Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Homeschool Movement, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Vision Forum

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

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

 

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

Doug Phillips issued this statement yesterday:

*     *     *

Statement of Resignation

by Douglas Phillips, Esq., October 30, 2013

With thanksgiving to God for His mercy and love, I have stepped down from the office of president at Vision Forum Ministries and have discontinued my speaking responsibilities.

There has been serious sin in my life for which God has graciously brought me to repentance. I have confessed my sin to my wife and family, my local church, and the board of Vision Forum Ministries.  I engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman. While we did not “know” each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.

There are no words to describe the magnitude of shame I feel, or grief from the injury I caused my beloved bride and children, both of whom have responded to my repentance with what seems a supernatural love and forgiveness. I thought too highly of myself and behaved without proper accountability. I have acted grievously before the Lord, in a destructive manner hypocritical of life messages I hold dear, inappropriate for a leader, abusive of the trust that I was given, and hurtful to family and friends. My church leadership came alongside me with love and admonition, providing counsel, strong direction and accountability. Where I have directly wronged others, I confessed and repented. I am still in the process of trying to seek reconciliation privately with people I have injured, and to be aware of ways in which my own selfishness has hurt family and friends. I am most sensitive to the fact that my actions have dishonored the living God and been shameful to the name of Jesus Christ, my only hope and Savior.

This is a time when my repentance needs to be proven, and I need to lead a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier, not a ministry leader. Though I am broken over my failures, I am grateful to be able to spend more time with my family, nurturing my wife and children and preparing my older sons and daughters for life. So, for these reasons I want to let my friends know that I have stepped down as a board member and as president of Vision Forum Ministries. The Board will be making provision for the management of the ministry during this time. To the friends of this ministry, I ask for your forgiveness, and hope that you will pray for the Phillips family at this time, and for the men who will be responsible for shepherding the work of Vision Forum Ministries in the future.

Doug Phillips

(Source)

487 thoughts on “Doug Phillips Resigns from Office of President at Vision Forum, Discontinues Speaking Engagements”

  1. He says this in his resignation letter:

    Though I am broken over my failures, I am grateful to be able to spend more time with my family, nurturing my wife and children and preparing my older sons and daughters for life.”

    The foundational structure of the whole Patriarchal philosophy is the man is in charge. This man has failed and now he says he’s going to focus on nurturing his wife whom he betrayed and prepare his older sons and daughters for life? Umm – – – that’s too fast.

    It’s time to take a chill pill and drop the “I’m the king of the castle” role. It didn’t work before and it certainly won’t work now that there has been hypocrisy and at least emotional infidelity.

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  2. Re: lynetteduquette71 — as in all cases, the failure of a human to live up to a philosophy does not mean the philosophy is flawed. : )

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  3. Oh, and to be sure, I do not agree with many of Vision Forum’s extremist views, BUT, nonetheless, dismissing it on his failure to fulfill is irrational.

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  4. Welcome to the blog, Chloe!

    I agree with your statement, in general. However, I view the philosophy of Patriarchy to be flawed. No man should rule over his wife, own her spiritually, emotionally or any other way.

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  5. There are always people that are happy such men/women fail. I am encouraged that he admitted his sin PUBLICALLY and is seeking to right it. He has much to loose and will loose much for admitting his indescretion. Men of influence – and women, as well – are targets. Temptations come swiftly to those that are countering mainstream. While others my belittle him and condemn him for failing, I applaud him for issuing a statement and stepping down. The mercy that my God offers is available at all times. While we ALL get caught in self-righteousness and Holier-than-thou-ness (even to and including those that will comment here with judgement), the perfect do not require a Savior.

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  6. I agree with Julie Ann. The philosophy of the patriocentrists is horribly flawed, due entirely to their incorrect exegesis of Scripture. One has to wonder, in this instance, if the “extremist viewpoint” led to his downfall? When men have such a low regard for women, bad things tend to happen. Pure conjecture, on my part, but food for thought.

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  7. I could certainly never throw the first stone.
    I also do not agree with the extreme views of VF (did at one time, but still enjoy many of their products), but it takes a big man to admit his failures. And while we are so busy attacking the words he has chosen, thankfully (hopefully) he will be carrying out their general message of caring for his family’s spiritual and emotional needs at this time. While our husbands should not rule over, they are called to be their families leaders and shepards.
    Tearing each other down (in this case slamming sin with repentance, when we sin ourselves) doesn’t advance the kingdom anymore than inappropriate emotional relationships… 😦

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  8. Conviction isn’t consistent with the doctrine. My guess is: it was going to come out somehow and he was forced to take this course of action.

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  9. So… I’m sensing a group-vibe here that Doug Phillips isn’t going to get a grace-pass on this one….
    Pauls… @ 10:05am: Really? Is there a gospel out there that keeps people from falling into sin? I’d love to hear about it!
    Sue… @ 10:13am: Since egalitarians, complementarians, patriarchists, matriarchists, reformed, amillenials, premillenials, post-millenians, Calvinists, dispensationalists, KJV-only, NIV’ers, home-schoolers, public-schoolers, evangelicals, main-liners, and pastors, Presidents, stay-at-home moms and working moms, believers and atheists are just as prone to, and actually commit, the same sins as Doug Phillips–it’s a bit of a stretch to blame his “fall” on his specific philosophy. He just shares the fate of the rest of us–that of being human. We all share the same philosophy in this regard: that we frequently find ourselves seeking satisfaction in illegitimate forms of pleasure and intimacy, and meaning.

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  10. My guess is this is the tip of the iceberg and the only “minor sin” that’s going to be publicly confessed.
    This was a preemptive move, in order to shut down any questions from the followers, make the sin look “not too bad” (oh! it wasn’t physical huh?), and make himself look like he’s being repentant and yet still “being the king” of his family. So the followers will say “oh I better not gossip about this cuz I’m a sinner too” – and wham! case closed!

    I’ve read and heard way too much lately from survivors of these cultish patriarchy groups and I no longer believe these pious-sounding statements.

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  11. Ken said:

    We all share the same philosophy in this regard: that we frequently find ourselves seeking satisfaction in illegitimate forms of pleasure and intimacy, and meaning.

    That is a very true statement. But at the same time we all are not in leadership positions promoting a “men-rule-over-women” philosophy that treats women as less-thans. This man has lead a whole movement for many years. Biblically, Christian leaders are held to a higher standard.

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  12. Ken, you don’t get a “pass” when you are the leader and preacher of a conservative Christian organization that teaches girls are to worship and serve their daddies and practice being a perfect wife and daddy rules everything.
    That system depends on daddy being a perfect guy. And not being a porn addict. Or a sexual molester. Or a verbal abuser. Or wife beater.

    And Doug is famous for his horrendous treatment of women in his church. His reputation precedes him in this. (I was going to put a link here to that woman’s blog where she wrote all those posts detailing what Doug and Beall did to her – can’t remember her name this second help me out Julie)

    Like I said. Tip of the iceberg.

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  13. While I don’t agree with Vision Forum on hardly anything, this absolutely breaks my heart. To live in such legalism that one has to give up the ministry and influence they worked so hard for over a relationship that went just a tad bit too far is just extreme. Mr. Phillips seems to be doing the right thing in admitting what he did and taking responsibility for his actions, however it shouldn’t have to come to this. He set himself up for failure by claiming and teaching such a strict set of rules that something was bound to happen eventually.

    Personally, my husband and I trust each other enough to have close friendships with the opposite sex without breaking our marriage apart. It’s such a shame that Mr. Phillips and his family don’t share that same level of trust and openness. My best wishes to his family, and I hope his children can learn from all of this.

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  14. This statement: “While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense,…” reveals a lack of true, Biblical repentance. Sounds like something Bill Clinton would say. Yes, according to Christ, this is adultery: “…whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

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  15. If you can’t be faithful to your wife as a Christian leader of a ministry dedicated to home and family, as the product of a much vaunted Christian home, with good health, looks, money, beautiful houxd, beautiful wife, world travel, beautiful kids and all the material and spiritual blessings life could possibly afford, one wonders what hope for those families in the doublewides, struggling to pay for the next trip to Aldi without any support, advantages, education or help available?

    In the end, this whole scenario reveals the problem of photogenic legalism that substitutes itself for the Gospel. There was little of the Gospel itself in that ministry – it isn’t how they made their money. Family became the idol and with Satan’s own irony, he then made a mockery of God’s institution through its prideful leader. The Gospel isn’t about catalogs of expensive all-American boyhood and girlhoods with real teepees or “Liberty” dolls at over 100 bucks a pop, or dress-up clothes in the style of Dolly Madison, or mounds of how-to-be-like us CD’s and DVD’s. The Gospel is not about having the right version of “biblical courtship” or about virgin pure daughters wafting elegantly from room to room in homemade floral dresses to the strains of a well-tempered clavier. The Gospel is about a human race broken and fouled from sin, facing the wrath of God without the shelter of his Son, the Savior. Where did the cross get lost in the glossy catalogs of these parachurch ministries and their celebrity leaders? It’s worth asking some hard questions.

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  16. I think it is interesting that he posted this rather lengthy article (below) in August on true repentance. Regarding his above statement, I personally see it as fairly vague. He is not specific about much except what he states he did not do with the woman. I have no idea what he is talking about in regards to hypocrisy, selfishness, where he has wronged and injured others, etc. How specific does someone need to be in a public statement? Should it be pages long listing every detail? I don’t know…but he seems to think transparency is important in the post he wrote below.

    “True Repentance
    A Key to Family Blessing
    by Douglas Phillips, Esq., August 7, 2013

    Sorrow unto Death

    The Bible describes this attitude as “the sorrow of the world [which] produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10). It is a false sorrow, a self-centered and self-serving sorrow. Evidences of worldly sorrow include fear of bad results, a sense of pressure caused by the consequences of sin, and embarrassment over “getting caught.” Worldly sorrow may result in partial repentance accompanied by the telling of half-truths and admission of just enough wrongdoing, and no more, than is necessary. Worldly sorrow is often accompanied by arrogance and pride, because, at the end of the day, the sinner does not believe his crimes are really that bad—at least, they are not as bad as the other guy’s crimes.”
    http://www.visionforumministries.org/issues/news_and_reports/true_repentance.aspx

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  17. “This is a time when my repentance needs to be proven, and I need to lead a quiet life focusing on my family and serving as a foot soldier, not a ministry leader. Though I am broken over my failures, I am grateful to be able to spend more time with my family, nurturing my wife and children and preparing my older sons and daughters for life. So, for these reasons I want to let my friends know that I have stepped down as a board member and as president of Vision Forum Ministries. The Board will be making provision for the management of the ministry during this time.”

    Maybe it’s just me, but the last sentence leads me to think this is a temporary step down. It sounds to me like he is setting a specific time to prove his repentance by stepping down, then whenever it is decided he has repented enough, he will be back.
    I don’t know- that reminds me too much of SGM and Mahaney.

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  18. Yeah Julie – that was the link. Doug and his wife are pretty incredible, so this latest isn’t shocking.

    I want to post what I said privately:

    By announcing to the world that “he didn’t have sex with that woman” – he has made sure that everyone knows his wife doesn’t have grounds for “Biblical divorce” (in their wrong interpretation, but I digress).
    He has announced to his followers that his wife is trapped and now he’s going to “NURTURE HER”, and she has no choice in the matter.
    He’s announced that he’s still the King of his family.
    He’s lost nothing, here.

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  19. I suspect there is far more going on to inspire the “going to spend more time with my wife and children” message. There was not hard copy VF catalog this year. The upcoming 2014 film fest has been cancelled. There clearly are financial issues to cause these two things. I don’t believe he’d walk away from his throne of power over an emotional affair with a woman. Whether we ever learn the whole story or not, I don’t weep for him. Is he also walking away from his role as Minister of the church in Boerne, because it is unclear to me if VF and the church are a singular entity?

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  20. Susan (welcome!)

    I am unclear on his position at Boerne. If anybody finds something on this, please let us know.

    It’s important to note that while Vision Forum may be called a ministry, it is also his family’s business and livelihood. It is appropriate that he step down from that business/ministry which promotes godly fathers.

    However, it seems much more prudent to step down in ministerial role because the Biblical rules for elders, doesn’t it?

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  21. Rob:
    you assume that he’s one of the sheep. You assume that he’s a Christian. What if he is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Have you ever considered that? (There is a long pattern of bad/creepy/wrong behavior from this man outside of this letter today)

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  22. I am not buying the whole statement that he did not have sexual relations with that woman. His “admission” seems well rehearsed just admitting the bare minimum. The fact that he chose to include that he did not have sex with this woman is a curious inclusion in his admission. This man has been living a double life this whole time and now we are to take him at his word that he had a lengthy affair with this woman that did not include any sexual activity.

    The man is a liar plan and simple. Yes, he can be forgiven. Yes, he can be reconciled to the church. But this man has disqualified himself from leadership. Reconciliation to God & the Church is one thing but to be restored to leadership is quite another.

    His actions are a direct result of his heretical theology where the man dominates over the woman and the woman exist to serve whatever needs the man has.

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  23. “My church leadership came alongside me with love and admonition, providing counsel …”

    What they are not talking about is the woman involved. Is she also receiving love and counsel, or is she being blamed and shunned? Presumably she is also a church/Vision Forum person, since that’s where DP spends his time. She probably also felt the relationship was “affectionate and romantic” and she will be grieving its loss. Her family also needs prayer, but DP didn’t ask for prayer for them. I hope she is also being cared for and restored, but in a culture that devalues women she may be written off and discarded as a source of sin.

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  24. Julie Anne,

    Just got acquainted with your site, and did a little reading of your comments. As a pastor of many years who loves the Lord and understands the accountibility that comes with ministry, I have a suggestion for you. Stop writing. You are going to stand before God and be held accountible for every word, many many of which don’t reflect the heart of Christ. Stop writing, and spend more time in the word and prayer. Grow in your faith before sharing your ignorance.

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  25. Good point, Cheri. I wonder what will happen with her. Will she be put in discipline?

    I’ve seen enough from these groups that the woman will often get blamed and disciplined.

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  26. Bokerah — I agree with you. And his sentiments do rally up some feelings of mercy in my heart for a man who has fallen. HOWEVER, I would have been much more impressed if he had admitted that his wife was no longer obligated to be his wife. Instead, he explains that there wasn’t actual sexual penetration . . . and that he is going now to “nurture his wife”. I would have been MUCH more impressed had he said something about the fact that his wife is not obligated . . . that she is free to go but that he hopes she would stay . . . something like that. Repentance shows no signs of ownership or entitlement . . .

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  27. @ Jeremy

    This is one of the things that really gets to me regarding the 21st century evangelical. Most evangelical’s DRAGGED, Bill Clinton throw the fires of hell and back for his affair with Monica Lewinski. There was no grace shown at all. They wouldn’t shut up. However when any Christian leader finds themselves in a similar situation it is all about grace and covering over the sin.

    Are Christians the only one’s who need grace? This is one of the reasons why the world looks on us with contempt and glee whenever one our Christian leaders fall.

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  28. Sounds like a new book may be on the way…

    None of us know the dynamics of this marriage just as no one really knows ours.
    Hopefully something good will come out of this.
    I have a non believing friend whose husband ignored her intimately after she had her child. She spent many unhappy years being rejected and divorced him. Her therapist calledit “The Madonna syndrome”. Once a woman has a child the man is no longer attracted to her.(I do realize this is not Biblical!)

    I wonder if the men in the full quiver movement see their wives as just baby making machines and become turned off to them emotionally, hence his need for romance outside his marriage. You wonder if this woman was single, married with her own kids.

    Hopefully something good can come out of it.
    How fortunate a man can leave his job, and take time out to romance his wife.
    My husband would love to be able to take a sabbatical from work.
    How many men have that luxury?
    The money will still be coming in.

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  29. The entire post sounds so narcissistic, not humbled at all. VF philosophy objectifies women, and we wonder why most men who follow this crap are porn addicts!

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  30. Ken,
    Yes, there is a gospel out there that keeps you from falling into sin. Sorry to hear you don’t know the gospel that frees from the bondage of sin and makes what Phillips did a choice, and a stupid one at that. You are a pastor in this country and have never heard of the gospel that frees us from the bondage of sinful desires–doesn’t surprise me.

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  31. I am an ex-christian who had labored alongside Mr Phillips on more than one occassion. I find it interesting to view this drama from the “other side”. This isn’t our drama, it’s theirs. I hope, for the sake of the Phillips family, that they either re-examine their presuppositions and modify, or choose new directions (together or separately) that bring them greater happiness. And watching the christian community devour each other over something like this reminds me how much better it is to be free to view people with compassion and reason.

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  32. @ThinkingChristian
    I’m an evangelical who though Bill Clinton was a troglodyte, for sure. I also think these men are worse than Bill Clinton because they claim to serve the living God and preach in His name. At least Bill Clinton didn’t claim to be the authority on Godly living!
    I agree — those here who are showing Doug Philips all “grace” and expecting his wife to deal with this quietly — did you have the same reaction to Bill Clinton 🙂

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  33. “Personally, my husband and I trust each other enough to have close friendships with the opposite sex without breaking our marriage apart. It’s such a shame that Mr. Phillips and his family don’t share that same level of trust and openness.”

    Kate: Is that what you read in his statement? Close friendships with the opposite sex? I realize semantics enters into this in a big way, short of having absolute details, but even given DP’s doctrine/philosophy, this was surely more than a close friendship. He called it “romantic”. “Affectionate”. It was obviously private, and excluded his wife. Do the relationship math.

    As I’ve told many young people, don’t fool yourselves into thinking that just because two people don’t climb into bed and have sexual intercourse it isn’t fornication. There are many ways to have “sexual experiences” other than that. And, if I understand my bible correctly, they are all wrong outside of marriage. DP would not be stepping down over a close friendship.

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  34. I have included articles related to Patriarchy at the bottom of the post. Some people, when reading my article, assume that I am stirring up trouble by posting this. I wish they could read personal stories of moms and their children who are caught up in this system and are trapped. May God’s work be done as the light is being shown on what goes on behind the scenes of so-called Biblical Patriarchy.

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  35. Katy, bravo on your advice to Mr. Unruh. Unruh is another one of those guys who despises the fact that spiritual abuse and fraud can be exposed worldwide. It’s an unfortunate day for spiritual frauds in leadership who abuse Christ’s flock!

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  36. Ingrid: The problem is that I’m a woman and I dared to speak out against a man. Fo shame!

    I’ve lost track of how many men have told me to shut my mouth. I think I’ll start a collection of them for my own amusement.

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  37. I would print them out Julie, they would look nice framed and covering an entire wall. maybe use scrapbook paper. 🙂

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  38. The stories won’t matter much to the Koolaid drinkers I’m afraid.

    I just hope he doesn’t blame her for not giving him enough…if you know what I mean. That seems to be the trend when they want to divert off personal responsibility.

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  39. We all sin. I get that. But he is supposed to be a shepherd and leader, and held to a higher standard.He says he is going to spend time nurturing his wife and family. Maybe if he was doing that in the first place he wouldn’t have had an affair. Also, he says it was lengthy. Makes me wonder how lengthy and if he got caught instead of suddenly realizing he was sinning.

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  40. Julie Anne,
    God has given these women a way out and that way is through submission and obedience.

    Women are not given permission to teach in a Scriptural context because they are easily deceived. Your comments and the comments of most of the women here are evidence of that.

    Ken is correct, just as Eve had to answer for her rebellion so you shall be for yours.

    @ThinkingChristian,
    Most evangelical’s DRAGGED, Bill Clinton throw the fires of hell and back for his affair with Monica Lewinski. There was no grace shown at all. They wouldn’t shut up.
    Yes. Because he wasn’t remorseful, showed no signs of repentance and even denied that it happened. Did Bill Clinton resign his post and issue a public apology and ask the forgiveness of all around him? No. He lied, denied and lied some more.

    Grace cannot be given to the unrepentant. That’s a pretty rock solid theological point. I suggest you do more thinking.

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  41. I have never particularly liked Doug Philips, but right now he just went way, way up in my estimation. Forget what small quibbles I had with his theology—Jesus and the gospel are about real-life repentance, and he nailed that.

    I think nothing is quite so disgusting as Christians whom Jesus says are Doug Philips’ brothers and sisters vaunting and rejoicing over this.

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  42. ***WARNING, WARNING*****Julie Anne of Spiritual Sounding Board blog is not responsible for any adverse medical conditions resulting from clicking on ar10308’s link to his anti-women blog.

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  43. It’s surprising how quickly so many have found their way here to come to the aid of Doug Phillips. They seem to have great compassion for him, but where are the expressions of concern for his wife and children? Why is it that it is that the (male) perps get singled out for special, positive attention, while their (female) victims are left to fend for themselves?

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  44. ar10308,

    Sorry, I see Julie Anne, at 12:36, has already alerted us to the fact that you must mean what you say.

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  45. It is my opinion that Doug Phillips is a self righteous huxter. The only reason he “admitted” his sin (And I’m sure he is lying and omitting many important details) is because the news would have come out. I seriously doubt that there was no sex and that it only involved another person. I wouldn’t be shocked if the homophobic misogynist was involved with a man, or worse yet an un-consenting minor.

    I believe that This is a man who thinks women are just incubators to make warriors for Christ, even when it threatens their life to get pregnant again. It is my opinion that he is a vile human being. Anyone who believes otherwise is not paying attention. Good riddens. {removed – crossed the line}.

    Moderator note: JA added italicized words so as not to defame, removed strong personal attack at the end of comment.

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  46. Wow! Satan won’t have to pay overtime for this one – so-called-Christians are taking over while he sits back and enjoys the show.
    If we truly love God, then we will want to further his kingdom and be more like Him. I’m not seeing any of that on this thread, just hateful, vengeful people rallying to hurt someone who’s down.
    Maybe DP will allow God to use this for good in his life. Instead of slamming the man, you should be praying for him.
    How can we say we really love God and want to be more like Christ when we get joy in vaulting and gossiping about another’s fall. Or maybe that’s the problem…some are so busy questioning others salvation that they are not looking after their own souls.
    The words on this site do not honor God, they are spiteful words written by people who have been hurt, or are just mean. We are to forgive 70×7. Not hold grudges (which I am fabulous at, by the way 😦 ). Who are we when we can take joy over another’s pain? We cannot take joy over another Christian’s fall if we are Christians ourselves. Instead of ?ing whether DP is a Christian, we should be asking ourselves if we are because we are surel not reacting as Christ would. 😦

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  47. What he’s doing and saying here is pretty much on target, exactly what I would expect from someone who was accountable to me for his/her repentance. We’re going to complain that he says he’s going to devote time to his family?

    Now it’s time for him to prove his contrition. Wait and see how long his self-imposed exile from the spotlight lasts, and whether he bears deeds in keeping with repentance. I pray he does, and I pray for his marriage during this difficult time.

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  48. Please forgive my skepticism. After following the bizarre world behavior of Doug Phillips back in 2006+ and what he has done to many people in business deals, I have a hard time believing he is resigning over an “emotional affair” and certainly give him no kudo’s for it.

    I would send folks to sites for research but most of them were contacted by lawyers and forced to take them down. Doug is well connected legally (His dad is Howard Phillips who ran for president a few times). I have read stories of people he once lured into doing business with him only to be ruined later. Mostly over dinosaurs, homeschooling stuff, etc!

    And what on earth is Phillips going to live on? Vision forum and his church were his main sources of income. Stepping down means NOTHING in monetary terms. It could simply be a way of continuing.

    I would not trust that guy with family recipes.

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  49. Forgiveness doesn’t mean ‘sweep it under the rug’. I don’t take joy in the pain this has caused. I am just sick and tired of the sanctimonious attitude some of these leaders have that their way is the only right way, everything else is sin. But in the long run, those who are so holy in their own eyes seem to be the ones falling the hardest. From what I have read about this man, he would in no way offer the same grace had it been his wife who had the affair.

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  50. This is obviously a very heated topic. Having been the recipient of a defamatory lawsuit, I am a little sensitive about opinions which are stated as facts. Please take care to not say statements as facts that could be labeled as defamatory. You can share your opinion by stating something like:

    It is my opinion that . .
    I believe that . . .

    Saying that someone is a (insert negative word here) = could be construed as a personal attack.
    Saying someone behaves like (insert negative word here) works better.

    Welcome to SSB where we discuss difficult practices and trends in church that sometimes to abuse.

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  51. BTW: I see the Doug Phillips’ fans are out in droves on this thread brandishing their legalism and rebukes. Reminds me of old times when the blogosphere was younger and stuff was finally coming out about him that had been going on for years. His followers are some really nasty people. Enjoy!

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  52. BTW: Knowing how Phillips’ operates, the fact there is an announcement like this only means it is much much worse. I would even wager a bet an “emotional affair” is a deflection. It is more likely about money. After all, if it was an affair, what could his submissive wife do about it? He just tells her what to think anyway. She is not allowed a mind of her own since she is perpetually “deceived”. :o)

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  53. I think those that are defending Doug Phillips or feeling sorry for him, do not understand that he is not a Christian (according to the Bible), but one that uses the religion of Christianity for his own benefit. He is a false teacher.

    We are not Christians happy at another Christian’s falling, but Christians happy that one more step has been taken in exposing Doug Phillips for the false teacher he is.

    Doubly sad for his wife (because women in these situations rarely feel much because they have trained themselves to NOT feel anymore).

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  54. Dana,

    I’m sorry, but given the manner in which you point the finger at us at 12:48 PM, I dare say you have three fingers pointing back at yourself.

    And, by the way, I celebrate – not the fall of the man – but the manner in which the now-exposed and utterly rotten fruit of his life’s teaching utterly discredits the misogyny that goes by the name of patriarchy.

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  55. Hurt by VF:

    You are right – – it is a very sad situation for his wife, Beall.

    We are told in scripture to expose wolves. One thing that I haven’t seen discussed is by his own admission, Phillips says this was a “lengthy” relationship. How many times during that lengthy inappropriate relationship did he stand up and teach or preach (he is also a pastor) about being faithful to his wife, being a godly husband and father, exhort men to be godly leaders, tell people what true repentance looks like?

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  56. Check this out. At this site: http://rethinkingvisionforum.org

    “Vision Forum is an evangelical Christian organization based in San Antonio, Texas. It has two branches, Vision Forum Ministries, which is a nonprofit, and Vision Forum, Inc., which is the commercial wing of the operation.”

    Which Vision Forum did Phillips resign from? I think that needs to be disclosed.

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  57. yep, and those 3 fingers are my own, because I’m a fallen creature too.
    None of us can know the heart of another, or the state of their soul, only God; none of us are qualified to say he is not a Christian.
    I would guess that many on here (including myself) have been hurt by some of the legalistic teachings of various churches, but if you are bitter, then Satan is at work, the acts/words coming from it are not from God.
    We are to pray for one another, not gossip and gloat.

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  58. How do you define bitter, Dana? I think sometimes people label people as “bitter” and what they really mean is: “you do not have permission to have negative feelings about what was done to you.” I strongly disagree with that notion. Jesus got pretty irate in the temple and used that anger productively. If there are known abuses going on within a group, if those abuses are harming women, children, distorting who God is, then I think anger is a valid emotional response.

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  59. We all can have negative feelings about what has been done to us! But this slander and the joy some are taking in it is also distorting who God is. 😦

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  60. we are not bitter to point out wolves in the flock. We have been given eyes and ears, and Paul wrote many times to the churches admonishing them for not “putting out” men who claimed to be brothers, and yet carried on in evil ways.

    This trend in American Christianity where we put on blinders, demand that nobody question the salvation of the abusers in our pulpits, and then piously claim that anyone who points out these errors are “bitter” – it’s a black eye on us.

    One of the benefits of having relationships with Christians from other countries is gaining some perspective on our cultural blindness. Christians in the UK who are aware of the American patriarchy subcultures like VF are rightly amazed and revolted that American Christian women can be so brainwashed and feeble, that we don’t even think we can trust our own reading of the scriptures. (and these aren’t “liberal” Christians.)

    This is a stain on the American church. I do pray for all the women in these groups, that they would taste the freedom that is in Christ, and know their true value.

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  61. Well, kind of destroys their whole movement philosophy doesn’t it?

    In what way does Mr. Phillips sin and subsequent repentance destroy the concept of Christian patriarchy? All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of the Lord. Every man and every woman has sinned; that fact does not nullify the marital and church hierarchy that God ordained in His Word.

    A man is the head of his wife, and she is to submit to him and obey him. Sometimes he will make mistakes, need to repent, ask God’s forgiveness, and face consequences. That doesn’t mean that he is no longer the head of his family or that she is excused from obeying him.

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

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  62. San Antonio is a major metropolitan area. Along the north side (Loop 1604) there exist a number of pastor centric (pastor as founder/CEO, in control of and/or owner of the entity or the property, etc.) churches. SA is a hotbed of extreme and politically active “religious” political extremism. I know, I lived there and experienced or observed first hand some of the take-over artists in the pulpit and their extremist politically driven preaching and teaching.

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  63. “We all can have negative feelings about what has been done to us! But this slander and the joy some are taking in it is also distorting who God is.”

    Actually, Doug Phillips and VF have done a fine job of distorting who God is.

    I have to say that Doug’s “inappropriate” relationship doesn’t surprise me one bit. Patriarchy just smacks of the pride and arrogance for men’s entitlement. I wish Doug stepping down would be the end of this movement, but it’s already gained such momentum. But, maybe — just maybe — discerning people will open their eyes to this situation.

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

    You can quit your job. Some “Christians” look down on others who “quit” a marriage.

    “A man is the head of his wife, and she is to submit to him and obey him. Sometimes he will make mistakes, need to repent, ask God’s forgiveness, and face consequences. That doesn’t mean that he is no longer the head of his family or that she is excused from obeying him.”

    Depends on what the “mistake” is.

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  65. Julie Anne and Susan, I was unaware that Doug Phillips has a church in Boerne. I have many family members in that area and will be traveling in that direction in the next month. I will do what I can to find out about his status at his church in light of his letter of resignation.

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  66. “In what way does Mr. Phillips sin and subsequent repentance destroy the concept of Christian patriarchy?”

    “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:33, ESV)

    So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:17-18, ESV)

    Mr. Phillips was not just some miscellaneous hanger-on within circles promoting male authority and dominion over women. He was and is a primary teacher and, I dare say, prophet, within “Christian” circles, of the concept of male authority and dominion over women . Reason alone predicts that a man who advocates what amounts to the domination of women by men, thereby objectifying them, will be particularly prone to marital unfaithfulness. Mr. Phillips’ confessed fruit, however complete or partial the confession may be, confirms that, whatever the dynamic, the fruit of patriarchy is rotten.

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  67. “***WARNING, WARNING*****Julie Anne Smith of Spiritual Sounding Board blog is not responsible for any adverse medical conditions resulting from clicking on ar10308′s link to his anti-women blog.”

    Thanks for the warning, JA.
    What’s with all the pro Patriarchy folks coming out of the woodwork? Sheesh! JA must have hit somebodies’ pet nerve!

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  68. the pain of sin….the sadness in needing to repent. Doug know that you and your family are prayed for.

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  69. Sunshinemary observes, “A man is the head of his wife, and she is to submit to him and obey him. Sometimes he will make mistakes, need to repent, ask God’s forgiveness, and face consequences. That doesn’t mean that he is no longer the head of his family or that she is excused from obeying him.”

    Please tell me you would draw the line somewhere. What if your husband turns out to be a serial adulterer? A rapist? What if he is raping children? What if he is raping his own daughter? I’m sorry, but even if Phillips is only guilty of an emotionally adulterous relationship, my desire is for justice for the wife he has in my opinion betrayed. I am not willing to counsel that the wife is required to submit to the ongoing injury of herself and, very likely, her children.

    Sunshinemary, do you have no compassion for Phillips’ wife and children? Why is your attention focused on coming to the defense of the self-confessed perpetrator?

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  70. The foundational structure of the whole Patriarchal philosophy is the man is in charge. This man has failed and now he says he’s going to focus on nurturing his wife whom he betrayed and prepare his older sons and daughters for life? Umm – – – that’s too fast.

    Looks like the time is not right to introduce Biblical Patriarch Plural Marriage. After all, the Patriarchs in the OT had harems of wives and handmaids….

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  71. Sunshinemary, do you have no compassion for Phillips’ wife and children? Why is your attention focused on coming to the defense of the self-confessed perpetrator?

    The same reason Bella’s attention is focused on EDWARD (sparkle sparkle) or Harley Quinn’s is focused on The Joker? Groupie syndrome where Phillips is her Rock Star?

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  72. One thing that I haven’t seen discussed is by his own admission, Phillips says this was a “lengthy” relationship. How many times during that lengthy inappropriate relationship did he stand up and teach or preach (he is also a pastor) about being faithful to his wife, being a godly husband and father, exhort men to be godly leaders, tell people what true repentance looks like?

    How long and loud did Ted Haggard preach against Teh Homos before he got caught with a male prostie? How long did Polishing-the-Shaft Schaapf preach against Sexual Sin before he got caught sexting his piece of jail bait?

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  73. Sunshinemary, do you have no compassion for Phillips’ wife and children? Why is your attention focused on coming to the defense of the self-confessed perpetrator?

    Gary, I’m glad you are bringing this aspect up. I wonder what would happen if Beall had a “lengthy inappropriate” relationship with someone? What she face the same consequences as Mr. Phillips?

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  74. I wonder if the men in the full quiver movement see their wives as just baby making machines and become turned off to them emotionally, hence his need for romance outside his marriage. You wonder if this woman was single [or] married with her own kids. — Hannah

    In Renaissance to Victorian upper-class types, that was the dynamic. Your wife was someone you married for political/social alliances and to breed you some heirs. Actual emotional support and intimacy? That’s what you kept mistresses for! (Unofficial harem, since in Christian countries you could have only one wife.) The Victorians just added extreme Female Purity Culture mythology and “Don’t Get Caught”.

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  75. @ JA~

    “….tell people what true repentance looks like?”

    That’s why I noted that post he made in August on repentance….just 2 months ago. I wondered if he was doing a bit of preaching to himself? I really hope he is experiencing true repentance, but I don’t know. To me it’s just SGM all over again.

    He said, “There has been serious sin in my life for which God has graciously brought me to repentance.” God brought him? I would think Philips knows right from wrong about looking/lusting at a woman that is not his wife-bet he’s preached a time or two about that very thing. This was a lengthy whatever it was he was doing…so why did God take so long to “bring” him to repent? Gosh-seems like he is placing the responsibility to repent on God. Nah….I think he should have repented after the first look and looked no further. Ever.

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  76. @ Art
    I don’t know who this man is, nor am I aware of this organization AT ALL, so there is no stakes for me. I’m simply pointing out that Christians want soo much grace for their sins and failings but rarely dish that out to the unbelieving word, whether in leadership or not. I really think it is becoming a rare thing were most believer’s repent/apologize for the harm they have done to another person.

    Let’s keep it real, Christians would have bashed him whether he repented or not. You can have an opinion , but you don’t get to rip someone to shreds (who is also made in the image of God) because they are not a Christian.

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  77. Hey Julie Anne @1041am “Christian leaders are held to a higher standard.” Really. By whom? The church? The blog world? Their families? You? Jesus? I feel that all the “buts,” “howevers,” “stills”, etc. are basically preemptive strikes to insure that no one gets any wild notions about loving, forgiving, and treating the man with some kindness and mercy. Having been forgiven so much, we seem pretty quick on this blog today to grab our fellow slave by the throat and demand that he “pay what he owes”!

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  78. Doug Phillips is going to be viewed in even higher regard within his community after they read this letter. You wait and see.

    What I worry about is an abusive husband (or wife) using this letter for malicious intent against their spouse (and/or children). I have a bad feeling it’ll be used by someone for that purpose. I hope I’m wrong. 😦

    (I apologize if anyone has already said this, as I didn’t read all the comments.)

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