A Closer Look at Doug Phillips’ Clarification Statement

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Doug Phillips released a “Clarification on Resignation” statement yesterday.  Let’s take a closer look at those words along with other words from Mr. Phillips.  Does it clear things up or muddy the waters?

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Clarification on Resignation

by Douglas Phillips, Esq., November 14, 2013

I would like to express my gratitude for the great kindness so many have shown to my family in the wake of my stepping down as president of Vision Forum Ministries. My family has been greatly encouraged by many loving notes we have received. With that in mind, I want to be so very clear about the rightness of this transition, and I want to clear up some matters which have been brought to my attention. My sin has resulted in great pain within the Body of Christ, some confusion, and has given the enemies of God reason to rejoice. This is heartbreaking to me. Some have suggested that my sin was not sufficiently serious to step down. Let me be clear: it absolutely does merit my resignation. My resignation is sincere and necessary given the weightiness of my sin. Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years. The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance, but I just want to be clear for the sake of peace within the Body of Christ, that the tragic events we are experiencing, including the closing of Vision Forum Ministries are my fault, and that I am sincere that I should not be in leadership, but must spend this season of my life quietly walking a path of proven repentance. Please pray for the Phillips family, the Board, and the men who have made up the staff of Vision Forum Ministries.

Doug Phillips

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Along with my commentary, I thought it might be helpful to look at this new statement and use Doug Phillips’ own criteria for proof of repentance in an article he posted at the Vision Forum site on August 7, 2013, entitled “True Repentance – A Key to Family Blessing.”  Isn’t it ironic that he set up the criteria for evaluating his own forthcoming “repentance process,” just 10 weeks before the resignation and the dissolution of Vision Forum Ministries that his actions forced? Excerpts from this article are posted in colored font.

Before getting into the body of the clarification statement, does anyone else find it odd that Doug Phillips published a notice on the Vision Forum Ministries website 14 days after he announced his own resignation?  When does someone issue a resignation statement and then 2 weeks later give an update?  When you resign, you resign.  That’s it.  No more.  Nada.   This gives the appearance that he has stepped down.  Has Vision Forum Ministries Board yanked his keys to access the website?  Did they approve of this extra public notice?   Shouldn’t those keys be turned over by now?

Ok, on to the statement – – the first thing I noticed was that silly “Esq.” behind his name.  I’m going to cut some slack there and assume that his full name with “Esq.” automatically posts with each new article.  Moving on …  (Phillips’ clarification statement is in bold font. Any item from his statement with my own added emphasis is also underlined.)

I would like to express my gratitude for the great kindness so many have shown to my family in the wake of my stepping down as president of Vision Forum Ministries. My family has been greatly encouraged by many loving notes we have received.

I’m not going to be well liked for saying this, but in light of the rest of the paragraph, these first statements feel like love bombing.  If the rest of the paragraph wasn’t there, I might accept it, but then, maybe not.  Why?  Because it’s time for him to have a season of repentance and humility and that means removing himself from the public spotlight that he seems to relish.

With that in mind, I want to be so very clear about the rightness of this transition, and I want to clear up some matters which have been brought to my attention. My sin has resulted in great pain within the Body of Christ, some confusion, and has given the enemies of God reason to rejoice.

I have a problem with this statement.  Phillips is coming across as a spiritual authority.  He is not.  He is a false teacher who enforced extra-biblical rules.  He admitted to having an affair.  He has no business looking into the status of anyone’s spiritual health.  Furthermore, who assigned Doug Phillips the role of spiritual judge to deem people as “enemies of God?”   That was completely inappropriate and rude, not humble or repentant.  A repentant person does not get to chastise others.

Some have suggested that my sin was not sufficiently serious to step down.

Might that be because the original statement was very vague and left lots of questions?  For an attorney, gifted speaker, writing something so obviously vague makes both this statement and the first statement lose credibility.

Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years.

Yes, people did have questions about the wording.  As I said above, it was not clear, it left questions, did not give enough information, led to confusion.  Let’s take a look at Phillips’ own words on what worldly sorrow looks like:

 “Worldly sorrow may result in partial repentance accompanied by the telling of half-truths and admission of just enough wrongdoing, and no more, than is necessary.”

The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance, […]

Too often “repentance” is the experience of offering a half-hearted and self-serving apology to God and man, mixed with large amounts of blame-shifting, pride, and a desire to be done with the whole matter so you don’t ever have to deal with it again. (Emphasis added.)

Here we go again.  This man, the adulterer and fraud, begins the sentence by presuming to be in a position of authority and tell us, the public, how his case should be handled.  Newsflash to Mr. Phillips:  You may have been in control of your church and your ministry, but not anymore.  You do not have control of the internet, the words people use on the internet, in comments on blogs or by redhead woman bloggers.

In this statement and the previous statement, he tries to convince us that he is repentant, yet in the same breath, he tells us how to behave.  Unreal.  What does repentance look like?  It looks like a lowly worm.

When one has sinned in such a manner as this, you don’t get to speak out.  You don’t get to tell people how to behave.  You accept the fallout.  You accept that people will or might talk badly about you.  That is part of the consequence of being a public figure and falling.  Some of the talk may not be factual.  Oh well.  It’s not appropriate for you to complain about that fallout.  With this clarification statement and the original statement, he has now attempted to tell us two times that he is accepting the responsibility.  No he is not.  I believe he’s fighting or we wouldn’t have seen this second statement.

Brad/futuristguy also had some great comments regarding this particular part of the statement about who gets to oversee the process and why.

[…] but I just want to be clear for the sake of peace within the Body of Christ, […]

Mr. Phillips has no business telling us about peace within the Body of Christ when he has Patriarchal nonsense and lifestyle has created war within many homes.  Mr. Phillips needs to be quiet.  His time is up.

[…] that the tragic events we are experiencing, including the closing of Vision Forum Ministries are my fault, and that I am sincere that I should not be in leadership, but must spend this season of my life quietly walking a path of proven repentance.

Quietly?  For real?  There has been nothing quiet about this.  Right – you have to prove your repentance and it’s not going to be done with more statements.  It’s done with humility and without a fight, without concern of what people say or think about you.

Please pray for the Phillips family, the Board, and the men who have made up the staff of Vision Forum Ministries.

As others have noted (Gary W. being one), what is notably missing is no request for prayers for the woman whose life has been harmed because of the affair.  What about her?  What about her family?   Are they not worthy of our prayers?

Godly sorrow produces such compassion for the injured party that the penitent man aches to bring health and wholeness to those he has injured. (taken from Phillip’s own article on repentance)

And one more excerpt:

He enters into the pain of those whom he has wronged, and his heart is full of compassion for them because of the trouble his sin has caused. A truly repentant man is therefore a humble man who thinks less of himself and more of those he has injured.

Perhaps Mr. Phillips should have re-read his article on repentance before writing this latest statement.  He seems to be missing the mark as far as I can see.  And no, Mr. Doug Wilson, I’m not chortling or expressing glee over any of this.  I find it sad, but it is important that we take a close look at patterns of behavior from influential leaders.  It’s not gossip.  It’s seeking the truth.

Why do I tear this statement apart?  Because there — just as with the last statement — people who like the bulk of Phillips’ message (on Patriarchy, courtship, godly manhood, etc.) will attempt to minimize his sin, try to shift focus onto others talking about it, and actually confuse what is really going on.  We’ve seen this happen with others in public ministry and we must look at all of the words AND the actions.  When someone sins, having led so many people down a wrong path of extra-biblical teachings, we must be wise and careful.

Since by Mr. Phillips’ own admissions, we now know he was lying to us all for perhaps a decade, are we expected to believe two public statements that he is 100% repentant now that this has come to light?  No.  We wait, we watch, we look at the fruit.  It is far too early to say this man is repentant and, by his own words, I am not convinced yet.

photo credit: 2pence via photopin cc

75 comments on “A Closer Look at Doug Phillips’ Clarification Statement

  1. Ok, on to the statement – – the first thing I noticed was that silly “Esq.” behind his name. I’m going to cut some slack there and assume that his full name with “Esq.” automatically posts with each new article.

    Still sounds pretentious as all get out.

    I’m not going to be well liked for saying this, but in light of the rest of the paragraph, these first statements feel like love bombing. If the rest of the paragraph wasn’t there, I might accept it, but then, maybe not.

    He’s an “Esq”, remember. A lawyer. My late father used to say “Only a lawyer can talk for two hours and say absolutely nothing.”

    As others have noted (Gary W. being one), what is notably missing is no request for prayers for the woman whose life has been harmed because of the affair. What about her? What about her family? Are they not worthy of our prayers?

    Obviously, only Commander Phillps (Esq) is worthy of our prayers.
    Not the Handmaid Ofdoug.

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  2. Men who are facing the natural adverse consequences of having abused their wives/girlfriends are famous for being manipulatively apologetic and contrite, though in word only. Their behavior doesn’t typically change, at least over the long haul. The more DP says, the less I trust him. For my part, if he wishes to receive credit for mere speech, he will need to publicly and unreservedly repudiate the ideology, dogma and agenda of which his admitted moral failure is but the fruit.

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  3. Phillips: “Some reading the words of my resignation have questioned if there was an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman. There was, and it was intermittent over a period of years.”

    1. He is admitting that he was deceitful in his first confession.
    2. “Inappropriate physical component” is about as distant as one can get from the facts of an affair without actually denying it. It’s a symphonic squiggle.
    3. He separates himself from even that phrase by putting it in others’ mouths.
    4.The next sentence starts: “There was”. He doesn’t own it…“I did”. Nor does he define the action…there was what?
    5. He says “it” was “intermittent” but how does that mean anything? “It” is another evasion, and all affairs are intermittent because they are done in secret around usual life. Thus he tries even harder to distance himself from the meaning of his actions.
    6. What is a “period of years”? Such vagueness can’t help but garner suspicion about the young woman’s age when it began, especially considering how evasive he is about everything else.

    Humbug.

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  4. “For an attorney, gifted speaker, writing something so obviously vague makes both this statement and the first statement lose credibility.” Julie Anne, you’re only too kind. I must go much further in saying that both his statements are shams and proof of a total lack of repentance. He speaks of “some confusion” that he’s caused. Yet his two public statements have only added multiplied the confusion.

    The “Clarification on Resignation” clarified nothing and made a bad situation worse. To his earlier secret decoder ring not included confession “we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense” but it was “inappropriately romantic and affectionate” he now clarifies it with “an inappropriate physical component with an unmarried woman”. Yup, clear as mud.

    What’s suddenly happened to Mr. Silver Tongued Wordsmith whose beautific writing and oratory conjures up images of rainbows and butterflies (cue the soundtrack)? Suddenly now he can’t put two brain cells together and successfully manipulate an audience? He doesn’t have a brain tumor, or recently suffered a stroke. Nothing is interfering with his cognitive reasoning abilities. So what’s really going on here?

    None of Doug’s actions are by accident. It’s by design. Rather than repentance Doug Phillips is exhibiting behavior completely consistent with CYA — evasion, equivocation, vagueness, prevarication, subterfuge, lawyerspeak. There simply is no way to CYA and repent. It has to be one or the other.

    The obvious question is what is Doug Phillips trying to conceal? It has to be something very big for him to risk losing even far more credibility, and further tarnishing his reputation. Doug Phillips isn’t coming clean because he simply can’t come clean. His behavior is completely consistent with a man who is doing everything possible to evade making any statements that could later be used against him in criminal proceedings.

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  5. In thinking about the timing of his article on “True Repentance” from August 2013, it makes me wonder: Did Doug Phillips know then, on August 7th, that he’d soon be confessing, resigning, and entering a season of repentance? Was he preparing the way for fully-expected public disclosures?

    If he did, certainly he could have brought attention to that now, after his resignation and clarification, as part of showing he was getting ready for some genuine public accountability for his private sins. In fact, such notification would fit with what I perceive seems to be Mr. Phillips’ rather unfortunately grandiose modus operandi for operating in public – which I guess I see as an almost Jane Austen-worthy irony where one of her characters self-deprecatingly draws prideful attention to his humility.

    However, since we’ve seen no such mention from him or Board members of Vision Forum Ministries in the two-plus weeks since the resignation, I think it’s fair to assume that it was not on Mr. Phillips’ mind on August 7, 2013, in writing about repentance that his own sins would so soon be exposed.

    Hence, that would mean that his self-deception and deceiving of others would still have been intact when he wrote that piece. Which goes to show that we can say or write a whole lot of stuff that sounds all “biblical” and “theologically correct,” and yet be far from living it. And yet, the timing on the repentance article may truly have been providential, as it does set up the biblical standards by which Mr. Phillips’ believed any process of repentance and thus, the repenter, should be judged.

    I tend to agree with what Gary W said a few comments earlier: “The more [Doug Phillips] says, the less I trust him.” Seems to me that each new element in the mosaic and each new statement from Mr. Phillips demonstrates more and more about who he really is. And it does not bode well for any recovery/rehabilitation process that he is still attempting to exert control over his process of “repentance” and therefore continue to control us (if such is still possible) with his words.

    The entire situation is sad. I pray for God’s providential, redemptive love to shine through for all those whom Mr. Phillips has harmed (including himself), so that they can access a healthier, renewed vision for being in Christ and have their hope restored.

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  6. Even this confession is an obvious CYA with an eye to future legal take-backs on any of it, as needed.

    Let’s say the other woman was 18 or 19 when the affair began. How old is Doug? How old are his oldest children? It’s beyond trashing his wife, it’s also trashing the boundaries between father/children.

    And this is only regarding the sin he is sorta kinda admitting. I agree that there must be more going on.

    We do understand that a man with such long-engrained levels of manipulation and deceit must not be permitted back in ministry, right? Even if he were capable of full repentance? And since he is obviously intending to go back with his BS about “seasons”, what will the US church do about it?

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  7. “… the men who have made up the staff of Vision Forum Ministries.”

    The fact that there are no women on staff says volumes about the attitude shown in his letter.

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  8. I am very angry and once again realize why some of the psalms were pleas for God to bring judgment on enemies.

    Gleeful is too small and incidental a word to describe the other part of my feelings, just as it is too small a word when God responds to the psalmist. I feel relief, joy and gratitude.

    I ask that the whole movement tumble into ruins, along with all its pompous lawless men and happily complicit women.

    And I hope that their victims will be comforted by understanding that our God loves all His/Her creatures with equal passion and never makes mistakes when He/She hands out gifts, talents, and desires-of-the-heart, which He/She does freely without thought to gender. And I wish for them to know our wonderful generous God face-to-face, their only true authority.

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  9. Even this confession is an obvious CYA with an eye to future legal take-backs on any of it, as needed.

    PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY. Carefully parsed in advance. Coupled with the Oh-So-Sincere Remorse that’s probably turned on or off like a light switch. And don’t forget the Mutant Power of Induce Pity.

    Let’s say the other woman was 18 or 19 when the affair began. How old is Doug? How old are his oldest children? It’s beyond trashing his wife, it’s also trashing the boundaries between father/children.

    Which one of these Wannabe Commanders of Gilead (Esq or not) said that Older Men need the attention of Young Women and that’s what Godly Daughters were for? (Shave Daddy, Elsie. And keep telling him what a Real Man he is.)

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  10. Julie Anne,

    I am glad that you pointed out how even during his apology for sinning, Doug Phillips had the arrogance to tell other people how they should behave. I did not pick up on that initially.

    The Bible repeatedly warns believers about false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing. This man is pretending to be a sheep who has gone astray, when his behavior is clearly that of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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  11. “Which one of these Wannabe Commanders of Gilead (Esq or not) said that Older Men need the attention of Young Women and that’s what Godly Daughters were for? (Shave Daddy, Elsie. And keep telling him what a Real Man he is.)”

    HUG, yeah, it’s covert incest gift wrapped in lace and rose petals and labeled as the Ways of God. That combo of spiritual and sexual abuse is huuuugely damaging. I know because I received forms of it from my abusin’ Pops the Pastor.

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  12. “The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance…”

    Then why make any kind of public statement at all, especially one that will appear on the internet? Absurd.

    I’ve witnessed church discipline cases where the church leadership informs the congregation of a number of facts relating to the discipline. They then sum it up by saying, essentially, “We gave you a bunch of facts. Now don’t do anything with them.”

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  13. “The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance…”

    Not to mention that Doug and his ministry have, in all likelyhood, posted many photos and movies of the “other woman” right it there on the Internet, as an example to Christian daughters everywhere. She seems like a nice young lady. Where was her father?!?! Likely working hard to “support” the “ministry” of an “apostate” who was using silver-tongued beautific oratory to conjure up images of rainbows and butterflies for his daughter. Likely told her he’d divorce Mrs P. If this man were my son, and let this happen to my granddaughter, I’d disinherit him! That is, if I were still alive alive!

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  14. Also, what’s this business of “quietly walking a path of proven repentance” for only a season. Doesn’t repentance mean turning permanently from sin and to our Lord? Doesn’t repentance require a process of transformation, of becoming a new man, of abiding in the Lord forever?

    My suspicion is that DP’s error here doesn’t have to do so much with the duration of repentance as with its very nature. Since DP sees repentance as being something that is for a limited time, for only a season, he likely thinks that repentance is some sort of penance or self-atonement. It seems very likely that he thinks that once he has paid the penalty and done his time and “humbly” suffered, it’s back to business as usual. He likely does not intend to go away. He likely is even now plotting his comeback.

    It’s rather like a convicted felon who, having just begun to serve a lengthy prison term for grand larceny, is looking forward to his release so that he can apply for his old job as a Brink’s armored delivery truck driver.

    All in my (sarcastically) humble opinion, of course.

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  15. Also, what’s this business of “quietly walking a path of proven repentance” for only a season. Doesn’t repentance mean turning permanently from sin and to our Lord? Doesn’t repentance require a process of transformation, of becoming a new man, of abiding in the Lord forever?

    It seems very likely that he thinks that once he has paid the penalty and done his time and “humbly” suffered, it’s back to business as usual. He likely does not intend to go away. He likely is even now plotting his comeback.

    Like Jimmy Swaggart and Ted Haggard. Except Commander Phillips ESQ is in an even better position. Swaggart and Haggard had Oversight Committees over them and had to bolt and Plant New Churches(TM) when they decided they’d Repented(TM) enough and it was COMEBACK TIME! Commander Phillips ESQ can just step back into his position — Handmaids and all — once the heat blows over.

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  16. Not to mention that Doug and his ministry have, in all likelyhood, posted many photos and movies of the “other woman” right it there on the Internet, as an example to Christian daughters everywhere.

    He actually posted videos including Ofdoug his Handmaid?
    (Or should her pseudonym be “OfdougEsquire”?)

    “THIS CAN’T RUIN ME! NOTHING CAN RUIN ME!”
    — Congressman Wilbur Mills, during his 15-minutes-of-fame scandal

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  17. Well done! This red-headed-woman-blogger nailed it and gave me understanding into why I read his statement with such discomfort. Thank you!

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  18. I am disheartened with the “church” at large though my experience was Calvary Chapels.

    There is so much deception.
    Spoke to a woman today who seemed so discerning. Great conversation about the Lord and she went to a great church ( Times square church-David Wilkerson-Died 2 yrs ago-NYC)
    Until… she told me she was there when Moses was given the 10 Commandments.
    I asked her how that was possible.
    She said she was there spiritually.
    I quickly ended the conversation and realized we may be real close to His return.

    Before, these Pastors were able to hide what they were doing without the exposure we now have with blogs.

    Pastors seem to be entitled. Such privileges. Such unsuspecting sheep that follow.

    Why did they need a nanny?
    I wonder if he had no attraction to his wife (the Madonna syndrome) as she raised all the kids. She was supposed to be fruitful, yet where was he, and what was he doing as an escape? I feel for the wife.
    I thought as with the Duggars, they appoint their own kids to take care of the younger. It is such hypocrisy. Have all these kids. Have fun on the side. UGH.

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  19. “Why did they need a nanny?”
    This is a common scenario with the leaders in Patriarchal, full-quiver churches. After a certain number of babies, it is simply impossible to keep up with the laundry, cleaning, meals, grocery shopping, errands, potty training, nursing, home schooling, “teaching the younger women,” buying clothes and shoes for a rapidly growing brood (especially when you can’t leave the house with the kids until after school hours), bathing kids, church, bible studies, prayer meetings, serving the Body, and still find the time to shower, brush your teeth and hair, and put on something not wrinkled, and look like the perfect Stepford wife and mother.
    The Duggars are a scripted “reality” show. It makes for interesting entertainment, but even they are’t portrayed as real as they probably are in REAL life.
    Most average Patriarchal families simply don’t hold it together that well, in my experience. Meaning the house usually displays some degree of filth, and the kids are poorly educated. No woman not on drugs can possible accomplish all of that by herself.

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  20. Here is what the quiverfull patriarchal family looked like that used to live in my neighborhood. Eight kids. Filthy, unmaintained home. “Homeschooled” kids who were well below grade level. Chronically underemployed dad. Worn out mom with health problems so severe her doctor advised her never to have any more children. The two older boys left and joined the military as soon as they were 18. The oldest daughter used to latch on to girls her age in the neighborhood like a stray puppy and try to hang out all day, every day, anywhere but her home. The girls had to wear headcoverings at all times. The mom passed away when her youngest was 4 years old because childbearing had taken such a toll on her. And here’s the thing: they were pretty nice folks, just really really struggling. Trying so hard to follow the quiverfull model and not understanding why it didn’t work.

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  21. @Headless Unicorn Guy: “He actually posted videos including Ofdoug his Handmaid?
    (Or should her pseudonym be “OfdougEsquire”?)

    I don’t know what you’re trying to prove here, but it’s not appreciated by me, and I’m quite confident if the young woman whom Doug Phillips sexually abused were reading it she’d be very hurt. Is that your intention?

    As far as I knew everyone here was of a mind to be supportive and compassionate her. So kindly knock it off.

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  22. Patrice November 15, 2013 @ 12:22 PM ” I know because I received forms of it from my abusin’ Pops the Pastor.”

    I ache for you Patrice. I hope you have found a way through the agony, confusion, disruption of Pops the pastor abuse. Makes me sick for you.

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  23. Gail, thanks. I am fine now. It took a very long time and I am damaged but I’m genuinely ok. Enjoying life, even! Amazing!

    I hope you are ok. Scared is no fun.

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  24. Leila, do you know what happened to those children? It’s so sad!

    I watched two episodes of Duggars and fell asleep during each. I felt like I was watching kids in the waiting room of a pediatrician. They must have a lot of outside help, along with the older girls doing much of the tending (which is not good for any of them). Their house is too clean and Mrs. Duggar is far too healthy for it to be any other way, yet all the support is hidden.

    I can’t stand that sort of dishonesty.

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  25. Well it would hurt to have the whole internet talking about you. I would hate it. But the problem is, he didn’t just wrong to the girl in this case. He wronged us by lying to us for 10 years. If this was a one-day affair, although it would be wrong, I could see why it wouldn’t be a sin against all of us.

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  26. Patrice
    November 15, 2013 @ 7:35 PM
    “Gail, thanks. I am fine now. It took a very long time and I am damaged but I’m genuinely ok. Enjoying life, even! Amazing!
    I hope you are ok. Scared is no fun.”

    Yippee Patrice! I am delighted to read that you that you are genuinely OK. Long story I bet!?

    I am not as scared as I use to be, just cautious. My best to you.

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  27. “And here’s the thing: they were pretty nice folks, just really really struggling. Trying so hard to follow the quiverfull model and not understanding why it didn’t work.”

    What a sad story. Ugh – that pressure. I know that feeling.

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  28. Patrice, I don’t know what happened to them. They eventually moved to another state. I hope they have found their way out of the insanity.

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  29. I’ll share what I hope will become an exchange I’m attempting to engage in with Stacy McDonald over at Doug Wilson’s blog. I’m hope Stacy will respond, but from what I’ve seen she much prefers hit and run.:

    @Stacy McDonald: “Do they want him out on the street?” It appears that that is exactly what some people want, and I agree with you that that is taking things too far. “My point is we don’t know the back story – mostly because it’s none of our business.” There are many back stories here that most certainly are our business. Doug Phillips is a very public figure in the church and has worked hard to gain a large following of loyal supporters from whom he has profited handsomely from. Your assertion that it’s none of our business is a non-starter. Furthermore, there’s a great deal to this back story that we can know by careful observation, and that many of us already do know, and have known for years. Your strategy appears to be the attitude of “Nothing to see here — move along everybody.” But inquiring minds within the body of Christ believe there are important lessons to be learned from all this and are unwilling to sweep it all under the carpet, as you imply should be done. They’re asking, “Why is this man so disliked? Even more than just disliked, why has he made so many enemies? Why do so many disbelieve the sincerity of his confession and repentance? What has he done to bring all this on his own head? What has he done to cause one of his best friends to preach a sermon in which he calls him apostate?” This last question is especially significant in helping everyone understand much of the back story of not just past events, but also the current events of Doug Phillips’ life. Scott Brown preached that sermon almost two weeks after Doug Phillips’ public “repentance.” Brown didn’t accuse Phillips of being a repentant, former apostate. He was speaking present tense apostate. Stacy, would you allege that Scott Brown doesn’t know the back story, he doesn’t know the current story, and that it’s none of his business?

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  30. Gail, yeah, nasty long story: touch/go for years. How grateful I am that I made it through!

    It’s just sensible to be cautious, right? It took me quite a while to learn that “cautious” doesn’t mean revving up the anxiety engine but instead is about living in a safe place and “keeping an eye out”. Eventually, I also understood that I can swing/fling my arms and legs (spiritually, physically, emotionally) without worrying that I’ll wack or get wacked. That is the fun part.

    My best to you too.

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

  32. A bit of levity (with Ponies!) regarding Doug Phillips ESQUIRE(TM):

    Check 0:20 to 0:50 of this mash-up of the HUB cartoons “Dan Vs” and “My Little Pony” regarding PRINCESS Twilight Sparkle. That’s what Doug Phillips ESQURE kept reminding me of, but I didn’t make the connection until now. Imagine Twilight’s answering machine message recorded by Douggie, with ESQUIRE instead of PRINCESS…

    P.S. Keep an eye on Princess Celestia (the pony god-figure)’s reaction in this segment. And Twilgiht’s reaction to Celestia’s reaction.

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  33. @Hannah:

    I am disheartened with the “church” at large though my experience was Calvary Chapels.

    I have always gotten a “bad vibe” from Calvary Chapels (and Calvary Chapelites). Nothing I could put my finger on and say “AHA!” but a general vibe of something WRONG. Like they seem to embody or concentrate all that can go sour with Evangelical Protestant Christianity. And defend it with barrages of chapter-and-verse Bible Bullets.

    Why did they need a nanny?
    I wonder if he had no attraction to his wife (the Madonna syndrome) as she raised all the kids. She was supposed to be fruitful, yet where was he, and what was he doing as an escape? I feel for the wife.

    Among upper-crust Victorians, a wife was “an angel in the house” you married to run the household and breed heirs. It was a duty, little more. For sexual enjoyment and emotional bonding, you kept mistresses on the side. Everyone knew, nobody spoke of it as long as you Didn’t Get Caught.

    In polygamous societies, getting caught didn’t come into play, as aging patriarchs took much younger plural wives. The bigger (and more bootylicious) your harem, the greater your prestige.

    In both cases, a major age difference allows the graying patriarch to convince himself he’s still Young Virile and Young. (Like a seventy-something Michael Jackson in his playroom in footie pajamas, looking in a mirror yelling to himself “I’m Young! I’m Young! I’m Young! Really! I am!”)

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  34. “The local church, not the Internet, is the proper forum for overseeing the details of a man’s repentance…”

    I 100% agree, if the individual in question has not attained to develop a public profile beyond his local church. But, when that person has set himself up over other leaders and churches, as in the case of CJ Mahaney, or up as a public personality, as in Doug Phillips, he then opens the door for those he sought to influence to expect to see evidence that repentance is genuine.

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  35. @Frank, you are judging the commenters on this without knowing them or their stories. I have been reading Julie Anne’s blogs and the comments since she was on her other blog. I have read her story as well as most of the people who comment here. There is no gossip here. This is a group of people who have been hurt by church leaders. Some have been damaged greatly. This has been a safe place for everyone who has a story to tell. No judgement, Lots of encouragement for healing. It is not “a bunch of sin sniffing, strife-filled garbage”. Doug Phillips built a very public business with his Patriarchal & quiverfull doctrine. A lot of women and men have been hurt and damaged by that. A lot of families have been split. Now, just as publicly, he has been found out as a fraud. Yes, people all over the internet are analyzing his ‘ministry’ and his business. We should be doing just that. Not only to learn where he was wrong, but to be able to look at our selves to avoid DP’s sins. Learning from someone else’s downfall is not “sin sniffing”. Phillips set himself up as a very public ‘righteous man of God’. He was not. Consequences are not always pretty and mostly painful. Phillips does not need for you defend him by being judgmental toward those of us who are trying to make sense of this.

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  36. How humiliating for his own family when he won’t just keep quiet during such a difficult time. And for him to rehash/expound on the physical details. Makes you wonder how forceful he’s being at home since he’s not keeping quiet publicly. Of course, his family probably isn’t allowed on the internet to know what he’s doing or not doing (again, no accountability).

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  37. As someone who has been on their mailing list AND made donations in the past to VF Ministries, I do have a say. There was a matter of trust here.
    Why did our donation money “buy” Jonathon Park and Everyday News Network (ENN) which is a non-entity ???? Now what happens to JP ? ENN is not tangible goods so is lost, I guess. Why is the VFM website still up…. albeit sponged of some things. If it is truly closed then there should be only a closing page left, in my estimation. Why did Doug aka VF Inc send out an email Nov 15th encouraging us to get the free catalog from a competitor jmcremps.com ? Or is it a competitor? It is designed strictly for boys but very similar to the ideas that VF began many years ago. There is so much more to the scandal than we have seen.
    A man who cannot keep the covenant commitment to his wife, is not fit to be trusted on any lesser level, IMHO. Perhaps he could become a lawnskeeper or something. There is good honest work to be had out there where he need not have his hands on money or other women.

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  38. @A James: “Of course, his family probably isn’t allowed on the internet to know what he’s doing or not doing (again, no accountability).

    You are correct, but you overstate the situation. There has always been, and always will remain, accountability. It’s just an accountability that only flows in one direction — Beall and kids to Doug, not the other way around. That also applies to BCA church members, or at least it included them in the past while they were still under his control and domination. Now that he’s been dismissed as teaching elder from BCA and so many of the families have left, it’s hard to say just how much mind control Doug still exercises. But don’t assume that just because he no longer hold the power-title of “Elder” that he doesn’t exercise considerable control. He still does.

    Those who are familiar with exiting a cult know that just because you get out of a cult doesn’t mean the cult immediately gets out of you. The mind control continues to affect your thoughts and actions for months, even sometimes for years. There are ways of accelerating the exit recovery process, but most people never receive the help they need. No current BCA member is reading blogs, and many former BCA members still have the old programming tapes playing in their head in Doug’s voice saying, “Stay off the internet.” For this reason and others I have strong reason to believe that even the young lady that was sexually victimized by Doug isn’t reading these blogs either. However, this isn’t to say that there aren’t other ways of communicating with her.

    The mind control that Doug Phillips has exercised for years over both his family, church, and business, is all the proof one needs to demonstrate that Doug Phillips is a cult leader, not a pastor. Doug’s M.O. for years has been that anytime bad news popped up about him, was to tell his church members, “Stay off the internet.” They dutifully complied. Just imagine how great that power must feel! To control people’s lives like that! BWA HAHA! It’s for good reason that one of the top ten professions for attracting sociopaths is pastor. No doubt some other study exists that shows the same thing for narcissists.

    Beall and the kids aren’t allowed on the internet ever, but that’s not a new family rule. It started some years ago over some other Doug scandal(s) hit the fan (if memory serves me right it was over the Raising the Allosaur fakeumentary). Beall knows only what Doug tells her, and as a dutiful mind controlled Patriarchal wife she asks no questions, nor does she form any opinions contrary to her husband’s. If you ask Beall her opinion about something she’s likely to answer, “Let me ask my husband’s opinion on that and I’ll get back to you.” But that only works up to a point. Thankfully Doug long ago informed her of the opinions that she should hold on the subject of marital fidelity, adultery, etc.

    Hopefully Doug has done a better job with his Trickle Truth on Beall than he’s done with everyone else. If not there’s probably little much hope of saving his marriage unless, of course, he were to do something with her that he hasn’t done with anyone else — actually repent to her.

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  39. A man who cannot keep the covenant commitment to his wife, is not fit to be trusted on any lesser level, IMHO. Perhaps he could become a lawnskeeper or something. There is good honest work to be had out there where he need not have his hands on money or other women.

    A B Lever,

    Welcome and thanks for your informative comment. I was curious about the catalog you mentioned in your comment and wondered if there was any connection between the owner and Phillips. I haven’t seen any so far except for the fact that he sells boy toys. The store is owned by Jay Asplin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jayasplin

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  40. T.W.

    You are so correct.
    I went to a Homeschooling Convention yrs. ago and out of the hundreds of booths, I spent the entire weekend talking to DP and DW and they made such an impression with me that I attended all their lectures. And when I bought a package of CD’s, it was all their lectures. And I am discerning.

    I am convinced that the most successful Pastors are the ones who could have also been great actors. It is not so much what they know but the delivery, the talk, the image. So many are being fooled because as human beings we just identify with those who represent who and what we ascribe to become. I admit it is coveting.

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  41. @Julie Ann
    Thank you.
    I did look at the owners page on their website prior to posting that but it seems very odd that DP would promote it. Just one more thing to be wary of. The whole guilty by association thing. I am not saying that they are not great people. The website is VERY nicely done. They have been in business (according to their page) for quite some time but this is Doug’s first mention of them AND they are competitors.

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  42. From the Jayasplin LinkedIn page: “To be a resource for families that desire to raise godly men, providing resources for parents, father and son projects and just good ol’ fun adventurous products for boys.”

    They may not be affiliated with VFM, but the ideology seems similar.
    We’ve been getting those catalogues for years. Never ordered from them.

    Like

  43. When I shared my story here many people readily identified my former church as a cult. The more T.W. Eston shares about BCA, VFM and DP, it sounds more like a cult to me. A few commenters have shared troubling info about Scott Brown as well. And we know the dark side of Doug Wilson. Things don’t look too good for Patriarchy.

    Like

  44. I often wonder why Christianity so often manifests itself weirdly. Why do we find such strange expressions in our midst? It has come to my attention that balance is very seldom achieved in the realm of Christian thought and practice.

    Like

  45. I am a homeschooling dad. I am a fan of patriarchy, but like all sinful men, have been guilty of being “Lord,” when my wife needs a servant. Jesus said the gentiles would lord it over others, but He set an example of humble servitude. I pray for that, and in the wake of this scandal, and all.

    I hope that everyone will pray for Doug, his family, those that have been harmed by him and his hypocrisy.

    I also would say, no one is perfect in written or verbal communcation. Does he have special training in this area as a lawyer- yes. But he is still imperfect. We can criticize his words, but do not know his heart. We can pray that he truly is, and will continue to be, humbled and repentent by this.

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  46. Pingback: Doug Phillips: The Patriarch and His Personal Failure | Spiritual Sounding Board

  47. Pingback: Doug Phillips: “Disowns” Former Vision Forum Executive Assistant to President, Peter Bradrick, Calls Him “Destroyer” When Confronted about Sins | Spiritual Sounding Board

  48. Pingback: Compelling Evidence that Vision Forum Inc. is Closing, Liquidating and Doug Phillips “Show” of Repentance Revealed | Spiritual Sounding Board

  49. I would just like to say that we can read into his resignation and clarification letters all we want but it’s not going to help anything. This is a difficult situation for anyone and we’re only making it worse for Doug or his family by looking for implying meanings.

    We should not be so quick to pass judgement. We don’t know all the facts or reasons why everything is happening the way it is. If anything we should take this sad example as a lesson that none of us are above reproach, we all sin, and our sin has consequences.

    We all love to read between the lines and search for possible meanings but at the end of the day what good does it due.

    Doug slipped and he’s receiving the consequences. We don’t know for sure why or how all this happened, and to be honest do we need to? It’s enough to know that he slipped and now Christians are suppose forgive and to help him.

    And until we are intimately acquainted with the details of Doug and Bella’s daily life or relationship I don’t think we can adequately pass judgement on why Doug could have started an affair.

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  50. Dan – – maybe you haven’t read any of the accounts of families who have bought into his teachings for years and their families are in shambles.

    You better believe if a public figure who touts that he has all of the biblical answers for how godly men/godly women and godly families should behave and then he does the opposite, leaving his wife and children in harm’s way, most likely losing their house, business, all of the niceties they’ve been used to for years, it is very important to dig deeper. What a shame you don’t see the importance of this.

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  51. Dan – – this is not a brother stumbling, this is a freakin’ Spiritual WOLF who has been leading people into extra-biblical legalism and onto a path of spiritual destruction – – not just his family and his church, but all of the multitudes of “followers” on the internet, who buy his products, listen to his teachings, went to his conferences, etc.

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  52. Dan – I just want to point out that this was not a “slip”. We all slip sometimes. But, Christians do not live in perpetual sin (see 1 John). There comes a time where we have to look at the fruit and do a little judging in order to protect the innocent. Paul does it all the time in the NT. I WISH it were just a little slip . . . but it wasn’t. And we cannot turn our heads.

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  53. Dan, this isn’t just a little slip. This has been going on for years! I wonder how people like you, Dan, would feel if someone if someone sexually or physically assaulted your family members, wife or children over the course of years, and still say ‘oh well, we all sin’. I seriously doubt that is what Jesus would think.

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  54. I am sad to read the many comments on a fallen brother. I can only think “with friends like these, who needs enemies.” You are like sharks in the water circling the bloody prey, especially the woman who writes this blog. I pray none of you are ever find yourself in similar circumstances.

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  55. A show of hands, please:

    Who here considers Doug as a BROTHER “IN CHRIST” who just stumbled?

    From the Bible, everyone, please…who does not inherit the Kingdom of God?

    Nope…not a brother!!

    Dan, that was for you!!!!!!!

    Ed

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  56. Long term premeditated sin indicates a non-believer. It indicates that his father is the devil. It indicates that he is not “IN-Christ (Christian), it indicates that he is NOT a brother, it indicates that he did not just slip and fall, it indicates that he needs to be kicked out of the church to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved. It indicates that he must STILL be born again, it indicates that he is NOT a follower of Christ. Need I say more, Dan and Mark? It indicates that he never had faith to begin with…it indicates that he is not saved to begin with. He is as the heathen.

    Ed

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  57. Pingback: Fallen Patriarchy Leader Doug Phillips Leaves Former Church and Becomes Member of New Church without “Letter of Transfer” | Spiritual Sounding Board

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