Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 2 – The Victim

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The Account of Doug Phillips and the Victim

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All forms of sexual behavior or harassment with clients are unethical, even when a client invites or consents to such behavior or involvement. ~American Association of Pastoral Counselors

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Note:  This article is Part 2 in a series.  The first part is Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 1 – The Puzzle of Control.

I have written the majority of this article in my own words based on information sent to me and many hours on the phone with a specific person who has had a birds-eye view of Doug Phillips and his ministry for many years.  Before publishing, it has then been checked by other sources to ensure that the account is as accurate as possible.  Doug Phillips’ victim will be referred to as “Victim” throughout the article.  ~ja

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Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.03.20 PM

Doug Phillips

Douglas Phillips, the man who founded Vision Forum Ministries, spoke strongly about family values, modesty/purity, about the role of fathers in Christian home, loving their wives, etc. He also got himself entangled in a sexual affair with a young woman from his church.  He continued speaking at conferences and conventions with his wife by his side, acting as if their marriage was fine for many years while his heart was with another young woman.

Who was this young woman? 
How did her family not see what was going on? 
What was their response when the truth came out?

The Victim’s family were long-time members at Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA). They were a humble and hard-working family. The father spoke in broken English, the mother had better command of the English language. They were passionate folks who lived within their means. Their work ethic and good character earned them respect within the BCA community.

Another notable man, billionaire James Leininger, was also friends with the Victim’s family through BCA.  Leininger, who previously attended BCA, donated a house to Vision Forum Ministries, which became the Phillips family home while Phillips was head of the ministry. The Victim’s family had worked for the Leiningers and the Victim’s brother is currently employed at one of Leininger’s businesses.

Over the years, Victim spent time with the Phillips family. It has been reported that she was a full-time nanny.  Although she did work as a nanny and helped them in other ways from time to time, it was never full-time or on a consistent basis. She did, however, travel with the Phillips on some of their trips and helped with the children on those trips and at home.

The victim was a simple young lady. She became interested in health and fitness and educated herself in those topics.  Health and fitness became a priority for herself and consequently she was healthy and fit. At BCA, special attention is given to appropriate modesty guidelines and Victim adhered to them, i.e., she didn’t wear skirts too short, or revealing outfits.  However, even with those guidelines, nobody could miss that she was in good shape, quite attractive, and made heads turn when she entered a room.

Victim’s parents were not opposed to her going to college. And perhaps this might have occurred had Phillips not been so involved with her.

Victim stayed closely connected with the BCA community and as a result, she was not very street-smart.  She was naive, especially about things of a sexual nature. Most likely it was because of this naivety that Doug Phillips was able to successfully groom her. It has been reported that she was groomed as a minor. This is not true. All of the sexual grooming occurred after she was a legal adult and this information has been validated by both Phillips and Victim.

What was it about Victim that attracted Phillips?  As previously mentioned, Victim’s physical beauty certainly played into the picture. But she also had an engaging personality, was kind, and loved to serve people and make them happy.

Phillips was smitten by her and eventually began grooming Victim.  The grooming of Victim eventually led to an emotional affair.  In 2007, the relationship became sexual.  Phillips was honest in that he did not “know” Victim in the physical sense, i.e., there was no sexual intercourse, but there was sexual touching.  This information has been corroborated by both Victim and Phillips a number of times.

During this time, the victim was spending much more time at the Phillips’ home and was considered to be a close family friend.

In 2007, Phillips began employing Victim to write Jonathan Parks scripts with his daughter in an effort to spend more time with her. This was a paid position. Despite what others have said, Victim was compensated for her work on Jonathan Parks project. This provided Phillips more opportunities to spend time with her in his home after the children had gone to bed.

Phillips was confronted by a member of BCA and friend of Victim in 2008, but there was no evidence to prove his guilt. Many people at this time began to notice the relationship with Phillips and Victim, but no one had real and hard evidence of any wrong behavior other than it just did not look right.

In 2009,  Victim’s mother caught Phillips and Victim having sexual-based chat sessions in the middle of the night. Doug and his wife, Beall, met with Victim’s parents. This was the first time the Doug and Beall and Victim’s parents met together. Doug confessed to having romantic feelings for Victim, but there was no acknowledgement of any sexual impropriety. At the time, Victim did not disclose any sexual impropriety, but only the feelings they shared together.

Phillips told Victim they were soul mates. He told her he loved her and had promised they’d eventually get married and have children together. During these years, the relationship with Victim ebbed and flowed. Phillips worked very hard at keeping prospective courters away from Victim. There is a story published on a specific blog about an engagement ring.  That story is not true.

There were quite a few men who expressed interest in courting Victim. But Phillips did everything he could to keep her affections turned towards him, even going as far as telling Victim, “that in every other generation of the Phillips’ family, the wife dies early, so she would only have to wait.”  This statement was not to imply in any way that Doug was planning on killing his wife. This was said based solely on the early demise of wives in the Phillips’ family.

In turn, Victim also loved Doug Phillips and was willing to wait for him so they could eventually get married.  She had a servant’s heart and seemed to “blow sunshine” in Phillips’ direction. Phillips loved this affirmation and his heart drew to hers even more.

Beall Phillips was made aware of the adulterous nature of the relationship at least by October 2010 when Victim’s mother informed her that Doug Phillips and Victim had been kissing. Beall, at this point, had enough of Victim, and began to get other young ladies to help her with the children at home and on trips.

Doug Phillips’ double life starting to unravel in December 2012 when he was caught trying to climb through Victim’s bedroom window. Victim’s father and brother chased Phillips down the street with a shotgun until Doug stepped under a street light, revealing his identity. The relationship with Victim ended on that day.

It is interesting to note that to this day, Victim admits that she has sinned, feeling that she herself should have stopped the relationship sooner.  As Victim has been sharing the story to her friends, she has made it very clear that she wants to confess her sins and wants Phillips to come clean and do the same.  She is not trying to play “victim” in order to gain anyone’s sympathy.

Where is Victim now?

Victim is living in her own apartment and attends a new church, the same church her parents attend.  She remains close with her parents.  She is employed and is doing as well as can be expected.

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Clergy Sex Abuse and Legal Considerations

This final section expresses my own understanding and opinions of this situation, based on the specifics that have been made known to me and the general patterns of abuse and victimization that I am all too aware of.

Victim’s response of accepting responsibility for “her part” in the sexual affair is very typical of those who have been sexually violated in a clergy/victim situation.  It is my firm belief that she is not to blame and she is a true victim.  She is not responsible for Doug Phillips’ fall in any way.  Doug Phillips was in a position of trust and authority over Victim.  He knew her for many years while she was a minor and earned her trust. Later, their relationship deepened and he completely crossed the line of integrity. Because of the sheltered environment in which Victim lived, Victim was naturally in a vulnerable position.  She did not have street smarts, she was unable to protect herself.  Emotionally and intellectually, Victim was not mature enough to make rational decisions that others might have been able to make had they understood the nature of sexuality, power, and control.  Doug Phillips knew she was vulnerable and he used his power over her and her vulnerabilities.

While Doug Phillips was emotionally grooming her, this did not make sense to Victim.  As Phillips made sexual advances towards Victim, she didn’t understand what was going on in her body sexually.  She was naive about sex (this, too, has been reported by Victim).  Doug Phillips stirred the feelings of sexuality in Victim that had never been awakened.  One of the challenging issues for sex abuse victims is that sex does sometimes “feel good,” even as a victim.  How does one make sense of this pleasurable experience, yet being done by someone who is an authority figure?   It can produce confusion,  shame, and guilt – and yet, we must constantly remember, Victim was the one being pursued by Phillips.

This relationship was not consensual and cannot be considered consensual by the fact that Doug Phillips was in a position of authority.  It doesn’t matter whether Victim received pleasure in her sexual encounters with Doug Phillips.  It doesn’t matter if she may have flirted with him (I’m speculating.)  The basis of this relationship can only be interpreted as abusive because of Doug Phillips’ position of authority in her life.  Doug Phillips used his position of power and trust to control and gain access to a naive young woman, and he used her for his benefit for many years while hiding under the public guise of promoting family values.  It is important to not shift blame onto the victim.  Doug Phillips, because of his position of authority, is the perpetrator here, period.

It is also important to note that, legally, the courts would see Doug Phillips in a position where he must ensure fiduciary duty.

The clergy/parishioner relationship is no different than other professional relationships where there is a fiduciary duty. The “professional”, whether it be a teacher, therapist or clergy has a fiduciary duty to whomever they have a professional relationship. A fiduciary duty is a relationship based on trust. The Latin definition for fiduciary is none other than ‘faith’. The trust or “faith” in a fiduciary duty relationship is established even before the relationship begins. The trust does not have to be earned. In most cases a person grows up with the belief system that certain professionals can be trusted with no questions asked. (Source, emphasis added.)

The most damaging myth is the belief that the sexual relationship between clergy and parishioner is a consensual affair. The reality is the sexual relationship is a sexual assault. No matter if it happened once or if the sexual relationship lasts for 30 years. A sexual relationship between clergy and parishioner can never be consensual. The power differential is too great. As with all victims of sexual assault, the parishioner victim takes on the responsibility of the assault. Thinking they must be the “cause” of this “holy man of God” falling from grace and going against his vow of celibacy or, in other denominations, the vows he took with his wife. That feeling of responsibility topped off with guilt keeps many adult victims silent. (Source, emphasis added.)

See also:

“Why Adult Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse Are Not To Blame” By Mark Scheffers, M.Div., M.S.W., Child Trauma Assessment Center, Western Michigan University.

Understanding sexual abuse by a church leader or caregiver.

It is also important to note that there are states in which clergy falls within fiduciary duty laws and codes of ethics:

Fiduciary duty refers to the responsibility of licensed caregivers (doctors, therapists, lawyers, social workers, etc.) to “do no harm.”  Society’s expectation of these caregivers is that they will attend to the needs of those in their care.

All forms of sexual behavior or harassment with clients are unethical, even when a client invites or consents to such behavior or involvement. Sexual behavior is defined as, but not limited to, all forms of overt and covert seductive speech, gestures, and behavior as well as physical contact of a sexual nature; harassment is defined as but not limited to, repeated comments, gestures or physical contacts of a sexual nature.

We recognize that the therapist/client relationship involves a power imbalance, the residual effects of which are operative following the termination of the therapy relationship. Therefore, all sexual behavior or harassment as defined in Principle III, G with former clients is unethical. (American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Code of Ethics, emphasis in the original)

Caregivers are prohibited by state criminal statutes, fiduciary duty laws, and by codes of ethics from exploiting their clients or patients to meet their own emotional and psychological needs.

One important note: This illicit relationship occurred in Texas, and Texas is a state in which it is a crime for clergy to have sexual relations with a congregant. The relevant section of the Texas Penal Code are below (emphasis added).

Texas Penal Code Chapter 5. (22.011)

Title 5. Offenses against the person.
Chapter 22. Assaultive Offenses.
Sec. 22.011. Sexual assault.
(b) A sexual assault […] is without the consent of the other person if: […] 10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser …

Texas Penal Code 22.011(b)(9): “by exploiting [the patient or former patient’s] .  .  . emotional dependency”; and (b)(10) “by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual advisor”

So, while Victim said her involvement with Doug Phillips was consensual, by law, it was not consensual in that Doug Phillips, acting as clergy, was in a position of trust to “do no harm,” but he violated this position of trust over her.  While Doug Phillips is on his high horse threatening to sue Muela, Renaud, and Bradrick, methinks he should drop the threat against those innocent gentlemen and lawyer up because he was in the WRONG state to be violating clergy ethics laws.

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Related links:

BREAKING: Doug Phillips Threatens Lawsuit Against Former Vision Forum Associates Who Had Earlier Confronted Him about His Sexual Sins

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128 comments on “Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 2 – The Victim

  1. This stuff is just now coming out. It’s going to take her a while to recover and come to that realization – especially living in a climate in which women are said to be inferior, cause men to stumble, etc. I hope that she is able to get good counseling by someone who specializes in spiritual abuse and sexual abuse.

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  2. Excellent! As a former victim of abuse I couldn’t be more impressed! Your commitment to spreading the truth as opposed to gossip and lies is inspiring! Thank you 🙂

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  3. JA, thank you for presenting this account of the events with no extra embellishments. Your brevity is appreciated. I have close family members who live and work within twenty miles of BCA and they weren’t even aware of the recent events at BCA. The Victim need not worry about any notoriety or being recognized outside the BCA/VF circles. If and when she decides to make her story known to the outside world I have a feeling she will be met with tremendous respect and support.

    I know I haven’t been commenting here much but rest assured that I am reading daily. Please keep up the good work you do on behalf of the spiritual abuse community.

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  4. Julie Anne, I am curious: I saw the pictures of Victim’s diamond solitaire and it looked like an engagement ring to me. Did any of your sources say what that ring in the picture was?

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  5. I just checked my notes and there’s nothing there except that Doug did not give her an engagement ring. I’m not sure where that ring came from. Maybe she had her own cocktail ring that she wore on her left hand to ward off possible suiters? If I hear a response, I will follow up.

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  6. Thank you for this article Julie Anne. Your concise and unemotional conveying of the information you received from Source and corroborated with others close to BCA, is invaluable. And the thoughts and observations you made below the line of stars **** are equally invaluable.

    Since Texas deems this a crime, Phillips would best just go to the police station and confess all. That would be the most ethical and and right thing to do. Dare I say the most “Christian” thing to do? (not implying by that that I think Phillips is a regenerate believer in Christ; if he was, he would have behaved like David did when confronted by Nathan, but as it is, he is rattling his sabre against the Nathans who confronted him.

    If he just went and confessed the crime to the police it would save his family from him spending oodles of the family’s money on his defence in a cause that he should just fess up and face the consequences for.

    And it would be give immense vindication to the victim if he went to the police and confessed the crime. Imagine how Victim would feel if that happened! As a victim of several crimes myself, whose assailants never confessed their crimes to the police, I can only imagine how wonderfully vindicating it would have been for me if that had happened. All the disbelief and suspicion of me that most of my extended family dealt out to me, all the doubt of me and the ‘behind the hand’ whispering that I felt was going on in my church, all the subtle slander and besmirching and shame that was laid on me . . it would have been wondefully lifted if the criminals had confessed to the police.

    If Phillips is really repentant, confession of his crime to the police is the most important and most basic step he needs to take to start making reparation to all those he has wronged.

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  7. Excellent article, Julie Anne!

    Back on November 2nd, when I knew NOTHING except what was in Phillips’ first resignation letter, I played odds-maker, commenting on TWW:
    “Sooo…. What are the odds?

    What are the odds Phillips owes some big whopping apologies to people he’s trampled in business, in court, in print, or in church?

    What are the odds Phillips owes some big whopping apologies to the “other woman” with whom he had the platonic?

    What are the odds she heard some big whoppers like, “My wife doesn’t understand me. You are my best friend. You are Christ’s gift to me! God wants us to be married and to be together for all eternity! It’s perfectly OK if we’re romantic and affectionate, and I kiss you and paw you and stir up your feelings,  but if I *knew* you in the biblical sense we’d have to have kids together and people would find out, because if we took precautions against having a quiver full, then THAT would be IMMORAL!

    What are the odds she’s a now-former employee? Now-former Flock member formerly under his *care*? Both?

    What are the odds she’s young enough to be his daughter?”

    I’d say I guessed rather well and might have made a bundle betting on this in Vegas.
    Not because I knew Phillips– simply the nature of the narcissistic-leader beast.

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  8. Thank you Julie Anne. Lots of fog blown away here. It’s amazing how cleansing and clarifying truth is.

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  9. Doug Phillips’ victim will be referred to as “Victim” throughout the article. ~ja

    I’m still lobbying for “Ofdoug the Handmaid” as a pseudonym.

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  10. So very sad to see and hear. As a dad who very nearly jumped on the VFM bandwagon several years ago, it’s quite disconcerting to learn so much more…

    Alas, humans are fallible.

    Men: DO NOT put yourself on a pedestal, saying “I could/would never do this”.. Power corrupts, because our hearts are fallen. Redeemed? yes… But still fallen. Don’t ever think that your big head is too smart to let the little head do the thinking. never..

    Women, watch your men. Protect them. I see SO MANY homeschool moms who are so busy with their kids, all the events, classes, conferences, homeschool activities, etc, that they have little/nothing left to give their knight when he returns to the castle. HE NEEDS YOU TO BE THERE. Emotionally AND mentally.

    Kill the freaking soap operas.. Lark Rise to Candleford? Downton Abbey? They’re SOAP OPERAS. Little more. Perhaps they’re set in a previous century. But it’s still a soap, and you’re robbing your man of one of the best hours of his life, if you’re putting that above him.

    If you don’t watch out for him, somebody else will. Never forget that. Your marriage is one of the few things that goes thru life. Like your teeth, if you don’t do maintenance, you’ll regret it.

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  11. Phillips was smitten by her and eventually began grooming Victim. The grooming of Victim eventually led to an emotional affair. In 2007, the relationship became sexual. Phillips was honest in that he did not “know” Victim in the physical sense, i.e., there was no sexual intercourse, but there was sexual touching. This information has been corroborated by both Victim and Phillips a number of times.

    Just like Gothard. Technical definition, jot and tittle, every i dotted, every t crossed. As long as Tab A was NEVER inserted in Slot B, it wasn’t REALLY sexual, it wasn’t REALLY adultery, I wipe my mouth and announce “I have not sinned”. I am reminded of the term “Clinton Sex” during the Monicagate circus (and its subsequent use by teenage Don Juans).

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  12. One important note: This illicit relationship occurred in Texas, and Texas is a state in which it is a crime for clergy to have sexual relations with a congregant.

    Does that Texas law define “sexual relations” as Tab A in Slot B and Tab A in Slot B alone? If so, refer back to my last comment, with the addendum that Douggie ESQUIRE is a lawyer. Letter of the Law, remember.

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  13. @tl3c Julie Anne is right about the ring. The victim wore it on her left hand for fun. It was most certainly not an engagement ring and was not given to her by Doug Phillips.

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  14. Another lost soul on a journey,

    Welcome to the blog and thanks for your comment.

    As I was reading our comment and advice for men and women, it struck me that in your advice for women, you tell her to be there for her husband emotionally and mentally (which I agree with) – that they are many times too tired. That is a real threat to busy homeschool moms.

    But for the men, you discussed power, but nothing about about his responsibility to love his wife.

    As a woman, i can tell you this: if husbands really loved wives as Christ loved the church, a natural response to that would be to serve husbands and I’m not even talking about Biblical submission or anything, I’m talking about a genuine wanting to please her man. If a woman feels like she is treated like a queen, I think most likely she will make her king happy.

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  15. Thanks for clearing up what really happened. It’s bad enough as it is, but all of the rumors (eg the ring) make it worse. The whole thing is sad, sad, sad. I hope women take this to heart. Manipulation is so subtle at times, and we must be on guard.

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  16. I am having a theological problem. Hoping there might be some thoughts others can give to help me as I pray through this and search the scriptures. Does the Lord allow truly regenerate people to continue in such a premeditated and continuous sin as this for this long of a time? I am not thinking of the idea of sinless perfectionism here. I am just talking about the continuous sin we are talking about along with the lying, and other probable deliberate sins that were totally intentional over a prolonged period of time. Does God allow those who are truly His to live in this way? What about the Holy Spirit and conviction of sin…I am really struggling with this question – not so I can then pass judgement on others whether they are truly regenerate or not, but to better understand salvation, sin and grace in my own life.

    AND…let me clarify, I am talking about the obvious sins of Doug Phillips that he has admitted to. I am not talking of Victim here, as this was obviously an abusive situation and that is a whole ‘nother ball of wax.

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  17. I would just like to add something here as I know these comments are being closely watched. The rumours that Beall Phillips had some serious health issues are completely false. Doug’s promises of marriage to victim had to do with his family history not Bealls health. Please read Julie’s article carefully. She has quoted above what was said.

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  18. wantingthetruth,

    Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I have heard nothing – nada – about Beall being in poor health. I don’t know where these rumors are coming from.

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  19. Another lost soul on a journey,
    The task of homeschooling can be exhausting (homeschooled my kids for 20 plus years). I have to agree with JA that your advice seemed a little one sided. I also cringed with the knight/castle analogy. In my opinion, that kind of thinking is at the bottom of some of this destructive behavior (husband is your knight in shining armor)….
    Responsibility goes both ways for the “maintenance” of a marriage, but I don’t do it out of fear that “someone else will”. Doing it out of fear is not healthy. As a Christian, my source of love and respect for my husband comes from Jesus and Jesus is the one where I need to place my trust. Fear is not a good motivator.
    But I love Downton Abbey and my husband loves his sports. We watch together sometimes and we understand it’s a way for us to take a break from life’s stress.

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  20. Lily J,

    You raise a very important question – – can someone be a Christian, profess Christ, talk about having babies for generations for Christ, Visionary families, telling dads to lead their families spiritually, and then sneak in a young woman’s room in the middle of the night (climbing in her window, no less) to get some sexual gratification? This lifestyle sure sounds like water/oil to me. They can’t mix.

    To me, this is the classic wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Let’s also take note at the Apology 1- oops, apology Take 2 which had a little bit of more information revealing more of sexual nature (because oopsy daisy, he didn’t get it right the first time) and while he shares that little added bit of sexual information because of wanting to be honest and all, then he comes out and attacks the internet talk going on – – just like a truly repentant person. NOT!!

    Lily – the man is not repentant. He’s a wolf. A repentant man does not sue 3 former aids. A repentant man would issue a public apology – a truthful and heartfelt apology. He would acknowledge Victim in that apology, victim’s family. He would also acknowledge all those he had harmed in his ministry at VF – all the homeschooling families he has taught, etc. He would accept whatever rumors/speculations he read on the internet as fallout for HIS sin, instead of blame shifting.

    He then would quietly turn home to his family to try to salvage what’s left there. If his wife accepted him, he would be grateful. A repentant man would not think of being in the public spotlight again. Those days for him would be over.

    This man, Doug Phillips, is a farce. No Christian behaves in the way he has behaved – for this many years trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. He is a disgrace.

    PS Note to Doug: My pastor had a beef with me calling him a “wolf” publicly and sued me (along with 20 or so other phrases). The court wouldn’t touch it. So, go ahead and try to sue me if you like. I’m sure I can find an attorney who would love to take your money you will be paying in an anti-SLAPP when you lose.

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  21. Please define “grooming”. I heard it in connection with other abusers but legally, or at least generally, what is it?

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  22. This is an attorney (who deals with sex abuse cases) I know from Portland, Gillion Dumas. She discusses the process of grooming with children.

    I’m not entirely clear how my Source can adamantly say that Victim was not groomed as a minor because it can happen over months, even years. But anyway, it really doesn’t matter legally because in TX, what happened even as Victim was an adult was clearly wrong. Take a look:

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  23. Another Lost Soul… How about husbands not working 60 hour weeks? Eh? (I will say that at least my husband gets paid for his overtime, even though he’s a software engineer.) Yes, we pour a lot into our kids when we homeschool, but I also know many husbands who pour a lot into their work, and then to *still* expect their wives to be emotionally and physically available when the wives have been with the kids all day and put them to bed and cleaned up and fixed meals and run the kids to dance and baseball and basketball (all approved and hubby said “do it”).

    This is what I see out there in patriarchy land… the husband dictates and then there is no mercy or grace for the wife if she can’t “do all that he dictates.”

    (BTW, my husband is NOT like this at all. He’ll work a 10 hour day, and still come home and fold laundry or do dishes if I didn’t get to them because of an extremely busy day. I do try to get things done, but it doesn’t always happen due to extenuating circumstances.)

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  24. SCUM = Duggie (ewwww) If I was that sweet Victim, I would NOT want to live alone…. and I would want *sister* guards/witnesses with me at all times….if she could trust anyone… someone who really sees the truth in all of this. 😦

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  25. Another lost soul on a journey, so is that how Beall lost her man? I know several moms who have followed your advice to the T and loved their men, too. They did not follow all that advice out of guilt or rules, they were just very loving caring wives. I wish I could say it worked, but it never does. If a man is bent on sin it will only frustrate him because it’s harder for him to find a scapegoat, but he will still do it.

    Also JA, I know this is splitting hairs, but one thing I notice that doesn’t help victim’s get over ‘their part’ is our English language saying stuff like ” she was so beautiful that she made heads turn”. I see nothing wrong with us saying that indeed when a certain person walks by or into a room that heads DO turn but I’m sure you get my point. A cute little innocent kid or puppy or even an accident on the road does not ‘make’ heads turn.

    Oh, and Another Lost Soul, I don’t mean to instill fear in you if you have not experienced losing a spouse no matter how hard you tried to prevent it, but maybe you might just not stress so much about it.

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  26. Phillips told Victim they were soul mates.

    In my experience, “soul mate” is NEVER used to describe the one you’re married to. It’s always the one you’re doing on the side.

    He told her he loved her and had promised they’d eventually get married and have children together.

    At which point, his next sentence should be “as soon as Wifey is out of the picture.” This sounds so much like a flashback in a love-triangle murder mystery.

    During these years, the relationship with Victim ebbed and flowed. Phillips worked very hard at keeping prospective courters away from Victim.

    Herd-harem behavior. Herd bull claims all females as his, drives off all rivals.

    But Phillips did everything he could to keep her affections turned towards him, even going as far as telling Victim, “that in every other generation of the Phillips’ family, the wife dies early, so she would only have to wait.”

    BINGO!

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  27. Part of what is so stunning to me is — 2008 is six years ago. Over those six years, How many speeches did this man make railing against those who didn’t his model of the ideal family? How many women did he tear down while abusing this young lady? It is absolutely staggering to contemplate. Certainly, Beall is a victim here, but for her to do nothing after discovering the chats in 2009… what are we to make of her lack of action?

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  28. “But Phillips did everything he could to keep her affections turned towards him, even going as far as telling Victim, “that in every other generation of the Phillips’ family, the wife dies early, so she would only have to wait.” This statement was not to imply in any way that Doug was planning on killing his wife. This was said based solely on the early demise of wives in the Phillips’ family.”

    So– not sure I get this. We are supposed to think this is normal conversation between a man and his mistress who is 30 years younger than him? I mean, does no one find this incrediblity creepy? Evil? He might not be planning to physically kill his wife but he was hoping? promising? she would die young “because they all do”? Should we be looking into why women die young in every other generation of the Phillips family?

    “Doug Phillips’ double life starting to unravel in December 2012 when he was caught trying to climb through Victim’s bedroom window. Victim’s father and brother chased Phillips down the street with a shotgun until Doug stepped under a street light, revealing his identity. The relationship with Victim ended on that day.”

    Seriously? This is “manly” behavior? He sounds more like a 16 year old than someone middle aged. This is his maturity level? I am amazed he made it as far as he did with VF.

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  29. The part about all Phillips wives dying young seems especially strange, because isn’t Doug’s mother still alive?

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  30. Interesting about the laws in Texas. We were never taught that in any of my coursework. Going by that, I know several “pastors” who should be in jail!

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  31. “Does the Lord allow truly regenerate people to continue in such a premeditated and continuous sin as this for this long of a time? I am not thinking of the idea of sinless perfectionism here. I am just talking about the continuous sin we are talking about along with the lying, and other probable deliberate sins that were totally intentional over a prolonged period of time. Does God allow those who are truly His to live in this way? What about the Holy Spirit and conviction of sin…I am really struggling with this question – not so I can then pass judgement on others whether they are truly regenerate or not, but to better understand salvation, sin and grace in my own life.”

    LilyJ, GREAT and important question! First of all, I don’t think it is what the Lord “allows”. We have free will and are responsible for our behavior/actions/words. If this is about what the “Lord allows” why would pedophiles be operating in churches all over the place? We are responsbile not only for ourselves but to look out for one another in the Body and the least of these. We are guilty too when we look the other way.

    You might want to take a look at Hebrews 10 in context but here is part:

    26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[e] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    And the entire book of 1 John addresses this, too. And there are “lists” in several places, Galatians, Corinthians, Revlation concerning what a true believer cannot be living out and consdier themselves saved.

    Check it out and come to your own conclusions. Guys like Phillips always find a way to sell their evil as “God ordained”.

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  32. @pattij553 The victim is very beautiful and is head turner. I am a woman and would be the first to say that the victim is very beautiful. I think that only further establishes the fact that Doug had to put quite a bit of effort into keeping potential suitors at bay, especially in a culture where getting married young and having lots of children is heavily promoted.

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  33. Another lost soul. . .
    I don’t know you so I cannot know your intent, but I’d love to know the Bible verses to back up what you have said especially in relationship to your advice to us ladies. Because, honestly, IMO, you have heaped more burdens onto us ladies that have no basis in God’s Word.

    Oh, and BTW, we watch Downton Abbey at our home because it is one of my husband’s favorites.

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  34. lostsoulonajourney is another one out there looking for any excuse except personal responsiblity for our behavior. Funny how that works in Christendom. The same people who rail against welfare state (me too!) will make excuses for the celebrity Christian who strays and start giving advice to their wives. But they fail to see the “entitlement” menatlity in their thinking.

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  35. Also JA, I know this is splitting hairs, but one thing I notice that doesn’t help victim’s get over ‘their part’ is our English language saying stuff like ” she was so beautiful that she made heads turn”. I see nothing wrong with us saying that indeed when a certain person walks by or into a room that heads DO turn but I’m sure you get my point. A cute little innocent kid or puppy or even an accident on the road does not ‘make’ heads turn.

    I’ve seen pictures and videos of Victim. She definitely would turn heads regardless of her attire. She’s gorgeous.

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  36. @JulieAnne:

    I’ve seen pictures and videos of Victim. She definitely would turn heads regardless of her attire. She’s gorgeous.

    AKA the type who would attract a LOT of male attention whatever the situation.

    Including an aging Herd Bull.

    @Lydia:

    Seriously? This is “manly” behavior? He sounds more like a 16 year old than someone middle aged. This is his maturity level? I am amazed he made it as far as he did with VF.

    Make that a 16-year-old who’s packing his brains below his belt. Slob comedy for a 16-year-old; not so funny when it’s a Big Name ManaGawd who’s a lot closer to my age than 16. And who would denounce me as “immature” for reaching that age without getting married and breeding.

    I’m not “amazed he made it as far as he did with VF.” VF was his (chaotic) Personality Cult; as Cult Leader, he got to define its Reality.

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  37. Help me – – I feel a JA rant coming over me right about now . . . here goes:

    What really upsets me is this. This man, sold books for young ladies on their “biblical role,” talked/preached about modesty and purity and the importance of staying pure for their future husbands. This man, who has daughters of his own, violated another young woman, making her essentially impure in this culture. In this culture, young men are looking for pure wives. They will toss aside those with a sexual history in search of a pure bride. What shame she must be feeling now!

    Because of his grooming, his selfish ego, he caused her to become what he has preached against. While she was stroking his inflated ego, he was creating damaged goods and pleasuring himself. This is the epitome of low-life selfish and despicable behavior.

    Now, factor in his position as pastor – – someone in spiritual authority. Who knows what he might have said to her to justify his actions/behavior? What confusing messages did he tell her that she believed all of these years – that made her wait for him? Make no mistake about it. This woman was sexually abused, emotionally abused, and most certainly spiritually abused.

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  38. “Women, watch your men. Protect them. I see SO MANY homeschool moms who are so busy with their kids, all the events, classes, conferences, homeschool activities, etc, that they have little/nothing left to give their knight when he returns to the castle. HE NEEDS YOU TO BE THERE. Emotionally AND mentally.”

    Oh, brother! If it hadn’t been for that “man,” those children wouldn’t exist to claim so much of the mom’s time. Instead, why doesn’t the “man” start paying that mom a real wage for laundry service, private tutoring lessons, catering service, maid service, chauffeur service, and whoopee service. It sounds like this “man” still needs his mommy.

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  39. Another lost soul,
    How about taking the kids out so that mom can watch Downton Abbey without any distractions? Give her a bit of quiet time for herself?

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  40. What really makes me so mad and sad is that so much of Victim’s time and opportunity were wasted by someone who used her to gratify his own sinful desires. I may be projecting my own feelings into this. After the abuse my family endured became clearer, I grieved for all the time and irreplaceable belongings I gave to those selfish control freaks. If Phillips hadn’t been so perverted, this Victim would likely be married and have a family of her own by now. And I don’t believe for one second that he would have ever left his wife (Too much scandal). Unless he planned on bumping her off, he was likely going to be sneaking in that window for many more years to come.

    I pray this Victim finds healing and strength to realize exactly how much she was taken advantage of.

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  41. I read an interesting comment years ago. “An affair is not who you lie with, but whom you lie to.” I can’t imagine all the lies Doug spun to his wife to keep her in his pocket. I hope that soon the young lady he hurt is about to change from “victim” to “survivor”. I was raised with the belief that women were to never challenge a man and do everything possible to avoid conflict. (My training came more from southern culture rather than church). Having four brothers, I often was the one who had to suck it up, in deference to them. Though many may disagree, I believe this young woman did not even recognize that she had a choice. I remember when I was young and often placed in those lose-lose situations. I pray that she gets good long term therapy so she can learn to trust in her own value as a human and that she does not ever have to sacrifice herself for anyone. That took me a long time to learn!

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  42. She needs to KNOW that Jesus loves her unconditionally. He alone can heal her deepest hurts. The truth sets people free.God did NOT cause this to happen to her !!! John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

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  43. Duggie BROKE the covenant that he made with Beall. I am thinking that Beall and Duggie are living together without covenant. (just thoughts)

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  44. Can we please not point fingers at Beall for not “doing anything.” There is nothing more gut wrenching or humiliating than finding out that your spouse has given his or her heart to another so let’s not speculate Mrs. Phillips’ role in this situation when there are no facts given. First of all we don’t know that she did nothing. Secondly, people stay in marriages such as this for a lot of reasons many have to do with the kids and their well being. Thirdly, no matter how much we’d like to believe we can, we cannot control another human being. Period. We cannot control their thoughts. We cannot control their actions – be they good or bad.

    And please, can we not lecture women on how they need to take care of their man. There are plenty of men and women who are stuck in hard marriages, who aren’t getting their needs met but who don’t stray. Two women’s hearts were broken by a man in this situation. Two women were lied to and betrayed.

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  45. Another lost soul on a journey sounds to me as if he is blaming women for their straying husbands. Both people in a marriage have a responsibility to each other to maintain that marriage. A man has to do more than think he “would never do that.” A wife is not a mother to her husband. It is not her job to make sure she does enough to prevent him from straying. It is HIS job to not stray. Yes, she should pay attention to her husband and serve him out of love-as he should do for her. Marriage is give and take throughout a life time, both parties honoring, respecting, loving, and serving the other.
    I have seen marriages that appeared to be wonderful fall apart, with husbands or wives having affairs. Marriages where no one ever saw it coming. ANYONE can sin, at any time. It is the fault of the sinner. If a marriage has problems, address them, don’t blame a spouse for YOUR sin.
    Which makes me wonder about Beall’s position in this whole thing. If she has known for approximately three and a half years, what did/does she think of her husband’s behavior? Did she blame the victim? Herself? Why stay with him when he continued with his adulterous behavior? Is she also a victim? I wonder is she stays because of her children. Pretty tough to support them on her own without a job.

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  46. Good points, Priscilla. I will have more information forthcoming on when Beall knew what. I have to finish putting that post together (in between homeschooling, helping 2 high school choirs gear up for festival competition, etc)

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  47. Julie Anne has presented a classic story of a power-hungry, lecherous, narcissistic egomaniac who willfully exploited a young woman for the purpose of feeding his ego – and his libido. As Julie Anne has rightly stated, this woman is a victim – plain and simple.
    Most of the people commenting are obviously mindful of this fact and sympathetic to her plight (and to Doug’s wife’s) – their comments reflect that.
    However, “another lost soul on a journey” has chosen to, instead, use the opportunity to admonish women (I have a mental picture of him shaking his finger, hand on hip) about their ‘roles’. SAY WHAT??? I don’t know about anyone else, but his whole comment reeked of “it’s all about MEEEEE” – just like the perpetrator in the story)
    No wonder he’s lost.. (head shake. . .)

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  48. JA and Lydia – thanks so much for your responses.

    Lydia, one thing about your comment that I would like to know your thoughts on – if someone is a Christian, then the Holy Spirit indwells them. So – this is the heart of what I am dealing with…can it really be that the Holy Spirit can truly indwell someone that “professes” Christ at some point in life, but them lives continuously in sin? Possibly until their death? I think, as with King David’s sin with Bathsheeba, there is a point that the Holy Spirit doesn’t “allow” the sin to continue, but breaks the person to the point of repentance. I hope I am making sense. I am not even talking about DP right now – just in general. I don’t think that God “allows” those who are truly His children to live their lives in continuous and unrepented sin. It is not His nature, is it? When we trust Christ, He takes out our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh. So, maybe God “allowing” isn’t the best word, but rather our new “nature” in Christ wouldn’t allow it?

    I don’t know – I am struggling with so many different things regarding this whole situation, I might be jumbling the issue and not making much sense. Thanks for your time!

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  49. I would like to answer that from my perspective Lily J. since I believe in eternal security, not predestination though, I believe we have a choice to be born again in the spirit. If we truly are born again then we are God’s children and I believe that the Bible teaches that we are corrected all the time by God so that our spirits will be saved in the end. We can judge a man by his actions as far as how much we are going to allow him in our lives but I guess that we cannot truly judge the condition of his spirit. We certainly can’t deny how we sense or feel where their spirits are at with God even if they say that they have the Holy Spirit.

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  50. “Lydia, one thing about your comment that I would like to know your thoughts on – if someone is a Christian, then the Holy Spirit indwells them. So – this is the heart of what I am dealing with…can it really be that the Holy Spirit can truly indwell someone that “professes” Christ at some point in life, but them lives continuously in sin? Possibly until their death”

    Lily, The questions you are asking are the EXACT same ones I was asking after seeing so much evil from long time “Christian” leaders upclose and personal. Stuff the pew sitters would not see. So I spent a lot of time digging and am only sharing what conclusion I have come to.

    Are you familiar with this:

    “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.’ 2 Tim 3

    I think we are seeing a variation of this. They claim Christ but have no power of the indwelling Spirit in them. But people still tell me that a long time Christian can molest children, get caught, say they repent and they believe them. They also believe they were Christians while molesting. I find it all incomprehensible and wonder what the Cross means to them? Total depravity after salvation? (In fact, I think we are seeing a parallel to the corrupt priests in the OT)

    Because of Christ we can have personal victory over evil. But many have made it a false dichotomy of sinless perfection or evil. That is moral chaos. We are to live the kingdom now. Jesus prayed: ON EARTH as it is in heaven. Paul even warned in Acts 20 about the wolves among the elders. And many are not aware that they are Nicolaitans. (Conqueror of the people) which God detests. This is mentioned twice in Revelation.

    Power is very corrupting. Lincoln said If you want to see a man’s character don’t give him adversity but give him power.

    I honestly believe in real change as believers. I believe it is synergistic but I believe in “Born Again” and New Creature in Christ. There is nothing more dangerous than sticking around these charlatans and them deciding your Christian normal. It is so hard to climb out of it. So much of it is ingrained in us. We literally have to become dependent on Christ and no other for truth. It is His gift to us if we really hunker down with it.

    One thing that helped me early on was I focused solely on Christ. Read the Gospels over and over, praying and asking that the filters I had been taught to be removed. I wanted to know Him in a fresh totally pure way. (Read Paul later after I really understood Christ)

    There are quite a few things that surprised me from this, too! Think about it. Jesus stood up to religious bullies. Mainly who used God for personal gain and to have followers after themselves. He was not running around targeting the pagans, was He? There is so much more to share on this but so little comment space!

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  51. Unfortunately 2 years ago, I learned that my husband had an emotional affair with an employee whom he supervised who was over 20 years younger than he was, so in way I can relate to the story you describe. Maybe my experiences and background interferes with my objectivity, but I don’t see this young woman purely as a blameless “victim.” Her parents first learned of her relationship with Phillips in 2009 – no doubt they informed her that her relationship with Doug Phillips was immoral and inappropriate. Instead of terminating the relationship as she should have, she continued to have contact with Phillips, admitting to have kissed him in 2010. Their relationship reportedly ended in 2013 only after Phillips was accosted by her father. I don’t believe for a second that their relationship is really over – she’s simply moved out of her parent’s home to make it easier to carry on her relationship with Phillips. Any woman who would continue a relationship with a man who wishes his wife was dead is no saint and no victim, and she will get exactly what she deserves in the end.

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  52. Lily, one last thing. I would be very careful mapping OT Characters and their sin to how that plays out now that we have the Cross/Resurrection. God was working through, around and with Israel for a specific purpose with a backdrop of a very pagan culture. The Israelites were to be the light of the world that God would show WHO He is through. They failed miserably over and over again . David had very serious consequences but those are rarely mentioned from pulpits because they like the fact David could be a murderer and fornicator and still be a man after God’s own heart. They tend to think they can sin all they want, say sorry and all is well. But that totally blasphemes the meaning of the Cross/Resurrection.

    I shudder when I hear “David did it, too”, sermons. They miss the whole point of Christ. We are to be blameless.

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  53. S –

    I’m leaving your comment up as an example of what I will not be approving. At this site we defend victims, period.

    State law in Texas shows by the actions Phillips eventually owned up to publicly, he was the one who did wrong.

    You are speculating on what happened with her parents. You are speculating on what is going on with her now. I don’t deal well with speculations. Sorry, please find another blog to carry on this kind of nonsense. It’s not going to happen here.

    ~Julie Anne, currently wearing her Blog Owner/Moderator hat

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  54. “I learned that my husband had an emotional affair with an employee whom he supervised who was over 20 years younger than he was, so in way I can relate to the story you describe. ”

    He was in a position of power and responsibility over her. He is lucky if he did not get sued for sexual harassment. Have you read the workplace Federal laws? If he is going to have adulterous relationships, he would be wise not to choose someone he supervises. Federal law takes the “position” and authority over the person very seriously.

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  55. @S If you are going to attack the victim please at least get your facts straight. This a is a cult-like environment please remember that. The victims parents were manipulated and lied to by Doug Phillips as was the victim. The relationship ended the night Doug was caught at the victims home in 2012. Period!

    Maybe you have missed something here but the victim is in fact a hero. She has gone up against Doug Phillips for over the last year in an effort to see the truth come out and justice served. The victim is the reason why this story ended up going public last fall despite all of Doug and Bealls efforts she continued to tell her story until Peter, Mark, Jordan, Bob, and Joe were made aware of the situation and took action. Doug’s master plan was for everything to remain a secret and he would carry on business as usual! So yes, the victim is my hero! I am extremely proud of her. She has guts! The fall out from all this is far from over. She deserves our support and prayers. I honestly hope the victim doesn’t see your unkind comments but if she does I hope she can see that you are obviously speaking from a place of hurt and allowing your past to cloud your judgement in this situation.

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  56. When a man awakens the sexual desires in young woman for the first time with the finesse of an experienced older man who happens to have the top dog position of being the mostest managawd, the young woman has little chance of resisting.

    Remember, these girls were not savvy to even look out for a wolf. They were taught to trust, implicitly, without questioning. Their thinking skills were not developed. Their ability to speak up and resist was not developed.

    By the time Victim’s parents confronted the daughter, managawd had already stolen her heart and fed the lie that she could and should trust him. Many of us, even with some training, still got stuck on stupid “love” that was not good for us. Many have experienced just how difficult it is to quit a bad boyfriend, even when you know better. Victim had many more hurdles to jump for her to come out of the fog of trusting her leader of leaders, who was promising the world.

    May this group wake-up and train their daughters to think, to know what to resist, to not just blindly trust, that ALL men can fall, and hone the skill of discernment.

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  57. Just an update on the “engagement” ring rumor: now I’ve heard from several sources who are sharing the same information. The ring was given to Victim by a friend. It is costume jewelry. It was not an engagement ring given by Doug Phillips.

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  58. S – I warned you about speculating and saying Victim was not a victim.

    dog house

    You are correct that Beall/children are victims, too, but so is Victim. She is no less a Victim. Please do not speculate about things like Phillips wanting Beall to die.

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  59. With Doug Phillips’ back up against the wall, who knows what he will do, as seen by his newest reversal on his original “repentance.”

    Often these men stay with their wives because no one else will ever have them, and if they did have someone who would have them, they know they’d never be able to rebuild their ministry/livelihood/man-worship … that is, unless they can convince people that the wife/mother was so crazy that we’d all feel sorry for him. If I were his wife, I’d be more worried about what he was going to do with my reputation than my life.

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  60. To S, and to anyone else wondering about how to compare the sin of Doug Phillips with sin (if any) of Victim in this debacle:

    Some sins are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

    The Westminster Larger Catechism, Question 150:
    QUESTION: Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in themselves, and in the sight of God?
    ANSWER: All transgressions of the law of God are not equally heinous; but some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.”

    And likewise, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 83
    QUESTION: Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
    ANSWER: Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

    Fisher’s Catechism (which explains the Westminster Shorter Catechism) lists many things which might make a sin more heinous, including:
    the offender is of ripe age, holds an eminent office, or is a guide to others;
    the person offended is someone the offender is related to, or is one of the saints, particularly weaker brethren;
    the offense violates the express letter of the law;
    the offense contains in it many sins, and is not only conceived in the heart, but breaks forth in words and actions, scandalizes others, admits of no reparation, and is done deliberately, willfully, presumptuously, impudently, boastingly, maliciously, frequently, obstinately, with delight, or continuance.

    Fisher has a lot more items on that list, I’m only giving a few of them here.

    In my video The Levite’s Concubine — A Case Study In Domestic Abuse,
    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2013/10/29/the-levites-concubine-a-study-in-how-abusers-enlist-allies/
    I discuss how this this applies to the Levite’s sins in Judges 19-20. Most of my application in that video would be applicable to Doug Phillips’ sins.

    You can find an index for Fisher’s Catechism here. Once there, go to Question 83.
    http://www.reformed.org/documents/fisher/index.html

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  61. Lily J asked “can it really be that the Holy Spirit can truly indwell someone that “professes” Christ at some point in life, but them lives continuously in sin?”

    Lily, I second what Lydia Seller of Purple wrote in reply to your question. You may find it helpful to read the post ‘Not All Sinners Are The Same’ by Ps Jeff Crippen.
    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2012/07/05/pastors-and-abuse-confronting-and-dealing-with-abusers-part-6/

    blessings to you

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  62. Julie Anne, in a comment above you said “making her essentially impure in this culture. In this culture, young men are looking for pure wives. They will toss aside those with a sexual history in search of a pure bride. What shame she must be feeling now!”

    I would suggest that it might be better said “making her feel impure…” (which is different than being impure) and to point out that while men in this culture toss aside those with a sexual history, most of us know that victims of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct don’t have a sexual history. They have a history of abuse. I know you know this and I admire your willingness to point this out to the world and to educate so many. Just didn’t want anyone to miss the difference, in case Victim or her friends are reading this.

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  63. S, I sympathise. It helps to blame the third person. We feel guilt for not seeing signs, for feeling like we failed our children, maybe for not catering to that “king of the castle” (totally not the issue! Let him cater to me!) Maybe guilt for not leaving and think it sounds better if it was all the fault of the third person. And maybe that’s all true in your case.

    But all our stories are different. A man in power, especially one with religious power, can weave a story that sucks a woman (or man) in. You would be amazed at the stories some tell – when I first heard them, I wondered how the women could be so dumb (I’ve only heard from women but it happens to men too). Then I really listened and I got it. I wasn’t raised to think ministers are closer to God than I am but many are raised that way. It’s a worldview that you can’t just step out of. Yes, I feel sorry for his wife and his kids. And I hurt for Victim. But if it hadn’t been Victim, it would have been another victim. Wife and kids would have been hurt anyway. He’s probably hurt them in many ways over the years. Living with a narcissist is hell.

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  64. I would suggest that it might be better said “making her feel impure…” (which is different than being impure) and to point out that while men in this culture toss aside those with a sexual history, most of us know that victims of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct don’t have a sexual history. They have a history of abuse. I know you know this and I admire your willingness to point this out to the world and to educate so many. Just didn’t want anyone to miss the difference, in case Victim or her friends are reading this.

    Hi Jackie:

    Actually, I think I do stand by my words:

    “making her essentially impure in this culture. In this culture, young men are looking for pure wives. They will toss aside those with a sexual history in search of a pure bride. What shame she must be feeling now!”

    The key part of my words that you may have missed were “in this culture” referencing how her culture would look at her through their legalistic eyes. The last sentence discussing the “shame she must be feeling” refers to when she personalizes her culture’s (wrong) way of thinking.

    I’m tired. I hope this makes sense – lol.

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  65. Yes, JA, your words ‘in this culture’ was sufficient to qualify what you meant and rule out other interpretations. I get the tiredness — from one tired blogger to another 🙂

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  66. Julie Anne, I understand your qualification but still disagree. If everyone who reads your blog understood “in this culture,” it wouldn’t matter. But they don’t, obviously. This culture tells her she is impure but she isn’t. And I got the shame part – I was addressing the use of sexual history when speaking of a victim.

    But you know your readers better than I.

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  67. in every other generation of the Phillips’ family, the wife dies early, so she would only have to wait

    Genealogist talking – it’s hard to maintain this kind of repeating-like-clockwork pattern over multiple generations, esp. given that women on average live longer than men. It happens sometimes but not very often. “Every other” could have just meant “the last two or three.” I’d have to look at Doug’s background to know whether or not this was true in his family, but to my ears this sounds like other frequently repeated genealogical myths (everyone had 10+ children, everyone died young, women couldn’t read until the late 19th century, etc.) and I’m not inclined to believe it. And of course the fact that he’s talking about Beall makes it despicable.

    Also, glad to hear the engagement ring was fake because I was absolutely flabbergasted when I first read that and saw the picture.

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  68. To NB (MARCH 24, 2014 @ 9:23 AM)
    You said, “Certainly, Beall is a victim here, but for her to do nothing after discovering the chats in 2009… what are we to make of her lack of action?”

    I think that is not a helpful question, and is likely to be perceived as a very hurtful comment by Beall, if she is reading this thread.

    I do now want to speculate about Beall in person, and I think it is wrong to raise doubts of even faint suspicions about her motives and conduct. She, as well as Victim, is a a victim of Philips whose hypocritical and wicked behaviour is the main point here.

    However, I will say this. In my capacity as co-leader of the blog A Cry For Justice, I hear many accounts from women whose husbands have committed adultery. These women typically say that they ‘knew’ something was wrong way before they got any fragment of ‘real evidence’ about the adultery, and they did what they could safely do to try to confront their husband and extract the truth from him. . . but he obfuscated and all the rest of the lies and responsibility-resistance behaviours that abusive selfish men do.

    Furthermore, these women typically say that when their husband finally admitted or was forced to admit to the sins he was doing, he did not truly repent but made a show of a feigned repentance — just enough of a show to mollify the wife and persuade her to tolerate and accept and forgive him, or at least give him another chance at the marriage. This feigned repentance can be repeated, with variations, over and over during the marriage; each time the wife is once again persuaded to just give him one more chance. She is leaned on by him waving scriptures admonishingly over her, and other Christians may lean on her this way as well. She is isolated. She usually feels she doesn’t want to or is unable to disclose the whole situation to others. She cannot trust anyone as she fears her husband either has or will have them all in his pocket, and could be painting her as a bad or crazy woman. It is a very hard road for these women.

    So please, do not raise an speculations or ask any questions that might unkindly infer negative things about Beall, even in the slightest degree.

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  69. You know what makes me sick? the fact that the WHOLE time my family and I were involved patriarchy, and purchasing VF crap and admiring Doug Phillip, the WHOLE TIME he was cheating on his wife. I do not even know how to process this. We “got out” of the patriarchy mindset 4 years ago so we are fairly healed, but this throws me for a loop.

    Thank you, JA, for writing this series. At least we can put some of the rumors to rest and honestly, it gives me closure.

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  70. Barbara – I am so sorry, and am writing to clarify. I did not mean to imply anything negative about Beall at all and I cannot apologize enough. The words were irresponsible and not well-thought-out at all.

    What I was trying to get at was more about the power structure here that kept people silent and kept people in line. It is staggeringly abusive — at every level of life and in so many insidious ways. The amount of influence DP has exerted is unlike anything else I have ever seen.

    Like NMP, I am totally thrown for a loop by this situation. I was involved for a short period of time with a VF-like group and after I got out, it felt like I had been under some kind of spell… I don’t know how else to express it.

    It is obvious that my comment was hurtful; I did not intend for it to be, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was. I will just read and not comment from here out. Again, I am sorry.

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  71. Ok, I woke up to an interesting exchange between Barbara and NB. I remember reading NB’s question:

    “Certainly, Beall is a victim here, but for her to do nothing after discovering the chats in 2009… what are we to make of her lack of action?”

    I didn’t think anything of that comment. NB acknowledged Beall as a victim, but questioned her lack of action. That is a perfectly appropriate question to ask here where we try to understand these confusing abuse systems.

    Then my friend, Barbara, responded from her frame of reference of dealing with people who have been involved with domestic violence (which includes physical, spiritual, emotional, verbal abuse) and Barbara rightly defended Beall as a victim.

    Barbara’s expertise is within the framework of marriage and I greatly appreciate her thoughts. I’ve learned much from her. This, however, is a different framework. This is in the context of a man responsible for influencing thousands of families along with sexual infidelity. Beall did play a role in this system and it is important to discuss her role in this system that has extended far beyond the Phillips’ marriage. Boy, this stuff gets complicated!

    This is a good time to point out that sometimes pastor’s wives can become so enmeshed in their husband’s narcissism, they enable their bad behavior and even can themselves become abusers. Another blogger friend has told me that he believed the pastor’s wife was the fuel behind the pastor’s abuse.

    Please feel free to discuss these important questions/issues. NB, your comment was absolutely fine.

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  72. Barbara, something else about the wives that are involved so heavily in these patriarchal movements. Who do they know outside the movement or does not think like the movement? Talk about isolation! They are usually stuck financially, emotionally and so on. Patriarchy is horrible for women in so many ways.

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  73. “This is a good time to point out that sometimes pastor’s wives can become so enmeshed in their husband’s narcissism, they enable their bad behavior and even can themselves become abusers”

    There is much to lose for the patriarchal pastors wife who often has no career options. Their very financial security rests with his position. She has the welfare of children to consider (in VF circles that can mean MANY children). She is often stuck. And she is often in the middle.

    Just another reason why Patriarchy can be so evil and end up making many victims from one narcissist who wants power over people.

    Let us hope that young women who are marrying into this movement are reading here and will make sure they have options for the future.

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  74. Julie Anne, thank you. I appreciated Barbara’s comment, as her criticism was indeed on point.
    As you mentioned, this is a different (and difficult) framework. Thank you for hosting this conversation.

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  75. NB, this stuff is very complicated. I remember the first time someone suggested my former pastor’s role in his system of abuse and it took me a while to think that through and recall how she responded to situations when we were there and then how she responds now. She most certainly had played and currently plays a part of the abuse that continues even years after we have left.

    We have much to learn from each other as we share out experiences.

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  76. I was sexually and spiritually abused by a spiritual leader in our church starting at age 13. Unless you have lived that experience, you cannot understand the anguish and struggle it is to be whole again with both God and self. The shame, the confusion, the lost innocence, losing the childlike faith you had in God and “Jesus loves me this I know” because you no longer “know”. S’s comments obviously show her own unhealed, bitter woundedness from her husband’s unfaithfulness, as it is a very selfish stance to ever blame the one under the control of a man of such age, authority, spiritual position and charm as DP (and my own abuser).

    I was sucked into the Patriarchial mess 9 years ago when our state’s Christian homeschool conference changed from teaching us how to teach our children, to guilting us in how badly we were living as families of faith. In my own spiritual mess of striving to please God, as I was not yet whole from the abuse, I quickly fell for the charm, the smiling, happy-looking families, the mandate that to be right with God we must live their way. To have our children saved, faith-filled, strong in the Lord, we must live their way. To pass on the mantle of faithfulness that the world could not destroy in them or future generations, we must live their way–and of course, that meant buying and using what they sold. For 3 1/2 years I wore skirts only. I finally convinced my husband to let us go to a FIC. We were all miserable, but that only meant that I was failing to “get it right”. Somehow, someway, I was missing the message. So much fear grew in me. My family, my children were not going to turn out right. I was failing them and failing God. Wow!! Exactly what my abuser had once told me, “Saying no to him was saying no to God and failing him was failing God.”

    I just found out about all of this on Saturday when I came across the World magazine article on DP someone posted on Facebook. Although we have been away from the FIC for 5 years and patriarchial thinking in general for 3, it was fresh salt to the wounds. I have thousands of $’s in materials from VF that have been sitting on shelves untouched because I have been so unsure, uncertain in what to believe. Today, I will box them up for the dump. I see freedom in my future. But for now, this is all so very painful.

    Unless you have walked in any shoes similar to Victim, you CANNOT understand. To be sinned against in such a way, in the name of Jesus, is indescribable. I apologize for writing so much, but I do appreciate having a safe place to express these deep emotions. Thank you!

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  77. “Let us hope that young women who are marrying into this movement are reading here and will make sure they have options for the future.”

    Yes. And I hope the parents of those daughters are reading as well. I truly believe that most parents only want what’s best for their kids. People who get caught up in Patriarchy movements don’t yet see the full fruit of it. They’ve been fed this “happily ever after” version. I hope everyone takes a good look at what Phillips has spawned.

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  78. I’ve been pretty disgusted with the whole DP/Vision Forum patriarchy stuff for a while and thought nothing would surprise me. The amount of deception DP has pulled is hard to believe, it’s shocking. I think many are just in shock and just trying to process how a man could live such a hypocritical life. He had way too much influence. It’s a wake up call to the homeschooling community. It needs to be discussed and addressed, not silenced and swept under the rug.

    I am thankful for the blogs which make it possible for victims to realize they’re not alone anymore.

    I pray that Victim and all the victims find spiritual and emotional healing and all that was taken from them will be restored.

    May we all learn to recognize and call out abuse when we see or experience it.

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  79. @JulieAnne:

    You are correct that Beall/children are victims, too, but so is Victim. She is no less a Victim. Please do not speculate about things like Phillips wanting Beall to die.

    That could just as easily have been a pickup line to string her along, holding out a promise of a ring as soon as Beale was Scripturally(TM) out of the picture. By a guy who for whatever reasons wanted to have his cake and eat it too.

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  80. @devaneyjoy:

    I quickly fell for the charm, the smiling, happy-looking families, the mandate that to be right with God we must live their way. To have our children saved, faith-filled, strong in the Lord, we must live their way. To pass on the mantle of faithfulness that the world could not destroy in them or future generations, we must live their way–and of course, that meant buying and using what they sold.

    And later on you say you spent thousands of dollars on those Official VF Materials.
    1) To make sure your family would grow up Godly and Sinless. And these guys scream and rant about Selling Indulgences?
    2) Thousands of dollars? All I can say is “Nice Racket”. Tip: If someone insists that you use their Official Materials (especially if they’re way overpriced compared to similar generic items), assume it’s a scam until proven otherwise. And the burden of proof is on THEM.

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  81. devaneyjoy, Thanks much for your comment. They resonate so much with my own. I am going to make a new article including your comment to open it up for discussion. I have a hunch many others are landing at the blog just like you and may like to share their thoughts/experiences, too. I greatly appreciate you sharing your heart with us!

    ~Julie Anne

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  82. Headless Unicorn Guy —

    1) When you grow up drawn to smut books, which feeds your shame and condemnation, because sexual pleasure was awakened too soon, yes–you are drawn to the idea of your children having ready access to books/audios like VF offered, bought and available on your shelves. My children enjoyed Henty, Ballentyne and other authors we purchased from VF.

    2) When you grow up in a Christian home, believing you are a Christian but feeling very sin-filled and God-less, yes–you are drawn to products that you are hopeful will help your children not grow up feeling the same.

    3) Not all VF sold was tainted by their own doctrines. Jonathan Park, Creatures that Defy Evolution, etc, for example. Also, some items were sold by other homeschool vendors, but easier to simply purchase from VF. The items going to the dump are strictly audios/DVD’s of them perpetuating their agenda. Sorry to be unclear.

    4) I do not remember ever feeling they “insisted” I use their materials, although, they were talked about during speaking sessions. I was drawn to their materials because I was drawn to anything offering hope to a different faith for my children than what I was experiencing myself.

    Full understanding of how my abuse was effecting my feelings and actions in all areas of my life, not just homeschooling, did not come clear to me until restoration in Christ 5 years ago. I knew I was a Christian, but I struggled with awful thoughts and ugly feelings. I did not want that for my children. I did not understand they were a direct result of my abuse because nobody talked me through these things. I did not want isolation among the members of my family as I had felt in my own home from my parents and siblings after the abuse was found out. I was left with the impression from family and church that I was “tainted” or “should have known better”. I was desperate for different for my own children, my own family! So yes, I was easy pickings for these unified, happy smiling families that presented deep faith in God and affection for one another.

    I have spent the last couple days reading the “behind the scenes” of many of those I had looked up to as guides in home educating and discipling of my children. To find I’ve been duped once again by men in spiritual authority is devastating to me.

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  83. devanejoy,

    I can totally relate to what you just wrote. I was also sexually abused as a child (by a family member, not a “spiritual” person). I worked through a lot of that in my early 20’s. But still, it creeps in. You want to “keep your children pure” and away from all that “sinful” stuff that is a result of the abuse.

    But (and I had a friend say that exact thing to me this last Sunday about “keep my child pure” and I didn’t say anything to her), we’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Absolutely none of us is pure. How do we miss that every.single.time? We are all tainted by sin. And there is nothing we can do to get rid of it. Only the blood of Jesus covers our sin and makes us righteous. And that is what we have to teach our kids. It’s not dressing a certain way, it’s not using certain homeschool materials, it’s not patriarchy, or FIC, or whatever. It’s the blood of Jesus and only the blood of Jesus that save us.

    And yet… we get sucked in again and again. Good thing God is faithful 🙂

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  84. Pingback: Homeschool Mom Responds to the Doug Phillips Scandal and His Influence in Patriarchy, Christian Homeschool Movement and Conferences | Spiritual Sounding Board

  85. JA, According to you timeline, Beall was made aware of the situation no later than 2009. You said Doug, Beall, and the victim/survivor’s parents met and discussed the problem. I am sure that the victim/survivor would have been aware of the meeting and therefore knew that Doug’s wife was aware. I can not imagine how much more confused this poor young woman felt, when Doug continued to pursue her after his wife found out. Could Doug have used this scenario to further control the relationship? She could have easily been led to believe by Doug that Beall was accepting the situation, because she didn’t take the children and leave. I understand Doug was a smooth salesman and could manipulate others easily. Ann

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  86. Dear NP, thanks for clarifying where you were coming from when you put that question about Beall. Now you’ve explained I totally understand. Totally.

    Believe me, I was not personally hurt by your comment, and I am fine with you — no hard feelings here. I hope you DO continue to comment here, your comments are valuable, and I’ve appreciated them.

    I can get on my high horse a bit defending women who are being mistreated in their marriages (and women and children who have been sexually abused). I go into Full On Advocacy Mode and maybe I came over too strong for you. Sorry.
    Please don’t block yourself from making any more comments here.

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  87. Ann Said, “JA, According to you timeline, Beall was made aware of the situation no later than 2009. You said Doug, Beall, and the victim/survivor’s parents met and discussed the problem. I am sure that the victim/survivor would have been aware of the meeting and therefore knew that Doug’s wife was aware.”

    The young woman’s mother was also aware in 2010 that her daughter was kissing Doug Phillips and the young woman made Beall aware of this.

    What I don’t understand is why the relationship continued after the above mentioned revelations.

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  88. Thank you for your great articles on this subject. I have so much respect for the victim. I can not imagine the strength it must have taken for her to continue to tell her truth until finally it was believed and action taken against DP. It was not your fault, not even a little bit. The man is a scam. He used his natural gifts of leadership in a most unnatural way, not only against this young woman but thousands more with his lies. I am grateful that my home state of Texas makes this sort of abuse against the law and my hope is that he gets to experience some Texas justice.

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  89. HUG wrote:
    “2) Thousands of dollars? All I can say is “Nice Racket”. Tip: If someone insists that you use their Official Materials (especially if they’re way overpriced compared to similar generic items), assume it’s a scam until proven otherwise. And the burden of proof is on THEM.”

    This is great advice, not just about homeschooling materials, but for everything. Watch out for big purchases, but also small purchases that are repeated. Make sure you really know what you’re getting into before you sign up for any kind of recurring payment plan.

    Be especially wary of anyone selling books/videos/courses/conferences/training/etc. Information marketing is a *huge* business, even though most of the information being sold is available for free (or very little). Authors will sell a “program” for hundreds or even thousands of dollars that contains the exact same information as a book that you can get for $5 used or borrow from the library for free. In this day and age, there’s no excuse not to check something out before buying. If someone really does have “secret” information, they should probably just keep it to themselves anyway.

    Having said all that, there are many legitimate and helpful products out there. And going to conferences can be a beneficial experience because of the connections you can make with other people.

    Thankfully, being cheap comes naturally to us, so we never really bought much VF stuff, but I can easily see how people got drawn in.

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  90. Does anyone else wonder if the “grappling hook, climbing claws, and boot spikes” sold by Vision Forum were used to gain access to the window? I mean, isn’t accessing the castle balcony of locked up fair maidens the primary, historical use of grappling hooks?

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  91. I just listened to this sermon audio. I think it was about 23 minutes. The interview was with Jamie Dean, the author of the recent World Magazine article. I didn’t hear any new information. Interviewer, Pastor Kevin Boling, seemed to minimize the “patriarchal” issue as one of the issues of the Phillips story.

    I’m afraid he missed the boat. The whole Patriarchal system helped this sexual infidelity to continue for so long. Think about it – -it was a system in which Beall couldn’t question authority. Doug, as patriarch, would not be questioned because of his position. Church leaders would always believe a patriarch over a woman. Women, who because of the fall, are said to want to rule over men. Women are viewed as suspect. The Victim didn’t have a chance, either. Who would believe that Doug – the guy who taught about godly fatherhood – would do such a thing? I’m sure it took a long time for people to finally get it. In my opinion, patriarchy is the key culprit that allowed this to remain hidden for so long.

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  92. So glad to hear Victim is employed, living in her own apartment and remains close to her parents. I don’t want to minimize the effect DP’s abuse has had on her life and will no doubt continue to have. However, it does seem like Victim is getting a chance to have a normal life now unlike so many SAHDs in this movement.

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  93. Just a note: SAHD = Stay-at-Home Daughters is a common phrase in the Homeschool Movement for adult daughters who “choose” (it’s debatable whether it is fully their choice or not) to not go to college, but remain under their father’s “protection” until he chooses a spouse for them to marry (*if* he chooses a spouse for them that he approves of or allows her to get married). We’ve seen some daughters of notable Homeschool Movement leaders remain unmarried in their late 20s and even early 30s.

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  94. devaneyjoy , you speak of “restoration in Christ.” Can you give some pointers on that topic, because I, a long-time Christian, need some.

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  95. Lydia (24th.5:03pm). Good solid thoughts. I’ve been slowly coming to the conclusion that the people who Lily asks about, are my enemies. That word is sometimes directed at me from angry legalists but I think they might have a point. What do you think of that?

    I certainly don’t mean “enemy” in a “go postal” way, but since I’ve been entertaining the idea, I’ve been feeling relief. I don’t have to try to make these people fit near me anymore. I’m called to love my enemies, but it’s a much different love than I have for my brothers/sisters in Christ. I know where to put enemies in my head and how to handle them online and in my life. It feels cleaner.

    I brought this up to my friends and they look at me like I’ve gone around the bend. But I’m beginning to think that they are exhibiting part of our cultural problem. We tend to want to schmooze the negative away. Now, my friends are of the liberal bent and that is a major weakness of that side, but when so many people, not just liberals, refuse to recognize that there are enemies among them, it promotes a kind of passivity that allows destruction to continue while they try to arrange themselves around it instead of standing against it.

    Anyway, I welcome your (and anyone else’s) opinion.

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  96. @Retha

    There is such power in the blood of Jesus and word of God! We have access to so much healing and wholeness, but we (the church as a whole) don’t know the word well enough and belittle the blood. I received prayer counseling, and instead of getting the worldly wisdom from even a christian counselor, we received from the Holy Spirit clear, personal, distinct direction in how the enemy was coming against me and using injustices from my past to build strongholds against me. I was able to clearly see, for the first time, how the enemy was and had been working against me for years. I was able to clearly repent of my sins and rebuke the demonic’s work over me. That is what I have been doing once more, in the last couple of days, concerning all of this. I see now how my weak places made me more vulnerable, I take responsibility for it, but I will not beat myself up for having been duped/gullible. We have a very active, persistent enemy who’s only mission is to steal, kill and destroy, and as he has gone after me….so has he gone after them. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but the principalities of darkness. This darkness has worked with and against the pride and fears of these same people we are so fed up and angry with today.

    Retha, learn your position and power in Christ Jesus. The Greek word for “save”, used multiple times in the NT, is “sozo”. It does not just include eternal salvation, but healing, restoring, wholeness and protection while we are still here, part of this broken world. Call out to Him and His promise to sozo save you. Pray with trusted, godly women and men and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you personally and intimately reveal to you and them where the enemy has done his own work against you. Repent of any sins God reveals. Rebuke the work of the enemy against you. Receive forgiveness and replace all that wrong thinking with truth. Or as the scripture says, once you clean out the garbage, you may have more demons move in than was there before.

    I am praying for you today!

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  97. devaneyjoy, much as I respect your story and the clarity with which you are going forward in your life, I am going to firmly disagree with this: “Or as the scripture says, once you clean out the garbage, you may have more demons move in than was there before.”

    I don’t believe that for a minute and have not experienced such, ever. Those who are God’s do not find demons rushing in. The Holy Spirit resides in them, the place of the spirit is filled, so it would be impossible.

    I do know that after a Christian has discovered a new life-altering revelation, she will often find that there is a lot to re-order and revise, much more than she thought because she didn’t know how deeply and broadly the old lies affected her. The Holy Spirit accompanies her on that process and she is completely safe with Him/Her.

    I also know that the old lies can re-emerge after they’ve been gone a long time, usually because something in current life reminds one of when they first developed. This can cause old habits to re-ignite and on top of whatever is going on in one’s current life, it can feel like regression. But one simply needs to back off a bit and do another review with the Spirit. Having severe PTSD, I need to keep on this in a regular fashion, and also be very very patient with myself (arg).

    There is no need to fear that real demons might come galloping in and take over. God loves us and is very powerful.

    Here’s what I quoted to Andrew on another thread, that wonderful verse of comfort and triumph: “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

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  98. “Lydia (24th.5:03pm). Good solid thoughts. I’ve been slowly coming to the conclusion that the people who Lily asks about, are my enemies. That word is sometimes directed at me from angry legalists but I think they might have a point. What do you think of that? ”

    Oh my! You have opened the can of worms and I admire you for it. Few are willing to go here and they should for their own sake.

    “I certainly don’t mean “enemy” in a “go postal” way, but since I’ve been entertaining the idea, I’ve been feeling relief. I don’t have to try to make these people fit near me anymore. I’m called to love my enemies, but it’s a much different love than I have for my brothers/sisters in Christ. I know where to put enemies in my head and how to handle them online and in my life. It feels cleaner

    This is exactly it. And while I abhor “Christianese” in these convo’s there is scriptural support for what you are describing above. As in we are not to judge the world but we are to judge the body and so on. Lots of pastors out there selling the sanctification verses as both sanc/justification. It moral chaos.

    I think it is also good to make distinctions between what is jsut plain old deceiving, making bank off Jesus, trying to control people, etc and what is criminal and heinous. The latter,? call the authorities quick. The former, we MUST have serious boundaries. And that can mean lonliness in many cases because this stuff is rampent. And long time friends will choose their favorite guru over you even though they know you better!. It is mind numbing. Must of what passes for Christianity is upside down.

    You know, I think Protestantism is awash with this idea of a cheap grace which plays out with both seeker and those who subcribe to worm theology. That is: “Chrisitans” are people who sin all the time. They can live deceptive lives, take advantage of people and all sorts of despicable unethical things and we are to STILL call them siblings. I don’t buy it for one minute. Especially since many in this category are in ministry making a living off the Name of Jesus. This thinking is moral chaos. It is ceeding the point that we should not trust long time Christians at all. Is that really the way it is? I think not.

    It is above my pay grade to pronounce anyone as not being a real Christian. It is NOT above my paygrade to think their fruit is rotten. To avoid them as much as possible and warn others of my concerns. That is healthy.

    “But I’m beginning to think that they are exhibiting part of our cultural problem. We tend to want to schmooze the negative away. Now, my friends are of the liberal bent and that is a major weakness of that side, but when so many people, not just liberals, refuse to recognize that there are enemies among them, it promotes a kind of passivity that allows destruction to continue while they try to arrange themselves around it instead of standing against it.”

    Oh, it is a “conservative” problem too. I used to be in corporate training and we had a saying when we were doing things like environmental scans in organizations. We would warn people: Silence means consent. They have no idea how true that is and how that plays out in any organization whether church or work. And I am speaking to the passivity you mention above. So much of spiritual abuse coudl be prevented if people were not so passive and would speak up early on when they encounter red flaps. Many reasons they don’t but those are the things they should be asking of themselves. Like I did.

    But there is so much cult of personailty now, I am not sure we have not turned a corner. People will overlook a lot if their personality cult is a good speaker or makes them feel good or whatever it is that attracted them to it in the first place. It is the “inner ring” problem Lewis wrote about.

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  99. Patrice, one last thing. Could it be that many Chrisitans have not been taught that love and justice go together? We hear from many pastors about not getting justice here and waiting for eternal life,etc. But that is not what Jesus Christ was teaching at all. It misses the whole point of living the kingdom now. Of being a light to the world, etc. Maybe the idea that sin is so normal in a Christians life that we have lost the concept of basic justice and we actually expect Christians to be selfish, greedy, entitlted, taking advantage of people, deceptive and so on? We want to give them a pass because they claim to be followers of Christ? I just don’t buy it anymore. I mean how are we to recognize them from the world? A plastic fish on the bumper? A title? A ministry?

    At the very least shouldn’t believers in ministry be people of intergrity, character, honesty, etc? We are the standards so low for Christians?

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  100. Lydia, thanks for responding. It’s left me a little befuddled not because of your comments but because they remind me that I need to do more thinking about what an enemy actually is. On the battlefield, it’s someone to kill but at home, it’s someone to love. I guess?!

    I also need to consider whether I could actually have an enemy who is a fellow Christian. I don’t think I could, thus apparently I do assess the salvation of an individual when I begin to think of them as an enemy. I need to think that over carefully, remembering that I am not God who knows the whole picture, but also believing my eyes that see people who consistently do awful things, and not only don’t repent but are sometimes proud of it.

    It seems that having an enemy is as serious a business as having a close friend.

    You wrote, “I think it is also good to make distinctions between what is jsut plain old deceiving, making bank off Jesus, trying to control people, etc and what is criminal and heinous. The latter,? call the authorities quick. The former, we MUST have serious boundaries.”

    That people often don’t call the authorities for the criminal/heinous is particularly appalling because that’s the easier part, really.

    I agree that boundaries are important throughout, but they are for protection of the individual. Does the concept have any transfer/application to social/communal responsibility? It seems we come up missing on the latter again and again. Maybe a reflection of our deep individualism, not sure.

    I’m going to be swamped by stuff in my actual life for a few days. I’d like to continue the discussion here/there across various threads if that’s ok with you and Julie Anne.

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  101. Patrice, Here is one for you and I am sure you can relate. What if you come to the realization from many years that close friend or even family member does not want best for you. In fact, they have used you for their own ends (in whatever way) and they are long time Christians. Of course in the psuedo Christian world we live in it is considered sin and gossip to even mention it. So it is all underground while a totally different facade is presented to the public. In fact, if ever mentioned at all then one is ostrasized made to feel less for even bringing it up?

    Are they enemies? Are they siblings in Christ? Are we enabling evil by being silent? (I am NOT including children in this. They are innocent. I am speaking solely of adult relationships)

    How could such a person be a sibling in Christ? Is not trust a crucial aspect of such a relationship? But are they an enemy?

    As I have had the occasion to think about this in real time, I do think we enable evil by staying silent even though we risk losing much. Christians do not harm others. Ever. Christians do not use people for their own agendas without having severe remose and making restitution. And before they are “caught”. Why can’t we be honest about this?

    There are many who think it “Christian” to cover over evil. To say nothing. To “move on” as they say. But I am here to tell everyone reading, you CANNOT move on until you have boundaries. And one way to have boundaries is to not keep negative truths a secret. It matters not who believes you because sunlight and time are great disinfectants. It is a hard life, though. But an honest one.

    Is it that we do not know what a Christian really looks like? But lets say said Christian thinks s/he is really doing the right thing for Jesus. Does that let them off the hook? I don’t think so and in fact, I find it quite scary when people think they are speaking/doing things “for” God, We are simply to do right. Can we really do anything “for” Jesus Christ to further His cause as they like to say. Wouldn’t furthering His cause mean we treat people with fairness, justice and dignity? We don’t have to break eggs to make omelettes in Christendom. What I mean by that is we do not have expendable people. Of course, people can volunteer as an egg to be broken. But that is their decision. We don’t offer them up. We don’t use them for our own agenda to build great churches or win a seat on the elders board.

    Over the years I have adopted “Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves” as my guide.

    Am I am convinced that most of what passes for Christiendom is totally corrupt. Making merchandise of people. And the corruption can only exist with willing followers who think it is sin to question leaders. Thankfully more and more are waking up and gertting out.

    Yes, I think they are enemies. As to “love”….I would think it is more of a pitying love because they are getting their “reward”here and now. Not a good thing.

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  102. “Lydia, thanks for responding. It’s left me a little befuddled not because of your comments but because they remind me that I need to do more thinking about what an enemy actually is. On the battlefield, it’s someone to kill but at home, it’s someone to love. I guess?!”

    Another thought: How do you love a professing Christian who does not question their Christianity into living as a Christian. Wouldn’t they have to come to some realization they aren’t the real thing?

    This is the message so many pastors give abused women. That they are to love and submit to them and they will change. We all know it is hogwash and actually makes that sort of person even worse and lives become in danger. So WEtell them to get away fast. Jesus Christ was their sacrfice too. If they want to spit on Christ there is not much we can do about it. We are not responsible to change other adults.

    Taht does not mean you hate the spouse but the spouse is your enemy not because you say so but because of how they behaved toward you. They decided to become the enemy. It is wise to get away from such people.

    The reason why this thinking works is because most of Protestantism has been drilled with some variation of worm theology/cheap grace. So our expectations for living as the kingdom now are nil. We are all sinners, sinning all the time so what should we expect? Being sinned against. How can you hold perpetual depraved sinners to account after they are saved? They cannot help it. None of us know the depths of our total depravity. It is only God’s grace we are not murdering each other constantly.

    It is a lie from the pit of hell and takes away our responsibility to ourselves, God and one another.

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  103. @Patrice

    I was referencing Matthew 12:43-45 where the unclean spirit leaves (at conversion) only to come back with 7 “more wicked than itself” and finding the house (heart/mind) “unoccupied, swept and put in order” go and live there, making the man worse than before. I was not speaking of demonic possession, but influence of the demonic world (Satan and his cohorts) on the heart and mind of one either passive in their walk with Christ or deceived by the father of lies or any other number of situations. We can make a lot of attempts in our own efforts to “sweep clean” our soul (mind/will/emotions) but without active, attentiveness to setting our heart to seek God, abiding with Jesus and being alert to the cautions/revelations of the Holy Spirit, we can be deceived and led astray all the more than before, thinking we are okay because we’ve outwardly (through our own efforts) “cleaned” ourselves up or dealt with our “issues”. Anyway, I apologize if I was confusing. We may disagree on this as well. But It is clear to me in scripture (from the convo between God and Satan in Job and other places) that we are in a spiritual battle. It is the Lord’s, but we must call on Him and not think that anything that we can do of our own efforts will be a match for the cunning of the enemy. But we also must remember where we are placed (in Christ; Eph 1:20-23 & 2:1-9) and where the enemy is (far below His feet) so we come from a place of victory–not towards it!

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  104. Note: Per Source, I removed reference to “shotgun” and replaced with “gun” because there was not 100% clarity on that issue. The point is there was pursuit with a lethal weapon.

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