Doug Phillips: Question about Pastoral Position, Timeline of Events, and Understanding True Repentance

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Doug Phillips:  a timeline of events, understanding true repentance and question about Phillips’ teaching elder position at Boerne Christian Assembly

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“Over the years, my sensitivity to these problems has only heightened, until several years ago, I set about to align with men who were sounding the alarm of truth and offering Biblical answers to the problems we are facing. Doug Phillips was one of those men, and Vision Forum was one of those ministries which the Lord has providentially raised up at this time in history to rebuild our Christ honoring foundations, one family at a time.”  Scott Brown, director of National Center for Family-Integrated Churches

I’ve gotten a little flack from various well-known names regarding the comments on my previous post, Doug Phillips Resigns from Office of President at Vision Forum, Discontinues Speaking Engagements.  One thought is about how wrong it is to “chortle” over the news of Doug Phillips stepping down as president of Vision Forum Ministries (he did not mention stepping down from the for-profit arm of Vision Forum).  I don’t think anyone has been doing any chortling (gotta love that word), but people might be glad that truth is exposed because that is the beginning of healing.  But some have been saying people should remain quiet and pray for him and his family as he has shown great humility by his public statement.

We all want a happy ending which includes repentance and restoration, but it’s important to test the waters and see the fruit evidenced.   Part of that evidence included this:

Is Doug Phillips still a teaching elder/pastor at his church, Boerne Christian Assembly?

This was first question that came to my mind after the big news this week of Phillips stepping down. If this man, who taught others how to have godly families, how men should be godly husbands and fathers, had fallen into sin – - so much that he felt the need to resign his Vision Forum Ministry position as president, then what about the even more important ministry work – - that of shepherding of God’s flock?

I checked the Boerne Christian Assembly website when the news broke and saw Phillips’ name still listed as elder (elder is the same as pastor in family-integrated churches):

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The question as to whether or not Phillips remains in his position as teaching elder is an important question as it helps people to be able to examine the validity of his statement of repentance.  If families are looking to this man for godly teaching, yet he has recently been living a life contrary to what he is teaching, this is a problem of integrity and moral character.

Someone left this comment on my previous article about Phillips stepping down from his elder position at his church:

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Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 9.33.34 PM

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I’m uncomfortable posting an anonymous comment as fact.  I need more than that.  Well, yesterday, more credible information came in via Voddie Baucham’s Facebook page.  If you recall, Baucham and Phillips are good buddies.  They both follow the family-integrated church model, are into similar ideologies of Patriarchy, Homeschool Movement, courtship, etc.  They speak together at conferences.  Here’s a snippet of screenshot from a father/daughter retreat in which both Phillips and Baucham spoke.

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(By the way, if you want to get a good idea of what these guys teach at a father/daughter retreat, check out the message titles.)

Ok, so now that we have established that Baucham and Phillips have pretty close ties, I think Baucham is a pretty credible source when he says this on Facebook, not once, but twice –  that Phillips has in fact stepped down as elder from his church.

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Take a look at this, however.  Phillips must have felt like his life was in order enough to speak at a conference put on by FORGE Ministries held less than two months ago:  “Engage the Battle” and “Master’s Plan for Fatherhood,” which included familiar names, Kevin (Embedded-Fetuses) Swanson and Scott Brown.

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This female blogger has questions.

What compelled Phillips to resign this week?  Why didn’t he step down from the Vision Forum Ministries president position in February when he allegedly stepped down from his teaching-elder position?  Why, if he felt the necessary to step down from his elder position, did he continue speaking on topics such as godly fathering, godly husbands when his own marriage and home life were going through their own battle?

We talk about spiritual abuse here.  We study false teachers.  Many of us missed the warning signs in our own churches.  So now, in order to prevent that from happening again, we study so as not to repeat the same mistakes.  We watch Christian leaders use their positions of leadership inappropriately, say one thing, do another, etc.  Some of us probably have trust issues.  We want to see the fruit in a leader’s life, which is a Biblical response.  We want to see true repentance before we can trust.

What does true repentance look like?

I typed a phrase for a Google search:  “what does repentance look like?” and found a sermon entitled, “What Does True Repentance Look Like?” by none other than Scott Brown, Doug Phillips’ friend whom he recently spoke with at the fatherhood conference shown above.

The date of the posting was February 28, 2013 (sermon was actually given April of 2011). I have no way of knowing if Brown knew of Phillips stepping down from his elder position around that time, or of any personal matter, but find the February timing strangely coincidental.

So, what does repentance look like?  Let’s see what Mr. Brown said:

How do you define repentance?

Notice that John uses a verb metanoew (meta-no-eh’-o) which means to turn and change. In this sense, John has a turning ministry. And in many ways we have that same kind of ministry. Our job is to go out into the world to call for repentance – for turning, because repentance is turning. Most people are turning from either an intentional lifestyle of irreverent God hating wickedness or, religiosity and moral fakery. These are the two kinds of people that were actually out coming to John in the wilderness.

Having experienced a 7.9 earthquake, I appreciated this word picture when describing repentance:

True repentance is like an earthquake of the soul that changes the configuration of your life. And it is like the restructuring of the earth happens when the hills are brought down and the valleys are raised up. This is the radical restructuring of life that is true Christianity.

Brown continued with the earthquake illustration:

So these are the earthquakes of the soul, that come from the pressure points that are building in people’s lives. At some point there is a breaking point, a metanoeo, a restructuring of life. These changes all come from the question, “What do I do with the things that God has given me?” The answer is, repent and let the landscape change. You may ask, “What do I do with my job?” Repent; let the landscape of your labors change. You may ask, “What do I do with my family?” Repent; let the landscape of your family change. You may ask, “What do I do with my church?” Repent; let the landscape of your church life change.

Those are strong words.  You can find Brown’s complete sermon on repentance here.

Scott Brown does a good job describing repentance. A lot of people have been hurt by Phillips directly and indirectly.  There are many personal accounts scattered throughout the internet. At some point you have to say either they are all bogus or there is a pattern.  Well, now he has publicly confessed to an affair with a woman.  Yes, I think we are looking for these signs of repentance from this very prominent and respected Christian leader.  Should we not expect any less?

Interestingly, just recently, in August of 2013, Doug Phillips himself wrote on the topic of repentance in a blog article.  Here is an excerpt:

Restitution: Those who experience godly sorrow and true repentance will desire to make restitution to the victim. There is a spiritual debt to God himself which they can never pay and which only the blood of Christ will satisfy. But there is a temporal debt to their fellow man which they must be willing to pay. It is not enough that they will cease and desist from the wrongdoing. They will do whatever is necessary to heal those they have injured by restoring to them what they have taken. Godly sorrow produces such compassion for the injured party that the penitent man aches to bring health and wholeness to those he has injured.

Phillips’ public ministry and pastoral ministry has affected many lives.  We are all hoping and praying that there is complete repentance, including restitution to those harmed.

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407 comments on “Doug Phillips: Question about Pastoral Position, Timeline of Events, and Understanding True Repentance

  1. Thank you for the warm welcome! And you’re welcome for the explanation of the motivation behind SSM’s brief sojourn to this site and the resulting post she made back at her own blog. I’ve witnessed her do the same at other blogs…her intention isn’t to engage in honest debate or discussion, it’s simply to drop a couple of “you’re in rebellion to God if you don’t obey mortal men” quips, then race back to her blog and collect her “good girl” pats on the head.

    In their zeal to proclaim that Genesis 3:16 is a command from God for men to rule over women which was His intention from the beginning (as I have oft seen them “say”), they somehow miss Genesis 1:27-28, in which God gives co-dominion of the earth to both men and women, but does not give either one of them dominion over the other. Or maybe that earlier chapter in Genesis is just feminist revisionist drivel and thus can be dismissed.

  2. “Yeah, except, what’s wrong with cats? (Just kidding)”

    Haha…I’ll admit, I am probably not in the best position to censure cats. My first cat experiences were with the demonic strays that lived in my grandmother’s basement. I have recently met some more personable ones, though…so maybe there is hope for me :)

  3. A book that is both stimulating and an easy read that opens up some research findings of interest regarding gender is:
    Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D.

    It is a fresh look at the topic of gender outside of Christian circles. :)
    What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences.

    “Until recently, there have been two groups of people: those who argue sex differences are innate and should be embraced and those who insist that they are learned and should be eliminated by changing the environment. Sax is one of the few in the middle — convinced that boys and girls are innately different and that we must change the environment so differences don’t become limitations.”
    — TIME Magazine, cover story

    http://www.whygendermatters.com

  4. Pam!

    And you’re welcome for the explanation of the motivation behind SSM’s brief sojourn to this site and the resulting post she made back at her own blog.

    You are new, but I can’t help it, I have to say it: you are a temptress. Do you know how hard it will be for me to restrain myself from venturing over there to read what more she’s had to say? ;)

  5. Sensible,

    Yeah, you don’t want to tangle with an undomesticated cat, especially if it’s afraid and cornered.

  6. Pam, Welcome! Just loved what you said! Thanks for qualifying, as others do here, what exactly is downright ridiculous with all this stuff!

    “In their zeal to proclaim that Genesis 3:16 is a command from God for men to rule over women which was His intention from the beginning (as I have oft seen them “say”), they somehow miss Genesis 1:27-28, in which God gives co-dominion of the earth to both men and women, but does not give either one of them dominion over the other. Or maybe that earlier chapter in Genesis is just feminist revisionist drivel and thus can be dismissed.”

    Re: ‘feminist revisionist drivel–I feel a chortle coming on. :)

  7. “First, I’ll start by saying that my intimate life is not for public discussion”

    Well Amen sister! Do we really need to hear from pulpits all over how often to have sex? I know more about CJ Mahaney’s and Mark Driscoll’s, etc intimate sex life that I should just from reading blogs. TMI

    I think such things are low class.

  8. Forget brain mapping, people. Here is the true test of gender roles. If the building were on fire would Doug Phillips be able to carry Julie Anne or I out? Or, would one of us have to carry him out? (I am tall, too)

  9. “Or, would one of us have to carry him out?”

    Inasmuch as DP would likely consider it unmanly to accept your assistance, you and Julie Anne would just have to walk away.

    Chortling.

  10. Free at last,

    I took a women’s study in college as an elective and was seriously grossed out. I know exactly what you are talking about. Fast forward some years and too many PASTORS now sound a lot like those professors. It is really sexual politics. But what scares me even more are those who are attracted to this stuff. Seems both the government and the church want to micromanage the bedroom. It is creepy.

  11. I don’t know, Gary. Ayn Rand was all for everyone being on their own, but when the crab got into her lungs, she was on government disability payments like a chicken on a june bug.

  12. “Inasmuch as DP would likely consider it unmanly to accept your assistance, you and Julie Anne would just have to walk away:

    In my experience, men who talk the longest and loudest about manliness usually aren’t. As my dad used to say, a real leader never has to tell you he is the leader.

  13. Doug’s Blog is not called by that name anymore. It was as of this weekend. It is now Vision Forum Blog.

  14. Now Peter, you’re making me challenge you again. Do you expect me to accept any suggestion that DP does not possess the strength of his own convictions?

  15. I posted my initial comments just prior to my departing for work today, and was not able to further comment to this blog until I returned home.

    You are new, but I can’t help it, I have to say it: you are a temptress. Do you know how hard it will be for me to restrain myself from venturing over there to read what more she’s had to say? ;)

    LOL!! I know, I am caught in the same trap,,,I know that I shouldn’t return there to read more comments, but I feel compelled to do so in a watching a train wreck in slow motion kinda way. I have lurked at that blog for over a year now, both fascinated and disgusted at how their “Christ-centeredness” is so unChristlike.

    I have to go now and attend to some other things, but I do plan on returning!

  16. “Lydia on November 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM
    “First, I’ll start by saying that my intimate life is not for public discussion”

    Well Amen sister! Do we really need to hear from pulpits all over how often to have sex? I know more about CJ Mahaney’s and Mark Driscoll’s, etc intimate sex life that I should just from reading blogs. TMI

    I think such things are low class.”

    Me too. Don’t check out mary’s blog post. It is not safe for children to see. Or adults for that matter. I found it leas than low class. If anybody can cheapen the idea of sex within marriage, hoo boy, she’s done it.

    I’ll drop this bomb on you since you have the good sense not to look. She endorses a quote that goes something like this “nothing is more phallocentric than a vagina.”

  17. “lydiasellerofpurple on November 5, 2013 at 3:02 PM
    Free at last,

    I took a women’s study in college as an elective and was seriously grossed out. I know exactly what you are talking about. Fast forward some years and too many PASTORS now sound a lot like those professors. It is really sexual politics. But what scares me even more are those who are attracted to this stuff. Seems both the government and the church want to micromanage the bedroom. It is creepy.”

    It is indeed creepy that they wish to micromanage others’ bedrooms. And yet the fields are ripe unto harvest, but they can’t actually be dirtied with field work because they are so busy making sure everybody in their churches are appropriately following the manmade bedroom rules and shunning anyone different.

    What also concerns me is that the church is buying it. So many believers feel they have done their duty just by rallying around the preacher’s screams at the world for being unrighteous, and all around them, a lost world is falling apart. Should it surprise them that unrighteousness reigns in the world that they shun and remove themselves from? If I stand in a room full of republicans and whip up a frenzy about how bad democrats are (or vice versa, either party works in this example) i haven’t actual convinced anybody to change their mind, but i have indeed motivated a lot of rank and file to give me their money and renew their loyalty to me because we got trouble my friends right here in river city! That’s what these pastors do. Give their flocks a false sense of accomplishment and whip up a loyal following and a full offering plate to fund the pastor coming back next week in a fancier car to do it all over again.

    So when I see doug philips and his sycophants and sympathizers really leaving their little bubble and truly loving the sinners of this world with kindness and message of redemption, even eating with tax collectors and prostitutes and sinners with whom they disagree, i’ll be convinced they understand the gospel. And repentance, Doug Phillips and gang.
    Till then, it’s just a buncha hot air.

  18. “What also concerns me is that the church is buying it. So many believers feel they have done their duty just by rallying around the preacher’s screams at the world for being unrighteous, and all around them, a lost world is falling apart……
    So when I see doug philips and his sycophants and sympathizers really leaving their little bubble and truly loving the sinners of this world with kindness and message of redemption, even eating with tax collectors and prostitutes and sinners with whom they disagree, i’ll be convinced they understand the gospel. And repentance, Doug Phillips and gang. Till then, it’s just a buncha hot air.”

    This brings tears to my eyes. Speak truth loud & clear, soul sista! I am with you.

    You’ve gone straight to the bad root of what’s happening. We must focus & speak out about it. There have been many who have been hurt before his recent statement/revelation.

  19. Sales pitch for Vision Forum girl dolls:

    “America’s leading doll providers have declared war on biblical femininity. Whether it’s Barbie’s sassy ‘B who U wanna B’ campaign, Bratz’ call for girls to ‘strut [their] stuff,’ or American Girl’s recent support of Girls, Inc. — an organization that openly promotes abortion and lesbianism to young girls — the elite doll lines have sullied the innocence of our daughters by glorifying perversity,” Phillips observed.

    “Yet even as others frown on biblical femininity, minimize motherhood, and belittle the beauty of being a true woman of God, we dare to chart a different path through our doll line,” continued Phillips. “We dare to believe that the biblical vision for girlhood is a glorious vision. It is a vision so bright and so wonderful that it must be boldly proclaimed.”

    Read more at http://wonkette.com/533412/anti-gay-anti-girl-crackpot-quiverfull-leader-resigns-following-affair-and-also-its-tuesday#jzFkF1g8yupjQgtS.99

  20. Pam,

    I wonder if her pastor approves of her posts? Lol

    That’s a good question, and one for which I do not have an answer. You would hope not, in that her posts are mostly quite hateful and don’t appear to be the helpful guides for women that she insists they are rather than for the titillation of the misogynist men for whom she says what it is that their itching ears want to hear. And she revels in the admiration and adulation that she receives back from them. To be sure, she has done some posts or comments where she has called out men for their bad or erroneous behaviour, but then the male component of her commentariat are swift to rebuke and to point out the error of her ways. Then she blushingly admits that yes, it really is “that time of the month”. ::headdesk::

    Not unlike the topic of this post, Doug Phillips, she is peddling snake oil labelled as nectar.

  21. Pam, Welcome! Just loved what you said! Thanks for qualifying, as others do here, what exactly is downright ridiculous with all this stuff!

    “In their zeal to proclaim that Genesis 3:16 is a command from God for men to rule over women which was His intention from the beginning (as I have oft seen them “say”), they somehow miss Genesis 1:27-28, in which God gives co-dominion of the earth to both men and women, but does not give either one of them dominion over the other. Or maybe that earlier chapter in Genesis is just feminist revisionist drivel and thus can be dismissed.”

    Re: ‘feminist revisionist drivel–I feel a chortle coming on. :)

    Thank you, Barb, and feel free to chortle away! That “feminist revisionist drivel” is indeed a line that has been thrown at me, on more than one occasion, when I’ve challenged patriarchalists. They just love to expound upon “what is plainly written” because, as we all well know, The Bible was written in the original English, so no room for mistranslation or misinterpretation there! “diakonos” was not translated as “deacon” when referencing men but translated as “servant” when referencing women such as Phoebe, no sirree!! Ooooops, there I go again with that feminist drivel!

  22. “What I’m waiting for from the crowd that says Genesis 3:16 is how women are supposed to relate to their husbands is for them to be consistent and therefore prescribe that men in like manner return to the dust (Genesis 3:17-19).”-Peter Attwood

    What I’m waiting for is for them to say men should not use weed killers (the earth shall bring forth thorns and thistles”) and to say Satan (the serpent) should be praised for harming humans (bruising the heel of Eve’s offspring). God said it shall happen, and at least Satan is not rebelling against what God said will happen – He is bruising the heel of Eve’s offspring, constantly! Oh, and they should also say we should allow satan to hurt us – it is in God’s plan, right there one verse before “he will rule over you.”

  23. There’s nothing like using the curse to keep us under the curse, when in reality we have been set free from the curse and have life in Christ. The Gospel seems powerless to those who continue to teach the curse as a way of life. It never did bring life.

  24. Tbc,

    Somewhere above I wrote, “Before it can be said that Husbands have rightful authority to dominate their wives, even if only to the extent of having the final say after attempts to reach agreement have failed, it must be established that a delegation of authority has been made by Jesus Himself. Except in the matter of sexual relations (1 Cor. 7:4), there simply is no direct Scriptural delegation to husbands of authority over wives; and in the instance of sexual relations the delegation is reciprocal.”

    You responded with, “It is not true that the authority of husband’s over (their own) wives is not indicated. 1 Peter talks about subjection to secular authorities, of servants to masters, and then continues to mention that wives too should be subject to their own husbands.”

    I submit that your reading of 1 Peter is tautological or circular. The premise on which your argument is based assumes the validity of the conclusion reached. That is, the admonition of 1 Peter 3:1 for wives to submit to their husbands establishes the authority of a husband only if the instructions in 1 Peter 2 to submit to human institutions, emperors, governors and masters is tautologically assumed to be based their supposed authority. Well, authority they may (or may not) have, but that is not the basis on which Peter admonishes his readers to be subject to them.

    Rather, we are to (be subject to institutions, emperors, etc. “that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people” (1 Peter 2:15b ESV). We do not submit because we are servants of people but because we are “servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16 ESV). I take verse 16 to establish that it is God who holds the authority, not men.

    Servants are admonished to be subject to unjust masters. 1 Peter 2:18. There can be no authority to act unjustly. Therefore, whatever the basis for instructing Servants to be subject to unjust masters, it cannot be their authority.

    Further, 1 Peter 3:1 specifically states the reason wives are to be subject to their own husbands, and it has nothing to do with husbandly authority. Rather, it is that the husbands “may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct“ (1 Peter 3:1-2, ESV)” Finally, husbands are assigned a task which has nothing to do with the exercise of authority over their wives. Rather they are instructed to live with their wives in an understanding way, showing honor to them. 1 Peter 3:7.

    I contend that these passages in 1 Peter simply do not justify a claim of authority by husbands, or even by institutions, emperors, governors or masters. Rather, these passages call us to submit to one another in a manner that is consistent with the principle of loving neighbors and one another.

  25. HI, Neighbors!
    Say– what do you folks know about James McDonald (only one a– not the elephant fellow) and his wife Stacy? They seem like nice people. Stacy just posted a comment on the Mablog, concerned that Mr Phillips might lose his “job” and be unable to *provide* for his family. What?! I thought. Isn’t his job to sell an image? That may have suffered a brief setback, but so far as I can tell, most of his customers and donors will continue to support him. Isn’t he the boss of his ventures? Surely no one can fire him. Then I saw Stacy’s blog, in which she responded Thursday. http://yoursacredcalling.com/blog/2013/10/something-to-think-about/ She didn’t name names or even mention anyone had resigned, but she did say, “What exactly is it that causes that perverse glee to spring up in the heart of man when he sees another person fail? It’s evident on the front of every tabloid.” Obviously she’s referring to the perverse glee of that old tabloid-huckster Julie Anne. She reminds the ladies, “If your idol-of-the-day has failed you, don’t blame your idol for your idolatry. He has his own sin to deal with. You deal with yours.’ Stacy’s pastor James also wrote a nice article about an unnamed hero who fell. http://www.providencecpc.org/2013/11/01/when-heroes-fall/ I got as far as “Consider your idolatry. John Calvin said “The heart is an idol factory”… and had to stop. Once again, it’s all YOUR fault.
    BTW, I’ve been up here in Heaven for several years now, and guess who I have NOT run into? Well–maybe he’s around here somewhere!

  26. This is worth thinking over and very good, especially in light 1 Peter 3.1 being introduced by “in the same way,” referring to Jesus’s submission to injustice in 2:21-25.

    We need to keep in mind that the chapter division is artificial; it’s not in the text. The chapter and verse added later make it convenient to find things and cite them, but they also hide things unless we discipline ourselves to read as if they aren’t there.

  27. I enjoy the notion that Proverbs 31 provides female gender tasks. It appears then that these are things that men ought not to be doing. It’s interesting to see the things that don’t belong to the male role, which put men in rebellion against God if they do them – 31:16-18 especially. And what’s 31:26 doing in there?

  28. Gary,

    Excellent response on the ridiculous use of 1 Peter that is trotted out to affirm authority over other adults. It is not like the slave has the Emancipation Proclamation to appeal to in 1st Century Ephesus or a Civil Rights commission in Rome or even protection from being put to death if he/she ran away from the master. For believing wives married to unbelievers, this also means there was no Ephesus womans shelter or rape crisis centers to escape to. There was not a lot of value placed on life at certain levels of the caste system of that time.

    In this passage Peter is not directing his admonitions to UNBELIEVERS who are treating people as chattel or dealing with them in a worldly sense. This is for beleivers who must function as believers in an incredibly hard situation. It is not an affirmation for professing believers to keep slaves or lord it over wives. But it is often used that way and then called “plain reading”. Right.

    Dabney, a favorite of the Reformed patriarchal set, was a Presbyterian preacher during civil war era who preached this stuff. He is often a favorite of the patriarchal movement. (You guys ever heard of Kinists?)

  29. “What exactly is it that causes that perverse glee to spring up in the heart of man when he sees another person fail?”

    Is it perverse glee to celebrated the demise of an Osama Bin Laden, Edi Amin, Pol Pot, Sadam Hussein, and the like? Maybe we need to be careful not to gloat over the demise and apparent damnation (we really don’t know) of a man for whom our Lord died. Nevertheless, we can celebrate the fact that they can do no further harm.

    In the same we, we can celebrate if and when a man, by his own conduct, is compromised in his ability to effectively advocate for a political and religious ideology that has contributed greatly to the subjugation, even the de facto enslavement, of girls and women.

  30. Gary W: To adapt a famous quote: We celebrate because they are “Free at last. Thank God they are free at last!” It is celebration, not gloating.

  31. Mr Rogers,

    LOL. Am I hearing you correctly?

    When dealing with a leader’s sin, these are the steps:

    A church membership reminder drill: Church business is YOUR sin & we will tell you what to do with your: time & attendance, tithe, bedroom, wife/children, everything. Basically, you can’t be “born again”, nor can you strive to do right (you’re broken), so we give you a bunch of dos & don’ts. The “rules” will make the business money from books & conferences, but that’s not your business. BTW, we’re against government telling you what to do.

    Pastor’s sin? Not your business. Except you might be the cause, since you weren’t praying enough for him. BTW, God is sovereign (it’s not his fault). You continue to focus on your sin. We’ll continue to deal with your sin.

    BTW, I read that pastor’s article & he went on to mention prayer, then sovereignty after quoting Calvin. Do we ever see any other response from these types of churches & their blind followers?

  32. @Lydia:

    Dabney, a favorite of the Reformed patriarchal set, was a Presbyterian preacher during civil war era who preached this stuff. He is often a favorite of the patriarchal movement. (You guys ever heard of Kinists?)

    Dabney as in Stonewall Jackson’s staff officer (was he Stonewall’s chaplain?) who was considered a flaming racist even by Confederate States standards?

  33. @Lydia:

    Oh, and they should also say we should allow satan to hurt us – it is in God’s plan, right there one verse before “he will rule over you.”

    Who he?
    Satan?

  34. @Peter Atwood:
    <blockquote.I don’t know, Gary. Ayn Rand was all for everyone being on their own, but when the crab got into her lungs, she was on government disability payments like a chicken on a june bug.

    And proud of it, too. The Only Truly Rational Mind Who Has Ever Existed(TM) rationalized it all as “I’m getting mine back from those statist moochers”. Not only Disability, but Social Security and Medicare.

    And all the Objectivsts bleated their support in unison. Just like those Elevation Videos with Tither Number 10,389.

  35. Fred: I saw Stacy’s comment on Mablog. It’s interesting that Stacy is speaking out on this issue. I’m not sure if it’s wise of her to stir up a hornet’s nest like that (those who have been in the homeschooling community might be familiar with Stacy and James).

    I don’t have time to look through the entire thread where I posted Phillips’statement, but does anyone remember someone expressing GLEE over this situation as we have been accused of a number of times?

    The deal is these kinds of blog posts, acting all Christianese, talking about “glee” and “gossip” are nothing but a smokescreen. Stacy and James are Patriachal. They are sad that their buddy has fallen, but in order to get the focus off of Phillips’ issue, they have to focus attention elsewhere (women bloggers, glee, gossip, blah, blah). This is no different than TGC folks reaction to any blogger talking about CJ Mahaney.

    You’ll notice that her Patriarchal friends will give her a free pass for being a woman blogger.

  36. Jen is very onto the Phillips machinery to get him the maximum return for his time and effort, and some for just existing. The knives will be out for Jen before the day is out, because she is right on about the suspicious nature of some of these deals. I think the IRS should be investigating, because some of it appearts to be a possible tax dodge.

  37. Wow, thanks for that, BTDT. I missed her previous post, too. I noticed she quoted Phillips’ blog article on repentance, as I did. I’m still wondering about the timing of Scott Brown’s article on repentance with his stepping down from Boerne Christian Assembly.

    Voddie Baucham was clear in saying he didn’t think the 2 were related, but wasn’t sure (the stepping down from church and stepping down from Vision Forum Ministries).

    I tell you what – - isn’t it interesting there are 2 entities: Vision Forum Ministries and the for-profit side? Did anyone else realize there were 2 entities before this all came out?

  38. @Free At Last:

    About the religion and sex issue you mentioned. Respectfully, I don’t think it’s anything new. It has long been a pagan tradition to mix religion and sex. Phallocentrism is just another fertility cult like the ones many new testament believers were called from and into the light.

    And humans have a real poor track record trying to mix religion and sex.

  39. “Retha on November 6, 2013 at 5:40 AM
    One commenter here said that Proverbs 31 provides us with female gender role tasks. That led me to write my take on Proverbs 31 – a take that takes into account that women are not commanded to do all those things mentioned. The passage on the Proverbs 31 woman has only one command. You’d be surprised what it is! http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/proverbs-31-for-women-who-gets-tired-sometimes/

    I really appreciated your post on this.

    My grandfather is a godly man who had his own successful career. He made it possible for his wife to get a graduate degree and a career when she expressed an interest in it because he felt it was his godgiven duty to help develop her talents, even if it meant being atypical for that day and time– well this grandfather always laughed at proverbs 31 because he said, look, preachers love that passage because all the husband is doing is sitting around the gate with the boys letting his wife make him look good! Well, that does not describe my granddad, but i tell you what, it made me see why patriarchal men love this passage. if their wives ran the house and a successful family business, they could sit around all day looking smart and doing nothing but pontificating too!

  40. “@Lydia:

    Dabney, a favorite of the Reformed patriarchal set, was a Presbyterian preacher during civil war era who preached this stuff. He is often a favorite of the patriarchal movement. (You guys ever heard of Kinists?)”

    Hoo boy, for scary, check out the league of the south’s website and statement of beliefs sometime. Christian Patriarchy through and through, add a dab of kinist full quiver white supremacy and secessionism and you got you something scary.

    patriarchy is bad and does a lot of evil in its pure form. it’s also easily dangerously mixed with other ungodly hierarchical ideas that persist in dark crannies. With the right lingo, it even enables folks to slap a fish on white supremacism and call it christian, to borrow somebody else’s lovely euphemism.

    Now don’t get me wrong, i don’t think all pat/comp folks are racists. It’s just interesting how things get mixed and repackaged.

  41. Gary W – I want to respond to what you’ve said but to be honest I am not quite sure where to begin. I’ll jump right to a question then — if you could clarify for me. It seems that you’re suggesting that only God has authority. I am mistaking you?

  42. Here we go again. It would be wise to determine what tbc’s definition of authority is. It may not be the definition found in the dictionary! :)

  43. Sorry to link such long posts. :-) This is another good one that touches on a lot of the same issues in the last two posts and comments here at SSB:
    http://fiddlrts.blogspot.com/2013/07/on-domestic-violence-how-conservative.html

    “Furthermore, it follows that the key to changing the mindset that tolerates and encourages violence is not to attack “feminism” as the bogeyman, but to change the attitude that says that it is okay to force a woman to obey a man.”

  44. Wow, BTDT! Thank you for providing that link & for educating me. I had no idea, just an intuition.

    From http://fiddlrts.blogspot.com/2013/02/patriarchy-christian-reconstructionsim.html

    “Dabney too believed that the error of the French Revolution was that of equality. Men were decidedly not equal, in his view. The man was superior to the woman, the aristocrat was superior to the commoner, and the white man was superior to the black man.

    Wilson isn’t the only leader in the Patriarchy movement with a thing for Dabney, however. Douglas Phillips, who is probably the “godfather” of the movement (and also the son of extreme-right-wing presidential candidate Howard Phillips), wrote an awed biography of Dabney, Robert Lewis Dabney: The Prophet Speaks, and even composed a poem, an ode, really, to his greatness.”

    Talk about a sly take-over make-over of Christianity right under naive noses. And rolling in the dough at the same time. It makes me sick.

    I wonder what Voddie Baucham thinks. And B4B.

  45. Authority has many definitions: power, the right to compel obedience, make decisions, or give order; legitimate sanction to perform certain acts or duties, the power to influence others; a person with extensive or specialized knowledge in a particular field; a person or body that has control in a particular sphere.

    People with authority:
    law enforcement officers, the president of the united states, school teachers, baby-sitters, fire-fighters, parents, employers, supervisors, church leaders

    Organisations with authority:
    Government bodies, schools, businesses

    Terms related to authority:
    authorship, author, source, power, expert, leader

    A Mom — I hope that helps you. This was just off-head (with a little help from a google search)

  46. More from Diary of an Autodidact’s blog post: http://fiddlrts.blogspot.com/2013/02/patriarchy-christian-reconstructionsim.html

    Warning: These are some pretty sick, horrible statements. Not Christian AT ALL. But we need to know who DP is & what he stands for.

    “It is his book, A Defense of Virginia and the South, (available in full for free online) that Dabney expounded his most racist views. (In fact, this book, written soon after the Civil War, was considered racist in its time.) Dabney defends slavery as a noble institution, and in fact, “the righteous, the best, yea, the only tolerable relation” between blacks and whites.

    Some other choice quotes from A Defense of Virginia and other minor writings on slavery: 

    It is well known, that, as a general rule, they [Negroes] are a graceless, vagabondish set, and contribute very little to the support of the State by which they are protected. They are not citizens, never can become citizens, and wherever found in large numbers they are an expense and a source of trouble…
    The black race is an alien one on our soil; and nothing except his amalgamation with ours, or his subordination to ours, can prevent the rise of that instinctive antipathy of race, which, history shows, always arises between opposite races in proximity…
    The offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race. And this apparently is the destiny which our conquerors have in view. If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough to fill that position of political subjugation, which they desire to fix on the South.    (From A Defense of Virginia and the South)   
    Dabney also opposed the education of blacks. (He opposed all public schools, as well as any secular education – which is another reason he appeals to the leaders of the Patriarchy movement.)

    Douglas Phillips, who has stated that Dabney was foundational to his thinking, in his poem to Dabney, specifically praises A Defense of Virginia:

    We must remember Thornwell, Palmer, Girardeau —
    All Southern men who preached with power, unity, and flow;
    But when it comes to logic pure there’s one that tops our list:
    Hail Dabney, prophet of the South, our great apologist.

    Geneva had its Calvin, Rome its Augustine,
    England had is Cromwell to fight the libertine;
    But in our land there was but one who dared to turn the tide
    Of reconstructionistic zeal and yankeedom’s foul pride.

    The feminist, the plutocrat, the wiley carpetbagger,
    The Darwinist, the bureaucrat, and transcendental braggart;
    The scalawag, the suffragette, the surly Statist simp
    Were by your pen defrocked, exposed, and wounded, left to limp.

    The solomonic wisdom from your pugilistic pen
    Has rendered impotent the creeds of far less noble men;
    And with a keen, perceptive flair that exceeds Nostradamus,
    Your prophesies have proven wrong each foolish doubting Thomas.

    You make us leave our comfort zone and re-engage the battle,
    Content no more to tolerate the sophomoric prattle
    Of Socialists, Republicrats, and those who compromise;
    No longer may we coddle them or listen to their lies.

    And so with joy we doff our hats and shout from every mouth:
    Hail Dabney, wise apologist, defender of the South!

    Phillips, in particular, considers Dabney to be a true prophet, speaking the uncomfortable truth. As I will note, this love of Dabney’s vision of the Confederate South will tie in with the goals of Christian Reconstructionism, which I discuss below.”

  47. Hmmm – - no wonder I don’t recall African American families pictured in VF materials/catalogs. Does anybody else remember any?

    Good grief, this is so obnoxious. Can you imagine excluding a whole race?

  48. JA, Do you think Voddie knows this about his friend, DP?

    Excluding not just a whole race, but socioeconomic class. Not to mention excluding gender as well. Any other leaders coming to mind about now?

  49. That’s a very good question, A Mom. Look at the TGC guys and CJ – - – they are able to cover their eyes to the many offenses and then act like CJ is their bosom buddy. Could he be doing the same thing?

  50. Sorry. It’s just that I think DPs views on race, gender, class/economic status is far worse than his latest scandal revelation. What he’s been selling is absolutely not from Jesus or the Bible. I think BTDT is onto something. I think many who follow him have NO IDEA.

    I’m concerned about the horrible damage done by DP & others who hold to his far from Christian views. Damage done to families who just want to follow Jesus & the Bible. I am so sick about this right now.

    Hmmm. Speaking of families. Just had another thought. Others have pointed out the skewed exalted view of the family (to exclusion of singles, etc.) in these groups. Lesson is when ANY group is held in higher view over another in the body of Christ, it is always a bad thing. Wrong, wrong, wrong. An immediate red flag useful in helping to spot wolves.

  51. I wish I could say that all of this disgusting stuff surprises me but it doesn’t. I am incredibly grateful that my special someone was never taught gender inequality or patriarchy or any of this junk. Every time I bring up these topics, he is genuinely shocked that men and women honestly believe it and practice it. It breaks his heart when I tell him about my various relatives who practice patriarchy (and it breaks my heart but sadly I see their families as somewhat normal). Oh, and he is a better cook and housekeeper than I am. :)

  52. “That’s a very good question, A Mom. Look at the TGC guys and CJ – – – they are able to cover their eyes to the many offenses and then act like CJ is their bosom buddy. Could he be doing the same thing?”

    Ah, good point. I didn’t think of that. And yet this offense of racism is one of a more personal nature. One towards Voddie himself. And towards B4B’s wife. It’s one thing to watch others be disposed of, awful as that is. At what point does one remove one’s own head & family from the chopping block?

  53. And yet this offense of racism is one of a more personal nature. One towards Voddie himself. And towards B4B’s wife. It’s one thing to watch others be disposed of, awful as that is. At what point does one remove one’s own head & family from the chopping block?

    Yea, exactly. What point do you remove the blinders and realize how many people are affected by this garbage.

  54. tbc,

    You ask if I am suggesting that only God has authority. That was not the point of my post at 6:15 this morning. Rather, I am saying that, according to the text itself, the admonitions of 1 Peter 2 to be subject to institutions, emperors, governors and masters are founded on considerations that have nothing to do with the fact that institutions, emperors, governors and masters possess authority. Therefore, you cannot legitimately assert that a wife is to “likewise” be subject to her husband’s authority. The “likewise” addressed to wives relates, not to the existence of anybody’s authority, but to the admonition to be subject to another.

    I am buttressing my argument by pointing out that Peter’s readers are being admonished to be subject to one class of persons who clearly to not have authority, i.e. unjust masters. There can be no authority to be unjust. The admonition to be subject to unjust masters cannot, therefore, be based on the unjust master’s authority. Accordingly, it cannot be said that husbands have authority over wives in the manner that unjust masters “likewise” have authority.

  55. I want to say something before I sign off for not (I’m not sure I will comment again, but perhaps I will).

    I was discussing with my wife this blog and some of the commentary back & forth and I have to admit I stumbled into this place not really knowing exactly what it was about. The discussion has been interesting (to say the least) and I come away from it feeling like I have some things to reflect on, especially as it relates to putting in place action plans for abuse situations.

    I’ve tried to be a respectful participant here, but as I’ve read I’ve been puzzled at times by the responses to some of the things I’ve said. Some of them, honestly, have left me fairly scratching my head as there seems to be little correlation between what I said and intensity of the response. I’ve said before that I’m not the person you all may seem to think I am — I don’t remotely fit the category of what you all have described is going on with this Patriarchy (with a capital P) movement. It sounds, honestly, very disturbing. And it is this near complete disconnection with that ‘movement’ and its ideas that I think account for 90% of the misunderstanding I encounter.

    Nearly everything I say is being read through the lens of folks who have been in fairly abusive situations where normally innocuous terms (like authority for example) have been used in ways that I can’t imagine. So when I say “I think that parents have authority over their children,” all kinds of things come into your mind that are so far removed from what I mean as to not even be in the same city — much less the same room. And then I read this about Doug Philips (who again I never heard of before this blog) being a fan of this Dabney fellow… its just weird world for me — totally weird world.

    So like I said, I’m just a guy with opinions. And I say to you (as a man, a husband, an elder, a father, a brother, and a son) I am terribly sorry for how cruelly used you all have been by people claiming to speak for God or on behalf of God. I didn’t do it and I would never do it, but people with my designations did — and worse still they did it ‘in the name of Christ’. I’m sorry for their warped behaviour, their warped interpretation, their deceit and manipulation, the whole thing. I really do pray for the healing of God for you… and that what has been done won’t push away from the Father who loves us or away from Truth, but towards him. God bless you. Sincerely.

  56. “Here we go again. It would be wise to determine what tbc’s definition of authority is. It may not be the definition found in the dictionary! :)

    Yep…it ALWAYS come back to authority for these folks. And is tbc talking about worldly authority or the Body of Christ and between adult believers? Makes a difference.

  57. “Nearly everything I say is being read through the lens of folks who have been in fairly abusive situations where normally innocuous terms (like authority for example) have been used in ways that I can’t imagine. ”

    tbc, You make a good point above. I think that is why I could not get anywhere at SSM’s blog. I was not trying to speak in general, but people couldn’t understand that I was talking about extreme cases of spiritual abuse. Well . . . that . . and there were other issues there. BTW, that place does not seem like a place where you would fit in comfortably I’ve got to ask – - -are you one of “them?” Or, are you there for the ride? I’m sorry, I’ve never been one to mince words :)

  58. “Nearly everything I say is being read through the lens of folks who have been in fairly abusive situations where normally innocuous terms (like authority for example) have been used in ways that I can’t imagine. So when I say “I think that parents have authority over their children,” all kinds of things come into your mind that are so far removed from what I mean as to not even be in the same city — much less the same room. And then I read this about Doug Philips (who again I never heard of before this blog) being a fan of this Dabney fellow… its just weird world for me — totally weird world.”

    It could be because you happened to find this blog on a post about Doug Phillips and started out defending authority between believers and marriage. That might be what created the “lens”.

    The “parental authority” is often code language in the Patriarchal movement for what I see as cruelty. I would not treat my dog like they deal with their children.

    And most who defend authority go directly to the parental thing as if that seals it for adults, too. Once we agree on some “God ordained authority” we must continue on with wives, pew sitters, etc. Seen it a million times.

    And not once have you even considered your continued defense of “authority” between adult believers in the Body and marriage could be man made construct. As I have pointed out, any “leaders” in what is biblical Christianity would be recognized by being fed to the lions first. They have “gone before”. And this includes elders.

    And your responses to specific questions have been vague as you introduced something called Evangelical Feminism and then claimed it was part of Egalitarianism and they had a problem with calling God, Father and Jesus, the Son. All of this was presented as if those of us who were pointing out why there is no human authority in the Body between adult believers were Evangelical Feminists. Now, you did all this very nicely but the point was made, wasn’t it? And it was made in a way that you expected us to “defend” ourselves against the charge. I was very proud of this group for not falling for it.

    Sorry, but you have used every tactic I am quite familiar with from the Patriarchy movement. You might not even realize it.

  59. Julie Anne — SSM’s place? Well… I am a regular there so to speak, but I try to read with a discerning eye. At times she posts really odd things that I tend to steer clear of (like the phallocentricism post). At other times, the posts and conversations can really be quite interesting. I’ve said before that 2/3rd of the folks there disagree with each other 1/2 the time, so it really can be a bit of a free for all. There are things she says that I don’t agree with and some of her regular commenters. There was quite the intense discussion there some time back about the limits of a husbands authority (it was a guest post and I don’t think SSM fully endorsed what the guy was saying). The guy was basically trying to argue for the validity of polygamy and lesbianism under the notion that as long as the wife (wives?) were obeying their husbands, it would be okay. That did NOT go over well with most of the regulars. I mean there was a LOT of push-back to the idea that a husband could order his wife to do something like that and it be considered ‘okay’ under the submission clause.

    I do believe that wives should submit to their husbands and while I respect those who interpret scripture differently (chiefly Eph 5), I disagree with them. But as far as that passage (and similar passages are concerned), I tend to follow the instruction given to us in school when taking tests: ‘keep your eyes on you own paper’. I have enough to think about in trying to ”love my wife as Christ loved the church,” etc., than to be worried about if she’s submitting to me or not.

  60. tbc,

    I appreciate what you say at 2:48. I am also grateful to you for having been willing to wrestle with some ideas that appear to be outside the realm of your accustomed understanding.

    I am also grateful to our Lord for having permitted some people in spiritual authority (or is it “authority”?) to have dishonored me. My own experience of relatively light spiritual abuse, coupled with my reading of testimonies of many who have been horrifically abused by people in spiritual authority, has prompted me to ask questions. As I have asked questions, I have been amazed at how blinded I was to unexamined and unrecognized assumptions concerning the legitimacy of how-things-have-always-been. The shift in my thinking has been seismic on questions relating to whether authority or Love should be the foundation of human relations, particularly between Christians.

    Whether or not you continue to participate here, I hope you will continue to wrestle with the ideas you have encountered here. The ranks of the “nones,” those who no longer identify with the traditional categories of Christianity (Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Charismatic, etc.) are swelling. At the risk of being melodramatic, it may well be that the future of what goes by the name of church in the United States depends upon the willingness of people like you to engage with people like many of us who live in exile outside the comfort of the ordinary and traditional Christian orthodoxies.

    [B]ut test everything; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, ESV)

  61. tbc said: I do believe that wives should submit to their husbands

    What does that look like? Can you help me understand what it means to you? This is one of those words like authority and feminism where everyone seems to have a different definition.

  62. Hi All,

    I just wanted to make an off-topic comment to you all. First, I want to thank you, Julie Anne, Ed, Gary W, Gary, Ric, Lois, Barb, Craig, Monax/David, Paul and the rest of you whose names I’ve forgotten. I started reading Julie Anne’s blogs about 3 1/2 weeks ago when I stumbled upon her sites while google searching for abuse in churches. I have also been subjected to abuse in many forms (sexual, physical, emotional/psychological, etc.) from a very tender age until well into my adulthood. I had never known about Spiritual Abuse. I never heard of that term until I started reading her blogs. If being sexually molested at the age of 15, by a deacon, on church property, and afterward disclosing the assault to the pastor who swept it under the rug and ignored it also constitutes Spiritual Abuse, then that is another form of abuse of which I endured.

    I just wanted to thank you all for educating me with all your dialogues of differing doctrines and theologies. I had been graciously spared from any of these teachings. I also wanted to thank you all for the love, encouragement, devotedness and the care you display to all abuse victims, and for the hope you bring in your messages. Keep shining on as Beacons to the world and pointing the way to the Savior as our Hope.

    Now I’ll head on back to where I left off in the August posts and comments. Soon, I will be all caught up with my reading here and can more actively participate.

    Mary

  63. Mary, I wish I could hug you. You, and the many like you, are the reason why I blog. Yes, you were not only sexually abused, but spiritually abused by the deacon AND pastor. That is shameful and despicable behavior. It makes me sick.

    My heart goes out to you, Mary. Thank you for sharing.

    PS – See how important you all are here. Wow!

  64. Tbc,
    “The discussion has been interesting (to say the least) and I come away from it feeling like I have some things to reflect on, especially as it relates to putting in place action plans for abuse situations”

    Thank you tbc. Thank you for considering this.

    If I have falsely misunderstood you or accused you of being one of the bad guys, I do apologize. You certainly don’t have to apologize on behalf of them.

  65. Julie Anne, that permission I extended to you in email still stands, if you ever wish to post my story.

  66. lydiasellerofpurple (can I call you LSOP for short?) — You are correct. I did not realise it because it is not what I came to do. Which is an important point. I’ve never been in the kind of spiritually abusive communities you have apparently been in, so I am unaware of what they do, how they talk and so on. It really is quite disturbing. There probably are things they said that I would agree with in the abstract because I am not familiar with what they mean by what we agree on. So its no wonder I could come across sounding like them.

    So if I say, “yea I believe that husbands have authority’, then suddenly there is a conversation about ‘enforcing authority and obedience’… colour me confused because it isn’t even anything I have remotely thought about, and really don’t have any idea what it means (unless they mean to beat your wife which is abhorrent).

    Julie Anne — what does it look like for wives to submit to husbands? I’ve not given it a huge amount of thought because like I said, I try to keep my eyes on my own paper. So my wife would be better able to answer that probably but I will venture an answer.

    First I can say what is doesn’t mean to me.
    It doesn’t mean that I’m smarter than my wife (although she would say that she thinks I am)
    It doesn’t mean that I get to make all the decisions (most day-to-day running the house decisions she makes; we consult together on the ‘big’ things)
    It doesn’t mean she salutes and says ‘yes sir!’ to every hare-brained idea I come up with (though I don’ t think I come up with any — not yet anyway)

    Mostly it feels like a sacred and heavy weight of responsibility that I carry. If I make a decision for the family — it feels weighty because my wife is trusting me and my children depend on me — and we’re all depending on God. But it feels weighty. And so her submission looks a lot like … I dunno it is not easy to describe

  67. A mom
    “The feminist, the plutocrat, the wiley carpetbagger,
    The Darwinist, the bureaucrat, and transcendental braggart;
    The scalawag, the suffragette, the surly Statist simp
    Were by your pen defrocked, exposed, and wounded, left to limp.”

    My brain hurts. Objectionable content aside, this is a crime against literature. The corny alliteration, the pathetic attempt at grandiosity, the word choice, i could go on and on. But then, I’m not an English major.

    God help this man if an English major gets ahold of this atrocity. There will be no mercy.

  68. “The cheated wife is not likely to be supported by the patriarchal community. The leaders (all male) are likely to be sympathetic the husband’s “temptation” and should she discuss the situation outside of the sanctioned forums controlled by men she will be denounced as a gossip. Sometimes the women are blamed: the “other woman” as Satan’s temptress and even the completely innocent wife for having “let herself go” or being inadequately submissive.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-ingersoll/doug-phillips-the-big-scandal_b_4195155.html

  69. tbc: I hope that you will hang around. You ended up here, maybe by God’s providence. You have found that people ‘think’ and ‘speak’ differently here. You have stated that you have been challenged by the words and tone of the group. I trust that you have been personally stretched. :)

    Gary, you made a good point: “At the risk of being melodramatic, it may well be that the future of what goes by the name of church in the United States depends upon the willingness of people like you to engage with people like many of us who live in exile outside the comfort of the ordinary and traditional Christian orthodoxies.”

    tbc: This fact, of many who live in ‘exile’, is a plain reality. You have acknowledged in your comments that you recognize that people have been horribly treated by spiritual leaders. This is an important aspect to understand.

    You might be interested in an article on my Church Exiters website entitled: ‘Spiritual Abuse and Barometer People’. This is an echo of what Gary has stated. See what you think. Here is the intro:

    “Survivors of spiritual abuse often become “barometer people.” Barometers are weather instruments which are used to measure the atmospheric pressure. These mechanisms are sensitive to the weight of the air in the atmosphere. Christians who have experienced spiritual abuse and then have recovered from it get sensitized to what can go horribly wrong in churches and ministries that have ended up becoming toxic.

    As these believers figure out what happened to them in their churches and why and what made them susceptible–as well as what made the perpetrators suitable candidates for becoming spiritual abusers–they can be a wealth of insight. They can potentially become some of the most valuable participants in new endeavors or existing ministries. They can aid intentional groups in practical ways to become healthier.

    The types of people who have lived through toxic environments have a unique sensitivity that others in the Body of Christ generally do not have. Therefore, their ‘toxicity-meters’ are often far sharper than those who only have a theological or theoretical concept of what “healthy” and “safe” ministry means.

    The value that those who have recovered can provide for the Christian church is worth exploring.”

    I hope that you will take a moment to read the rest of the article. I helps to understand where we have come from.

  70. “The feminist, the plutocrat, the wiley carpetbagger,
    The Darwinist, the bureaucrat, and transcendental braggart;
    The scalawag, the suffragette, the surly Statist simp
    Were by your pen defrocked, exposed, and wounded, left to limp.”

    “Carpetbagger” is Reconstruction-era South. Birth of a Nation, anyone?
    “Darwinist” — these days, that’s Young Earth Creationism Fanboy-speak.
    “Statist” — I have only heard that word from Ayn Rand Fanboys.

  71. @Julie Anne:

    Hmmm – – no wonder I don’t recall African American families pictured in VF materials/catalogs. Does anybody else remember any?

    Good grief, this is so obnoxious. Can you imagine excluding a whole race?

    Does this surprise you, coming from sources which defend a “Peculiar Institution regarding Certain Animate Property”? (Pronounced with a 19th Century upper-crust Virginia accent.)

  72. @A Mom:

    “It is his book, A Defense of Virginia and the South, (available in full for free online) that Dabney expounded his most racist views. (In fact, this book, written soon after the Civil War, was considered racist in its time.)…”

    Everybody think about that. This was a time when White Supremacy was considered as fundamental a Law of Nature as gravity on both sides of Mason-Dixon. This was a place where the former Confederacy was reeling from defeat and devastation of war. Doubling down in resentment of the Federals who defeated them and destroyed their way of life, resentment that was coalescing into the original Ku Klux Klan.

    And in that time, in that place, Dabney was considered an over-the-top racist.

  73. tbc,
    You may not be aware of what’s going on in your community, but it does go on, in both small & large churches. If it wasn’t, blogs like this one would not exist. These types of blogs & readership are growing & it’s because there are major problems. And they are getting worse.

    I want to be part of the solution. I care about the body of Christ. It’s not an exclusive, insular club. Many talk about being “broken” as if it’s fashionable, but deny there’s anything that needs to be fixed in the church.

    I’ll give you a real-life personal example. I have a dear long-time friend who’s in her mid-thirties. She’s single, an inner-city school counselor, ministers to the homeless, beautiful inside & out. It’s normal for her to casually strike up a conv. about Jesus while pumping her gas, etc. To spend time with her is like spending time with Jesus. She sharpens me (sometimes it’s an ouch) & I’m so grateful to love & encourage her.

    She wants to be a parent, but she’s not married. She will be a foster (hopefully to adopt) parent. However, she has gotten negative feedback from… fellow Christians. They are concerned she isn’t a “Godly family” for a child. That this is not God’s design for a child – children need two parents. They say no.

    What do I say? I say YES wholeheartedly with godspeed.

    tbc, I’d like to know, after you’ve given it some thought, what you think. You’re not obligated to respond, but I would really appreciate it if you did. And whether you respond or not to this question, I do hope you stick around.

  74. If these jerks knew anything about the usual in foster care, they wouldn’t cavil over the prospect of one of them being with this mom instead. In any case, the Bible doesn’t lack for single moms raising kids and God graciously showing up for them.

  75. A Mom: I guess you want to know what I think about the woman who wants to foster / adopt a child.

    Well, I think is is ideally better (and statistics bear this out), for a child to be raised in a two-parent household with his/her biological married parents. That said we don’t live in an ideal world and never have. Assuming that this woman is mature, stable, etc., I don’t have any issues with her fostering or adopting a child, though I think she should also make efforts to make sure that the child also gets consistent and good input in the childrearing from godly men. That isn’t because she’s inadequate in any way, but just because men bring something different (and good) to the table when it comes to raising children. I would say the same about a man looking to adopt — he needs the consistent input of godly women.

    I also think she should be careful after she starts fostering children in terms of her dating life since the highest level of child abuse occurs in single-female headed households — often committed by the women’s boyfriend. (and single women apparently abuse children at a fairly high rate.. go figure). But it doesn’t sound like that would be a major concern in this case. If this woman wants to marry, she should be aware that having a child (either foster or adopted) is going to make it more difficult for a man to want to marry her. I’m not saying its not possible, but reality being what it is, for most men a single-mom is a walking minefield that they would rather avoid (I was single for quite a long while so I know whereof I speak).

    It is a tremendously weighty decision and one not to be taken at all lightly, but I don’t think it is necessarily wrong from a Christian perspective.

  76. A Mom: You must have a lovely, admirable friend! (I would love to follow her example, down the road…). In following patriarchal directives to “multiply” and subdue creation with their own “godly line,” many Christians forget that the earth is already filled with unwanted children–gifts from God, just as deserving of nurture from a spiritual family.

    Once again, this is why I cannot adhere to a complementarian worldview; its tenets typically rely on generalizations and empiricisms, rather than rational absolutes. Godly singles such as your friend are a troublesome anomaly to such systems.

  77. Tbc, Thanks for responding! I find your response thoughtful. :)

    My friend (single, but not a mom) will not date, as she shares the same concern you do (and there’s another reason I’ll get to). In the past, she has dated here & there. She is gifted, she is being a good steward of her talents. In reality, a great catch. But Christian men, while they are attracted to her beauty & spirit, tend to stay away… because of the submitting issue. Really, how does a man, anyone, “top” her or put themselves in “authority” over her? And that is a problem, because that’s not how men should think of a potential wife at all (& not how anyone should compare themselves to anyone else either). Anyway, about the child…..

    The child? In a few years, a teen. Abused. Terribly afraid of men. Her sibling was adopted & she isn’t wanted by those foster parents. In fact, the ideal for this child is a single non-dating woman, with no man in the home. My friend will love, share Jesus with her, help her heal. That’s already her MO.

    My friend had no idea who she would foster, but just knew God wanted her to foster. My friend believes this is the child God has in mind for her. It’s been a long process (that’s another problem), accompanied by much prayer. At least she can tell this precious child she was wanted & was prayed for, for a long time. She should get the call any day now. I think it’s meant to be. Some Christians tell her no, two parent is right. Why isn’t this clear to them?

    This is reality. This is real life. Where are we? Sitting & nodding heads on endless detailed preaching about the ideal family. Like happy frogs as water temp rises. Girls are intentionally dumbed-down, with boys inevitably dumbed-down as well. Learning not to think. Iron sharpens iron in a marriage? Forbid a wife to be the sharper iron. I guess only men can sharpen men. Isolation from the world is not the answer. In doing so, one loses touch with the real world. Jesus came to save, but sharing the good news, being salt & light is secondary. Too busy working out the details of another man’s agenda, glory, authority, wallet – there’s trickle-down & there’s some Jesus-speak in there to make it right, of course.

  78. A Mom, a perfect instance of how ideology makes us more stupid than we would be on our own. Shows you far far it is from the only wise God. It’s a perfect example of how reality has to be repudiated to serve the ideology, idolatry in action.

    1 John ends with the admonition, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” Fist time I noticed that over 40 years ago I wondered how that could be a problem.

    I had a lot to learn. One way to map where we’re really stupid is to take note in the Bible where we say, “How could he be so dumb?” or “What’s the problem?” or such like.

  79. Peter, Ideology is not God, yet often it is held up as God.

    Ideology must live in harmony with reality & truth. And love.

    If a part of my ideology does not, it needs to be re-evaluated. And changed. And that’s okay. It’s the right thing to do.

    This is the problem. The solution to a disconnect between ideology & truth has become easy peasy: Suffering is God’s will, it’s meant to be. Insert ritualistic hand cleansing & done. Result? More suffering. In this case, the child endures more suffering. And we are all worse for it. And we are left with a God of ideology. God IS no longer love.

  80. “Godly singles such as your friend are a troublesome anomaly to such systems.”

    Sensible, Absolutely. Yay for Godly singles! :)

  81. A Mom: What the detractors fail to recognize is that, if this woman did not care for this child, the child would likely be abandoned or neglected in the foster system, and once of age (17 or 18) released without anyone who would continue to care about (and hopefully, for) her in her young adulthood, when she will need a mature voice speaking into her decisions and helping her celebrate her victories and mourn her losses.

  82. Pingback: The Resignation of Doug Phillips | Why Not Train A Child?

  83. My comment goes to several questions that you’ve raised in your excellent article. It’s a lengthy comment that I just also posted Doug WIlson’s blog (one of those blogs that accuses you and others of being “gleeful” and “chortlers”). I have no idea if Doug Wilson will approve my comment, so I’ll also leave it here for posterity:
    ______________________

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

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

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

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

    One of Doug Phillips’ long standing and closest former friends and ministry associates preached a sermon yesterday entitled The Smell of Apostasy. It was clearly motivated by the October 31 public announcement of Doug Phillips that he had resigned from Vision Forum Ministries. I’ll quote from a key point in that sermon.
    _______________

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

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

  84. Pingback: The Board of Vision Forum Ministries Announces the Closing of Vision Forum Ministries | Spiritual Sounding Board

  85. Pingback: Supporting Survivors After Doug Phillips’ Apostasy | Spiritual Sounding Board

  86. As “uncharitable” as it may sound, I am relieved this manipulator and liar has come forth to the light and “confessed” his sin. However, I remain a long standing skeptic of any one in “church” leadership ever restoring what they stole from those that sat under the teachings. Not once have I seen a leader do that. What I have seen is they believe that their “public” repentance is enough and whoever might have been hurt by their actions outside of their “inner circle of family and friends” is not worth their time or trouble to restore them…this I know, as I had my life, and the life of my husband and children, derailed by Olen Griffin and Gary Benjamin from Shady Grove Church in Grand Prairie,Tx in the early 90′s. Even when we went to them to seek a peaceful resolution and parting of the ways 10 years later, we were ignored and they refused to speak with us. Needless to say, we did rejoice when that fellowship went into bankruptcy and was taken over by Gateway Church in Feb of 2013.

    No….leaders in the “church” in America have no regard, nor care, for those that they so easily abuse. Doug Phillip’s, I suspect, will be just like all others.

  87. Pingback: A Closer Look at Doug Phillips’ Clarification Statement | Spiritual Sounding Board

  88. Pingback: Supporting Survivors of Doug Phillips Apostasy, Part 2 | Spiritual Sounding Board

  89. The whole mission of people like Doug Phillips seems more like Mormonism or old-school Roman Catholicism than Christianity. They are moralists and traditionalists, and they seek an old-fashioned existence that stresses man-made rules. It is the replacement of God’s message with religion.

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