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In the Wake of the Doug Phillips Affair, a Mother Grieves and Seeks Our Prayers

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The Doug Phillips affair has touched many lives.  Read as a mother cries out for prayer as she “fostered some pretty difficult beliefs” on her children by adhering to teachings in the Homeschool Movement and Doug Phillips and Vision Forum.

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 Hear my cry, O God;

Attend unto my prayer.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:1-2

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This prayer request just came in and I didn’t want it to get lost.  My heart breaks for this woman.  I am posting it here as well so more people can pray for her and offer this dear woman some encouragement, but also in the hopes that others who see it may realize that they are not the only ones going through this painstaking process.

This is hard stuff.  I find myself at this same place sometimes, too.  The mom guilt is such a difficult thing.  I want to curl up in a ball and cry right now.  Oh boy, do I get that pain.  Kay, thank you so much for expressing what so many of us moms (parents) are facing.  We clung to the perfect family ideas that Doug Phillps and many others taught and and now it has backfired for many of us.   Kay, I wish I could reach out and give you a hug.

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I don’t know where to begin…as I have read through so many of the posts about the DP mess, I have been forced to reevaluate my own life. Let me state from the beginning that we are not a part of any Integrated Church, and not a part of the “patriarch movement”…but we did, long ago, embrace some of their teachings….like having a large family, homeschooling, courtship, and such.

We have ten children. Six of them are out on their own, five of those are married. Not a single one married with our blessing/agreement….three lived with their spouse before marriage. One son is involved with drugs…one daughter is tattooed like crazy….two remain active in “church work” ……but none “honor” their mother and father…and this is where I find myself…in a time of really re-evaluating what I believe. I feel that for our older six to be who they are must be connected to our wrong beliefs….at least to an extent.

As painful as it is to admit, I am beginning to see that we fostered some pretty difficult beliefs upon our older children all in the name of “protecting” their futures.

We are a divided family now, and my hope that there will ever be a time that we can be all at peace with one another wanes with every passing day.

This Thanksgiving…the children are celebrating without mom and dad…as I just couldn’t host another holiday with all this underlying pain/issues.

My request is to pray for us…as we face this holiday season, as I work through this season of looking at myself and what I believe squarely in the eye…that I will find real answers….maybe for the first time in a long, long time. Thanks for a safe place to express these rather painful admissions…..

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photo credit: zbigphotography via photopin cc

119 thoughts on “In the Wake of the Doug Phillips Affair, a Mother Grieves and Seeks Our Prayers”

  1. I am not familar with the writings of Doug Phillips and am wondering WHY so many mothers were following his teachings? Shouldn’t we be following God’s teachings? Shouldn’t we be training our children and not doing something because so and so said it. Yes we are to listen to older, wiser WOMEN (not men) on how to be good wives and mothers, but we should always check the Scriptures 2 Tim 2:15.

    Futhermore. WHY are we blaming others for our responsibility?
    If my children go astray, Lord Willing, I will see the error of MY ways and not blame someone else.
    Reading all these comments bashing DP, none of these stories commend him for his repentance.
    Ladies have you not read the Scriptures?
    DP has stepped down from his offices, knowing he has hurt the body of Christ. I have read his statements and he is owning up to his sins (not blaming someone else). 1 Tim 3:2

    Concerning the family;
    All we need is the Scriptures to fufill this role. However if we take one rule of thumb and set it apart from the others then we are selecting what we want to hear.
    We are to study the Whole Counsel of God and Lord Willing our work that the Lord enables us to do will not return void.

    First and foremost if you want a godly family you must surrender your will to the Lord. God does not choose the common way to go about every day life.HE says if someone slaps you in the face, we are to give them the other cheek to slap also. If someone asks for something, we are to give and offer more.
    God chose 300 men to defeat thousands. HE chose an 80 year old man to lead the people out of Egypt. HE choose a 90 year old woman to give brith to HIS chosen people. Let’s face it, God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Isaiah 55:6-13

    I gave my adulterous husband to the Lord years ago. I said, “OK, Lord, he’s yours. Save my marriage, make me a good wife.
    You know what I found? An adulterous me, found in smutty so-called Christian love novels dreaming of what my husband should be. Matthew 5:28. I had to repent…a thousand times over…I had to get that sin (and more) out of my life before I could even SEE clearly to help my marriage. Matt 7:3-5
    You know what I found? JOY. I had to force myself to get up and have joy. I could not rejoice in my physical current state of affairs. But I could rejoce in the LORD, I could rejoice in my Salvation. My husband said, “Is this my wife?’ You bet! Honey! THis joy rubbed off on my family. My husband got saved and surrendered his marriage to the Lord Eph. 5:25. We are like newly weds for at least 10 years. It just keeps getting better all the time. People ask us all the time why we are so happy. We just tell them, marriage is about saying no to yourself and yes to your husband. Marriage is the closest thing we can experience here on earth of what Christ did for us. Sacrifice.

    Ladies, Isaiah 55:6-13, Give it up… and read your Bible Every day and let God speak to you!


  2. Gee, Shirleydaughteroftheking, if only we’d read your post before we had kids, we’d have never been fooled by false leaders claiming to know the way to raise a godly family. I’m so glad you do. As for us, we had to be apprehended by the grace of God, not our good works.


  3. Shirleydaughteroftheking…..thanks for your insight. And while I rejoice with you that you found joy in your marriage, please bear in mind that not all of us walk on the same road. I have not discussed my marriage here, as it wasn’t related to the topic of my prayer request.

    But the truth is “all I need” is not “the Scriptures to fulfill this role” Truth is giving such a pat answer is trivializing the mistakes I have made, and pain I have caused. Finding my way as a wife and mother…well, all I have needed is Jesus. I have made huge mistakes, that caused pain for those I love the most. Finding my way out of that crushing guilt has led me back to the place I started….to the person of Jesus.

    And regarding DP’s repentance….if the tables were turned, and it was I who had sinned and “repented”, I would be held at arms length until the fruit of my repentance was proven. It behooves us, as the Body of Christ, to do the same to DP. And because of his ‘public position’ in the Body, his proof will, by necessity, take much longer than someone NOT in a position of ‘authority’. Remember,” to whom much is given, much will be required. ” And foolish we would be to accept this “resignation” as proof of any real heart change on his part. He’ll have to walk it out….for a long, long time before anyone with a passion for a ‘no compromise’ gospel will accept anything he has to say again. The nature of his sin may very well mean he never regains is place of “authority” in the Body again.

    Regarding your forgiveness of your spouse for his ‘sin’…..I am rejoicing with you that you saw the age old truth that both failures and successes of a marriage are a two way street.

    Regarding…”give it up and read your Bible everyday and let God speak to you”…that is what I have done (want to come over and see the journals?? Years and years of journals?? for I have been a believer since 1975)…..and I still made decisions that deeply wounded those I love the most… DP, your formula for avoiding making mistakes is just that….a formula. And formulas just don’t work.


  4. Then comes the irony. The very first church we attended in the new state was a house church led by Doug Phillips. I’d placed my hope in a harsher, tighter cookie cutter. Our things still in boxes, we entered our mini-van to go to a location I’d had to beg Vision Forum to reveal to me. Our oldest daughter came out last to get in the van. I was horrified. She had on blue jeans, because her dresses were still in boxes. While I didn’t mind blue jeans on a normal day, I knew that this would not be acceptable at Dough Phillips’ church. I was correct. We went in and were met with stares and scowls. During the message and hymns, little girls stared at my daughter as though she were one of the demons they’d learned about. We were not spoken to nor welcomed. Thankfully, God spoke to me that morning. He said, “You know her heart.” He said that. And it touched me. My husband couldn’t wait to get us out of there and immediately assured our children that we would never return.

    I am sure that this was traumatic for the daughter. Hopefully one way the daughter and others will look at this is that it spared the family from all the abuse of this church. In other words it was a blessing in disguise as the old saying goes.


  5. This sad story is multiplied in the lives of many because confidence is placed in a man rather than the Lord God Almighty. My family suffered because I listened to men rather than just trust the Lord and do what He says with the grace and power that He supplies by His Holy Spirit. I have apologized and worked to see my relationships improved with my children. By God’s grace things have improved to a certain degree. Although they don’t attend church, my husband and I are still looking for a church that has leadership committed to God’s Word and not the vain opinions of men, my children say the believe in Christ, although there is a lot to be desired in how they live their lives. However, I have realized that I am not responsible for the choices that my children make, they are. We are all accountable to God for our own actions.

    The word of the Lord came to me again, saying , “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’? “As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. “Behold all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die. But if a man is just And does what is lawful and right;…He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord God…If he begets a son who is a robber or a shedder of blood,..He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him. Ezekiel 18:1-5,9,-10,13
    Regardless of our upbringing we are all accountable to God, and we must keep in mind the deceitfulness of sin that leads sinners to make any excuse to turn from God. Our enemies, are sin, the devil and the world, which oppose Christ and His work for us. Unfortunately, much that is considered to be of God is really the deceit of the devil and leads many astray.

    I want to encourage you with a personal illustration of how the Lord has worked in the life of my daughter. While I was attending the university in our area, our daughter lived in the same city as her grandmother, and I had great unrest in my soul regarding her behavior. I would cry and beseech God like a crazy person as I drove to and from school. When I had opportunity to visit her, I did and my worst fears were confirmed. Thinking to get encouragement, I attended Grace Community Church that Sunday morning and heard a message of condemnation and discouragement. It left me feeling bleak and as if I had no hope for my daughter, especially given her ungodly behavior, and that God had forsaken us. However, as I drove home I listened to the Word of God, Galatians to be exact, and Galatians 6:1-5 became a bubbling brook refreshing me with hope for God’s work in the life of my daughter.

    Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. but let each one examine his own work and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another, For each one shall bear his own load. Galatians 6:1-5
    We can be used by God to restore others as we realize that we too are liable to temptation, needing God’s grace continuously operative in our lives, so that we can be used by Him to minister His grace in the lives of those who have need. As we obey God in this area we will reap His blessings.

    Through God’s work and timing He brought my daughter up to our area and then brought her to live with us. This was necessary as she had harmed herself by her sinful choices. By God’s grace she is doing much better, but I can’t take any credit for this, it is all God’s doing by encouraging me with His Word, directing my prayers and steps and humbling me according to Galatians 6:1-5 to be a support for my daughter, Lest you think that I am some great Christian, I have struggled with wrong attitudes towards my daughter during God’s work in her life, but He has corrected me and extended grace to my daughter. We are now, meaning my daughter and myself, striving to help her friends here where we live. We have seen answer to prayer for her friends. My daughter asks for me to prayer for her and different situations that she has concerns about. I praise God that He delivered me from holding onto men and brought me to trust Him. This has been a difficult but necessary lesson for His glory and my blessing. By His mercy and grace I trust Him to do His work of love and grace in the lives of my children and praise Him for the opportunity that I have to be a witness for Him. God bless you:)


  6. Eliza-
    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. For me, it is the big sin of the church and by sin, I am using it’s true meaning, missing the mark, we have forgotten that we meet God much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right. The path of descent is the path of transformation. Darkness, failure, relapse, death and wounded are our greatest teachers rather than ideas or doctrines. I am so glad God has shown this to you. If you want to be really encouraged on this path, there is a great book called Falling Upward by Richard Rohr. He puts into beautiful words all that you are experiencing and explains how this IS the journey of a Christian, not the path of moralism which leads to despair and rebellion b/c it isn’t real.


  7. Hi Maria,
    No thank you . I will continue to rely upon God’s Word the Bible and trust in His Holy Spirit to lead and guide me. A Franciscan monk is by definition not a believer and we are commanded in God’s Word the Bible not to have anything to do with those who promote error and heresy. It is true that Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins, but once we are saved, after we have repented of our sins and believed in Him, His call to us is to live lives of uprightness for His praise and glory. One of the main stumbling blocks to this is false teaching, as those who were wrangled in by Doug Phillips can attest. False teaching leads us astray and makes us captives of the enemies devices. What is the only avenue of false teaching? It is man’s opinions as opposed to the Holy Word of God. We are commanded to study to show ourselves approved rightly dividing the Word of truth. Jesus Christ commanded us personally to not allow anyone to deceive us. As we stay true to Him by living our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit and relying upon God’s revelation to us in the Holy Scriptures we can escape the snare of the devil whose goal is to make us captives to do his will. So much sorrow. pain and anguish can be avoided by ordering our lives by His Word as taught to us by His Holy Spirit. However, praise God He is faithful to His children and delivers us from the snares of the enemy and sets our feet upon the Rock and puts a song of praise in our mouths as we trust and obey Him. God bless you:)


  8. I would be careful in defining any person as not a Christian based on their association with a particular church or movement. The same could be said of many, say IFBers, or Calvinists, etc. The decision as to who is or is not a believer in Jesus Christ and a follower of him is not ours to make. Do not presume you have the right to act as the judge of another’s relationship with God! Only HE has the right to do so.


  9. An Attorney-
    It is interesting that you took this from what she said. I didn’t even see that she had said this and maybe she did but what she was trying to say is that she has found the voice of God in her soul and is listening to that rather than men. What a beautiful thing.
    For so me reason, you saw an opportunity to make her wrong so you could be right. Hmmmmm. what would you say that is about?


  10. No, I was only responding to a fault that I find in many commenters, acting as God in condemning a person who believes themselves to be a Christian but who is in a different religious organization or has a different doctrine than the commenter. I have known Catholics who are Christians, and I have known evangelicals that I have reason to doubt. But I am not the one with authority to decide. Only God has that authority.

    I did not comment on the rest of Eliza’s comment. I might have, but I was interrupted and had to attend to business for a while, and just recently came back to this blog. And the time has lapsed. However, generally, the rest of her comment is fine, although I would have chosen different language than she used.


  11. An Attorney,
    OK, according to her following comments, I totally stand corrected. Seems she does feel she can judge who is and who is not saved. Interesting. Well, we can only be where we are on each of our journeys. It is so interesting to me that it is so common in the Evangelical world to take the us and them stand. Those who are and those who are not. The haves, the have nots. Jesus must be sad. He called us to love others and love God, not spend our time deciding who is and who is not saved. How can we EVER know what God is doing in someone’s life? He is mysterious and it is not our job to understand it all. For now we see through a glass darkly. I think many people are not loved b/c of this very thing. Unconditional love is what transforms people. If we have the love of God and we share it with everyone God brings into our lives, we’d never have to care where someone is on the path. When we focus on our individual salvation and feel a sense of safety b/c ‘I’ am saved, we are missing the whole point and I believe that is what Jesus called ‘sin’. WE are to look and wipe the mirror clean about where we ourselves are deceiving our own selves. That is when we know the Holy Spirit is working. When we can see our own insanity, the ways we trick our own selves (and see the ‘sin’ in others without taking the log out of our own eyes, which is exactly what we do when we focus on anothers sin or state of salvation, its a trick of the flesh to distract us from our own stuff) and bring the compassion of CHrist to ourselves even though we see the ‘ugliness’ then we will be able to do the same with others. Do you remember that He said, love others as you love yourself? For me, that means, it will naturally happen as you truly learn to see yourself as God sees you. Once you do, you will never look at others the same again and you will never try to change where God has them, or distract yourself by judging whether they are saved or not, you will love them right there, where they are and the thought of that judgement will not even enter your mind, then you will know you get it and you are not longer in sin (missing the mark, the point).


  12. P.S. the above was not directed to you, An Attorney, just the first statement that I had missed the mark and misunderstood her.


  13. Well, if you studied the Scriptures instead of the opinions of man then you would have an understanding of what I said. If a person holds to beliefs; read doctrine, that are contrary to what is written in the Bible then they are believing in a false god and false messiah, as a matter of fact they are of the spirit of the Antichrist. Because I do know the heresy that the Catholic church teaches I can say that anyone who believes these things and is counting on them for their salvation is lost. God calls us to not have anything to do with the wicked works of darkness. I chose not to have anything to do with false teaching which is following the command of God rather than the command of man. The book that you are promoting is written by a man who holds to a counterfeit faith, (what else can I discern about him since he belongs to an apostate religion?) therefore in order to honor God my Father I will not read that book. Very simple. Judging me for being discerning isn’t motivated by love for God, His Word, His Son, His church or even the lost, it is motivated by a disguised rebellion against the truth of God in His Holy Scriptures.
    By the way, it isn’t unconditional love that transforms sinners but the gospel of Jesus Christ, that Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again from the dead. This is the grace of God given to us as we repent of our sins and put our faith in His Son Jesus Christ. This is His conditional love. His unconditional love made the work of Christ available to all who will believe, but His conditional love, receiving us as His sons and daughters is incumbent upon the sinner recognizing the fact that they are a sinner in need of salvation from God’s just wrath so they turn to Christ in repentant faith trusting that the work He accomplished on the cross is sufficient for their salvation.
    The reason the Catholic church is false is that it believes and teaches a works righteousness doctrine, worships a false god, one made to their own liking, the church elevates tradition and the sayings of very fallible popes to the same level of Scripture, they have added to the canon of the Scriptures the apocrypha in order to support their heresies one being purgatory. They believe one is regenerated when they are baptized by the church and they have received Christ when they take their first communion, the wafer being Christ Himself, so they commit idolatry in worshiping a wafer. The curse anyone who believes that we are saved by grace through faith without works clearly contradicting Ephesians 2:8-10. They believe they sacrifice the body of Christ over and over again in a bloodless sacrifice during mass, they worship Mary, and now this new pope preaches universal salvation and says that sins the Bible clearly condemns are okay. And you are questioning one who God has brought to rely solely upon His Word by the work of His Holy Spirit? It appears that you need to study the Bible to show yourself approved rightly dividing the Word of truth so that you can be graced with discernment to reject the false and hold to the truth. God bless you:)


  14. My heart breaks for your sorrow dear ladies. I would plead with you to have mercy on yourselves. Children do not come with instruction manuals and anyone can be led astray by bad advice.

    We homeschool our little ones for many reasons. Much of it revolves around our desire to give our children the best education for them. I have heard of vision forum but mostly as a source of various christian resources. I have heard a few sermons by DP, but little else.

    The best thing you can do for your little ones and big ones is to love them completely and without reservations. Then you can choose what education is best for your kids (public, home, private, online etc). Love covers up many wrongs. Forgive yourself, be humble, and love your children.

    I think sometimes we all must remember we are all sinners saved by grace. None of us are perfect, none of our families will be perfect. Striving for the unattainable is not helpful. Loving each other in spite if our imperfections is grace in action.


  15. Eliza wrote, “Well, if you studied the Scriptures instead of the opinions of man then you would have an understanding of what I said.”

    Most everyone commenting at this site has studied scripture. That you think your very own view of it is the Total Truth shows that you are suffering from that which you accuse others. It is deeply egocentric to think you know it all, and for everyone.

    I recommend that you read the Bible front to back in a month, and do this twice, and after that, review your supercilious statement.


  16. “Eliza wrote, “Well, if you studied the Scriptures instead of the opinions of man then you would have an understanding of what I said.”

    Hmm. Even Peter wrote that Paul was hard to understand. :o)


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