After the Doug Phillips Vision Forum Scandal: What Should We as Homeschoolers Parents Do Now?

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The Doug Phillips Vision Forum scandal has left homeschooling families reeling and questioning:   what now, where do we go from here?  What about Patriarchy, Full-Quiver, Courtship, Parenting? A Concerned Dad asks some great questions.

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Over the weekend, I got an excellent e-mail from A Concerned Dad who probably echoes the thoughts of many homeschool parents as we try to make sense of the Doug Phillips scandal. He gave me permission to share it here.

Many of us were sold a bill of goods under his teachings and now the rug has been pulled out from beneath us.  What now?

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Julie Anne-

Thanks so much for sharing your story through your blog.  I’ve been doing a ton of thinking the past month or so since the whole Doug Phillips thing blew up.  It has been a huge wake-up call for me and I’m reading and listening to many viewpoints across the internet. I’m going through the stages of grief in a way as some of our dreams are dying. Underneath it all, I do have this feeling of finally being set free from some lies and fear we have been living with for many years.

I think our family is very similar to yours, but you are several years ahead of us on this journey.  We also touched on the fringes of the movement, have had much of the garbage infiltrate our lives and now we are at a point where I’m trying to figure out what to do.

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We have 8 kids under the age of 16, mostly girls.  My wife does an admirable job with the home education but at this point we are at the breaking point.

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The past year we have finally released the older two children to a public charter school and we are on the verge of doing the same with the younger ones.  For a while, we were heading down the familiar path–daughters preparing for motherhood, courtship, not going to college, etc…but I’ve completely soured on all of that.  Our girls are doing sports through the local schools, preparing for college and other “baby steps” towards more normal life.

I just listed to the very long podcast you were a part of on Godtalk and I was sick to my stomach thinking about the damage we may have done and could do.  My wife is still somewhat on board with the whole quiver-full thing, Above Rubies, and the other typical parties.

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This type of thinking has seriously permeated a large portion of the home schooling sub-culture to the point the subtle pressure is felt down in the trenches in local groups and cliques.  

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She still seems to be pretty enslaved to thought that she can “do it all” and somehow shelter our kids from the evil out there.  It’s a false view of spirituality I guess–the evil is out there, not in us.   I feel like it we are miserable here with no freedom or joy anymore.

My questions to you:

Would you still home-school knowing what you know now?

What would you do differently?

Do you recommend any form of discipline/training?  I’ve been drawn to love and logic and have read/listened to some of those materials. Any other advice for those of us our here who are someone in between those two camps? 

I see good and bad in both sides and think we can blend the two to some degree.  It may be a child-by-child decision to adapt to their needs and maturity, but I’m also interested in how people manage these complexities.

Thanks so much!

A Concerned Dad

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I’d like to open this up for all of us to respond.  I certainly don’t have all of the answers. How would you respond to A Concerned Dad?

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photo credit: wormwould via photopin cc

238 comments on “After the Doug Phillips Vision Forum Scandal: What Should We as Homeschoolers Parents Do Now?

  1. Love your children, immensely. Teach them how to make good decisions for themselves by teaching them to consider options, to consider the consequences and likely results of each option, and to decide and live with the decision they make. And when things do not turn out as they thought, help them to assess where they were wrong, and if the problem was in their analysis or an outside event that they had not anticipated. Punish them only for making a decision that goes against moral standards — lying, stealing, being concerned only about themselves and not about others — and then by making them write out and explain their choices and the error they made. And punishment should be either time out or a loss of privileges that does not interfere with development of independence or learning.
    The best defense against them going astray is to make them strong and capable of acting morally and justly when a parent is not there to help them make the correct decision.

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  2. My advice is for parents to find a local church and home schooling group for support, fellowship and advice as you work your way through this experience. May the good Lord bless you.

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  3. A Concerned Dad –

    I just finished 10 years of homeschooling. I now have a daughter in 11th grade at the public school (she started last year), and a son in 7th grade at public school (he started this year).

    When I started homeschooling, I did it because the Kindergarten teacher told me that my daughter’s love for drawing, and not saving enough time for writing, would be “a problem” in 1st grade. My thinking was that if she were taught at home, there would be no problem. I didn’t start off homeschooling, and honestly, never thought I would, but it worked well for us for many years.

    When I started on the journey, I went to the Christian homeschool convention to hear the 101 talk about the laws for our state and to check out curriculum. I went to a non-denominational Christian church, and really didn’t know much about homeschooling except that I had a sister-in-law who homeschooled her kids.

    Over the years I used several different Christian publishers, but never really bought into the ultra-conservative patriarchy. My husband and I just didn’t follow that party-line, so I avoided it at all costs. Because I was involved with leading a homeschool group through a church, I became more and more aware of leanings of the Christian homeschool association in our state. I didn’t like it, and I pulled away more and more from that mindset.

    I went back to represent my place of employment one year at the Christian homeschool convention. I was blown away by how pervasive the movement was presented. There obviously was an agenda presented and only the companies that towed the party line were invited (My place of employment was never invited back to the convention. I don’t think they’re “Christian” enough.)

    I tell you all of this to give you some background on my experience. I would say, though, that as I homeschooled, I thought that it was imperative to tie the Bible into every subject. I have since learned that you just can’t do that. It was also my greatest fear that my children would lose their faith. I have since come to the conclusion that I cannot control that. That is between them and God and I will love them no matter what.

    If I were to do it all over again, yes, I would homeschool again. However, I never bought into the patriarchy part, so I would definitely not go that way. I would encourage parents to be open to using any and all materials to teach different subjects. All kids learn differently and using one set for all kids doesn’t work. I would also keep the mindset that just because I am homeschooling my kids doesn’t mean that they will turn out to be “perfect” people. I think this is a damaging line of teaching and thought that the current Christian homeschool movement tells parents. I would also tell parents to be open to letting their homeschooling naturally phase out if goes that way. Families are a living organism that changes over time.

    Sorry for the long post. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.

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  4. Also, teach each one of the children the necessary skills needed to be able to survive independently in the world. Each child should learn how to balance a checkbook, how to make and stick within a budget, how to do minor home or car repairs, how to cook/clean/minor sewing repairs, how to keep a tidy house, how to do laundry, how to dress for an interview, how to develop marketable skills for future employment, how to prepare for college by taking pre-entrance exams you can find at your local libraries. Each child needs to develop skills in order to become independent, and able to live on their own without having to rely on someone else to “fix” things for them. Also, make sure you shower them with lots of love and compassion.

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  5. Love & Logic has some decent ideas. But the real problem here is the line of thinking that says, “There is an organized, researched / tested, nearly infallible system of rules and regulations out there that I can implement and check off my to-do list in order to produce a Godly, happy, healthy, productive adult who rarely makes mistakes or is forced to endure any pain or suffering, especially if we can see in hindsight that it was preventable.”

    It’s an admirable desire, and probably instinctive for all loving parents, but it is false. And I don’t believe it is at all biblical.

    1. We don’t train children and produce adults, like a factory produces parts. The Bible says God already did that, when he formed each child in the womb and numbered the hair on their heads. One look at Creation tells us that God values diversity, so my guess is you have 8 dramatically different children, with different personalities multiplied by different abilities multiplied by different experiences compounded by different needs. (God bless your homeschooling wife! Seriously, my word, send that woman to the spa for a day) Is it really logical to believe there is one system or plan (developed by flawed, limited human beings, remember, because there’s not a well-described plan from God) that will account for all of this?

    2. God says we will make mistakes. We all sin and fall short. Either He has a purpose for this — many feel that failure is the impetus for growth, moreso than success — or it’s just a by-product of a fallen world, but whatever your beliefs, it’s a fact that we aren’t going to achieve perfection in this world, nor does God expect us to. Nor does He even expect us to come close — any quick scan of our Biblical heroes shows a zig-zaggy road to glory, at best, sometimes a descending path, but never a straight, upward-moving line. Trying to keep our kids from making mistakes is an exercise in futility, at best. We may also send some dangerous messages about worth, or woefully under-prepare them for Adult Real Life.

    I hate to leave it here, having de-constructed Christian childrearing plans and offering no positive plan of action, but it’s carpool time. Hope this is food for thought.

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  6. Often homeschoolers tend to “shelter” their children from the world rather than teach them how to “engage” the world. My son came home from first grade (public school) with a lot of what is considered extremely inappropriate information from other children. This gave me and my husband the opportunity to address all types of information ( sex, sex and more sex), with our values and beliefs. Children are apt to at least pay attention to their parents point of view while young. If you shelter them until they are 18, when they leave home and have to make choices, they are less likely to come to you for advise. Remember, information is power-so expose them to “the world” while they are young, answer their questions honestly, let them know you will be available to discuss any questions they have, and that they are loved! I wish you and your family well in your coming adventure! Ann

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  7. Accept your children for exactly who they are. I’m confident that your children know you love them and care about them. What they may not know is that you accept them exactly for who they are right now, and you support them and their decisions. There’s a difference between acceptance and love, and most of the adult homeschoolers I know wish they could beg their parents to accept them and stop trying to make them into mini-mes.

    You have to realize that there is absolutely nothing you can do as a parent that will ensure that your children grow up to agree with you about pretty much anything. Your kids might end up atheist, or agnostic, or pagan, or a raving liberal Democrat (like me)– and making them feel that you don’t respect their thought process and their ability to think and make decisions will be one of the worst possible things you could do.

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  8. I will be doing as I have always done: seek God’s word for what I am to do. Those things that I agree with such men as Doug Phillips on were so not because of Him but due to God’s word. Sure God may have used him to spur some thinking but the truth is often God has used pagans to spur me to look more biblically at what I do.

    I believe at times God brings down men and ministries due to the sin of many to look towards the those men and ministries rather than God’s word. He, of course, does so by the means of their sin but brings this about to right a ship that is being steered by other than God. We are all in danger of this if we lose sight of who is the captain of our salvation (Heb 2:10).

    So again, what do we do. We do not automatically throw out teachings from one who falls but do as we should with all things, search out the entirety of God’s word and hold fast to what is true. I have heard many want to jettison what they previously held to due to this situation and others that seem to find vindication in their disagreement with such teachings due to a fall. The problem is ones fall does not validate or invalidate what was taught, God’s word does. The measure of ones teaching is not the man but God’s word. Yes the man is the messenger but if we throw out every teaching of a man that has fallen we will not have a lot left and we should get rid of books such as Psalms due to David’s grievous sin. But of course we would not do such a thing and I am not equating David to DP but simply what to point out, again, we are fallen men and in such a state that is why we are to take what is taught and test it by God’s word.

    Let us, again, do as we are called to do, be good Berean’s and search out the entirety of God’s word. Not for what we would like it to say but for what it does say and hold fast to that.

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  9. “I’ve been drawn to love and logic and have read/listened to some of those materials.”

    Me too! I have found some of their stuff fits very well with my daughter’s personality. I think they have a very well balanced approach that helps kids today THINK. Their tools on bullying (she attends a Christian school!) have been espcially helpful. We actually practice responses at home over and over until they become second nature. They are clever, humorous and self confident responses.. And it works. Get your kids prepared to deal with things “out there” as best as you can. Use logic to help them learn how to think. Pray for wisdom with them every day.

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  10. Trust4himonly: Your link was broken and I think I fixed it. Let me know if it’s another article.

    Yes, the Duggars definitely have a relationship with the Phillips family, but the Duggars are primarily with ATI – Bill Gothard’s group. They practice the same ideologies: full-quiver, courtship, modesty/purity, Patriarchy.

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  11. Concerned Dad-first I just want to say I applaud your courage and I am sooo sorry this has created such wounds. I feel like I have to keep saying that;). I don’t think and I don’t think anyone would tell you homeschooling in and if itself is bad or wrong . This is only my opinion but I think it should be done depending on your kids needs. And NEVER for Salvific purposes . There is no ‘family righteousness ‘ you’re gonna gain with God. “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.” Protestantism does NOT see family as a sacrament and I think that should be clarified first and completely . Second, don’t feel shame for buying into this . It’s all wrapped in a very appealing package and brilliant people have fallen into the pretty trap. Thirdly please don’t let this cause a rift between you and your wife. You are further sling in your understanding of this dangerous slippery slope and mamas need to feel like they’ve done EVRYTHING for their kids just right and it’s a hard hard lesson to un-learn. I’d recommend a good book called “quivering daughters-hope avid healing for the daughters of patriarchy” . By Hillary Mc Farland. Maybe it could address some of the ‘now what’s ..’ In the meantime I’m glad you posted and know your family is being covered with prayer right now!!!

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  12. Doug Phillips has absolutely nothing to do with why I homeschool personally. Neither does any other public figure. Yes other people can advise us but in the end we look to the Word of God only. We pray, study our Bibles and do what we feel God is leading us to do. The problem is no man, woman or child should have be following Doug Phillips. He is merely a man. He is not the final authority on anything. This needs to be a wake up call to everyone who was implementing homeschooling, stay at home daughters, Patriarchy, ect.. in their homes just because Doug said so. That’s not a good reason! Make decisions that are best for your family based on Scripture not on Doug Phillips, Scott Brown or anyone else.

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  13. WomanforFreedom, what a great response! The main thing I think about in regard to all this is the confused thinking that through our dress and our homeschooling and our childbearing and our pot-providences and our following the dictates of the leaders, we are going to make ourselves more pleasing to God–it will be our sanctification and the sanctification of our children. But ALL of our sanctification is through Jesus Christ alone. Getting back to Jesus Christ is at the heart of getting homeschooling right. We’re not ever going to do it completely right, not ever, and our adult children are going to point out what we did wrong (as mine do!). But show them Jesus. Love them with the love of Christ. Shed the peripherals and embrace the basics. The rest will come.

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  14. Concerned Dad, I am a homeschooling mom and have been to a few vision forum conferences & listened to a few of their teachings. I want to start out by saying that I was not always a homeschool mom & did not start out by choice, it was a conviction my husband had. I was a private christian school teacher. ( we hadn’t even heard of vision forum or doug phillips at that point in our lives)

    I would encourage you to look to Christ and pray & let Him guide you thru His word on what is the right choice for your family. I would not make this decision lightly. What were the reasons you started homeschooling, and the other areas you mentioned? Was it because you were blindly following a man or because you thought that it was the most God honoring way of life? Is your purpose & your families purpose to spread the Gospel & to glorify God? We are all sinners in need of a Savior, we all make mistakes & need Christ to be our rock & to sanctify us & show us the right way.

    I am appalled at Doug Phillips’ behavior & his double life and I do believe that his teachings need to be brought back to the Bible and examined & brought under the authority of scripture! I would say that all of his teachings need to have balance according to God’s word but it doesn’t mean that they are all false.

    Why do you homeschool? Do you want your children to be thrown to the wolves in the public school system. Do you know the things they are promoting, have you heard of common core? Do you want to spend your time undoing what is done at a public school or do you want to spend your time installing God’s Word into your kids and a love for Christ? I totally am against the public school system but if homeschooling is not what you feel The Lord wants for your family any longer please consider a good christian school because at least there they will be taught about God & pointed towards the Bible & prayer. Of corse there is bad in all schools but at least you won’t have so much going against God in a good christian school.

    And what about raising your daughters to be wives & mothers? Does that mean your daughters can’t be well educated, does that mean they can’t go to college? Of corse not! There are good christian colleges in this country and good christian online colleges like college plus that can equip daughters to be anything they want to be! And all of that will make them excellent wives and mothers! Any tool daughters have can benefit them in their future! But it doesn’t mean we raise our daughter s as the works and to go after these things and put being a wife and mother in the backseat! I think far to many people out there think to negatively at being a wife and mother! You praised your wife, don’t you want your daughters to be a wife and mother?

    And as far as courtship goes, I think it is a God honoring way to get to know a man and i think it can and should look different to every family. I don’t know how you grew up but I know how I grew up and I sure would not want my daughters to be doing the things I was when I was young. We can protect our daughters from way more then we were protected from.

    Please take time to call upon God and seek His will not man’s.

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  15. First time commenter after reading a lot on this site over the past month. :-)

    Concerned Dad, so glad you are asking these questions! May God bless and guide you to find the path that He would have for your family.

    ” It may be a child-by-child decision to adapt to their needs and maturity…”

    To this I would give a resounding yes. I am a homeschool graduate and now I teach at a Christian school. I see the merits of both of these options. I would not encourage anyone towards homeschooling for spiritual reasons only. That is what my parents did, and it has left my siblings and I very handicapped academically. I left high school able to do math at a 9th grade level but no more. The only subjects I completed through all 12 grades were the ones I had a natural bent and interest in. I’ve seen a lot of homeschoolers reach similar ends and it is a shame on the parents. I needed more guidance to get through subjects that were harder for me, but my own needs fell by the wayside.

    By God’s grace, now I teach at a small school and I absolutely love my job. There are so many pros to seeing kids in this learning environment. They have the help they need. They have opportunities for things like sports and music. They have many Godly adult role models who are investing in their lives and backing up what the parents are teaching them at home. Each of these, and other things, are extremely valuable.

    I am not a parent yet, and I have not decided how I will educate any children the Lord blesses me with. That will be a decision made based on how my husband and I feel led, taking into consideration each child’s personality. I do not have any experience with the public school, but if you feel that’s where God wants you to put your kids, then I think that’s exactly what you should do. Follow Him!

    So many others have made excellent points. Another one I would add would be to affirm your children every day. I grew up not knowing how to recognize or articulate my own emotions or needs. Family was the god in our household. Individuality was viewed as an expression of sin. It has taken me a long time – and much help from Godly people outside my family – to realize that my hurt was valid and that I have worth as my own person. It sounds like you are already doing a good job recognizing the unique talents and giftings of your children, and I am so happy to see that. Keep it up! Let them know that they are each valuable and that you want to help each one of them be exactly who God made them to be. They’re not extensions of you. They are their own person with their own calling. Help them find ways to discover God’s plan for them, in whatever ways He leads you to do so!

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  16. Our youngest child graduated from homeschool/highschool last June. She is attending our local community college with hopes to transfer into a four year college. She has four older brothers (all completed college). All but the oldest have spent time being home schooled- (we didn’t make that choice until the oldest asked us if he could attend Christian school after his Sophomore year of High School). I was a homeschool mom for fourteen years.
    We do not regret our choice to homeschool our children, and we trust that our decision to begin homeschooling when we did was in God’s perfect plan for our family.

    We’ve experienced Public school, Christian school and Home school. Our kids are fine, but, not perfect. One of our children has struggled in his walk of faith. His struggle began when he was away at a conservative Christian college in California
    (we live on the East Coast).

    In truth, it may have started before that, but we were not aware of it. We decided to have him come home after his second year out there, so that he could finish college closer to home. He did graduate from a state college, and we are loving him and his wife, and praying that he sorts through any doubts and remembers the saving and unconditional love that God has for him.

    We have grown in our faith and love through this experience.

    My husband and I were careful not to get into any of the Patriarch movements, but we have been exposed to them in the two churches we have attended during the past 20 years, from the Josh Harris, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” movement to the “keep your Christian daughters home” movement, and everything in between. We have learned to be very skeptical of any movements. No matter how good and pure they sound, if it’s a movement, be cautious.

    I believe all Christians should be very cautious concerning movements. God is a personal God, and He leads each of us through the Holy Spirit. He rewards those who diligently seek Him. The bible does not say that He rewards those who seek their path by following the latest Christian movement. Fads can be very dangerous…whether they are secular or religious.

    Some words of encouragement to you and your wife would be that you have begun to see the dangers of following one of the many “gurus” of Christian parenting. Also, I have learned over recent years that it is very good to trust my husband’s take on things…it may be harder for your wife to let go of the “dream/fantasy”, but you are right, it is so freeing.
    Our family left a high demand church last year. The leaders were former Bill Gothard followers. I struggled so much with leaving- but my husband encouraged me by saying, “you may have a hard time now, but after you get away from this, you will feel so much freer.” He was so right.

    Christ came to give us freedom, not more structure. This truth seems to be very hard for us humans to grasp. The systems that we encounter in today’s churches and Christian organizations produced and pumped out by those who “know” what is best for us and our families are just man-made systems. God does not need them to accomplish His will in our families’ lives- neither do we! There may be some value to some things that we hear/ read, but God gave US to OUR children to raise them. He knew what He was doing when He placed each child in our home.

    Praise Him for the truth that he promises to lead us, Believe that He will, and Trust that He will give you and your wife the wisdom and grace to complete the job.

    You will not be perfect, nor will your kids be perfect….but you will experience the love and joy that you were meant to experience as a child of God, and you will model that to your children…nothing could be better for them.

    God Bless.

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  17. All the stories have really made me very sad about how we divide ourselves in so many different groups. My home church actually solicited support for a mission group to go to “convert” Greek Orthodox Christians. I reminded my church that they believe in the same Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior as we do. Just because they celebrate Christmas on a different date does not make them heathen.

    I thought Julie Anne’s tweet earlier today about Wayne Grudem tying himself into knots about what women can & can’t do hilarious. God knows we need more strong godly women in this world. Wasn’t it strong godly women that started the Temperance Movement – particularly a woman named Carrie Nation that put the fear of God in many, many men? Google her name & you may be shocked at how many men ran away from her in fear.

    Anyways…all the divisions reminded me of this story:

    “Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

    He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.”

    I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too!

    What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too!

    Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too!

    Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too!

    Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said,
    “Me, too!”

    Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

    I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.”

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  18. As a non-homeschooler with children in public schools in a Blue state all of their lives, I am happy to report that they are now college-educated adults who care about serving the Lord. They took philosophy and biology from atheist professors and yet came out with a solid faith.

    As other commenters have said, let your children know that you love them and trust their judgment and that you trust the Holy Spirit to guide them if they ask for wisdom.

    Sure, my kids had detours along the way, but I kept in mind the Lord’s great promise:

    “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” —Phil 1:6

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  19. Concerned Dad, I would homeschool again (4 kids) though might access outside help sooner with some learning disabilities issues. Only Christian curriculum we used was a science one because it was ahead at the time with ebook and computer lab. We’re Christians but mainline denomination so while we attended a large homeschool group, we didn’t quite fit in. I know now a lot of them were Quiverful but didn’t get it at the time.

    The biggest thing my kids got out of it was family time and time outside. Trees and grass and time to play are wonderfully healing and nurturing. The creative things they did were amazing and did a lot to help them be healthy adults who show care and concern for others. Not all finished college (more about learning disabilities than anything – adopted sibling group w early abuse and neglect) but all have consistently reached out to others. They get love your neighbor. And if my kids, who started with so little could benefit so much from time to roam and create, how much more the average child? But you have to enjoy it and it has to be right for the child or it does more harm than good.

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  20. I have homeschooled all along and have a 18 year old son. We were in a Christian cult (not VF) for 4 years and he was devastated by it. Then after we left that cult I was forced to divorce his dad due to spousal abuse. We also bought into the “perfect Christian homeschooled family” save your child from evil stuff and were very influenced by VF. It has been a shocking journey to see that the evil I wanted to save my child from came to him through our involvement in a cult and from his own father.

    I have learned some very difficult lessons and been brought to my knees before the Lord in utter humbleness. And I have to say is that it has been the best thing for both of us. I have surrendered all I thought I knew to Christ. And now I can say that this deep deep suffering has made my son stronger for the Lord than the protected life ever did. He had turned from God but somehow in watching me admit I knew nothing, rely on God for everything, and seeing God transform me, he has come to see the real Jesus. Yes he still struggles but God has ahold of him and he wants God more than ever, the REAL Jesus not the religious, fake one. We now seek only Jesus and He works in us and it is wonderful.

    All I can say is that Jesus is the answer for all your questions. Seek Him not rules, in utter humility and emptiness, and surrender everything you thought you knew and He will meet you. I now know that if I don’t have the Life of Christ in me I have nothing to give my child except outward religion and that religion will either be shallow or useless. Be grateful that you are down to nothing- that is the only place that Christ can truly meet us. The pain of the last 3 years has been unbelievable but I have Christ and it has all been worth it.

    After all the brainwashing we have gone through we need our minds renewed and our hearts truly turned to Christ alone. I highly recommend teachings by Andrew Murray, Major Ian Thomas, T Austin Sparks, and all the old writers who understand about the abiding Life in Christ. Here’s a fantastic article by Charles Trumbull to get you started:
    http://www.path2prayer.com/article/267/revival-and-holy-spirit/books-sermons/new-resources/famous-christians-books-and-sermons/charles-trumbull-author-on-victory
    scroll down half way to the Victory in Christ book and at least read chapters 1 and 2.

    Blessing on your journey- I pray you will soon rejoice in where He leads you and you will have the very love of Christ in you to give to your children.

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  21. Why do you homeschool? Do you want your children to be thrown to the wolves in the public school system.

    Back in the day, I used to say things like that. I cringe just thinking about it.

    I currently have two kids in public high school. I volunteer daily and have not seen anything like what Phillips and his cohorts have been preaching at us at homeschool conventions for the last 2 decades – – about how evil it is and it is like throwing your kids to the Devil.

    Phillips, and all of the homeschool gurus helped to create such a judgmental and elitist group. This is the 2nd time this week I’ve heard someone say that anyone sending their kids to public school is like sending them to Satan. I am fed up with this arrogant attitude that homeschooled kids are better off than everyone else. How is this kind of pride godly?

    If feedback from my blog is any indication, some of our homeschool kids are abandoning their faith, have deep emotional scars from some of the abuses within the system. It’s time to take off the rose-colored glasses. Take a look at how our first generation homeschool kids are now speaking out about how it really was for them. They are the fruit. Some of them are raising their voices loudly and what they are sharing is not so pretty.

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  22. *Would you still home-school knowing what you know now?

    Absolutely, but I have always said that we are homeschoolers who happen to be Christian, not Christian homeschoolers and we have tried to stay a good distance away from teachings like those of VFM for around 7 years. Now, more than ever, I think it’s important for my family to make clear that we homeschool for academic reasons as opposed to religious reasons.

    Both my husband and I were homeschooled for non-religious reasons. I was raised in a Christian household and my husband was raised in a secular household. Neither one of us was isolated in any way – we both took classes of interest through the public school system (I was more interested in the arts and he was more interested in the sciences) and had friends of many different backgrounds and belief systems throughout our homeschool years.

    I loved being homeschooled and we strive to homeschool our children in the way that we believe they should be homeschooled based on our children’s individual strengths and weaknesses, not in the way that any group or “ministry” says that we should.

    *What would you do differently?

    This question doesn’t really apply to me at this point of my life, but paying attention to the individual needs of our children and encouraging them to participate in “all inclusive” homeschool or out-of-home school activities/classes have served our children well so far and I highly recommend those things to anyone who is planning to continue homeschooling. Those were only two of the many highlights of my own homeschooling education and I greatly preferred homeschooling to public or private school, both of which I attended before my parents pulled me out to homeschool me.

    *Do you recommend any form of discipline/training? I’ve been drawn to love and logic and have read/listened to some of those materials. Any other advice for those of us our here who are someone in between those two camps?

    We practice Grace-Based Discipline, which I have found to be a uniquely Christian take on Gentle Discipline. I do not believe in child “training” as it is generally taught and I do believe that children can be disciplined (taught) without needing to resort to artificial parent-imposed punishments (spanking or time-outs), as opposed to natural consequences (you spill it, you clean it up; you can’t keep yourself from running into traffic, you have to be held or hold someone’s hand; etc).

    “Grace-Based Living,” a book by Crystal Lutton, a Messianic pastor, was extremely helpful to me when learning how to relate in a more grace-filled way to my children (and my husband also). We aren’t Messianic, but her website has been extremely helpful as well: http://aolff.org/ The message board at http://gentlechristianmothers.com/ has also been very encouraging as I have navigated the challenges of parenting and homeschooling my own children.

    Some other helpful websites I’ve found are:
    http://whynottrainachild.com/
    http://greenegem.wordpress.com/
    http://www.thatmom.com/

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  23. As for discipline, no “training,” thank you. Tried James Dobson’s technique of squeezing the neck muscle once. To this day can’t stand even to hear his name – I felt so inhumane doing it. We did a combination of things because different things worked with different kids. Natural consequences seemed best, especially as they got older. But when younger, time outs worked because a couple needed the calm down time. Now I wish we’d had a designated calm space – a nice corner with a chair where anyone can go and no one can talk to them. It’s a space designed for a person to calm themselves down before the trouble happens. Some schools are even using them and stocking them with distress toys like squeeze balls and soft stuffed animals. We do it ourselves when we escape to our bedrooms or lock ourselves in the bathroom for a minute of quiet but often when our kids try to the others won’t leave them alone. Or we won’t leave them alone.

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  24. Finding your way with your children…knowing which way to do this or do that…is always ‘evolving’ and growing. Like someone else stated, that is the nature of a family. For myself, I would not change the fact that we homeschooled, but I would change the way we disciplined our older ones, and the lack of balance we failed to teach them to live in. Seeing their lives now, prayer is my only comfort…and the knowledge that God is much bigger than my mistakes. We have four left at home now. The oldest finished her high school work just this year at the age of 20. But this was not due to our holding her back, but my life-altering illness. So much fell to her because I just could not. But she refused to give up, and finally completed her work. She is now considering moving 2000 miles across country, a decision we are supportive of.

    I do not believe that homeschooling, in and of itself, is evil, backward, or wrong. I think the environment in which you raise your children daily is so much more important. Like others have stated, love your children. Accept them for who they are. Allow them to explore themselves and the world around them. Teach them critical thinking/problem solving skills. And when the time comes, don’t be afraid to let go. I have come to believe that loving them, accepting them, trumps any and all mistakes you may have made.

    No matter where you allow your children to be educated, you will make mistakes. You will, in years ahead, look back and have regrets. No educational system is perfect. But loving your children, accepting them, will prove, in the end, so much more important to them than what text books you use, and where they spend their days. For in the end, love will lead them back to you.

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  25. Dear Concerned Dad,

    The first thing I want to say to you is “bless you!” The fact that you want to do right by your children and are willing to change is the first, huge step to getting out of any mess you may have in your home.

    Over the past 7 or so years since I have been researching, writing, and podcasting about homeschooling and the VF paradigm, I have heard from many with stories similar to yours. This is, in a nutshell, what I share with them.

    1. It isn’t homeschooling that is the problem. In fact, homeschooling is an amazing tool, not an end in itself, but a vehicle for accomplishing many things in a family. As others have said, examine why you homeschool and go from there.

    2. Make your family life be about relationships, not paradigms or formulas. The two great commandments are to love God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. That should be the goal and the way to do it is to put the once anothers of Scripture into practice. Print out all the one anothering verses and spent time as a family memorizing them and considering how they will look in application. As someone recently told me, a legalist will look at those verses and want someone to make a list for them! Meditate on their truths and the Holy Spirit will guide each family member and convict your hearts!

    3. The number one way a parent should relate to their children is by asking them to forgive you for any way you have sinned against them. Again, use those one anothering verse to examine your own heart attitudes toward your wife and children and seek forgiveness. I have asked many young people who were raised in homes where parents had sinned against their kids what would happen if mom or dad genuinely confessed, in word and deed, ”I was wrong, please forgive me.” Without exception, they say, “It would change everything.”

    4. Pursue the Gospel, live by grace. Remember “the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

    5. Relearn how to read Scripture with discernment. Here is what really helped me and I know has been the approach many have used when they come out of a cult and struggle with how to even read their Bibles: http://www.thatmom.com/articles/are-they-true-or-false-teachers/

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  26. I have had a different experience with homeschooling my kids, however I was not a group person so I did not get involve with any of the organizations- thank goodness.

    Reading the stories here gives me shivers. My daughter, who is 19 and does not have a close relationship with God right now, actually thanked us for homeschooling her. We had close encounters with Vision Forum, but did not take the plunge.

    I think a lot had to do with that even though we made mistakes as parents (many a time – I had a problem with anger 5 years ago) we knew that our kids were not for us to control but to train according to their “bent”. Even though they may buck us and try their “own ways” that it was NORMAL to do so when you are growing up. My daughter has dated a long distant boyfriend that we did not quite like, she is extremely stubborn, does not like school, messy with her room, precocious, has all kinds of non- believing friends (boyfriend is a wonderful guy, but an unbeliever); BUT she is not into drugs or alcohol, is a great thinker, communicates with us, full of mercy for those friends around her, on her journey back to God, wants to be a teacher now. We have JUST let her BE- this is Gods child in the end not mine.

    It has been hard to watch my daughter go through these issues but I could not try to perfect her because she is her own person and soul for God to mold; I could only be there to encourage and coach as a mom. I am not saying these things as a mom who knows it all, I am just saying that “knowing it all” like these perfectionist neo-Calvinists want is bad for ones health. Being messy and “working out ones salvation” is a part of life and our children are their own persons in this messiness. I am just happy that I can communicate with my homeschool kids and have an environment of “apologies and forgiveness” when we do mess up. The world is harsh as it is to be then bringing an unrealistic and dangerous view of the Christian walk.

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  27. Wow, I love your reply trust4himonly. As someone who rebelled myself, I would have loved to have had you as a mom. Some kids just do it, and there is no iron fist that will make them go one way or another. Sometimes as moms we have to allow our kids to make mistakes. Once they get into their mid and later teens they start to make more and more decisions on their own, thats part of life and part of the growing older process. If we think back, none of us made all the right choices and that is ok, that is part of life. Watch this girl from Australia’s version of the X Factor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdiINx80VQc (Google Bella Skinny Love X Factor if that link doesn’t click through) Don’t watch the girl, although she is very good, watch how supportive the mom is, even though her kid has made some bad choices. Oh man, when she stands up crying to support her kid…instant goose bumps oh no…some sawdust in here or something…something in my eyes.

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  28. I’m not sure I have much to add to all the amazing advice and personal stories shared on this thread so far. However, I came across this story a few minutes ago and thought I’d share it — as just one example of what materials to avoid.

    http://leavingfundamentalism.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/33-jaw-droppingly-bad-multiple-choice-questions-from-accelerated-christian-education/

    Apparently this is accredited in the U.K., and in 11 U.S. states. Depressing to think some kids have been raised on this.

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  29. Blessing on your journey- I pray you will soon rejoice in where He leads you and you will have the very love of Christ in you to give to your children.

    Note the condescending “I’ll pray for You Who Are Lost In Error” ending. All that’s missing is the accompanying pat-pat-pat on the head.

    P.S. That comment has some of the densest Christianese I’ve read on the Web. And note the Christianese handle “His Beloved” (as in “and You’re NOT).

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  30. Dear Concerned Dad,

    I am another concerned dad, husband of almost 30 years and father of 7. All still at home, ages 23-6. What would I do different? Very little.

    We never have been homeschool group material, though we believe strongly that HS is a good way to shepherd our children as to the gospel and the recognition of evil, as defined by the Scriptures.

    We have purchased items from VF over the years, but never were VF addicts. Always was concerned about the seemingly “peddler” nature of the ministry. Surface righteousness. So we never swallowed it all. That said, we have been influenced at times and had to pull back from them on occasion.

    Avoid a huge flip flop. The Scriptures have not changed. We are not patriarchy followers, not in the DP way. We are Scripture followers. God makes the roles clear – there is no honest dismissal of this. The lady, if she marries, is to orbit around the home/family and by implication, the connected church ministry. She is not called to “make the living” – she is called to be home with her children. Douggie may have perverted this truth by ridiculous applications and overbearing legalism, but the simplicity of the Scriptures tell us that God’s design works if honored. College is fine for our older girls if they want it, but not necessary – and it should not be influences that cause them to seek the world’s career ‘success’, rather than the home. The point is that the influences in their lives should be first and foremost be scriptural in content. These influences should not take them away from the basic normative calling that God has defined in the Word for ladies who will marry. If we have daughters that are truly called to be “single” by God’s design, then they are free to be single, but their lives should not compete with men, nor orbit in the world system of “success”. They should dedicate themselves to womanly following of Christ in service to the homes, family, church and women/children ministry needs, etc. This is the pattern of the Scripture. We don’t need Douggie for understanding in this; we never did.

    Our sons are to find vocations that allow them to be leaders and gentle servants of their families, good witnesses in the society and faithful men, who fit the biblical qualifications of godly men, husbands, fathers and church leaders. Again – don’t let all the backlash against Doug and VF cause you to use the world’s logic, but simply the basic patterns and truths of Scripture – Genesis forward. God has a design and it works. My wife and I were not homeschooled, were introduced to all kinds of evil in school, etc. However, we chose to try and teach our own them of the gospel and need for personal redemption in Christ. We have learned over the years that rules do not save, only damn. But, once truly saved, we are always called to grow in true godliness, not performance. VF was full of much deceit and performance, but so is every system of man, including public school, universities, even Christian schools and homeschools, etc. The gospel of salvation and sanctification reigns as the TRUTH we need. Christ will do the gracious work, over time. We must trust him to truly regenerate our children and then to progressively sanctify them. He promises to do this.

    We will continue to homeschool because of the gospel emphasis in our home. Continue to confront our own sin ( parents and children) and believe that the Lord honors those who honor Him. Out of a sense of the grace found at the Cross, not out of any works of our own.

    Don’t throw out the Word of God and the patterns even for the family herein defined. They do not change. Homeschoolers simply need to get down to the Word of God and stop bowing at the feet of men, women and “support groups”. The Scriptures tell us how the home should be ordered. Full of grace and truth.

    Nothing changes…follow the Scriptures. They are clear on the main things. The rest (which is clear, but our understanding is limited at times) – apply grace and humility. Stay to this Word. Public school does not necessarily damn the souls of the children in their systems. But it typically does not edify Christ, nor even the basics of God in general, as revealed in the Word of God. Do what leads your children toward Christ, whatever you choose, and remember that only He can regenerate the inner man, but we should do all we can to put them in the paths that will lead them to true conviction for sin and once redeemed, growth in true godliness. No fluff often found in all the seminars will redeem them. No works righteousness. Find a local biblical church and stick to it. Grow in grace. That is what we intend to continue seeking to do in our home. But don’t throw out the gender callings because too many followed a man. Follow the Word of God. It is right – always.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Gary Fore

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  31. Julie Anne,

    How does the Bible define Patriarchy and Matriarchy?

    Is it relevant for today?

    Truth be told these titles were never used when I grew up, I never considered myself a Patriarch or my wife as a Matriarch. (my parents never used those terms either) I really didn’t know what it was, accept maybe both these titles had something to do with being more Regal.

    The first time I ran across the term “Patriarchy” and then being used as a negative label, was when my daughter laid it on me, when she took a Secular Feminist course in College, in Northern California. (Chico State)

    This thread emphasizes these titles and connects it with those who are abused. My feeling is Biblical Patriarchy (if it is relevant) and Secular Chauvism (which I know exist) should be seperate.

    Are we really talking about people who proclaim the gospel who consider themselves as Patriarchs and Matriarchs or being labeled as such, (by the abused or by secular movements) when in reality they are practicing Secular Chauvinism and Secular Feminism, which is really sin?

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  32. If I had to do it all over again, I would be very careful about state-run “Christian” homeschool conventions. They are mislabeled. They should be called Reconstructionist Homeschool Conventions. (donning my flame suit waiting for names hurled at me across the internets: JA = Wicked Witch of the West)

    If I went to a state-run “Christian” homeschool convention, I would NOT listen to any keynote speaker. I would not listen to anyone on their ideas of parenting. I would not buy books there unless I had previously researched the publishing company to see if there are Reconstructionist ties.

    I’d stay clear of anything with the Homeschool Movement ideologies: courtship, full-quiver, Patriarchy, purity/modesty, stay-at-home daughters.

    I would take classes from:
    ~ experts who can give practical ideas on working with children with different learning styles.
    ~ classes from moms who give organizational tips, tips on simplifying healthy meals, etc
    ~ classes from moms who have a lot of children and how to juggle schooling with a large family
    ~ a representative from a specific curricula (who doesn’t have Reconstructionist ties).
    ~practical helps on teaching children how to read, how to study, etc.

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  33. Are we really talking about people who proclaim the gospel who consider themselves as Patriarchs and Matriarchs or being labeled as such, (by the abused or by secular movements) when in reality they are practicing Secular Chauvinism and Secular Feminism, which is really sin?

    Excellent point, Mark!

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  34. Note the condescending “I’ll pray for You Who Are Lost In Error” ending. All that’s missing is the accompanying pat-pat-pat on the head

    Last summer I apologized to my dear friend. Her teen daughters had been in my homeschool choir and excelled in it. Well, after I left, they wanted to continue singing but nothing was available for the homeschool community, so my friend put her sweet, innocent never-set-one-foot-in-public school daughters into public high school choir. I was so angry at my friend for sending those precious girls to the devil. A couple of years later, I did the same thing with my son and he had the time of his life – – whoa – – in a public school (in which I also volunteered as accompanist because I wanted to protect my 6’8″ son from evil influences – haha).

    6 years later, I’m still volunteering at public high schools. I had to suck it up and apologize to my friend for looking down on her so negatively and judgmentally.

    Her kids are doing great spiritually.

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  35. Hey all!–This is the guy who wrote JA the email that she decided to make into a blog post. I think the responses have been wonderful and I really appreciate the shared wisdom and personal stories from your families! I am going to read through them several time to digest all the various viewpoints, but I can already tell there were some major themes that seemed to keep coming up.

    Some further background on us and my resent struggles. I would say early on we did get swept into some of the VF aspects of homeschooling, but not hardcore like many. We have slowly been drifting away from many of the legalistic aspects of movement during the past few years. However, there’s are patterns in the family that I don’t like and we have only a few years left with my older girls so I feel like time is short. Also, with so many younger ones I know that we can make major changes and learn from the mistakes we make the first go around.

    I think the situation with DP and VF awoke me a bit out of a slumber I’ve been in…Years fly by and you don’t realize the patterns and influences that have impacted where you have landed. It’s been good to think through the deeper foundation issues that may have built your family. As I have been reading and searching, I came across that interview JA gave on the dark side of homeschooling. It was very eye opening to hear all of those former hardcore conservative kids speak out against the HS movement. (The interview is a bit rough (on the production side) and long, but I listened to the whole thing over the weekend. I would say hearing that and reading some of the blogs out there of former HS kids has gotten me concerned vs. the DP thing. Again, we have not been a hard core VF type family and have been doing some stuff much differently in the past few years.

    The main thing that has impacted us it seems it the quiver-full philosophy–A child every 2 years until we had 8 has been emotionally, physically, spiritually exhausting for us. This is more the breaking point I referred to in my email. It’s too much, especially for a type A wife who thinks she has to do it all!

    I do know there’s no magic bullet in parenting, no once size fits all formula in child raising/training…I would love to just have a framework/baseline to work from like a Love and Logic approach which is more relational and allows the child to grown, fail, learn from consequences. I think this is where the subtle roots of our foundation have shown up–not enough grace, too much anger/frustration/disappointment being shown to the kids, I can see the benefits of letting them go during the teen years to fail and to allow us to be there to love & support them as they grown.

    This is HARD WORK! I’m so glad for each and every one of your replies.

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  36. Dear AC Dad,

    You wrote…”I would love to just have a framework/baseline to work from like a Love and Logic approach which is more relational and allows the child to grown, fail, learn from consequences.”

    The frame work is the Scriptures – both the details and the spirit/intent of the Word. The testimony that we are all sinners to the core, need a Saviour and find this in Christ. Then, that Christ will complete his work of sanctifying grace in the lives of those He redeems. However, we do have a responsiblity as individuals, as parents to “build our lives” on the Lord Jesus Christ as teathered to the Scriptures. ( As the children’s song wrote many years ago, in the Wise Man Built His House…” )

    The framework is not logic, not love, etc…but Christ. This is where the HS community is errant. The Scriptures are clear on all the basics. Follow them and you will find life. I Timothy 4:16.

    There will always be “dark sides” to every movement – for every movement contains sinners, even those who are saved. We are not called to follow movements nor to react to them by pendulum swings the other way – again, the historical pattern of sound doctrine from the Word will show you how to lead your family. No HS convention can do this. HS is not the problem. The problem is our determined desperation to follow men/women in movements – public, private and home. In the Word of God we find Christ who is the answer to all of this.

    Stand alone on the written Word of God. (again, ‘The B-I-B-L-E) In this you will find life for you and all those you lead and love. For this written Word leads us to Him who is the Living Word.

    Gary

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  37. Julie Anne, AC DAD and Gary,

    How does the bible define Patriarch and Matriarch and is it relevant today?

    (My little question got sandwiched between a copy of legthy postings)

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  38. Mark – When I think of Patriarch in the Bible, the first thought that comes to my mind is of family lineage, not so much a hierarchical structure.

    In the abusive Patriachy that we see prevalent in the Homeschool Movement, “patriarchs” of the family think they are over the family spiritually – like a mediator. I was so thankful to watch a sermon by Wade Burleson a while back in which he described that Abraham never owned Sarah’s faith whatsoever. It was by Sarah’s faith that she conceived. That was so simple and eye-opening to me.

    I look forward to reading other responses.

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  39. Mark, I don’t find those definitions in my Bible. Those are anthropological definitions to define and categorize society structures. Then again, that is my viewpoint as a woman with a double major in history and classics with a minor in anthropology. :)

    To those who try to insist that women staying at home is “biblical”, I would caution you. There is a strong difference between cultural norms and biblical mandates. What you are calling “biblical roles” are in reality the standard for the culture of the time period. I do not read anywhere in the Bible a command for women to stay home and raise children and take care of the house – that was simply what was necessary in a time when household tasks took all day to accomplish. Somebody had to do those chores, whether it was male or female. Does that mean if a woman works outside the home she is in sin? Proverbs 31:16 says “She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard.” What I do read is a command for us to love God with all of our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves – that is the Biblical calling. Notice that it doesn’t have separate instructions in pink for girls and blue for boys? When you understand the culture of the people of the Bible, the New Testament becomes an incredible testimony of how Jesus Christ came to set us free from society’s expectations and standards. He came to save the sinners, to set free the second class (women) and slaves, to show the world that love transcends all man-made boundaries. And maybe that is the most important thing I have learned over the past couple of years – I have a lot of boundaries in place that are not from God. They are from other influences, many unhealthy. In the process of breaking them down and making myself vulnerable again I have found freedom, joy and peace like I have never experienced in my life.

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  40. Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Thank you for your words of rebuke and correction. I am so sorry that I offended you and that my words sound like Christianese. I would like to be able to express myself clearly. I would never want my use of language to turn anyone away from Christ, or to turn someone off from the resources I mentioned. The last thing I want is to sound “apart” from any other person, or imply that others are lost in error and I am not- having been in a cult and an abusive marriage I know that I know very little. To clarify, I was trying to say that following man’s doctrine is always going to lead us into trouble and the only safe place is at His feet, in the Word, following His leading for our family, letting Him change us so that we have His love for others.

    We are all His beloveds. I took that name because after 20 years of abuse by my spouse, Christ finally helped me see that although I was never my X’s beloved, I am His beloved, and He has been the healer of my broken heart. I was trying to offer hope that everyone who has suffered at the hands of the false teachings of DP and others like him, and have had their worlds turned painfully upside down, can find rest in Him, healing of brokenness, freedom from captivity, and beauty for ashes through Christ who came to give us those things.

    I hope that clarifies things.

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  41. I’m also a home school dad (since about 1995), have four kids, married 28 years.

    Lots of great comments here, but thought I’d chime in as a dad since most of the comments are from gals. :-)

    I think my most helpful advice would be boiled down to one concept: AVOID UTOPIANISM – the belief that we will create a virtually perfect or near-perfect situation in any area of life. God warns us: it ain’t gonna happen. As Christians, we know we live in a fallen world, live in redeemed but still fallen “earthly tents,” and that the body of Christ is made up of saints with flaws and also infiltrated with false believers. So while being idealists, we are also to be realists, avoiding utopianism when it comes to: government (that’s why most evangelicals are more conservative politically), church, family, vocation, and even yourself. One day, Christ will bring utopia. Until then, we struggle per Philippians 3, with eyes fixed on the perfect, but realizing that we are stumbling around in this life, waiting for Christ to one day transform us into perfection.

    Applying this to areas common to home schooling:

    Home school movements and leaders: Like churches and para-church ministries, make use of the good they offer but don’t get disillusioned by the bad. For example, I loved much of Vision Forum’s material–some of the finest documentaries and truly inspiring content. At the same time, I also knew that in the body of Christ, virtually all leaders and movements can have elements that are defective: maybe it’s a theological position (I knew I didn’t buy Phillips’ view of a number of issues and thought he had an inflated ego!–and let my family KNOW that when we watched a VF video: “This information is great stuff, but as a disclaimer, I think this fellow has a few problems in aspects of his theology and seems to focus on himself a lot.”), maybe it’s an ethical issue, maybe even a scandal waiting to explode. I think it’s good not only to know this yourself, but to be open about it with your family. It will teach discernment, keep them from being utopian about Christianity, and establish a nicely “real” family atmosphere that can carry your kids into the very “real” world outside. That’s not to say I don’t get upset, confused, and angry when someone like Phillips turns out to be a total fool and possibly even a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But I remind myself that this comes with the territory and is predicted in the Bible: sin and idiocy within the church itself, wheat and tares growing together, etc., nothing that should shake my belief in the essential truth of the faith or even home education. So I’ll still use Phillips’ documentaries on topics where I think he has something useful to say, but my kids will also be told that this fellow, with his incisive analysis, was also exposed as a moral hypocrite in his private life–yet such a person can nevertheless have areas of truth. Hopefully that will be a lesson to my kids in discernment, a double benefit to go along with whatever happens to be taught on the DVD. If his hypocrisy causes my kids to ask, “If he was such a liar, how do we know his teaching on Darwin isn’t also wrong?” then that’s a great conversation to have with your kids to help them navigate the fallen and tricky social environment they live in.

    The “grind': One main role for the dad in a home school family is keeping a close eye on how your wife and kids are doing emotionally, relationally, spiritually, etc. (and yes, academically, but I think that’s at least third or fourth on the priority list), and be ready to adjust per personalities, seasons of life, etc. I love “systems” and logical ideologies but found I had to be skeptical of totally buying into any “one and only right way” of home schooling or anything else, other than the essentials of Christianity.

    In our particular situation, my wife was not “super mom” so at one point we said we were either going to put our kids in public schools or “compromise” and go to a self-paced curriculum. We chose the latter. We shifted most of our schooling to the self-paced curricula and that helped a lot. I think it had some deficiencies, but allowed us to keep home schooling, stay sane, and keep an element of joy in life. It was probably the best decision we made, but I had to take the lead in convincing my wife that she was not a “failure” if we went that route. We know many friends who are dispositionally suited to a more all-out, stressed-out, hands-on approach, and we thank God for such tenacious folks; but that wasn’t us, so we shifted and simply ignored the inevitable feelings of guilt for doing so, rightly considering such guilt-trips to be manifestations of carnal pride. Well-placed pragmatism isn’t unbiblical; in fact, it’s quite in line with Proverbs.

    “Success”: Why do you home school and what do you want your family members to get out of it? I think it’s legitimately different for different people. Our main goal was not academic prowess as much as being able to mentor our kids per Ephesians 6 and Deuteronomy 6, and we felt — based on our personalities as a couple, our strengths and weaknesses, our perspective on the culture, and what we sensed was the Lord’s will for our family (not the same for every family) — that home schooling was best. We took it year by year, and have ended up with a 23-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter graduated, and two younger daughters in high school and middle school years; so far all of it home schooling.

    Did they learn Algebra 2? Organic Chem? Nope. They didn’t have a bent for math, engineering, etc., and it would have been an emotional bloodbath to teach it. Not what our home needed! If they need Algebra 2, they’ll learn it in college. “But how will they pass the SAT without Algebra 2?? How will they even GET into college??” Simple, they’re going to community college first. We knew we couldn’t afford to ram them into a 4-year college anyway, had read studies showing that kids who had worked their way through community college then transferred for the bachelors were doing better in life after 10 years . . . so we took the “easy” way out (no SAT, no huge debt, no Algebra 2) and all stayed friends. “Success” was not a B.S., B.A., MBA, or ritzy job by 25 years of age. But it’s ironic that they may do better that way. My son is now 23, working at a bank making better money than most of his college grad friends, going to community college, and will probably get his bachelors degree when he’s 27-plus. And his resume will look great to employers. Without us having to have forced Algebra 2 down his throat in high school!

    Yeah, I read the posts of Christians saying their kids did great spiritually and academically in the public schools, and I agree fully that this can and does happen. We have plenty of Christian friends who have taken that route, don’t judge them, and they don’t judge us. But statistics do tend to show that public schools are a bit riskier spiritually than home school. That said, I think the main factor in either scenario is the spiritual commitment and involvement of the parents. But while home schooling has it’s problems, the public schools in America are a disaster and that has to be faced by Christian parents if they decide to send their kids there.

    “Problems”: Despite the fact that we’re a very conservative family theologically, morally, politically, etc., we again have to avoid UTOPIANISM in forcing that on to our kids. My son–the same one at the bank–was very stiff-necked by nature, and ended up having some major problems in his late teens and early 20s. I had even let him form a rock band, that probably contributed–but on the other hand, God gifted him with music and there was no way I was going to squelch him. So I gave advice, set some broad boundaries, and prayed a lot. Ultimately, our kids are free moral agents. After these horrific problems, he started to piece things back together, and once told me that if we HADN’T home schooled and taught him biblical apologetics, he probably would have ditched his faith. In other words, rather than causing him to rebel, our home schooling kept his inevitable rebellion from becoming full-blown estrangement from faith in Christ. And he appreciated that I had let him make his own choices, as dumb as they turned out to be.

    In sum, yes, we’d home school again, but probably with a little less naivete. However, that can be said of almost any area of life: having children, marriage, vocation, church, down to who your dentist is! You can’t beat yourself up for mistakes, and the fact is that God will use our foibles for His glory as He conforms us to the image of Christ.

    Home schooling is a hard life, but all life is a hard in a fallen world. Avoid romanticism, avoid utopianism, but stay idealistic and cultivate joy in the Lord

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  42. AC Dad,
    Thanks for the email that got this all started. Christian women are sado-masochists. Why? You know the saying, “Women don’t dress for men, they dress for other women.” The same is true with showy religion.
    You had 5 kids? Well I had 6 kids in 7 years! You don’t say!
    I haven’t worn pants in 4 years! Wow!
    I am into extreme patriarchy. Oh I am even more extreme, I don’t think women should speak the first 9 hours of the day!

    I wish I was exaggerating, but I am not, homeschool moms are sometimes most concerned with impressing other homeschool moms. I guess it is up to us dads to stop the crazy train. Lets all get up the courage to stand up on a chair and yell, “Hey, you are not impressing God, let it go! Put on some pants, let your hair down, and dance around the kitchen to a Katy Perry Song!”

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  43. Mandy,
    Thank you for pointing out that what some see as a “Biblical” paradigm for women being strictly wives/homemakers/mothers was actually more a cultural norm 2000 years ago. What about the women who followed Jesus and his disciples and supported them from their own means? Jesus wouldn’t have been deemed “Biblical” enough by some Christians today. ;-)

    A Concerned Dad,
    My family is only a few years ahead of you in working through the very same issues you are. We are still in process. The first thing we stopped immediately was the harsh “Pearl” style of disciplining that our Patriarchal cult advocated and taught. There really is no “formula” to replace that with. We still have rules, chores, and standards of acceptable behavior (“You may NOT hit your sister with the baseball bat!) which we reinforce by revoking privileges or corner time (for the little ones). Beyond that, we are trying to love our children the way we would want to be loved.

    The next issue to address was education. We have 5 kids, four of which are school age. Our local ISD is simply awful. One public school dad told us it would hurt *him* for us to put our kids in that school. We decided to use an online curriculum to ensure our kids were getting an education comparable to a good public/private school. Our kids are showing remarkable improvement. You see, we felt our responsibility as parents is to make sure our kids can take care of themselves when we’re gone. I grew up going to public and private schools. My husband was homeschooled from third grade on. He doesn’t even have a high school equivalent education. This morning my 12-year-old daughter asked her daddy for help on her math worksheet. She was working out the surface area of cylinders. He just looked at it blankly and shook his head. That just reduces me to tears and makes me soooo angry. What my husband got from his parents was educational neglect!!
    We found a small rural public school about 20 minutes away with an excellent reputation that we are considering for the future. The “black or white” notion that homeschool=good and public school=eeeeevil is just arrogant, imo.

    Do some research, pray, and decide what *you* think is best for your family. You only get one shot at this. If one of your kids ends up as another story on HomeschoolersAnonymous, you won’t be hearing any acknowledgement from the fundagelical/Patriarchal camp that perhaps they steered you wrong. Unfortunately, you get to own it.

    I wish you the best. Parenting is scary business. But, the Bible does say that Love never fails. I just want my kids to know that I love them, and, hopefully, they’ll overlook at least some of my goof-ups along the way.

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  44. I guess it is up to us dads to stop the crazy train. Lets all get up the courage to stand up on a chair and yell, “Hey, you are not impressing God, let it go! Put on some pants, let your hair down, and dance around the kitchen to a Katy Perry Song!”

    I hang around a lot of high schoolers, but I still had to look up Katy Perry. Ok, HS moms, I dare you to get your jeans on, hit play, and dance around the kitchen to this:

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  45. Dear Concerned Dad,

    I’m a concerned father as well. Our children are still fairly young, but I’ve learned so much just by watching others.

    1. I would definitely still homeschool. Our personal convictions have not changed just because a self-appointed leader of a movement fell. We still find the public school (and private school) systems to be woefully inadequate to the kind of education we desire for our children.

    2. Its too early for me to say I would change anything, but I would definitely be a little more skeptical of people and the counsel they have to offer. Biblically, there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. But sometime the wisdom doesn’t come from their wisdom, but rather from their stupidity, and you learning from it.

    3. Forget the love/logic materials. Read the Bible and find a good pastor(s). The printing press was a mixed blessing. Nowadays people, sometimes feeling like they have something positive to offer, crank out books by the dozen, as though we actually need them. The problem, I believe, with Doug Phillips, Vision Forum, NCFIC, The Gospel Coalition, John Piper, Rick Warren, the Duggars, Bill Gothard, etc. etc. etc. is that we feel like we actually need them and their TV show, book, seminar, blah blah blah blah. I’m mean, for crying out loud, the church has existed for a couple of thousand years, with the majority of people who did fine without all of these “resources.” They are part of the problem, but we are also when we feel like we need them.

    I laugh every time someone yells “Sola Scriptura” right before they try to sell me their book that I need to teach my kids.

    I don’t know what your convictions are regarding discipline/training, but I suggest reading your Bible and praying, because all of these people that have the answers aren’t the ones that are responsible for your kids and certainly won’t be there for you if their methods fail.

    In any event. Stay encouraged! I find it encouraging that there is someone else out there that is questioning the bill of goods they have been sold regarding parenting. I’m in the process of cleaning out my library.

    Lord bless,

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  46. Mandy,

    My mother worked outside the home throughtout my whole childhood. Being the eldest of 5, it was difficult for me to keep up with the house cleaning, child rearing and keep up with my homework from school. (my school work took a back seat)

    My mom pretty much spent her life stressed out.

    My own wife worked outside our home when our youngest turned 10. Much of what you suggested it true.

    I saw advantages of having a parent stay home raising kids by watching my own wife. It wasn’t until economic realities ended those advantages for me, my wife and our kids. It become a mental and physical drain on our whole family. (worse than I experienced growing up)

    Patriarchy and Matriarchy maybe a human term that is un-Biblical but used in secular terms. It is brought up by numerous contributors to this thread with so much frequency. There are Christians (who don’t abuse) that recognize Abraham and Sarah as Patriarch and Matriarch and don’t look at it being a negative thing.

    Maybe the real “sin” that is occuring within our churches and families are between people who profess the Gospel but embrace and practice secular Chauvinism or Feminism, (or both) using a reckless interpretation of scripture while ignoring other truths, to authenticate their beliefs.

    As for gender roles in scriptures maybe there is no clear definition outlined other than be obedient to God. Verses taken out of context about the role of man and woman may contribute to abuse like in Matthew 5 22-25. stating “wives to submit to their husband” but it further states “husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”

    To me this clearly shows Both Husband and Wive are to submit to each other. (Christ actually served and sacrificed his life for us) To a secular Chauvinist or Feminist within our churches “submit” may be a 6 letter “sound-off” for war and abuse.

    As a Christian, I’m a little confused why the term of Patriarch or Matriarch is being used in such a negative context 100% of the time, every time I read this thread.

    By appearance the real “sin” and catalyst of abuse, is practicing an reckless interpretation of scriptures, by not following or embracing Matthew 5:22-25.or the kind of Love, found in 1 Corinthians 13:13.

    I would rather have “abuse” more defined as “sin”. I think there is a difference between a Chauvinist and a Patriarch, but depending who you listen to, it is hard to know the difference.

    I never considered myself a Patriarch and after reading this thread I think I would be afraid to acknowledge it. (if infact I am a Patriarch, whatever it is)

    What makes me a Patriarch? Being a parent or husband? Is the secular qualification of a Patriarch being the head of the house? Lording over the wife and kids? Or is it more Regal like Abraham? Or in Sarah’s case, being known by some Christians (male and female) as a Matriarch?

    Personally the spiritual abuse I endured was by my former Pastor who may have been a chauvinist, because of the way he got offended by any women who struggled with his doctrine. (the word Patriarch didn’t enter my mind, but the word Chauvinist did)

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  47. Mark,

    You nailed an important point, Mark. I think these homeschool men who have put themselves in leadership positions have latched onto this Patriarch word and defined it for themselves and it sure doesn’t look like the Patriarchy I see in the Bible. But since they are Christian and use some Bible verses, they get a free pass to call themselves Patriarchs and to endorse their brand of Patriarchy of submit, conquer, colonize, and expect women to surrender and accept. (Those words are from another self-claimed Patriarch, Doug Wilson.)

    You mention Matriarch – – – has anyone been hearing “Matriarch” in homeschool circles? I haven’t at all – which is also interesting. If they use Patriarch, why not Matriarch?

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  48. Yes, Brian D! I like Gold, by Britt Nicole. We dance & sing to it. It’s a lot of fun to dance around & sing!

    Each one of us is worth more than gold. There will be someone along the way who will devalue your children’s worth & this song answers that. Also, it reinforces right frame of mind. So when they see someone else being devalued, they can stand with them & shut the bully down. That’s how you stop evil. Not by walking around it & then being naive to it or never having an opportunity to confront it. Teaching value & love of human life is one way to prepare our growing adults, whether we homeschool them or not.

    Much of “orthodox” reformed christianity devalues the worth of a human being. When someone preaches, teaches or tells you everyone is totally depraved, all good action is worth no more than filthy rags, you’re all sinners in the hands of an angry God, we can say: Nope! We’re worth more than gold! Made in the image of a loving God.

    Love God. And love ourselves & others the same as ourselves. Jesus said this is the greatest command: Matthew 22. :) Hope ya’ll enjoy the video!

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  49. When it comes to discipline/training? My answer: The Proverbs is full of sound advice! Proverbs 18 is full of wisdom. Speak life! How wise is this advice, coming from the high school students in this video, right? I think they get it right with their sticky notes.

    I must speak life as a parent & homeschool mom. And it certainly applies to every other nook & cranny & person in my own life. When I am the one that makes a mistake when I don’t “speak life”, I can realize & admit it, apologize, & do better. This is repentance, forgiveness & reconciliation in action.

    Proverbs 18:1 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
    Proverbs 18:5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the righteous of justice.
    Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

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  50. I think one of the main root problems of “biblical patriarchy” (as well as some of the beliefs common to the larger homeschool movement) is that their leaders base their teachings using faulty hermeneutics (their approach to interpreting Scripture). Scripture is only profitable and authoritative in so far as its being interpreted correctly. Below are two biblical critiques of the so-called “biblical patriarchy” movement.The first one has to do with some of their faulty approaches to interpreting Scripture. The second has to do with how they wrongly interpret Titus 2.

    http://reformedpendulum.com/index.php/articles/homeschool-movement/patriarchy-and-hermeneutics/

    http://reformedpendulum.com/index.php/articles/homeschool-movement/titus-2/

    Mark

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  51. Mark,

    You wrote:…

    Julie Anne, AC DAD and Gary,

    “How does the bible define Patriarch and Matriarch and is it relevant today? ”

    Gary writes…The Patriarch’s are generally referred to as the OT Saints found in the book of Genesis, etc… But in the context of today, the DP mess, Homeschooling, the term is really abused and probably not worth the effort to spell it.

    The issue is simply being husbands/fathers and wives/mothers according to the biblical model. Generally, Dad is the leader and breadwinner, the spiritual overseer for the family ( not to mean equal with the “elders” in the church), where the Mom is the homemaker, spiritual and physical manager of the home on a day to day basis. She is the dear nurturer. There is no competition here, except that the “curse” in Genesis resulting from sin does cause conflict, but in the focus of being new creatures in Christ, the roles generally outlined above are the model of the home structure ordained by God. Genesis, Proverbes, Titus, etc…

    The matter of working away from the home is a matter of “where is the lady’s orbit?” Where is her focus? DP and all the sinful men who have made a public mess of all this situation at VF, etc have polluted the idea of an imperfect husband/father and imperfect wife/mother working together in mutual love with the goal of building a Christian home, by the grace of God. Not works salvation, but being faithful to distinguish the need for all of our children to repent and turn to Christ with the matter of distinct God-given roles for boys and girls, who become men and women. The pattern of the Scriptures work. Don’t get hung up with the P and M words. Just obey the truths in the Word in spirit and to some extent, the letter. Mandy is wrong about the roles – they are not mutually exchangeable. Her argument is not with me, but with God and His Word. The roles of dad outside the home earning the living and mom orbiting around and in the home are not cultural. Exactly how we dress ( pants, skirt – for ladies) is not the matter of grave importance. ( Just be modest in a reasonable sense of the word) and focus on building homes that have intact dads who lead and provide and moms who serve in their homes, nurture their children, love their husbands and love Christ ( most of all) and are demonstrating that gospel love to their children.

    Yes, as some have commented rightly – stop following all the groups, men, women speakers, etc. The Scriptures are clear on all the major decisions.

    The Lord Jesus Christ will honor those who honor Him in spirit and truth. Find joy in building Christian homes, knowing that only Christ can truly redeem our children. We “parent” them and leave it to the Great Saviour to change their heart affections toward Him.

    There is great future hope if we focus on this work for the glory of God.

    The Lord bless you,
    Gary

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  52. Julie Anne

    In some cases aren’t Patriarchs married to Matriarchs? I didn’t want to isolate the Patriarch without including the Matriarch and I didn’t want to exclusively connect them with spiritual abuse.

    Some who spiritually abuse or embrace abusive doctrines may want to call themselves a Patriarch or a Matriarch. I’m not sure if my former Pastor openly considered himself a Partiarch and his wife a Matriarch, but I do know his wife very much supported his abusive doctrine and found ways to dish out spiritual abuse.
    Their Stealth and Covert lifestyle by appearance is degrading.

    I think a Patriarch or Matriarch is a little more refined than being a Chauvinist or a Feminist and in Abraham and Sarah’s case more Regal.

    There is nothing Refined or Regal about being a Chauvinist or a Feminist. It is abusive and it puts more focus on self.

    In truth and I personally know, there are Wives that embrace being married to a Chauvinist Husband no matter how wrong it is and I also know certain Husbands that embrace being married to a feminist.

    I think in my former Pastor’s case he acted like a chauvinist and his wife very much supported his behavior.

    I don’t know any spouses that have stayed together when the husband is a chauvinist and the wife is a feminist.

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  53. Karis: I’ve been playing the sermon in the background and while I probably missed a lot of the first half, the 2nd half has drawn me in and he’s nailing it on pastors/leaders acting as the Holy Spirit where scripture has not spoken about things like: girls going away to college, all Christians should homeschool, age-segregation in church is wrong, etc.

    “Taking advantage of people through fear and manipulation. He is setting himself up as God . . it’s the nature of a cult.”

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  54. Julie Anne – You mentioned avoiding the state Christian homeschool conventions. I’m 100% in agreement on that! I realized that the conventions were moving away from academics and talking more about “relationship” issues. Not that relationships are not important, but they focused on men’s and women’s roles, how to manage your household and how to discipline your children. Again, not that these are not important topics (although I disagree on the gender roles and discipline methods), however, if I’m spending good money to go to a convention about homeschooling, I want to learn about how to teach my children. I can handle the relationship issues on my own thank you very much.

    I am in the process of finding out who the keynote speakers are for each state. I’m curious to see if there are people speaking at multiple conventions. I’ve come to call it the homeschool convention circuit.

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  55. As far as Momto7’s concerns about sending children into the public school wolves, respectfully, I think you need to reconsider your thoughts on public school. There are people who are unable to afford private Christian education and they just are not able to homeschool. Does this mean that their children are doomed in the public school system? That line of thinking is just a lie.

    I enjoy going to my daughter’s high school and volunteering. There are some wonderful kids who have incredible dreams and aspirations in life. There are devoted teachers who are willing to work hard at helping kids succeed. They put in long hours and often are under-appreciated.

    Ultimately, homeschooling is a choice. Not every family is able to make that choice. And, children are not going to be ruined by going to public school. Also, the reality in life is that we just cannot protect our children from everything. Ultimately, they are their own individual person and they will make their own choices. It’s our job as a parent to love them, respect them, and raise them to become responsible individuals who will one day leave their own mark on this world.

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  56. How does the Bible Define Patriarch and Martriarch and is it relevant today?
    Well, the NT does Describe patriarchs several times. I find it noteworthy that in 0 none nada nil of those times, does it describe their roles/examples as husbands or fathers. My favorite patriarch description is by Stephen, who describes their roles/examples as BROTHERS, and not favorably: “And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him”.

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  57. I so relate to your confusion in all of this and I will say that waking up always begins with confusion so as unsettling as it is, it is also a good place to be. We put our kids in public school this year after homeschooling and then being in a classical school their whole lives. The homeschooling about killed me. I am not cut out for it at all and my husband was not on board, so that made it an unhealthy thing for me to pursue.

    I so highly recommend Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward book. He talks here about how we are brought to God through our sin. Everything you are and have gone through is a necessary part of your unique spiritual journey. I think you’d love this book.

    Also, Nonviolent Communication http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBGlF7-MPFI is amazing to do as a family or even just yourself b/c the changes you will experience will permeate the family in a really healthy way. Consider watching the whole thing before you make a decision either way about whether it is for you or not.

    I also really enjoy learning the Enneagram which Rohr teaches as well. It is a method of personality testing mostly for the purposes of spiritual growth. It really helps to alleviate judgment b/c it really brings light to each person’s uniqueness and strengths and weaknesses. It’s amazing!

    These have all really helped our family to be a more joyful place to be!

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  58. JA wrote: “…about how evil it is and it is like throwing your kids to the Devil….Phillips, and all of the homeschool gurus helped to create such a judgmental and elitist group.”

    Funny how public school teachers are so incompetent to teach the three R’s, yet masters at satanic indoctrination. Also odd is the relatively high percentage of conservative Christians I know who are…public school teachers.

    To a Concerned Dad: Here’s how I have learned to look at ANY child rearing path. I ask, “is this being presented to me as merely a formula for success?” I am weary of formulaic Christianity. I have also found out that many of the complexities, which due to illness, injury and family problems we haven’t been able to address ourselves, have taken care of themselves. Kinda like there’s a God or something else in the picture. :)

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  59. Ultimately, homeschooling is a choice. Not every family is able to make that choice.

    You know – – here’s another thing that has always bothered me about some of this general thoughts about sending kids to public school = to the devil – the people who say these things don’t seem to be thinking beyond the US. I’m pretty sure that homeschooling is not a legal option in some countries.

    There’s also a whole lot of judgment of women who work outside the home. That’s just not even remotely a possibility in many countries in the world. Why are Americans so special with all of these extra rules? ::::JA sarcasm:::::

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  60. It is a characteristic of human nature that some people what to have rules to live by, to simplify their thinking and not have to ponder the right and wrong of a situation. And it is also a characteristic of human nature that many people who end up in leadership want to make rules for everyone else, and then multiply them. The reason that rules multiply is that in application, every rule bumps into reality in ways that subvert the original intent, so a rule becomes more and more elaborate (this is regulatory theory which I have taught at the graduate level) in order to deal with the situations that don’t fit well with the original rule. And the leaders have to justify every rule they make, and the best justification is “God made the rule” even if it isn’t quite true, but a fairly distant extrapolation from scripture. Then you get systems to enforce the rule, including “church discipline”.

    Jesus gave us a different system. He took all of the rules of the OT and made them into two very simple rules. Love God with all your being. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. And live accordingly. Simple, not elaborate, not easy, and perhaps in application different folks will see things differently. But no straight-jacket constraints to be enforced by some self-anointed dictator demanding you pay him for running your life.

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  61. Yesterday I received a coupon for 70 % off all Vision Forum products. After placing my order, I googled the ministry, wondering if they were going out of business. I was shocked, angry, and saddened to find out about Doug Phillips. I still am trying to wrap my arms around what has happened. This is not the first time I have been deceived over the hidden lives of godly leaders. It happened with two youth ministers in my home church. One is now in prison for 17 years, the other dead, leaving behind a young wife and three children. Two words come to mind: Pride and lust of the flesh. Is this not the very things that Satan tempted Jesus with? Is this not the very sins we all struggle with? What happened with Doug Phillips is a reminder to me of the capacity for evil in the heart of man, including my own, God will be the final judge in all of this. My first thought was this is no reflection of the character of Almighty God. Imagine His grief over this?

    I was reminded of something a very wise pastor once said to me: Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Throughout scripture there are many accounts where God spoke and worked through the ungodly. For me, I have always been one to sift through what comes from man, to make sure it lines up with Scripture. I think we must ask ourselves, that although our sins may not be the same category, or as public as Doug Phillips, does that mean everything we have said and written is false and has no value?

    Vision Forum has always been a big proponent of College Plus, offering opportunity for young men and women to get a college education in a way that does not expose them to a lot of the ungodly influences that come when a young high school graduate goes away to a brick and mortar school. I recognize that not every child chooses the wrong path. Our daughter did, The damage was far more devastating than had she stayed at home under our roof. I wish I had known about College Plus then. I still completely support homeschooling. My reasons are unchanged from before I even knew about the Vision Forum ministry.

    I am a registered nurse, who spent many years working outside my home, in the US and other countries. I am now a stay at home wife, and home school mom, who has found her greatest joy in doing so. Our marriage has been richer and better than it has ever been. I have never felt oppressed in any way by my husband. In fact I have had story after story of friends, some believers, some not, who would like to have the freedom to stay home, but their husbands want them to work. I have learned a lot about contentment through written materials which came from Vision Forum, that I have sifted through God’s Word.

    I think we need to be reminded that what has happened with Doug Phillips, has come as no surprise to God. The Word says the enemy is a as a roaming lion, seeking who he can devour. Some of us, like Doug Phillips, are evidence of this writ large. How important for all of us to have accountability, and a humble, teachable spirit, as we live our lives.

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  62. Mark, the word patriarch, as in the Bible, means:
    1. One of the antediluvian progenitors of the human race, from Adam to Noah.
    2. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or any of Jacob’s 12 sons, the eponymous progenitors of the 12 tribes of Israel.
    But patriarchy means, according to the dictionary:
    “1. A social system in which the father is the head of the family and men have authority over women and children.
    2. A family, community, or society based on this system or governed by men.
    Those are 2 very different things, being a progenitor of the human race/ Isrealites, and being a leader. You cannot get one from the other.
    But when we talk of Biblical patriarchy on a Doug Phillips post, we speak of neither dictionary definition. Doug and others jointly put out a set of ideas called “the tenets of Biblical patriarchy”, and call their teachings Biblical patriarchy. (The blog Jensgems has a 3-part series refuting these tenets, and there is a whole blogspot blog called Tenets of unbiblical patriarchy refuting these tenets, if you want to look it up.)
    Their ideas are pretty much extra-biblical, sometimes anti-biblical, and even when the ideas are in the Bible it is majoring on the minors – tithing on dill and cumin while forgetting the weightier matters. (Matthew 23:23)

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  63. It’s fascinating to me that Calivinists, and many Christians believe in the Omnipresence of God, until it comes to the public school system. Seems that they think God stops on the boundary of the school and just doesn’t go in. Hmmmm. I wonder what might happen if we stopped using the word God and began using the word Mystery. That helps get rid of ‘formulaic’ Christianity (love that JA!). God uses everything in our lives to bring us to Him, to teach us to trust. But, we, so often, trust only in our own formulas and in doing so, we miss God. I have met that most lovely community of people in the public schools. I’m so glad it was mostly forced on us to trust God in this. It has opened a whole new world for us to practice trusting and to teach our kids the reality of living their faith rather than trusting in their separateness.

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  64. “There’s also a whole lot of judgment of women who work outside the home.”

    Very true. I went back to work 3 years ago because my daughter needed braces. Our insurance didn’t cover it and we didn’t have $7,000 laying around. Why is it so bad that I went back to work to help cover a financial need? The braces are gone, but with the rise in the cost of living and health insurance, I have stayed working. The goal for me is to get back into my field of interest full time.

    Over the past two years both of my kids entered into public school. They love it! They are thriving and they are being challenged in ways that I never could in their academics at home. I am so proud of them and their accomplishments.

    Part of our homeschooling journey was accepting that there was an end to it. Our end was not graduation, but there certainly was a natural end to homeschooling. I was willing to let that go and my kids are doing well. So, I am willing to challenge anyone who says that sending kids to public school means that you are sending them to “wolves.”

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  65. JA, I agree. For us, I had to go back to work. We have too many kids to feed to live on one income, and we only have 4! We have been met with some ostricizing, had to leave our church, not b/c of the leadership, but we wouldn’t fit in where some parents teach their kids that the devil lives in the public school. The leadership is actually more level headed, but we had a close family to us, totally cut off communication with us b/c of our decision. Wow. It makes me sad for them to be living so lawfully without the compassion of Christ. And at the same time, we are all exactly where we need to be for God to reveal himself to us.

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  66. Here is my version of what you said, An Attorney.

    I am listening to John Bradshaw on Healing the Shame that Binds You. He explains that control is a cover-up for shame. If you can control everybody then they can never catch you off guard so your shame will never be exposed. Their greatest fear is that others will find out the truth they believe, which is that who they are is not enough. When we are critical and controlling = shame, not wanting the truth of who we believe we are to be exposed. Perfectionism = avoidance of criticism, our greatest fear when we have unhealthy shame. Addiction is an attempt to create shame so we don’t have to feel our real shame. Makes sense and I want to cry, b/c I also see a lot of myself here, I guess, this is the story of us all in shades of gray, but important to bring into our awareness or else we fool ourselves into thinking we have the formula and everyone else is a heathen unless they follow the same formula. It is all fear and shame based.

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  67. Kathi-
    This has been my experience as well. Although I do worry that there will be holes in the history and classics area, so I am supplementing at home, I’ve been amazed that the friends my kids have made are all from strong families and they love all the extra activities they can participate in. It has been so much better than I could have imagined, (hey doesn’t God talk about that somewhere:) ). I know many Christians in the public schools and they have all made it a great experience. I think it’s mostly b/c they were willing to release themselves from their fear based theology and trust God instead to do his mysterious work through the public school system rather than in spite of it.

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  68. When we moved, my wife decided to teach for a couple of years to help with the transition expenses. She interviewed at a school and decided to accept that job. The first day all of the teachers met on campus, there was an open bible study for any who chose to participate. EVERY teacher and administrator showed up. A teacher led the group, and the focus was praying for the coming school year, the students and their families. It was a public school.

    Most of the public school teachers I have known and most of the administrators as well, have been active Christians, in a variety of faith traditions, but always affiliated with a church.

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  69. @ Gary Fore:
    I see you want to follow the Bible. That is admirable.

    First question: Where the Bible texts that make it clear that “The lady, if she marries, is to orbit around the home/family”?
    Getting from:
    1a) “older women, teach younger ones to keep the house, and love their husbands and children” (Titus 2:3-5)
    to: 1b) “women should orbit around the home/ family”
    is like going from:
    2a) “Linda, teach Connie to swim”
    to: 2b) “Connie’s live should orbit round the swimming pool.”
    It is clearly not what is said there.

    Second question: Where in the bible is career success called worldly or wrong for girls?

    Third question: Where in the Bible are men, not women, told to be providers? And what do you think of that Jesus guy, who had women providing for him out of their own pockets? (Luke 8:3) And what do you think of the women who did so, was it their role?

    Fourth question: I am a single woman. You speak that single women “should not compete with men”, where in the Bible do you get it? We should “dedicate [our]selves to womanly following of Christ in service to the homes, family, church and women/children ministry needs, etc.” Where in the Bible do you see my gender role? I’ve been asking for my gender role, here: http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/question-to-complementarians-what-is-my-gender-role/
    … for a year and 9 months now, and although I love Jesus and follow him, nobody came up with a clear Biblical gender role for me. You are welcome to come to my blog and share scripture about a clear gender role for me, if there are any. But by now, I seriously doubt it.

    Fifth question: Where does the Bible say sons should be leaders? I see, for example, nothing in the Bible that tells men to lead homes or wives: http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/how-ofte-does-the-bible-say-men-should-be-the-heads-of-their-households/

    Since the Bible is so clear, please quote me the texts!

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  70. Maria – It saddens me to hear about your experiences with family and other Christians about your decision. Ultimately, it’s your family’s decision, not theirs. They are not the ones trying to make ends meet each month. *Sigh* I don’t understand why people are so hard on each other.

    I will say, though, that my kids have certainly learned other things that they would not have learned if they had stayed home. My daughter can tell you all of the different names for marijuana and some of the best places to buy it. On the first day of school for my son, he said he had heard more swear words than he ever had in his life. The thing is, though, that they are well grounded and they know how to let those things go and focus on other important issues. That, I think, is more important than remembering the storyline of The Odysssey.

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  71. An Attorney – I remember that during my last year of high school we had a teacher sponsor our Bible study “club” that wasn’t a Christian. We just needed a teacher to sit with our group and she was willing to. By the end of the year she had become a Christian and was baptized. I’ll never forget her.

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  72. Kathi-
    Yes, we’ve had some of that too. And kids having boyfriends and girlfriends at young ages. I think that until we fall apart, we have a hard time understanding other people’s position. The family that cut off contact has a husband that makes tons of money, so the wife has never been put in the position to be in financial need Our kids on the other hand, have gone years with cavities unfilled, etc… I tried to be content for a long time and you know what? One day God showed me clear as day that I am capable and I don’t have sit home and be content. I can contribute financially. I am going to start working full time in January and I am really really nervous and it’s not what I signed up for , but you can only stay in total survival mode for so long before you need to do something about it. We have lost everything, I’ve really tried to be open to God changing my husband about providing, and have allowed us to fall apart, and we are still in that same place. It doesn’t seem that there is another option. I don’t think it’s great. It’s not ideal. I won’t be here for my kids when they get home from school or in the summer time and yet, I do know I can trust that God knows. I can walk in the Mystery. And I can cry when I’m sad about it. I have tried and tried to work from home, but I can not seem to make it enough. I have exhausted my options. And a job showed up that is perfectly suited to my natural gifts. More often, I think we truly find God in the darkness and in the mystery. Our practice to trust, surrender and be an active participant, and … that all being said, it is a huge challenge. Love God, love your neighbor. I think it is so hard that we choose instead to control our lives with formulas.

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  73. Doug Phillip’s fall has no effect whatsoever on why I homeschool. Never heard of him when we started. We began homeschooling because we wanted to teach our kids from a Biblical, not secular humanist worldview. And, yes, we do want to protect our kids from the wickedness that is often rampant at public schools. I’m sincerely sorry if that sounds elitist or arrogant-I definitely don’t mean it that way. I’m speaking partly from my experience at public school. I was introduced to drugs in 7th grade. Alcohol soon after. Started learning about sex in elementary school from peers- heard about it on the bus, in class, in the halls, on the playground, etc. Saw bullying take place pretty much daily. Some kid’s lives were hell on earth because they looked different, talked different, didn’t have the clothes others did, etc. I was good at sports and not bad looking so I escaped the bullying part, however I had inappropriate, sexual comments and advances made to me in high school by three different teachers/coaches. I was too young and naive to know what to do. They were my authorities after all. I tried my best to just avoid them. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. These were respected, popular men. I had become a Christian in 5th grade so I tried to live my faith. I tried to befriend the bullied kids and was ridiculed. The peer pressure was enormous. My husband was introduced to pornography in elementary school. I saw a teenage boy punch a teenage girl in the face on the bus. That night I was awoken by the police coming to my home to question me since I was a witness. I think I was 12. We fairly regularly had to evacuate for bomb threats. The special ed kids were mercilessly ridiculed.

    My school was a relatively small, rural school. Considered much safer than bigger schools. Safety and security was definitely not my experience and I consider myself fortunate compared to the difficulties many kids experienced. I could go on and on, but enough said. I’m glad some have positive public school experiences, however that was not my reality and I found it to be the same at the numerous public schools I was exposed to through sporting and other events.

    I’ve read many of the negative homeschool stories here and I am so sorry. As a result I have stepped back and examined how I homeschool so that I can make it as positive as I can for my kids. We don’t isolate our kids but we unapologetically protect them. It’s our job. Not to suffocate them. I wish I’d had some loving protection.

    Others have said this, but (if we’re Christians) we need to seek scripture and The Lord for how we raise and educate our children. If all the homeschool leaders fall like dominoes it shouldn’t make any difference with what we’re doing IF what we’re doing is based on biblical convictions and not the opinions of others.

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  74. I see two ideas being presented here to advise A Concerned Dad, and I think they should be compared:

    Idea a) Don’t look at Doug and other home-school leaders. Know the Bible and follow it.
    Idea b) Don’t look at Doug and other home-school leaders. Know Jesus and follow Him.
    Between Jesus and the Bible, which one should be central?

    Perhaps you could consider this:

    1) We are CHRISTians, not BIBL(E)ians.
    2) When the Bible talks of “the word of God” it sometimes mean Jesus. It never means the collection of 66 books we call the Bible. It cannot, as the Bible cannot speak of itself before it was written.

    When we keep Jesus and the 2 great commandments central, we would feel – for example – something is wrong when a teaching on an obscure passage in Numbers 30 cause us to Lord it over our adult daughters. We will know something is wrong with making a rule they should stay at home if we look at the Christ who sets free, if Christ’s love drives out our fear (Jhn 4:18, in this case the fear that they may leave God/ get hurt if not at home); that the law is just a guardian until Jesus came (Gal 3:24); that Jesus tells us not to lord it over others (which would iclude not lording it over adult daughters).

    But if the Bible is central and not Jesus, and we understand Numbers 30 to mean that, we simply cannot let go of that text – we are legally bound to follow it.

    (It is no coincidence IMO that ex-members of BCA – Doug’s church – testify that he always preached from the old testament with the exception of church discipline from Matthew 18, and never preached about Jesus even once that they heard.)

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  75. The question was asked…”what should we do now?” What shouldhavebeen done all along…orget men (and women)”’open your Bible…STUDY the Word…BELIEVE it…OBEY it…

    “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heartdeparteth from the LORD.
    For he shall be like a heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched place s in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
    Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
    For he shall be like a tree planted by the water s, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh,, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall ceasefrom yieldi g fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:5-8)

    The truth is, that in many ways, some unbeknownst to us, our hearts depart from the LORD…even when we believe we ARE trusting in Him! It is a most subtle deception, whereby we now follow the words of men and esteem THEM very highly. Jeremiah 17:9-14 speaks further to this. Trust me…I know…having to have most painfully needed to learn this myself…

    IF one truly has been born from above, remembering that there are those who would seduce us with their teachings via everymanner of communication…we ought remember…

    “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1John 2:27)

    “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needethnot to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)

    Surely…the call hasgone out to the people of God to turn FULLY unto the Word of God to be our SOLE AUTHORITY for faith and practice!

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  76. And, we should take the log our of our own eyes:

    I try to practice what I preach; I’m not always that good at it but I really do try. The other night, I was getting hard-hearted, closed-minded, and fundamentalist about somebody else, and I remembered this expression that you can never hate somebody if you stand in their shoes. I was angry at him because he was holding such a rigid view. In that instant I was able to put myself in his shoes and I realized, “I’m just as riled up, and self-righteous and closed-minded about this as he is. We’re in exactly the same place!” And I saw that the more I held on to my view, the more polarized we would become, and the more we’d be just mirror images of one another—two people with closed minds and hard hearts who both think they’re right, screaming at each other. It changed for me when I saw it from his side, and I was able to see my own aggression and ridiculousness.

    This is from Pema Chodron and Buddhist monk. I know she is not a Christian, but God has taught me more about the teachings of Jesus, through people like her than through fundamentalists.

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  77. Maria – Hang in there! I’m sure that everything will work out for your family. Stay focused on what is best for all of you at this moment in time. Family dynamics ebb and flow with life changes. Let you husband and kids know that you love them, that you are there for them and you are doing the best you can. They will appreciate that so much.

    Both of my parents worked full-time when I was growing up. I was what the country lovingly called a “latch key kid.” But, I knew my parents loved me and supported me. Even though we differ on some areas, I know that they love me and I love and respect them very much.

    As far as kids knowing the classics, you may find this interesting. My son’s 7th grade class just finished reading Gilgamesh. They are spending the year studying ancient history. He’s already heard it all, but doesn’t remember it. I’m thankful that he’s relearning it!

    Two years ago my daughter and I went to Istanbul and I was thrilled that we were going to see the Hagia Sophia (built during the Justinian period). I thought that she would find it interesting and would see all of the history we studied come to life. She didn’t remember any of that history! Easily learned, easily forgotten. This year she is taking an AP Language Arts class that focuses a lot on nonfiction reading. I think that reading and understanding nonfiction pieces is just as important as reading the classics.

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  78. Kathi-
    It’s so nice of you to be so encouraging and to share your experiences!
    Thank you for all of that. Just more evidence that when God asks us into the Abyss, we can fully trust His work!!

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  79. Retha, the questions you posed to Gary Fore are important ones. It seems that the powers that be in the Homeschool Movement culture have done a great job of defining distinct gender roles. But they are defining these roles to promote the same ideologies they are pushing.

    They cannot support any idea of a woman outside of the home working because then women would be in the world, getting worldly influence that contradicts the ideologies they are trying so hard to safeguard.

    If the underbelly of this thing is Reconstructionism (some may not realize they are on the Reconstructionist train, but if they are following the ideologies of the key leaders in the homeschool movement, then they are indeed on the Reconstructionist train), then the women/daughters are key to the success of this movement.

    If moms/daughters get an inkling that their Biblical role is anything other than to marry, have babies for the Lord, then the movement will fail. Why? Because in order for this to work, they must have available wombs. Do you see why it’s so important to keep daughters at home and not allow them to go to college/work outside the home?

    But what we have going on here is men (and sometimes women, too) who take their ideologies and try to fit them into Bible verses. It is wrong to add extra words/criteria to the Bible that are not there. You can’t do that. You cannot twist scripture to fit an ideology. And in this environment where dad is Patriarch – the spiritual head or priest of the home – when he interprets scripture for his family in this way that adds words or ideas to scripture that are not there, he is using his position of authority to control. That is wrong. And that is spiritual abuse because they are making rules that are not God’s rules.

    I am very thankful that there have been homeschool fathers reading this. Some of the men who are reading here may skim past Retha’s comment or even my comments, for that matter, because we are women. Men, I challenge you to dig deeper in God’s word and see if what Retha is saying is true.

    Spiritual Abuse: Verses Pastors Twist and Misuse to Control

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  80. It’s fascinating to me that Calivinists, and many Christians believe in the Omnipresence of God, until it comes to the public school system. Seems that they think God stops on the boundary of the school and just doesn’t go in.

    Bingo!

    As far as the phrase “formulaic Christianity” – that was not from me, but Steve Scott’s excellent comment here:

    To a Concerned Dad: Here’s how I have learned to look at ANY child rearing path. I ask, “is this being presented to me as merely a formula for success?” I am weary of formulaic Christianity. I have also found out that many of the complexities, which due to illness, injury and family problems we haven’t been able to address ourselves, have taken care of themselves. Kinda like there’s a God or something else in the picture. :)

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  81. Maria said:

    We have been met with some ostricizing, had to leave our church, not b/c of the leadership, but we wouldn’t fit in where some parents teach their kids that the devil lives in the public school. The leadership is actually more level headed, but we had a close family to us, totally cut off communication with us b/c of our decision. Wow. It makes me sad for them to be living so lawfully without the compassion of Christ.

    Folks, this kind of ostracizing and judging, and acting as someone’s Holy Spirit should have no place in churches. I’m so sorry that you had to endure this, Maria. It is wrong.

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  82. Maria (still catching up on posts) –

    How wonderful that God provided this job opportunity for you and your family. Proverbs 31 woman worked outside the home – – how in the world could she have been selling real estate and selling things at the market without working outside the home? Why do these folks forget to mention that? (hint hint: Because it doesn’t fit in with the ideology they are trying to promote)

    Isn’t it funny how people have their own ideology and then try to say it’s God’s?

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  83. And, yes, we do want to protect our kids from the wickedness that is often rampant at public schools. I’m sincerely sorry if that sounds elitist or arrogant-I definitely don’t mean it that way. I’m speaking partly from my experience at public school. I was introduced to drugs in 7th grade. Alcohol soon after. Started learning about sex in elementary school from peers- heard about it on the bus, in class, in the halls, on the playground, etc. Saw bullying take place pretty much daily. Some kid’s lives were hell on earth because they looked different, talked different, didn’t have the clothes others did, etc. I was good at sports and not bad looking so I escaped the bullying part, however I had inappropriate, sexual comments and advances made to me in high school by three different teachers/coaches. I was too young and naive to know what to do. They were my authorities after all. I tried my best to just avoid them. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. These were respected, popular men.

    The above scenarios described can and do indeed occur at private Christian schools, churches, etc.

    At our former church (the one where the pastor/church sued me and 4 others for defamation), the approved schooling was homeschooling. People like Meaghan (who comments here) who sent their kids to schools felt shame for not homeschooling, there was that much pressure. Chuck O’Neal didn’t believe in youth groups. But there really were youth groups, just not official youth groups. Kids still hung out together away from their parents and got into trouble – drugs and sex – -Yup!! While unsuspecting parents were watching John MacArthur videos or having Bible studies, their teens were hanging out in the opposite side of the house unsupervised. Maybe a youth group with supervision isn’t such a bad idea after all, huh?

    Bottom line is that you cannot blame public school for all of this. Kids are going to get into trouble regardless of their surroundings.

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  84. It’s definitely something other than the message of Jesus who I believe, would gladly be a student at a public school over a member at a moralistic place called church. Much easier to be a Pharisee than to follow Christ.

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  85. JA, it’s almost hilarious, no, it is hilarious that we are even having this conversation in light of the initial post, which is about a man who headed up an idealistic version of moralism, in the name of Christianity who was doing God only know what in the other end of his own home…. hmmmmmm. What I have found is that parents in the public school that I have met are very involved in their kids lives and also involved in the allowing of their kids to be human b/c it seems to me, the path of descent is the path of transformation. Darkness, death, relapse, woundedness and failure are our most potent teachers rather than ideas or doctrines. Richard Rohr. Moralism, in my opinion, keeps us from experiencing God and only allows us to know ABOUT God. We must fall and meet God in the darkness. So, why prevent what is inevitable and then when inevitable happens, be totally surprised?? It must be a constant comedy, no, horror show for Jesus to see how much we have missed the mark and in doing so, how much we miss Him.

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  86. Maria:

    As one who used to be “in” this environment, I know my words are like nails on a chalkboard. There’s a huge amount of “but it’s just Doug’s sin” issue. Nope, it’s not just Doug’s sin issue. We do need to throw the baby out with the bath water (no disrespect to little cute little babies – it’s just an expression). What Phillips taught is destructive. It’s not Biblical.

    Retha mentioned it and I’ve read this from many people who were part of BCA – that Phillips taught primarily out of the Old Testament. You can’t teach a Gospel-saving message without the resurrected Jesus, folks. You cannot teach a Gospel-saving message without grace.

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  87. Maria,
    I feel really bad for you having so much guilt already for a job you haven’t even started yet! Take it easy on yourself, you seem like a great person, you are doing the best you know how to do for you and your family. There is so much weird energy from woman (both from working moms to stay at home moms and also from stay at home moms to working outside the home women). I think it comes from insecurity. Everyone wants to make sure they are doing the right thing. Should I be spending more time with my kids? Should I be helping financially? Let me just tell you that its a tough world out there. Your husband is probably doing the best he can as well, thats not easy either. Its a blessing that you found a job with the unemployment at a high level. Go out there, do the best you can, work hard, be proud, and when you get home love on your family the best you can. Thats all we can do in life. We only get one ride around this giant carousel called life, do the best you can, love others like you want to be loved, hang on, and enjoy the ride!

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  88. Jenny-
    Thank you so much. I so do want to just trust. I think I also have, under it all, an intense desire to find the ‘formula’ so I worry that I will no longer have time to read, etc… I think I feel like a mess a lot and am looking for the formula to un-do myself at a soul level. Maybe the formula is to live in each moment and forget the rest. To find grace, to remember grace and to fall into the arms of Jesus open invitation to dance :) Let all else go and laugh more. I think this is going on my mirror. I so easily forget.

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  89. Gary Fore here.

    A few comments that will probably not be appreciated, but true.

    Reba – I went to your site and started to respond in detail and I realized that between what you posted here and the volume there, you would never be convinced about the distinct callings of male and female. You have closed your mind to the authority of Scripture. So there is not point in trying to convince you. The Word of God IS our guide. It is the written word that leads us to Christ who is the living word. We do not get new revelations, etc or outside info from the Spirit apart from the written word. All the salvific and sanctifying details for us sinners about Christ is revealed not in nature, but in the Scripture. Thus, the written word is our guide with the power of the Holy Spirit guiding us into that truth, but it is always connected to the Scriptures. This is true Christianity. Anything else is false.

    As to scripture to prove the roles. Genesis 1-2, many other OT sections make the roles clear, Titus 2, Peter, other writings from Paul, etc. But Titus 2 is very clear that the woman’s place of great and noble service is in the home. The very spirit of the text does not allow the woman to be gone for days on end, week by week, month by month on an “outside” job. Even Proverbs 31 makes it clear that she is working in her orbits in and out of the home, but the focus of her life and days are clearly for her home, her children and her husband. A Keeper at Home does not mean she can never leave, never go sell/trade, etc. It means that she spends the bulk of her days in and at her home, periodically in and out, but all with a homeward focus. You have been liberated to your view by something or someone outside of the Scriptures, thus your authority is found outside the scriptures, so no amount of quoting texts would help because you will justify your spirit of denial that they mean plainly what they say.

    As to roles in general – the pattern is clear from Genesis to Revelation. Women are not second class chattle, but are helpmeets who were created by God, most wonderfully, to serve alongside their husbands in the work of life, the family and all that impacts that family. But Paul makes it clear that the woman is not head over the man, but the man over the woman. Now you will not accept this, so your argument is with God’s Word. Not me. You know down inside that I am telling you the truth –you already know. You are just not being honest with yourself or God, or those in the blogs.

    There are abusive men, bad husbands for sure, but what is new. This is as old as mankind. And there are equally wicked women – many who have poisoned the minds of many children and promoted abuse that is far more vile than many men. Doug Phillips and his ilk are not representative of true Christian husbands and fathers. We are sinful and imperfect, but we love our wife, love our children and will die for them. We want to have long maturing marriages – even maybe 70 years…marriages with our “best friend”. My wife is my best friend. That is total truth.

    As to the other comments like…

    how in the world could she have been selling real estate and selling things at the market without working outside the home? Why do these folks forget to mention that? (hint hint: Because it doesn’t fit in with the ideology they are trying to promote)

    Prov 31 lady did clearly do various merchant activity for her family, but she was not what many women are trying to justify. They are gone 8++ hours a day, every day from their homes and namely to a “career”. The Prov. 31 woman was orbiting around her home, with that as her focus, throughout the day. This is not so of the modern “career” woman. Again, Titus 2 and all the other passages make this idea of “Keeper at Home” clear. The confusion is in those who do not like the Lord’s design and think they have a better way. This is of course, most foolish. So did Satan, so did Eve, so did Adam and look where it has brought us.

    Scripture is clear. But many try to dodge the truth to ease their conscience.

    Being a true homemaker is the most difficult work in the world. My faithful wife of 29 years would attest to this truth. It is one that every man ought to totally encourage. We men have dearly failed in this front. But, our failure does not change the truth of the clear intent and spirit of Scripture.

    Gary

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  90. Julie Anne,

    Sure the scenarios I described can occur in Christian schools, churches, youth groups, etc. and kids can get in trouble anywhere. We choose to avoid many of those situations- at least where our kids are unsupervised by one of us. Our kids have several opportunities to pursue interests, meet people, witness, travel, have fun, whatever. We increase their level of independence as they grow and show maturity. Maybe we’re seen as over-protective, I don’t know. That’s a decision every parent has to make for themselves and one that we’ve made carefully and prayerfully. We work hard to stay close to them and listen to their dreams/hopes/interests so that if changes need to made, more freedom granted, etc. we will do it. BTW, in my opinion, a youth group with supervision would be a great idea. Parental neglect is wrong whether one homeschools or public schools or whatever. I also went to a lousy youth group. The experiences I had in public school and church have made me determined to try to give the best I can to my kids. Not saying everyone has to do what I do or that it would be right for everyone.

    And it’s also plain wrong to try to shame those who choose public school or Moms who work out of the home.

    I completely agree with Maria about allowing our kids to be human and fall and then see their need for Christ through that experience. My kids have all kinds of opportunities to do that while homeschooling as well. I like to be there to guide them when they do stumble. At least for now. The time will come when they’re on their own and that’s as it should be.

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  91. Salli Mae-

    And I totally agree that we don’t want to leave them to the wolves thinking public school is great and they need to fall anyway so, hey, good luck kids, see you when you’re 30. I am actually building a network of friendships with the kid’s moms that my kids have befriended. Some of them work in the school system. There is very much a culture of being involved and knowing as much as we can about their whereabouts and checking in with other parents when they say they’ll be at someone’s house, etc… It’s totally for me, a complete act of trust where that seems to be my only option. And when I see that, for me, it is God’s plan just as for you, homeschooling is. Wherever we are in our parenting, the important part is supporting our kids and being involved and however that looks in God’s plan, we should do our best. And, knowing that, allow the falling to happen:)

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  92. Gary said: “Reba – I went to your site and started to respond in detail and I realized that between what you posted here and the volume there, you would never be convinced about the distinct callings of male and female. You have closed your mind to the authority of Scripture.”

    I believe the authority of scripture. But you have not quoted even one verse.
    You just asserted “Genesis 1-2, many other OT sections make the roles clear, Titus 2, Peter, other writings from Paul, etc… The pattern is clear from Genesis to revelation” but you never quoted a specific verse to back up one of your assertions.
    Genesis 1 say both genders were made in God’s image to rule.(:27-28) I see no gender role in Genesis 2, but you can quote the verse that makes a gender role clear if there is one. Being a strength on the same level as the man (the meaning of helpmeet) does not give a gender role, but could mean they were made for the same task. I showed that the Titus 2 text does not say women’s lives should orbit round home/family, only that she should probably know how to do home/family related things. Yet you simply re-assert that Titus 2 prove your point, without giving any reason why your interpretation is right. Your simply ignore what is actually in the Bible – the command is to teach it, not to orbit round it.
    You are claiming scripture is on your side. Even if you believe I don’t listen to the authority of scripture, if there was actually scripture on your side you could prove your point by making a numbered list with a scripture quote next to every number to back it up:
    1) Where the Bible texts that make it clear that “The lady, if she marries, is to orbit around the home/family”?
    2) Where in the bible is career success called worldly or wrong for girls?
    3) Where in the Bible are men, not women, told to be providers? And what do you think of that Jesus guy, who had women providing for him out of their own pockets? (Luke 8:3) And what do you think of the women who did so, was it their role?
    4) Where in the Bible do you get that single women “should not compete with men”? Where in the Bible do you see a gender role for single women?
    5) Where does the Bible say sons should be leaders? (Should, not are. Texts that say men are leaders may only represent a factual observation about said society.
    “But Paul makes it clear that the woman is not head over the man, but the man over the woman. Now you will not accept this, so your argument is with God’s Word. Not me.” – Gary
    “Head of”, not “head over.” I accept that and even discuss what the idiomatic meanings of head (the literal meaning of the Greek word Paul used is the body part above the neck. In many languages beside English, the word for that body part does not denote leadership at all. Even English has words like cranium, crown, noggin or skull that also mean the same as the Greek word translated to head.) was in the Greek of the era, on my blog. Please do not misrepresent what I do and do not accept.
    You, with your “the Bible make it clear” did not give a Bible text to prove even one point, instead you started with accusations. And by the way – you got my name wrong. Please, for the sake of your family, read your Bible with more care than that.

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  93. Gary, even if you are convinced I would not listen, you could convince others on this thread of your rightness if you could list numbers 1 to 5, and give the clear text that conclusively show you are right about that, next to each. But if you fail to give a text for each assertion, how will they know, for example, the Bible calls women never to compete with men?

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  94. Maria,

    Yes- I’m seeing that more and more-“the important part is supporting our kids and being involved and however that looks in God’s plan, we should do our best.” Amen. The relationship is KEY. The involvement and unconditional love. The kids knowing they will still be loved when they mess up. And yes-even the homeschooled kids mess up. Mine do. Partly because they’re taught by imperfect homeschool parents and partly because they’re sinners. (which they also inherited from me)

    I always enjoy Todd Wilson (Familyman) at homeschool conventions. He pokes fun at us and makes us laugh at ourselves. And he emphasizes the relationships-not trying to be the perfect, poster homeschool family.

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  95. Retha:

    The very sad thing about this whole situation is that many of the women reading Gary’s words, by mere fact that he is a man, will not challenge him because the Patriarchal Schools of Doug Phillips, Scott Brown, Geoff Botkin, Kevin Swanson, etc, teach they must not do so.

    Gary can use his bully Patriarch pulpit to spout whatever he wants (regardless if his words were true or not) and this culture teaches that women may not question it. The Bible never says that. The Bible says we are to be good Bereans.

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  96. Gary Fore said:

    You have been liberated to your view by something or someone outside of the Scriptures, thus your authority is found outside the scriptures, so no amount of quoting texts would help because you will justify your spirit of denial that they mean plainly what they say.

    I think Gary Fore and the whole of the Homeschool Movement subculture has been bound up by someone or something outside of the Scriptures.

    Scripture is clear. But many try to dodge the truth to ease their conscience.

    If Scripture is clear, why are you not providing it?

    Gary Fore: You have publicly said to Retha:

    You have closed your mind to the authority of Scripture.

    This was a condescending remark, yet Retha gave specific scriptures to prove her point and you have not. I look forward to your response to Retha with specific verses to back up your claims.

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  97. ‘Gary said: “Reba – I went to your site and started to respond in detail and I realized that between what you posted here and the volume there, you would never be convinced about the distinct callings of male and female. You have closed your mind to the authority of Scripture.”’ . . . Sez Mr. Open-minded himself.

    If anyone has time to listen to the sermon posted here: http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2013/12/09/after-the-doug-phillips-vision-forum-scandal-what-should-we-as-homeschoolers-parents-do-now/#comment-66444
    it’s good. He calls people who try to project their own convictions onto other people a cult.

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  98. I realize that. Gary said (single) women should not compete with men, and by merely asking where in the Bible he got that, I am competing with him in the world view arena.
    Actually, I was into reading some patriarchy blogs at a time and thought I needed to change everything, (lucky for me, the CP movement is in the USA and I am in South Africa) but that was one of the things that got me to snap out of it, to see theirs cannot be the way: They told things I can see clear reasons to disagree with, and reacted as if I am a huge sinner for not accepting it as true.
    By telling me I cannot read the Bible for myself but need male leadership they “took away my gun” (my weapon would have been called a sword in Bible times), and then started attacking me. (Ironically, at those blogs they were big on literal gun ownership rights too).
    They sold me tears, and hated me when I cried. That is what caused me to cry out to God: “God, please teach me the truth! If I should rearrange my whole life and move back in with my father who don’t want me there, I will. But please, you can’t be telling me to stop asking questions and believe things because men tell them.” The answer to that prayer was that God provided me with egalitarian teachings by a missionary leader I respect, and then got me invited to egal blogs and gathering places. I did not move back in with my father. Instead, God helped me to let go of legalism I had even before my distant, but disturbing brush with “Christian” patriarchy. I still care about those caught up in, or escaping from it.

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  99. I think Gary Fore and the whole of the Homeschool Movement subculture has been bound up by someone or something outside of the Scriptures.

    Scripture is clear. But many try to dodge the truth to ease their conscience.

    If Scripture is clear, why are you not providing it?

    Because this is SCRIPTURE(TM) as Party Line, Comrade.

    With a “TRUTH HURTS, DOESN’T IT?” beatdown.

    Gary Fore: You have publicly said to Retha:

    You have closed your mind to the authority of Scripture.

    That’s SCRIPTURE(TM) as a weapon for the beatdown on Retha.

    There’s a reason I feel like vomiting every time I hear the word SCRIPTURE.

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  100. Ultimately, homeschooling is a choice. Not every family is able to make that choice.

    You know – – here’s another thing that has always bothered me about some of this general thoughts about sending kids to public school = to the devil – the people who say these things don’t seem to be thinking beyond the US. I’m pretty sure that homeschooling is not a legal option in some countries.

    There’s also a whole lot of judgment of women who work outside the home. That’s just not even remotely a possibility in many countries in the world. Why are Americans so special with all of these extra rules? ::::JA sarcasm:::::
    ******************************************************************************************************

    We are in our 14th year of homeschooling. Our eldest son and oldest daughter are in college. Our youngest is four and we have others in between, and Lord willing, we will have many more homeschooling years. As much as I believe homeschooling is a great option for our family, I do not believe it is the only option.

    We began our homeschooling journey with the mantra that it is a a year by year decision that we would revisit each year to see if it was still the best option for our family. There was no fear involved in our decision to homeschool. There was no feeling of disdain towards public schooling. It wasn’t long or too many homeschooling conventions later though, that we were exposed to what others believe is the peril of public schools..

    There is almost a formula of some homeschool convention speakers (and I have heard many of the big names live and in person over the years..) 1. Build up your audience. Make the homeschooling parents believe they are doing something great. Make them believe they are exceptional and set apart. Flatter them. Better yet, flatter their kids. 2. Instill fear in them of the dangers in..public schools, sports, youth groups, dating, immodesty,college, food, birth control, medical professionals, the government..3. Sell the vision. Sell the system or formula for godliness that will protect the children from going off into depravity. Pepper the lecture with “real life” examples of hsers who went the way of the world. 4. Sell your CD’s, books, and move on to the next city and the next state.

    Where does this leave the homeschool mom in the trenches? The one who is trying to teach one child to read, one child to do long division, and the other to potty train, while trying to fix dinner and clean house? Overwhelmed. It is a bag of bricks for her to carry this burden of “holy living”. Jesus said His burden is easy and His yoke is light. Isaiah tells us Jesus carries the young and leads the nursing sheep with kindness.

    What about the homeschool dad who is working to support the family? Suddenly he must lead nightly family worship after a long day. He is suddenly worried about having a mortgage as living debt free is the only way to live. Does he work for an employer? Now he knows truly godly men are self employed. Has he been encouraged and edified in his faith walk? Or has he been ensnared by the man made rules of legalism.

    As sad as the hypocrisy of the affair of the homeschool leader in question is the blatant hypocrisy throughout his life is coming to light. How easy is to demand your followers have overflowing quivers when your household has nannies and housekeepers! How wonderful for you to insist on families to be living debt free when you are living in someone else’s home! How wonderful to stand on the piety of not celebrating Christmas while actively marketing it to be the biggest sale time of the year. Oh my! I could go on and on..

    We have dear sweet friends who are so caught up in this movement. They have given us endless VF books and CD’s. They have gone to Jamestown and to retreats with VF. They have prayed for us to get the vision and fretted over our lives. They are good people. They love their children. They are working so very hard at all of this..and we see the daughter who is not allowed to dream of college and only to hope of marriage get more obsessed with boys every year. We see the son play the game in front of his parents and date girls behind their backs., We see friendship after friendship marred because they are not like minded.

    The reason I responded here is your words above Julie Anne. I do believe one of the main reasons we may have stepped towards these ideals but never embraced them is because of our travels overseas. The Bible is true for all people, everywhere, for all times. As I have met precious ladies in West Africa who work so very hard to feed their children and hope and dream about school for them..maybe, possibly? The Americentric ideals of VF were laughable. When a little one in East Africa begged food of me there was no mother beside him checking the wrapper to see if the ingredients were organic. No, just a grateful woman, thankful her little one had a morsel of food. Oh, the imaginary demons of the homeschool world seem so petty amongst the mass of humanity in China where there is truly no freedom.

    My heart breaks for the Phillips family may the joy of the Lord find them and bathe them in the freedom that the life of Christ is. May we all learn to walk wisely and may we not become so distracted by our fears and our failures that we forget that the greatest commandment is love.

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  101. “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. . . ‘”

    Scripture points us to Jesus who has all authority. Scripture does not have all authority in itself. We worship Jesus, God in the flesh, not scripture. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit for strength and guidance to do what Jesus commanded his disciples to do.

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  102. Gary, I know I won’t be popular because of it, but I do agree with much of what you have shared, in regards to how scripture views motherhood and marriage. My husband and I have raised two children, who are grown and have given us grandchildren. Throughout most of our marriage, I worked outside the home full time as a medical professional, trying at the same time to run my home, be a good mom, wife, etc.. Something always loses when Mom works full time. My life was no exception. I have so many regrets that I cannot go back and change. Time I missed that I can never get back with my older kids. I have walked the path of full time parenting for 34 years now. When our two adult children had left home, we were blessed with the role of stepping in as parents to raise one of our grandchildren, I decided to lay my professional life down, and embrace parenting, homemaking, and homeschooling. My husband was and is fully supportive of it. I don’t miss the demands of working outside the home. I truly believe that for those who choose, there is great joy and contentment to be had in being a keeper of the home. I was encouraged by a close friend, who was a college educated US Army Captain in command over some several hundred soldiers, when she laid down her career to be a stay at home mom, and in her words a “help mate” to her husband. Since that time she has thrived, gone on and finished a Master’s Degree, been involved in the discipleship of many women, all the while being a keeper of the home, marriage and children. My husband has encouraged me fully to return to further my college education if i want to. Both her and my husband have followed the biblical commands of how to love your wife, and provide for your family and household.

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  103. Poor Gary Force, Just like his fellow travelers, the Pharisees, He is accusing Jesus of encouraging sin. See Luke 8

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  104. Welcome, Hope!

    There is almost a formula of some homeschool convention speakers (and I have heard many of the big names live and in person over the years..)

    1. Build up your audience. Make the homeschooling parents believe they are doing something great. Make them believe they are exceptional and set apart. Flatter them. Better yet, flatter their kids.

    2. Instill fear in them of the dangers in..public schools, sports, youth groups, dating, immodesty,college, food, birth control, medical professionals, the government..

    3. Sell the vision. Sell the system or formula for godliness that will protect the children from going off into depravity. Pepper the lecture with “real life” examples of hsers who went the way of the world.

    4. Sell your CD’s, books, and move on to the next city and the next state.

    You just described common traits of spiritual abuse

    1 = love bombing = Hope’s paragraph describes it well – build up the people so they think they are so special. They quickly are drawn to the leader because of the pats on the backs.

    2. Instill fear – – this causes them to get even closer to their leader who has all of the answers. He has convinced them that his teachings, his church, his methods are the only right way – – anything other than his ways are suspect.

    3. This is more of #2. Also included in this is elitism, no one who does otherwise will ever measure up. It sets up a system where you are preoccupied with judging outsiders on their parenting, homeschooling, spirituality, etc. In this environment, you and your guru leader get to be the Holy Spirit for everybody else.

    4. This is hero worship – – focus is on guru leaders books/workshops.

    From everything I’ve read, Doug Phillips operated his church and functioned practically as a cult leader.

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  105. It looks like there is 2 “Marks” on the loose in this thread.

    You’re right! I took the liberty to change the newer Mark to Mark 2 (unless he wants something else). Thanks for noticing.

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  106. Sometimes women are not supported to stay in the home. I would love nothing more than to have a ministry, which I have, but I need to make $$$ and haven’t really figured out how to do that with my ministry/business. I would love ideas on how to build something b/c my heart is sooooooooooooo NOT in having a full-time career. I am fully aware of how much I will miss and how much I may not have to give when I get home. My heart is broken over it. But, I have tried and tried to work from home and it just hasn’t been enough. So, Gary, I am curious how you think a woman should handle that. I see so much idealism that is not coupled with realism. .If I do not have a husband whose priority is to be a sole provider, then where does that leave a woman in a patriarchal paradigm? I know so many women who have suffered b/c they are taught to stay home and in doing so, the family is in poverty. it doesn’t add up to me.

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  107. Ladies…

    First, let me apologize if I sound like all those men that you reference so much and dislike so much. I knew my comments would be unpopular. But some clarification is in order.

    1. Homeschooling had nothing to do with the matter of Titus 2 and being a keeper at home. It was a good model shown to me by my mom, her mom and now my wife. It is the spirit of the pattern shown throughout the Word of God.

    2. Retha – I apolgize for spelling your name wrong. I realized it shortly after I posted, but had to step out for a meeting, thus did not correct. However, no, I did not answer verses for your every point, because to do so would be totally in vain. You are committed to the view you hold, as am I.

    3. My proof for Retha is the whole of Scripture. I cited Gen 1-2, Proverbs 31, Titus 2 and other referenced. But in the cases you did respond to, you take some obscure meaning and press fit it on the Word tryind desperately to make it say what you want it to say. But you violate the letter and the spirit of the text in each case trying to hold your ground. The plain simple, historical, grammatical reading/ sense means that the Lady in a marriage orbits around her home. SHE IS NOT A SLAVE FOR THE MAN. She delights in her home and loving those under her care and loving the husband that is supposed to be loving her genuinely.

    4. I understand that many men fail the test of loving their wife, but that does not mean that the model in the Word is wrong. It means that the men are wrong. There are 2000 years of Christian NT history that proves the general point that God designed the man to lovingly lead his wife and children, teaching them of Christ, caring about them, treating his wife with understanding and grace as the “weaker vessel”, etc. None of this is abusive or mean. DP and his group do not speak correctly for the Word of God. They are liars. Do they put burdens on women that are unjustified – yes. I agree. But the answer to their error is not to reject the pattern of homelife ordered in the Word of God. The answer is to live in love between a husband and wife. He would die for her. And his heart affections are centered around his home, his lovely bride and his blessed children. All of this ornates the Gospel of grace with beauty and winsomeness. Why do you react so coldly and viciously to this model? The answer is the rejection of God’s design which is the curse visited upon Eve. She would desire to control her husband and rule him. With her as the head. Men were cursed with endless toil just to provide for the family. However, Christ in His glorious gospel overshadows this curse and brings a sweetness to true christian marriage, parenting, etc… And the hope that someday this curse will be removed in the glories of heaven.

    5. Ladies, single or otherwise – you are NOT property in the eyes of true Christian men. We honor you and want to build you up. But there is such mean parsing of the text of Scripture in trying desperately to prove that you can just leave the home day in and day out without any real negative consequences to the children of that marriage, the husband wife relationship and the whole stability of society. This is feminism in all it gory glory. Homes today are shambles because they are so parsed up, mom pursues her self interests, dad pursues his and somewhere the children are left with all the fallout. And we have now destroyed the next generation’s view of a stable home.

    6. Exceptions – there are legitimate exceptions as to why ladies must work outside the home, but they are the exceptions, not the normative model God designed. And in the quiet of a nite, a lady knows this deep down inside. God made her maternal for a reason. We must stop making our life decisions on the minority exceptions. Now let me add that because of the destroyed homes from feminism the last 30 years or so, there are many more “exceptions” now, so sadly, many of them are almost normal anymore. I challenge any tender hearted ladies to just consider going home and consider making that the focus of your life, not because some fellow named Gary said it, but because it is the spirit of the Scriptures – from start to finish. Stop rebellinng against the Lord’s Plan.

    7. The voices of feminism are just as vicious as those ridiculous patriarchial voices you hate. I had never even heard of the word patriarchy 30 years ago. We just purposed that God meant what He said and that He will honor those who honor Him. My wife quit her job at the end of our college time and home she has been ever since. Does it grow weary at times – yes. Does she long for the pretty nice clothes that the career wife has – yes, at times. But every day, she is with her dear children, old and young, leading, helping, listening, crying with, smiling with, etc… And that is on a blue collar income –single income. But you know what, her worth is more than all the riches of the world and she is so rich with all that she has been able to experience these nearly 30 years, as am I. The children know she has always been there – day or nite. And you cannot do this consistently being a career lady. Period. It is time for some to be honest about this fact.

    7. Even if you continue your career pursuits, let me encourage you that there a many of us males who do not consider you chattle, not an object to be conquered, but holy creations in the sight of God that should be honored. There are still some Christian gentlemen who are still teaching our sons to be likewise. Go work your jobs, but if you ever decide to come home and put your whole heart there, you might just find that what God designed is more of a blessing than you ever knew.

    8. Finally – for those truly God-called single ladies – you are free to pursue skills and training, and are not objects for fathers to control. You are precious ladies who have great opportunities to serve the Gospel of Christ in the home and families of the local church in many ways. Instead of doing it the world’s way, try the Lord’s way. Being a lady is a great honor. My father taught me that we should deeply appreciate Christian ladies, single or married and always honor them. But ladies – get rid of that haughty, shrill, ‘male-like’ warrior mentality and be a godly gal for Christ. Why feminism wants to be masculine still baffles many of us as males. It is disgusting. Ladies are the fairer sex, or used to be…

    I am signing off. It would do no good to say more. except…

    God will not be mocked – we sowed feminism in the 70’s and now we have the fruits – perversion on every hand, emasulated men and homes that are in complete shambles. We have reaped what we sowed. The misguided men, often lazy, whated their wives to go get a job and the defiant woman wants it, so, off to the work force she goes. All for money and “a life”. The only way out is to repent, turn to Christ and pursue a home, not by rules, by formula, but by the clear patterns of the Word. Husbands and wives who love each other, committed for life, home orders that undergird the marriage and model this for their children, so that there might be a better generation next time.

    Christ be with you all,
    Gary

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  108. Maria,

    So, Gary, I am curious how you think a woman should handle that. I see so much idealism that is not coupled with realism.

    My answer – if your husband is not in favor of your coming home, then it is not worth the fight. Love him, love your children and do what you can to be home as much as possible. Pray that the Lord might send a gentle Christian man to your husband that might give him some things to consider. There are many men who do not have a vision for a Christian home nor the beauty of the wife at home, the virtues, etc… ( My father and mother taught me, then the Scriptures helped me to see why.)

    And you may not can change him. But you can teach your daughters and sons gently and with respect toward your husband that they should seek out spouses that will honor the Word of God in this. Not by letter, but by spirit.

    As to the realities – I do not know how “poor” you are and so you may truly be destitute and for that, there are no simple answers, except to trust the Lord, befaithful in your present job and ask the King of Heaven to open a door for you to fully honor him at home. Maybe help your husband see all the benefits.

    If you are truly living very frugal and still cannot make it on your husband’s salary and there is nothing else you can do and he is not willing to work a second job ( I have done this at times to keep my wife home), then you must continue to work and leave the “exception” in Christ’s hand to change if He wishes.

    But we are all so so lavish these days, far more than we realize. Maybe not you, but most of us. We have telephones, cable, internet, food, meals out, nice clothes, newer cars, trips, furniture, etc… Virtually every piece of furniture we own has come from a thrift store and we are a larger family. Most of our clothes from thrift stores, sometimes shoes, we have an older home, drive old cars, but my dear wife is home with our children, there when they need her and I get to see her dear face at the end of a long day. Then about 3 more hours with the family, then lights out. Starts over the next day. But we are a family, learning what it means to follow Christ, although very slowly and imperfectly. Do what you can to come home, pray and trust. Memorize Hebrews 11:5-6. Lovely Hope.

    Gary

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  109. Gary-
    thank you for giving some realistic possibilities. I think that is far too often left out and women like me are left resentful, choose to be resentful, b/c we thought we had signed up for something else when we chose to have children. Often you really don’t know until things get hard. We don’t travel, or buy clothes unless absolutely necessary, none of that, we have older cars, etc… We have forgone lessons for the kids, fillings for the kids, all of it. It would be irresponsible for me not to work. I am just going to work, have been trying to have a home business, but it isn’t enough.

    I teach my girls, actually, to make sure they get educated and start a career before choosing to have children. I wish I had done that. I did get my BA but it’s not in an area I want to work. I teach them to really know themselves before getting married. I also teach them to be very very wise about trusting another human to be their provider. I see soooooooooooooooo many women get stuck having too many kids before they realize that their husband was not really on board with the whole idea of providing at all cost. I think it is really irresponsible to depend on another person for your provision. At one time, maybe it was realistic, but this is a different time and I have had so much heartache over my own decision to trust another in that area. I never intended life to go this way, but I am learning that God moves in a mysterious way and I need to stop blaming my husband and start trusting that there was a different plan for me all along.

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  110. And Ed, respectfully, for me that is boring and offensive advice:) I much prefer to hash things out and not be agreed with all the time!

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  111. Maria,

    If you hang around here a while you will learn that Ed has great respect for women and also loves a healthy debate with men and women alike.

    I had a good laugh at the “yes,dear” because that’s not the Ed that I know.

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  112. While I do not agree with Gary’s assertions as to what the Bible says about the dear “ladies” of the world, I do agree it is good to have someone at home with the children, at least as possible. For some families, it is the dad who chooses to stay home. Think of the advantages of the children getting to spend time with Dad other than just a few hours each evening (and less if he is working two jobs). I’ve known families where the parents each spent a portion of the school years being the at-home parent and the family thrived. My husband and I shared a ministry job while our children were young, and our children love how much time they had with their dad because of it.

    I also wonder how much of this attitude of “ladies should be at home” is actually because it is easier for the men that way. When our children were in jr high and high school, we did a switch and my husband worked full time while I stayed home. It’s horribly hard work, especially when you homeschool. There is little interaction on an intellectual level and how often is there acknowledgment of the work you do from colleagues? Sure, your children are the proof but you can’t really control how they turn out – not like you can when you design something or produce something. Your ego is all tied up in your children and that’s not healthy. I liked it when I was gone to an overnight meeting and came home to a clean house and dinner ready. I’d had time with colleagues, been challenged on a work level and came home to an adoring husband and family. No wonder men like Gary want to push women into staying home. They get to avoid all the messiness of daily life with kids that way.

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  113. Note that Gary blamed women for emasculating men. Gary is spouting the Fundy party politics. Which is always amusing as it gives women power over his masculinity. Perhaps oneday he will find his security in Christ

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  114. His Beloved, this has been a busy thread. I was puzzled by Hugs comment to you. Of course I read things through a different lens, and I heard you. Glad you responded @ December 10, 2013 @ 11:25 AM

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  115. Maria,

    Yes, I do have a sarcastic sense of humor, and I mean no disrespect at all to anyone. Sometimes, however, I just cannot get on board with the belief systems of some people here. I’m all about freedom. There is NO set of rules. Each family should just do as what suits them. What suits one family does not suit another. No one should be writing a rule book on do’s and don’ts. I don’t like the rule book. Throw the rule book out the window. Yes, even Gary’s rule book.

    All this “Me Tarzan, You Jane” stuff is for the birds.

    I, myself, can’t stand a submissive woman. I like a woman with brains, and goals, with an ambition that states that she can be who she wants to be…the next President, etc. But it seems that some MEN with low self esteem issues wants to control what the women do, where they go, what they wear, who they talk to, and the list goes on and on and on, etc. I have no room in my life for men like that.

    Some men can’t stand that women are in the military. My daughter is in the Navy. I am proud. I used to be in the Navy. Many of my supervisors were women…due to the nature of my job of being a payroll clerk. Oh, I know, some of the manly men here might say that’s a woman’s work, anyway…office secretary stuff, who can type, while the manly men dig ditches, right?

    I am proud of the womens lib, that some here despise…and some women despise it as well. Well, I salute those who began it.

    With respect to all…

    Ed

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  116. Gary, you keep on insisting that you already made your point. “It is in Genesis 1! No, the only texts in Genesis 1 to mention man and women say both are made: a) in the image of God, b) to rule the earth c) to be fruitful and fill it. The last imply the biological role of child bearing (which people and even animals know without the Bible), but gives no non-biological role.
    “It is in Genesis 2!” I simply do not see it: http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/gender-roles-in-genesis-2-where/
    “It is in Proverbs 31!” Almost everything this woman do could describe a good man (work hard outside the home, provide for her family so they are well dressed, respected by spouse and children and even “in the gates”, helps the poor, etc.) This is not a list of things a man should not do, or he will be usurping the female role. If you read it as orbiting round home and children, you AFAIK read with gender role glasses, I have never seen anyone make an argument from the text for it. I would say Proverbs 31 wrecks havoc with the man-as-provider idea you have, this woman who goes “afar” to bring in food from there, who sells at the market (not from her home), who buys a piece of land and plants a vineyard (she is not at home, but out in her vineyard), who has money to pay her servants (I think they stay with her children when she is away?) well.
    You still do the posturing thing, instead of numbering the 5 questions and answering – if not for my sake, then for the edification of others who get advice here.
    You said:
    “you take some obscure meaning and press fit it on the Word tryind desperately to make it say what you want it to say. But you violate the letter and the spirit of the text in each case trying to hold your ground.”
    I disagree on which one of us two is doing that.
    “8. Finally – for those truly God-called single ladies – you are free to pursue skills and training, and are not objects for fathers to control. You are precious ladies who have great opportunities to serve the Gospel of Christ …”
    Just like men, not a gender role
    “… in the home and families of the local church in many ways…”
    Where do you get our service should be “in homes and families?” If it is not the message of Jesus or the rest of the Bible, why should we believe you? Ironically enough, Doug Phillips sexually used a woman who was “serving in the home” of him, who was a leader in her “local church”.
    “Instead of doing it the world’s way, try the Lord’s way.”
    Just like men, not a gender role
    Being a lady is a great honor. My father taught me that we should deeply appreciate Christian ladies, single or married and always honor them. But ladies – get rid of that haughty, shrill, ‘male-like’ warrior mentality and be a godly gal for Christ. Why feminism wants to be masculine still baffles many of us as males. It is disgusting. Ladies are the fairer sex, or used to be…
    Do you think God finds it okay for men to be haughty? He does not, so it is no gender role. Does he find it okay for men to be shrill? I am pretty sure God wants both men and women to stand against what is wrong, even if it sometimes need “shrillness.” You have not told any of us from the Bible what is a gender role for single women. Unless, of course, you want men to be haughty and shrill and not serve anybody’s home or family.
    “Husbands and wives who love each other, committed for life, home orders that undergird the marriage and model this for their children,”
    Husbands and wives who love each other, commited for life, is very common among people who don’t see gender roles in the Bible. Believers in gender roles are more likely, statistically, to have unhappy marriages. Many who think unlike you model love to their children

    @Julie, Dec 11 @ 1:35 pm
    I am very much in favor of stay-at-home mothers, when the circumstances and the mother is right for it. I am equally much in favor of stay-at-home dads. I am glad my mother stayed at home when I was little. So, from the second to second last sentence of your comment, I am with you 100%.

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  117. Ed, you are a real man!!!! I do wonder however if Gary force greets his brothers with a holy kiss? After all its prescribed and its biblical. (wink)

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  118. A Concerned dad, I think one thing is: Do love, not legalism.
    Some people hear of mothers who seem to not care about their children or husbands, and try to find rules in the Bible about mothers staying at home and daughters staying at home and about submissiveness.
    They hear of young people sleeping around and make strict courtship rules.
    Etc., etc…
    Others hear of these things, and advocate loving God above all and loving others as self. They know that if these things are in place in the life of a wife, daughter or son, God and his Spirit could figure out their priorities, their sexual choices, etc. It is a relationship, not a rule book.
    For one woman, loving her children could mean working so they are fed. For another who could afford to stay at home, loving her special needs child may mean home schooling, while loving her extroverted child with the leadership gift could mean sending him to a public high school where there are people to befriend and to lead. Love is not a formula, but a dynamic way of knowing yourself and those around you and caring about what is in their best interest.

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  119. I’m late to this party. Want to say that I tried everything when it came to schooling my kids. Held one back before starting him while we let another start early. We tried homeschooling for 7 years, public school, charter school, and Christian school. I have taught and been a principal of a small non-sectarian school. Nothing is perfect. Each situation had benefits along with negatives. Each child needed something different.

    Kids need love. As parents we have to model apologizing, humbling ourselves, admitting we were wrong, etc… We also have to model picking ourselves up and trying again, something else, and keep trying till something works well enough. The kids need us to chill out, relax, and love in a natural way … not an “in your face ” pressured “quality time” from mom who won’t feel good about herself if her child(ren) don’t agree what an incredible time they are having together.

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  120. What I see here is a lot of people telling you what you should and should not do. The advice may or may not be biblical. But the point is…they are PEOPLE. Just like Doug Phillips! What will you do if you follow one of them and realize later down the road that THEY were wrong, too? This should be a wake-up call to us all that we are idolaters at heart. We may not be bowing down to a golden calf as the children of Israel did, but we want to put man on the throne rather than GOD. What should you do differently? Start by dethroning man and putting God back on the throne of your heart. Then take a serious look at a variety of Christian teachings and dig DEEPLY into the Word to see what is true! Or, better yet, START by digging into God’s Word yourself! Personally, I believe many (NOT all) things that DP taught were biblical or valuable in a practical sense…taught by an extremely hypocritical man. But thankfully, I am also having to go back and double-check to make sure whatever teachings I held to truly were biblical. We are all idolaters at heart and I’m sure some things slipped in that I did not fully evaluate against Scripture. I see this as a good thing and it does not shake me…only sharpens me. Just as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1…”Be imitators of me, AS I AM OF CHRIST.” That last phrase is the key!

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  121. I come over to places like this and read this blather about traditional gender roles and women’s natural orbit circumscribed to the home. Then, I get in the car, and drop the kids off at school, where they and their hundreds of friends and family all go and have all gone, going back 3 generations. Until I met the profoundly damaged, spiritually and emotionally abused young homeschooled women over the last 3 years, I’d never known anyone who was homeschooled. No one in my family or peer group did it. Ever. No one. Amazingly, we’re all doing pretty well, too.

    While the kids are at great (but yes flawed) public schools where they are learning the foreign languages I never knew and math I could never master, I venture into Real Live, where, again, I wonder where these people are who believe that women and daughters should be orbiting the home. I manage and am managed by men and women. Amazingly, no one ever tells the Chairwoman, the Vice President, the elected or appointed official, the woman in uniform, or the woman with all the initials after her name that she’s an ungodly person for forsaking her home orbit to help better the world for the rest of us.

    (By the by, I am agog at these patriarchs who somehow think that men can’t work around women without being distracted when my teen boy manages to get A’s in Honors French and Geometry with “hot” teen girls next to him. My male co-workers and husband manage to get through a day without making passes at interns. What makes these patriarchs such special snowflakes?)

    The judgmental privilege that pervades smug condemnation of working families enrages me. Not every family has the luxury of having one parent at home and not every parent has personal or intellectual wherewithal to manage household and education. My gosh, haven’t the homeschool survivors taught us that these children would have been far, far better off, far safer, far healthier anywhere other than their abusive home environments? A public school teacher who does to these children what parents did to them would have been prosecuted.

    Be easy, friends. Some parents find their bliss in work outside the home. Being a parent is great, but it’s not the sum total of a person and is not the sole measurement of self-worth.

    Similarly, public school and college isn’t right for every kid but in my considerable anecdotal experience, it’s really, really good for an awful lot of them. Further, out here in my Real Life, to the parent, we are all raising our children, all our children, with an eye to obtaining advanced, post-high school degrees and look really, really askance at any parent who wouldn’t set the bar at least that high. I will defend to my dying breath the morality of my family’s decision to work and public school our kids over the educational neglect and oppression of daughters.

    yes, I know, it’s all anecdotal and I’m really an outlier over here. This blather about gender roles, natural orbits and inclinations, and patriarchy have no support in the daily fabric of my real life or, as near as I can tell, in Biblical text.

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  122. Amen Katie! I am really benefitting from this discussion b/c its helping me see my idealisms, my illusions, more clearly and see how they take me away from my family rather than bring me closer. Thank you all for being willing to carry this conversation on.

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  123. Yes, Ruth, I have seen many damaged homeschooled kids as well. Not across the board, but so often, it is out of fear and shame that the parents are doing it, and that is never a good recipe. In my case, I realized I was abusive and unhealthy in homeschooling. I had been abused and had never dealt with it, didn’t know to. So much healing needs to happen in many of these families and what’s sad is that it’s all done in the name of faithfulness which is a big cover up for, “I don’t believe I’m enough or I believe I’m a mistake.” and the beliefs just get passed down and never dealt with b/c we believe in the illusion that there is actually a formula for this thing called life when God actually calls us into the Mystery, and away from the formulas that deceive us into thing thinking we are OK b/c we found the ‘formula’

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