’t know) FOLLOWED VF, that is, totally embraced all their teaching without discernment. You see that sort of thing with every big movement, like Campur Crusade or Focus on the Family. (A big warning sign is when someone starts imitating the speech mannerisms of the Fearless Leader, like all the ATIA students who said “innersting” instead of “Interesting” or ‘Scipture’ for Scripture.)

        Learn from men, movements, etc. Don’t follow them. Follow Jesus Christ. Even Paul said “Imitate me AS I IMITATE CHRIST.”

        Just a thought.

        • Corrine Says:

          I have to agree with Mykl that it is not accurate or wise to paint everyone who agrees with “patriarchy ” as described ( not lived ) by VF / Gothard . I live far away from any of of the guys mentioned & have seen mostly only good examples of sweet families. Now, I would still say that I have heard enough bad to make me question the tenants of this movement and that is healthy and good. But, I do resent the continual ” you may think they are good but I tell you they are wicked people hiding awful secrets” I have several friends that I am extremely close to that truly are as they seem . Godly people seeking to please God and to be a light . They have healthy relationships with their children/ spouse . As awful as all these stories are I still don’t think they represent a large percentage of those following “Patriarchy” . And to paint all FIC types with too broad a brush, is to turn off those on the fence. Because they will say ” well, that is not at all like the folks I know” I personally only know good solid families & yet these stories and the few weirdos I have observed tell me that it is good to rethink some of these issues to be sure we are holding to the Bible not mans teaching. Believe it or not, there are some people who read these books , saw things through their own more balenced lense and REMAINED normal 🙂 Not saying that they shouldn’t rethink a few things, just please realize they are not all like the zealots you have witnessed.

        • Jackie C. Says:

          Mykl, you write your advice to not follow men as if that’s the first time it’s been said by anyone here, as if that was the first time anyone thought of it. The very existence of this blog is to bring light to the trap of following a man and to highlight the issue of abuse in the church. Abuse in a church can happen whether you are aware of the dangers of following a man or not. I hope if you have children you teach them that legalism isn’t faith because often the lessen we mean our children to learn isn’t what they do learn. And that can set them up.for abuse in the church.

        • PioneerHomeschooler Says:

          But Corrine, this is like saying, “NO, smoking doesn’t cause cancer! I have three friends who smoke and they aren’t dying of cancer, so telling someone who wants to smoke that they should run the other way is not fair! You can do it and still be healthy! I know because I know people who are! Don’t judge!” Yes, there are people who will escape the worst effects of a dangerous system–but is it okay to absolve the system because of that? Absolutely not.

        • just a shadow Says:

          Very good point, Pioneer.

          “But Mom! I know kids who play in the street all the time who don’t get run over!”

          That still doesn’t make it safe or wise.

  34. Just a shadow Says:


    What you don’t seem to understand is that we’ve been told to shut up for years. We’ve never been allowed to talk about what happened. Now we can. If it doesn’t help you, then I guess you can move on to sites that do help you.Also, don’t assume that commenting here is *all* we ever do. It’s not. God has given me wonderful new ministry opportunities that have nothing to do with FIC, DP, or BCA. I work almost daily with kids from poor, broken backgrounds. I try to love’em like Jesus does & I tell them about Jesus & His love. I have moved on in following Christ. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not still working through things from the past. It’s hard to totally resolve things when you
    can’t even talk about them. I’d ask that you allow us to talk…for the first time in years.

    • Jackie C. Says:

      Amen! I was never part of this world but value people a family who is. It’s helpful to all of us to understand the culture anyway. People aren’t simply criticising DP here – look at all the different topics that have been raised.

      Attempting to use Christian guilt to shut up people you don’t know isn’t what I believe God calls us to do. Love God and love our neighbor. Keep going back to that.

    • Jen Says:

      Just a Shadow, there is healing in being able to talk things through. I agree that this is a very important part of the process and I am glad there is a healthy place to do so. Talking helps bring closure, especially when closure isn’t forthcoming from the abuser.

  35. Leslie Says:

    On a much much smaller scale it is like the iron curtain coming down. Freedom at last. Talking about what has happened is a good thing. It cleanses the soul. And hopefully by talking about it, the truth will prevail so this type of controlling will not happen again

    • Jen Says:

      Great analogy, Leslie!

      • just a shadow Says:

        Honestly, if you haven’t lived in the area of the “community” it would be hard for you to even fathom the iron curtain that has been in place here for so, so long. It is hard to convey, without sounding like a complete paranoid nutcase how effective the “don’t speak about x,y,z.” rule in this area is. How very effective shunning is. How not only DP but a whole group of people kept others in “their place”. How every single area of homeschooling in this area was controlled by these people, and those like them. How they have no problem hurting you or your children. THEY DON’T CARE IF THEY HURT YOUR CHILDREN. This cannot be emphasized enough.YOUR CHILDREN ARE FAIR GAME TO THESE PEOPLE. People will shut up quick, look the other way, pretend all is well just to keep their own kids from being shunned, being hurt, being talked about. They will look the other way when others are hurt all so that THEY are invited to the next event, the next wedding, the next party. It is a very powerful weapon that has hung in the atmosphere around here for a very, very long time. Frankly, in my estimation, judging from the (common) behavior over the years, I’d say we have a whole group of people who do not have a conscience and who most likely have no clue what the gospel is. They certainly in no way resemble Jesus. In the “community” the most important rule was this: Do NOT disagree. Ever. And if you do, then for God’s sake, don’t say it out loud. Make sure your children don’t say it out loud. All disagreement will result in swift consequences socially.

        • Jen Says:

          Just a Shadow, and it still continues to this day. I thought perhaps what happened to Doug might change things, but it doesn’t appear to. That level of control is SO deep, I fear that most of these people will take it to their grave. The loss of true love and joy in life is so sad.

        • steve240 Says:

          just a shadow

          Thanks for sharing about this sad situation there. You see this to some degree in a lot of groups where they practice “group think.” It may not always be to to degree you described (such as harming children) but the more you disagree and don’t toe the line, the more likely you won’t be included in the inner circle.

          The saddest part is that rather than being just one group you are indicating all homeschoolers in that area practice this type of thinking. At least if you find yourself in a church or other group like this you usually have the ability to go somewhere else but a lot harder if you want to homeschool your kids and practice this.

          Speaking of inner circle C.S. Lewis gave a lecture with a similar title and I would suggest everyone read this short article and ask themselves how much of their action is due to trying to get into this “inner ring” and is it worth what you do to get into this inner ring?

          This small article might really make you think.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Steve, Fantastic article – powerful and beautiful. Thank you so much.

        • Jen Says:

          Steve240, it is interesting that you call it the “inner ring” because Doug Phillips actually gave a “sermon” about our circle of friends once. On the outer edge are all our acquaintances and those we do business with occasionally. Just inside the circle are those you work with or go to church with but are not super close, such as the seventy sent out by Jesus. (Hey! Doug Phillips DID preach ONE message about Jesus!) Then there is an even smaller circle of close friends, like Jesus’ twelve disciples. And in the “inner circle” was Peter, James, and John — Jesus’ closest friends. This sermon was to help us identify who our own inner circle was so that we could focus more attention there, and a bit less attention to the “twelve,” and even less to the “seventy.”

        • cptruthlover Says:

          What about the great commission? Did you guys have outreaches/ministries for the lost? I remember you mentioning Katrina. Did they give out gospel tracks and clothes?

        • Jen Says:

          No, we were separatists. Most people had nothing to do with the “world” unless the man worked with people outside of Vision Forum. There was ZERO outreach.

          For Hurricane Katrina, VF collected homeschool clothes for patriarchy families.

        • oneh20 Says:

          THAT hit home. Oddly though, it happened to us in a large church and the place where God brought healing for me was in a small home church – FIC, no less. We still deal with the effects of the mentality of the other church almost daily as we still have friends there. I’m even hesitant to write here because I am sure there are lurkers from there – and instead of being concerned about their enormously flawed system of handling issues, there would be a reinforcement of their own justification because, gasp, I mentioned it on a public forum – and even though there is a no gossip system, there are always clever ways of “no naming” the names. Its been devastating. And for the critics – I wouldn’t say everything here has been stated in a God honoring way, but make room for the fact that there is a lot of grief and anger going on and most importantly, healing. There is healing in knowing you’re not alone. There is healing in finding your voice – and better – hearing your own voice in others because its important to learn to trust your gut again, to know you aren’t crazy, to know you’re normal reactions to abnormal behavior…. Well, I’ve said more than I meant to say, but alas, I simply started out to say, “Here, here!”

        • Jen Says:

          oneh20, I’m glad you’re here and that some of this stuff resonates with you. Healing comes in many different forms.

        • oneh20 Says:

          Indeed, it does, Jen. Thank you. And one sentence should have read something to the effect of, “having normal reactions to abnormal behavior.”

        • steve240 Says:


          Glad you found C.S. Lewis’s talking on the “Inner Ring” of value. It certainly can make one question what their true motivation is for being involved and accepted in a circle.

        • just a shadow Says:

          CPTruth –

          Outreach?! Did you say “outreach”? As in spreading the gospel or helping those in need? OMgosh! You would have been laughed or scorned out of the church if you had suggested that we do anything at all resembling “outreach”. Don’t you know that all salvation is predestined? There is no need for evangelism! What a “worldly, man-centered” idea! Help those in need?! What do we, the chosen, have to do with those who “sit in the seat of mockers” or “heathens and publicans”? Collect clothes? Distribute food? What?! They are poor because of their own doings, or their faulty theology, or b/c they send their kids to government indoctrination centers (schools). Missions? What have we to do with that? And women most certainly cannot be missionaries at all b/c, well, that is outside of God’s order! (See the book, “So much more” by Botkin girls for more info on how bad it is to be involved in foreign missions).

          Nay, brother, Nay! Thou are in serious folly to suggest such doings ( Are you sure, brother, that you TRULY understand the SOVEREIGNTY of GOD? ( Said with utmost seriousness)

          Nay, brother, Nay. The way to TRULY serve God is to invite over a family for “hospitality” to your home who is JUST LIKE YOUR FAMILY.

          IF we do help anyone in distress, brother, it must be one of our own. It must be a godly patriarchal family. Anyone with fewer than 5 children is suspect of perhaps using “abortiofacient” drugs (read: birth control). So, to be safe, we need to only help those with 6 or more children – especially if their girl offspring play the harp, violin, or cello. And if their boy offspring display a healthy interest in fencing (sword fighting) or the pilgrims or fire arms in general.

          Rescue the perishing? Pray for the dying? Help the poor?

          You are now under church discipline, brother.

          ( Kidding. Sort of. I think. Hmmm. )

        • Jen Says:

          Just a Shadow, although written hilariously, what you just posted is 100% true. I can hear Doug’s voice speaking those VERY words. I know you are NOT kidding, but we do need a good laugh now and then, in the midst of reliving all this!

        • Corrine Says:

          That was hilarious! And sadly true . Thx for the laugh;) Fencing & harps ! Fewer than 5 kids being suspect . Love it . ( well, u know what I mean )

        • cptruthlover Says:

          Oh, man, I just got back from the dentist and read this and laughed out loud! Then, I thought, how sad! I don’t subscribe to hyper-calvanism,obviously, so that just makes zero sense. That breaks my heart!

        • just a shadow Says:

          Or, they might be poor b/c that is God’s predestined will and who are we to change the place that God appointed for them in this life?

        • DesiringToDiscern Says:

          Caste (Calvinist/predestined) system. (well written just-a-shadow) See medieval. …and what of the single mother? What is her place?

        • oneh20 Says:

          Keeping in mind that not all FIC’s are alike even when listed in NCFIC’s directory, I can attest that one single mother family I know has been very blessed and loved by a local FIC. Can’t say much more than that.

        • Jen Says:

          oneh20, that is very true. Each and every church must be looked at individually.

        • Corrine Says:

          True! And also, the vast majority of Calvinists are not into this patriarchy stuff at all. Also, “normal” Calvinists are just as outreach / mission minded as any church. Now hyper- Calvinists , not so much. That is who you are describing.

  36. NeverAgain Says:

    I have a question for those who attended BCA. (I’m using the past tense because there have been so many changes this year.) Why was the church so small? I mean, your church was FAMOUS — Doug used to post beautiful photos of the little white building on his blog, along with pictures of baptisms in the river. It was all so idyllic. Who wouldn’t have wanted to be part of such a sweet church? Didn’t you have families coming in from out of town, driving their vans in to San Antonio hoping to move to your area and be part of your group? Why did the loss of a few families earlier this year devastate the numbers in your church?

    • Jen Says:

      It always devastating to lose dear friends. It was never a numbers game. It was all about family. It is always hard to have unresolved relationship rifts.

      Yes, there were sometimes new families moving in, but the church building is very small, so the church maxes out at about 125. That was done on purpose, in order to keep the church small enough to develop deep relationships.

      • Donna Says:

        Jen, I thought BCA was a home church? Did they move into a regular church building at some point? And if so, who owns that? Is this anotheor VFM-owned facility, or is it a separate entity in its own right? Since, from what we can see on Zillow, it now *appears* that valuation of DP’s home is split as if it were two separate properties, is part of his home considered the church parsonage? And if so, who owns THAT?

        • just a shadow Says:

          BCA meets in small, old church far in the country. They rent it. It hasn’t been a home church for about 10 years.

        • just a shadow Says:

          And the small, old church is no where near DP’s residence. It’s about 45 minutes away.

        • Jen Says:

          Donna, BCA began as a home church, but after Doug moved into his current home, many years ago, the neighbors were not too happy about us meeting there, so we looked for a new place to meet. It took a while, but we finally found an old “Little House on the Prairie” type church, WAY out in the country, near a river perfect for baptism. When I was attending, we were renting the building. I do not know if BCA eventually bought it or not, but they should have had plenty of money to do so. I hope they finally got bathrooms! I do NOT miss those porta-potties!

          Yes, VFM owns all of the Canada Verde property. I will try to detail how it works in an upcoming article.

        • Donna Says:

          Thanks, Jen and Just a shadow!

  37. just a shadow Says:

    BCA never wanted to be a big church. In fact some things were done purposely to keep it small. They weren’t overly concerned about comfort ( decent air conditions/heating/bathrooms etc.) b/c this “helped” to keep away all but only the most “serious” Christians ( in their estimation). Yes, I heard this stated by more than one person – it’s not conjecture on my part. Sometimes there were people who attempted to visit but were “discouraged”(uninvited) from doing so for various reasons. Yes, this actually happened. I could give names here of people it happened to, but I won’t. BCA never really had the “welcome visitors” mat out much at all. More often than not, visitors were grudgingly “welcomed” unless they were part of the “A” list ( read: wealthy, influential, good looking, famous, had something valuable to “offer”). Whoever was deemed “A” list was, of course, warmly welcomed. There is also the fact that BCA was something of a revolving door, with this sequence repeated over the years: Family B hears DP at a conference. They are enthralled. They move to SA/ go to visit BCA. Depending on their “A” list status they are either welcomed, or not so much. Either way, they determine to stay. But then there is a changing list of rules. What is ok for the kids to play one Sunday ( or “Lord’s Day) is soundly condemned the next Sunday. What is ok to talk about one Sunday, several weeks later requires a men’s meeting, after which the official position on said topic is “nailed down”(read: now you cannot disagree on said topic, or maybe you cannot discuss it at all). Anyway, Family B begins to feel…uncomfortable. Later, family B feels…more uncomfortable. They decide move on to one of the “sister” churches. This cycle was repeated many, many times,especially for those who moved to SA to be in DP’s church. Often the reality of the church did not match the glowing tales that were told on the homeschool speaking circuit. Sadly, many had uprooted their families, sold their land/homes/businesses all to move here and be part of a fabrication.

    • Knoxville gal Says:

      This sounds very similar to what we experienced at the Botkin church in Middle TN. We went and must not have fit the “A list” so we weren’t welcome back. No one said for us not to come back but we didn’t feel at all welcome. Do most FIC function this way or just once closely connected to DP?

      • Jen Says:

        Knoxville gal, welcome! There is no “A” list here! Every FIC church is different and unique, but I would say that those that are closely aligned with Doug Phillips are going to be more like this, yes. I am sorry that you did not feel welcome, but at this point, you should probably count your blessings that you never reached the point of being hurt the way so many have.

        Having said that, I hope you find wonderful fellowship somewhere! This is a great place to start!

        • Knoxville gal Says:

          Jen, Thank you for the welcome. My husband isn’t convinced that Scott Brown knew about all of this. Do y’all think he did? How about Botkin? They are both so close to DP that it seems to me that they would have some knowledge.

          We are in an FIC but it’s not listed as an FIC so I think we have been able to steer clear of a lot of this. Having said that, the people in our church very much look up to and like (if not love) DP, Brown, Botkin, Baucham etc…. It is making me really evaluate things in light of Scripture, which I should have done from the beginning.

          Just a shadow — can you share how involved the people I mentioned are in all of this? Do you feel they knew and to what depth they knew?

      • Corrine Says:

        Not all FIC’s would be this way. Ours was extremely welcoming but I think you would have felt out of place if you weren’t similar to most others ( homeschooling, courtship etc) I know of several others up north (far from San Antonio:) ) that are the same ( welcoming but very “like minded)

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Our house church experience had an A list most definitely, but the FIC we go to now is VERY open. We also have had age segregated Bible Study/Teaching and a nursery on Sundays so perhaps we are not the norm. I have heard that being on the FIC list is not a guarantee for a cookie cutter approach in the practical workings of each church listed.

    • Jen Says:

      Just a Shadow, I would ask you why you stayed as long as you did, but having experienced everything you so accurately describe, I know EXACTLY why you stayed. We all had that tug-of-war going on within us.

    • EyesWideOpen Says:

      Just A Shadow, everything you describe here is exactly our experience. In fact after moving to the San Antonio area (to be with family – didn’t know VF was there too) we called VFI to ask where a good church would be. We were directed to the NCFIC website but when I asked specifically the name of DP’s church so we could visit, I was told “I won’t give that out.” Through some detective work, we discovered the name ourselves and followed the directions given on the website…which happened to be wrong. We showed up an hour late for church and afterwards one person welcomed us and asked why we were late. I told them the website directions were wrong and she laughed and said, “Oh, really? That’s probably on purpose…” And she brushed it all off like it wasn’t any big deal. The men had to use port-a-potties outside while the ladies “pregnant and/or over 30” would use the bathrooms inside. The sinks didn’t work however, so you had to use a sanitizer to clean your hands afterwards. The buildings were constantly hot or cold and very unwelcoming. We were told by many in the group that they referred to it all as “blessed reduction” when people would visit but never come back again. They liked to be small and “safe.”

      • just a shadow Says:


      • Donna Says:

        Hhmm… That sounds pretty cult-like. Purposely keep it small (why wouldn’t you want more people to be part of your Body if you were truly preaching the Gospel of Christ?), make it hard for outsiders to get in, keep it all very hush-hush. I remember Jen saying in her story how difficult it was for them to originally find BCA, too. It’s almost as if they only want the people who are JUST like them — with the same agenda, or desperate enough to go to all the work to FIND them, and be willing to GET on board with their agenda. Either that or they don’t want the IRS to find them! :p Sort of like the Botkins’ residence in Tennessee…

        • cptruthlover Says:

          Unfortunately, this runs rampant among “beleivers” Exclusivity is not from the Lord. There is a homeschool group here that you have to have several referrals to get into. When we were new to the area, there was no way to get in because the referrals had to be people they knew. Then people are afraid to get thrown out of the club, because it was so hard to get into. This creates an environment where no one questions the leader.

        • Jen Says:

          Although I can understand how it can sound cult-like to you, it was kept small so that we could all know one another intimately. I like that part of it.

          Perhaps, later on, there was more of a sense of attempting to keep people out who were not exactly like the BCA people already.

    • steve240 Says:

      One thought on DP wanting to keep it a small church is that if DP’s church had a lot of members then pastoring and managing a church of that size would take a lot of work and detract from running his “business” that probably was more glamorous and more profitable dollar wise. I am guessing he probably only had the church to give him credibility and possibly was almost a “nuisance” or a necessity (loss leader) for his business.

      I am just throwing out a possibility since I don’t know all of the details of this situation.

      • Jen Says:

        To be fair, I think any pastor will tell you that one man can only handle “shepherding” about 100 people. That is why large churches have small groups, and it is probably the small groups that keep most Christians sane. Since we were never going to divide into smaller groups (family-integrated, you know), it was kept low in order for the shepherd to truly know his sheep. Unfortunately, the “shepherd” in this case had more important things to do and so he did not truly know his sheep. In fact, there would often be weeks and months when he simply did not show up at church, and then when he did, it would be like the grand entrance of a king. He didn’t carry himself that way at church, necessarily, but everyone flocked to him and tried to get his attention.

  38. just a shadow Says:

    And I really do apologize that my tone sounds so…harsh. It’s just been hard over the years to watch the way things “are” here. It’s been hard to see good people hurt. It’s been hard to see children & teens have their faith extinguished b/c of the way the “community” has conducted itself. There are a lot of people who are going to have a lot to answer for. ( Millstone, anyone?). A lot of people, not just one man. He had many, many helpers in the community.

    • Jen Says:

      Just a Shadow, are we friends? If not, we could probably be best friends. 🙂 It is just good to have someone to relate to. That is SO healing for me. Thanks.

      • just a shadow Says:

        Well, I’m sure that my response will be disappointing. Sorry in advance. But, I have no doubt that we will witness a “resurrection” within 1-2 years. I don’t want to be on the “to do” list when that occurs. So, I’ll refrain from any identifying information.

  39. just a shadow Says:

    Well, if you look at history,odds are that there will be a resurrection and that the new “ministry” will be bigger, bolder, and more successful than the first. For more info, may I direct your attention to:

    – a certain charismatic pastor of a mega church here in SA who divorced his first wife for the church secretary. Disappeared for awhile, then came roaring back and is now bigger, more famous, and richer than he ever was in his original “ministry”

    – a certain non married leader of the original legalistic homeschooling “curriculum”. He had his own scandal, came roaring back, and his “ministry” was bigger, more widespread, and more influential AFTER the scandal than before.

    – Ol’ Jimmy of the charismatic, ladies of the night brand. Still in business.

    – R. T. of the “prayer rags” fame who was exposed. Still in business.

    I could go on, and on. Yes. Hide and watch. A whole new generation of people will be happily following the new “ministry” not too long from now. I’d put my money on it, if I were the betting type.

  40. just a shadow Says:

    He is disqualified from the ministry permanently. See the Bible for qualifications for elder of a church – most notably that “he keeps his own house in order” among others.

    I don’t want to see any fellow human unrepentant or unrecovered. Of course I hope he repents. Of course I hope he finds true faith in Jesus. Of course I hope he recovers. Of course I hope his family recovers. Most of all, I hope and pray that his children recover and that their faith is not shipwrecked. They did not choose to be born into the situation in which they find themselves. They have my sincerest sympathy. My heart hurts for them.

    Do I think said recovery should include elevation to leadership in ministry? No. He has forfeited that role. And it is the Bible, not me, that says he will be held “doubly responsible” since he was a “teacher” of the Word.

    But as to recovery on a personal level? Of course. I hope and pray for him that he looks to Jesus alone and uplifts Jesus alone.

    I think we will be able to measure with some accuracy whether the heart truly repents. If he returns to public life eager to profit financially from a “ministry”, then I think we have our answer. If I have time later, I will find the scriptural reference to those who see the gospel as a “means to gain”.

    • Truehart Says:

      While I agree with your observation “keeps his own house in order” (I Tim. 3:4), that all depends on “which” house is under consideration! In the case of many of the leaders who have fallen, the idea of being a “husband of one wife” (I Tim. 3:2) is taken to mean “one wife” AT A TIME … leaving many with the option of moving on to the “next” wife and having THAT “house in order”. People tend to search for “loopholes” in how Biblical principles are understood, especially those in leadership.

      I knew of one man whose stance on marriage, divorce and remarriage was in line with the “no divorce for any reason” school of thought — UNTIL he got a divorce, and suddenly his theology changed to accommodate the situation in which he found himself at the time. Never mind all of the couples he had counseled with PRIOR to that time and the guilt and condemnation that was heaped upon their own situation. This guy had a “new revelation” and he later remarried and returned to the Pulpit. He had been an Elder and a Director at an influential school of ministry for decades prior to the time one of the women he was sleeping with gave him an STD (the gift that keeps on giving), and his wife exposed his infidelity when he passed the STD along to her.

      The reality of “repentance” is that it takes place in the heart and mind, with genuine godly sorrow and actions that are consistent with the “repentance”. The problem is that Christians love a good “come back story” and because of their own failures in life, actually begin to “root” for the fallen person to rise from the ashes of defeat and to have a new and powerful testimony to share about God’s grace.

      In the case of DP, whom I have never met, his sin was not a momentary lapse in judgment out of some lustful temptation, but rather his actions demonstrate a “pattern” of behavior that was willfully carried out over a considerable period of time. It was both premeditated and intentional and thus the consequences of his actions will follow him.

      • just a shadow Says:

        Yes. This goes far beyond the momentary slip up of falling into lust & acting on it. This is years of a double life all the while preaching his brand of family, preaching perfection, preaching the protection of daughters, preaching “emotional” purity, preaching courtship, preaching “college is too dangerous for young women”, preaching “women and children first”, preaching that men are the protectors of women & children.

        Frankly, it haunts me. Yes, it haunts me. In my mind’s eye I can see him standing there, preaching all these things…all the while living a charade. I can’t quite describe the feeling I have. It is horror, creepiness, “can he really be…evil?”, sadness all rolled into one.

        Even though we left that world for good reason, I always thought, “Well, I’ll give him the benefit of doubt. He’s most likely sincere. Wrong, but sincere.”

        Now I am running through different situations, conversations, memories in my mind. I see them in a different light, now.

        It’s hard to admit that I was taken in, convinced by something that was, apparently, rigged, calculating, insincere, grasping…twisted. That is harder to know, to admit than I can even express.

        I have to wonder. How deep did the charade go? Were all of us laughable to him behind closed doors? Is he self deceived? Or did he know exactly what he was doing b/c he planned it that way?

        I didn’t expect this to impact me this way. But it is very unsettling to know that we were fooled even if it was for a relatively short period of time.

        • Andrew McDonald Says:

          Dear Friend, In the end we all must rest on the rock of our salvation. There is a purpose to what we go through. Ask God to show you and then trust that He will answer in His time. Every event is in His plan to be used for His honor and glory. I do not claim to understand those promises but I trust Him to accomplish it. He kept you and that is so sweet! He has kept me as well. No one can pluck you out of His hand.

        • Observer Says:

          The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9.

        • Jen Says:

          Just a Shadow, I am having many of those same conflicting thoughts this time around. While I used to give Doug the benefit of the doubt and think that he did all this because he really cared about his “vision” for taking dominion, now it appears that he was not taking dominion for God, but building a empire for himself. That’s a whole different way of being conned.

        • Mick Says:

          I really don’t think DP set out to do any of this. I think he started out fervent for the Lord and he was going to have the courage of his convictions. He, like a lot of us, looked around at the anti-Christian culture and determined to shun it and “as for me and my house, we’ll serve the Lord.”

          What we then did was to search for a model of Christian cultural righteousness. Naturally, we identified with the early church and then with the reformers and the puritans and the Great Awakenings. We (and DP) looked at their ways, their lives and determined that we would boldly return to more virtuous living in Him.

          And this is where Satan steps in. He encourages the pride and so we became prideful in our “holy other,” and then sought out like-minded folks to buoy and bolster our fervent courage and boldness. We embraced homeschooling to mold our breed in the Word and not secular humanism. But then our churches were also part of the enemy for most of the attendees were bowing to man by keeping their kids in government schools. Suddenly Sunday School and Youth Groups were suspect and we determined to forsake them. Time to develop a FIC to really do this biblical family, culture and church right! All the while the pride continues to grow, the paranoia grows and now we’ve got to live up to the most pious among us. Church becomes a comparison trap.

          Now, in all of this, there’s no Christ. It’s all on our own steam. It’s as if we were at the pinnacle of the temple and Satan told us that all would be well if we did the spiritual swan dive. And…we did.

          DP, like us, did the same thing. The difference was, he was gifted with a sharp mind, oral talent and never-say-die, soldier-like bravery and courage. In other words, his gifting would take him much further in the pride-legalism complex. Now he’s vulnerable to self-worship. Then, a chance to feel mighty in a sexual way presents itself and, in a moment of self-worship… he takes it.

          Satan bags his game, but the Lord doesn’t take him home. So now comes the cover up at any cost because he is still bowing to himself. He must protect his Deity. So, what follows is more fervency, cover-ups and control at BCA. Now there’s a crisis of the soul. He’s a big time hypocrite. What to do? What does a self-worshiping addict do? He goes back to the well for another “hit” to make himself feel better. And so the sexual sin becomes habitual, like the cocaine addict who keeps needing to get high to tolerate the withdrawal – A vicious cycle.

          So, what you have is the wicked combination of an ever-increasing legalist, self-worshiper caught up in a must-have/hide sexual habit. And all the while, there is some truth to what he pursues, and the earthly gifts have not subsided and so he presses on in the crusade…until his sin has found him out.

          I think that’s what happened.

        • cptruthlover Says:

          Mick, I totally understand what you are saying. I think that progression is true in many people’s lives. And that would be true if he was guilty of lack of love, pride, and judgementalism. I might be able to buy it. Even then, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives is manifest in our love for others and our desire to place them above ourselves. Someone who truly realizes his or her own sin would be so thankful and full of love for the Lord that it would spill out into his dealings with people. Unfortunately, Doug was not only in habitual sin for which he was unrepentant, he also had a long history of anger and abusiveness toward others. Thisis not the mark of a man that is full of God’s love and Grace. The only thing that separates Christianity from other religions is the fact that Jesus is the one who saves us, not our own works. If we are so focused on works that we lose sight of the fact that Jesus came to save the lost and broken, then we are in grave danger. I do not see a man who was in love with a Jesus that saved him from the pit. I see a man who was excited to show everyone how righteous and holy he was. Sound reminiscent of the pharisees? …and God never knew them.

        • oneh20 Says:

          CP, I’d like to share this on my fb, “The only thing that separates Christianity from other religions is the fact that Jesus is the one who saves us, not our own works.” So well put!

        • Jackie C. Says:

          Just a shadow, it really sounds like there’s something wrong. DP apparently has no empathy – is it amusing to put incorrect directions on a website so people search to find the church? That’s deeper than hiding clergy sexual abuse. That’s completely lacking in empathy. This is what I’ve picked up from stories here and what fit a narcissistic personality disorder.
          1. Grandiose sense of self-importance
          2. Fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance
          3. Believes he is “special”
          4. Requires excessive admiration
          5. Sense of entitlement
          6. Interpersonal exploitative
          7. Lacks empathy
          8. Believes others are envious of him
          8. Shows arrogant or haughty behaviors and attitudes.

          Narcissists are very good at convincing people they are wonderful – it’s part of why they rarely seek help for their disorder. They are generally able to find people to draw in to their world and they see no need to change. Some here seem to believe he started out with good intentions and simply slipped. The stories of deliberately keeping people out of the church and sending his goon squad to shut people up negate that this was ever anything but something to feed his ego. He probably truly does believe he deserves reverence and that he is special – which would be why he felt no remorse and shutting the lowly out. He make fake repentence but he’ll always feel he has been stripped of his rightful place in the world.

        • cptruthlover Says:

          I absolutely agree. This man is much different than the pastor who fell into sin. There is something underlying that is very sinister and evil. He loves and idolizes himself at the expense of others. If you are confused, ask the Lord for His wisdom with a humble and contrite heart. He promises to give wisdom to those who seek it.

  41. just a shadow Says:

    And of course I hope he is able to find a way to financially support his children and wife. I want that for his kids and for his wife.

  42. Lally Says:

    I’ve been following your blog since the news of Doug Phillips broke. For many years we were friends with a homeschooling family who then bought into the whole Vision Forum movement. Over the years we’ve watched them major more and more on the minors – skirts only for the girls, “pioneer” lifestyle, homeschooling as the only biblical option, quiverfull, patriarchy, KJV-only, “return of the daughters”, anti-youth group and Sunday school, FIC, etc. At the same time they became more judgmental of and isolated from those, like us, who were not “like-minded” on these secondary issues, even though we are brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m hoping and praying for the sake of their children that the exposure of the VF hypocrisy will open their eyes to the legalistic, cult-like movement they’ve been following, and the freedom we have in Christ.

    • Truehart Says:

      Lally, the problem with legalism is that it becomes an infectious virus that spreads to every corner of theology, and most of the time it happens so gradually that those involved do not pause to consider to where each of the individual components actually lead. Every religious community has its own “distinctives” that tends to define the group and to create an artificial “comfort zone” for those who embrace what it is that makes them unique. It becomes a standard of measurement by which those outside the community are seen as deficient because THEY do not do what WE do here.

      When examined separately, the individual elements seem harmless enough.

      1. What could be wrong with girls wearing skirts?
      2. The “pioneer” lifestyle recalls a time in history when life was less stressful and more simple? Is THAT wrong?
      3. Homeschooling is a great learning environment in which every member of the family is engaged in the process and everyone benefits. Is that a BAD thing?
      4. Having a large family is a blessing from the Lord. How could THAT be wrong?
      5. No need to separate people into separate learning environments (Youth Group, Sunday) when they can all be together as a FAMILY. What could be more wonderful?

      The problem becomes when each of the elements takes on the sinister “this is the ONLY way” mentality that shifts the focus from the beneficial to the restrictive, actually taking things that are not necessary “bad” and twisting them into something that is NECESSARY to sustain a relationship with God and thus with other members of the community.

      Freedom in Christ means that a person or family has options as to whether or not any of the individual elements are what is best for them. Instead it becomes the leaders who dictate, legislate and manipulate through fear in order to gain control and conformity from those within the “community”. Rejection of the legalistic requirements then, means rejection of both God AND forfeiting fellowship with people that you have known, loved and cared about.

      The greatest expression of freedom is evidenced through love for God and love for others, before and without the need for a list of “distinctives” (rules and regulations) that force good people into unhealthy emotions and who eventually “go through the motions” just to keep from losing what they have (family, friends etc).

      The apostle Paul writes:

      “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (Col. 3:14). Legalism brings bondage and death — Love brings freedom and life.

      • Lally Says:

        I agree, Truehart. We saw it happening gradually, and I have no doubt that in the case of our friends, it started as a genuine desire to raise a family and live a life that would honour God and give Him glory. I can’t help but think that Vision Forum used an honourable desire in this demographic, but capitalized on the pride in all of us to present to others a wonderful marriage and family and perfect parenting. VF painted a beautiful, enviable picture of the ideal family in images and words, constantly romanticized and spiritualized it, and then authoritatively laid down the so-called biblical precepts to attain it, luring many in.

        • Truehart Says:

          Although my personal experience differs from your own, I do relate to the “ideal portrait” that is painted for all to see and to desire for themselves. My own youthful experiences were to have been raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses where families were presented to us through the eyes of the “organization” in their magazines and publications. Anyone who has seen books published by the Watchtower Society has seen the pictures of “happy people” with smiles on their faces, children dressed to perfection, with promises of a better life in Kingdom “service”. They told us that we were already living in a “spiritual paradise” just waiting for God to destroy those outside the community leaving millions of us to populate an actual “paradise” on earth after Armageddon. In the meantime, we were at the mercy of those appointed as “Overseers” in the local congregations to “watch over” our every move to make sure we were all following whatever was being mandated as “new light” in the pages of the publications.

          We loved knocking on doors and encountering people who were unkind to us. It VALIDATED in our minds that we must have “the truth.” It became a sort of psychological persecution complex that only increased the isolation from those outside, thus making us dependent upon each other as our source of encouragement. The “cult” mentality lives and breathes even within many of those groups whose theology and doctrine are more “orthodox” and “respectable” in the greater community of Christendom. The hunger for power and recognition among leaders is rooted in the deepest and deadliest recesses of the human heart and comes at the high price of a broken trail of casualties in the form of people who trusted them, followed them, honored and defended them.

          Of such, the inspired psalmist writes: “In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised” (Psa. 10:2) Even as Solomon observed:. “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom” (Prov. 11:2). There is no escape from the consequences of human pride. “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Prov. 16:18).

          It is venues such as this one, and the journey and stance taken by people of courage such as Jen Fishburne, that provides the conduit for genuine healing to occur in the hearts and minds of those most directly affected by VF and what has occurred in the case of Doug Phillips.

          Unfortunately, from a spiritual perspective, there is no question as to whether or not DP has reproduced “according to his kind” in the case of others who have modeled their own life and ministry by following in his footsteps. Whether or not these men are able to break free and to take an objective look at the “fruit of the poisonous tree” remains to be seen.

          Sowing and reaping is God’s way of allowing people to observe the quality of “fruit” that becomes the substance of our lives (Gal. 6:7, 8). The ripple effect of careless “sowing” however, has an effect not only on ourselves, but also on the lives of others. You reap WHAT you sow, MORE than you sow, and LATER than you sow, and thus the series of cause and effect spreads outward into a “harvest” that brings with it hurt, pain and disappointment. My prayers are with those people who have been hurt and continue to suffer because of the insensitive actions of others who knew what was the right thing to do, but chose to do otherwise.

      • Andrew McDonald Says:


        • Teresa N Says:


          You are well written and you should have your own blog or do you? I really enjoy reading your comments. Thank you.

        • Truehart Says:


          You are very kind. You might say, I am “between” blogs at this point in time, but I do intend to set one up very soon and share some of the things I have written. I really appreciate your encouragement and am thankful to have the opportunity to participate in this discussion here.

      • Mick Says:

        Trueheart – very well said. The key, as you point out is, “this is the ONLY way.” Whenever liberty is sacrificed, control is right around the corner. Humility is lost.

        • Just a shadow Says:

          True Heart – your comment was beautiful! Your insights from being raised JW resonate with many things/mindsets I witnessed in the VF/BCA world. Wow! Lots to ponder from your post!

      • Joyelle Says:

        Excellent thoughts! Thank you for taking the time to articulate and share.

  43. Observer Says:

    I have always wondered about Pharisee culture of which the evangelical culture has ALWAYS flirted with in various ways. I have never really quite understood the destructive power it has over all of us. But Jesus is very, very stern. Here we find the extremes of legalism played out.

    • Truehart Says:

      I believe the words of Jesus clue us in to what happens in the lives of people:

      “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36). The difference between Jesus and the Pharisees was a matter of perspective, and what is found in the heart.

      When the Pharisees saw the “multitudes” they saw opportunity to benefit for themselves — their religious motives saw them as “things” to be owned, controlled and manipulated. They were always looking out for their own advantage and welfare, rather than what was in the best interest of the people entrusted into their care.

      When Jesus saw the “multitudes” He had a heart of “compassion” εσπλαγχνισθη — the deepest part of His being was moved with a genuine love for THEM. He understood their weariness and the oppression that was evident in their lives and He cared about them. They were “scattered” — not only in the bondage of the dysfunction of Roman society as it blended with Jewish culture, but also in their hearts and minds. The word means ‘downcast’ and discouraged. He became their “good Shepherd” who came to give His very life for the “sheep” (John 10:11).

      The Pharisees were not devoted to ministering to the deepest needs of the human heart, providing care, comfort or protection. Instead of being the solution, they had become part of the problem itself. Jesus came to give them “rest” for their souls (Matt. 11:29).

      Evangelical pastors, churches and ministries have often become so consumed by demographics, slogans, and protecting the “image” of what they pretend to convey that it overshadows the heart of the “shepherd” to invested the time in caring for the needs of the “sheep” even at the expense of his own discomfort. This does not mean that ‘all pastors’ and ‘leaders’ have fallen into this mentality, but the temptation is there as an ever-present danger.of what CAN happen. When ministries become all about marketing their “products” than having a positive and lasting impact on the lives of the people, their time of being called ‘pastors’ and ‘leaders’ has ceased.

      I once was invited to attend a particular church only to later discover that having been asked to attend was all part of a “contest” to see which team to bring the most visitors. I felt used and having been invited for all the wrong reasons. It should never have been about “the numbers” — it should have been about the relationships..

    • Mick Says:

      Observer, I think it’s important to remember that any believer with a discernment/prophecy bent (gift) is going to be tempted into Pharisaicalism/legalism. Temptation, here, is a certainty. But temptation is not sin. Keeping ourselves in the Spirit and in humility under the Word helps to prevent us plunging into this error. On the other side of the spectrum is the equal and opposite error: grace-license (some call it cheap grace).

      These two errors have a foundation in man and not God. They’re 2 different ways to move away from God, but all the while appearing to be moving closer to Him. I think you’ll find these errors exist beyond the evangelical church.

      The homeschool/FIC movement almost invariably will be tempted into the legalism error. It’s a complete natural (i.e., non-spiritual) fit. These are well-meaning believers who see error in liberalism and secularism and want to raise their children to be courageous, unapologetic Christians ready to do battle against the secularist encroachment of our beloved nation. There’s good in that and then there’s something else in that. The something else is a love of country and wanting the larger culture (and ourselves) to benefit from Christian/conservative principle. That part isn’t necessarily a mission of God and I think in a way, a backdoor to getting off track with the Spirit. I can attest to experiencing it first hand and contributing to it first hand. I left one FIC for various reasons not necessarily related to legalism, but once I left, I saw that error in them and in myself.

      You can’t do the Lord’s work well and for very long if it’s under your will and power.

      • Observer Says:

        Mick: Gotta totally agree with you on that. Being a part of the Reformed faith (which I am) the temptation will tend to go an over-doctrinaire position. I did not mention the other part of the spectrum –license and cheap grace. Invariably both positions end up in the same place, away from God and into sin. Whenever one majors on the minors, the major loses…. Thanks for the correction on my omission.

        • Truehart Says:


          The key in our relationship with God is in the necessity from a proper balance. There is an inseparable connection between “orthodoxy” and “orthopraxy” and how both aspects find harmony. When “doctrine” is divorced from its proper balance within a practical relationship with God, it often evolves into “cold legalism” rooted in intellectualism and an emphasis on believing the “right” things. When practical relationship with God is divorced from relationship with God, it tends to evolve into “sentimental emotionalism” and an emphasis on subjective “feelings”. There is a Biblical construct that sees the balance between what one BELIEVES and what one DOES as the manifestation or demonstration of “faith”.

          The natural human tendency is that which navigates toward the extremes instead of finding that the reality that loving God and loving others provides the very balance that is needed. Love for God motivates the believer to seek to understand what the Bible teaches, but also becomes the source of motivation for how the principles are applied in relationships with other people. Virtually every thought, word, and action can be traced back to the source from which it arises, thus providing the true intent, desire or motivation involved.

          Love for God means that we understand WHY He says that fornication and adultery represent a a decision that has consequences. LOVE is not RESTRICTIVE, it is PROTECTIVE because God always knows what is best for our lives (See Deut. 6:24).

          Love for others means that we understand WHY fornication and adultery represent a decision that has consequences to the person or others who would be hurt by our actions.. LOVE is not RESTRICTIVE it is PREVENTATIVE because God know the effects our actions have not only on ourselves, but also on the lives of other people.

          Paul writes: “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:10).

          What DP has done violates the very purpose of love itself. It is not that he just “broke a commandment” (or multiple commandments as the case may be), but his thoughts, words and actions were contrary to God’s nature (I John 4:8).

          Legalism never promotes righteousness, but only makes whatever activity is under consideration to become a kind of “forbidden fruit” and the enticement is thus enhanced. Love always does what is best for others around us, without regard to our own wants or needs.

          “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3, 4).

          This, according to the apostle Paul is the “balance” of what relationship with God looks like.

        • Observer Says:

          Are you a pastor? 🙂

        • Truehart Says:


          Your question, “Are you a pastor?” either means that I could “plead the 5th” or that I “have the right to remain silent”

          The answer to your question is that I am not currently engaged in full time pastoral ministry, but I may return to ministry in the near future.

        • Observer Says:

          Ok, thanks.

          On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 7:10 PM, Jen’s Gems — Doug Phillips’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny and Abuse wrote:

          > Truehart commented: “Observer Your question, “Are you a pastor?” > either means that I could “plead the 5th” or that I “have the right to > remain silent” The answer to your question is that I am not currently > engaged in full time pastoral ministry, but I may return to min” >

        • cptruthlover Says:

          I think they were asking because us laypeople have no clue what some of those words mean. Lots of laughs:)

        • Truehart Says:


          I apologize to those who need to pray for the “gift of interpretation” in order to understand what I am saying 🙂 I suppose the bottom line is that the greatest evidence of balance is when what we SAY about loving God and loving others is when we are DOING it and LIVING out that love in the reality of our lives.

          When I was in seminary, one Professor always reminded us “preacher students” was: “If you cannot confuse people in English, then use the Greek to confuse them!”

        • Observer Says:


        • Corrine Says:


        • Mykl Says:

          Thank you, Truehart. It was worth reading this whole thread to read some really balanced thinking. I’m also glad to see folks here are glad to hear it. 🙂

      • Grace alone Says:


        • Freedom from Chaos Says:

          I just happened to come across this link………..I cannot say how much it is the HYPOCRISY that just really so disturbs me. I have more respect for being honest, humble & did I say HONEST about our struggles. Just cannot wrap my mind around why even put on the false pretense of cherishing your wife & children by statements like this:

          “And this is what I feel compelled to say: Tonight, stop and take a really good look at your spouse. Next, look at each of your children. Look really, really long and hard. Take a moment and thank God for every whisper of a moment that God has given you with them. Thank God for the little kisses offered, the stories told, the tickles dispensed, the games played, the readings shared, the silent moments cherished, the victories experienced, the losses endured, the kind words presented , the songs sung, the glances exchanged. These moments not only count for eternity, but they will be remembered for the next billion years after you leave this minuscule moment in time called “life.” Every moment with your loved one matters. Someday they or you will be gone. Every conversation matters. Every kind deed in the name of Christ matters. It all matters.”

          It is CRAZY! Please, I have lived this, I just still do not understand how someone can live a double-life and completely lie to those they “love”. DO NOT GET IT!

  44. oneh20 Says:

    Reading up on the Stockholm Syndrome where the abused protects the abuser:

  45. 12510ken Says:

    Jen and all who are contributing to the information now coming out: My family and I JUST FOUND OUT, and the way we found out was because my daughter was looking something up on the internet, and something about Doug Phillips showed up. She wasn’t even looking for anything having to do with Doug Phillips!!! We have ordered from their VF catalog probably since its inception. So, for any of you thinking that everybody already knows, I am sorry but you are wrong about that. Please keep the information coming, Jen and TW Eston and anyone else who is going to share FACTUAL information. We need to know. Thank you and God bless you all!!!

    • Donna Says:

      I agree, not everyone knows. While we know several people who are or were DP/VF “fans”, we also have several peers who just don’t spend much time on the internet, and are not in circles where DP is necessarily “followed” (even though many know who he is and have heard of VF, perhaps even ordered from them).

    • Jen Says:

      Thank you, 12510ken. I have reason to believe that many in the community don’t know much of anything either. For those who purpose to look it up, they know. But there are thousands of others who are still in the dark, so please share the truth with your friends, if they don’t already know.

  46. Steven B. Says:

    “My purpose is not to gossip.” You go to a gossip hate blog, and you seriously expect anyone with half a brain to believe that? You’re fooling yourself more then you are fooling anyone else with your stories.

    • just a shadow Says:

      Steven B ( er, former VF intern now without a job) –

      Did you miss the part where DP himself publicly acknowledged his infidelity?

      Did you miss the part where his former pastor(Gifford) spoke out and said DP *lied* to him repeatedly?

      Did you miss all the comment from people who have been members of DP’s church?

      Did you miss the letter from Scott Brown himself that speaks of the infidelities(plural)?

      Did you miss the FB post & comments from Peter Bradrick, former personal assistant to DP?

      Did you miss the comments from Homeschool Royalty in support of Peter?

      Did you miss the post on Peter’s page from Little Bear Wheeler telling him “good job” basically?

      Did you miss the comments from another recent DP mentor -Joe Morecraft- Did you listen to his sermons dealing with this issue?

      If you lived anywhere NEAR the community and knew ANYONE in it you would know that this is not gossip.

      Or maybe you do know it * isn’t* gossip, but it’s hard to see your world burning down around you?

      Advice: Get to college quick or learn a trade.

      The path to an easy income/fame via shaking the right hands, being from the right (well off) VF royalty families, having the correct “presuppositional orthopraxy” just pretty much dried up.

      Grow up and learn to do what most honest Christians do for a living:


  47. Nooney Youknow Says:

    Steven B’s comments are consistent a person who is brainwashed: lashing out and attacking the critics. I was once part of a group called Indianapolis Church started by Mike Peters. The group had similar tendencies to push aside valid suspicions in deference to Mr. Peters who is regarded as an apostle. They too lash out at anyone, especially members, who suggest problems exist, especially if it’s with their Leader.

  48. Melisa Says:

    I am so very sorry for the people involved, and those effected. I have tried to bring up things in my neck of the woods about it and other issues. The silent looks says it all. This is all so very Reformation/ Papal isn’t it. To anyone who speaks truth in a dark and dying world is a traitor. FREEDOM! Where the spirit of The Lord is there is Liberty” 2Corinthians 3:17 Millions have died for it politically, religiously, and here we still fall prey. And all the sheeple say Baaaa! I am laughing at myself out loud there, that’s all. Truly hope and pray Jesus will be Glorified in the outcomes and justice is served.

  49. Melisa Says:

    Where’s the fish hat? Maybe the NEW way to go would be the Big top hat with a buckle. Is that the new official I’m a tyrant garb for the twenty first century? Sorry, but you have got to laugh at this sometimes. And the bigger the I’m a Christian Family Man the facade the Harder they fall. I know it’s not true of everyone, but buyer beware! I actually discuss now with my kids when things come in the mail what messages they convey and hidden messages like the “you can buy a happy family/marriage!” We should a all be very watchful, redeeming the times for the day is evil!

  50. mandy Says:

    wow! I’m not even sure how I landed here but I read through your whole story { maybe The Busy Mom?}. I had always admired the VF catalog for homeschooling supplies, but I never really fell into their beliefs {or, I suppose,even knew what they were}. I’m a Christian, but not Calvanist, so maybe that’s why. It makes me sick to think of all of you who have experienced such a misrepresentation of Christ and what the church was called to be. I’m SHOCKED! Our fellowship preaches the gospel EVERY.SERVICE. Genesis? you get the gospel. Revelation? you get the gospel. Isaiah? the gospel. I suppose I am more blessed than I realized that I have always gone to churches that preach Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Praying for you sisters in Christ.

    • Donna Says:

      Mandy, I hope you’re not implying that Calvinists DON’T preach Christ. Doug Phillips does NOT represent me or my family or our church’s beliefs. That man puts SHAME on those of who believe in the Sovereign Grace of God, and on the name of Christ directly. He may be a Calvinist (or so he claims), but he’s branded his own form of theology and legalism just the same as Bill Gothard has (who has just resigned while being “investigated” for his OWN 30+ years worth of s*xual and spiritual abuse — and I put “investigated” in quotes because he’s being “investigated” by one of his own), and Gothard is most definitely NOT a Calvinist. This is NOT a “Calvinism” problem.

      So no, the fact you’re a “Christian but not a Calvinist” is NOT why you never fell into VF’s beliefs. I know MANY Calvinists who never got caught up in the teachings of VF and its kind, even though they may have purchased some of their products along the way.

      • mandy Says:

        wow! If you go back and read my comment I did not intend in any way to say Calvanists didn’t preach Christ. I am saying that that is why I stayed clear of the DP/VF ideology to begin with. Are all Calvanists followers of theirs? no. Nor did I say that. I just meant that for me it was a barrier to accepting what he preached at the forefront. It was my deterrent from the start. So, YES, in fact, that is why I never fell into his teachings. 🙂 FYI, I have many very close friends who are Calvanists. Please don’t take my innocent statement and turn it around on me. I was trying to be kind. I never said it was anything about Calvanists vs. other Christians at all!

  51. Leslie Says:

    Jen and T. W., are you two done commenting???

  52. Shelly Says:

    Christians?…. I would say “Sharks” on a feeding frenzy. Even if every bit of information on this blog was true (and it’s not), the way this information is presented (and enjoyed) is completely unbiblical. I am astounded and ashamed of the excitement with which this topic is discussed. It’s so sad to see so many ‘Christians’ so willing to pick up the stones ready to pass judgment over something they have only learned about on the internet. So much of what is stated here is true. But so much is also false and inflammatory just to juicy up the story. And y’all are falling for it. Please, please check yourselves and the things you are so willing to believe at the cost of others. Before God, our sin is not measured. Sin is sin. It is we humans that measure each others sin so as to make us feel better about our fallen selves. We ALL need the blood of Jesus to cover our sins before a Holy God. Jesus asked her “Where are your accusers?” And need I remind anyone… Who is the Accuser of the Brethren?

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