Church Governance or Policy Issues, Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Homeschool Movement, Lourdes Torres vs Doug Phillips lawsuit, Vision Forum

Fallen Patriarchy Leader Doug Phillips Leaves Former Church and Becomes Member of New Church without “Letter of Transfer”

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Vision Forum’s fallen patriarchal leader, Doug Phillips, has become a member of another church without obtaining the required “letter of transfer” from the church he established and formerly led, Boerne Christian Assembly

I’ve been hearing about this news for quite some time, but now it is official. Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA), the family-integrated church which Doug Phillips founded, has issued a formal statement on their website regarding Doug Phillips:

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 7.13.54 AM

 

 

Also of interest, Bob Sarratt, who was previously listed as elder along with Doug Phillips when I took this screen shot November 2, 2013, is no longer listed on the church website. Word on the block is that Bob Sarratt stepped down after the Phillips fiasco and who can blame him?

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 9.23.57 PM

 

This is a current screenshot showing Jeff Horn and David Fry as elders:

Boerne Christian Assembly, Doug Phillips, Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 7.16.26 AM

 

 

Also of interest is an article posted about Biblical repentance based on a recent sermon. I think the timing of the article is relevant in light of Doug Phillips changing church memberships without receiving a “letter of transfer” from BCA. Here’s why:

Boerne Christian Assembly is showing the world what they view as Biblical repentance and what they expect from Phillips. Previously, Phillips issued a statement, and then a clarifying statement. Both statements did not pass the test of voluntary confession with remorse. The following is from BCA’s article about Biblical repentance:

Here is the sorrow of hypocrites:

  1. Their sorrow lies in their faces. Jesus said ‘they disfigure their faces’ (Mt. 6). They make a sour face, even express great emotion, but their sorrow is counterfeit.
  2. Hypocrites make no restitution, thus expressing disdain for the law of God (Nu. 5:7). Hypocrites state why restitution can’t be made, or make false restitutions that cost them nothing. Augustine said, “Without restitution, no remission.”
  3. Hypocrites generalize sin and make the least of it. While the repentant detail their sin, hypocrites sanitize their sin.
  4. Hypocrites blame others. Saul said, ‘I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord: because I feared the people‘ (I Sam 15). Saul lays his sin upon the people. It was a defense of himself, not a self-indictment. Adam did the same, blaming both Eve AND God. Blame-shifting is a sure fire way to identify a fake penitent.

 

We’ve spoken about church memberships before and I’m not too keen on them. But Phillips, having founded BCA, surely knows BCA’s established guidelines on church membership. BCA makes this very clear in their public statement about Phillips:

Recently, contrary to the position established many years ago at Boerne Christian Assembly under his Eldership and which he reaffirmed on multiple occasions . .

The point being, BCA leadership is claiming that Phillips elected to violate the guidelines he himself established when he left Boerne Christian Assembly to become members at a new church.

The Biblical repentance article is also notable because it is the first time anything has been posted since February of 2008. That’s over six years!

 

I think it’s pretty safe to say that with both the recent public statement and repentance article, Boerne Christian Assembly leaders are demonstrating to us that Doug Phillips has not shown himself to be Biblically repentant.

 

By the way, I really like the article on Biblical repentance and this is the kind of standard that should be held for all abusers. It really is good and I encourage you to read it. Here are a couple of excerpts:

Did you know that not all sorrow is repentance? That someone can pretend to have sorrow, yet not be repentant at all? But more than that did you know that godly sorrow brings joy? Have you ever repented and felt the joy that comes? Godly sorrow, not only leads to salvation, but also brings rejoicing. This is one acid test of Biblical repentance. If there is no joy, on one level or another, to the person, and no happiness to the ones offended, you can be sure that there is no repentance.

 

And this is also good:

 

The nature of Biblical repentance is this: it is a grace of God’s Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed. Therefore, many people can witness this transformation. Words out of the mouth and expressions of emotion can NEVER ALONE speak to Biblical Repentance.

 

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134 thoughts on “Fallen Patriarchy Leader Doug Phillips Leaves Former Church and Becomes Member of New Church without “Letter of Transfer””

  1. Refugee – – I remember that day I told my husband I was D.O.N.E. with BGBC. Now, we did eventually leave together because the you-know-what hit the fan when our friend was fired right around the same time, but I was prepared to make the step and go our separate church ways. It is very difficult, but yet so freeing as well. I suspect your other half will eventually give up and want to be with you.

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  2. “Because there is no salvation except inside an institutional church, be it Roman Catholic or Protestant, and isn’t that the real definition of controlling. Pastors, ministers, not only make their living off of the institutional church, they believe they have been given authority directly from God. Is that not a definition of controlling. You can educate the pewsitters all you want, but they have no authority, and they aren’t going to walk away. This is 180 degrees backwards from the first century assemblies, where they gathered for teaching ( not one man preaching), breaking of bread and fellowship. Am I the only one who longs to return to what Jesus started? Salvation is of the Jews, but modern Christianity is European, based on power and control.”

    Carmen, Good points! I would argue that control was formalized with Constantine and spread West.

    The question is why pew sitters in a free country do not ask more questions and demand more transparency concerning money, etc. It has actually gotten worse the more prosperous America had become and the more Christianity became a popular market niche. As if we beleivers agreed to checked our brains at the door. I think it coincides with the rise of Oligarchy/collectivism in our government. I am hearing more and more pastors refer to our government leaders as “those in authority over us”. They really think 1st Century scripture referring to Nero or Claudius refers to our composite elected “representative” nation of “laws” to obey not mere men to obey.. Bizarre.

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  3. “Ed……We’ll have to agree to disagree on church discipline. It’s supposed to be used as a way of restoring the sinner. It’s not to be abused for minor supposed infractions, many which are unbiblical. The only positive examples I can give are extreme which is what I believe that church discipline should be used for. ”

    Jonathan, I have come to the conclusion that church discipline (which is more 1 Corin 5 and not Matt 18) cannot work in an “institutional” environment. It becomes a power play. The Body of Christ was never meant to be institutionalized with a hierarchy who made all the decisions for the pew sitter who pays for it. There were not even supposed to be pews facing a “stage” where ONE guy taught others week after week, year after year. How stifling! No wonder believers in America are feasting on milk.

    But how else can it be done when 600 people are in the church? And no way can it be done at a mega church. Paul wrote 1 Corin 5 to the entire Body to deal with. Not just to elders, etc.

    That is why so much of the application of such things do not map to what the Body of Christ has become: Institutionalized. And I understand that most things become institutionalized over time. It is natural. But not so with us as believers. We ARE belivers no matter where we are. Our fellowship within the Body is one very small part of our walk with Christ. But the institution has taken over the function of the Holy Spirit and we are mostly dead.

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  4. Lydia…….Are we talking about church government or church discipline? 🙂 I don’t find anything either what says the congregation is supposed to submit to a hierarchical form of government. I use to but found the application lacking in any strength. If these men wanted to protect the church then they should do so but they didn’t and my feet spoke for me.

    What I practice now is a loose confederation of like mind. The denomination has no strength other than to encourage each other and provide a common confession. If the denomination falls into heresy then we, the church, the local church, have a duty to correct the error or leave the denomination if it wont take correction.

    The biggest thing I see lacking in most reformed churches is the application of the first and second table of the law. They do not understand how it works and instead focus on the third use of the law.

    I don’t think a larger church is any different than a smaller one. If the congregation would love their neighbors as themselves then I don’t think you would see the wacky legalistic stuff that’s so prevalent among some of the reformed or roman catholic churches.

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  5. Jonathan – You are wrong about that. Sproul Jr., was defrocked and never went to CREC. McDonald and the others were stripped of their credentials and never went to CREC. Check it out. McDonald and the rest started that CPC denomination that is not recognized by the other Presbyterian churches. I was told this first hand from the RPCGA. You are right about church discipline though. Sproul, Jr went back into his father’s arms for a period, but is now again “pastoring” in the CPC denominations. I have heard some pretty abusive stories about this denomination and have experienced my own spiritual abuse (as well as other abuse) at the hands of one of these “c”hurches in particular.

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  6. Does Patriarchy ever work? I mean, if the husband is well-balanced and truly loving and respectful of his wife? Or is that really not patriarchy. I am being told that if my husband cleans up his act (for want of a better phrase) our problems will be resolved. All he has to do is… um… I’m not sure. Take charge? Be the leader? Not let the feminine part of the family run roughshod over him?

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  7. (p.s. I’m not buying it. I’m just curious if the people who are telling me this are really making it work, or living behind a facade.)

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  8. I love your questions, Refugee.

    All I know is that the friends that I know who say they are complementarian sure look like there is mutual submission going on. They both esteem the other higher than themselves and make sacrificial choices for the other. There is no one lording over anyone. I suppose the only real look of Patriarchy would be taking care of his family by working to provide home/food, etc.

    I hope that makes sense.

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  9. “Lydia…….Are we talking about church government or church discipline? :-)”

    Jonathan, we are from different worlds. I do not recognize either of those concepts for the Body of Christ. Both are concepts made up by humans over the centuries to organize and control people. In 1 Corin 5 the situation was so flagrant and obvious, Paul was like: What are you people thinking?

    “The biggest thing I see lacking in most reformed churches is the application of the first and second table of the law. They do not understand how it works and instead focus on the third use of the law. ”

    Oh dear. More man made concepts from systematic theology. It can be so confusing and deflecting from the important things that we are to “be” as believers out in the world.

    “I don’t think a larger church is any different than a smaller one. If the congregation would love their neighbors as themselves then I don’t think you would see the wacky legalistic stuff that’s so prevalent among some of the reformed or roman catholic churches.”

    Small churches can become cult of personality very quickly. With that I can agree.

    But large churches such as mega churches are quite different. They eventually operate on what is called a “closed system”. They have to in order to grow and maintain. And it takes TONS of money for mega churches just to maintain. The electric bill at the last mega I was in was about $28,0000 per month. Just for that ONE overhead cost. They always have to be bringing in nickes and noses so everything they do is about maintaining while growing. It is a constant balancing act because as many leaving as are coming in.

    . In fact, the system will generally become the problem as in those who go to work in the system either operate within that systems parameters (unwritten rules) or they won’t last. And many don’t. The ones who last are almost always corrupted by the system in some fashion. In fact, the system becomes more about image and brand than the actual people who come to see the show each week. It is a business. Not a Body of Christ. People do like to fool themselves about it.

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  10. Here is a tip: Never ever join a church that will not show you a detailed budget. Ever. And don’t be shy. Ask.

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  11. “It is a business. Not the Body of Christ. People do like to fool themselves about it.”

    A professor at a seminary:
    “The Church started out as a fellowship in Palestine. It moved to Greece as a philosophy. It migrated to Italy as an institution. Lastly, it went to Europe ( and the west) as an enterprise..”

    When spoken to his class, one student asked, “But isn’t the Church a body?”

    He affirmed that was true.

    The student then asked, “If a body becomes a business, isn’t that prostitution?”

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  12. “The student then asked, “If a body becomes a business, isn’t that prostitution?”

    Wow. Oh wow.

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  13. This is from a wiki on Sproul Jr.

    “The Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC) examined the case and accepted Sproul as an ordained minister in good standing in 2006. In 2010 Sproul transferred his ordination to the denomination Covenant Presbyterian Church (CPC) and is an elder in Heritage Presbyterian Church of Centerville, Tennessee.”

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  14. Lydia
    ” Both are concepts made up by humans over the centuries to organize and control people. In 1 Corin 5 the situation was so flagrant and obvious, Paul was like: What are you people thinking?

    Seems to me like 1 Cor:5 spells out exactly what the purpose of church discipline is. namely…”to destroy his sinful flesh in order to save his spirit on the Day of the Lord.”

    “Oh dear. More man made concepts from systematic theology. It can be so confusing and deflecting from the important things that we are to “be” as believers out in the world.”

    The first and second table of the law summarize what believers are to be. It’s a Lutheran concept, one not typically found in reformed churches. It simply summarizes what one finds in the 10 commandments and repeated by Christ in the new testament.

    first table……Mark 12:30
    Second table…..Mark 12:31

    I’ve no experience of mega churches so I’ll leave it to your expertise. I’ve always been turned off by them and prefer something a lot smaller and more confessional.

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  15. Where can I find out more about the Gospel Coalition, Mark Dever, 9Marks, and Acts29 Network, please (all listed as links on various church pages)? I don’t want something that can be dismissed as malicious gossip in a discussion of prospective churches. I’ve already read quite a bit about Mars Hill, and know to avoid that church.

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  16. Refugee, I personally would stay clear from any churches that endorsed those groups. The common denominator is a heavy authority structure with church membership agreements. Also, they all have a big emphasis on men ruling over women.

    When I see females mentioned in the New Testament who were busy with Jesus and the disciples, I don’t read of this kind of squelching of women in ministry work.

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  17. Jonathan,

    You had said:
    “Ed……We’ll have to agree to disagree on church discipline. It’s supposed to be used as a way of restoring the sinner. It’s not to be abused for minor supposed infractions, many which are unbiblical. The only positive examples I can give are extreme which is what I believe that church discipline should be used for. ”

    Well, you are right. We agree to disagree. I do not see in any scripture that we are to use discipline as a form to restore a sinner. None whatsoever.

    If that is how you restore a sinner, then please show me a chapter that discusses how to restore a sinner by using discipline.

    Galatians 6:1
    Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

    Discipline, huh? Yep…we disagree. The word is discipleship, not discipline.

    Which reminds me of a Catholic joke…the word was CELEBRATE, not celibate.

    Get rid of the discipline and start doing the job of discipleship. Jesus didn’t discipline any of his disciples.

    Ed

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  18. Jonathan said:
    “Seems to me like 1 Cor:5 spells out exactly what the purpose of church discipline is. namely…”to destroy his sinful flesh in order to save his spirit on the Day of the Lord.””

    My response:
    Seems to me like 1 Cor 5 spells out how to kick out a non-Christian from a church, having nothing to do with present day un-biblical practice of disciplining Christians.

    1 Cor 5 shows that this person is NOT A CHRISTIAN to begin with. He is not a Christian struggling with sin. He is wicked, not a Christian at all, needing purged, not a Christian needing to be restored.

    I hate that people use Matthew 18 and 1 Cor 5/6 as a justification for disciplining a Christian, leaving out the part of discipleship. Makes me sick to my stomach.

    Ed

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  19. Jonathan,

    John 6:66
    66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

    What discipline did they receive from Jesus for disagreeing with THE Teacher, the main man in charge of all Christians?

    Peter lied about Jesus, three times, before the cock crowed. What discipline did Peter receive?

    Jesus never disciplined the disciples, even when they left him voluntarily. He did not seek them out to see what synagogue they went to so that he could write a letter to the rabbi, etc. He left them alone. Jesus said to let the blind lead the blind…in other words, leave them alone.

    This all reminds me of that nut case arrested recently who killed 6 of his family members because his ex-wife left him. Retaliation. Equate that with, “How dare you question me, how dare you leave my church…I’ll get back at you with church discipline, I will force you to bow down to church authority, and I will write a letter to your next church warning them that you are under my authority…”

    Sounds pretty immature to me, especially when those attributes were never a part of Jesus with his disciples that left him, or lied about him, etc.

    Ed

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  20. Jonathan,

    Now that it is agreed that we agree to disagree, now you can show me an example of Jesus disciplining his disciples, right? Just point me to the book, chapter and verse, and I will check it out.

    Ed

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  21. I already posted what I had to say and I don’t feel like getting into a pissing contest with you about something you have a problem with. Like I said I already laid out my argument for church discipline as it should be used. There are plenty of examples of how it should be used in scripture. If you don’t like what the bible has to say about it take it up with God. This will be my last response to the subject and to you.

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  22. Jonathan, you did not prove your case.  If you have a smoking gun, I would think that you would be eager to show it.  There is no such thing as church discipline.  It’s a man made up doctrine.  You can’t even find one example of Jesus disciplining his disciples, or a lying apostle.

    In 1 Cor 5 we see a non-Christian being kicked out of the church, not a Christian needing discipline.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  23. In my experience, “Agree to Disagree” really means “You’re Right But I Am NEVER Going to Admit It.”

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  24. Refugee, I personally would stay clear from any churches that endorsed those groups. The common denominator is a heavy authority structure with church membership agreements. Also, they all have a big emphasis on men ruling over women.

    AKA Control Freaks with a side dish of Male Supremacy.

    Like

  25. The first thing that came to mind was a song from way back when; Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. I don’t know how old you are or if I am just showing mine, but the words somehow made sense for a moment. The bottom line to the song is “Just set yourself FREE”.

    “You just slip out the back, Jack
    Make a new plan, Stan
    You don’t need to be coy, Roy
    Just get yourself free

    “Hop on the bus, Gus
    You don’t need to discuss much
    Just drop off the key, Lee
    And get yourself free”

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  26. @Lydia:

    I absolutely avoid people who do not become get angry over abuse. they scare me. Being angry is not a sin. What one DOES with the anger can become sin. As believers we should LOVE justice. And abuse is injustice. There can be no real love without justice, fairness in the relationship.

    Unfortunately, these days, most Christians think they will see Justice in heaven and so don’t worry about it now.

    “In the Sweet Bye and Bye,
    You’ll get Pie in the Sky when you Die…”
    — old Wobbly march song, “The Preacher and the Slave”

    Like

  27. HUG,
    “Agree to disagree” does not always mean that “You are right but I am never going to admit it” whatsoever.

    I take an elderly woman to church, dr appts, grocery store and such. She protests, quite loudly and several times during each visit, that her Dr. and daughter hate her because they took her car keys from her. In her mind there is no reason for this and claims she has never had an accident. The facts are: she has dementia and her ability to drive was tested, she was told not to drive because she failed that test and because of medications that she needs to take. She also refuses to switch from whole milk and fatty foods due to a cholesterol problem because she “needs her cholesterol”. I cannot in earnest agree with her. That being said my response is ” We will have to agree to disagree.” It has nothing to do with her being right in anyway. It has to do with attempting to keep the situation loving and from getting out of hand. She can throw a tantrum better than any 2 year old I have ever seen.

    When I use that phraseology, it’s because I choose not to argue the point, because you are never going to see the big picture anyways.

    But, I suppose everyone is different.

    Like

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