Biblical Support

Confronting Pharisees — Matthew 23

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
“Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Gal. 2:11-14
Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?

Eph. 5:11
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

I Tim. 1:18-20
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

1 Timothy 5:19-20

Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

II Tim. 2:15-18

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

II Tim. 4:10
For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.

II Tim. 4:14-15
Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.

II Peter 2:1
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

III John 9-10
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

Rev. 2:14
But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel,

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2 Responses to “Biblical Support”

  1. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Dear Jen,

    I used to attend (non-member) the same church as Doug Phillips on the rare occasions that he and his family showed up back in 98-2000 (Grace OPC on 10 South just inside 1604). My husband and I knew Doug’s father and were so excited to meet him, until we met him at church. I immediately pegged Doug that very afternoon (back in 99) because of my experience in a neo-shepherding discipleship movement church ( originally a late ’60s and 70’s Charismatic group) which basically held the same legalistic doctrines as extreme patriarchy. Prior to our move to TX in 97, my dh and I spent four years in this very cultic church (seemed perfect at first) which was strongly influenced by Bill Gothard, a teflon, cradle-to -grave ministry leader that operates nearly the same as Doug has since he spearheaded his Family Integrated Church movement and stole several families from the Grace OPC congregation.

    In response to Doug’s bizzare and inmature behavior toward Andrew Sandlin of the Center for Chrisitan Leadership (CCL) in 2003 concerning patriarchy, I wrote an article for CCL addressing Doug’s style of cultic Christianity, especially the mysogenous aspects. It was trenchant but not at all obviously directed at Doug and patriarchy–just the trend of the tyrannical when you worship family above Jesus.

    If you would like a copy, I’d love to send you one. Please tell me where I can mail it. (I don’t have it on disc). I would also encourage you to read “Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships” by Janja Lalich and “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” by Johnson and VanVonderan. If you feel especially brave, check this information on the dynamics of cults. I know that my hair nearly curled (due to the accuracy) when this info was presented to me:
    (I just listened to an on-line lecture from MIT’s school of ethics by Zimbardo on his new book “The Lucifer Effect”. The unbalanced power structure and shifting from personal cognitive to social decision making themes seemed to apply strongly to Doug’s dynamics. That book would probably be instructive too.) And for any interested in the sequelae of extreme Baptist legalism and Bill Gothard, hop on and get a copy of “Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life”by Don Veinot.

    Thank you for sacrificing so much time and effort to confront the tyranny that you endured. From the literature concerning authoritarian systems, only about 20% of all people who fall under the influence of such a system will directly suffer and a much lesser percentage of people will actually leave. Because of the suggestion that a church or a minister represents God or the Body of Christ (despite abuses), those who leave usually flip right into another controlling church with similar dyanmics because of the pain of conflict and “touching not God’s anointed”. A very few percentage of those who leave will rise to the occasion and speak out against spiritual abuse because it is so personally traumatic. I applaud you and your mighty efforts during what I experienced as tremendous personal stress in my own similar experience of departure from a very similar group.

    Finding this site was a very refreshing surprise. I’d dismissed the subject of Doug until a ministry that I’ve supported for many years began to feature Vision Forum’s materials. I didn’t expect to find any “corroborating evidence” for my opinion concerning Doug until his own children started into full adulthood. Over the past year, this ministry has invited Doug to speak numerous times (concerning American history), so my dh and I decided to cease financial support to that ministry. The people with whom I’ve spoken at that ministry (primarily concerned with America’s Christian Heritage) think I’m some kind of total lunatic for daring to speak out against Doug and especially for withdrawing contributions because they vicariously benefit Doug’s image. I feel strongly that providing Doug with a platform on their dias legitimizes all of his endeavors and vicariously approves of his sociopathic behavior. I will refer that ministry to your website in hopes that they will publically distance themselves from him.

    I looked at the website for Boerne Christian Assembly for the first time today and found it amusing that there is more “Epstein Damage Control” information and disclaimers distancing BCA from Vision Forum and Doug than there is information about the fellowship. (They did at least have a doctrinal statment.) In that way, they serve as the biggest propagators of their own, bad press. You tend not to make a big fuss over comments that are not true or threatening. A wise and secure person (or group) will make no comment and ingnore dissent. Congratulations and keep on intimidating the weak and be abundantly blessed above all you can ask or think!

    En agape,
    Cindy Kunsman

  2. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    I hastily posted this comment yesterday under a misleading heading: Biblical Support. My apologies that there is no directly Biblical material in my post. I also referred to CCL incorrectly as the Center for Christian Leadership and not the correct title of Center for Cultural Leadership (

    Hurray!! I am still thrilled to see this website. I do not rejoice in anyone’s demise and it is disturbing to know that such abuses take place within Christian circles. But is is so sweet to my soul to see someone establish a forum such as this to sound the warning and facilitate the liberation and healing of others who have likewise suffered.


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