Beall Phillips, Wife of Fallen Homeschool Leader and Vision Forum Founder Doug Phillips, Publicly Responds to Excommunication by Former Church

Beall Phillips, wife of fallen homeschool leader Doug Phillips (Vision Forum Founder), publicly responds to excommunication by former church, Boerne Christian Assembly

beall

 

Only hours after the public notice given by Doug Phillips’ former church elders regarding his excommunication (see article, Boerne Christian Assembly Excommunicates Patriarchy and Homeschool Leader Doug Phillips), Beall Phillips, the wife of Doug Phillips, has responded to the excommunication publicly on her Facebook page.  This is not the first time she has publicly spoken. A couple of months ago, she publicly responded to a statement made by HSLDA’s Michael Farris.

Here is Mrs. Phillips’ public Facebook statement:

My Personal Response to BCA

Excommunication is without a doubt the most serious sentence pronounced when a church with jurisdiction over one of its own members, after patiently and carefully following biblical process, determines that the professing Christian who is under their jurisdiction refuses to turn from clear, gross sin. But when excommunication is used as a tool for retribution, for publicity, to influence a lawsuit, or to retroactively punish someone who is not even a member of that church, it is not only an aberration from the intended Biblical purpose, but also reflects the authoritarianism that has always held a presence in a dark corner of Christianity.

Today, Boerne Christian Assembly, a church with no jurisdiction over any member of my family, and with about six remaining active member families which includes the three recently elected leaders, (some of whom are personally entangled in controversies and conflicts of interest related to a highly publicized lawsuit) has chosen to dismiss BCA’s historic principles of church government, ignore the Scriptures, and reject their duties to honor civil jurisdictions.

While my husband is not able to respond by direction of legal counsel, and I believe it is imprudent for me to speak to many of the substantive issues, I am prepared to give my full perspective when and if that becomes appropriate. My comments here will have to suffice for the present.

First, we are happy members in good standing of Hyde Park Baptist Church, a long established city church in Austin, Texas. Our experience at Hyde Park has been uplifting, redemptive, and a genuine blessing to Doug, to me, and to our children. Our pastor gave us the freedom to communicate that he “is supportive of [our] family and does not agree with the actions of these men.”

Today’s announcement comes after we had been threatened with ecclesiastical sanctions if we did not submit privileged information, documents, and legal strategies for their oversight. The new BCA government has been informed of the impropriety of this. It is a significant conflict for someone who has an adverse interest to use a threat of ecclesiastical sanction to gain information and control over someone else.

Late in November, 2013, two things happened: an internet driven campaign was coordinated with demand letters for twenty million dollars, making false charges against BCA, against the leadership of another church in the area, as well as my family and our business, and threatened litigation against all of those individuals. In December, 2013, the BCA leadership was notified in writing on our behalf that legal necessity would compel our family to change church membership. The leadership readily acknowledged the probable implosion of the church in the wake of a lawsuit in which every member of the church could be directly involved. By January, 2014, the church environment began to break apart from gossip, fear, family in-fighting, and accusations against each other. With the increasing chaos and growing conflict in the church, families began to leave. Our family asked for and was granted formal permission by the BCA church leadership to stop worshipping at BCA and to look for another church to join. That is what we did. We only attended BCA for worship about three times in 2014. After visiting a number of churches, we began worshipping at Hyde Park in March and finalized our membership in the first half of May, 2014.

After our departure from BCA and our change of membership, a significant division within the BCA leadership reached a climax, and, led by the provisional elder, resulted in the abrupt removal of the long time ordained elder. In June, we received a series of threatening letters informing us that a new government had been established at BCA and required that we leave our church and come back to them. They threatened sanctions if we did not. It was disturbing to find that the men who wrote the letters to us, representing themselves as duly elected ordained elders to us, to the community, the internet, and the media, actually were not. When this became public, they set aside many of the historical BCA election/ ordination procedures, oversaw their own election at the end of July, and assumed their present offices. Following this election, they began sending letters again. As the harassment continued, a formal offer was presented to them that disputes be resolved through an independent third party mediator like Peacemakers. That offer was rejected.

So, now we are long gone, most of the families have left the church, a new government has been installed, and a “star chamber proceeding” has convened and pronounced judgment. The idea that the leaders of one church can excommunicate a member of another orthodox church suggests a deeper problem. The disdain demonstrated for Hyde Park Baptist is a problem. The rejection of third party mediation speaks volumes. BCA’s statement has nothing to do with biblical love, with legitimate church authority, with truth, or with the Gospel. I believe it has everything to do with self interest, fear, and a mess of conflicts of interest, many related to a lawsuit.

As for my family: We are growing. We are happy. And we are pressing on, sinful Christians as we are, daily drawing on the mercy of God, trusting Him, and not intimidated by the action of today.


Voddie Baucham, who has had ties with Doug Phillips for years with ties to family-integrated church movement also posted about the excommunication on his Facebook page.  He responds a few times to readers’ comments.

Here’s one comment in which he defends his publication of BCA’s announcement:

 

voddie

 

There’s quite a bit of interesting dialogue from Reconstructionism to polygamy.

 

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58 comments on “Beall Phillips, Wife of Fallen Homeschool Leader and Vision Forum Founder Doug Phillips, Publicly Responds to Excommunication by Former Church

  1. Comments are indeed fascinating. According to a Reconstructionist, Phillips wasn’t guilty of adultery since the young woman he victimized wasn’t married. His own marital status is irrelevant. If only he had married her as a second wife, he would have avoided the sin of formication. Polygamy is Biblical so that would have been fine. Wow!

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  2. Doug Phillips is a mess, a complete and utter hypocrite, always has been. That being said, this whole situation makes it quite clear that the whole concept of the church having authority over the individual is in itself rather flawed. The church is not a law enforcement organization, policemen of the soul. Time for bully leaders to realize that. Time for believers to flee these churches and let them rot away from their own infection.

    Reformed theology is to local church government what Ebola is to human body.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I looked at the homepage of Hyde Park Baptist Church. It appears SBC related. They use the language “accept” Jesus, i.e. synergistic soteriology. Was BCA monergistic in soteriology?

    I also noted that this a a church with lots of ministries segregated by age and other demographics, such as professionals and so on. Is this not contrary to BCA’s philosophy?

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  4. I haven’t been watching this very closely, but didn’t BCA require permission to leave the church, that Phillips enforced on others and then ignored himself when he left? In which case Mrs. Phillips’ statement that BCA have no jurisdiction over them is pure chutzpah.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “Comments are indeed fascinating. According to a Reconstructionist, Phillips wasn’t guilty of adultery since the young woman he victimized wasn’t married. His own marital status is irrelevant. If only he had married her as a second wife, he would have avoided the sin of formication. Polygamy is Biblical so that would have been fine. Wow!”

    Whenever I have waded into that world online, I always feel like I have entered a Warren Jeffs compound. I am not kidding you. It makes me ill. From the winks at polygamy to wife discipline to kinism and worse. It is a creepy world.

    The only question I have about this post is why anyone would think Beall Phillips is allowed or even has practice thinking for herself? Why wouldn’t we think Doug has dictated what she writes?

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  6. Whoops, now I see that point was made in the next post down. I’m still… in awe of the gall in saying “Boerne Christian Assembly, a church with no jurisdiction over any member of my family.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So Doug Phillips, Esq is getting the same treatment he instituted and served out to others when he was running BCA. He can dish it out but he can’t take it, apparently.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Keith said:

    I also noted that this a a church with lots of ministries segregated by age and other demographics, such as professionals and so on. Is this not contrary to BCA’s philosophy?

    Keith, I covered info about Hyde Park comparing his old teachings in this post. https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2014/09/03/doug-phillips-update-and-beall-phillips-publicly-responds-to-michael-farriss-recent-statement/

    Here’s a gem of a comment. So evidently by his own words, he is being unbiblical by going to his new church AND becoming members.

    At a time when God is turning the hearts of many fathers to their children, and where biblical patterns of Hebrew discipleship are being rediscovered and implemented in the homes of many families who have embraced home education, a glaring dichotomy still exists in those churches which practice unbiblical family-segregating, and teen-culture driven philosophies of church life. (Source)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ok, I’m hearing from a very reliable source that Beall’s words above sure sound like Doug’s words. It must be very difficult for DP who was always in the spotlight to remain silent. If it is true that he is speaking through Beall, I’m very concerned about what that really looks like as far as headship is concerned. 🙂

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  10. My take here is that Mrs. Phillips needs to re-read the church covenant her husband wrote. Moreover, notwithstanding spousal privilege and the like,she needs to remember that when she writes things publicly, that is admissable evidence that can end up dragging her to the witness stand, especially when she hints at some fairly complex legal maneuvers in her note here.

    It strikes me that Mr. Phillips’ counsel might not be as good as Mrs. Manteufel’s in that regard if I understand things correctly. BTW, best wishes and prayers to the Manteufels, if they happen to be reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Having read a column or 200 by Doug Phillips, I would agree that “Beall’s” note sounds very masculine and much like the notes Doug used to send out. And I would agree that if this is correct, it raises some very big questions about their relationship.

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  12. To all: maybe Doug wrote it and hiding behind wife’s name. Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus make anyone member of a church. Scott: “religion is to the church what cancer is to the body”. Yes, we should all be exiting these dead, man-made churches (there is remnant). Lydia: the majority of churches are run like warren Jeffers unfortunately= the good oil’ boy network. Exit, exit, exit!

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  13. Many non-Catholic churches have copied Catholic concepts and practices. None of this is from the first century “assemblies” ( not churches) of the called out ones. Clergy and laity are Roman Catholic concepts.

    Matthew 23:8-11
    “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. (9) and do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. (10) and do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is Christ. (11) but the greatest among you shall be your servant.” ( NAS)

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  14. @CarmenS:

    Many non-Catholic churches have copied Catholic concepts and practices. None of this is from the first century “assemblies” ( not churches) of the called out ones. Clergy and laity are Roman Catholic concepts.

    As a Papist myself, I consider Clergy to be specialists within the Body. And once you get an “assembly” of over 150-200 people and/or/especially in multiple locations, some sort of specialization and hierarchy is inevitable.

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  15. @WOW:

    To all: maybe Doug wrote it and hiding behind wife’s name.

    From your and the others’ comments, this is probably the case. And would fit the control freak that Doug ESQUIRE has demonstrated himself to be.

    Like how Franklin Graham is suspected of writing all those Billy Graham Ministry’s Culture War pronouncements using his father’s name for Authority.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. @CookingWithDogs:

    So Doug Phillips, Esq is getting the same treatment he instituted and served out to others when he was running BCA. He can dish it out but he can’t take it, apparently.

    There are many examples from history where violent and overbearing dictators were physical cowards in person, the exact opposite of their official Maximum Leader public image.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. From Jen’s Gem’s blog:

    PS. I want to say a special word to Jennifer Grady. I don’t judge you. I’ve been in your shoes in so many ways. You have spunk and you’re gonna make it! I’ve heard that you have made some awesome changes in life lately! Great job! Always remember that God loves you just the way you are.

    Reading Jen’s Gems has me disgusted again. What in the world is this supposed to mean. I heard that these two don’t even know each other. I cannot believe that Jen has addressed Jennifer Grady like this and yet still leaves up the horrific blog post with allegations written by T. W. Eston (allegedly Peter Kershaw). Jennifer Grady has NOTHING to do with the downfall of Doug Phillips. She is a private citizen and not a public figure of interest. It’s never appropriate to air the dirty laundry of private citizens (whether proven or not) and frankly, it’s none of our business. Jen, if you are reading this, do the right and Christian thing and remove the post. Peter said he would explain everything about why he needed to post about her and it would all make sense. He never has and that is obviously because he doesn’t have anything or else he would have posted it. So please be a responsible blog owner and remove it.

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  18. Today, Boerne Christian Assembly, a church with no jurisdiction over any member of my family…

    …because you / Doug left without following the procedures Doug himself instituted. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

    …has chosen to dismiss BCA’s historic principles of church government

    See item #1 above.

    But when excommunication is used as a tool for retribution, for publicity, to influence a lawsuit, or to retroactively punish someone who is not even a member of that church, it is not only an aberration from the intended Biblical purpose, but also reflects the authoritarianism that has always held a presence in a dark corner of Christianity.

    This is technically correct, but it becomes simultaneously hilarious and mind-boggling when you think about who’s writing it…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. yes……what comes around, goes around. You will reap what you sew!

    I do agree……Beall’s former posts are brief and to the point. Doug’s are long and wordy. Have many connections to the “inner small circle” of DP and VF and I can almost guarantee you that this is Doug talking. The response of “responding privately, I will delete any comments” is alllllllll Doug! Doug is very controlling but Beall is NO dummy! She has been well groomed by Doug and is just as powerful/lethal that he is!

    I actually LOVE that Voddie is talking about it. It’s ABOUT TIME, people that have been associated with Doug are speaking out! They were quiet for all too long.

    From things I have seen/heard, looks like they are in a very program driven, MEGA SBC church………which is what he preached against for so many years. So ironic!
    Hyde park better watch out though…….he will take over!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud

  21. Beall Phillips (we think):

    ” …but also reflects the authoritarianism that has always held a presence in a dark corner of Christianity.”

    Of course, that’s just rich given who it came from.

    Reading between the lines, she makes it sound like they were advised by Doug’s lawyer that they had to leave BCA because potentially every member there could be subpoenaed by Lourdes’ lawyer during the discovery process. I wonder if it’s really true that Texas law required their departure and withdrawal of membership. There is also the implication that the current BCA leadership could be named in the lawsuit or at least called as witnesses, thus the references to “adverse interest” and the impropriety of them asking for certain information and/or materials.

    Beall keeps referring to “BCA leadership”. Just who that was before the big upheaval isn’t clear. I’ve read accounts that the only leadership there really was consisted of Doug Phillips and Bob Sarratt. Perhaps it was Sarratt who got the boot from his position by Jeff Horn and others who weren’t happy with the way Doug was allowed to disappear into the ether, leaving behind the whole mess at BCA without adequate explanation. For all the references to BCA’s “historical procedures”, they sure don’t seem to think Mr. Phillips followed them. Excommunication can be proper in cases when somebody left with allegations of serious sin still over his head, for a second church body that does not recognize the authority of the first one.

    As for the “internet driven campaign”…ah, those darn bloggers!

    “The disdain demonstrated for Hyde Park Baptist is a problem.” Given the disdain Doug Phillips once showed for all non-FIC churches, the irony is through the roof.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. “I cannot believe that Jen has addressed Jennifer Grady like this and yet still leaves up the horrific blog post with allegations written by T. W. Eston (allegedly Peter Kershaw). Jennifer Grady has NOTHING to do with the downfall of Doug Phillips. She is a private citizen and not a public figure of interest. It’s never appropriate to air the dirty laundry of private citizens (whether proven or not) and frankly, it’s none of our business. Jen, if you are reading this, do the right and Christian thing and remove the post.”

    Good point, JA. Jen set herself up as Jennifer Grady’s judge, and then extended “grace” to her with no thought to the gossip that remains posted on her blog. That’s an epic level of self-importance.

    This is a frequent occurrence with Jen, and I’m glad you’ve drawn attention to this issue. She has a large following of abused sheep, but an established pattern of irresponsibility that makes a mockery of their pain. Here’s an example where she even admitted to lying about Doug (in the comment section), but instead of removing the post with the lie, she simply removed her admission.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090215054757/http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/let-the-women-be-silent/

    On another occasion, she used her blog as passive-aggressive retribution against her own family members during her divorce after she was arrested for assaulting her son.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20100305075422/http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2009/04/29/229

    These are just small examples of her irresponsibility. The final straw for most of her original supporters was her ties to the Kinist community. Unfortunately, she continues to bury this fact with a good deal of success so she can continue to attack Doug. She truly has no shame.

    I have no doubt that Doug handled her poorly, but she is not in a position to be the voice for the truly innocent people he harmed. She is not on equal footing with them. To claim that her blog has been a warning against a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” is disingenuous, and her attacks on Doug’s character are profoundly hypocritical. Those of us who know the real reason behind her divorce from Mark know that she’s in no position to comment on Doug’s promiscuity, and certainly not that of Jennifer Grady.

    This is not meant as a defense of Doug, but a call to fairness and personal responsibility. Jen and Mark had a greater responsibility to their children than Doug ever did, and they will be held accountable for them. They placed them in that toxic environment, and even after they realized the problem, they still chose to focus their attention on coercing Doug’s repentance rather than repairing the damage to their family. Jen and Mark could have ended the humiliation for their kids many years ago, and possibly saved their marriage in the process, but in the end, they chose revenge over their family. There’s no way that was less damaging to their kids than what happened at BCA.

    Spiritual abuse is spiritual abuse and the Epsteins are huge offenders. They should be filled with shame for how they’ve conducted themselves and misled the flock, yet they continue to deflect blame and tout the sins of others, even in their lowest moments. Just like Doug did to them. Ironically, this confirms the arrogance, pride, and hardness of heart that BCA, Living Water, and Faith Presbyterian accused them of in the first place.

    So, yes, the Epsteins were right about Doug, but he was right about them too. Jen has never accepted responsibility for the role she played in all of this, and her family has paid the price. Doug isn’t the only one who’s reaping what’s been sewn.

    May we all exercise caution and prayer as we choose spiritual leaders for ourselves and the ones we love.

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  23. I don’t pretend to have any special knowledge. All I know, is the woman in this dynamic has levels of denial beyond anything we could imagine. Everything is at stake. The family, the past, the future, security; everything is in question. Her life, as she knew it, is over. Where does this woman go? She feels betrayed by everyone close to her. She may have unwittingly participated. She loved and supported her very flawed husband. Can we fault her for that? Would we, as women, do the same? I don’t know, you throw the first stone.

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  24. Julie Anne:
    (11/18 7:44) & Karen 11/21 and Julie Anne your response on Karen’s comments.

    Thank you for educating us and keeping readers and commenters alike informed.
    “Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards was an early read in dealing with revenge, why not to do and who we become in the process whew! Heard someone say: “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. Derek Prince biblical teaching on forgiveness was real slap upside the head. Creating list of report church abuse to leadership (addresses/phone) and letting the major men in Christendom/magazines/editors of newsrooms to deal with it. Very few men listen to women and so it’s best to write/call list and let them investigate and hold accountable (release it). Also, there is God’s justice and timing; worst is hard heart and no repentance and owning up to our part=apologizing and then God’s final judgment! Ask to see (beg) to see Heaven and or Hell and don’t quit until you see them both, no respecter of person(s).

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  25. The success of biblical patriarchy depends on the men in charge being holy and self-sacrificing people. Does anyone else see the problem with this assumption? If mankind is inherently evil, how can we hold these expectations to be true? As a woman, if you think your brother, husband, elder, father, pastor represents someone who can do no evil, like God, and you disagree with a decision, you must be wrong. No questions please.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Bike Bubba said: “It strikes me that Mr. Phillips’ counsel might not be as good as Mrs. Manteufel’s in that regard if I understand things correctly.”
    Well, there is always the likelihood that Mr Phillips’ counsel IS Mr Phillips. If so,that would seem to put this under the old aphorism that “a man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client”.
    I am not namecalling. Just have random thoughts passing through my head……..

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  27. Zooey111–I can’t argue with you on that one. I would have anticipated that either Phillips himself would have been smarter than that, or at least that his benefactor, James Leininger, would have laid down the law on him. But given the masculine, lawyerly tone of Beall, it appears that Mr. Phillips is giving his benefactor yet another headache. (Leininger may face some liability for Phillips’ actions as former principal of Vision Forum, Inc.)

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  28. The saddest thing about this news is: the patriarchy / quiverful movements are where more than a few bloggers over at ex-christian, have had (the misfortune of) first-hand experience. Their stories are heart-wrenching – will their hurt ever heal?

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  29. Regardless of your views regarding Philips and the lawsuit; don’t you think it’s a bit weird that a church could violate someone’s first amendment rights by demanding they return to fellowship there? I don’t see how that is constitutional or Biblical. If they wanted to ex-communicate them, then fine. But how did they think they could force them to return? That seems spiritually abusve and just plain bizarre to me. And if they thought Philips was so currupt he ought to be ex-communicated then why did they even want him to return to begin with? Anyone hear the cash registers cha-chinging like I do?

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  30. Cathryn, It has to do with the membership rules that were established by Philiips himself. They are holding him to his own rules that he enforced on others. I dont think they wanted to excommunicate him, it sounds like they have him in church discupline and want to be able to oversee the church discipline procees they use at BCA.

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  31. Oops, sorry I did not actually read the statement about him not going along with restoration or the letter of transfer rule he broke. That explains a lot. But I still think in America these are not enforcable rules. People do this all the time. I know a pastor that did this. He left his old church and denomination after committing adultery and refusing to repent and restoration and then he started his own church and is pastoring today. Nothing anybody can do about it legally.

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  32. NO good Christian would Julie Anne. But in America they get away with it because we have freedom of religion. And the fools will attend that pastor I told you about’s church.

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  33. The pastor I told you about also was in the news about a law he broke a lawsuit involved and the fact he went to prison. But his congregants still payed out his legal fees and he’s still pastoring today. Weird, huh?

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  34. Philips also ought to have known, when he drew up that church rule about having to get a letter of permission to change churches, that it violated the constitutional right to freedom of association.

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  35. Who would belong to a church that had a rule like that? Needing permission to fellowship elsewhere? How is that Scriptural?

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  36. Cathryn, Go check out 9Marks. They have the same kinds of rules and not only that, they have compiled a list of churches who go along with their teachings. Needing permission to fellowship someplace else is not a Doug Phillips-only rule.

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  37. The pastor I told you about also was in the news about a law he broke a lawsuit involved and the fact he went to prison. But his congregants still payed out his legal fees and he’s still pastoring today. Weird, huh?

    That doesn’t surprise me. My former pastor was smart and added the church’s name to the defamation lawsuit against me so that he wouldn’t have to fork over $$. I doubt he paid one cent. And people remain there. Unbelievable.

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