Doug Phillips Resigns from Office of President at Vision Forum, Discontinues Speaking Engagements

Breaking News:  Doug Phillips of Vision Forum steps down from office of president at Vision Forum Ministries.

 

Doug Phillips has been very influential in the sub-culture of the Homeschool Movement.  He was a popular keynote speaker at state-run homeschool conventions, speaking on topics of Biblical manhood, Patriarchy, men taking spiritual leadership of the home, creationism, a proponent of family-integrated churches and full quiver lifestyle.  He and his wife, Beall, have eight children.  We heard him speak numerous times.

Doug Phillips issued this statement yesterday:

*     *     *

Statement of Resignation

by Douglas Phillips, Esq., October 30, 2013

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.

Doug Phillips

(Source)

481 comments on “Doug Phillips Resigns from Office of President at Vision Forum, Discontinues Speaking Engagements

  1. Peter Attwood on November 1, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    You state:
    Shirley,
    “I never heard of Philips before getting into this conversation. Outside of the universe of his victims, who seem to be well-represented here, he’s not a big deal.”

    Personally, I have observed the VF’s influence, politically and spiritually, is very far-reaching, far beyond selling toys designed to reinforce patriarchal gender roles. Families influenced by VF and their kind, bless them, in turn influence their own churches throughout the country, especially where I live.

    VF also has more than dipped its toe into political and policy issues, handing out man of the year awards to political figures, etc. Maybe they aren’t a big deal, but they are, indeed, more politically influential than initially meets the eye. I’d give specific examples, but I don’t want to blow my anonymity.

    Like your blog, by the way.

  2. Julie Anne at 8:02

    There are many reasons for lawyers especially to follow your blog. Thank you for being informative and brave.

  3. VF is definitely far reaching. In addition to Free at Last’s comment, VF is in the homeschool movement, courtship movement, the purity movement, the Christian film industry movement, the family integrated church movement. Phillips’ dad (Howard Phillips) was a prominent lawmaker. Phillips is an attorney. Phillips used to be an attorney for HSLDA – the Homeschool Legal Defense Association – rooted in Reconstructioniosm. If you have Reconstructionist connections, you are into politics. Oh, and how can we forget full-quiver? The full-quiver movement’s purpose is to take dominion (Dominionist movement) over the world and he even has a 200-yr plan listed on VF site.

    And you are right, Free at Last – - – the way this movement spreads is quietly through churches. It’s interesting, you can sometimes see it with your church friends when you befriend them on FB. You can tell who are in it because of the posts they pass around.

    This strong influence has caused all kinds of problems in churches.

  4. “Peter Attwood on November 1, 2013 at 8:12 PM
    When I hear Esquire, I want to look around and see if he or she is holding someone’s horse.”

    Hahaha! It’s not very cerebral of me, but I do, too! Or, sometimes I picture the other end of the horse….

  5. When I hear Esquire, I want to look around and see if he or she is holding someone’s horse.

    Peter – LOL – I was looking for the like button. Darn WordPress needs to get like buttons!

  6. Hahaha! It’s not very cerebral of me, but I do, too! Or, sometimes I picture the other end of the horse….

    I’m not being too lady-like snorting over here! haha!

  7. Julie Anne at 8:19

    You mention Christian Reconstructionism and law. That is one of the many reasons lawyers might follow blogs like yours. As a Christian and a lawyer, this particular insidious, influential legal philosophy is a particular area of interest to me. It’s definitely put VF and similar groups on the map of the legal landscape.

  8. “how can a Patriarch go down? It’s against their philosophy/theology/whatever-you-call-it.”

    In place of “philosophy” or “theology,” I would recommend using the word “dogma.” Except I would like to come up with a word that conveys not only unreasoning, unyielding, thought control, but also darkness, as in embodying a demonic agenda.

  9. As a Christian and a lawyer, this particular insidious, influential legal philosophy is a particular area of interest to me.

    Ahhhh – - bingo. That makes tons of sense. It must be taken seriously. These men would rather die than turn their backs on this theology.

  10. The word “ideology” would also work. It communicates the political nature of the patriocentric agenda. Or maybe “ideological dogma.”

    And while I’m at it, how about using “androcentric” interchangeably with “patriocentric?” “Androcentric” has the advantage of already being in the dictionary, and it better embraces what appears to be an overall objective of male domination of all of human life, not just of family life.

    Or, as a word to compliment “misogynist,” how about “gynephobic,” a derivative of the actual word “gynephobia,” meaning, of course, “an abnormal fear of women.” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gynephobia

  11. oh, brother; what kind of sick finney-ism would lead a man to mention this hurtful thing to his wife which really is none of her business. Is this a sin which causes death? rates pretty low in modern parlance. Should have just left off the relationship or married her.
    If she’s already married you should get your head busted in.
    God’s Law if any pretenders want it.

  12. “Gary W on November 1, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    “And while I’m at it, how about using “androcentric” interchangeably with “patriocentric?” “Androcentric” has the advantage of already being in the dictionary, and it better embraces what appears to be an overall objective of male domination of all of human life, not just of family life.”

    Somebody in a previous comment used the word phalleocentric or phalleocentrist or some such and I remember thinking, bingo! I like it. Sorry, can’t help you figure out who used that first, I’m too lazy to scroll through a gazillion terrific comments on my iphone at the moment and I’d probably get distracted if I tried.

    -Free at Last, Esq. (neigh! Whinny!)

  13. Oh, sorry, I should have addressed you as Gary W, Esq.

    Seriously, Gary W, Esq., can you imagine the ink and paper wasted and the legal papers littered with “Esq.”s if all us lawyers did that? Yeah, I have a disturbing fixation on our distinguished colleague, Doug Phillips, Esq.’s, need to sign his apology letter with a vestigial “Esq.”

    I guess I am a little snarky, after all, Julie Anne.

  14. Free At Last,

    When you mentioned the word phallocentic, Lydia is who came to mind as one who has maybe used the word more than once over time. Sure enough, thanks to the handy dandy Ctl+F function on my desktop, I was able to locate this by Lydia today at 2:31 PM:

    “How about some humor? I could repeat Paul and tell the men to emasculate themselves since they are so besotted with their phallocentristic brand of Christianity.”

    On balance, I think I like “phallocentric” better than “androcentric.”

  15. Gary W on November 1, 2013 at 9:15 PM
    Free At Last,

    “When you mentioned the word phallocentic, Lydia is who came to mind as one who has maybe used the word more than once over time. Sure enough, thanks to the handy dandy Ctl+F function on my desktop, I was able to locate this by Lydia today at 2:31 PM:”

    Yep, Gary, that’s the one! There’s probably some kind of find function on an iphone but in the time it would take me to find it I could have billed out another few tenths of an hour. Lawyer joke.

    “On balance, I think I like “phallocentric” better than “androcentric.””

    I agree. Aside from incorporating Lydia’s element of humor, which is absolutely nice, I think “androcentric” carries an overtone (to the uninitiated) of opponents of androcentrism being anti-male, or maybe of proponents ascribing to whatever is the opposite of feminism. There would be a lot of explaining the term androcentric over and over. Phalleocentric is self explanatory and self-effacing enough not to be taken too seriously and overanalyzed. I new here, though. Just my two cents, if it’s even worth that.

  16. Free At Last:

    Can’t say as I’ve ever noticed a lawyer identifying themselves as Esq., although it not the sort of thing that would register in my memory. Following the example of others, I will often attach Esq. at the end of the name of an attorney to whom I am sending a cc, but usually only to distinguish the attorneys from the non-attorneys in the cc list. I seem to recall having received letters addressed to me as Esq., but almost certainly never from another attorney. I sure don’t address correspondence to attorneys as Esq. And I really, really, hope I have never attached the title to my own name or signature.

    There is a person at one of our local government offices that used to call me “Lord _____” or “Your Lordship.” I complained of the almost blasphemous connotations. So now this person just call me “Your Majesty.” All in good fun of course. (Although I did, without thinking, refer to myself with a plural pronoun in the first sentence of this paragraph.)

  17. “I could have billed out another few tenths of an hour.”

    Yes indeed! My practice is to have at least 2 files in front of me at all times, and while it entails a lot of bouncing back and forth, I try to never work on a single file for more than 3 minutes at a time. My billing program rounds all entries up to the nearest 6th minute/tenth of an hour. Lawyer Joke.

  18. You’re right Gary. I forgot about that. “Esq.” is indeed helpful as a shorthand for indentifying the lawyers in the group after the “cc:”. Any other time, nah.

    Nice to meet you, fellow lawyer. God bless.

  19. Two files indeed, Gary! Good one. Did you hear the one about the lawyer who got to heaven and was congratulated by St. Peter for breaking Methuselah’s longevity record? According to his billing records, the lawyer was 969 years and 1 tenth of an hour old.

    Sorry Julie Anne for hijacking this thread for lawyer jokes In my defense,
    Doug Phillips, Esq., started it.

  20. Yes, and greetings and blessings to you too, Free At Last.

    While I don’t hide the fact that I’m a lawyer, I generally try to come here as just plain old Gary W. Being primarily an estates and trusts attorney, my professional experience doesn’t tend to contribute very much to the conversations here.

    You might want to keep an eye out for an attorney who comments here as An Attorney. His comments tend to be quite measured and thoughtful, and to my mind this tends to make him very credible.

    Well, off to try to sleep.

  21. I was in an IEP meeting a few days ago with a spedhead named Royal Lord. Very sensible guy, too. I can’t imagine how he got through middle school in reasonable mental health, but he evidently did.

  22. Sorry Julie Anne for hijacking this thread for lawyer jokes In my defense,
    Doug Phillips, Esq., started it.

    No prob, Free at Last. I always enjoy the “community” here. Glad to have you join us :)

  23. I like phallocentric for another reason. It suggests where those who practice that stuff have some of their mental focus, on their “package” so to speak. And anyone today in the U.S. who uses Esq. clearly has their mind in places one should not focus.

  24. I will assume that my freedom of speech will be allowed in this comment of this post and comments. If it does not appear or it is deleted then I will understand what you mean by it. Also, I have assumed that there are people who have commented are indeed followers of Jesus Christ.

    Sin is very sad. And honestly, I am even more saddened by how sin prevails in these comments.

    Arrogance never trumps arrogance. If we disagree with someone, disagree while honoring the Lord, judge ourselves by our own judgments. The flesh says someone else’s sins are always worse than our own, but the spirit says “love covers a multitude” and “be careful lest you too shall fall”.

    It is ironic that the “spiritual abuse” that is happening right now has no accountability. By means of this blog there is much judgement and shunning. Are you not doing the very things that you say that you are against?

    Yes, by way of the Law of the land, you have the freedom of speech. But lest we forget, by a higher Law, we have obedience in Faith not to serve the flesh. Freedom of speech in God’s law does not allow for slander.

    Doug Phillips, while I disagree with him on many accounts, as I do many others, is created in God’s image. Our Father in Heaven is the Judge of you and I and it is clear in His Word that we be very careful with our sayings and doings as that we are not condemned by them.

    The Bible has clear commands on how we treat others, friend or foe. Calling out false teaching is one thing, it is how we do this that is very important. The Bible speaks on this very clearly as well. The man has publicly repented, to question the sincerity and lengths of this is only God’s doing.

    Proverbs 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the LORD see it, and it displeases Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.

  25. That’s very helpful. People are quite complicated, so how far can you go without having to decide whether someone is sincerely deceived or intentionally deceiving?

    Not all people are in the same position. We are talking here about a person who sought the limelight as a public communicator both teaching and pastoring along with hawking his Jesus approved wares. We can follow his trajectory. We have lots of evidence to see in not only what he taught but also with the lawsuits/mediation that came from those who did business with Phillips. So after all those years claiming the mantle as pastor/teacher of truth, the Holy Spirit never illuminated truth to him? I realize Phillips is a Calvinist so that means he does not believe in free will. That only makes it worse. Everything he teaches and his business dealings were foreordained by God. And he can remain a sinner because he has a wicked heart. The Cross/resurrection have no real effect.

    “The preposition is dia, so that by rights it’s really “saved through childbearing,” in the meaning of getting through a danger. Being the Seed of the Woman, Jesus did the real pregnancy and birth through the death on the cross through which he was himself the first-born. It was fitting that in Jesus God became man, but also man became woman, the wisdom of God – thus answering the two breaches in Genesis 3″

    Let us not confuse folks even more. Women are NOT saved through childbearing. What a horrible cruel God he would be since some precious believers are barren.

    “Childbearing” is a noun and refers to THE childbearing of Messiah. Paul is playing on words because of the HUGE Fertility cult in one of the largest pagan temples in the world at the time in Ephesus. The cult of Diana also taught that Eve was created first..
    And yes, the cult came about because of the horrible dangers in childbirth back then. Paul is basically giving Timothy some clever advice on dealing with the ingrained beliefs from that cult that make their way into the Body. They are saved by the childbirth of Messiah as believers even if they die in childbirth. And it seems one women in the Body was trying to “domineer” her husband to continue in the cult practices.

    There is a reason it is so dangerous to read all scripture through Western Eyes (as Kenneth Bailey puts it) as it becomes a club to beat people with and one reason I won’t enter the proof text wars. If one really wanted to understand, say, Ephesians 5, they would read the Greco-Roman Household codes and realize that as chattel, telling wives to submit was a step up to real human being status IN THE BODY. But of course, they ignore Ephesians 5;21 which was pretty radical for the time and even ignore the real foundation of the passage which goes further back about being filled with the Holy Spirit and living as children of the Light.

    So deceiving on purpose because they refuse to educate themselves, perhaps? Is it on purposes when there is so much at their fingertips for free? Times have changed since 1 Timothy was written. During the Dark Ages, even some priests were not allowed to study scripture much less the average person. We have no such excuses today as we live in freedom off the blood of those who went before us and threw off the shackles of state church tyranny. After all, we are ALL priests in the Holy Priesthood as scripture teaches we are.

  26. Graham, Welcome. Yes, I do allow fee speech. I even allow people to criticize me and my opinion.

    As far as I can see, Mr. Phillips has repented about a specific relationship with a woman. However, he has made no mention of praying for her and her family for the pain he caused. A truly repentant person puts themselves last and others he has harmed first.

    I also do not see any repentance about the culture that Phillips has created that belittles and treats women as objects.

    Repentance is not based on a public statement, it is shown by action – a sacrificial action that first places concern for those he harmed – never by protecting or defending self. We can only determine true repentance over time – in 6 months, in a year, etc. The public statement is only the beginning of the repentance process (if it is genuine), not the end.

  27. Perhaps others, particularly SSB’s lawyer readers, will find it interesting how VF takes legal action against former members who make public their treatment by Doug Phillips. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/492983-has-this-been-discussed-doug-phillips-resigns-from-vision-forum/page-2#entry5280971
    (Julie Anne knows what that’s like.)
    Seems Phillips has cast plenty of judgement on others. Which just makes it the height of hypocrisy to say he shouldn’t be judged.

  28. “oh, brother; what kind of sick finney-ism would lead a man to mention this hurtful thing to his wife which really is none of her business. Is this a sin which causes death? rates pretty low in modern parlance. Should have just left off the relationship or married her.
    If she’s already married you should get your head busted in.
    God’s Law if any pretenders want it.”

    Doug Wright,

    Please tell me this comment is a joke. Please. This is the sort of thinking I first came across back in the early days of the internet when this patriocentrisic stuff started really coming out. I could not believe it existed in such ignorance and magnitude. But it does. Has nothing to do with Christ, of course.

    Finny-ism? Calvinists blame that poor guy for everything. But even more interesting you don’t think this was any of Beall’s business. That is how sick that world is. Run folks. Get out of it. You will need some intervention in terms of debriefing from the cult and you have been taught such a thing is a mortal sin. So it won’t be easy.

    Your beliefs are what is sick and one reason we must warn folks.

  29. True, BTDT, and as a lawyer, he knows how to also use his power to hush people. I’ve been reading accounts where people were forced to sign statements that they would not talk. Give me a break – - this is bully behavior.

  30. Graham,

    You seem to be making the mistake of reading condemnation of sin as condemnation of the sinner. As I have commented somewhere above, the first time I attempted to contest DP’s ideas, great umbrage was taken as though I was condemning Phillips the man. It appears that you, too, may be taking umbrage at what you incorrectly take to be condemnation of the man (and if there are a few here who arguably are guilty of this, it is less than just for you to paint us all with the same broad brush).

    For my part, I will continue to condemn the the ideologically phallocentric dogma that promotes the domination and de facto enslavement of women. I can do that while still holding out hope the DP’s confession and claimed repentance are real. Further, I can without sin wait to see if there is fruit to demonstrate the reality of DP’s repentance. Why is this important? If there is no fruit of repentance, I am strengthened in my conviction that the fruit of Phillips’ life puts the lie to the claimed validity of his from-the-pit-of-hell ideology. And I am strengthened in my resolve to celebrate the fact that the lie is being exposed.

    Lest you think my observations off the wall, I suggest that you examine your own motivations in commenting. It would be easy to read your comment as dripping with condemnation. I choose to believe that you are merely identifying what you (falsely) perceive to be sinful and, therefore, dangerous behavior. Still, I admit that I have some difficulty giving you the benefit of the doubt because of your apparent penchant for personalizing criticism. These things tend to work in both directions.

    Examine your heart. If you are feeling condemnation toward us, you are guilty of hypocrisy, and repentance is called for. Otherwise, I suppose you are only vulnerable to a charge of being mistaken, and we can hope that your eyes will be opened.

    Oh, and by the way, this is a blog for survivors of spiritual abuse. Can you think of any way in which you could minister, other than being critical?

  31. “Lest you think my observations off the wall, I suggest that you examine your own motivations in commenting. It would be easy to read your comment as dripping with condemnation. I choose to believe that you are merely identifying what you (falsely) perceive to be sinful and, therefore, dangerous behavior. Still, I admit that I have some difficulty giving you the benefit of the doubt because of your apparent penchant for personalizing criticism. These things tend to work in both directions.”

    This is one of the hallmarks of the patriocentristic movement. For some reason, they are blinded to their own hypocrisy. I think it has more to do with hero worship. They really believe their guru’s are “God’s anointed” no matter what they do. So they trot out grace to cover over the guru but then withhold it from others. They get to define for us. You really have to check your brains at the door to stay in that movement.

  32. Jeff Crippen – blogger and pastor from Cry for Justice blog just posted this on TWW:

    Whenever someone like this, or really anyone, boldly and publicly announces their own God-give repentance, it is a sure sign they are not repentant. Add into the formula that this guy minimizes his sin (“didn’t know her in the biblical sense”), and the announcement that his lucky wife and children are now going to be the targets of his “nurturing,” and you’ve got every reason to believe genuine repentance has not happened. And time will bring out the truth.

  33. “It’s important to note that while Vision Forum may be called a ministry, it is also his family’s business and livelihood. It is appropriate that he step down from that business/ministry which promotes godly fathers. ” – Julie Anne
    “And what on earth is Phillips going to live on? Vision forum and his church were his main sources of income. Stepping down means NOTHING in monetary terms. It could simply be a way of continuing.” – Lydia
    At Homeschoolers Anonymous, someone pointed out that he resigned from the Ministry side (the part that is registered as a non-profit), but not the Vision Forum business side, the part that sells toys, home schooling material, etc. A few speaking engagements are off, but his income still comes from the same source as it used to.

  34. “the announcement that his lucky wife and children are now going to be the targets of his “nurturing,” ”

    I’m given to understand that abusers are masters at using even loving acts (e.g. gifts of flowers, chocolates) as tools of manipulation and control, particularly where the abuser needs to worm his way out of the natural consequences of his bad acts.

    I am willing to allow for the possibility that Phillips’ loving overtures are sincere, but I think it wise to withhold credit pending a demonstration of actual and, especially, ongoing fruit of repentance. One thing that would be somewhat convincing to me would be if Phillips permanently withdraws from the public eye. However, if he continues to exercise even a modicum of de facto influence over the various organizations he has been involved in, that would be a deal killer for me. Simply resigning from boards is not enough.

    Plus which, it would appear from what various people are saying, that the situation with the supposedly emotional-only relationship is only the tip of a very large iceberg. If this is true, I’m thinking it is wise to hold out for demonstrations of the fruit of repentance all the way around.

    Then, once repentance is fully and convincingly established, Phillips may have something to contribute in the area of recovery, restoration, rehabilitation and reconciliation. From my point of view, any such contribution would have to take the form of confession. He will likely never be credible as an advocate or teacher, even in the areas where he may be able to make some contribution by way of contrite testimony. He will never ever, in my opinion, be qualified to contribute in the area of relations between men on the one hand and women and children on the other.

  35. To those who think the bloggers here are not exercising Christian love and forgiveness:
    We have heard testimonies, long before this, of his “ministry” crushing and harming people by sending out multiple dangerously false messages. We do not want him as a person destroyed or in hell, as far as I can see, but we will rejoice in setbacks for Vision Forum. If pointing to his fruit helps people to step away from/ not get involved with Vision Forum, we are glad to keep people from dangerous legalism.
    We are happy not because we have no Christian love, but because we love those harmed by the life style he enables, because we have discerned his work as non-Christian for quite some time.
    Most of us are totally willing to treat him with the love Christians should have for all people (there may be exceptions as I don’t see into hearts), but we hate his so-called “Ministries.” We can forgive, but we want Vision Forum to fail. We wanted that before his confession, we still want it.

  36. I can not agree with a lot that is being said, but I do thank you for letting me have my side said. God Bless

  37. Thank you for your comments, Shirley. It’s okay if you don’t agree here. I don’t always agree with the comments, but I believe they have the right to express their opinion just as much as I do.

  38. Glad to see there are other attorneys (former, non-practicing, current) who agree that using Esq. says something “interesting” about the person using it. For me, it’s that Doug’s pretentious. I mentioned the Doug situation to one of my lawyer buddies who is not at all tuned in to the world of homeschoolers, patriarchs, etc. After reading the resignation letter, my friend said, (1) if Doug uses “Esq.” like that, he must be a douche and (2) Doug needs to watch out that he’s not giving the wrong impression or he may run afoul of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

    My friend also thought Doug’s resignation letter was, on the face of it, rather evasive, but he doesn’t know the whole situation so can’t judge. It was just a first impression.

  39. Southwestern Discomfort:

    I found this very interesting and it actually makes a lot of sense:

    Doug needs to watch out that he’s not giving the wrong impression or he may run afoul of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

  40. Shirley,

    If you don’t mind saying, what is it exactly that you don’t like? Is it that you perceive we are Judging Phillips the person rather than his sin and teachings. Or is it that you disagree with what we have to say about patriachy?

    If you object to our criticisms, I would refer you to what I had to say to Graham at 9:02 AM. If you dislike our views of Phillips teachings on patriarchy, that of course is acceptable. However, in that case, I would suggest that it would have been better for you to say so than to, as it appears to me, try to put his critics in a bad light for supposedly being judgmental.

  41. @Cheri

    What they are not talking about is the woman involved. Is she also receiving love and counsel, or is she being blamed and shunned?

    In Semitic tribal culture, that’s what Honor Killings are for.

    Presumably she is also a church/Vision Forum person, since that’s where DP spends his time.

    Doesn’t Vision Forum have a goal of Taking Back America and turning it into a Biblical Christian Nation? Including No Law Except God’s Revealed Law?

    Put the two together and if we already had this Biblical Christian Nation, Commander Doug Wilson wouldn’t be losing face. Quiet little Honor Killing of the Handmaid/Jezebel and we won’t have a problem, will we?

  42. I have read through at least half, but not all of the comments. For the most part I’m enjoying the discussion. Not so much enjoying the ugliness that occasionally rears it’s ugly head! I wish I could only read Gary’s comments. Gary, I appreciate your Love and Grace. Especially that you don’t hide behind it to not call attention to heresy. And love the way you defend your position with Scripture :)

    As I read I occasionally see remarks thrown at “Reformed Theology” or “Calvinism” that are less than positive. Do you all think that VF is the poster child for RT or C? If so, please don’t!! I very much agree with RT or C, but I haven’t liked or agreed with DP for some time. I probably haven’t liked him since understanding RT, in fact!! Yes, I know he holds dear to some RT. But, please don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

    Now… I’ll eventually read all 350+ comments. I do need to get back to my 8 kids, awesome husband and homeschooling ;-) But, I hope I haven’t defended RT after it’s already been defended. It is a pet peeve of mine when people comment without fully reading!! Thankfully it’s only a pet peeve and not a rule :P

  43. Welcome, Georgia!

    I don’t mind if you don’t read through the whole thread before commenting. Have at it.

    I get the busy mom gig – just took a kid to his all-day choir festival and put oatmeal applesauce muffins in the oven.

  44. Shocked over this today–even though I disagree with Phillips on virtually everything, and HATE the abuse that his ‘ministry’ has wreaked on people over the years, and believe that he has personally done untold damage to innocent people–I guess my childhood image of Vision Forum as godly and upright still held, to the point where I sort of believed he would be ‘proved right’. I exited patriarchy several years ago, but still sometimes struggle with wondering, is patriarchy really God’s will after all? I can’t imagine the shock, horror and loss that his followers must be going through right now–to people who often idolize their leaders and subconsciously see them as unable to do wrong, this must mean a sickening sense of their footing slipping out from under them.

    As soon as I read Phillips’ statement, however, I had a question and I wonder what you all think of it? These extreme patriarchal groups place a *huge* emphasis on emotional purity. I think that many girls have been called ‘impure’ for having a crush/romantic thoughts about a guy…..clearly, the Vision Forum definition of what is inappropriate includes harmless behaviors. So, I wonder if possibly Doug has been trapped by his own rules and legalism? Is there a chance that what behavior he/whoever may have discovered him considered to be inappropriately romantic and affectionate, might be something that outsiders might not consider adultery?

    Just a thought. I do not think he would give up his position without committing a truly grievous offense. I believe it’s much more likely that he truly was in an inappropriate relationship….and in some ways, does it even matter, in terms of trauma to his family/followers? If they believe that whatever he did is really as bad as lust/adultery, then to them it *is*…it affects them just as negatively.

  45. As the XW of a practicing lawyer, I know I whole nest of lawyers. I have never ever seen one of them use Esq. And I think they would all mercilessly tease anyone who did.

    I would like to see if he resigns from all of VF.

    I pray that God’s truth will be exalted. If he isn’t repentant, I pray that his lies will be exposed. If he is, I pray that they will all find healing.

  46. To those of you who wonder why blogs like SSB are so important, its for people like me, who almost fell into this trap and are learning to look for the warning signs. Its for women like BeenThereDoneThat who have overcome the worst that the modern church has to offer and are on the other side and still find the beauty in life. Its for women like Julie Anne who have been sued by pastors for daring to have an opinion that was not endorsed by said pastor. Its for Gail who used to go by “Scared”. Its for the brave woman who shared her story about being married to a pedophile. We are all finding our way out of these quagmires. Part of this journey is identifying the many signs of an unhealthy religious group. Commenters like Lydia and Gary W. who are not afraid to point out those warning signs in blunt language – they make a huge difference. We are not passing judgment on Doug Phillips the way you think we are. We are smacking ourselves in the head and wondering why we didn’t see the flaws in his system sooner before it damaged our loved ones. We long for the day when a genuine heartfelt apology pours from his mouth toward the ones he has wronged. There are a lot of hurt people here who are working toward healing and a crucial part of that process is identifying the flawed theology and doctrine and that includes Doug Phillips and his business/dogmas.

  47. Hi, Georgia.
    You’re in good company here. :-) I homeschool 4 out of my 5 kids as well. (My youngest is 4, so not schooling, yet.)
    The problem with VF ideology is that it has sooo permeated the homeschooling atmosphere. Even though there are, probably. millions of homeschoolers who do not ascribe to it, we seem to get lumped in with the extremists. I know Julie Anne has said before that this ideology seems to dominate the state homeschool conventions.

    And, you’re right about not throwing the baby out with the bath water. This stuff can be painful to sort through. Especially if one has been directly affected by it.

  48. Georgia,

    Thank you for your kind words. As to the love and grace part, I freely and fully admit that truth often comes easier to me than love and grace. O.K., I admit it. That was something of a preemptive admission, just in case you haven’t gotten to some of my more-truth-than-love-and-grace comments.

    I appreciate your concerns at how remarks get thrown at RT and C. I am actually one of the guilty parties, although I have tried to be a little more sensitive of late. People of good will can disagree on theology and still be respectful, although it can be challenging. It can be especially challenging where some of us attribute bad fruit to the theology with which we disagree. I don’t want to sugarcoat anything, but I think it is probably true that the people I would be most likely to disagree with would fall into the category of hyper-Calvinists. It may be that what legitimately goes by the name of Reformed is given a bad name by hyper-Calvinists who have disingenuously adopted the Reformed name as a means of deflecting attention from their hyper-Calvinism.

    Actually, I would likely be apt to disagree with those who are adherents of hyper-just-about-any-brand-of-doctrine.

  49. Mandy,
    You are too sweet.
    This whole response from the Patriarchy camp is interesting. You don’t usually see this kind of objection “out of the blue” unless you’ve hit pretty close to home, or the other party is afraid of something.
    “Forgiveness,” “love,” and “grace,” while being Christian principles to live by, are the antithesis of DP’s ideology. Yet, these principles are continuously flung in the faces of survivors when they try to call out abusive ministries. The scripture twisting is nauseating. If I didn’t know my God better than that, I’d have walked away from it all a long time ago.

  50. Gary W.

    Are there actual Hyper-Calvinist that would be honest enough to proclaim themselves as Hyper-Calvinist?

    In theory don’t Hyper-Calvinist deny access to the Gospel to those they have assumed aren’t part of the “Elect”? (even though they don’t think their actions are actually denying access to the scriptures to anyone)

    I don’t think a Hyper-Calvinist would ever admit to being a Hyper-Calvinist. Even the “Reformed” are not calling themselves Calvinist.

  51. Mark,

    I expect you’re right. There probably aren’t too many who self identify as hyper-Calvinist. The exception may be people like me who have walked away from Calvinism. In my case, I’ve walked away from theological systems of every stripe, or at least I’m trying to do so. The Bible is enough. Actually, maybe Love alone is enough.

  52. Mandy, God bless you. You get it.

    If I could, I would persuade Phillips’ daughters to leave and put them through a cult debriefing and help them get a normal start in life. There are so many young women to help debrief from that movement who are stuck. I don’t think people realize just how close to Islamic thought the patriocentristic movement really is when it comes to women. Strip away the cultural differences and the underlying principles are the same. It is some sick stuff.

    And I am done playing the sensitive dupe for “Christian” bullies. Tried that years back and finally realized it only helps them frame the discussion. No thanks. I would rather they not like me than help spread their propaganda. :o)

  53. “When I hear Esquire, I want to look around and see if he or she is holding someone’s horse.”

    LOL!

  54. Ugh…I had a lengthy post typed out on my iPhone only to lose it. Why is it that posts only are lost if they’re long? The odds are greater they’ll be lost, if they’re typed out on your phone, I believe!

    I finally did make it through all of the comments, though. I’m excited about that!

    I’m saddened that there’s so many negative comments against Reformed Theology/Calvinists. I’m sure I’m saddened becasue I do agree with Reformed Theology. I can say I don’t like to call myself a Calvinist because I don’t follow a man. I follow Christ. My Redeemer and Savior!

    Lydiasellerofpurple said…
    I realize Phillips is a Calvinist so that means he does not believe in free will. That only makes it worse. Everything he teaches and his business dealings were foreordained by God. And he can remain a sinner because he has a wicked heart. The Cross/resurrection have no real effect.

    This is not true of any Calvinist I’ve ever known. A Reformed Believer would say an unbeliever has no choice but to sin. A Believer has free will to sin OR to not sin. DP’s has used his option to sin. He has access to keep from sinning. He chose to take the sin option.

    Perhaps Gary is right…what y’all are describing is Hyper-Calvinist. I’ve never personally known one. But, I’ve heard of them. And I’ve seen it abused- “That was supposed to happen because God ordained it.” Earily it wasn’t true for my actions. Hmmm… But, none of that negates what I’ve learned about the Sovereignty of God. Perhaps this is what Mr. Phillips is doing-using a Theology that is easily abused to his advantage. That would make sense since he seems to continually fit into the category of the kind of person that would do that.

    I do understand spiritual abuse. Our family has endured spiritual abuse for over 7 years with the height of it being in the past 3 1/2 years. The years before that we were completely clueless to the abuse being done in our family. We’ve lost relationship with our son because of it. I understand men rallying around their ‘god’ to protect him. I understand all of this hurt and pain. I also know what it does to a family. What it does to a marriage. It’s hard. It’s painful. Please pray for this ‘other woman’. It is likely that her and her family don’t know the pain ahead of them. It is likely that he will be right and she will be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. But, I know what happens when men held up on pedestals are shown their sin. Ugliness comes out that you didn’t know existed. They do not go easily. They are so narcissistic that you can’t show them their wrong. They believe every lie they’ve ever uttered! And all of those around them are drinking the Kool-aid and they don’t see the wrong either! Their rule book is no longer Scripture. Their rule book is their own. You’re expected to follow it. However, you wil never get to see it.

    I have known of Doug Phillips for roughly 15 years. I’ve not liked the things I’ve seen him represent for about 10 of those years. He’s prideful and arrogant. I agee that I can’t see him easily making this repantance. I see many holes in it, too.

    I would love to see him make a true repentance! It would be very awesome :)

    Time will tell…

  55. Hey Mandy,

    That was the best sermon I have heard in a long time! I know you weren’t preaching but your articulate summary why the bruised/beat up need places like SSB and voices like Lydia & Gary W & all was spot on. I hope you are doing better with your health issues.

  56. Lydia,
    “There are so many young women to help debrief from that movement who are stuck.”

    I’m so glad you get this. Sometimes people don’t understand why our family can’t “just move on.” We are, but it’s in slow increments. You can’t spend a couple of decades in this movement, and then reintegrate into normal society overnight.
    I hurt for the families who are stuck in this.

  57. Lydiasellerofpurple, you failed to pay attention to what I wrote about 1 Timothy 2:15. You should find it hard to argue with, since I only stated what the words mean.

    “Dia” means through, as in diameter being the line through circle. It does NOT mean by means of. Saved through childbearing in the scripture means rescued from the danger of child bearing as you pass through it, as Jesus was strenghtened by the angel in Gethsemane, by Psalm 22 on the cross, and by resurrection on the third day.

    It’s less true now than it was when Paul wrote it, but childbirth is a dangerous thing to go through. It is a danger that those going through it need to be saved from.

    I’m aware that people distort that scripture to argue that childbirth is a means of salvation. That error is what I’m refuting. Instead of explaining away the scripture, toss overboard the demonic distortion of it.

  58. ““Dia” means through, as in diameter being the line through circle. It does NOT mean by means of. Saved through childbearing in the scripture means rescued from the danger of child bearing as you pass through it, as Jesus was strenghtened by the angel in Gethsemane, by Psalm 22 on the cross, and by resurrection on the third day.”

    Peter, this is one of those things not worth arguing over because we agree on the big picture. And this is one reason I like to speak with/read experienced linguists instead of theologians. It goes back to what words mean at a particular point in time…not today.

    Anyway, your interpretative meaning has problems because many women did NOT pass through the danger of childbirth and actually died bearing children back then. They are “sozo” by the birth of Messiah– is the implication Paul is making and using metaphorical language because it points to the fertility cult that was huge in Ephesus. The venue of the letter is a big part of this. In the Greek, tes is used as a definite event making childbearing a noun of sorts. They will be saved through “The Childbearing”. It makes sense because Paul adds a condition: IF they remain in belief, love and Holiness. This offends most Protestant beliefs in once saved, always saved so they do not read it like that. Instead they read it as staying in some sort of gender role which is ridiculous and can be negated with other passages throughout scripture. Like Joanna who we would have to believe Christ was enabling to sin? I think not.

    I think sometimes we forget Paul was writing to his dear “son” in a response who would understand his style and know who he was talking about. Paul often uses metaphorical language to convey a concept that folks take literally and it causes huge problems and sends people off on ridiculous trails. 1 Corin 11 comes to mind as one of the worst that is misused.

    Maybe I am reading your wrongly? At least I hope so. Many precious believing women died in childbirth. And many precious believing women are barren. God is not cruel. He is LOVE. Paul is telling Timothy to give that poor woman hope in Christ when she gives birth if she does not “pass” through it. She does not need Diana. She needs Christ.

  59. “I’m so glad you get this. Sometimes people don’t understand why our family can’t “just move on.” We are, but it’s in slow increments. You can’t spend a couple of decades in this movement, and then reintegrate into normal society overnight.
    I hurt for the families who are stuck in this.”

    If I hear one more person say “move on” or, “you are dwelling on it” or, “you are bitter”, I will scream! Or I might just have to fly up there and slap them around a bit. :o)

    You have to process it. If people do not process it and move through the process they could very well end right back up in another cultic “movement”. In fact, a very blessed day happens when they actually get angry!!! Praise God!!! Now, how they act on that anger is important as we know.

    There is also the need for “justice”. You hear Christians say,’ oh you have to leave that up to God’. That is such a cop out. Do you ever wonder why He gave us reasoning brains? The ability to do or not do? To chose? Do people understand right and wrong basically if they are “saved”? Or do they redefine it?

    I fear people who do not love justice or who redefine it to fit their purposes. Oh, they will trot out mercy when they get caught or want to defend their guru. But justice? Oh no, that is for God. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).’ We have no business dealing in justice’. That thinking is why the world can often look safer to us than what passes for Christendom these days. What passes for Christendom has become unsafe for far too many.

    You process it. You deal with it and you will come out stronger than ever as will your children. It is safer for them if you process it. I am cheering you on!

  60. Peter says to Lydia: “You should find it hard to argue with, since I only stated what the words mean. “Dia” means through, as in diameter being the line through circle. It does NOT mean by means of.”

    The point itself may not be particularly worth arguing about, but I am troubled when a matter is stated as an incontestable fact, when the reality is that there is ambiguity, uncertainty, and the the possibility of alternative understandings.

    The reality is that διὰ (dia) can mean more than just “through.” It can in fact mean “by means of.” Here are definitions taken from ESV online Greek Tools: by, through (marker of agency), through (marker of extent), by, with (marker of instrument), through, during (marker of time), for the sake of (marker of benefaction), because of, on account of. An electronic version of Strongs 1223 gives “through, on account of, because of” as the definition of διὰ (dia).

    It simply is not legitimate to cherry pick one of several definitions from the lexicons. As is always the case Lydia’s analysis most credible.

  61. “It simply is not legitimate to cherry pick one of several definitions from the lexicons”

    One amusing example is how most Lexicons today will translate “authenteo” in that chapter as “authority over”. But if you go back far, you find that Jerome and even that dastardly Calvin translated it as “domineer” which is much closer. But they did not have to contend with uppity liberated women, either, so it was not a problem for them to get it closer to the real meaning :o)

    And even more amusing is that Chrysostom wrote that a husband should not “authenteo” his wife. So we know that passage in 1 Tim is something sinister that men should not do to a woman, either. Sort of brings it full circle in how badly that passage has been translated. That is one passage that is misused to shut down the sisters in the Body. I do not think our Savior is amused at all with that result.

  62. It seems a little strange for putative opponents of male domination to be arguing that the preposition in 1 Tim 2:15 is to be understood as childbirth being a means of salvation. I thought it was the Doug Phillips crowd that would want to make that argument. The discussion here might be helpful:
    http://www.biblestudysite.com/prepositions.htm#v

    It really is clear that the central meaning of dia with the genitive, as is the case here, is through, especially when you look at the examples offered. The idea of childbirth as an agency or means of salvation is fanciful.

    That childbirth is a dangerous, albeit rewarding, process to be saved through is not only the most straightforward reading of the verse. It’s also what we see in the rest of the Bible, Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12 being two prominent examples.

  63. “feminist? on October 31, 2013 at 3:22 PM
    Okay people, I’m seeing a LOT of liberal feminism here!”
    Nice rhetorical move. If you don’t like something, dismiss it as “liberal” or “feminist” or, wow, both! Then attack the label. Dear lady, part of the process of escaping and recovering from spiritual abuse means asking questions and finding answers, moving beyond arbitrary labels to truth. Labeling something “feminist” or “liberal” doesn’t work on us. I don’t care what label you put on something, I want to know if the thing itself is good or bad, true or untrue.

    You say women are “killing their babies with all forms of birth control, INCLUDING …
    not doing “it” at fertile times.” Because I am living according to what I personally believe is God’s will for me, as a single woman, you make me, and single women like me (even young teen girls) out to be murderers of innocent babies who haven’t even come into existence. There are no Kevin Swanson babies lining my womb, darling. That’s beside the point though.

    As Julie Anne touched on in another post about the daughters of patriarchy, single Christian women who strive to lead godly lives are a threat to patriarchy, even without meaning to be. We single Christians cannot be dismissed as heathen sinners or mere “ladies in waiting” for someone who may or may not show up to penetrate, colonize, conquer, and implant us. So you have to call us “liberal feminists” in order to dismiss what we say.

    And you also have to call godly married people who treat their spouses with love and respect “liberal feminists” if they do not subscribe to patriarchy—husbands and wives who truly demonstrate God’s love for his Church in the way they treat one another–because if you actually listened to what people like Julie Anne and Gary W and a bunch of others here believe about marriage and the gospel without rejecting it offhand as “liberal feminism,” you would find they have a lot of truth to share.

    Go ahead. If that’s the case, then Jesus fits your definition of feminism. He had lots of single women around him and he was never threatened or tempted or intimidated by them. He never told them to go get married and do “it” at every “fertile time.” He never told them not to, either. He told them to follow him.

  64. Georgia,

    I appreciated your comment and can understand the feeling of someone “stepping on your toes” if they are discussing theology that is dear to you. As my regulars know, I really do not like the divisiveness that some doctrinal discussion brings, yet at the same time, when studying abuse, I have run across patterns of abuse among certain groups and that causes me to question: what is it within this particular group that makes it more susceptible to abuse than others? I will also say that regardless of one’s doctrinal beliefs, abuse can occur across the board Arminianism/Calvinism/Pentecostal, etc.

    That said, I think you may be on to something – that there is something funky going on with regard to extra-biblical and high-controlling abuses in Phillips’ camp. I’ve spent hours over the last couple of days reading story after story of how people have been treated – from various sources – repeating the similar stories. At the same time, I’ve seen prominent leaders speaking up and asking prayer for their good friend, and speaking out against those who are shedding light into these extra-biblical practices. Nope, I won’t stop allowing this blog to discuss these troublesome issues.

    It was difficult to read that your family is another casualty of spiritual abuse. I’m so sorry to hear about the broken relationship with your son. Ugh – I hate spiritual abuse.

    Oh, your paragraph on narcissism is right on, Georgia. You really have a good understanding of this kind of broken system.

  65. “BeenThereDoneThat on November 2, 2013 at 4:14 PM
    Lydia,
    “There are so many young women to help debrief from that movement who are stuck.”

    I’m so glad you get this. Sometimes people don’t understand why our family can’t “just move on.” We are, but it’s in slow increments. You can’t spend a couple of decades in this movement, and then reintegrate into normal society overnight.
    I hurt for the families who are stuck in this.”

    It’s been 20 years since those days and I am still peeling back the layers of that onion, just when I think I’m done i find another. Like you, I find that helping others is a key to moving on with strength, but some wounds will always persist. Stumbling across this website has been a mixed blessing for me.
    Some things long ago forgiven come rushing back, freshly painful.

    Somehow the verse about thanking God for our sufferings because they enable us to help the suffering is a particular treasure to me.

  66. Mark said:

    Are there actual Hyper-Calvinist that would be honest enough to proclaim themselves as Hyper-Calvinist?

    I think they prefer the word New Calvinist or Neo Calvinist. I haven’t heard anyone call themselves Hyper Calvinist, but have heard people call themselves the other 2.

    Oh, btw, I’ve never heard anyone call themselves a Reconstructionist, either. I’ve always thought that to be strange. We visited a church that was clearly Reconstructionist, yet didn’t identify themselves as such. As soon as I got home, I went searching on the computer because something was definitely off.

  67. Another point Lydia made that I omitted to answer was that some believing women died in childbirth. A prominent example in scripture, who died giving birth to Benjamin (son of right hand). Jacob overruled her naming, Benoni (son of sorrow), a remarkable thing in view of his won sorrow at the time. She died there, but she was still saved through it. One is reminded of Hebrews 11, in which some saved through faith were so even though they were killed with the sword, stoned, or sawn in half.

    While I’m in there, the “just move on” or you’re just bitter” dreck. I’m reminded of Anatole France, “It’s easy to endure the difficulties of other people.

    It’s like somebody teaching you to play golf and saying, “Just hit the ball straight down the fairway to the green.” That’s not teaching. You haven’t taught a thing until you’ve addressed how. If they’re not doing that, the true proverb apples: “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.” The dogs will always bark, as long as the world stands.

  68. There are a lot of hurt people here who are working toward healing and a crucial part of that process is identifying the flawed theology and doctrine and that includes Doug Phillips and his business/dogmas.

    Wow, Mandy, your comment was beautiful. As I read through each name and thought of the personal stories each one represented, it brought tears to my eyes – - – the long and difficult journey that we faced – knowing that our stories represent the stories of others who have and are currently going through similar experiences and could be in tremendous pain and sorrow.

    I have a special “encouragement” file that I stash comments like these for when I’m down or have read/heard too many difficult stories. Seeing that there is hope gives me strength. Thank you!

  69. Free at Last – - – if you are a woman who asks a religious question, you are a feminist.

    Oh, wait, you are an attorney. You are absolutely a feminist. You work with men and question them, right? That is against the Phillips Rules of Order. You poor thang. Let me know where I can send you a sympathy card.

    You made me snort w/the Swanson sentence :)

  70. “It seems a little strange for putative opponents of male domination to be arguing that the preposition in 1 Tim 2:15 is to be understood as childbirth being a means of salvation. I thought it was the Doug Phillips crowd that would want to make that argument.”

    If that is what you walked away believing I communicated then I am an abject failure in the communication department. One is only saved by abiding in Jesus Christ.

    How on earth could Paul guarantee any believing woman would not die in childbirth in the 1st Century?

    I tried to communicate that Paul is using a metaphor that works with the venue of the letter– Ephesus. If you read about the temple there (considered at the time to be a wonder of the world) and the fertility cult that taught Eve was created first and doing their rituals would help toward surviving childbirth, the entire passage makes more sense.

    Surely you agree that believing women are NOT saved (salvation) by bearing children nor are believing women guaranteed to survive childbirth as your interpretation suggests with focusing on “pass through”. Neither one of those works with what the rest of scriptures teach. It is one of the many rabbit trails even seminary trained theologians go down.

    The point is, IF she dies during childbirth, Paul is saying because OF “the childbearing” which is a reference to Messiah who was born a human baby (IF she remains as a believer in faith, hope and Holiness) she will be saved. (As in salvation and go to be with Christ in paradise)

    Focus on “The” childbearing”, Eve was not created first, gune/aner, authenteo, and the “conditions” he lays out for sozo. It all points to a reference that salvation comes because of the childbearing of Messiah to a woman who fears childbearing and is domineering her husband to go along with the temple cult rituals.. And yes, it can be seen as reference back to Gen 3 but not in the way you suggest but for the “promise” and to correct the wrong teaching about Eve from the temple cult. Most pagans (even converted ones) were not real well versed on the Pentateuch in the 1st Century. :o) That is why the Judaizers had so much influence with them in places like Galatia and drove Paul nuts!

    Remember, Paul is writing Timothy for whom he is very close. They both know Ephesus well. And it was a very pagan city. We tend to ignore historical context because that is hard work and would not give those who love rules, roles and formulas carte blanche to apply scripture as a Christian Talmud of sorts.

    There is no patriarchy in that passage. Only love and concern for what is happening in that Body. Paul says, Let her learn. He wants her taught truth.

  71. Free at Last. When I started the blog, I thought I was over it, only discover I still had a ways to go. This has been a crazy experience for me. Sometimes it’s one step forward, 2 steps backwards.

  72. @Free at last, Esq:

    2. If a headless unicorn man is headless, how can we be sure it’s a headless unicorn man and not just a headless horse man? Wouldn’t a headless unicorn be as hornless as a headless horse? Nice nickname!

    The name comes from an art piece I did for the AnthroCon conbook and art show over ten years ago, when they moved their venue from Albany to Philadelphia:

    The Age of Reason has No Need of Unicorns

    As I have a fairly common name, I have to use a handle to distinguish myself from other commenters with similar names, and this was the most unique I could come up with.

  73. “It’s been 20 years since those days and I am still peeling back the layers of that onion, just when I think I’m done i find another. Like you, I find that helping others is a key to moving on with strength, but some wounds will always persist. Stumbling across this website has been a mixed blessing for me.
    Some things long ago forgiven come rushing back, freshly painful.”

    Speaking of peeling onions; It took me a while to really understand how evil deception is. Evil does not show up with horns and pitchfork spouting their true aim. Evil masquerades as love bombing, raising the perfect godly family so follow MY rules and holiness is submitting to your pastor…. to name a few.

    When people recall their experiences I often see this deception more clearly now where those who are fresh from the spiritual abuse trenches either cannot come to grips with what happened or believe they are to blame. What they do not realize is that deceivers look for the perfect marks. People who are sincere, want to please God, etc. Often the case is they simply took advantage of what was good and true in people by grooming them first. I do not envy the charlatans who use Jesus for personal advantage.

  74. Julie Anne:

    You’re welcome for the snort. Sarcasm is my spiritual gift. Honestly, humor is the best survival mechanism I have.

    Ooh: a sympathy card! will you get me one that has this on it?
    http://crecmemes.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/is-she-lighter-than-a-duck/

    Get yourself one, too!

    And yes. As a lawyer I once dealt with another lawyer who was a patriarchist. I never intended to make him uncomfortable, but he was clearly terrified of even being seen talking with me, even though I never sought him out to discuss anything other than legal business in a professional manner. I couldn’t figure out why he was would literally break out in a sweat, fidget, and have trouble understanding me when I was using perfectly good English. He did not have that problem with married women, and I was very careful to avoid even the appearance of anything unprofessional. And no, never once did an impure thought cross my mind about him. Ewwww.

    I finally figured out that my very existence was a threat to his entire life philosophy. A single Christian woman, yet capable keeping up with him intellectually, treating him like a human being and not a potential baby daddy. In fact, he even respected my legal analysis abilities. That really turned his brain inside out.

    I felt sorry for him. I didn’t appreciate him treating me like I carried a communicable disease because I wasn’t claimed property, but I knew where he was coming from and so I just reduced everything to writing and sent him memos. We got along ok after that.

  75. lydiasellerofpurple on November 2, 2013 at 7:38

    Thank you for those compassionate words. I share your righteous indignation at the misuse of the Name.

  76. I don’t think anybody is really over anything. We see Jesus in the Revelation still with his wounds, as also with the disciples after his resurrection. Things do get transformed, giving life instead of death, but should we even want them to simply go away?

  77. “Peter Attwood on November 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM
    I don’t think anybody is really over anything. We see Jesus in the Revelation still with his wounds, as also with the disciples after his resurrection. Things do get transformed, giving life instead of death, but should we even want them to simply go away?”

    Thank you, Peter. No, I wouldn’t want the wounds to go away. Despite the abiding pain and loneliness, they have made me strong, more Christlike, taught me forgiveness, and given me a greater understanding of truth than I could have ever had without them. Thanks for the reminder. Thanks for the image of Jesus glorified, wounds and all.

  78. Headless Unicorn: saying not to email them and/or give them your isp. Oh I know this first hand. One of our children questioned and proved DP wrong. Our child was threatened and tried to be manipulated and intimidated on FB. It didn’t happen but we found out first hand what an arrogant, egotistical, narcissistic TOOL DP is. Just sit back, watch and get popcorn. There’s more to come and it’s going to be BAD and things are going to get very interesting (not in a good way either).

  79. Greg Hahn wrote:

    I don’t know why Doug Phillips thinks he should go home and lead his family now, and get his accountability from the leaders at his church.

    He forfeited all rights to spiritual leadership of anybody when he comitted the adulterous relationship, including spiritual of his wife. Having a penis doesn’t entitle him to lead. That’s what got him in this mess in the first place, along with his lack of accountability to her.

    She’s God’s appointed help in life. He needs to submit to her, be accountable to her, and let her lead him through the process of restoration.

    So, you propose that in order to recover from sin and heal his family, he should commit another sin by submitting to his wife?

    Look, I’m not a follower of Doug Phillips, although I have purchased VF products on occasion, but I’m very strongly pro-Christian patriarchy, not because of my own preferences but because that is the family structure laid out by God in His Word. Wives are to submit to husbands; husband are not to submit to their wives. Submitting to one’s wife because one has sinned will not fix the situation, it will only compound the problem.

    And engaging in sin does not disqualify one from leadership. The Bible from start to finish is full of stories of men who sinned but were still used by God.

  80. sunshinemary on November 2, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    It seems to me that, in Ephesians 5:21, before getting into specifics on various role relationships (including husbands and wives), Paul started with this general principle: submit to one another/be subject to one another. Surely Ephesians 22-33 do not negate the immediately previous verse, or vice-versa. They have to be understood together.

    I didn’t understand the previous commenter to be saying that Doug Phillips should go home and obey his wife’s every command like some kind of reverse patriarchy situation (that would be no more biblical than patriarchy itself!), but that Doug Phillips should go home and humbly engage in appropriate mutual submission to that fellow christian who happens to also be the wife he has wounded. He should love her without pretending to be her spiritual superior.

    Just my impression. Thanks for your comment.

  81. Greg,
    Paul the apostle wrote that we are to submit to one another in the fear of Christ (Ephesians 5:21), so yes, men are to submit to their wives in the fear of Christ. And the fear of Christ is the key. The head of every godly family is actually the truth, which is practically how we meet Jesus Christ. As we see in Manoah and his wife, and especially in Abraham being ordered by God to submit to Sarah’s decree concerning Ishmael, that means that everyone is to be obeyed when God has given that individual his truth.

    As we see in 1 Peter 3, the submission of a wife is to be that of Jesus submitting in the fear of God to the injustice of those that crucified him. And 1 Peter 3.7, speaking to husbands, tells them, “In the same way . . .,” leaving nothing to our speculation about how husbands are to relate to their wives.

    Really, we shouldn’t have so much trouble with this nonsense. Jesus is the Lord of all, but he came not be served but to serve. Last I checked, a servant is one who submits to the one he serves.

    In Philippians 2 we also find that Jesus came as a slave, and in this way received the name above all names. Your patriarchy doctrine is founded in the denial of the fundamental nature of God’s kingdom and of Jesus Christ, being conformed to the authority model of this world, whose rulers lord it over people and are called benefactors.

    The origin of this system, like the rest of the world’s corruption, is found in Genesis 3, where we find that being cut off from God’s life sends man back to the dust he was taken from, and woman back to the man she was taken from. This reversal of creation is how it looks when we’re alienated from the life of God. To preach this death as normative in God’s kingdom is simply appalling. It’s what the death of Christ and his resurrection is the cure for. That’s why your doctrine is a fundamental denial of the gospel, and why it yields death wherever it is believed.

  82. @ Julie Anne
    You have not properly studied Ephesians 5:21 if you suppose that mutual submission refers to husbands and wives.

    Consider:

    “In context, the early part of Ephesians 5 is speaking to the entire congregation of the church at Ephesus. So, in context, it teaches the church members to “[Church members] Submit to each other out of reverence for Christ, and wives [do likewise] unto your husbands as unto the Lord.” It is borrowing the word, “submit” from the previous verse, but it is changing the context from the church to that of wives. Church members are to submit to each other as one body under Christ, and wives are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord. There is no justifiable reason that you can change the meaning of this to say that it is telling husbands to mutually submit to their wives because husbands have not even been mentioned yet. If this were the case, we would surely find evidence of it elsewhere in scripture–for everything is established on the testimony of two or three witnesses–but as is:

    This Greek twist is only found one place in scripture, and is refuted by the fact that other scripture also clearly commands husbands to lead and wives to submit even when the husband is ungodly.

    It is refuted by the fact that husbands are commanded not to treat their wives harshly, which would make no sense if they were commanded to submit to their wives in mutual submission.

    It is only understood if you ignore the context that it is speaking to the church about submission, and then includes the godly submission that is required of wives on top of what is required of the church.

    It requires a lengthy explanation in order to be understood, whereas the Bible should be read at face value unless there is good reason to read it differently, such as when it contradicts another part of scripture, which is not the case in this matter.
    The Bible gives an extremely clear picture of the husband being the “head” of his wife just like Christ is the Head of the church, and it would be a heresy to say that Christ must be in mutual submission to us.

    Not only does it command wives to submit to their husbands, but it commands wives to submit to their husbands in everything. However, the same cannot be said of men. That does not sound very mutual to me, and in fact denies the very nature of what anything being mutual stands for.” source

    There are a number of verses in the Bible commanding wives to submit to their husbands but no verses commanding husbands to submit to their wives:

    1 Peter 3:1-5

    Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, …

    Colossians 3:18

    Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

    Ephesians 5:22-24

    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

    Titus 2:3-5

    Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

  83. sunshinemary on November 2, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Are not husbands and wives fellow church members? Fellow believers? Ephesians 5:30 certainly suggests that the relationship of co-members is still to be maintained in the husband wife relationship. As do a number of other verses about marriage specifically (eg I peter 3:7 “show her honor as a fellow heir”) and verses the body of christ more generally (eg galatians 3:26-28).

    Surely they are not meant to forget that they are coequals in christ when the they relate to one another as husband and wife. To deny their inheritance as fellow equal heirs submitting to one another in love is as unbiblical as ignoring verses about the way wives and husbands are to go about loving one another.

    My problem with patriarchy is not with its call to wives to submit to their husbands. clearly, the bible calls wives to submit (although i do not think that means what they think it means). my problem is that it denies women our rightful place as coheirs of Jesus Christ, our only mediator before God. It robs us of what God has given us and gives us instead trite, hollow platitudes about godly womanhood. It robs husbands and wives alike of a good gift, marraige as it was indeed truly designed.

    I wonder, despite your handle, if you are indeed a woman. If you are, I am truly curious how you can explain the fact that you are expounding on scripture here in front of men. Please understand, i am not arguing at all with your right to do so. I appreciate your bravery in saying things that you know others, like myself, will have some disagreement with. I’d just like to know your thoughts and encourage you that you are actually doing the right thing to study and discuss scripture, even be willing to put your views out for debate. You are a woman, you have the Holy Spirit, you have every right to study the word and speak. I wish for you that you will continue to explore the fullness of your inheritance in Christ.

  84. Sunshinemary – you cannot say that :21 is in a “the church” passage and :22 in another passage, for 2 reasons:

    1) :22 does not have its own verb in the Greek out Bibles are translated from. It is “:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. :22 Wives to your own husbands …”

    For that reason, the ideas cannot be seperated. They were written to be one sentence. One of my Greek-knowing Internet friends even say a good translation will be: “:21 Submit mutually out of reverence for Christ. :22 Wives [submit mutually] to your own husbands …”

    2) You seem to say husband should not submit as they were not yet mentioned. If husbands are Christians, they are mentioned in a text on believers submitting.

    Another point is that the translation may get the form of the verb wrong. It may be a statement “are subject” in the original Greek, and not in the form of a command (should submit) there.

    Did you know that Bible scholars say that head (literally the thing above the neck, has other symbolical meanings) NEVER meant leader in untranslated Greek? Christ is our leader and our head, but the verses that call Him “head” don’t speak of his leadership. (If that sentence is hard to understand, here is one with a few replacement words: “The chocolate cake is brown and tasty, but calling it “brown” don’t speak of its taste.”)

    And the man is the head like Jesus, but it is untrue that men lead like Jesus. Some men lead very unlike Jesus and some don’t lead at all. But head in the first century seldom (if ever) meant leader.

  85. Patriarchy or Comp is founded on AND relies on “gender alone” submission. It does not follow Jesus alone submission, which naturally follows with mutual submission & love to each other (read ALL of Eph 5). It’s not founded on the whole of the Bible, but on interpretations of selected verses. Ladies, I encourage you to listen to the whole Bible, especially the 4 gospels over & over (Matt, Mark, Luke, John) as you go about your day. Biblegateway.com is one free audio to listen to online. Pat & Comp is a brew seasoned with arrogance IMO. Humble pie is particularly distasteful for this group, yet our Savior slept his first night in an animal feeding trough “cradle” & modeled humility. His true followers will be humble to each other. No status.

    Sunshinemary said, “Your boss at work is not infallible, either; does that mean you get to usurp your boss’s authority? Of course not.”
    My response: Why anyone puts any person(s) up as their “boss” in the Christian faith is beyond me & it’s unbiblical. We are all to encourage each other to do right.

    And another thought. If my boss at work (I worked before becoming a mom & I currently homeschool) did something out of bounds I would (& in fact have been in this situation with a boss I once had) have a talk. I have no regrets for doing that. We are never obligated to blindly follow anyone spiritually, at work, husband or anyone for that matter. If we know right & do right we will not agree with wrong! Good grief! This thinking destroys lives & allows evil to go unchecked. It is very obvious there are many blind followers. The fact there is serious wrongdoing over long period of time in these camps is no shock. This arrogant brew has been bubbling for a while, it seems. There is nothing Christian about blindly obeying or exalting another man.

    BTW, that boss? A few years ago I learned he died in an explosion trying to collect ins. money. No joke, it made some sort of infamous idiot list. Tragic he wasn’t willing to get off the wrong path & learn & love right. The valuable lesson to me? It’s right to confront wrong. It can prevent future wrong & heartache if a man desires right & is willing to learn whenever & from whoever he can, women & children included. And vice versa. Just like gravity & 1+1=2. You can take all 3 truths to the bank.

    It seems these leaders & their followers worship a gender hierarchy & doing right comes second. Grace is not a free pass to an all you can eat wrongdoing buffet. Run with your feet & hide your wallets & children. Even though they consider themselves reformed from Catholicism, they continue with belief of priest (pastor) as mediator & sit under his “authority”… which makes it near impossible to speak up & object to… you got it: wrongdoing. Free yourself (the temple veil has been torn) to follow Jesus directly & without mediator. Anyone who follows Jesus is part of the royal priesthood (1 Peter2). Praise God almighty!

  86. “There is no justifiable reason that you can change the meaning of this to say that it is telling husbands to mutually submit to their wives because husbands have not even been mentioned yet. If this were the case, we would surely find evidence of it elsewhere in scripture–for everything is established on the testimony of two or three witnesses–but as is:”

    This is your first problem. This “rule” is not found in every single letter. How would the folks in Philippi know? Besides you are misunderstanding the “three witnesses” and applying it in a ridiculous Talmudic fashion. That sounds much like the Grudem argument who also says that verse does not apply to elders. So ridiculous and self serving.

    Your second problem is you completely misunderstand “hupotasso” in that historical context. Including wives in that passage was a STEP UP for them if you know the Roman Greco Household codes. It was about as radical as telling Philemon to treat Oni as a “brother in Christ” when the law said Philemon had the right to put him to death. Wives were literally chattel and marriages arranged. Unless a female was wealthy and Roman citizen, she was basically owned much like a servant was owned.

    Another problem is a totally wrong understanding of the word Kephale as it was used in the 1st Century and in the context it is used all through the NT.

    It is a shame that passages like this are made into legalistic “rules” in the Body such as we find in the Talmud or the codes to prop up ridiculous legalism when such passages were meant to not only be inclusive but free to really love in action in the 1st Century. The entire tenor of the passage is missed with such interpretations because it is about being filled with the Holy Spirit and living as children of the Light.

    People love to turn what should be an encouragement and examples of love to the world into some legalistic rules of hierarchical caste system within the Body. It is a shame they know so little of Christ.

  87. “my problem is that it denies women our rightful place as coheirs of Jesus Christ, our only mediator before God.”

    Excellent point. And one reason why proof texting is so dangerous. What is ignored? The foundational premise of Ephesians which is about our (all whether pagan, jew male or female) inheritance now as believers. There is no pink or blue inheritance if we are really believers.

  88. “Your boss at work is not infallible, either; does that mean you get to usurp your boss’s authority? Of course not.”

    Using that analogy only shows she has no understanding of Kephale and how it was understood in the 1st Century.

    It is also instructive they totally ignore “One Flesh Union” which was the original principle for marriage and that principle was redeemed at the resurrection for true believers who are led by the Spirit of Truth.

  89. We have a good friend (male) who says that gender hierarchy in what passes for Christianity is where insecure men go to be somebody. I think he nailed it.

  90. btw sunshinemary,

    In 1 Peter, you left out the context which starts back in chapter 2. Peter is addressing believers who are living/working in situations with pagans. Not an easy thing to do in that time and hard for us to imagine what it was really like for them. He even addresses believing slaves and like you do with gender hierarchy, many Christians throughout history used this passage to affirm slavery.

    Would you affirm slavery for believers? Some still do these days. One of the gender hierarchy movement gurus Doug Wilson thinks we got it all wrong about slavery. They were happy and in their place.

    If you compare a boss at work with your husband in terms of “position” over you, then why would that be off the mark?

  91. “It requires a lengthy explanation in order to be understood, whereas the Bible should be read at face value unless there is good reason to read it differently, such as when it contradicts another part of scripture, which is not the case in this matter.”

    VERY WRONG. Scripture should be read in light of the audience it was addressing at the time or else we totally miss what it is communicating. That takes hard work and lots of time in praying and studying. The worst thing you can do is look to some pastor/teacher to be your Holy Spirit for you.

    Here is a good formula to keep in mind:

    Who is being addressed
    Who is speaking
    What is the occasion

    As A mom alluded to, if you read the Gospels over and over until they have penetrated your heart, you won’t get Paul so wrong. But gender hierarchalists start with Paul and are missing all the 58 ‘one anothers’ which would be evident in ALL believers no matter what their “status” in the worldly construct.

  92. You are so right, Ron. Any one of us can cross that line at any point and make a huge error in judgment and mess up our lives and the lives of others. We do need God’s grace.

  93. Sunshinmary @ 9:39 PM -

    I’m really wondering if you know what taking scripture out of context means. You have strung together several passages from different letters that were each written to a specific church to address concerns. In some cases we are not even sure what the specific issues were that were being addressed. We can only piece the possibilities together. The concern you bring up about ‘context’ is more bizzare when you consider what the church really is and how your beliefs silence half of the church. This is NOT what Paul was advocating at all in his letters.

  94. lydiasellerofpurple on November 3, 2013 at 6:24 AM
    “There is no pink or blue inheritance if we are really believers.”

    I am going to steal that and repeat it to myself whenever the old wounds come back to sow self-loathing in my heart.

  95. Ron,
    There is much to grieve for. Where is the grace for a child who is beaten for not greeting an adult http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/06/17/voddie-baucham-prescription-for-spanking-and-the-shy-child/
    Where is the grace for a wife who is excommunicated for desiring to leave a church, (see jensgems story).
    Where is the grace for young people who decide to leave their patriarchal families only to be shunned.

    When Doug Phillips begins to make restitution for ALL of the people he and his movement have harmed, I will believe he has truly repented. I can not give a “grace” pass to someone who has shown no mercy to his followers, and whose teachings continue to foster abuse to this day.
    Why are so many willing to defend an errant leader while his wounded sheep continue to bleat in pain? Where were the raised voices when the sheep were being wounded? Who was grieving for them? Who was pleading grace for them?

  96. “But for the grace of God, there go I!”

    I understand we were sinners saved by God’s grace. Key word being WERE. We are children of God now. I fully agree we repent & receive grace & forgiveness, restoration & love.

    This christianese statement makes me wince. In reality, each one of us are responsible for our actions. This is what we teach our kids, right? And there are consequences, even with repentance sometimes. Do we want to live in a world without penalty? Is it right for a wrongdoer to speak of their wrongdoing this way? Is that what we want to teach them & the rest of the world?

    There seems to be a double standard in Christianity, supported by these types of “God made me do it” statements. It is no better than “Satan made me do it” that some wrong-loving unbelievers say. And it’s usually applied to the most unloving hypocrites of our day whose grace-dispensing well held no refreshing water.

    BTW, all my comments are opinion. As if it wasn’t already clear. :)

  97. “There is much to grieve for. Where is the grace for a child who is beaten for not greeting an adult http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/06/17/voddie-baucham-prescription-for-spanking-and-the-shy-child/
    Where is the grace for a wife who is excommunicated for desiring to leave a church, (see jensgems story).
    Where is the grace for young people who decide to leave their patriarchal families only to be shunned.”

    “There but for the grace of God, go I” is one of my pet peeves. It sounds like people believe that God controls their sin or lack of sin. Not sinning the same was because of God’s grace. Not personal responsibility for behavior.. And I have heard it used by Christians after meeting a deformed child. As if God gave them special grace not to be born deformed but withheld His grace from the deformed child.

    And you ask good questions. Why wouldn’t God provide grace so that people are not molested, spiritually abused, etc by other professing Christians?

    It takes away human responsibility for their sin and in effect, blames God.

  98. Funny you mentioned that grace comment, ““But for the grace of God, there go I!”, A Mom.

    After I posted my comment, it occurred to me that I was meaning it in a different way than he was. I was talking about God’s grace that we receive when repenting of our sins. I was later thinking about other ways of looking at it: grace as a license to sin, or, that we are not responsible for our sin – - God ordained it – - and it’s grace that we make it to heaven.

  99. Oh, where to start with all of this. We have an individual Doug Philips who admits emotional involvement with a woman who is not his wife. He has preached to others about how to structure and control their family lives, yet he does not abide by them himself. I at least give him points for admitting his sin. But, I’m suspicious and like Gary W, am adopting a “wait and see” attitude. What needs to be done is that he needs to withdraw himself from any position of teaching and/or pastoral leadership.

    Doug Philips and his sin is one thing, but his mindless zombie followers are another. They must love that Jim Jones style Kool Aid. They are more than pathetic actually. Instead of following Jesus and His example, they choose to follow their favourite alpha-male guru, like a pack of wild chimps. There is so much wrong with the so-called complimentarian and patriarchy movements, but it bears a striking resemblance to Mormonism, only without their “little gods” theology, and with a dash of Trinitarianism. The mothers in these families are essentially relegated to breeding factories, pumping out children at the husband’s whim. Implicitly, they believe that having children gives them extra brownie points in heaven, just like the Mormons explicitly believe. The boys all wear matching polo shirts and tan pants, while the girls all wear frilly sissy white party dresses. It is creepy! They idolize some Platonist or Romanist concept of the family, dress it up with some select quotes from the Holy Scriptures, and then claim that it is Christian. In keeping with their Reconstructionist and Dominionist theology, they also have more children in the hopes of raising up an army to control the government. Completely unbiblical.

    Not only that, but the comp/pat movement is a place where insecure men can go to get their power and control fix. That is why this movement is so dangerous – it sets up structures where abuse is inevitable to occur. Men who are narcissistic and/or sociopathic can have their little fiefdoms, and can potentially abuse their wives and children in the name of God. No checks and balances.

  100. It’s not uncommon for people to confess lesser sins instead of the real deal. We all do it all the time. Thus we read in 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous (just) to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, but we all know about confessing sins and finding that nothing changes. In light of the scripture, it’s clear that we are still failing to confess the real problem – and no surprise, since “Who can discern his errors?”

    Phillips’s problem, as you explain well Ryan, is his doctrine by which he oppresses people. Granting that he is sincerely deceived, as is probably the case, does not absolve him of responsibility, just as Nazis were not absolved of mass murder by being sincerely deceived, just as the Pharisees, being sincerely deceived, were still hypocrites and got sincerely deceived by willfully blowing off the truth when they encountered it in Jesus.

    For indeed why are we sincerely deceived? Are we really innocent, or have we chosen to believe what we want to believe? If we are so haughty-minded as not to pay attention to those that raise questions, we’re asking to be deceived, and receiving. It’s the innocence of evil.

  101. I had to respond to this rude quote:

    Ask them to show the same degree of contempt and scorn for the men with whom they had fornication, as they do for Mr. Phillips, or for their own husbands.
    Go ahead, insult the man they used to sleep with and ask them to join in.

  102. Thanks for the heads up JA. I don’t usually click through to such links because I am well aware of how the Patriarchy crowd operates when they have your ISP. I have no idea if sunshinemary is in that cult but since she came here to defend her pet doctrine of a mediator between a woman and Jesus, I am not taking any chances. Made that mistake years back. Never again.

  103. @Ryan:

    They idolize some Platonist or Romanist concept of the family, dress it up with some select quotes from the Holy Scriptures, and then claim that it is Christian.

    If by “Romanist” you mean Catholic, I’ve got news for you.

    I’m Catholic and this goes way beyond anything I have ever seen in the RCC except for the REAL lunatic-fringe Catholics. On the level of “every Pope since Pius XII is An Antipope/50 kids per family who will all become Priests and Monks and Nuns/Tridentine Latin Mass Forever” lunatic fringe.

    Not only that, but the comp/pat movement is a place where insecure men can go to get their power and control fix.

    Somebody mentioned that a lot of these Male Supremacist preacher types seem to be five-foot two, 100 lbs minus steroids, and with thin whiny voices. No wonder they like their wimmenfolk as animate property — any woman who was a person would throw them out the window.

  104. I had to respond to this rude quote:

    Ask them to show the same degree of contempt and scorn for the men with whom they had fornication, as they do for Mr. Phillips, or for their own husbands.
    Go ahead, insult the man they used to sleep with and ask them to join in.

    I would like to point out that in 21st Century English, the word “fornication” is used ONLY in Christianese.

  105. @Lydia:

    Would you affirm slavery for believers? Some still do these days. One of the gender hierarchy movement gurus Doug Wilson thinks we got it all wrong about slavery. They were happy and in their place.

    A simple matter of Black and White:
    Which end of the Whip does Doug Wilson picture himself on?
    Because in a slave society, you either Hold the Whip or you Feel the Whip. Nothing in-between. And “Freedom” comes to mean “Now *I* Hold The Whip!”

  106. @Lydia:

    We have a good friend (male) who says that gender hierarchy in what passes for Christianity is where insecure men go to be somebody. I think he nailed it.

    There’s a story from the 1950s Civil Rights era of an interview with a Ku Klux Klansman of the time, one of the trailer trash who made up a lot of the rank-and-file of the Third Klan. Said Klansman was reported as saying “If I can’t be better than a n****r, who can I be better than?” As in the only thing this loser could brag about was “Ah’m WHITE!”

    Substitute “woman” for “n****r” and “MALE” for “WHITE” and you’ve got the same dynamic. A loser finding someone he can put his boot on to show himself he’s better.

  107. Run with your feet & hide your wallets & children. Even though they consider themselves reformed from Catholicism, they continue with belief of priest (pastor) as mediator & sit under his “authority”… which makes it near impossible to speak up & object to… you got it: wrongdoing.

    A Mom, these guys take Clericalism a LOT farther than I’ve ever witnessed in Catholicism. (And Clericalism — the doctrine that “only priests/monks/nuns count in the sight of God — is a HERESY.) This level of control-freak Clericalism hasn’t been seen in the RCC in a couple centuries.

    Maybe “Reformed” means only “Now *I* Get To Be Pope! Not the guy in Rome!”

  108. JA, I’m with you. I knew what you meant, sister. I am upset with myself when I fail & I ache, desire grace & a new day to do right.

    I could not agree with Ron. I have a hard time feeling sorry for men who’s grace-dispensing wells appear to never have been dug for fresh water for the thirsty. I see bullies using grace for themselves as a license to continue their bulling, IMO. But I’d love to be wrong at least once.

  109. Ryan, Well said. There’s so much mixing of rules & doctrines. Wrap a bun of truth around a piece of baloney & some people will eat it because the bun is right, looks good. We need to pay attention to what’s inside the bun as well. It’s not good enough to only inspect the bun before eating what’s in it. That’s how wolves in sheep’s clothing work. They’re phoney baloney wrapped in a wool sweater AKA a sheep AKA a truth-bun.

  110. @Lydia:

    Speaking of peeling onions; It took me a while to really understand how evil deception is. Evil does not show up with horns and pitchfork spouting their true aim. Evil masquerades as love bombing, raising the perfect godly family so follow MY rules and holiness is submitting to your pastor…. to name a few.

    “You’ll always have Nazis among you;
    Next time they won’t come in brown shirts and boots,
    They’ll come speaking softly in three-piece suits;
    But you’ll always have Nazis among you…”
    – Donna Barr, Desert Peach, the Musical

  111. @ Lydia

    Thanks for the heads up JA. I don’t usually click through to such links because I am well aware of how the Patriarchy crowd operates when they have your ISP. I have no idea if sunshinemary is in that cult but since she came here to defend her pet doctrine of a mediator between a woman and Jesus, I am not taking any chances. Made that mistake years back. Never again.

    Just for the record, my site is safe. I usually fight feminism, not other Christians, and I have received hate and aggression like you would not believe. I used to blog anonymously, but after clicking on a feminist site and leaving a response, I had my name, address, phone number, and husband’s name and employer doxxed. They hacked into my Facebook account and posted pictures of my children with my sister and also posted a pictures of someone whom they claim was my husband but isn’t. It’s been crazy, so I don’t blame you for being wary of unknown sites. Always use anonymous proxies, keep good anti-malware programs running, and consider using something like sandboxie.

    I haven’t had that problem on any Christian sites, though; I did not use an anonymous proxy to comment here, for example, and if JA has Statcounter, she can confirm for you that my real IP address is being used and is coming from Ann Arbor, Michigan, exactly where I say I am from.

    And to the commenter upthread who implied that I must be a man: please, that’s such a lame comment. You know who always accused me of being a man? Radical feminists. But I blog under my real identity and you can even find pictures of me on my blog:

    http://sunshinemaryandthedragon.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/service-with-a-smile/

  112. “Ask them to show the same degree of contempt and scorn for the men with whom they had fornication, as they do for Mr. Phillips, or for their own husbands.
    Go ahead, insult the man they used to sleep with and ask them to join in.”

    If SunshineMary wrote this then she seems preoccupied with where the sun…. Anyhoo, it sounds like in her world women that see DP’s hypocrisy are automatically moved into the “fornicator” designated line of the concentration camp. Talk about personal attacks. Sounds like she would classify women as witches if she thought drowning & beheading were still in fashion. That’s where standing against wrong gets women in these camps. No wonder these people worship the Puritans & Calvin.

    Does sunshinemary believe sin destroys? Well, maybe the peon pew-sitters must beware, but the leaders are immune? Really?

  113. Anyone who decides & types that a bunch of women are “fornicators” sight unseen is not trustworthy. Just my 2 cents. Especially if they are a woman, for heaven’s sakes!

  114. @ A Mom

    I did not write that. One of my commenters did, but his quote was taken out of context. He has never read this site; he was referring to a conversation on another post, not this one. He did not refer to anyone here as fornicators.

  115. @ sunshinemary

    Thank you for answering my question about whether you are a woman.
    I was not accusing you of dishonesty or anything, I am simply aware that one can rarely assume gender from someone’s handle on the internet; the handle may be an allusion to a poem or something just as easily as a real description of the person. Headless unicorn guy for instance, is probably not headless or a unicorn, although from reading his posts, he sounds like a guy but then I’ve never met him. I didn’t catch anything in yout post that indicated your gender to me, just discussions of Bible verses.

    I also know (from personal experience) that many women in patriarchy are not afforded the freedom to speak as you do and I wanted to encourage you to continue speaking and writing, even if I disagree with you. That is what I was trying to say; if you reread that entire paragraph I hope you can hear my heart.

  116. sunshinemary, Someone posted at jens gems with your moniker defending patriarchy using the typical backdoor way. When I see that sort of activity on several blogs with the same celebrity guru topic, I have learned to be safe than sorry.

  117. “I usually fight feminism, not other Christians, and I have received hate and aggression like you would not believe.”

    I have absolutely no idea what “feminism” is these days. It could be anything from voting without your husband telling you HOW to vote to having a professional career. I am surprised to hear you say you do not fight with Christians but “feminists” ? Very confusing but I guess it has a lot to do with your definition of feminism as you may believe a feminist cannot also be a believer?. Anyway, Paul has an interesting take on that in 1 Corin 5.

  118. “Conservative,” “progressive,” “liberal,” “feminist,” “left,” “right,” and so many other words like them are little mental golf-carts that allow your mind to run around the world of ideas and thought without getting any exercise.

    Whenever I hear them, I like to make people tell me what they’re talking about.

    If you’re a conservative, what are you trying to conserve? G.K. Chesterton’s idea was that a conservative is someone that before he knocks a wall down wants to know why somebody put it up. Any professional programmer gets that – I’ve learned to be conservative! I don’t get how people can call themselves conservative and be eager to get into any war – the least conservative and predictable thing imaginable, and the only way that Communism ever became a force in the world.

    If you’re a progressive, what kind of progress do you have in mind. A lot of that seems to be the progress we get in an egg. If it’s progress on the broad road that leads to destruction, I don’t really feature that progress.

    Likewise, when someone claims to be a feminist or against it, I want to know what this is that you’re for or against, because until I know that, how can I understand your position. Indeed, how can you understand it yourself?

    Most important – and atheists really help us on this – what do we mean when we say “God?” In a lot of conversations with atheists, I find that the God they don’t believe in, Jesus, the prophets, and the apostles never believed in either.

  119. I haven’t read all of sunshinemary’s post yet, but I had to comment when I read the paragraph containing this line.

    “We women have our own temptations; sexual sin is men’s.”

    I LOL’d when I saw that. I mean, what is she saying? That women are incapable of being tempted sexually? Or that men are more susceptible to it? If there’s a biblical basis for that idea, I can’t see it. Certainly experience and common sense say otherwise.

    In the same paragraph is this chestnut:

    “If you doubt that a lack of authority leads to an evil end, just ask yourself this: who is the original usurper of authority?”

    I can just hear the voice of Dana Carvey’s Church Lady adding to the end of it: “Could it beeeeeeeeEEEEEE…. SATAN!!!!!!” :D

    I half expected to see a video of mary doing a little Superiority Dance. ;)

  120. Serving kids,

    This was my main point on the last thread. Since their doctrine teaches that believing adult women are perpetually deceived (even after redemption which is why they need a phallocentristic authority) then why would we ever take them seriously? Where is the credibility since they are decieved?

  121. I have really enjoyed this thread. I’ve known DP was a narcissistic “cult” leader after leaving a Christian cult (Be in Health) myself 3 years ago and finally understanding what the signs are.

    As to his letter of “repentance, for anyone who understands how abusers operate, this letter is just par for the course. People who doubt the letter aren’t being judgmental, just discerning – we just know the signs and have seen them before many times.

    Abusers are very consistent across the board in how they operate (after all it all comes from he same source- the enemy, and he is consistent.) Doug Phillips has the track record and hallmark of being an abuser by nature; a narcissist, a man who enjoys power and control, etc. These types of people are not the same as repentant Christians and can not be looked at the same. They are manipulative liars, and sociopathic in many regards (no empathy for others) . These types of people love to prey on Christians because of our quick forgiveness and grace. But we are getting eaten for lunch. We must be mature and wise in these matters. Unfortunately it usually takes being hurt to understand the nature of what we are dealing with in abusers, and to start to recognize them. I often wish I could shout from the rooftops “Beware” to stop other from the harm I have gone through, but naivety and the desire to be “good and loving” are hard shells to break through- I was that way myself.

    My abuser ex wrote many letters of “repentance,” after I confronted him (ie he was caught) and they had no meaning to him personally, they were just all part of the abusive CYCLE meant simply to draw me back in to his abuse again so he could continue his control and power. This is a very well known ploy of abusers. We must not be unaware of the enemy’s schemes as he operates through humans.

    On a lighter note, I found this and thought may here would enjoy it:

    10 Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained For Ministry.

    How about you?
    10. A man’s place is in the army.
    9. The pastoral duties of men who have children might distract them from the responsibility of being a parent.
    8. The physique of men indicates that they are more suited to such tasks as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do ministerial tasks.
    7. Man was created before woman, obviously as a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
    6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. Their conduct at football and basketball games demonstrates this.
    5. Some men are handsome, and this will distract women worshipers.
    4. Pastors need to nurture their congregations. But this is not a traditional male role. Throughout history, women have been recognized as not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more fervently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
    3. Men are prone to violence. No really masculine man wants to settle disputes except by fighting about them. Thus they would be poor role models as well as dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
    2. The New Testament tells us that Jesus was betrayed by a man. His lack of faith and ensuing punishment remind us of the subordinated position that all men should take.
    1. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep sidewalks, repair the church roof, and perhaps even lead the song service on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the church.
    [original source is still unknown but apparently, this list was adapted to the current list by Dr. David M. Scholer, a former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary]

  122. Over 400 comments? It’s scary that enough people have even heard of this weird, bizarre, Patriarchy, Gothard movement to reach over 400 comments. Why are you nutjobs surprised over this? How about trying to run from these cults instead of being “surprised” over this.

  123. Jack B. – Welcome. I think for the most part, the readers here have already run from the cults. And I also think that most of us are not surprised.

    PS – -Please identify which one of us is a nut job?

  124. Since their doctrine teaches that believing adult women are perpetually deceived (even after redemption which is why they need a phallocentristic authority)…

    Yeah, I love stuff like this. Because Eve was deceived and fell into trangression, therefore all women are perpetually deceived. Does it not follow, then, that because Adam was not deceived but chose to willfully, in full knowledge of what he was doing, disobey God, that therefore all men are perpetually willing to choose to disobey God? And what better way for God to draw us back to Him than to place the perpetually deceived under the authority of, and owing strict obedience in everything to, the perpetually willfully disobedient to God. That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it.

  125. Julie, the nutjobs are the ones who follow these weird, bizarre Gothard-type movements that are obsessed with sex and bizarre teachings and then are surprised when the leaders have affairs. I’m just surprised that people still follow these types of groups. I am surprised that apparently enough people even know about these types of cults to have garnered this much response to it.

  126. “Does it not follow, then, that because Adam was not deceived but chose to willfully, in full knowledge of what he was doing, disobey God, that therefore all men are perpetually willing to choose to disobey God”

    Yes Pam….. and Adams willfully sinning qualifies all men to lead their women!!!! You got it! Makes total sense, right?

    People keep bringing up Gen 3. I know this will rankle some but Genesis is Hebrew Poetry and even so we can see the gist of what is communicated if we eat our Wheaties and do some digging around.

    An interesting thing to discover is how the word “desire” which is teshuqa in Hebrew was translated way way back. The trajectory of how that word was translated from “turning” to “desire” is interesting. Seems a monk named Pagnino is our guy who decided “desire” bit better. (Yes, I am aware of how it was translated with Cain, SOS, etc)

    But look at the different. Eve was “turning” to Adam (instead of God) and Adam would rule over her. Or the meaning can be like turning to and fro. Back and forth. Anyway, God predicted (not commanded) what Eve would do because of this horrible separation from God that sin brought into the world.

    Here is a chart that shows the trajectory of how teshuqa has been translated over the centuries.
    http://godswordtowomen.org/teshuqa_chart.pdf

    What is more interesting is that the LXX is quoted from quite a bit in the NT (even by Jesus) and that translation would have used “turning” not desire. But the Jews had mostly been taught the oral law which was horrible for women. They had done to women what they had done to the tithe system.

  127. Julie Anne, this is good that we can have a friendly chat. I don’t mean to be unkind to you or this guy or this group. I was harsh with my words and I apologize to you and them.

    Although, I still have some serious questions about groups such as this that are just over-the-top obsessed with purity, dating (or how evil dating is and real Christians only “court”), and all things sex. What red-blooded American male ISN’T obsessed with sex? But these types of groups carry it way, way too far, in my opinion. I won’t mention any names, but it’s not uncommon for pastors/leaders/teachers from these schools of thought (or sometimes literal schools) to end up being the very personification of all they profess to be against. If all you’re known for is your teaching on modesty and your obsession with female bodies, do you seriously wonder why the people in the group end up the way they do, when the ONLY thing you can ever talk about is sex, sex, sex (under the veneer of “modesty” , proper ways to engage in sex as a married couple, etc.)!? I hate to tell you, but there actually is more to life than sex.

  128. By the way, modesty and purity are great and I’m for them! But like I said, what red-blooded American male isn’t already obsessed with sex? :) I’m just not sure that I agree with this complete and utter obsession with the topic. It seems like if anything, it’s making people even MORE obsessed with sex than they normally are anyway.

  129. . It seems like if anything, it’s making people even MORE obsessed with sex than they normally are anyway.

    Jack B. – - When you train your boys to focus on how immodest females are dressing, you are training them to focus on body parts instead of who they are. I’m sure they still notice body parts, but their focus is on the person now.

  130. ” I’m just not sure that I agree with this complete and utter obsession with the topic. It seems like if anything, it’s making people even MORE obsessed with sex than they normally are anyway.”

    Yes. Isn’t lust just a form of covetousness?

    “For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.” (Romans 7:7b-8, ESV)

    More harping on lust by preachers yields greater and greater concentration by men on not lusting, and the more time and effort men expend thinking and concentrating on not lusting (how can they do that without continuously envisioning what they are attempting not to lust after?), the more and more uncontrollably they lust.

    And then they blame women for not being modest enough. I say it would not suffice to curb preacher-engendered lust were every American woman to begin wearing burqas 24/7.

    As others have already suggested, we are observing the Islamization of wide swaths of American Christianity.

  131. Yes Pam….. and Adams willfully sinning qualifies all men to lead their women!!!! You got it! Makes total sense, right?

    Absolutely, Lydia!

  132. Rose, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not throwing stones; I’m simply engaging in a civil conversation where the two parties just happen to have very different views.

  133. Adult people are free to join whatever cult they want. I found this forum through another board called Sharper Iron. I am not a representative of SI and I’m not even a member, although I do enjoy the site from time to time. I thought SI was fairly steady and even-keeled, but now I’m beginning to wonder. I’m shocked and saddened that when this story was linked over there that people actually bought into this whole cult and seem to whole-heartedly support it. It’s sad to see otherwise intelligent people buy into this Dominionistic, sex-crazed philosophy. But to be fair, Dominionism, just like Socialism, seems like a fun, cool idea. But spend 5 minutes actually studying it and you see how both systems are Pollyannaish dreams with absolutely no hope of success in this world. I have friends who are Socialists and I think they mean well and are good people; they are just naive and gullible. I’m sure that many of the people in this movement mean well, but they just are gullible.

  134. Jack B.
    I believe most of the regulars here would agree with most of your statements. I don’t think Rose had you in mind at all. Thank you for your contributions to the conversation.

  135. Thanks, BTDT. I’m very late to this conversation (by a few days), and in the blog world, that is like ancient history, akin to the fall of the Roman Empire. That’s why I’m basically the only one talking now, and with this comment, I will be quiet.
    I just don’t want to leave a foul taste in anyone’s mouth. I came across as blunt, and probably too blunt. I don’t mean to be unkind. Please accept my apologies. I would have a great, great deal in common with this organization. Only God can see a person’s heart and motives, but I certainly think that most people, from the leadership on down, mean well. And many of their beliefs I would give a wholehearted endorsement of. But I just happen to think that on a few key things they have a radically wrong emphasis and are putting their energies into the wrong areas. And I’m sure they really do mean well in this, I just happen to disagree. But in the basics of the faith and life, we probably have a lot more in common than any disagreements and I think they are good people…..Anyway…..that’s all for me.

  136. Jack said:

    I found this forum through another board called Sharper Iron. I am not a representative of SI and I’m not even a member, although I do enjoy the site from time to time. I thought SI was fairly steady and even-keeled, but now I’m beginning to wonder. I’m shocked and saddened that when this story was linked over there that people actually bought into this whole cult and seem to whole-heartedly support it. It’s sad to see otherwise intelligent people buy into this Dominionistic, sex-crazed philosophy.

    Jack – I’m a member over there, do not participate much. I was surprised that my blog article was linked there when they could have just linked to the Vision Forum statement. There are a lot of pastors over there who are clueless about this situation as well as Sovereign Grace Ministries situation. It seems they come on quickly to defend pastors simply because they are pastors.

    I’m glad you’re here. I still haven’t figured out what comment you consider as harsh. It obviously didn’t register with me (I’ll dig a little later because now my curiosity is up).

  137. Jack B,
    I bought into the Patriarchy ideology at a young, impressionable age. I was attracted to people to seemed to be living a more “Godly” life than what I was accustomed to. Your description of “Pollyannaish dreams” is very apropos. Instead, this ideology proved to be very unloving and abusive. And, you are correct that the hyper focus on purity has the exact opposite effect of what they intend. That was also my experience.

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  139. @Julie Anne:

    Jack B.-

    What’s interesting is these [sexually obsessed] “nut jobs” also are the same ones who obsess on modesty and purity.

    I would like to point to a similar dynamic I have seen in Furry Fandom and (to a lesser extent) around Bronies (My Little Pony fandom): The Pathological Furry Hater. Always foaming at the mouth about Perversion and Bestiality and Perpetual Arrested Development, you name it. Yet they seem totally incapable of detaching from such a Perverted(TM) Fandom, attending Furry cons and haunting Furry art and fiction Websites. Like they would cease to exist without constant contact with the object of their hatred.

    (Many years ago, I was falsely accused of Bestiality in an email harassment campaign, including the slur that the only reason Anyone ever went to a furry con was to fantasize sex with animals. The next major Furry con I attended, I observed my harasser/accuser enjoying the con and hobnobbing with the big-name Furry fans and artists.)

    All I can figure is that they are just as obsessed as any drooling fanboy, except they have flipped one-eighty from Total Blind Adoration into Total Blind Hatred.

  140. @ServingKidsInJapan:

    In the same paragraph is this chestnut:

    “If you doubt that a lack of authority leads to an evil end, just ask yourself this: who is the original usurper of authority?”

    I can just hear the voice of Dana Carvey’s Church Lady adding to the end of it: “Could it beeeeeeeeEEEEEE…. SATAN!!!!!!” :D

    I half expected to see a video of mary doing a little Superiority Dance. ;)

    Well, Dana Carvey said he based The Church Lady on actual Church Ladies he saw in church while growing up; she’s based on real life….

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