In an online public statement at Vision Forum Ministries, on October 30, Doug Phillips admitted to, and repented of, a “lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman.”
He stepped down as president of Vision Forum Ministries and stopped all speaking engagements. It is unclear if he has stepped down as an Elder at Boerne Christian Assembly (his name is still listed on the website).[UPDATE: sometime on November 4 the church website removed his name.]
“In light of the serious sins which have resulted in Doug Phillips’s resignation from Vision Forum Ministries, the Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interests of all involved to discontinue operations. We have stopped receiving donations, and are working through the logistical matters associated with the closing of the ministry.
In a surprising turn of events, Doug Phillips, of the ultra-conservative Vision Forum Inc., posted a Clarification on Resignation, dated November 14, 2013. Desiring to “clear up some matters” surrounding the details of his extramarital affair that he repented of earlier, he wrote:
“Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years.”
As his previous resignation and repentance noted, the relationship was such that they did “not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense.”
With the recent resignation of Mr. Phillips and theclosing of his organization, Vision Forum Ministries, there is much speculation on how that will impact the greater homeschooling and conservative Christian communities.
The impact may challenge followers to rethink the practices and teaching taught by this organization. So for those pastors and families unaware of the views of Mr. Phillips and his organization, this top five list will help you evaluate their continued influence.
There are five claims summarized with a short rebuttal:
With Mr. Phillip’s recent public admission of an “inappropriate relationship” with another woman, there has been much speculation on internet websites and blogs.
Not all the speculation is coming from those who disagree with his approach to patriarchy,homeschooling or family integrated churches. Some who think well of him have assumed things not specifically written in his resignation letter. Of course, some who disagree with him have also assumed things not specifically written in his resignation letter.
But it is the local governing body that knows the details.
This particular news site has written many reviews and articles on Doug Phillips, Vision Forum, and other related ministries and conferences in the last several years, so they are well acquainted with Doug Phillips and his teachings. I would recommend exploring some of their related stories and links as well.
Former Vision Forum Ministries president Doug Phillips reiterated yesterday that his decision to resign from his leadership position was the proper outcome following his acknowledgement that he had “inappropriate relationship” with a woman who was not his wife.
“Some have suggested that my sin was not sufficiently serious to step down. Let me be clear: it absolutely does merit my resignation. My resignation is sincere and necessary given the weightiness of my sin,” Phillips said in astatement on the Vision Forum Ministries website on Nov. 14.
Phillips also elaborated on the details of his relationship which he had previously only disclosed as “inappropriately romantic and affectionate” and asserted that he had not known the woman in a “Biblical sense.”
“Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years,” Phillips wrote.
I would like to express my gratitude for the great kindness so many have shown to my family in the wake of my stepping down as president of Vision Forum Ministries. My family has been greatly encouraged by many loving notes we have received. With that in mind, I want to be so very clear about the rightness of this transition, and I want to clear up some matters which have been brought to my attention. My sin has resulted in great pain within the Body of Christ, some confusion, and has given the enemies of God reason to rejoice. This is heartbreaking to me. Some have suggested that my sin was not sufficiently serious to step down. Let me be clear: it absolutely does merit my resignation. My resignation is sincere and necessary given the weightiness of my sin. Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years. The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance, but I just want to be clear for the sake of peace within the Body of Christ, that the tragic events we are experiencing, including the closing of Vision Forum Ministries are my fault, and that I am sincere that I should not be in leadership, but must spend this season of my life quietly walking a path of proven repentance. Please pray for the Phillips family, the Board, and the men who have made up the staff of Vision Forum Ministries.
I want to be clear on my own part that I am NOT Doug Phillips’ enemy. I want God’s best for him and his family, which is why I am here. Sometimes tough love is necessary, and that is the kind of love I have toward Doug right now.
I also want to be clear that I am in no way rejoicing over this. What has happened has not only sent ripples throughout the “community,” and has affected the larger Christian homeschooling communities, but leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those who are looking in from the outside as well. While I believe that Doug Phillips is reaping what he has sown, it brings me no joy whatsoever. I would much rather that he would have repented years ago when his sins and the consequences would have been smaller. But, they still continue to grow. And I still see no true repentance on Doug Phillips’ part.
Doug Phillips states his resignation is sincere and necessary. Of course it was necessary, but how can you have an insincere resignation? Did he really think through his words here? Did he mean that his repentance was sincere, but he was so focused on the devastation of his resignation that he said “resignation” accidentally? Or does he expect us to think better of him because he states that his resignation was sincere? Yes, the board “sincerely” forced Doug Phillips to step down!
I do agree with Doug that we should not be speculating on the specifics of what has happened. I sincerely believe that this woman should be the one to come forward and tell her story. It is no one’s business to postulate certain things about her that are not true. Speaking from experience, I know that the best thing I ever did was to come out and tell my side of the story here, admitting to my part and my sins, as well as telling the facts of the story. I hope this young woman will do the same. It will free her from the guilt and shame that she is unnecessarily bringing upon herself right now. I know that she will be amazed by the support and help that many, many others are willing to show her, that she will know the freedom of not having to live in “hiding,” and that she will be able to begin healing.
This “clarification” from Doug Phillips simply confirms that I still see no true repentance and that this is a slick political move that sets him up for a season of “repentance” before he makes a big comeback in a year or two. When Doug Phillips rights the wrongs he has committed against dozens and dozens of people, as well as this other woman, his wife and family, then I will begin listening to his words of repentance.
Wesley Strackbein, a spokesperson for Vision Forum, told The Christian Post that while the non-profit will cease to exist, the board is currently deliberating on whether the organizations’ conferences, workshops, film festival (which was canceled a week before Phillips’ announcement) and other programs, will continue apart from the organization.
It has also been confirmed that while Phillips’ former non-profit employer will shutter, he will maintain control of his for-profit company, Vision Forum Inc., which sells books, audio lectures, and toys that promote the organization’s conservative beliefs.
There are several news media sources who are reporting on what is going on with Doug Phillips and Vision Forum right now. I am getting multiple requests for more people who are willing to talk to the media. You may use your name or be anonymous. If you homeschooled your children or you were homeschooled, and you were impacted by patriarchy, and you are willing to discuss it with the media, or if you would like to tell your story here, please let me know. If you were impacted by Doug Phillips and you would like to talk about it, please let me know. I do NOT post anything here without permission first. I have had many phone calls, personal conversations, and emails in the last couple weeks, but I do not ever break a confidence.
Please consider if sharing your thoughts would help the community of homeschoolers to bring healing to this situation right now.
You may use this form to directly contact me (this goes ONLY to me) or you may click on the email below my pic to the right.
The leader of a conservative Christian family organization has resigned from the non-profit after admitting to having an affair, however, he will still maintain ownership of the related for-profit company.
Doug Phillips, whose organization Vision Forum advocates for “Biblical patriarchy,” admitted to having committed a “serious sin” and claimed that he had confessed it his “wife and family, [his] local church, and the board of Vision Forum Ministries.”
“I engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman. While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate,” wrote Phillips.
Despite the fact that Phillips asserted that he would no longer be “giving speeches or running conferences at this time of my life under the banner of VFI or VFM” and leading “a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier,” he also explained that he had not completely divorced himself from influence within the organization.
“I retain ownership of Vision Forum, Inc,” he wrote on the organization’s blog on November 6.
To read the rest of the article, which quotes one supporter and one ex-supporter, here is the rest of the article.
Our local paper, The San Antonio Express News, also published an article about Doug Phillips yesterday, although only subscribers can read the full article. Here is the beginning of the article:
SAN ANTONIO — A noted leader in conservative Christian home-schooling circles has stepped down from his San Antonio-based ministry after acknowledging an extramarital relationship.
Doug Phillips of Vision Forum Ministries said in an online statement that he resigned as its president and from its board and ended his public speaking schedule.
He founded the ministry and its affiliated for-profit business, Vision Forum Inc., which sells books, CDs, films, toys and other items for the home-school market.
The statement, which described “serious sin in my life for which God has graciously brought me to repentance,” sent ripples through the Christian blogosphere. Phillips, married with eight children, has a loyal following but also critics who consider him unaccountable and authoritarian.
To read the rest of Abe Levy’s story, trending in the Most Popular section right now, you must be a subscriber, but here is the link.
Second, these pictures were taken in February. If there was true repentance in February, why the need to step down in October?
Take a look for yourself, but just in case they come down off the blog, I will preserve them here for others to decide if Doug Phillips is confessing before his smiling wife on opening night of this grand event?
Doug Phillips, an outspoken proponent of male “dominion” over women and a leading home-schooling activist, has stepped down as president of his Texas-based Vision Forum Ministries after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a woman.
After cancelling all planned speaking engagements, Phillips, however, on Wednesday (Nov. 6) said he will still maintain ownership of the affiliated Vision Forum Inc., a for-profit company.
Phillips, who has eight children with his wife Beall, wrote on the ministry website on Oct. 30 that he would step down as a ministry leader.
“I engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman,” he wrote. “While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.”
Calls to Vision Forum Ministries were not returned.
Doug Phillips, the Home School Movement’s leading Quiverful Patriarch resigned from Vision Forum Ministries, admitting a “lengthy inappropriate relationship” with a woman. It appears that while as he has been fighting homosexuality and feminism as threats to marriage, he has actually been the threat.
His supporters are lauding his resignation letter as appropriately contrite repentance and arguing that this has no bearing on the validity of Biblical Patriarchy. But actually it does, making this more important than another hypocritical cheating scandal.
Phillips is a key figure bringing Christian Reconstruction into the larger home school world. Building upon R.J. Rushdoony’s postmillennialism and “Biblical Philosophy of History,” he teaches home-schooling families to “exercise dominion” through 200-year plans, “multi-generational faithfulness” and “Biblical Patriarchy.”
His influence is hard to overstate; there is barely a part of the home-school movement his empire has not touched. He started as an attorney at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), is a sought-after speaker at home school conventions and Vision Forum sponsors well-attended conferences of its own. Phillips was a founder of the patriarchal Family Integrated Church Movement. He has close partnerships with Henry Morris at Institute for Creation Research, the Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting and actor-turned-Christian activist Kirk Cameron.
To read the rest of the article about how Doug Phillips’ resignation fits into his 200-year plan, read here.
For years, Doug Phillips called me to repentance. He required that those in his congregation call me to repentance. In fact, that was the only contact they were allowed to have with me, and still are. For years, I asked what sin I had committed so that I could truly repent. At the time, I wanted nothing more than to be restored to good fellowship, but no one was ever able to identify my sin. Now, I am certainly far from perfect, but in this case, I had done nothing worthy of being excommunicated and shunned, and my kids certainly had done nothing worthy of their being excommunicated and shunned, simply because they were my children. But, nonetheless, I have been called to repentance for years now.
Now the tables have turned, but now I am NOT going to call Doug Phillips to repentance.
Let me repeat that. I am NOT calling Doug Phillips to repentance.
I’ll get to that in a minute, but first, let’s look at repentance. Ironically, Doug Phillips posted an article just a couple months ago, entitled “True Repentance.” This was written by Doug Phillips himself on August 7, 2013. If my memory serves me correctly, he has written this article before and this is probably an updated, edited version. Nevertheless, the topic is still fresh in his mind.
Article: Too often “repentance” is the experience of offering a half-hearted and self-serving apology to God and man, mixed with large amounts of blame-shifting, pride, and a desire to be done with the whole matter so you don’t ever have to deal with it again. It is the “I have said I am sorry on my terms and in my way, and there is nothing more I need to do, so if that is not good enough for you, then you are the one in sin” attitude.
The Bible describes this attitude as “the sorrow of the world [which] produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10). It is a false sorrow, a self-centered and self-serving sorrow. Evidences of worldly sorrow include fear of bad results, a sense of pressure caused by the consequences of sin, and embarrassment over “getting caught.” Worldly sorrow may result in partial repentance accompanied by the telling of half-truths and admission of just enough wrongdoing, and no more, than is necessary. Worldly sorrow is often accompanied by arrogance and pride, because, at the end of the day, the sinner does not believe his crimes are really that bad—at least, they are not as bad as the other guy’s crimes.
This is a sorrow that leaves injured parties worse off because they are expected to accept the apology of one who is at best “sorry” with qualifications and reservations, unwilling to make the injured party whole.
While Doug Phillips’ Statement of Resignation is not an official statement of repentance, am I the only one who detects many of the above characteristics of “worldly sorrow” in this statement?
With thanksgiving to God for His mercy and love, I have stepped down from the office of president at Vision Forum Ministries and have discontinued my speaking responsibilities.
There has been serious sin in my life for which God has graciously brought me to repentance. I have confessed my sin to my wife and family, my local church, and the board of Vision Forum Ministries. I engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman. While we did not “know” each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.
There are no words to describe the magnitude of shame I feel, or grief from the injury I caused my beloved bride and children, both of whom have responded to my repentance with what seems a supernatural love and forgiveness. I thought too highly of myself and behaved without proper accountability. I have acted grievously before the Lord, in a destructive manner hypocritical of life messages I hold dear, inappropriate for a leader, abusive of the trust that I was given, and hurtful to family and friends. My church leadership came alongside me with love and admonition, providing counsel, strong direction and accountability. Where I have directly wronged others, I confessed and repented. I am still in the process of trying to seek reconciliation privately with people I have injured, and to be aware of ways in which my own selfishness has hurt family and friends. I am most sensitive to the fact that my actions have dishonored the living God and been shameful to the name of Jesus Christ, my only hope and Savior.
This is a time when my repentance needs to be proven, and I need to lead a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier, not a ministry leader. Though I am broken over my failures, I am grateful to be able to spend more time with my family, nurturing my wife and children and preparing my older sons and daughters for life. So, for these reasons I want to let my friends know that I have stepped down as a board member and as president of Vision Forum Ministries. The Board will be making provision for the management of the ministry during this time. To the friends of this ministry, I ask for your forgiveness, and hope that you will pray for the Phillips family at this time, and for the men who will be responsible for shepherding the work of Vision Forum Ministries in the future.
In the True Repentance article, Doug Phillips goes on to describe godly sorrow. The article is actually very good, and well worth reading in whole, but let me pull a few quotes from each section of Doug’s description of godly sorrow:
Brokenness: Those who experience true brokenness over sin are overwhelmed by the enormity of their crime. … He is deeply grieved that he has injured his brother. He enters into the pain of those whom he has wronged, and his heart is full of compassion for them because of the trouble his sin has caused. A truly repentant man is therefore a humble man who thinks less of himself and more of those he has injured.
Forsaking Sin: One of the clearest signs of worldly sorrow and false repentance is that, once caught, the sinner simply transfers his sin to another venue.
Truth Telling: Those who experience godly sorrow and true repentance will therefore tell the whole truth. They will not play word games or withhold those facts which would make them look worse.
Acceptance of Responsibility: True godly sorrow necessarily requires the sinner to take full responsibility for his actions. If you have ever listened to a person “repent” by making excuses for their actions, shifting blame, accusing others in the process, or telling half-truths, you can be sure that this person does not have godly sorrow and, therefore, is not repentant.
Restitution: It is not enough that they will cease and desist from the wrongdoing. They will do whatever is necessary to heal those they have injured by restoring to them what they have taken. Godly sorrow produces such compassion for the injured party that the penitent man aches to bring health and wholeness to those he has injured.
Peace: The man who experiences a godly sorrow unto repentance desires to live at peace with those he has injured, and all the more so when sin has brought strife and division between fellow believers. A sinner who grieves over his sin will go to great lengths to seek peace with those he has injured.
When we first get caught doing something harmful to others, our natural human response is, “I’m sorry I got caught.” That is natural, normal, and just part of the process of being human. That is what the Bible terms as “worldly sorrow.” But “godly sorrow” leads to true repentance. So how do we get from “worldly sorrow” to “godly sorrow?” If we call someone to repentance, will they suddenly turn around and go in the other direction, which we often term as “repentance,” and then will they find “godly sorrow” when they turn their lives around?
Paul tells us just the opposite, that “godly sorrow” itself is what produces repentance. Calling someone to repentance does not produce godly sorrow, but the godly sorrow will inevitably lead to a true repentance.
What is true repentance? Is it just turning around and going in the opposite direction? No, I don’t believe so. That would be a natural result of repentance, but that is not repentance itself. Repentance is simply a changed heart. The only true change in our lives comes from a change deep in our hearts, when we allow God to simply love us. When we come to understand how much God truly loves us, our hearts melt before Him. When we come to realize that God loves us, no matter what “sin” we commit, our hearts are reshaped into love. When we experience God’s unconditional love even in our own self-imposed conditions, we are broken in love.
Let’s break this down a bit. First, we do something that hurts someone else. In this case, Doug Phillips’ relationship with this woman was over a very long period of time. Then we get caught. What is the natural, normal, human response to getting caught? Worldly sorrow. “I’m sorry I got caught.” That appears to be the stage that Doug Phillips is currently in. That is normal. As Doug Phillips comes to realize that God is not angry with him, that God is not keeping a record of Doug’s wrongs, that God has already paid for all his sins, that God is not standing over him with a big hammer, that God is simply loving him like He always does, then, and only then, will Doug’s heart be broken enough to accept God’s love for him. When Doug Phillips comes to know how much God truly does love him, when he realizes this deep inside himself even though he has preached it all his life, then, and only then, will Doug experience the depth of God’s love for him that will produce a change of heart. When Doug Phillips begins to experience this amazing love of God, Doug’s heart will soften and melt before God and before man. That melting heart will lead to godly sorrow, and that godly sorrow will lead to repentance. That repentance will be a heart change, not just turning around and going in the opposite direction.
And that is why I do NOT call Doug Phillips to repentance. The only way that Doug Phillips will experience true repentance is after he comes to know the full love of God toward him at this moment in time. And so, I simply plead with Doug Phillips to allow God to love him. There is no list of “repentance” to follow. There is no one right way to make things right. When there is a true heart change, we will know it. When Doug Phillips experiences the love of God in a new and fresh way, it will be apparent to everyone who knows him.
No call to repentance.
Just the love of God for each and every one of us who hurts others.
Speculation is running rampant right now regarding Doug Phillips’ recent admission of a lengthy, inappropriate relationship resulting in “serious sin” with another woman. Doug Phillips claims that he behaved without proper accountability, but how much do we really need someone else to hold our hands to keep us from “serious sin” in life? Is Doug Phillips really going to place the blame for his “serious sin” upon the shoulders of dozens and dozens of men who do hold him accountable each and every day of his life? In his statement of repentance, does he truly take responsibility or is this yet another deflection?
Let’s take a look at Doug’s daily life and see how this could possibly happen. Is it possible that the lifestyle and rules of patriarchy itself are exactly why Doug Phillips found himself on a slippery slope from which there was no return? Does patriarchy in fact encourage this kind of temptation? I believe it does and it did, in Doug Phillips’ case.
First, let’s go to work with Doug Phillips. Vision Forum’s offices and warehouse are located smack in the middle of San Antonio, TX. The men who are employed there all hold to Doug Phillips’ strict views and rules of patriarchy. Any women who work at Vision Forum come to work with their husbands, fathers, or brothers. There are no unrelated women working there. There are a dozen or so men surrounding Doug and his office at any given moment. To reach Doug’s office, one must pass by several other men’s offices. It is practically impossible for any inappropriate relationship to take place at Vision Forum, and knowing Doug Phillips’ extremely high standards against sexual sin, this simply wouldn’t not happen at the office.
Doug Phillips attends dozens of homeschool conferences, and hosts many fabulous homeschool events put on by Vision Forum. His family attends nearly event with him, and if his whole family does not go, at least some of his children are always with him at these events. Doug Phillips is also always surrounded by his Vision Forum interns and staff at each and every one of these events and conferences. I cannot for the life of me envision Doug looking at another woman while attending these events, and he is never left alone, so I think we can cross this off our list as well.
How about doing errands around town? Not likely and not often. Doug Phillips would have absolutely zero interest in the “worldly” woman, so I do not believe that would ever happen.
Counseling? Doug Phillips was always very careful never to counsel a woman alone. I am sure that he continued that rule.
So where does that leave us? I can think of only one situation and it is not only plausible but also nearly inevitable in many patriarchal families. Patriarchy itself lends itself to this situation. Large families require a huge amount of work. Many mothers within patriarchy are worn to a frazzle and if they can afford it, they seek extra help. There are many types of help available but the most prevalent type is to hire a nanny, another young lady within the patriarchy movement who holds all the ideals of patriarchy, but is patiently waiting to get married, so she “serves” her father by serving another man and his family, taking care of his children.
In “The Return of the Daughters,” a young lady states that she cannot serve in her father’s business so she serves God and her father by serving others in the community (“community” is a codeword for those who belong to Doug Phillips’ church). The way that she serves the “community” is to be a nanny for Doug Phillips’ eight children. She is not the only nanny that the Phillips family has employed over the years, but she was featured in this documentary.
Let’s look at the type of “nanny” the Phillips family would employ.
Dresses modestly (long, full dresses
Obeys her parents, even as an adult
Obeys her elders (at church)
Courtship only (no dating or relationships with men)
Gentle, quiet spirit
Has no opinions in her own right
Does not go to college
Good with children
Cooks and cleans
Now, this is not your typical 13-year-old babysitter. This nanny is often a full-time position for a young woman in her late teens or twenties. This young woman, who most certainly has natural hormones for this age, has no outlet for relationships with men. This young woman, under the encouragement of her father, idolizes Doug Phillips. This young woman is the epitome of everything Doug Phillips preaches. She is the standard that all other young patriarchal ladies wish to aspire to. And this young woman does so with the full blessing of her father.
And she spends most of her time with the Phillips family. She is there while Doug is at work. She is often there when Doug is at home. She will even spend the night there sometimes. She is there when the family travels to homeschool conferences and Vision Forum events, where Doug has the opportunity to watch her perform her duties in a fashion that makes Doug Phillips very proud. She even goes on family vacations with the Phillips, occasionally, to help with the tremendous amount of work of taking care of eight children. She is like a second mother to the Phillips’ children.
Is it any wonder that she also becomes like a second wife to Doug Phillips as well? Here is this young woman, in her twenties, beautiful inside and outside, blindly obedient to everything she is told to do, never questioning, and absolutely idolizing this man in his forties. If this young woman spends several years practically living with the Phillips’ family, are we really so surprised that a lengthy, inappropropriate relationship develops between these two that eventually leads to serious sin?
Patriarchy itself, with all its rules and legalism, is such a heavy burden on a large family that they absolutely do need extra help. The kind of help that leads to such a slippery slope, however, goes against everything Doug Phillips preaches. Perhaps we need to go back to square one and decide if this was such a good idea.
I do not blame Doug. I do not blame this woman. I am not saying that I know who the woman is, but if anyone knows anything different from what I have presented here, I will retract my thoughts.
This is not about needing more accountability in life. Doug Phillips has more men to keep him accountable than does the president of the United States. This is not about needing more rules in life. Rules do not change our heart. This is about having a change of heart. This is about coming to realize that keeping a long list of rules just doesn’t work. No one can perfectly keep a long list of rules and God does not intend for us to do so.
In the Bible, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the “patriarchs.” Look at what happened to Abraham when Sarah’s household help was called upon to help progenate Abraham’s descendants. Look at what happened when Jacob’s wives, Leah and Rachel, couldn’t get along and asked their household help to help progenate their families as well. Perhaps, in the true sense of patriarchy, this is just a natural extension of patriarchy.
Or, perhaps, we need to reevaluate the value of patriarchy to begin with.
The “Best of Festival” Jubilee Award — a $10,000 grand prize — went to The Monstrous Regiment of Women, a fifty-four minute documentary directed and produced by the Gunn Brothers. Featuring an all star, all female cast — including Phyllis Schlafly and F. Carolyn Graglia — the film demonstrates how feminism has restricted choices for all women, brought heartache to the lives of many, and perpetuated an unprecedented holocaust through legalized abortion.
“We made Monstrous Regiment because we believe that feminism is one of the most detrimental philosophies effecting our church, family, and government,” remarked Colin Gunn, whose wife Emily co-wrote and narrated the film. “We want to thank the [Festival] for recognizing the importance of this message. We are privileged and honored to receive this award.”
This marked the second Jubilee Award for the Gunn Brothers. In 2004, they won “Best Political” for their film, Shaky Town. In addition to landing the festivals’ top honor in 2007, The Monstrous Regiment of Women took runner-up for “Best Documentary.”
From a Vision Forum email advertising their new baby doll today:
The way a child plays will influence who that child will become. And the tools of play are an important part of the equation.
Play is preparation for adulthood. Play can prepare a child for maturity or for teen rebellion. Play may breed noble dreams and actions, or it may reinforce dark and unhealthy attitudes. Play may reinforce biblical gender roles (women as mothers and homemakers; men as defenders and protectors of women; etc.), or it may supplant them with the stereotypes perpetuated by modern feminism.
But one thing is certain — play (like the rest of life) is never neutral.
Our culture is engaged in a battle for the heart and soul of the family. It is even reflected in the present doll wars. At stake is whether the play life of our children will reflect efforts to rebuild a culture of virtuous boyhood and girlhood, or whether it will focus on training the next generation of me-centered, empowered, feminists.
There is a reason why feminists hate the message of the Beautiful Girlhood Collection. They hate it because so many of the contributions to this collection emphasize a message of holy submission to the priorities of the Lord and not the feminist empowerment model. They hate it because it represents many of the historic family values of the old era of Christendom. And they hate the constant emphasis that a girl’s play should pave the way for her to better embrace the feminine models and admonitions presented in such Scriptures as Proverbs 31, Titus 2, and I Peter 3. We disagree with the feminists. We also disagree with any corporate model for success which capitalizes on the most negative influences in modern youth culture to market products to children. And we take seriously our mission to encourage, bless, and promote Christian family culture for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here we are with a typical either-or dilemma from Doug Phillips and Vision Forum: all women either hold to Doug’s version of patriarchy or they are feminists. Which camp are you in? Are there really only two choices biblically?
I was going to wait a few more days to open my blog back up again, but I just read an article called “Life in Perfect” that is simply too good to pass up! Warning: Don’t read this article while drinking hot liquids. Too much laughter while drinking hot liquids can cause damage to your computer components.
Here’s a small sample from the article:
Where the children are seen and not heard.
And so are the women.
Where vile American Girl dolls are banned.
Where people talk and write like a walking 1865 dictionary.
I don’t want to ruin it for you, so I won’t post any more of it here. What a great satire, “Ingrid”!
” In general, a cult is a small religious group outside the established churches, usually with a charismatic leader who is a strong authority figure. One psychiatrist has described cults as “religions that haven’t grown up yet.” Ray Moseley, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 3, 1978
Doug Phillips seems obsessed with the use of the word “cult” this week, so we shall attempt to determine why he is so fixated on the term. The following is an eclectic mix of certain cult characteristics I found on various lists. The general rule of thumb seems to be that if a group exhibits at least half of these characteristics, it qualifies as a sociological cult. I am not going to list the characteristics of a heretical cult because it is quite obvious that those criteria do not apply. This is merely a list for discussion purposes. Everyone is encouraged to interact with this list regarding Doug Phillips, BCA, or Vision Forum. Based upon the following criteria, does the cult label apply?
Excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to the leader.
Dependency upon the group or leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without leader involvement.
Seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the leader in personal behavior.
Hyperactivity centered on the leader’s agenda, which seems to supersede any personal goals or individual interests.
The leader is not accountable to any authorities.
Anything the leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.
The leader’s belief system, ideology, and practices are law.
They insist on total, unquestioning obedience and submission to the group, both actions AND thoughts.
They are always right.
They are the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
Whenever they are criticized or questioned, it is characterized as “persecution”.
The leader claims new revelation from God, within the past 200 years, in which all but their group are rejected by God. They, alone, speak for God.
Focus is on group doctrine and writings. The Bible, if used at all, is referred to one verse at time to “prove” group teachings.
Group dwells on members’ “sinful nature” (many use public confession). Guilt and fear arising from “failing God” are magnified to manipulate new member.
Followers feel they can never be “good”
Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
Critical thinking is discouraged as prideful and sinful, blind acceptance encouraged.
Mileu Control: Control of the environment and communication within the environment
Mystical Manipulation: Seeks to promote specific patterns of behavior and emotion in such a way that it appears to have arisen spontaneously from within the environment, while it actually has been orchestrated
Demand for Purity: The world becomes sharply divided into the pure and the impure, the absolutely good (the group/ideology) and the absolutely evil (everything outside the group)
Confession: Cultic confession is carried beyond its ordinary religious, legal and therapeutic expressions to the point of becoming a cult in itself sessions in which one confesses to one’s sin are accompanied by patterns of criticism and self-criticism
Sacred Science: The totalist milieu maintains an aura of sacredness around its basic doctrine or ideology
Loading the Language: Words are given new meanings — the outside world does not use the words or phrases in the same way
Doctrine Over Person: If one questions the beliefs of the group or the leaders of the group, one is made to feel that there is something inherently wrong with them to even question —
Dispensing of Existence: Since the group has an absolute or totalist vision of truth, those who are not in the group are bound up in evil, are not enlightened, are not saved, and do not have the right to exist
The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader and members.
The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, everyone outside of group lumped under one label.
Study and service become mandatory. New member becomes too busy to question. Family, friends, jobs and hobbies are squeezed out, further isolating the new member.
A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.
The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group.
The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members.
Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
Recruiters are told that “Satan” will cause relatives and friend to say bad things about the group to try to “steal them away from God.” Recruits soon believes group members, alone, are truthful/trustworthy.
Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.
The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
The group is preoccupied with making money.
No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
Group “love” and acceptance becomes dependent upon obedience and submission. Unconditional love…isn’t.
Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
The most loyal members feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
Former followers are at best considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.
There is nothing new under the sun. There always have been and will be accusers of the brethren, scoffers and unscrupulous individuals who seek to divide the body of Christ. The battlefield may change shape and size, but the issues are essentially the same. As we press forward into the 21st century, we should aspire to be like the sons of Issachar who understood the times, were blessed of God and given positions of leadership. This means marking those who bring false accusations, or who prepare the body of Christ for great persecution by throwing around the “C” word to describe people who may differ on matters which clearly fall within the pale of orthodoxy.
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
This seems to be a little loaded to me. Accusers of the brethren? This term is generally associated with Satan. I sincerely hope that Doug is not using the term in a biblical fashion, but rather in a more general meaning of the individual words. So, is it wrong for one brother (sister) to accuse another? Yes, I have accused Doug Phillips of many things, but hasn’t he likewise accused me? Using this term in conjunction with scoffers and unscrupulous individuals seems to put it in the category of highly inflammatory language. This seems to be a pattern when Doug writes against someone. His response (yes, he wrote it) to my story on his BCA church blog contained many such examples of provocative and incitive language.
Is my purpose here to divide the body of Christ? No. My purpose is to divide the body of Christ from false teachers. I have not asked anyone to take sides on this issue. In fact, I wish there weren’t any sides to take. Rather than taking sides, I propose that we work through the issues. Rather than having a divisive spirit, let’s look to the Bible to see what truth looks like. When someone tells me my doctrine is in error, I assume that their purpose is not to pick a fight, but to see that I know the truth, because the truth will set me free. That is not divisive, but is ultimately uniting. When I expose unbiblical or extra-biblical teachings here, I am not doing so to be divisive, I am attempting to provide truth that will set people free.
Doug then says to mark those who bring false accusations. I could not agree more, Doug. And that is exactly what I am doing here. Doug Phillips has falsely accused me. I have laid out all the evidence. If anything I have said is false, where is the evidence to the contrary? I am very willing to have everyone examine it. Doug, bringing false accusations against another is a very serious sin. You have done so, and this blog “marks” you as such. Should I now call people to avoid you, as the verse you quoted mentions?
SBC President says Internet “Filled with Character Assassination”
SBC President, Frank Page says new considerations are necessary in the church to discern how to use the internet for the glory of God. This is evidenced by many uncharitable situations like this one: Southern Baptist Convention President, Frank Page was involved in a blog discussing controversial issues, and reports that “the blog degenerated quickly into a personal attack place”
The Greenville News reports, “The bigger issue, Page said, is that members of local churches have taken to using blogs to carry on bitter debates about problems within their own congregations”. Page pleaded, “For Christ’s sake, for the sake of the lost, stop!”
Do you think Doug is trying to send me a message?
Doug, I will stop blogging when you repent. This is not a personal attack against you. This is not a bitter debate that should have stayed within BCA. It should have been settled within BCA a long time ago, granted, but, Doug, you have a pattern of hurting and abusing fellow believers outside of BCA as well. To the extent that a public person’s influence extends in abuse, a public warning is also necessary to that same extent. Doug, your abuse and tyranny have extended around the globe, your false teachings have extended around the globe. This warning now goes out to that same extent. I would like nothing better than to shut down this blog. The ball is completely in your court, Doug. Help me shut this down by repenting.
In Proverbs 31:10-31, we are given the biblical picture of a woman who fears God and walks in His ways. The passage begins with a question: “Who can find a virtuous woman?” The question implies that such a woman is rare and precious, just like rubies. The description of the virtuous woman shows her to be an industrious, loving woman who devotes herself to the well-being of her husband and children. The center of her interest and the place of her ministry are in her home. God has called her to be “a keeper at home” (Titus 2:5), and she willingly and joyfully fulfills her calling to the great blessing of all who depend on her piety, wisdom, and homemaking skills.
Of great importance to the issue before us in this essay, are these words concerning her husband: “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land” (Prov. 31:23). The “gates” in Old Testament times referred to the place where the leaders of the city (i.e., “the elders of the land”) would gather to discuss community affairs, administer civil law, and judge in criminal and civil cases. The “gates,” therefore, is a reference to the “city hall,” the “capital building,” the “courthouse” or, in short, to the seat of civil government. The key for us is to note that, in the case of the virtuous woman, it is her husband who is active in the gates; the virtuous woman is not herself seated in the gates — she is active in her home. This should not surprise us, for the order of creation and the law of God establish the fact that men are to bear rule in civil government. The virtuous woman understands this, and takes the vital place that God has assigned her in the home and with her family; she does not try to intrude herself into a seat in the gates. However, we need to note that the virtuous woman’s works are to praised in the gates (Prov. 31:31). Her works are not in the gates, but they are to be praised in the gates; that is, those who are leaders in the community ought to recognize the great work that she is doing in support of the community by faithfully fulfilling her duties as a wife and mother (1 Tim. 2:15; 5:10, 14; Titus 2:3-5). This is her glorious work for the Lord and His kingdom. It is of the utmost importance!
Furthermore, it should be recognized that the virtuous woman does make her presence felt in community concerns. But it is through the influence that she has on her husband (and mature sons) that her wisdom and knowledge will help to direct the affairs of the community. Yes, it is her husband who sits in the gates, but his renown and ability as a civil leader is due, at least in part (if not largely), to her help and support. Yes, it is the husband who speaks and judges in the gates, but it is his wise and godly wife who is his chief counselor.
Let no one speak lightly or disparagingly of the woman’s appointed role and her service to Christ and His kingdom! And let no woman set aside the example of the virtuous woman and seek to sit in the gates with the rulers of the land. And let no Christian have any part in putting her there.
Every time the Scripture speaks to the subject of the necessary qualifications for those who will bear rule in the civil sphere, it always speaks in terms of men and never in terms of women. This is significant, and based on point number 1 above, it is not hard to understand. The consistent assumption of Scripture is that men are to be the civil magistrates; and, as we have seen, this is not based on culture but upon the created order. Since God is both Creator and Lawgiver there is never any contradiction between the created order and the law of God. And as creation establishes the headship of man in the civil sphere by means of man being created first and the woman being created for man, so the law of God sets the headship of man in the civil sphere by means of the stated qualifications for civil rulers. God set forth the essential qualifications for civil magistrates for all people and for all time when He spoke through Jethro to Moses: “Moreover, thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers…” (Ex. 18:21; emphasis added). And Moses himself said to the people as they were about to choose their civil magistrates, “Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you” (Deut. 1:13; emphasis added). Importantly, the word for “men” chosen by the Holy Spirit in both of these texts is the Hebrew, gender specific word for a man, i.e., a male as opposed to a female.
Furthermore, the directions that God gives concerning the establishment of a king in Israel requires that a man, and not a woman, be chosen (Deut. 17:14-20). The king was to be a “brother,” and he was not to “multiply wives to himself.” Clearly, a man is in view here. The law of God commands us, therefore, to choose men to be our rulers! Likewise, in every other passage of Scripture dealing with the civil magistrate and his qualifications and duties, men are in view (2 Sam. 23:3; Neh. 7:2; Prov. 16:10; 20:8, 28; 29:14; 31:4-5; Rom. 13:1-6; etc.). Therefore, the standard of God’s law that men be our civil rulers upholds the order of creation. God has spoken to us in His Word, and there He commands us to set men, not women, into positions of civil authority. To consider these texts (Ex. 18:21; Deut. 1:13; 17:14-20) irrelevant in regards to what they say about setting men in civil office, would logically require us to consider the other qualifications listed as being of no account as well. The rejection of these Scriptures would leave us with no biblical standard for citizens in choosing their rulers. This may suit some, but for those who are the disciples of Jesus Christ and love the law of God, such a position is abhorrent.
Taken from this article by Bill Einwechter from Vision Forum Ministries:
The scriptural revelation of the creation of man and woman, and the scriptural commentary on their creation establishes the headship of the man over the woman. The text of Genesis 2:7 and 2:18-24 teaches us that man was made first, and then the woman was made to be man’s helper and companion. The Bible instructs us that this order of creation was by God’s design, and that it establishes the positional priority of the man over the woman in regards to authority and leadership. In setting forth the authority of the man over the woman in the context of the local church, Paul appeals to the creation order saying, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Tim. 2:13). In another passage, Paul states the divinely ordained order of authority and headship: “But I would have you to know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). Therefore, the Apostle Paul teaches that God has decreed that the order of authority be as follows: God-Christ-Man-Woman. Each one in this “chain of command” is under the headship (i.e., authority) of the one preceding him or her. Later on in this same text, Paul, as in 1 Timothy 2, calls upon the order of creation to show man’s headship over the woman. He says, “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” (1 Cor. 11:8-9). The Bible explicitly states that the man has headship over the woman, and that this headship is not based on cultural factors, or even the fall; rather, it is based on the created order established by God Himself.
Now it is also plain in the Bible that God has ordained that the order of the headship of man must be maintained in each governing institution set up by God. There are three primary institutions established by the Lord for the ordering of human affairs. These are the family, the church, and the state. Each of these institutions has authority to govern within its appointed sphere. We could say, then, that there are three “governments” in the world: family government, church government, and state government. In each of these governments, God has commanded that men bear rule. The man has headship in the family (Eph. 5:22-24), the church (1 Tim. 2:11-14; 1 Cor. 14:34-35), and also by implication and command, in the state as well (1 Cor. 11:3; Ex. 18:21; see point 2 below).
Could it be that the man has headship only in the family and the church but not in the state? No, this could not be, lest you make God the author of confusion, and have Him violate in the state the very order He established at creation and has revealed in Holy Scripture! If one is going to argue for the acceptability of women bearing rule in the civil sphere, then to be consistent, he or she also needs to argue for the acceptability of women bearing rule in the family and the church. Now it is true that some attempt to do just that; but their denial of male headship for the family, church, and state is really a rejection of the Word of God and is a repudiation of God’s created order. And it is not sufficient to contend that it is acceptable to support a woman for civil ruler when she is the best candidate, unless you are also prepared to argue that it is acceptable to advocate a woman for the office of elder because she is better suited than the available men in the church; and unless you are also prepared to say that the wife should rule over her husband if she is better equipped to lead than her husband is.
I recently wrote about an article that appeared in the Midwest Christian Outreach Journal entitled, “Who Will Be First In The Kingdom?” The article is an exposé on several of the unbiblical, extrabiblical and legalistic doctrines being pushed by Doug Phillips via The Vision Forum and Vision Forum Ministries.
The author, Don Veinot, gave me permission to quote from his article. However, I was not at liberty to post the entire article itself. Even if I had been given permission, I probably wouldn’t have done so. Instead, what I wanted to do was to encourage Christians to subscribe to the hardcopy edition of the MCOI Journal. This is a ministry that deserves the support of many Christians, and especially those who are concerned for how legalism and Phariseeism have infiltrated the church, thereby undermining the doctrines of grace.
For a number of years, Midwest Christian Outreach has been exposing cults, as well as harmful, legalistic Christian leaders, such as Bill Gothard. Don Veinot has also co-authored an outstanding book on Gothardism, A Matter Of Basic Principles. I’ve been reading this book myself and have been astounded to see just how similar so many of Doug Phillips’ teachings are to Bill Gothard’s. I’ve known for some time that Doug has been heavily influenced by Gothard, but Don Veinot’s book really makes it too apparent for me.
Don just contacted me to let me know how pleased he’s been by the response to his article on Doug Phillips, “Who Will Be First In The Kingdom?” In fact, he told me that it’s been the single most popular and most requested article that MCOI has ever published in the twelve years they’ve been publishing their journal. My hope is that this will serve to encourage MCOI to publish additional articles exposing the legalism of Doug Phillips.
As you are aware, we had an MCOI first with this issue of the MCOI Journal. We do not put the current issue on line until the next issue is released. However, we have been contacted by a number of people, lay people, pastors and seminary professors who have read the article on Doug Phillips and Vision Forum or G12 and need to refer others to it right away. Since we are here to serve the Body of Christ the simplest and most efficient way seemed to be to put it on line which we did yesterday.
Here is another letter by Don Veinot to Cindy Kunsman:
I have not only been surprised at the responses on this latest Journal on the Doug Phillips/Vision Forum article but also from the recent blog I did on him. I am receiving emails and phone calls from pastors and seminary professors expressing their appreciation that we would take this on. It is all a bit humbling to me. I am also being swamped by Christians attending churches that are tied in to Phillips teachings. They are desperate for information as they watch their churches split apart by this.
I received a letter from Doug Phillips personal assistant answering the questions that we had sent to them a few times prior to publishing the article. They mailed it rather than responding to the email and said that it was just brought to their attention. It sounds like they are getting heat from their followers about the current Journal article on him.
I am really thankful for your support. It is especially critical at this point, due to the 25% shortfall in the fiscal year that just ended. I know that God is able to raise up the needed funds with special contributions and we are seeking that He will. Thank you for your prayers to that end.
Hutch had this great idea! The following contest, sponsored by Vision Forum through Homeschooling Today Magazine, was posted on Doug’s blog today. See if you can spot any Scripture twisting (or history twisting) to make Jamestown fit Doug’s agenda. It is sad to see this misuse of God’s Word. This contest is based on the Jamestown Quadricentennial celebration this year.
Simply pick one of the Scripture discussion points below (or choose another of interest to your family) and write a persuasive essay expanding on the topic. Explain whether the settlers were operating under the truth of the Bible, or under a worldly deception.
Scripture discussion: The Founding Fathers of our nation were well-versed in the Bible — more so than we are today. Their views on all issues of life were therefore colored by Scripture. How do the following Scriptures help us better understand the settlers’ perspectives on the following? Upon which other Scriptures might they have based their actions? Also, which ideas and passages from the Bible can be found in the suggested readings and primary resources?
1. Land ownership (Ex. 20:12, Joshua 13-19, Acts 17:26, Deut. 32:7-8, Ex. 20:15 and Deut. 19:14)
Ex. 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
Josh 13-19 – Dividing the Promised Land
Acts 17:26 – “And He has made from one bloodevery nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,”
Deut. 32:7-8 – “Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you: When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, When He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel.”
Ex. 20:15 – “You shall not steal.”
Deut. 19:14 – “You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.”
2. “Interracial” marriage (2 Cor. 6:14, Gal. 3:28, Acts 17:26)
II Cor 6:14 – “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”
Gal. 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Acts 17:26 – “And He has made from one bloodevery nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,”
3. Building a population through native births, rather than sending over more colonists from England (Gen. 1:28, 8:16)
Gen. 1:28 – “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Gen. 8:16 – “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.”
4. Evangelizing the natives (Matt. 28:18-20)
Matt. 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
5. Pocahontas dressing like the settlers as an “Englishwoman” after her conversion rather than remaining in her native clothing (Gen 3:21)
Gen. 3:21 – “Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.”
Scripture discussion: Many, even in their native Virginia, are shying away from calling the Jamestown Quadricentennial a celebration, but instead refer to it as a commemoration. Discuss as a family the Scriptural basis for each of the following:
1. Remembrance of Jamestown, what the settlers did there, and teaching these things to our children (Deut. 32:7-8, Ps. 78; Ex. 20:12)
Deut. 32:7-8 – “Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you: When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, When He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel.”
Ps. 78:(4-8) – “We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children,
That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments;
And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
Ex. 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
2. Erecting a memorial to God’s providential deliverance of a people (Prov. 22:28, Josh. 4:19-20, Gen. 28:16-22, 1 Sam. 7:10-12)
Prov. 22:28 – “Do not remove the ancient landmark Which your fathers have set.”
Josh. 4:19-20 – “Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.”
Gen. 28:16-22 – “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”
Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
I Sam. 7:10-12 – “Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
3. Understanding the original words of the settlers from primary source documents, with the meaning that would have been understood at the time (Lev. 19:16; Prov. 15:14, 20:5, 23:23, 28:2b)
Lev. 19:16 – “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.”
Prov. 15:14 – “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.”
Prov. 20:5 – “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out.”
Prov. 23:23 – “Buy the truth, and do not sell it,Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.”
Prov. 28:2b – “But by a man of understanding and knowledge Right will be prolonged.”
Be sure to include in the discussion, why it is right to honor our fathers and ancestors, rather than look down our noses at them. Should we wonder how they could have sinned in this way or that way? We would be wise to recognize that they were sinners just like us, and to consider ways in which we fail to honor them by sinning as they did — or in finding new and uniquely foolish ways to sin.
I’m extremely grateful to so many of my commenters. I’ve learned so much from so many of you. I’ve even learned some things from some of those who came here with no other purpose but to attack me.
Perhaps the single most important issue that I’ve been confronted with is my own legalism. As I’ve said before:
“God has been using many of my commenters to help push me into becoming a Berean. I still have a long way to go, but I’m excited about the things I’m discovering. As a direct result of this blog, I’ve also made some dear friends. By studying the Word together, those friends have also provoked me into looking deep into the perfect law of liberty.”
I’m still making the transition out of legalism-Dougism/Gothardism, but I feel that even just the steps I’ve made so far are a huge breakthrough. Grace isn’t an easy thing to grasp for a legalist, but I’m starting to get it.
Having been under the legalistic teachings of Doug Phillips for five years had a profound impact on my life, and not for the better. I’ve been having to reevaluate everything that Doug taught me. This isn’t to say that everything that Doug Phillips teaches is bad. A lot of what he teaches has merit. Not that much of what he teaches he actually came up with himself. Practically all of it he took from others. That’s part of the problem. A lot of the ideas that he took from others he then wound up taking to a legalistic extreme. Seldom are legalists moderate or biblically balanced.
A good example of this is Patriarchy. I’ve already dealt with that here, and I may come back to it again in the future.
On the face of it, the Family Integrated Church movement doesn’t appear to be legalistic, nor should it be. But in reality, it too often is. I’ve received many reports of how it is divisive to the point of even causing church splits. It’s ironic that a movement that is supposedly rooted in “unity” can actually cause so much division.
What I’d like to do, as I’m writing my critique, is to open up this thread for commentary and input from you, my readers, both good and bad, on the Family Integrated Church. This will provide everyone an opportunity to assist me as I prepare my future article.
Along with this, I want to welcome my readers to submit via email their own articles on issues directly related to Doug Phillips. These can be full articles, or rough drafts and outlines for articles. Please be assured that if you don’t want your name used, I will respect your privacy. I know that many of my readers have some of their own stories to tell about Doug Phillips. I know because I’ve received your emails. I know that most of you don’t want to start blogs of your own. I’m willing to have you tell your stories here.
Please read the Vision Forum Ministries articles that I’ve linked to above and offer your comments about them here.
I am a pastor in Colorado and have had the grueling task of “re-discipling” many whose lives (and families) were turned upside down by Doug Phillips and Vision Forum (Tit 1:11). I just wanted to drop you a line and say “keep up the good work.” Men like Phillips must be exposed before they do more harm. My first “red flag” with his organization came the moment I saw (or heard) one of their core beliefs, “the family is the foundational institution of society.”
Nowhere in the Scripture is that ever stated. As a matter of fact, it is blatantly against what the Scripture teaches. Jesus teaches us that it is the church (not the family) which is the foundational institution of society (Mat 16:18; 1Ti 3:15). “It is the city on the hill” which causes the world to sit up and take notice.
Once again–keep being faithful–you are an encouragement to many I’m sure. Men like Phillips rule by intimidation much the same way other cult leaders do, and therefore it takes strong courageous people like yourself coming out against them–before others will be freed also. And let me assure you that what you are doing is biblical. We (as Christians) are to be “exposing the deeds of darkness” (Eph 5). Though there are some things Phillips does which are good–it is the “leaven” mixed in which spoils the whole batch and makes him incredibly dangerous.
I’ve received a great deal of email thanking me for exposing Doug Phillips. Much of it is from people who have personally known Doug. Many of these people would like to be in a position to expose Doug Phillips themselves, but for various reasons, they haven’t.
A common thread running through all of it is intimidation. Many feel intimidated by Doug, and many have good reason to feel intimidated. Doug Phillips has threatened many people, some with legal action, some with ecclesiastical threats such as church discipline or excommunication, even from other churches. In more than one case, I’ve received emails telling me that if they went public with their story of Doug’s unscrupulous dealings with them that he’d use his significant political resources to ruin their business, or in some cases to get them fired.
It’s a common ploy of Doug’s that he demands the names of your church elders and he threatens “church discipline” against you. Some of these people have done nothing more than write Doug to ask him a question about an apparent contradiction in his teaching, and then he threatens them. The Christian thing to do would just be to answer people’s questions. Instead, he uses his employees to shield him and they play games of evasion. The majority of questions Doug does answer are from those who agree with him already. Doug loves his fan mail and has often posted it on his blog, but he hates it when he’s challenged for hypocrisy, and with Doug Phillips there is much hypocrisy. Anyone who disagrees is either ignored, and if they’re not ignored, they’re often threatened. Doug Phillips has even threatened a few pastors.
Doug Phillips’ threats have worked. His formula has worked for years to intimidate people into silence. I know because I’ve now heard from many of them, and I’ll probably be hearing from more. My hope is that some of them will soon muster enough courage to step forward and tell their own stories for themselves. For now what will have to suffice are their emails to me. With their permission, from time to time, I’ll post the emails of those who have known Doug Phillips personally, as well as from those who have personal knowledge of my situation, or personal knowledge of how Doug has threatened others.
The specifics contained in some of the emails I’ve received are sometimes so detailed that Doug would probably be able to figure out who they were authored by. So in order to prevent Doug’s retaliation against them, I won’t post any stories or emails without their permission. I also won’t post their names without their permission. I’ll also give them the option of whether or not comments should be permitted on their email. Even if they don’t want their name used, they still may not appreciate being subjected to the kinds of verbal attacks that I don’t personally mind being subjected to.
The following is an email I received recently and have been given permission to post on my blog.
Wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your boldness with this whole Doug Phillips thing. I’m sure you’ve grown weary of hearing everybody’s advice and opinions, especially those with nothing really at stake. We had something at stake, though. This past year, our church suffered a split that just came out of the blue. It really wasn’t until you went public with your experience that we began connecting the dots. Looking back on it, I see that the Lord actually purified our body by removing the families that were causing these divisions. I have noticed that the three elders that left have really become big DP fans. And our remaining elders have made a concerted effort to be very upfront with just what we DO believe and WHY, leaving no room for unbiblical teachings. The solid teaching from our pulpit has benefited. Your boldness has helped dozens of families here!
I have also recognized a growing clique of DP homeschool families (I don’t know what else to call them). Their children sound like walking talking Vision Forum catalogs. My children have noticed and are able to discern the extra-biblical tidbits. Again, your boldness has given us a platform, as a family, to teach some important critical thinking skills and sift everything around us through scripture. As independent-thinking as I tend to be, I recognize that I had become lazy about some things. If you declared yourself Christian, and you homeschooled, you got a pass from me. I think that’s what put DP where he is today. LOTS of folks give him a pass without batting an eye.
So, thanks a million for what you were willing to do. I know your family took some blows, not to mention your marriage, friendships and even your children. Surely the Lord will see fit to restore all the broken relationships. I think you are wise to back off the whole reconciliation thing. And I think you are equally wise to continue to inform the public about this wolf. No more head butting, just investigative reporting.
Jen Epstein Ejected From Public Sidewalk For Exercising First Amendment Rights
I enjoy attending home school conferences. It’s always a good learning experience, so I’d like to give a report on a home school conference that I attended this past weekend in Arlington, Texas. The Arlington Book Fair is a large home school conference with several interesting speakers, one of which was Doug Phillips. I credit Doug with teaching me many valuable things. Douglas Winston Phillips was named after Douglas MacArthur and Winston Churchill. Doug does a very convincing Churchill impersonation. I’ve often heard Doug say, “We shall never surrender” in his best Churchill-ish British accent. Doug has taught me a lot of determination and courage in the face of adversity. If it weren’t for Doug’s own regular storytelling of brave and courageous men who refused to compromise their values, I doubt that I would have ever been motivated to go public with my own story of Doug’s ecclesiastical tyrannies. In many ways, it was Doug’s own teaching that gave me the courage to do what I’m now doing.
Attending the Arlington Book Fair was also an opportunity for me to speak with Doug Phillips personally and give him one more opportunity to be reconciled with us. Doug doesn’t make it easy to speak with him. He’s been hiding behind his attorney, Don Hart, for over a year now. Every time we’ve tried to speak with Doug, we’ve been told, “You’ll have to talk to Doug’s attorney.” This is a strange response for a pastor. We’ve never even implied that we wanted to take Doug to court. Ours is an ecclesiastical matter, so why is he hiding behind an attorney? Doug claims that Boerne Christian Assembly has a plurality of elders. If that were true then why doesn’t he say, “You’ll need to take it up with the BCA elders?” The fact is that BCA didn’t have a plurality of elders when Doug ran us through his little Kangaroo Court, and apparently they still don’t have a plurality of elders, although they do have some “elders-in-training.”
Not being one to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I thought I might be able to learn something from listening to Doug speak at the conference, as well. So, with much anticipation and hope that God would work to bring us together this weekend, off we went.
As we stepped through the door at the Arlington Book Fair, we immediately spotted Wesley Strackbein, a longtime Vision Forum employee, who straightaway pulled out his cell phone, presumably to call Doug Phillips. When we arrived, shortly thereafter, at Doug’s first workshop of the day, it quickly became apparent that this was the case. Doug was already on stage when I entered the room but, as I was helping my daughter get situated in her chair, Doug suddenly appeared in front of me, holding out his hand to greet me. “Hello, Jennifer. I thought I would see you here,” he spoke up loudly for everyone to hear. “Hi, Doug!,” I returned his greeting and handshake. As his personal assistants placed themselves strategically on either side of the room, we listened to Doug’s first message about the importance of teaching history to your children.
Concerned about the hypocrisy of Doug teaching his extra-biblical views and promoting them as biblical doctrine, I decided it would be a good time to warn others of some of Doug’s extreme positions. An independent Christian journal that focuses primarily on writing about cults has written an article about Doug Phillips and Vision Forum. They were kind enough to give me permission to pass out copies of this article at the convention. (When this article is officially released by the publisher, I will let everyone know.) So, at Doug’s second session of the day, Joshua began passing this article out to those who were attending this particular workshop for homeschooling fathers. After he had passed them out to approximately half the attendees, a conference coordinator approached him and asked him to stop, apparently in response to Bob Renaud’s request. While Joshua was speaking to this lady, Doug Phillips came by, put his hand on Joshua’s shoulder, and simply stated, “Joshua,” while smiling. When I arrived there a while later, two conference coordinators immediately approached me and asked if I was Joshua’s mother. When I answered affirmatively, Richard Hathman very kindly told me that they had a policy that no flyers could be handed out inside the convention center, but that we were perfectly free to hand them out on the public sidewalk outside the convention center. We were fine with this, so I thanked him kindly, shook his hand, and Joshua went outside to hand out flyers for a while.
Still waiting for an opportunity to speak with Doug Phillips, I went to his third workshop of the day, “The Blessed Marriage,” hoping to gain some insights into my own marriage as well. I sat in the front row by myself (my children had left the convention by this point) so that I could speak with Doug after his speech. In front of the raised stage was a large podium for the projector. I didn’t realize until later that since I was sitting very close to the podium, Doug would have had to walk within a few inches of me to get on stage. Apparently that was not an option for him, since he chose to take a flying leap onto the other end of the stage instead, in his 3-piece suit. It was obvious that he was doing everything he could to avoid me. This struck me as very odd, considering that earlier in the day he went out of his way to greet me. No doubt, though, someone had given him a copy of the article we’d been passing out. Perhaps this resulted in a change in his demeanor toward me?
One of Doug’s longtime personal assistants, Bob Renaud, decided that I must be very lonely in the front row by myself, so he came and sat with me, greeting me as if we were long lost best friends. It was obvious that it was his job to keep me away from Doug, but we exchanged pleasant greetings anyway. He seemed quite fascinated with all the notes I was taking during Doug’s seminar, craning his neck much of the time to read them. At the end of the message, after Doug Phillips invited everyone to come visit him and Beall in his Vision Forum booth, Bob immediately struck up a conversation with me that went like this:
Bob: “Jennifer, I’m so glad to see you here! Are you enjoying the conference?”
Me: “Yes, Bob, I am. I’m really glad to see you, too. Are you enjoying it?”
Bob: “Yes, I am.”
Me: “Bob, I know you are here to keep me from seeing Doug, but I would really like to see Doug; I would really like to talk to him.”
Bob: “I can’t let you do that.”
Me: “Why not?”
Bob: “If you want to talk, you’ll have to talk to Doug’s attorney, Don Hart. You can’t talk to Doug.”
Me: “This doesn’t have anything to do with Don Hart. I would like to talk to Doug personally. Look, Bob, I just have this letter I would like to give to Doug.” I held the letter out for him, but Bob quickly backed away. “Look, Bob, this is a nice letter. I just want to compliment Doug and ask him to speak with me.”
Bob: “I can’t let you do that.”
Me: “Here, Bob. I’ll even let you read it yourself first.” So I opened the letter for Bob, but he still refused to look at it or take it.
Me: “OK, Bob. Do you know why I’m here? Do you know what I’m about? Do you understand my whole purpose?”
Bob: “No, I don’t”
By this time, Wesley Strackbein, the Vision Forum employee who had first spotted me at the convention, had joined us as well, so I addressed both of them.
Me: “This is about reconciliation. This is about being at peace with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I can write about Doug on the internet, and he can write about me, but we aren’t getting anywhere at this rate. This is stupid. We need to sit down and talk.”
Bob: “Jennifer, you can put an end to all this.”
Me: “How’s that, Bob?”
Bob: “Jennifer, you just need to repent. You are excommunicated.”
Me: “What do I need to repent from?”
Bob: “You know what you need to repent from. It’s all in the document we gave you. You can read it.”
Me: “Oh, I know what the document says: gossip, slander, lying, reviling. But what have I done, Bob? What is my specific sin? That list doesn’t tell me what I’ve done.”
Bob: “I don’t have time to tell you all your sins, there are so many.”
Me: “OK, Bob and Wesley, I’ll tell you what. I’ll make you a deal. I promise you that if you can tell me just one example of a sin I’ve committed, I’ll repent right here and now.”
Bob and Wesley turned around and walked away. For being guilty of “so many” sins I was stunned that they couldn’t name even one specific sin.
Somewhere in that conversation, Bob asked me for that letter I had written to Doug. I gave it to him. Here is what the letter said:
May 11, 2007
Mr. Doug Phillips
200 Canada Verde
Hollywood Park, TX
I know that you’re a busy man, and no doubt you’ve got plenty going on here at the Arlington Book Fair home school convention. Hopefully you’ll accept this note from me.
I look forward to what I’ll learn here from the speakers at the conference, and that includes what I can learn from you. I’ve already learned a great deal from you Doug. Not that I’ve always agreed with all your opinions, but you’ve helped teach me some important values.
Doug, I’m confounded over why you keep avoiding us and why you’re refusing to be reconciled with us. Wouldn’t reconciliation be a good thing? It seems like you’re running from me. I can’t understand that. What are you afraid of?
I’d like to extend to you the opportunity to just sit down and talk together for a few minutes. Here at the conference would be an ideal time. I know you’re busy and you could use that as an excuse to avoid me. But I don’t believe that you’re so busy that you couldn’t set aside a few minutes. If it were important that’s really what you should do. This is important Doug, and I think you know that.
Let’s sit down and talk. Okay?
Your sister in the Lord Jesus Christ,
I knew that Bob Renaud would take my note straight to Doug. So I gave Doug sufficient time to receive my note from Bob and read it. Since Doug had issued an open invitation for everyone to come visit him at his booth, I decided to take him up on his invitation. With a friend carrying a video camera, we walked in to see Doug, but neither he nor Beall were at the Vision Forum booth. After looking around for them, we were just about to leave when Peter Bradrick, Doug’s personal assistant, came up and told us to turn off the video. I asked him what authority he had to tell us what to do. He said that we could video any other booth except Vision Forum. I kept asking him, “Under what authority?” I then asked him if he was asking us or telling us what to do. He said he was informing us. Finally, he spoke to me in a quite disrespectful tone of voice. Knowing that Doug Phillips’ main message is about honor, I rebuked Peter for speaking to his elders that way. I am nearly twice his age and my videotaping friend is a good deal older than I am as well. At this point, Peter’s attitude changed and he said he was requesting us to turn off our video, which we promptly did. I then asked Peter where Doug was, and he replied that he was ill and not able to greet his public right now, so we left.
Upon further reflection of this incident, I decided that while Peter was decidedly disrespectful toward me, two wrongs never make a right, and I had been too harsh in rebuking him. So I later sent him a note of apology.
Since I wasn’t getting anywhere in my attempts to speak with Doug Phillips, I decided that day two of this convention should be a day of warning others. I had the article written by the independent Christian journal and I also had the Public Notice Calling For The Repentance Of Douglas W. Phillips printed out as handouts. Joshua and I were standing on the public sidewalk handing out these flyers as people came into the conference when all of a sudden a very angry man shoved Joshua out of the way, grabbed his papers and started throwing the papers all over, yelling and screaming that we couldn’t do this. Very calmly and kindly, I responded, “Excuse me, but what are you doing?”
Dennis Winton, the very angry conference coordinator, continued to yell at us that we could not pass out these papers. I calmly stated that this was public property and that I was standing on my first amendment rights to hand out information on public property. Mr. Winton then threatened us, “We’ll see what the police have to say about your first amendment rights!” Still remaining calm, I said that was fine.
While Mr. Winton was on the phone speaking very heatedly with the police, trying to convince them that I was a criminal, another conference coordinator was standing there with him, watching us continue to cheerfully greet everyone as we handed them our papers. This man was Richard Hathman, the same kind conference coordinator who had, just the day before, volunteered that we could pass out these papers on the public sidewalk in front of the convention center. During this whole time, he just stood there smiling at us. After several minutes, I said to Mr. Hathman, “You know I have every right to do this. I am standing on my first amendment rights to hand out information on public property.”
He answered, “Yes, you do.”
I finally volunteered to Mr. Hathman that Doug Phillips could stop this whole thing if he would just come out and talk to me. I offered to stop passing out the papers if Doug would just sit down and talk to me.
Mr Hathman then said, “You may be 100% right, or you may be 100% wrong, or it’s maybe somewhere in between; I really don’t care. Mr. Phillips is just a tiny part of this conference. This is about so much more than just Doug Phillips and what you are doing here is disrupting our whole conference. As a brother in Christ, I would like to ask you to please stop disturbing this conference so everyone else can enjoy what they came here for.”
I was so impressed with the way Mr. Hathman handled the situation in a Christ-like manner that I told him as much, thanked him for his attitude, shook his hand, and stated that I would be glad to stop handing out my papers, since he asked me to do so out of Christian love and concern. At that point, Joshua and I picked up all our papers and took them to the truck.
Mr. Winton, however, still insisted that the police do something, so they came and talked to all the conference coordinators and Doug’s three “bodyguards” before coming over to speak with my friend, my children, and me. As you watch what happens next, notice Doug’s three bodyguards, Wesley Strackbein, Peter Bradrick, and Bob Renaud, ensuring that I leave the public property. We found out later that the police were called at Doug Phillips’ insistence. I was also later informed that the Vision Forum team had told the police that Doug Phillips was afraid because his life had been threatened, thereby implying that I posed some sort of physical threat to Doug.
While we were waiting, I then waved to Peter Bradrick and said, “Good morning, Peter!” He just glared back at me, so I said, cheerfully, “Come on, Peter. Can’t you even say ‘Hello?'” In response, he just slowly shook his head from side to side.
So then I tried to talk to Bob Renaud: “Hey, Bob! Do you have an answer for me yet?” (meaning from the letter I gave Bob to give Doug). I was treated to another frozen face.
So, in the end, we were issued a criminal trespassing warning for being on public property and told not to return for one year, under threat of arrest. The First Amendment gives us the right to give out this kind of information on public property, so there can be no criminal trespassing of this sort on public property. As a constitutional lawyer, Doug Phillips knew I had every right to be there doing what I was doing. As a conference speaker, though, Doug used his status to have my rights trampled.
I’ve been contacted by a number of people, some of them representing various Christian organizations, who have asked me to provide them with a brief one-page statement documenting some of the more serious sins and moral failures of Doug Phillips.
The reason I keep getting asked for this is obvious. Many people who share our concerns about Doug Phillips are referring friends and family and members of their organizations to my blog. However, there’s now so much to read that it can be a bit overwhelming. Having a highly condensed overview of some of the most significant aspects of our Doug Phillips’ story could prove to be a useful tool in “Exposing Doug Phillips’ Ecclesiastical Tyranny.”
If you’d like a pdf version of this Public Notice, suitable for emailing, you can download it here.
Public Notice Calling For The Repentance Of Douglas W. Phillips
List Of Charges:
In 2004, Doug Phillips produced and sold the deceptive documentary, “Raising the Allosaur.” In the video, Mr. Phillips claims that a group of home school families was responsible for “the biggest dinosaur discovery of the year.” So much public controversy arose from the “documentary” that Mr. Phillips pulled it from the market without explanation, in spite of the fact that the video produced significant revenues for Vision Forum, Inc. Mr. Phillips has never repented or even offered a public explanation for the numerous misleading statements and misrepresentations in the video. 1
As a self-appointed, unordained, sole elder of Boerne Christian Assembly, Mr. Phillips pronounced an “excommunication” on a member family of his church in 2005. 2 The “excommunication” was vindictive and appears to have been motivated over a difference in political views. 3 The “trial” was conducted without any due process in what can only be described as a Kangaroo Court. The accused were tried in absentia. No witnesses were called. No defense was afforded the accused. No specific, detailed list of charges was made. No evidence was provided. Any actual valid excommunicable sins had already been repented from, including a pre-conversion sin that had been repented of fifteen years prior. 4 A prominent Pastor has since described the excommunication as “the Salem Witch Trials.” The family has attempted ever since to be reconciled with Mr. Phillips, but he has refused all offers to meet with them, thus confirming his vindictiveness.
After being “excommunicated,” the entire family was shunned, including the family’s children. The children were never charged with any sins. Yet they, too, were punished. One of the daughters had received an award as a runner-up in a Vision Forum writing contest, but Mr. Phillips ordered that her name be removed from the Vision Forum web site.
Doug Phillips is known as a leader in what is known as the “Patriarchy” movement. However, his conduct as a pastor makes it apparent that he is more of a misogynist than a Patriarch. “Let the women keep silent” (1 Cor. 13:34) is taken to such an extreme at BCA that women cannot make prayer requests or even introduce their guests. Women aren’t even permitted to get the elements of the Lord’s Supper for themselves. If their husbands aren’t present, they must be served by another man, or one of her sons, even if that son is too young to take the Lord’s supper himself. Mr. Phillips’ treatment of women is degrading and demeaning, and he does not treat them as fellow heirs of Christ Jesus. 5
Many of Mr. Phillips’ other views and practices are far more than just controversial, they are extremist and unbecoming of a pastor and a well-known Christian spokesman who many look to for godly leadership. 6 This notice calls Mr. Phillips to public repentance and to make restitution to the numerous Christians that he has harmed and offended.